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The Malik Report

Mike Babcock Stresses The Positives After Detroit’s Shootout Loss To Anaheim

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

... following what had to be a frustrating 4-3 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center, Red Wings Mike Babcock didn't criticize his team for letting up a bit in the third period, for any defensive miscues or soft goals allowed.

He rattled off a lengthy list of positives.

"I thought we played real well tonight. I thought we controlled the game," Babcock said. "The puck found a way in our net a couple times. I didn't like it, but I thought our team played good, played hard.

"The kids were good. (Riley) Sheahan had a good night against (Ryan) Getzlaf. (Luke Glendending's) line was real solid. We got a good effort out of (Stephen) Weiss' line; I shut them down early but I thought they were good. And then Pavel (Datsyuk) was good.

"I liked our game. The puck went in the net a couple times it shouldn't have. Let's get on with it."

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Quick take, Red Wings vs. Ducks: You can’t mail in 20 minutes’ worth of play and win

The Detroit Red Wings, once again, should have defeated the Anaheim Ducks 2-0 or 3-0, but a Red WIngs team that rarely shows up for minutes 1-20 of games instead decided to mail in its 3rd period, and as a reasult, it gave up 3 goals in 3:30, had to scramble for a 3-3 tie and predictably blew a shootout, losing 4-3 to an Anaheim Ducks team that had no business pushing the Wings to 2-0-and-1 on their West Coast Swing.

Jimmy Howard was good but could've been better, in regulation and the shootout, and the same is true for the men in front of him, because the Wings managed to make a 20-goal season for Pavel Datsyuk and Datsyuk tying Slava Kozlov for 5th all-time in Russian points feel like small consolation.

I don't know why this team is having so much trouble keeping goals out of its net. It's certain that Howard isn't at 100% yet after returning from his groin injury, but the Wings got caught with their pants down on the exact same play 70 seconds apart, they blew a 2-goal lead in which they were out-shooting their opponent 22-10 because they stopped playing like their opponent was as good as the Ducks are, and in the end, what was a masterful first 40 minutes ended up being egg on the Wings' faces.

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St. James: Zetterberg being held out due to ‘protocol’; Quincey dealing with bone chips in foot

Well consider this "encouraging news" and "rut roh" news. The Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings probably won't dress Henrik Zetterberg tonight (against Anaheim) or tomorrow (against Los Angeles) out of an abundance of caution [edit: And if you don't know this, the Wings' concussion protocol usually means shutting someone down for 5-7 days, so I would not anticipate Zetterberg returning until either Thurdsay against San Jose, or, more likley, Saturday against the Predators /end edit]:

Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg remains sidelined because he isn't feeling well, but he hasn't engaged in the protocol that kicks in when a player is feared concussed.

"I don't think we think there's any need to," general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press Monday night at Honda Center, where Zetterberg will miss tonight's game against the Ducks. Asked if Zetterberg would be available Tuesday at Los Angeles, coach Mike Babcock said, "not that I know of."

Holland said Zetterberg "had a bit of a headache" Sunday but hadn't reported any today. The official diagnosis is that, "he doesn't feel 100%," Holland said.

St. James continues, discussing Riley Sheahan's opportunity to step up in Zetterberg's absence, and but she also notes this:

[Coach Mike] Babcock said defenseman Kyle Quincey will see a second specialist about a foot ailment, but Holland said surgery isn't yet on the table. "He has some chips floating around," Holland said. "He's played a bunch of years with them."

And both she and the Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa noted that the March 8th game between the Wings and B's has been picked up by NBC, and will start at 12:30 PM EDT instead of 8 PM EDT.

Update: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's version:

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Zetterberg Out Tonight And Probably Tomorrow

The beat writers talked with Babcock about a half hour ago.  Zetterberg not playing tonight and will likely miss the game in LA tomorrow.

Andersson will replace Zetterberg in the lineup tonight and Pulkkinen will take the pre-game skate to test his leg.

If he cannot go, Cleary is in.

Babcock also mentioned Gustavsson will start agains the Kings on Tuesday.

Update: Here are the Tweets:

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Red Wings-Ducks game-day updates, part 2: Zetterberg doubtful, Pulkkinen iffy, Ducks keyed up

This basically qualifies as an "In Case You Missed It" entry (because the first Wings-Ducks game-day post fell off the front page of KK Hockey), but the Red Wings did not hold a morning skate ahead of tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks (10 PM on FSD/FS West/NHL Network/97.1 FM), and as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted, Wings GM Ken Holland related the following information to the media:

The Red Wings likely will face the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night without Henrik Zetterberg. General manager Ken Holland said Zetterberg (head) is "doubtful" to face the Ducks, while Teemu Pulkkinen (leg) will take the pregame skate and test his injury.

Both players were hurt Saturday against the Dallas Stars.

Zetterberg was punched in the head twice by Stars forward Jamie Benn and missed the third period of that game, along with not taking part in Sunday's practice.

The Windsor Star's Bob Duff confirmed (it appears that Zetterberg is being kept out of the game due to an abundance of caution as opposed to a serious concussion), and noted Justin Abdelkader's take on the Wings' "California Trip"...

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Larionov on puck possession and the ‘beautiful game’

Paul posted this in KK hockey, and I'm not sure if it merits a "second post" given that most of you read the main KK blog, but given that Igor Larionov argues that the Soviet system of hockey--as in the Anatoli Tarasov-style puck possession system, as implemented by but not invented by Viktor Tikhonov--requires the kind of patience and acceptance of mistakes that are hard to come by in the NHL and in Pavel Datsyuk's case, Igor's take on the Red Army documentary as it applies to hockey instruction today (via the Players' Tribune) is certainly worth your time:

It might seem impossible that the creative style of hockey that we were known for was born out of this military system. But you have to understand what happened to us when we laced up our skates and stepped out onto the ice — it was like breathing fresh air. We found a way to express ourselves. It could be 5 a.m. It could be 11 p.m. When we were on the ice, nothing mattered. We were in our own world. This atmosphere lead to so much creativity. To call it “fun” is much too simple. It was freedom.

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Dr. Murray Howe, advocate for science-based stem cell research

Dr. Murray Howe, a.k.a. Gordie Howe's youngest son, had a particularly intriguing conversation with CBS Detroit's Ashley Dunkak recently, and Howe was very, very blunt about the science behind stem cell therapy and his belief that his father wasn't simply a one-off "miracle" or the beneficiary of "medical tourism":

“My dad’s case is by no means the only one,” Murray continued. “He’s kind of like in the middle. There’s examples of patients that have had a far greater result. I’m so thrilled for my dad, but by no means was my dad a fluke or a random event. The studies are ongoing, and I think the point of any of the, I guess, naysayers is that Gordie Howe may be anecdotal and we need more research, and I totally agree with that. In fact, based on what we’ve seen with my father, I would say that we as a country and as a world should make a concerted effort to put as much time and energy as we can into investigating the power of stem cells because I really think that based on what I’m seeing this is going to be a game-changer for medicine and a game-changer for quality of life for so many people that have non-option diseases like stroke or dementia.”

Heading to Tijuana for treatment was a last-ditch effort to save Gordie, but it was not one the family undertook on a whim, Murray said.

“I’m well aware of hucksters and con games and this type of thing, and our family has never been about traveling the world to find the miracle cure,” Murray said. “I’m a very mainstream physician. I’ve always relied heavily on data and on long-term studies to prove the safety and efficacy of any treatment. For our father, we just – our goal has always just been quality of life and comfort. When my mom was sick with her dementia … that was our only priority was just keep her comfortable, keep her healthy, as healthy as possible, and keep her safe, and that was it. We had a number of people contact us saying, ‘You know, we could help your mom with this pill and that pill,’ and I looked at everything that anybody presented to us, but to me there was nothing that showed any data that would – made me want to experiment, if you will, with my mom.”

Howe and Dunkak continue, and Howe firmly believes that advocating for stem cell research and treatment that's based on scientific study can benefit everyone--and benefit people more cheaply--in the near future.

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Mantha < Athanasiou? Not necessarily so

1. Yes, a prospect catch-up post is coming. Last week was an adventure.

2. This is one of those articles that makes me make a scrunchy face.

You may or may not know this,but Andreas Athanasiou is absolutely blossoming like a cherry tree in May while playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins, and "Darren Helm with hands" has most certainly earned the gushy praise of his coach, Jeff Blashill, and the respect of teammates and opponents alike as the Griffins' #1 center.

He's been nothing less than fantastic, the "straw that stirs the drink" and the team's hardest worker (which is a helluva thing to say given how many hard workers the Griffins have).

I do not, however, agree with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner's suggestion that Athanasiou's superior performance (11 goals + 13 assists = 24 points in 33 games; Athanasiou missed time with a broken jaw) + Anthony Mantha's struggles as a professional rookie = Athanasiou has leapfrogged Mantha on the depth chart:

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Red Wings-Ducks game-day updates: HSJ: Zetterberg ‘doubtful,’ Pulkkinen game-time decision

Updated 13x at 3:18 PM: Via TSN, USA Today's Kevin Allen discussed the Red Wings' trade deadline options, and you know this...

Detroit Red Wings: They are looking at veterans defensemen but have made it clear they won't deal prospects Dylan Larkin or Anthony Mantha or their first-round pick. They would consider trading for the Edmonton Oilers' Jeff Petry or the Phoenix Coyotes' Zbynek Michalek at the right price. Petry has played well enough of late to increase his value.

As for tonight's game between the Red Wings and Ducks (10:30 10:00 PM on FSD/FS West/Sportsnet/NHL Network/97.1 FM), the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Wings will not hold a morning skate, and as such, she's hedging her bets regarding Henrik Zetterberg (head) and Teemu Pulkkinen's (leg) respective availabilities:

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Late-night post practice update: Pulkkinen, Zetterberg ‘questionable’ for Wings-Ducks affair

My apologies for the lateness of this update; nobody "pretends" to have frostbite.

In any case, ahead of this week's "Games You May or May Not Watch" (a.k.a. Monday night's tilt with the Ducks @ 10:30 PM EST, Tuesday's game in Los Angeles @ 10:30 PM EST, Thursday's game in San Jose @ 10:30 PM EST and Saturday's game in Nashville @ 8 PM EST), the Wings did indeed practice witout both Teemu Pulkkinen and Henrik Zetterberg on Sunday afternoon.

MLive's Ansar Khan covered Pulkkinen's status...

Rookie right wing Teemu Pulkkinen also didn't practice Sunday. He said his status will be determined on Monday as well. Pulkkinen injured his leg on a hit from Jordie Benn (Jamie's brother) with 4:42 to play in the first period. He returned at the start of the second period and finished the game.

"One guy hit me and it hurt just a little bit in my leg, so we'll see here how it feels tomorrow," Pulkkinen said.

And the Free Press's Helene St. James updated Zetterberg's status (Jamie Benn played in Sunday's Wild-Stars game after punching Zetterberg in the face repeatedly, but at least Dallas gave up 6 third-period goals to Minnesota and lost 6-2)...

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.



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