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The Malik Report

The Enduring Detroit Red Wings

from Katie Baker of Grantland,

So, what were you up to in 1991? Me, I can’t be entirely sure, but it definitely involved some combination of gymnastics, slap bracelets, and watching Nickelodeon-produced PSAs about acid rain. If it helps trigger your memory: The Soviet Union was dissolving that year, Super Nintendo came to the U.S., and the ribbon was being cut on California’s first Starbucks. The Silence of the Lambs and “Losing My Religion” were released, and Emma Roberts and Mike Trout were born. And the Detroit Red Wings, one season removed from a pitiful fifth-place division finish, ended their year in the Norris’s third spot to qualify for the NHL playoffs.

That was 23 years ago, and Detroit hasn’t missed the postseason since.

Think about that: There are people, an entire generation of people, who have been born and have grown up and had their hearts broken by high school soul mates and gone off to college and graduated and are now tentatively finding their way through the world. And these people have never known what it’s like to see their favorite hockey team miss the playoffs.

continued and a recommended read...

added 12:25pm, Also, Sean McIndoe of Grantland,

It seems like an odd thing to say about a franchise that came of age with Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, and Alex Delvecchio, and later went on to 23 straight playoff appearances and four Stanley Cups, but my favorite Red Wings team of all time was the 1988-89 edition.

That was the year a 23-year-old Steve Yzerman made the leap from very good player to unquestioned superstar, posting a remarkable 65 goals and 155 points, both Red Wing records. This was in the middle of the Gretzky/Lemieux era, so Yzerman didn’t even make a postseason all-star team, but his fellow players named him best player in the league.

read on

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The Wings Are Practicing

via Chuck Pleiness tweet,

Well so much for Zetterberg taking part in his first practice with the team. Babcock just closed the door and he's not on the ice.

more coming as needed...

added 11:27am, via Helene St. James tweet,

Henrik Zetterberg (back) ended up skating before #RedWings practice, felt good but opted not to push it with any practice.

added 11:38am, via Ansar Khan tweets,

Lines: Franzen-Datsyuk-Abdelkader, Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist, Jurco-Helm-Alfredsson, Miller-Glendening-Legwand. Andersson, Bertuzzi rotating in.

Defense: Kronwall-Smith, Quincey-DeKeyser, Lashoff-Kindl, Ouellet-Sproul. Howard and Gustavsson in goal.

added 12:27pm, via Pleiness tweet,

Kronwall says Zetterberg had equipment on and skated before. Said it was very good to see. Only a matter of time till he practices.

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I Understand The Detroit Red Wings’ Season Flew By…

... but in 60 seconds?

 

added 10:04am, Now this is more like it... 23 minutes of Wings highlights, watch it below, courtesy of awood40...

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The Wings Preparing Young Defensemen For Just In Case Scenario

from chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,

Rookie defensemen Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul will remain with the team until at least Thursday according to Wings general manager.

“They’re going to stay here the next three days so that they know our system so that they’re involved in all our preparations on Boston and the Boston series,” Holland said in a phone interview Monday. “Then, in all likelihood they’re probably going back. But if we have an injured defenseman and we need to call one up they know what we’re doing.”

continued

If you missed it earlier, the Wings sent Mrazek back to GR earlier today.

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Henrik Zetterberg Will Skate With The Team Tomorrow

from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,

“I don’t know if he’ll be in a full practice, but he’ll be on the ice at the start of it, be on for a little bit then get off,” Holland said. “Then we’ll see how he is Wednesday.”

Zetterberg underwent successful surgery on Feb. 21 in New York to remove part of a disc which was rubbing against a nerve, which caused severe back pain.

“It’s eight weeks on Friday,” Holland said. “He skated on his own a little bit last week. It’s just the next step along the line or rehabilitation. The timeframe is we need another week before we can have any discussions where he’s at.

“It’s good news he’s going to skate with the team (Tuesday), but the bigger news is how does he feel on Wednesday,” Holland continued. “Then, if feels good enough to skate on Wednesday then the next bigger news will be how does he feel to skate on Thursday.”

more

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The Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli On The Detroit Red Wings

from Jeff Pini at Boston.com,

“Getting back a healthy Daytsuk; that makes them more dangerous,” Chiarelli said. “Who knows what will happen with Zetterberg, he’s lurking in the wings, and [Detroit GM] Kenny [Holland] and [Coach Mike Babcock] will probably pull him out at some point.

They’ve had a ton of injuries, and Tatar, Reilly [Smith’s] brother [Brendan], Nyquist, Sheahan, all these kids… They’ve all helped energize them and when you’ve got these kids that are fearless and don’t really know what the ramifications are they become dangerous as a group, and that’s what they are.”...

“I have great respect of that organization, great respect for Kenny Holland, Mike Babcock, [and] the Ilitch family.” Chiarelli said. “I’ve followed them for a lot of years… Kenny I got to know him a little better during the Olympics he’s very bright, he looks at things a lot of different ways, A lot of different angles, to get a solution, and you see that in their development, they like developing people in the minors, but they also find players elsewhere in trades and free agents, and that’s what we try to do.

“I have respect for Mike Babcock, he’s a sharp guy… I got to sit in on their coaches’ meetings in advance of the Olympics and during the Olympics, and he’s very, very bright. So I have a lot of respect for them, but now they’re competitors on the other side of the ice, so we’ve got to figure out a way to beat them.”

more

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Red Wings overnight report: Here comes the madness, here come the Bruins, and here come the Wings

I try to stay neutral regarding the whole Detroit sports radio tangle, but let's just say that Terry Foster made an inflammatory remark as he, the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo and Fox 2's Woody Woodriffe debated what the Red Wings need to do to defeat the Boston Bruins in the first round:

 


Please see what Ken Holland told the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson about Zetterberg.

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Matheson provides updates on Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson

I just posted the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's slate of Hockey World columns in KK Hockey, but I want to steal this very, very significant injury news for TMR:

The Detroit Red Wings are hoping to get Henrik Zetterberg from back surgery back by late in Round 1 of the playoffs or, more realistically, the start of Round 2 if they get that far. “He’ll be cleared for contact April 24 but what does that mean — Bumping into (wife) Emma in the kitchen?” Red Wings GM Ken Holland said jokingly. “Does it mean practice or games?” If it were regular-season, they could rough the captain up a bit in practice but teams hardly ever practise in the post-season. Could he step in and play a playoff game with no games since early in the Olympics? Defenceman Jonathan Ericsson should be ready the same time as Zetterberg. “He had cartilage detached in his finger,” Holland said of his second- or third-best D-man after Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser.

Also, from Matheson's "Short Shifts":

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Red Wings post a season-ending highlight clip—and it’s really good

With the Red Wings' 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues in the books and the Wings slated to play the Boston Bruins on Friday (I believe FSD will air a playoff preview at some point, and FSD will air games in-market, but you will be stuck with NBCSN or TSN outside of Michigan or Massachusetts), the Red Wings and Dan Mannes assembled a helluva 4:40 season-in-review highlight clip which encompasses both goals, saves, hits and some superb player and coach comments:

For what it's worth, the NHL also offered a, "Why the Red Wings will win the Stanley Cup" proclamation, but they did the same thing for the Bruins and the 14 other teams that made the playoff cut:

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Red Wings-Blues wrap-up: Sproul, Mrazek impress as Wings go to the net, look toward playoffs

This isn't a usual recap for a reason, but I'd rather post most of the stories related to the Red Wings' 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues than wait until 2 AM because the Free Press, Detroit News and St. Louis Post-Dispatch won't post all of their post-game stories until that time.

With the Wings preparing to start their series against the Boston Bruins on Friday, something tells me that your mind might be moving toward that series instead of lingering upon the Wings' win, so I might as well haul a little rear and have this entry be relevant for five more minutes (though I will amend this wrap-up as necessary).

We may as well take a look at the Wild Card standings one last time. It's hard to believe that the Blue Jackets will end up with more wins and more regulation-or-OT wins than the Wings did, but at least the Wings can say that they ended up with the same number of points, and as such, lost via "tiebreakers." So "we" didn't finish lower than the Blue Jackets! Technically! Yay?

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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.

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