The Malik Report
Here's hoping that Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson's simply under the weather:
Update: Good news:
via Sport Express with rough translation,
Forward "Detroit" Pavel Datsyuk quietly recovering from injury and will do anything to play for the Russian national team at the Olympics in Sochi, said the player's agent Gary Grinstin. Captain of the Russian Olympic team, we recall, was injured in the Jan. 1 game, "Toronto" and since then has not appeared on the ice.
Pavel Datsyuk knows what to do - leads "F-Sport" Grinstina words. - He's already trained, he quietly restored and will do anything to play for the Russian national team at the Olympics. I can not say whether Datsyuk play before the break, but I will note that the club is no press, no pressure guide. And the decision on this issue will make himself Datsyuk.
via Sven Gustavsson tweet (translated)
Now it is clear. It was Gustav Nyquist, who now may make his debut in the Swedish national team at the Olympic Games in Sochi.
added 2:36pm, via Expressen (link not tranaslate),
He has made a success of the Detroit Red Wings.
Now it is clear that Gustav Nyquist, 24, replaces teammate and injured Johan Franzen in the Tre Kronor Olympic team.
There will be Nyquist replacing Franzen, confirms national team boss Tommy Boustedt in TV3's Studio Sochi on Monday evening.
from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
Pavel Datsyuk took part in the optional skate and still hopes to return for a game or two before the Olympics.
“Hoping, looking to,” Datsyuk said when asked if he was still going to play in the Olympics. “I don’t know. I’m just trying to make sure I play one or two games (before). That’s my goal now.
“I’m not thinking about over there now,” Datsyuk added. “I’m thinking about coming back to our team and helping our team.”...
Asked about what some fans are saying that if players can’t play for their NHL team that pays them then they shouldn’t play in the Olympics, Datsyuk said, “No comment. Everybody has own mine. Everybody has own decision. It’s my decision.”
added 10:48am, Also from Pleiness,
Datsyuk also on ice with Weiss. Holland confirmed Datsyuk is out tonight. Still day to day.
added 11:02am,Pleiness again,
Gustavsson confirms he's starting.
added 11:12am, Mor from Pleiness,
Lashoff in for Smith on defense. Gustavsson starting. According to Babcock.
Per the Free Press's Helene St. James...
And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa, regarding a certain Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings' 6-5 OT loss to Washington on Sunday:
As for the status of one Pavel Datsyuk, we head back to St. James:
Ridiculous. The Red Wings had a hat trick performance by Gustav Nyquist, but I'm very unhappily putting on the tinfoil hat for this one, because Alex Ovechkin got tripped in OT (the reffing was awfully spotty all game long), bitched at the ref, Brendan Smith was awarded a chintzy penalty as a result, and Alex Ovechkin got loose and fired a shot through Danny DeKeyser and a screened Jimmy Howard to give Washington a 6-5 win over the Red Wings on Sunday.
Good news in terms of asset retention for the Red Wings, for now, anyway:
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Entering his third Olympics, Kronwall understands how much his role has changed even from 2010, when he was an 18-minute per game defenseman but still more of a role player on a team that featured Nicklas Lidstrom.
He's the sixth-oldest player on Sweden's 23-man roster behind Daniel Alfredsson, Henrik Tallinder, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Henrik Zetterberg. Kronwall is the second-oldest defenseman behind Tallinder, who is expected to be seventh or eighth on the depth chart.
Kronwall could play more than 20 minutes per game on a team that on paper has the requisite amount of skill, speed and patience to win gold on the big ice in Sochi.
"The older you get, I want to think the wiser you get somehow," Kronwall said. "I have to try to bring some calm to the table."
I may not be particularly active at present due to the whole concussion issue but I have been following the Wings as best as able, and all I can say about the following is this: people tend to forget that, prior to his heroic status grimmacing and skating through femur scraping on tibia and fibula along the way to the Red Wings' 2002 Stanley Cup championship, the Red Wings and their fans had to endure watching Steve Yzerman make similar pained faces while skating for Team Canada at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The NHL and NHLPA's Olympic participation is something of a devil's bargain, and whether we like it or not (and I do not like it at all), I have no doubt that Henrik Zetterberg will skate through any back issues he experiences in Sochi to captain the Swedish team, I have no doubt that Niklas Kronwall will continue to block shots, that Tomas Tatar will fearlessly skate into scrums with forwards half-a-foot taller and 40 pounds heavier than he is, and I have absolutely no doubt that Pavel Datsyuk will be skating for the Russian Olympic hockey team as its captain on home soil, regardless of how badly his left knee's messed up.*
As Paul noted, Datsyuk didn't skate with the team on Saturday, and he may not play in any of the Wings' four remaining games before the Olympics (Sunday vs. Washington, Monday vs. Vancouver, Thursday in Miami and Saturday in Tampa Bay), but given his history of hurrying home, even when injured, to play for the Russians at the World Championships, I don't think that anyone should question Datsyuk's status unless the Magic Man himself states that he's not healthy enough to play.
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