The Malik Report
Not good, not good. MLive's Ansar Khan wasn't able to get Red Wings GM Ken Holland name of the player who won't be able to play tonight against the Anaheim Ducks (it's on at 7:30 PM on FSD and Prime Ticket, but all of a sudden, there's confusion as to whether it will air on the NHL Network or not, so we don't know if it's gonna be blacked out for GCL and Center Ice subscribers!), necessitating the recall of Gustav Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins--who the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports will play this evening...
But Khan and Pleiness were able speak to Holland about the rest of the Wings' injuries, and the news on Todd Bertuzzi is particularly distressing. It sounds like he's going to be gone for a month or more:
Todd Bertuzzi (back): “His lower back is bothering him. I got to believe he's out indefinitely, probably a minimum of a couple weeks. Even when he gets back, it's going to take a week or two to get up and running. Trying to the the flare-up to go down.''
Bertuzzi is in a lot of pain, but tests revealed no significant damage, just inflammation.
Updated w/ text at 4:13 PM: The Detroit Red Wings' morning skate ahead of tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks (7:30 PM, FSD/Prime Ticket/97.1 FM) was somewhat quiet...Until we learned that the Wings have recalled Gustav Nyquist as someone Ken Holland won't name is injured up front, we found out that today's game marks Jordin Tootoo's 500th NHL appearance, that this weekend will be the "Fathers' Trip," and we found out that Nicklas Lidstrom spoke to the Red Wings' media corps.
Thankfully, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted a video of the entirety of the time that Lidstrom took out of his day to speak with the media. Lidstrom's very happily retired for good, and he sounds incredibly content with his post-hockey-playing life:
Duff posted Wings coach Mike Babcock's game-day presser, too:
Updated 12x at 4:20 PM: Gustav Nyquist has been recalled, Khan says another Wings forward is banged-up: The Detroit Red Wings are preparing to face off against the Anaheim Ducks tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/Prime Ticket/and as noted by @eyesris on Twitter, the NHL Network will no longer cover tonight's game, so yay, no Center Ice/GameCenter Live blackout!/97.1 FM) , and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that the Wings are doing so under some noticeably watchful eyes (who will be signing autographs from 12-1:30 PM at 97.1 FM's SportsFest tomorrow in Novi):
So no gnus is no gnus on the injury front, as we were told to expect yesterday...
The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Anaheim Ducks tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/Prime Ticke/NHL Network U.S.--so that means that Center Ice and GameCenter Live Online users are screwed via an NHL Net blackout yet again!/97.1 FM, and tonight is a Niklas Kronwall "Fathead Friday") facing a stiff test in more ways than one.
The 9-2-and-1 Ducks are coming off a pair of shootout wins and possess a 6-and-1 February record, they're relatively (Jonas Hiller ["lower body"] and Cam Fowler ["upper body"] are out), they haven't played since Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over Chicago, and their interim goalie, 30-year-old rookie Viktor Fasth, boasts a 6-and-0 record, a 1.74 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.
The Red Wings, as you already know, are coming off a disappointing and distressing 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis on Wednesday, and the Wings will wrap up their four-game home stand minus some significant size and strength in Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Johan Franzen (back), in addition to the usual injury parade.
Updated 2x at 4:44 PM: I headed out of the office during the middle of the Red Wings' Thursday practice at Joe Louis Arena, and having come home from my doctor's appointment (okay, technically, I went to see my case manager at CMH), there just isn't much new to report on the personnel front. The Wings will employ their same lineup, same goaltender and probably their same lines from Wednesday's 4-3 OT loss to St. Louis, and no news is not good news regarding Johan Franzen, as MLive's Ansar Khan reports:
Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen didn't practice today and will remain sidelined for Friday's game against the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit) and perhaps longer. Franzen missed Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis due to a sore hip flexor.
Asked if Franzen is day-to-day, coach Mike Babcock said "day-to-day is usually 10. I don't know.''
The Detroit Red Wings are back on the ice at Joe Louis Arena, hoping to rebound from a 4-3 OT loss to St. Louis despite facing a very, very tough task on Friday in battling the 9-2-and-1 Anaheim Ducks, who haven't played since defeating the Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday. I'm going to be out of the office from about 12:30-2, so if there's big breaking injury news, Paul will fill in, but thus far, it sounds like more of the same at the Joe in terms of injury issues:
I've preached patience galore regarding Wings fans' near-foaming-at-the-mouth-declarations that the team must, must, must recall Gustav Nyquist, but it's worth noting that the Grand Rapids Griffins called up Andrej Nestrasil from Toledo today...
Perhaps the most interesting "sidebar" story to emerge from the Red Wings' 4-3 OT loss to the St. Louis blues involved Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's declaration that his team's personnel changes (see; no Nicklas Lidstrom, Brad Stuart or Brian Rafalski, with no real replacements found) and injuries on defense (see: Brendan Smith, Carlo Colaiacovo, and at times this season, Jonathan Ericsson and Ian White) has required the Red Wings to adapt their puck possession system to accommodate a less-skilled puck-moving defensive corps.
Babcock doesn't believe that the team needs to abandon the system of puck possession hockey that's worked for almost twenty years and eighteen-and-a-half seasons, but Babcock told the Windsor Star's Bob Duff that his team plays a slightly different brand of "Red Wings hockey" now:
I was more than a little pissed off after the Red Wings allowed some very bad habits to manifest themselves along the way toward surrendering a 2-0 lead and eventually losing in OT to the St. Louis Blues by a 4-3 tally, and I don't feel like backing off my assessment very much.
The Wings, playing without Todd Bertuzzi (back), Darren Helm (back), Johan Franzen (hip flexor), Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Jan Mursak (shoulder), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Brendan Smith (shoulder) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin), also lost the services of Brian Lashoff and Niklas Kronwall for chunks of the game due to either minor injuries or equipment trouble...
But the Red Wings, who were playing the Blues for the third time this month and the fourth time this season, could have easily taken out Jake Allen and the 0-for-February (0-5-and-1) Blues had they not stopped playing after the first period, and had they not started playing a brand of hockey that the 2013 Wings cannot afford to play.
Updated 3x with higlights and some post-game stuff at 10:57 PM. Yes, I know my initial statements are an over-reaction, but that's the quick take for you. It's a gut feeling about the game, and I was and am very frustrated about how thoroughly the Wings were set up to fail, and took advantage of that opportunity so willingly, injuries or no injuries: I don't know what the *#$%@& to say. The Red Wings had a 2-0 lead on the sleeping St. Louis Blues, and then, somehow, a team that'd won 3 straight and 3 straight games against St. Louis managed to find a way to wake a sleeping giant and *#$%@& themselves over as thoroughly as possible en route to a 4-3 OT loss to the Blues.
The Red Wings took all of 5 shots in the 2nd, 1 shot (ONE SHOT!) in the 3rd, and stood around as Barret *#$%@& Jackman dazzled and deked Niklas Kronwall, Brian Lashoff and Henrik Zetterberg of all people--with Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom watching--out of their shorts, just like Chris Stewart deked Howard out of his jock on the 2-2 goal.
The Wings were served up on a platter as a great "story" for the Blues to capitalize upon to break their 0-for-5 and 0-for-February streak, and on NBC, on TSN2, and with ESPN and NHL.com following the game, Jake Allen had to stop 14 of 17 shots as the Wings went 0-for-4 on the power play--including two third-period power plays with the game tied--and gave up a shorthanded goal instead.
"Mr. Hockey: the Gordie Howe Story" will make its U.S. television premiere at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 4 on the Hallmark Channel.
Michael Shanks ("Stargate SG-1") stars as Howe, the legendary former Detroit Red Wings forward who retired in 1980 at age 52 as the NHL's all-time leader in games played (1,767), goals (801) and points (1,850).
About The Malik Report
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