The Malik Report
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Atlantic Division had three teams with 100 or more points in 2013-14 (Boston, Tampa Bay and Montreal) and once again appears to be the stronger of the two divisions in the Eastern Conference.
The Red Wings are 1-1-3 against those clubs this season and coming off their worst game of the year Sunday in a 4-1 loss to the Canadiens at Joe Louis Arena.
If Detroit doesn't finish higher than at least one of those teams it must battle for a wild card playoff spot against Toronto, Ottawa and a number of teams from the Metropolitan Division.
Here are five things to watch this week:
1. On the road again
The Red Wings play their next three games on the road, where they are 2-2-3. They will try to fare better than they did in their most recent three-game trip, when they gained just two out a possible six points in Buffalo, Ottawa and the New York Rangers.
from Mike Brophy at NHL.com,
When it comes to debating who might be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the future, Chris Osgood's name usually comes up.
And the argument could be made Osgood had the numbers in his 17-year NHL career to be considered for induction.
The former goalie had his best years with the Detroit Red Wings; Osgood won two Stanley Cups, became the 10th goalie to win 400 games, is 10th all-time with 401 victories, has the seventh best goals-against average of all-time (2.49), led the NHL in GAA in the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2007-08 and led the NHL in wins in 1995-96 (39).
Osgood was at the Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony as the guest of Dominik Hasek, his former teammate in Detroit.
continued and watch a video below of Osgood talking about Hasek from the Hockey Hall of Fame...
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
What do you do to keep busy?
"I do watch some games at home with our Swedish scout Hakan Andersson and I'm helping out with my kids, my youngest son's hockey team now. I started out with my 14-year-old the last couple of years, but this fall I'm helping out with my 11-year-old. That's been a lot of fun. I also do some business on the side. I am involved with some real estate business in Sweden. But I really enjoy helping my son's team, especially the young kids. They love being at the rink. They love being on the ice. They love playing games. It's fun to see them develop. It's great being around the kids all the time now."
Do you feel that when you're around them you absolutely have their attention? I mean, you're Nicklas Lidstrom, they know who you are, right?
"Maybe not my own kids (laughs). Sometimes what I say gets through to them, but sometimes I'm just like any other dad talking to the kids and they'll block me out. I'm not giving them a whole lot of advice all the time. I give them some pointers here and there. Not my kids, but the other kids are really in more awe than my sons. That's great. Those young kids ask a ton of questions all the time."
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:
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.