The Malik Report
Of prospect-related note:
Wings fans have had an ideal start's worth of expectations for the team that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the team hasn't lived up to thanks to a strange schedule, new personnel, young players thrust into promiment roles and a new coach whose system wasn't as much a copy of as a strong resemblance to Mike Babcock's, so the Wings headed into the second of three Western Canadian games on a long losing streak.
On Friday night, the Red Wings lost Mike Green to an injury and lost 1-0 and 2-1 leads en route to a 3-2 overtime loss to Calgary that was predicated upon Detroit barely losing out in a goaltending battle. Jimmy Howard was far superior to Jonas Hiller, stopping 37 of 40 shots, but Howard didn't get the run support as the Wings were worn down in the 2nd and 3rd periods by short-term injuries to Kyle Quincey and Niklas Kronwall, and the Wings just never got their flow back, literally or figuratively.
This one wasn't pretty, but "doubtful to return" is a lot better than "out," and Josh Jooris should have been called for charging:
Red Wings-Flames game-day articles II: profiling Blashill; on line changes, personnel tweaks & Jurco
Of Red Wings-related note prior to the Wings-Flames game:
Here's the Red Wings' Game-Day Preview video:
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek profiled Jeff Blashill, and he wrote a heck of a good article:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
A good skater with offensive instincts, Smith quarterbacked the power play at Wisconsin and with the Grand Rapids Griffins. But former coach Mike Babcock declined to give him the opportunity in Detroit, never elaborating on the reason but probably fearing Smith's risk-taking tendencies would lead to shorthanded chances against.
"I'm obviously excited about it," Smith said. "It's going to be a challenge, but we have to produce. I think I can help in that area. I think we can get some stuff going, but I think we got to gel a little bit better on the PP."
The Red Wings failed to convert on 12 consecutive power plays heading into this game and are 2 for 19 on the season (10.5 percent). They ranked second in the NHL in 2014-15.
Blashill said he needed a point man for the second unit after pairing Niklas Kronwall and Mike Green together on the first unit. Smith might rotate with Danny DeKeyser.
"Smitty's done it in the past. He's done it for me in the past," Blashill said. "DK's done it in the past. We hope one of them can do a real good job."
added 6:14pm, from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
From MLive's Ansar Khan:
Updated 6x at 3:42 PM: Ahead of tonight's game between the Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames (9 PM EDT ON FSD/Sportsnet 1/97.1 FM), both teams shuffled their lines considerably, with Ladislav Smid drawing back in for Calgary and Brad Richards leaving the Wings to head back to Detroit with a bad back, yielding both shifted forward lines and defensive units in his wake.
MLive's Ansar Khan listed the Wings' lines as follows:
New defense pairs:
Looks like Kindl will be scratched.
So Brad Richards will miss tonight's game in Calgary and tomorrow's game in Vancouver, and we'll see what happens after that.
Update: Upper or lower?
Update #2: Sportsnet's Roger Millions has the answer:
Updated 6x with news about Richards' back injury and stuff at 2:01 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to snap a 3-game winless streak against the Calgary Flames this evening (9 PM EDT on FSD/Sportsnet 1/97.1 FM), but the Flames are equally desperate (if not more so) as they've dropped 4 straight and 5 of 6.
The Flames hit the ice first in Calgary, per Sportsnet's Roger Millions...
Smid is in on defence. #Flames
And the Fan 690's Pat Steinberg...
Smid sounds like he's good to come back tonight. First game since January. #Flames
That should yield, per the Flames' website, a Giordano-Wideman, Russell-Engelland and Hamilton-Smid set of defensive pairings.
#Flames will go with same pairings as last two days: Giordano-Wideman; Russell-Engelland; Smid-Hamilton.
The Flames are starting Jonas Hiller in goal, and their forward lines will remain unchanged from Tuesday's 6-2 loss to Washington, so they should look like this (per NHL.com's Aaron Vickers)...I think?
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
From ESPN's Craig Custance's Friday Insider article:
After taking time to think about it, Red Wings forward Daniel Cleary reported to Grand Rapids this week, and will focus on getting his game in shape to make his AHL debut this season. When we chatted last week, he felt like he still had a lot to offer right now.
“I feel like I can still play. I have a lot of passion,” Cleary said.
He said he looks forward to working with the young players in Grand Rapids and wasn’t ready to retire, which was really his only option other than reporting. “We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “It’ll be just another challenge.”
And ESPN's Corey Pronman, suggesting that he ranked some prospects "too high"...
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.