The Malik Report
Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News with some post-practice updates...
"He's getting checked out," coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't know what the word is."
Babcock said Datsyuk will accompany the Red Wings to Tuesday's game in Columbus but it's unknown whether he'll be ready to play....
And Babcock on the game last night...
"We were no good. You have to be prepared and compete and we didn't do neither. That's on me. When the team doesn't compete hard enough, or isn't prepared, you have to look at yourself as a coach.
"Right now we're hit-and-miss and that's not good enough for the group we have. We need more out of some guys and I've challenged them individually and collectively, and that's what we'll look for."
added 4:14pm, from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
Media reports Pavel Datsyuk not on the ice but is in the bulding, perhaps a maintenace day for him but no news yet.
I will update this post as needed.
added 1:09pm, Khan tweets...
Babcock said Datsyuk making trip to Columbus. Doesn't know if he'll play. Same groin issue.
Babcock said Howard starting tomorrow.
No sugar-coating from Babcock.
After looking very good against the Blackhawks on Friday night, the Wings looked just as bad tonight.
Getting to the net tonight was an issue plus the Wings seem to lack determination of any sort.
They have a chance to turn it around on Tuesday in Columbus.
We will find out soon enough how they fare.
Oh boy. Per the Hockey News's Ken Campbell:
After a brief glimmer of hope following a stroke last month, hockey legend Gordie Howe has taken a turn for the worse over the past 10 days and, “is having a really difficult time here,” according to Howe’s son, Mark.
“Things are definitely headed in the wrong direction,” Mark said.
The younger Howe, in fact, sent an email out to family and friends last week telling them that Gordie Howe’s condition has been in rapid decline and that it might be time to consider hospice care for him. “Father Time and all Dad’s illnesses are pains are catching up with him rapidly,” he wrote.
Gordie Howe, who is 86 years old and in the advanced stages of dementia, suffered a serious stroke in late October at his daughter’s home in Lubbock, Texas. After a brief period of recovery that had inspired some optimism, Mark said a host of problems have arisen, not the least of which is debilitating back pain that can’t be treated because he is unable to get up and move around. Mark Howe said the family is hoping to have an epidural done later this week to alleviate the pain, but the problem with that is that in order for that to be done, he will have to go off other medications that are currently helping him cope with anxiety and high blood pressure.
“As a family, if we’re not going to be able to reduce his pain,” Mark Howe said, “the outcome is not going to be good.”
The Detroit Red Wings face a stiff task in attempting to derail the 12-4-and-2 Montreal Canadiens' 5-game winning streak this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/City TV/RDS/97.1 FM), and I guess there's nothing like a morning skate for an 8-3-and-5 team like having a slight heart attack, per the Detroit News's Chris McCosky:
Kronwall not on the ice for Wings morning skate
Kronwall has arrived on the ice. Better late than not at all
The Habs' press is definitely in town, too: the Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs confirmed tonight's starter...
Those asking: look for Dustin Tokarski in goal for #Habs vs #redwings tonight #HabsIO
And MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed the Wings' lines in English...
The Red Wings chose to take Saturday off and engage in a full morning skate ahead of tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens (7 PM on FSD/City TV//RDS/97.1 FM; Dustin Tokarski will face Jimmy Howard in the nets=), and the "off-day" made sense for two reasons:
First and foremost, the Wings' 13-games-in-24-nights stretch takes them to Columbus on Tuesday, Winnipeg on Thursday and then Toronto next Saturday, and Thanksgiving week = home games against Ottawa on the 24th and Philly on the 26th, a road game against the Devils on Friday the 28th and a home tilt against Vancouver on Sunday the 30th, so the Wings need to maximize their rest and especially recovery time;
Second, the Wings were very sloppy in last Sunday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Lightning--a game in which the team chose to skip their morning skate--and as strongly as the Wings played in Friday's win over Chicago, Detroit might have to play an even better game to defeat the Canadiens this evening.
Montreal comes into the game on a 5-game winning streak, they've got a 13-4-and-1 record, and on Saturday night, the Habs scored 3 power play goals en route to a 6-3 win over Philadelphia.
MontrealCanadiens.com's Steven Nechay noted that Sergei Gonchar helped the Canadiens shake a significant power play slump:
I don't expect Anthony Mantha to have a dominant season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
He's just getting up to speed after missing over two months due to a broken leg that was closer to a fracture of his knee more than anything else, so getting his "wind" back is hard enough; just as importantly, after scoring a goal a game in a high-scoring league of 16-to-20-year-olds, even a 6'5," 214-pound plyaer's going to find that you can't take 90-second shifts, you don't have nearly as much time and space in the AHL, and that there are players 10 years older, 15 pounds heavier and a whole lot more experienced who can check the Manthas of the world into dust.
But Mantha is also a power sniper who really does have 25-to-35-goal potential at the NHL level, and as such, this didn't surprise me at all (even if it was nearly an empty-netter):
via Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,
Babcock is in the final year of his contract and would be a coveted asset should he become available. The 51-year-old, who won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008 and two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada (2010, 2014), says he isn’t concerned about his contract status.
“It doesn’t make one difference to [Red Wings GM] Ken Holland or myself,” Babcock told Sportsnet 590 The Fan Saturday. “The reality is I’m going to do what’s best for me…Ken is going to do what’s best for the Red Wings.”...
“In the end I think we’re going to find a way to work things out,” added Babcock, who reiterated he’s more focused on winning than his contract. “If you look after the present you’ll be fine.”
The Wings chose not to to practice the day after their 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. That's a little strange going into the team's 13-games-in-24-nights stretch, especially given the Wings' 4-day break this past week, but the Wings' schedule after Sunday (when the Wings host the Montreal Canadiens at 7 PM EST) is weird--they play in Columbus on Tuesday, head west to Winnipeg on Thursday and then head back East to play Toronto on Saturday--so the players and coach have to balance "teaching time" and "rest time."
The Canadiens possesses a 12-4-and-1 record, and as the CBC's Amy Cleveland notes, the Canadiens are on quite the streak heading into tonight's home game against Philadelphia:
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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.