The Malik Report
The differences between the Red Wings prospects' 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues' prospects and a game between the teams' NHL rosters involved the names on the backs of the jerseys and the venue.
Otherwise, if you've seen a game between Ken Hitchcock's Blues and Mike Babcock's Red Wings, you've seen this one. There were 27 penalties, remarkably, only one fight (Tyler Bertuzzi got the takedown, but it was close otherwise), instances in which the Wings' puck possession system overwhelmed a gigantic, hard-hitting Blues team, instances in which the Blues could not break through the Wings' defensive wall, and instances in which the Blues' forecheck did indeed hammer the Wings into submission, and the team hung on for dear life.
Via RedWingsFeed, so much for "Daniel Cleary's Decision Day Is Sunday":
The Red Wings' 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues was wild, woolly and raucous, setting up a prospect tournament championship series between the Wings and Bufallo Sabres on Monday night at 7:30 PM.
Zach Nastasiuk registered a goal and an assist, Xavier Ouellet had a goal and an assist, Tomas Jurco and Anthony Mantha (empty-netter) scored goals, Teemu Pulkkinen and Ryan Sproul had assists and Jake Paterson stopped 21 shots as the Wings kept their tempers in check (mostly) and simply out-worked, out-hustled and out-ground a big and very scrappy Blues team.
The Red Wings posted several Twitter highlights from the game...
Per the Red Wings' camps:
Howe Division Standings ------------------------------------- Lindsay Division Standings
|1. Detroit||1. Buffalo|
|2. Dallas||2. TBD|
|3. St. Louis||3. TBD|
|4. Minnesota||4. TBD|
With the "to be determined" at the end of today's Red Wings-Blues game at 7 PM. Detroit clinched a spot in the final as Dallas defeated Minnesota 3-2 in a shootout, and OT or shootout wins are 2 points instead of 3.
Because Buffalo won the Lindsay division, they're in the final, too--and will play against Detroit on Monday night at 7:30 PM--they receive the award of keeping the other main locker room here at Centre Ice Arena, and tomorrow's practice schedule, for the moment, is as follows:
Oh joy. Sportsnet's Chris Johnston spoke with Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray and presumptive captain-to-be Jason Spezza at the Leafs' prospect tournament in London, Ontario, and you'll of course be shocked to find out that their topic of discussion involved a certain Red Wings forward named Daniel Alfredsson:
“We have to fill that void,” general manager Bryan Murray told sportsnet.ca on Sunday.“Our business is one of change,” he added. “There’s not a team in this league, whether they win the Stanley Cup or otherwise, that doesn’t have to make a change or two. Sometimes you want to do it; a lot of times you’re forced to do it. In this case, we were somewhat forced to do it.”
Red Wings TV arrived at the rink in Traverse City today, and ahead of tonight's game against St. Louis (at 7 PM), the Wings' website posted interviews with Jared Coreau...
There's a fine line between "familiar" and "predictable," and the Red Wings prospects' coaches chose to ride that line ahead of tonight's possibly championship-berth-clinching game against St. Louis (7 PM; if the Wings win, they're in; if they lose and the Dallas Stars beat Minnesota today, the Wings would have to score at least 2 goals to win the Howe Division; Jake Paterson will start tonight, and it appears that Phillipe Hudon will take Jordan Maleta's spot on the fourth line).
At the summer development camp, the emphasis is on jamming as much knowledge into the players' brains as possible, but when you're preparing players to skate in their 3rd game in 4 nights and then--regardless of what happens tonight--a fourth game in 5 evenings, you've got to choose your "teachable moments" wisely.
Updated 2x at 2:34 PM: After taking Saturday off for some much-needed rest and recuperation--both mentally and physically speaking--the Red Wings' prospects took part in a brief but spirited game-day skate ahead of tonight's game against the St. Louis Blues (7 PM at Centre Ice Arena)--and while the Wings' staff is convinced that "they're in" to the championship game, those who know the rules (i.e. @Lindy72 and those who run the tournament) suggest that the Wings must beat St. Louis OR score at least two goals if the Wings lose and Dallas wins (Dallas and Minnesota play today at 3 PM) to win the Howe division and play in the championship game at 7:30 PM on Monday.
The Wings are starting Jake Paterson against the Blues this evening, and it looks like Phillipe Hudon will take Jordan Maletta's spot on the fourth line, and Richard Nedomlel may or may not sit this one out given that try-out Richard Plutnar skated some shifts alongside Max Nicastro.
Today is "Bryan Rufenach Day" at Centre Ice Arena, so take note:
I haven't had the opportunity to speak with Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill as he's busy watching his team and I'm busy covering the one you sent me up to watch, but the Traverse City Record-Eagle's James Cook managed to snag an interview with Nill, and the former Red Wings assistant GM is very happy in his new position:
"It's been great," Nill said. "We've got a great staff down there, some great, young kids. I'm just anxious to get the season going. It's a big change. It's all change. I'm coming from a great organization. I've been lucky I've been in an organization that has done it right all these years — and I've learned from that. That's what I'm trying to create in Dallas. I've got a lot of work to do. And if I can have a quarter of the success they've had here, I'll be happy."
As stated earlier this morning, after one final "informal" practice on Monday, the Red Wings' players and prospects (who play the St. Louis Blues tonight at 7 PM here in Traverse City; it's Bryan Rufenach day at Centre Ice Arena, too) will embark upon an incredibly busy schedule over the balance of September, all leading up to the Wings' season-opener on October 2nd.
The Free Press's Helene St. James penned a column sounding positive tones regarding the Wings' chances of making more than a two-round playoff push, and Niklas Kronwall certainly believes that last year's playoff-qualifying late-season flourish and the team's fourteen games' worth of playoff experience proved that the post-Lidstrom Wings are still a competitive team:
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.