The Malik Report
The Red Wings hoped to earn a 3rd straight home win against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, but Dion Phaneuf's Senators presented no easy task, having won their previous 2 games by an 11-2 margin. Detroit is determined to continue its climb back into the thick of the Atlantic Division playoff race, while the Senators are plain old desperate to make the playoffs.
The Red Wings did exactly what they needed to do, stifling the Senators' offense for nearly 57 minutes thanks to some sterling goaltending by Petr Mrazek and generating balanced scoring of their own en route to a 3-1 win over Ottawa--despite losing Danny DeKeyser to what looked like a bruised knee and despite taking SEVEN penalties.
The Wings' effort wasn't perfect, but it was damn close, and close against a team riding the high of a reinforcing trade, and in its own way, this was a statement made as the Wings won their 3rd straight game and 3rd straight home game for the first time since December.
Sportsnet posted a feature about Dylan Larkin having grown up as a Red Wings fan who now plays for his childhood team:
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan asked Jeff Blashill about the Larkin-Richards-Tatar line:
“Dylan can self-generate a lot of times regardless of who he’s playing with,” said Blashill of his new lines. “But it had more to do with my belief in Brad Richards is a second-line center. He did it last year on a Stanley Cup-winning team (Chicago). With Hank and Pavel, it gives us a 1-2 punch up the middle that is a real important piece. We wanted to, in (general manager) Ken Holland’s words, get 2 percent better. By putting them together, we hoped that synergy would create a little more offense and also have a real good No. 2 center in Brad Richards, who can also be accountable defensively.”
Signed to a one-year, $3 million contract as an unrestricted free agent last summer, Richards has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 39 games, with a plus-7 rating. Blashill believes there are potential match-up strengths for his team with the current line combinations.
“Who you’re playing against matters a ton,” Blashill said. “If Glennie (Glendening) can go punch for punch with the other team’s best players, it frees up other guys to do things offensively.”
2. Among MLive's Brendan Savage's Game Day notes:
Holland did an interview on TSN1200 in Ottawa, talking goalies, Larkin, Phaneuf and more.
Listen here, or click below:
Updated 2x at 1:15 PM: From the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, via RedWingsFeed: The Red Wings may be razzing Dylan "D-Boss" Larkin after that old YouTube video hit the web, but Henrik Zetterberg and Jeff Blashill assured the press that the Wings are going to take care of their master of the "snip show":
“Yeah, D-Boss is going around here in the locker room,” confirmed Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg. “I think he was a little rattled when it came out at first but he’s young, he was even younger when that video was made.
“I just keep telling him that it will work out in his favor in the long run.”
That Larkin has chosen to see the good-natured fun in the ribbing he’s been getting from his teammates is just another sign of how quickly this kid has grown up.
“That’s an important part of being comfortable in your own skin – which is the ultimate sign of maturity – being able to laugh at yourself a little bit and understanding we’ve all done different things in life,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “All of us, you have to be comfortable in your own skin and that’s one thing he’s good at.”
Blashill isn’t joining in the festivities at Larkin’s expense.
“I won’t call him D-Boss,” Blashill said. “I’ll call him Dylan.”
Upate: Here's more from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
Red Wings-Senators game-day articles: Road ‘simple’ execution, revamped lines keys to defeating Sens
Updated 9x at 2:28 PM: The Red Wings held an optional morning skate ahead of the Dion Phaneuf show, I mean a crush of Canadian media interviewing Dion Phaneuf before tonight's game between the Red Wings and Phaneuf's Senators (7 PM EST start on FSD/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and while the spotlight was squarely on Phaneuf...
The Red Wings don't have any cap space with which to add a player via trade, but ESPN's Joe McDonald, discussing the Atlantic Division teams' trade options, believes that the Wings could move Jimmy Howard to open up cap space:
Detroit Red Wings
With the way goaltender Petr Mrazek is playing for the Red Wings, it wouldn't be a major surprise if GM Ken Holland decides to move netminder Jimmy Howard, who remains under contract through 2018-19 with an annual cap hit of $5.29 million and a full no-movement clause. That's a big number for another team to take on, but there are a few teams that could use a solid goaltending, including the Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames. Detroit still needs offensive help, so moving Howard for some forward depth would help the Red Wings earn a 25th consecutive trip to the playoffs.
McDonald continues with forecasts for the balance of the division, and my understanding is that the Wings won't move Howard until the summer at the earliest.
The NHL posted a press release letting Denver-area media know that Coors Field will be open for photos of the "rink transformation" today, and NHL.com reports that the refridgeration truck that will be used to make ice for the Stadium Series between Deroit and Colorado is in position:
The truck for the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings arrived at Coors Field in Denver on Tuesday.
The 53-foot trailer, the world's largest mobile refrigeration unit, houses state-of-the-art icemaking and ice-monitoring equipment used to create an NHL-caliber sheet of ice.
The Avalanche will face the Red Wings at Coors Field on Saturday, Feb. 27 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2).
A star-studded 2016 Stadium Series Alumni game between the teams will take place at Coors Field on Friday, Feb. 26.
Updated 6x at 12:05 PM: The Red Wings hope to keep their home-ice winning streak going when they host the Ottawa Senators this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM). The Wings hit the ice for the morning skate just before 10:30 AM, and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that it was an optional skate:
Optional morning skate for #RedWings. Six skaters including Green, who's still out with groin issue.
It's still good to see Green on the ice, via Fox 2 Sports:
From MLive's Brendan Savage, asking Kris Draper whether he still harbors ill will toward Claude Lemieux:
MLive: Are there still hard feelings?
Draper: No hard feelings, no. It was a long time ago and I think a lot of what we went through as a team together kind of defined a lot of us. It certainly defined the rivalry that we had. It made for, every time you walked in the rink and it was a Colorado-Detroit game, people were excited to do it. I think from '97 to 2002 it was the most heated and most hated rivalry in all of professional sports and it made for some unbelievable hockey. Very unpredictable. You didn't know what was going to happen. You knew something was going to happen. You didn't know when it was going to happen. The bottom line is you look at those teams and there are guys that continue to go into the Hall of Fame. It was unbelievable hockey at an elite level.
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.