The Malik Report
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Tom McCollum from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and placed goaltender Jimmy Howard on injured reserve.
The Detroit Red Wings lost their goaltender very, very early in their 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday, and you'd hope that after recovering from the loss of Jimmy Howard to a groin injury of unspecified severity, the Wings would find their footing and show up.
The stats certainly suggest as much, but the numbers paint an inaccurate picture of what was truly a putrid effort by everyone on the ice save Teemu Pulkkinen and Jonathan Ericsson (I'm not kidding). Detroit never really showed up, and Wings fans simply watched the Capitals choke what little life there was out of a dour, dreary and ugly game.
If you're not familiar with the Capitals, circa 2014-15, I'll put it bluntly: This was like every damn game that the Wings lost to Nashville where the Predators lurked in the weeds, scored a couple of goals, and generally checked the pants off of a Wings team that never really arrived at the rink.
AH I THOUGHT OF IT edit: This is the kind of game that makes you and I wonder whether the Wings are as good as their record--which is much better than last season--or as "still in transition" as they played on a night like this.
Jimmy Howard and Danny DeKeyser messed up a simple drop-the-puck-and-d-takes-it exchange a minute-and-a-half into the Red Wings' game against the Washington Capitals, and as a result,
Mike Green Troy Brouwer scored a wraparound goal, and in the process, Howard injured what looked like a hamstring or knee trying to kick his left leg underneath him. He went down in considerable pain:
Ken Daniels asked Chris Osgood how long Jonas Gustavsson might be out, and Osgood suggested that Gustavsson's shoulder is still at least 1-2 weeks away from being game-ready...I hope this isn't as bad as it looks, but I have a bad feeling that we'll be hearing, "Jimmy Howard will be like our trade deadline acquisition" as Howard couldn't move:
The Wings play four times over the next 8 nights--they play in Buffalo on Tuesday the 13th, in St. Louis on Thursday the 15th, and then they host the Predators on the 17th and Sabres on the 19th--and they will wrap up the pre All-Star Break schedule with a home tilt against Minnesota on the 20th.
Something tells me Howard will be sitting out the All-Star Game and probably not be playing hockey until at least the Wings' first post-ASG break game in Florida on the 27th.
Now do the Wings recall Tom McCollum or Jared Coreau, who's stolen McCollum's job in GR?
Update the 1st: FSD's John Keating says that...He went to the locker room and Howard was wearing all his gear on the stretcher still.
Update #2: Keating: Howard has a groin injury. He's being worked on by the Wings' trainers and doctors here. Won't return tonight.
Update #3: The Free Press's Helene St. James confirms, as does MLive's Ansar Khan:
The Red Wings' skaters and goalie have posted steady but unspectacular stats over the team's first 41 games, and as such, I'm scratching my head a little bit about the NHL's decision to name Jimmy Howard a member of the team.
Howard's been damn good for the Wings in the win department (shootouts excluded), winning 16 times, and he's 9th in goals-against average and 12th in wins...But that's about it, and given Tomas Tatar's breakout performance, I'm surprised that Howard was picked as the Wings' lone representative for the All-Star Weekend.
I guess it means more vacation time between the 21st and 27th for the Wings' skaters, and Howard's certainly reestablished himself this season, but the selection seems a bit like Hockey Operations picked a Wings player's name out of a hat.
Ansar Khan of Mlive with the post morning skate report...
The Detroit Red Wings start the second half of the season tonight against one of the hottest teams in the NHL, the Washington Capitals, who are 11-1-4 in their past 15 games.
The Red Wings have won two in a row, halfway through a stretch of six consecutive road games.
Teemu Pulkkinen will make his season debut for Detroit, replacing Daniel Cleary in the lineup. The only other lineup change for the Red Wings is in goal, where Jimmy Howard will start.
Henrik Zetterberg and Kyle Quincey didn't skate this morning at the Verizon Center but coach Mike Babcock said they're 100 percent ready to play.
Pulkkinen, recalled Thursday from the Grand Rapids Griffins, leads the AHL with 20 goals and has scored a goal in his past eight games, equaling a Griffins franchise record.
"We're going to give him the opportunity tonight, and depending on what he does we'll give him more opportunities," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It's on an ad-earn basis, so you got to play real well and if you play real well you get to play."
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Zetterberg and Quincey not skating this morning in Washington. Should know their status for tonight shortly when Babcock talks.
Nyquist-Cleary (for Z)-Abdelkader
added 12:09pm, via Khan,
Babcock said Zetterberg and Quincey good to go tonight. Howard starting. Only other change is Pulkkinen in for Cleary.
added 12:21pm, via Gregg Krupa tweet,
babcock said miller is with sheahan and pulkkinen in warmups. "we'll see what happens. we'll see how they want to match and go from there."
added 12:36pm, additional tweets by Krupa below...
Q: Do you think the Wings will ever cut Franzen loose, admit they erred in going too long on his contract? The Pistons did as much with Josh Smith. (Franzen) is too plodding and he is not a good match for any of our lines. He neutralizes the first half of all power plays and is keeping a worthy player or three in Grand Rapids, skaters who could help the parent club.
A: This is their annual quandary with Franzen. He plays like a star for stretches, piling up goals and points, and then disappears for long stretches. That hasn't changed this season.
He turns 36 midway through next season. If the organization believes he's still capable of scoring 20 goals, he'll stick around because it will be difficult to find a replacement at that cap hit ($3.95 million) in a free-agent market that gets thinner by the year.
Q: Can the Wings buy out Franzen or has that boat sailed?
A: Compliance buyouts (where the full salary comes off the cap) no longer are available to clubs. But teams can continue using ordinary course buyouts, where a portion of the salary counts against the cap.
I doubt the Red Wings are prepared to do that with Franzen this off-season, despite his inconsistency and injury issues. But if he continues along the same path it's certainly a possibility in 2016. He has five years remaining on his contract after this season.
many more questions answered by Ansar Khan of Mlive...
from chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
Teemu Pulkkinen is known for one thing … his shot.
“It’s amazing,” Riley Sheahan said of Pulkkinen’s shot. “It’s almost like every time he shoots the puck it’s either going in or the goalie’s not going to know where it’s going and it’ll hit off him and create another scoring chance. It’s hard. It’s accurate. He gets it’s off pretty quick. Not many guys have a shot like him.”
Sheahan will center a line with Pulkkinen and Drew Miller on Saturday at Washington.
“Hopefully he shoots it every time he touches it,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said Friday after the team finished practice at the Taylor Sportsplex.
added 2:36pm, Pulkkinen talks after practice, watch below...
Yes, at the Taylor Sportsplex which is about five minutes away from the airport. They will board a plane after practice and head to Washington D.C. for their game tomorrow night.
Early indications have Pulkkinen skating on a line with Sheahan and Miller.
Cleary is the extra forward in Red. Weiss on fourth line with Glendening and Andersson. Top two lines remain same.
Updates to this post as needed.
added 11:20am, more from Pleiness,
Johan Franzen (upper body) and Tomas Jurco (back) aren't at practice.
Jonas Gustavsson a late arrival to practice
added 11:36am, Pleiness again...
Doesn't look like Pulkkinen will be on the power play. He just took Datsyuk's spot out there and pretty sure Pav isn't leaving the PP.
Now Pulkkinen is working on the second PP unit. I guess we will see what the deal is after practice.
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