The Malik Report
In the first period of the Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, things did not look good. The Wings had blown Ian White's 1-0 goal thanks to a tip-in from Martin Hanzal and a roof-job from Rob Klinkhammer, and Jonas Gustavsson was the only player holding a disinterested, slow-witted and downright lazy Wings team in the game.
Gustavsson ended up stopping 13 of 15 first-period shots, and despite blowing a power play early in the 2nd period, the Wings slowly but surely found their legs, and Johan Franzen scored an absolutely gorgeous power play goal with 39 seconds left in the 2nd period (after Mike Babcock started the 2nd unit regularly, the Franzen-Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Kronwall-Brunner got the "shoot the damn puck!" message)...
Excellent news regarding Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey from MLive's Ansar Khan:
Update: Khan has news on the Mikael Samuelsson front:
Via RedWingsFeed, Hockey's Future's Adam Schnepp's released a "mid-season" list ranking his top 20 Red Wings prospects, and given that Wings fans have become familiar with Brendan Smith, Petr Mrazek, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson this year, and especially given the spotlight shining upon Calle Jarnkrok at present, perhaps we should look at Schnepp's take on the "next wave" of prospects instead of the favorites who've either already made the NHL jump or are close to earning full-time NHL employment:
We've talked about this at some length now, but the Free Press's Mike Bruendell is confirming what TPLHockey reported on Sunday: the Red Wings played no part in Fox Sports Detroit's decision to fire Larry Murphy, and Murphy's still baffled as to why FSD vice-president and general manager Greg Hammaren tossed Murphy to the curb, citing "ratings" and the fact that Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond will cover games down the stretch and during the playoffs:
“I guess I didn’t see it coming -- I had no clue,” Murphy, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, said today. “I just got the call and was told, 'We are not going to use you.' I thought I was doing my job and doing it well.”
Murphy said he was “hurt” and “disappointed” at first but kept busy over the weekend, checking out comments online, calls for a petition to bring him back to the network and “recording the Malaysian Grand Prix and St. Petersburg IndyCar race” off TV.
“You second-guess yourself at first -- wonder what kind of job you are doing,” said Murphy of his initial reaction to his firing. “But it was very humbling to read some of the online comments about how some people thought I did a good job.”
Murphy confirms that he was told that he was let go due to ratings woes, and he tells Bruendell that he's receiving support from his fellow broadcasters as well...
Red Wings-Coyotes game-day updates: LaBarbera starts for Phoenix, Bertuzzi in tough & Jarnkrok stuff
Updated 6x with pre-game videos at 9:03 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to build upon their pair of wins in Anaheim while playing against a playoff-desperate Phoenix Coyotes team tonight (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), and as the Coyotes begin a slate of 4 games over the course of 6 nights, as noted by the Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan...
The Wings will wrap up a slate of 3 games over the course of 4 nights and 4 in 6 hoping to win their 5th straight road game, and McLellan reports that the Wings won't have to face Mike Smith in goal tonight:
The Detroit Red Wings will try to go 3-for-3 on their Western U.S. road trip when they tangle with the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), but today's "morning" skate won't take place until at or around 3 PM EDT, so the vast majority of today's Red Wings news dovetails the overnight report's storylines, starting with DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose confirming that the Wings are indeed bringing Calle Jarnkrok over to the U.S. to play in what MLive's Ansar Khan reported would be a 9-game stint with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins
The Griffins are confirming:
I tried to combine the Red Wings-Ducks wrap-up and set-up for tonight's Wings-Coyotes game (10 PM EST, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM) into one entry because that's how the narrative seemed to present itself, but not everything fit in one place, so...
Prepare for an extravaganza of discussion about Jarome Iginla, Danny DeKeyser, Calle Jarnkrok, Ladislav Smid(!), Pavel Datsyuk, Wings prospect and Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson, and a wee bit about the NCAA regional hockey playoffs, as one Wings prospect will play in Grand Rapids and another in Toledo.
But we'll start with a fantastic "status report" regarding the 16-11-and-5 Wings from the Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott, who found that both Wings coach Mike Babcock and forward/alternate captain Pavel Datsyuk believe that the team's adjusting to Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom's retirements and the departures of Brad Stuart and Jiri Hudler at exactly the rate they expected the team to acclimate given its injury situation:
The Detroit Red Wings managed to hand the Anaheim Ducks their first set of home losses since January this past weekend, courtesy of a 5-1 win on Friday and a 2-1 grind-fest on Sunday night, but the Wings flew to Phoenix after Sunday's triumph to face off against the Phoenix Coyotes this evening (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), and if Sunday night's game was a task-and-a-half, Sunday's game will take two hands' worth of effort:
While the 16-11-and-5 Wings now have 37 points and are inching up the Western Conference standings, Phoenix is winless in 5 games, but hasn't played since last Thursday's 2-1 loss to Vancouver. Phoenix sits in 12th place in the West with 30 points, and with Edmonton (29 points), Calgary (28) and Colorado (26) close behind, and San Jose, Nashville and Columbus all sitting two points ahead of the Coyotes, all the legitimate media "experts" and "insiders" claimed that, should Phoenix lose tonight, their playoff hopes might be over, and with a week-and-two-days remaining until the trade deadline, they might become "sellers."
Updated 8x at 12:11 AM on Monday: Gustavsson starts vs. Phoenix, Brunner back in: My goodness. The Detroit Red Wings rope-a-doped their way to a Jimmy Howard-powered 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, with Howard stopping a remarkable 33 shots--including 13 of 13 in the 1st and 12 of 12 in the 3rd--and the Wings building up a 2-0 1st-period lead via a net-front goal from Danny Cleary and a jam-job by Drew Miller...
And while the Wings faded over the second half of the second period, surrendering a power play goal to Ryan Getzlaf with all of 46 seconds left in the 2nd...And with the Ducks loading up Ryan, Getzlaf and Perry in the 3rd, Detroit was plain old under siege during the first half of the third...
Updated 3x at 10:15 PM: Holland tells Khan that Jarnkrok's ineligible to play in the NHL: Four days ago, Hakan Andersson told Aftonbladet that Calle Jarnkrok would visit Detroit during next weekend's games against Chicago and Anaheim, but plans have changed.
According to Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels, Calle Jarnkrok is flying to Detroit tonight, and he will join the Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday. He's not coming to Detroit for a look-see next weekend--he's coming over to play.
I'd imagine that the Wings will release Jarnkrok to Sweden for the World Championships in April as they take place in Stockholm and Helsinki this year, with the finals to be held in Stockholm, but it's great to hear that he's coming over to do more than take the customary rink tour.
MLive's Ansar Khan confirms both storylines:
Center Calle Jarnkrok, one of the Detroit Red Wings' top prospects, will arrive from Sweden on Monday and be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Jarnkrok will play nine games for Grand Rapids and then return to Sweden.
The Free Press's Helene St. James is also confirming:
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.