The Malik Report
I guess we'll call this a, "Kinder, gentler" interview: former Red Wing and Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman all but definitively ruled out skating for the Red Wings' Alums at the Winter Classic while engaging in something of a tense media availability prior to Saturday's Wings-Lightning game, so Fox Sports Detroit's Mickey Redmond took a different tack in a second-intermission interview that Fox Sports Detroit just posted on their website:
Red Wings Monday practice post: lines shaken up (Cleary scratched?) HHOF inductions & Yzerman’s ‘no’
Updated 15x at 4:12 PM: The Detroit Red Wings need to get their shi...I mean "stuff" together in short order, especially after their humbling losses to Dallas and Tampa Bay. They resumed practice today having dropped 5 straight games at home and 7 of their last 10. But there's good news! Sort of! Per the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
#redwings winless in five at home. Last time they were winless in six at home was 1996-97. Went on to win Stanley Cup.
The Wings hope to avenge last week's loss to Winnipeg when the Jets come to town tomorrow (7:30 PM, FSD, and tomorrow night is Military Appreciation Night, and the Jets defeated San Jose 5-4 in a shootout on Sunday); after shifting gears and hosting the Toast of Hockeytown on Wednesday, they'll welcome the high-powered Capitals to town on Friday, they'll head to Long Island for a Saturday tilt.
I don't know what to think about the Red Wings right now. The team's 3-2 OT loss to Tampa Bay certainly got this reluctant, "Let's be patient, the coach and GM know more than we do"-leaning Wings fan on the, "For *#$%@&'s sake, if you've got no secondary scoring up here and Gustav Nyquist tied for 5th in AHL scoring with 17 points in 12 games, why is he down there?" bandwagon, and I woke from a couple grams' worth of Amoxicillin to say, "This may be the antibiotics talking, but I fully believe that the Wings *desperately* miss Johan Franzen and Jonathan Ericsson" on Twitter.
The way the NHL keeps records is...let's call it "nuanced." Its record-keeping methodology states that the Wings are 3-3-and-4 over their last 10 games, or, very technically speaking, 3-3-3-and-1.
That translates into the Wings have earned points in 7 of 10 games...But it also means that the Red Wings have lost 7 of their past 10 games.
Mike Babcock with his assessment of the Wings' OT loss to the Lightning.
I'm running a fever so I'm going to keep this brief, but...
I'm *#$%@& baffled. The Red Wings continue to waste strong performances by Jimmy Howard, and thanks to a litany of turnovers, unforced errors and plain-old poor decision-making, the Wings have dropped 3 straight (taking 2 out of a possible 6 points) and have lost 5 straight at Joe Louis Arena, for the first time in 26 years.
This one came in the form of a 3-2 OT loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team the Wings will play 4 more times this season, and it came thanks to some really dumb mistakes--whether it was the complete and total lack of coverage on Ryan Malone, the team's baffling inability to cover Steven Stamkos after coming off of over 4 minutes of power play time, or Kyle Quincey's doofy give-it-to-the-game-winner pass to Teddy Purcell under pressure from Richard Panik.
Updated 3x at 8:52 PM: This is of course the one question those of you who've been wondering about Steve Yzerman's participation in the Winter Classic Alumni Showdown wanted to hear the answer to, and in typical Yzerman fashion, he gave 97.1 the Ticket's Jeff Riger a non-answer:
Yzerman will appear on Fox Sports Detroit during the second intermission, and while we're droppin' bombs, Mike Babcock had spoken to Ken Kal in a little chit-chat prior to Kal losing his voice this morning, and Babcock stated that Ken Holland had offered Valtteri Filppula a seven-year contract prior to the start of free agency, but Filppula chose to test the market anyway, and when Filppula circled back around, "the money was all gone." [edit: and Mickey Redmond said that Holland had told him that the Wings had 2 offers for Filppula, one pre-free agency and one during free agency, but 4 or 5 teams were after Filppula and he was gone]
Update: the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa all but Tweeted a column:
I'm still feeling quite dreadful today, and ahead of tonight's game between the Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning (7 PM, FSD/SUN/97.1 FM), I cannot deny that addressing Johan Franzen's status from an, "I am open about having an anxiety disorder" perspective was less than pleasant.
I don't think this will make things any better: Valtteri Filppula's return to Detroit as a high-scoring member of the Tampa Bay Lightning is the topic of the day, and MLive's Brendan Savage wonders whether the Red wings made a "mistake" in not re-signing Filppula:
Updated 4x with video at 3:53 PM: As Paul noted, the Red Wings find themselves particularly shorthanded ahead of tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7 PM, FSD/SUN/97.1 FM), with no Stephen Weiss (groin, out 7-10 days), no Johan Franzen (????) and having swapped out Xavier Ouellet and Adam Almquist ahead of tonight's battle with Valtteri Filppula's 11-4-and-0 Lightning.
The Wings come into tonight's game having laid quite the pair of eggs in losses to Winnipeg on Tuesday and Dallas on Thursday, while the Lightning's 4-2 win over Edmonton on Thurdsay was their 3rd straight and 6th over the course of their past 7 games.
While one could very well argue that Weiss having to not play for a couple of games might allow him to watch the game from a different perspective and shake his scoring funk, and regardless of what's ailing Johan Franzen, we all wish him well...
Wings coach Mike Babcock's understandable decision to keep his one scoring line together has the Wings "platooning" lines 2-4, and that means a player who was "sucking wind" at the end of Tuesday night's game in Darren Helm's received a helluva promotion, as the Windsor Star's Bob Duff notes:
I've been battling boogers for the last two days, so I apologize for taking a dirt nap, but it was very necessary (and many thanks to Paul for keeping TMR rolling along)...And while I've generally been out of the loop, I'm aware of the fact that both those with good intentions and those who simply don't know have speculated that Johan Franzen's absence from the team is due to some sort of flare-up of his social anxiety issues.
I cannot speak to the accuracy or inaccuracy of such suggestions; all I can tell you is that I did translate an article in which Franzen told Aftonbladet's Mats Wennerholm that he suffered from a pretty moderate-to-severe case of social anxiety as a youngster and teenager back during a conversation held in 2009...
And I can at least speak to you as someone who readily admits that I suffer from a moderate-to-severe anxiety disorder as well as moderate "major depression."
From the Red Wings' PR department:
Red Wings support troops this Tuesday
Team hosts military members, holds care package Collection on Nov. 12
The Red Wings will host their sixth annual Military Appreciation Night presented by Applebee’s on Tuesday, Nov. 12, when the team takes on the Winnipeg Jets at 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit and AM 1270).
The first 7,500 fans can pick up a Red Wings military hat sporting a USO logo on the back by visiting the designated giveaway tables. Fans can purchase tickets to Military Appreciation Night through a special offer that includes a donation back to the USO and guarantees a Red Wings military hat at http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/military.
“We are excited to be a part of Military Appreciation Night with the Red Wings,” said Mark Schostak, whose family owns 65 Michigan Applebee’s locations, “and we are proud to continue to honor servicemen and servicewomen year-round with Military Monday, when veterans and active duty military will receive a 30-percent discount on their food purchases all day every Monday at Applebee’s.”
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.