The Malik Report
From ESPN's Craig Custance:
The Red Wings were closing in on their pick in the third round, and Devellano asked [Christer] Rockstrom and [Neil] Smith for one more description of Lidstrom and what his potential might be in Detroit.
"This is a young man they don't think a whole pile of people are aware of," Devellano said recently. "They said he had terrific hockey sense, was a fluid skater and knew how to play the game. Those were the good points. However, he was not very strong at this point."
But he could get stronger. So they grabbed the kid.
Their decision transformed a franchise.
"Oh, my God, it carried us for 20 years," Devellano said.
On Monday, Lidstrom will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, one of the easiest decisions the committee has ever made. In those decades of success in Detroit, the Red Wings won four Stanley Cups. Lidstrom won an Olympic gold medal. He won seven Norris Trophies, finished second three times and, considering he didn't start winning those Norris trophies until he was in his 30s, probably deserved a couple more.
NHL.com has posted a gaggle of Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov videos on their YouTube channel.
This is still my favorite Lidstrom "moment" that didn't involve playoff goals scored from center ice or lifting the Cup, Lidstrom's first and only hat trick...
And Sergei Fedorov's 5-goal game against Washington may have been his best regular season game as a Wing:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. AWood40 on YouTube posted an extended clip of highlights from last night's game:
2. For what it's worth, Jimmy Howard had a chat with the NHL Live just after last night's win:
TampaBayLightning.com's Bryan Burns penned an intriguing article journaling his trip to Joe Louis Arena to cover last night's game, and while it's not from a Red Wings perspective, it's worth your time:
The last time I visited Joe Louis Arena, the Lightning were trailing three-games-to-two in their first round playoff series and in serious danger of getting bounced out of the playoffs early. Instead, they put together one of their finest performances in a season filled with them, jumping out to a 3-0 lead and prevailing 5-2 in front of an extremely loud, extremely passionate Detroit crowd.
For my return trip, I thought it might be fun to document the whole experience and give you, the reader, a first-hand glimpse into a gameday in Detroit.
The following is a running journal of all that happened from the bus ride to the arena to departing for Buffalo and everything in between.
Hope you enjoy.
5:10 p.m. – Waiting outside the bus, enjoying the rare 70-degree early November Detroit weather, a number of interesting characters walk by. One man wears a white top hat, white dress pants and uses a white cane to produce a distinctive strut as he saunters down the street. A few paces behind, a man with an eight-inch (roughly) braided beard and a woman shaking a tambourine jangle their way by. Detroit is maybe my favorite people-watching city in the NHL.
Detroit – November 4, 2015 – As construction moves forward on the site of the new Detroit Events Center, Olympia Entertainment today announced plans for significant fan and community enhancements to the facility. This additional investment will create a more dynamic, multi-use facility for the community, a more interactive experience for fans and additional public spaces for everyone to enjoy throughout the year.
“These enhancements will ensure we create a unique multi-use venue that brings the best in sports and entertainment to Detroit, while creating a destination for everyone in our community to enjoy,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment. “We’re completely focused on delivering an arena that hosts exceptional experiences for our community, players, fans and neighbors while driving additional investment and development in Detroit.”
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
"He's done a very good job," coach Jeff Blashill said. "That's undeniable. His impact on games has been very good. Does he have to get better at stuff? Absolutely. Was there lots of stuff over the first two periods I thought he has to continue to improve at? One-hundred percent.
"Our job as coaches is to make sure we continue to hold him accountable as he is having success just like we hold anybody else accountable and we will do that. I think he'll continue to improve because he wants to improve. He'll get better because he wants to get better.
"His impact so far has been very good."
Larkin, Detroit's first-round pick (15th overall) in the 2014 draft, has spent most of the season on the Red Wings' top forward line alongside captain Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.
He's seeing ice time on the power play and has also been responsible at both ends of the ice as his plus-minus rating indicates.
added 7:30am, Watch extended highlights of the win over Tampa Bay below...
The Red Wings' 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning gave Detroit some much-needed forward momentum after what felt like some "false starts" against Vancouver and then Ottawa, and while the Wings' win may have left some aesthetic elements lacking, there's a sense that the Wings are finally shaking off some bad habits and indecisiveness along the way.
The substance of the Wings' win can certainly be understood in terms of the Lightning's frustration at having dropped an important chance to sustain forward momentum of their own, as noted by the Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith...
This is not the news you want to read at midnight, but MLive's Ansar Khan delivers it:
Defenseman Kyle Quincey is experiencing issues with his ankle, which might require surgery.
General manager Ken Holland said Quincey, sidelined on Oct. 23, no longer is experiencing concussion symptoms. Quincey had off-season surgery for bone spurs in his ankle. This time the issue is with his other ankle.
Holland said Pavel Datsyuk will let the club know when he's ready to play; he estimated by the end of next week. Datsyuk, who had off-season ankle surgery, has been practicing hard with the team.
Holland had no update on Brad Richards, who remains out with lower back pain.
Prospect news: Vahatalo, Holmstrom advance in CHL; Hicketts tags helper, Griffins add weekly release
Of prospect-related note:
In the Champions Hockey League, Julius Vahatalo and TPS Turku qualified for quarterfinal action via a 4-3 win over Storhamar Hamar, and Vahatalo finished at a +2 with 2 shots;
And Axel Holmstrom had an assist in Skelleftea AIK's 5-2 win over the Eisbaren Berlin;
In the WHL, Joe Hicketts had an assist in the Victoria Royals' 3-1 win over Swift Current;
And the Grand Rapids Griffins posted their weekly release:
When a pair of teams hoping to grab hold of forward momentum after long losing streaks meet, only one team is going to emerge with consistency within their grasp. The Red Wings entered their game with the Tampa Bay Lightning having lost 5 of 7, and the Lightning entered the game having just snapped a 4-game winless streak.
In the end, the Red Wings took 1-0 and 2-0 leads, received a stellar goaltending performance, goalposts included, from Jimmy Howard, and when the Lightning attempted to give it to the Red Wings, well, this play exemplified Detroit's poise:
The Bolts worked Detroit over a bit, especially in the third period, and Detroit held on to a 2-1 lead instead of continuing to press offensively, but that's OK: the Wings won 3-2 and have now won 2 in a row--which is a hugely significant accomplishement given that they're battling the Bolts in the Atlantic Division. Thus far, in "head to head" match-ups, Detroit is 2-and-0 against Tampa, and the Wings earned their win through hard work, smart play and smarter checking than Tampa could deliver to Detroit.
Mostly, Jimmy Howard was really good in the 3rd, stopping 13 shots (he got help from the goalpost and 2 crossbars) and the Wings snapped a 1-1 tie when Dylan Larkin scored on what might be a controversial play (see below), and the Wings held the line when Tampa Bay did its best to attack.
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.