The Malik Report
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Tomas Tatar has missed hanging out with his Detroit Red Wings teammates - going to dinner with them, catching a movie, going shopping.
He'll get his wish, in spades, over the coming two months, as the Wings make up for a very home-friendly November and December with a marathon of road games. Today was tagged for traveling to Vancouver, where Saturday's game against the Canucks begins a stretch that has the Wings away from home 17 of the next 23 games.
It all evens out after 82 games, of course, and being on the road can lead to some great bonding.
"I won't say it's going to be nice to go on the road," Henrik Zetterberg said after scoring the game-winning goal in Wednesday's 3-1 victory over New Jersey. "But we don't see these trips any more that often. Now we're going to get a little long trip, and it's going to be good for our group to get together and spend some time together."
Before the Wings moved to the Eastern Conference at the start of the 2013-14 season, the schedule would feature two trips each to California and western Canada. Such trips often include two days between games - like this upcoming one, when the Wings will have Sunday off in Vancouver, because the next game isn't until Tuesday at Edmonton. That means fun times, to Tatar.
Update: From SoDakWingNut:
The Red Wings are about to go on a very, very long trip, most likely leaving after Thursday's practice for a 6-game road trip that will take them through Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and then back East to Washington, Buffalo and St. Louis, not seeing the Joe for a home game until the 17th of January...
And they're going to do so having both fumigated the locker room lest the Devils' mumps lingered at the Joe, and they're going to do so on a winning note. The Wings had a difficult December, losing for 6 of their 10 home games (though 4 losses were of the OT-or-shootout variety) and splitting 2 of their 4 road games regualtion losses there), going 6-4-and-4 on the month, but the Wings ended the month, year and 38th game of the 14-15 campaign the way the team hopes to play going forward.
Detroit won nothing less than a "trap game" against a trapping Devils team, surrendering the game's first goal but tying things up in a hurry, hanging in until they un-tied the game with 5:01 left in the 3rd and pushing their way toward a 3-1 win that was just as necessary as it was "clutch"--with Jimmy Howard superb in the net, the Wings' defense stellar in front of him, and the Nyquist-Helm-Franzen line leading the way offensively.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"This is getting close to the halfway point and it's the end of 2014, so you want to go out on a good note," Glendening said. "You want to play well, especially after the game we just had we need to get back on the right track."
Said forward Stephen Weiss: "We've got to take care of our home games because we have a long stretch on the road here. This is a very important game for us. Make sure that we go on the road on a good note and we're feeling good about ourselves. But in saying that, we can't put any extra pressure on ourselves, we have to go through the process of doing what we do well, and hopefully the result takes care of itself."
The Red Wings will be renewing their traditional New Year's Eve game, which didn't take place the past two years due to the NHL lockout and then the Jan. 1 Winter Classic.
"It's a game that we need to win," Babcock said. "It's New Year's, people get all excited, the fans and that come down here. We need to win a game."
added 11:24am, Pleiness also talked with Babcock after the skate...
My apologies for the absence of late and thanks to Paul for covering: a little holiday depression...Seems to happen. The sooner December is over, the better given the ups and downs.
I tried to watch the Red Wings' 5-2 loss to Boston on Monday, and tried to watch as much of it while not distracted as possible (which isn't easy when you're used to doing three or four things at once during games). Among my observations:
via Dana Wakiji tweets,
Babcock: Anybody who’s covered the team knows that the sun comes up the next day, that’s how I operate.
Babcock: When the sun doesn’t get up the next day, though, something is wrong. The sun didn’t get up today.
Babcock: We had just had three days off for Christmas, we should’ve skated and competed hard.
Babcock: (Bruins) were upset, they were missing two key players, they came out and skated us into the ground.
Babcock: Worked us hard, competed, won every battle, every race. In the end, we go home feeling like we do today.
George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press with player reaction...
No one missing from practice today at Joe Louis Arena, expcept Kindl who was on the ice on his own earlier.
Pleiness tweeted earlie on Kindl and a possible elbow injury. Kindl had problems handling the puck while on the ice.
added 12:28pm, via Ansar Khan tweets,
Andersson, Cleary rotating in
Gustavsson practicing with team, taking some shots, along with Howard and Mrazek.
added 12:34pm, Khan again...
Kindl has been placed on short term IR (7 days) with sprained elbow. They'll probably recall Ouellet.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Red Wings (19-9-9) yielded season highs in goals and shots (45).
"As a group and as a coaching staff we pride ourselves in preparation and having our team ready," Babcock said. "No good. Leadership group, no good. Individually, no good. Not good enough. No way. It's real simple for me: You're either going to work in the games or you're going to work in practice, but we're going to work. That is unacceptable."
It sounds like they will have an interesting practice Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena as they prepare to host the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.
"It's like anything; if you're humbled and embarrassed by the way you play you do something about it," Babcock said. "I can tell you I am, because that's ridiculous."
added 9:46am, Video of Babcock post-game is below...
First off let me say George has not been feeling well so I have been pulling double duty. I am not sure when George will return but will try to keep you updated with any news on his health.
Pretty beat up at this point in time so just doing a quick review of the game and then turning it over to you for your input.
A bad start doomed the Wings tonight and the Bruins were the hungrier team too.
Detroit needs to match the intensity level of the opposition or else they will have more games like this. Start strong, finish even stronger will be the objective against the Devils.
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Bruins coach Claude Julien feels there is a budding rivalry between the teams since the Red Wings were placed in the Eastern Conference.
"We always have good games against each other and they're not dirty games," Julien said. "They're hard games. Again, they're for the most part close games. There's no doubt that there's mutual respect that exists between both teams and I feel there's a rivalry, maybe not our top rivalry, but there's a rivalry there for sure."
Luke Glendening on Jim Harbaugh...
"His experience in the NFL is huge," Glendening said. "I don't know a ton about football but I think he'll do a great job."
Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"They've had a lot of injuries for a long period of time," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "Even though they got guys back in the lineup (Chara, Krejci), it's not necessarily you get back in and all the sudden you're back to where you used to be. It takes some time to get back into the swing of things.
"Let's be honest, the Bruins are one of the top teams in the league every year. They're going to find a way to get through this as well."
The Bruins have gone 5-7-3 since their 13-8-0 start. They're coming off a 6-2 loss Saturday in Columbus.
"I don't think we're over-confident playing Boston," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't think (their injuries) changes a whole bunch for us. We understand they're not happy because they didn't play as good as they wanted to last game. Any team that gets beat, they want to respond."
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.