The Malik Report
It's highly unlikely that the Detroit Red Wings will practice today, and that's a good thing, because the Wings need to take a day off, rest, recharge and put this past weekend's poor exhibition performances behind them. On Saturday, the "B team" dropped a disinterested 2-0 decision to the Boston Bruins, and the Wings followed their egg-laying performance up with a scatterbrained 4-3 loss to Chicago.
Had the Wings played from minutes 10 to 50, they may have very well defeated the Blackhawks, but the team was out-scored 4-0 while their brains were in neutral, and despite a furious final-minutes-of-the-third comeback, middling goaltending and mistakes galore (led by Brendan Smith, who had a weekend to forget and then some) spelled the Wings' doom and have earned Detroit a 2-and-3 record over 5 games and no home wins with 3 games remaining in the exhibition season.
The Wings will need to get their games in order and fine-tune Jonas Gustavsson's injury timeline ("day to day" or "two weeks, minimum," depending on who's saying what) before their exhibition season concludes with games against Pittsburgh on Wednesday (on FSD+) and a set of back-to-backs against Toronto at the Joe on Friday and at the ACC on Saturday (the latter game will be televised on the CBC).
I will grant you that the Leafs-Sabres stuff is far more intriguing as of 10:18 PM on a Sunday night, but I've been waiting for an explanation as to what the hell is going on with Red Wings Jonas Gustavsson since we received the, "Groins are two weeks from goalies" quip from Wings coach Mike Babcock and then conflicting reports from MLive's Ansar Khan and Fox Sports Detroit's TV broadcast.
Given that the Red Wings are highly, highly unlikely to practice tomorrow with the Grand Rapids Griffins opening their camp and having come off a pair of exhibition game losses, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose offers what may be the most definitive update we'll hear until Tuesday or Wednesday--and he confirms Khan's updates regarding Daniel Alfredsson and Jakub Kindl:
Updated 4x at 8:33 PM: Well to hell with it. I'd penned an entry detailing the fact that the Wings didn't play from minutes 10-50 en route to a second brain-fart-filled loss, following up a 2-0 loss to Boston with a 4-3 loss to Chicago that wasn't nearly as close as the final minutes' worth of effort indicated, but then my browser ate the damn entry. So discuss and I'll post goals as able.
Put simply, from a hockey perspective, it's good to get the "dumb" out of the way quickly, but the Red Wings' unfocused, sometimes lackadaisical effort and Brendan Smith's gaffes on both evenings sucked donkey balls from a Wings fan's perspective, and I hope the Wings take tomorrow off, re-set and understand that they've really got to crank up their effort, intensity, focus and attention to detail because their "B team" lost to Boston, and their "A team" didn't look much better against Chicago.
Regardless of whether it's the regular season or the preseason, you can't show up for the game's first ten minutes, take off the next 40 and expect to show up for the last 10 and succeed.
Very important in-game Tweets from MLive's Ansar Khan:
This one is huge given that Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made it sound like Jonas Gustavsson was out for an extended period of time--and a day after Gustavsson tweaked his groin against Boston, that's not necessarily the case:
Update: And then things got weird via Fox Sports Detroit:
If you're watching the Red Wings-Blackhawks preseason game on Fox Sports Detroit, you're witnessing the debut of a new analyst...
The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Chicago Blackhawks at 5 PM today (on FSD and the NHL Network U.S., and WXYT AM after the Tigers game), and despite the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa's best efforts, didn't really know the lineups for tonight's game (and there was no clarification regarding Jonas Gustavsson's groin and whether he's got a two-day tweak or a Babcockian two-week owie) until the Blackhawks' press corps leaked 'em:
Via RedWingsFeed, it looks like we've got the lineups for today's Red Wings-Blackhawks game (5 PM EDT, FSD/NHL Network U.S./1270 AM after the Tigers game)
The Red Wings' announcement that the team had assigned 27 players--including some of the team's brightest prospects in Calle Jarnkrok, Tomas Jurco, Martin Frk, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul--to the Grand Rapids Griffins yielded raised eyebrows from Wings fans who expected the team to allow the "almost ready for prime time" players to remain with the Wings for a longer period of time (keep in mind that Teemu Pulkkinen will probably be demoted when his suspension's served after Wednesday's game, and that Willie Coetzee remains with the Wings because he's injured and can't be sent down until he's healthy) instead of the Griffins' most-likely-to-be-called-up players...
But for the Grand Rapids Griffins themselves, the cuts allow Griffins coach Jeff Blashill to prepare six AHL rookies-to-be and the core of the Griffins' roster to defend their Calder Cup championship, with a week-long--and open-to-the-public--training camp kicking off tomorrow at Griffs IceHouse.
The Griffins will hold two pre-season games this upcoming weekend in Plymouth and Windsor, entertaining the Lake Erie Monsters at Compuware Arena in Plymouth on September the 28th and WFCU Arena in Windsor on September the 29th, respecively, but in the interim, the Griffins open camp tomorrow, and again, the Griffins report that a significant portion thereof will be open to the public:
As far as I can tell, the Chicago Blackhawks' press didn't accompany the team to Detroit ahead of today's game between the Hawks and Red Wings (5 PM EDT, Fox Sports Detroit/NHL Network U.S./AM 1270), and ChicagoBlackhawks.com's Brad Boron's game preview indicated that the Blackhawks' lineup would not be released early...
Detroit, MI... The Detroit Red Wings today assigned 17 players to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. With the moves, the Red Wings’ roster currently stands at 38 players.
PLAYERS ASSIGNED TO GRAND RAPIDS ON 9/22/13
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.