The Malik Report
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Dylan Larkin's first career fight energized – and no doubt, surprised – the Joe Louis Arena crowd Friday. It also impressed and, in some cases, amused his Detroit Red Wings teammates.
"Guys liked it, I guess," Larkin said. "I saw She (Riley Sheahan) laughing on the bench when I was in the box. I was laughing, too. Hope it got the guys going a little bit. Show them that I was ready to battle."
Larkin showed Nashville's Yannick Weber he was ready to rumble when he landed a few punches and took him down at 2:31 of the third period in the Red Wings' 5-3 victory.
"He stood up for himself, which is great," Tomas Tatar said. "I bet he enjoyed it. He did pretty well.
Below, watch extended game highlights from Detroit's 5-3 win over Nashville...
Givani Smith scored 2 goals and added an assist in the Guelph Storm's 6-2 win over the North Bay Battalion on Friday night (you can watch highlights here), and Guelph Today's Tony Saxon reports that Smith has come back to the OHL on a tear, registering 4 goals and 4 assists in 8 games played:
If there is such a thing as the NHL flu, it appears Givani Smith is over it. The truculent Storm winger had his best game since returning from an extended stay at the Detroit Red Wings training camp Friday night, scoring twice and adding an assist as the Storm beat the North Bay Battalion 5-2 at the Sleeman Centre.
The win snapped Guelph's six-game losing streak.
Smith, who could have had a third goal but lost his balance on a breakaway in the second period, downplayed any natural psychological letdown that might come with being returned to the junior ranks.
“I don’t think so,” Smith said when asked about a post-NHL doldrums many players seem to have. “I knew I wasn’t going to make Detroit right away so I was happy to come back to Guelph and play another year or another two years here and be with the guys.”
Smith signed his first NHL contract earlier in the week and said it’s nice to have that behind him.
“You play in a couple of NHL games and go to camp you learn a lot. You learn how to be a pro and conduct yourself on the ice and off the ice,” he said. “You come back to the OHL and you’ve got a little more time and space and make more decisions.”
Saxon continues, and Smith's coach, Jarod Skalde, describes Smith's play on Friday as that of a "beast." Good to hear.
The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe uses his recap of the Toledo Walleye's 6-5 shootout win over the Brampton Battalion to allude to tonight's Walleye home opener, but you can't help but admire him for it given the subject matter:
Home openers always are special, but the Walleye’s first game this season at the Huntington Center will hold more significance for forward Alden Hirschfeld.
Toledo faces Brampton in the first home game of the 2016-17 season at 7:15 tonight at the downtown arena. It also marks the official completion of a remarkable comeback for Hirschfeld, whose recovery from offseason brain surgery will be complete.
“I can’t wait to hear them to call us out onto the ice,” Hirschfeld said. “It’s been a long time coming. I’m really looking forward to the excitement of opening night.”
The Northview High School graduate already is off to a hot start as Toledo has a 3-1-0 record. The forward ranked second in the ECHL in scoring entering Friday’s games, trailing only teammate Kyle Bonis. Hirschfeld, who had a goal and two assists in the Walleye’s 5-0 win Tuesday against Cincinnati, has five points on two goals and three assists this season. Toledo beat Brampton 6-5 in a shootout on Friday in Ontario.
Hirschfeld, who had at least one point in the first three games, scored the team’s first goal of the season. It was the Sylvania native’s 100th career point for the Walleye.
The Red Wings won a wild, wacky 5-3 decision over the Nashville Predators on Friday night, earning the Wings their second straight win, and the Wings will attempt to keep the good times rolling against the San Jose Sharks this evening (7 PM EDT on FSD/CSN California/97.1 FM).
Friday's game was a wild affair for the Red Wings--and as Ken Daniels alluded to, it was wild in an unpleasant way for the Predators, who lost two forwards to illness during the third period of what was a 2-2 game. The Predators told NHL.com's Dave Hogg that they did their best to battle through a "short bench"...
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, Jared Coreau stopped 30 of 32 shots and Anthony Mantha scored his 6th goal in 4 games, but the Grand Rapids Griffins were hexed by Rockford IceHogs goalie Lars Johansson, who stopped 27 of 28 shots en route to a 2-1 IceHogs win over the Griffins on Friday night.
The Griffins' website posted a game recap:
The Red Wings hoped to build upon Wednesday's rope-a-dope victory over the Rangers in more convincing fashion as the Nashville Predators came to town on Friday night; Nashville was looking to rebound from a two-game losing streak.
The Wings won a wild and woolly affair, defeating the Nashville Predators 5-3, and Detroit's 43-33 shot advantage, 64-47 shot attempt advantage, ability to rally from a 2-1 deficit late in the 2nd, occurrence of Dylan Larkin's first fight and plain old craziness yielded perhaps the most terrifyingly entertaining Red Wings game in ages. This one was indeed, as Ken Daniels said, a "Green apple shuffle" (ahem).
From the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:
The decline of the Red Wings defense took some time and was prompted by various causes: retirements, injuries, failed draft choices, free agents who chose to play elsewhere, a disadvantageous trade market, some lagging development and the ill-timed departure of Pavel Datsyuk.
It also is likely to take time to fix.
Seeking improvement in two key areas, managing the puck and eliminating odd-man rushes, coach Jeff Blashill said he had a message for the Wings on Friday.
“I told the team this morning if we don’t improve in them we won’t be a good enough hockey team,” he said. “If we improve in them, we’ll get a chance to be a real good hockey team.”
Frustrating is that the only solution reasonably expected as of this October is the same as last October: Any improvement likely must come from within.
Someone from the current corps of defensemen grabbing a critical role by authoring a more consistently fine performance would help. But that was the hope last season, too.
From Red Wings Productions and Ken Kal...
Update: WXYZ's Brad Galli interviewed PK Subban as well:
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The focus for the Wings is playing with better structure after failing to do so for most of three of the first four games.
“Everyone needs to be on the same page,” Danny DeKeyser said. “We went over it today – limit turnovers, things like that. Not give the other offense easy chances to score.”
Blashill said he told the players this morning that if there isn’t improvement on puck managenet and on not giving up easy, out-numbered rushes against, “we won’t be a good enough hockey team. If we improve, we’ll get a chance to be a really good hockey team.”
Ott is with Luke Glendening and Drew Miller, reforming a line that was excellent during exhibition season. The trio played the first game (at Tampa Bay) but then Ott was scratched until today.
“They had real good chemistry in exhibition,” Blashill said. “They weren't bad against Tampa. They weren't great. It just gave me a chance to get AA in there a little bit. But I think that line can have good chemistry.
From the Grand Rapids Griffins, via RedWingsFeed, here's a game-day preview video ahead of tonight's game against Rockford, starring Bob Kaser:
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.