The Malik Report
My sense about Jeff Blashill's situation has always been that while he most certainly wants to become an NHL coach someday, Blashill is also damn proud of the absolutely crucial role he plays as the Grand Rapids Griffins' coach, and as both a Michigan native and someone who bounced around quite a bit, he seems to appreciate the stability of his job and especially the prospect-development nature thereof.
According to the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner, Blashill has not spoken to the Red Wings about possibly succeeding Mike Babcock, and that's not surprising:
He addressed the question Saturday: "I don't spend much time thinking about it. I'm flattered (to be linked to every opening). I got a great family. My wife loves me and they (Red Wings) like me enough they keep me here. The rest of this doesn't matter. I'm coaching in Detroit. I love coaching in Detroit."
Meanwhile, the 41-year-old Blashill signed a three-year extension last June that keeps him with the organization. His family, including three young children with wife Erica, lives in East Grand Rapids."
I've been mentioning that tonight's Red Wings game starts at 7 PM, not 7:30, but in case you've forgotten, the Red Wings issued a reminder this afternoon, mentioning the issues surrounding a Tigers-and-Wings combined game night:
FANS ENCOURAGED TO ARRIVE EARLY FOR TONIGHT’S RED WINGS HOME PLAYOFF OPENER AT JOE LOUIS ARENA
... Playoff Pregame Show Set to Begin Promptly at 7 p.m., Puck Drop at 7:11 p.m. …
DETROIT – Red Wings fans are advised to arrive early to Joe Louis Arena for tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lighting set for 7 p.m., as heavy traffic is expected downtown with a Tigers game at Comerica Park also scheduled for 7 p.m. and a conference at Cobo Hall. Tonight’s playoff pregame show will begin promptly at 7 p.m. and fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:50 p.m. Doors to The Joe open at 5:30 p.m. with puck drop scheduled for 7:11 p.m.
Fans are encouraged to park at off-site locations and utilize shuttle services to arrive at Joe Louis Arena. The following local area bars offer pre-game and post-game park and shuttle services.
Updated 10x at 2:54 PM: The Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening (7 PM EDT on FSD/FS Florida/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM) hoping to take a 2 games-to-1 series lead on home ice, and the morning skate revealed "no changes" for either team--save the Wings re-inserting Justin Abdelkader and Brendan Smith, anyway.
Normally we skip Tweets in this entry, but these Tweets from the Free Press's George Sipple are worth noting:
TBL F Brian Boyle on Wings G Petr Mrazek: "I think he's a battler. I don't pay too much attention to what goalies do...but he's a battler."
More Boyle on Mrazek: "Jimmy Howard's a great goaltender, so this kid must be playing pretty well to have the reins right now." #Wings
Via RedWingsFeed, the Free Press spoke with Justin Abdelkader after the morning skate...
Here's an FYI from WWJ Newsradio 950:
"The Mitten” might be home to Hockeytown with the Detroit Red Wings, but an Upper Peninsula city is vying to become Hockeyville USA.
The Pullar Stadium in Sault Ste. Marie has made it into the final four as a Kraft Hockeyville USA finalist for the chance to host a NHL pre-season game and win $150,000 in rink upgrades.
“It is so exciting! We are just exploding up here from the excitement,” Linda Hoats, executive director of the Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau, told WWJ’s Beth Fisher.
Pullar Stadium, home to the minor league Eagles hockey team, is the only Michigan arena in the finals — and they need your help to win.
Fans can cast their vote for Pullar Stadium until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 by texting the keyword “PULLAR” to 35350, by calling 1-855-255-5975 or online at http://www.krafthockeyville.com Each .person can vote up to 50 times per method per day.
I will have more on this later, but it's huge news for Olympia Development as the City Council's endorsement of a zoning change = construction on the follow-on rink can truly begin:
Updated 6x at 12:02 AM: The Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening (7 PM EDT, not 7:30, on FSD/FS Florida/NBCSN/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM; Chris Lee and Jean Hebert will referee tonight's game) hoping to take control of a series in which the footing isn't exactly even just yet.
The Red Wings hit the ice at the Joe at 10:35 AM, as noted by the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa...
@DetroitRedWings on ice, practice, Joe Louis Arena. Game 3, 7 p.m.
MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the Wings "took an optional"...
Optional skate for Wings, but most players on the ice, including Datsyuk, Zetterberg. Top 4 D not skating.
And if you were wondering how important it is to win tonight's game...
Somebody needs to tell the Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson that this IS something you see every day...
The Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning in a slightly early (7 PM EDT start, not 7:30 PM, on FSD/FS Florida/CNBC/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM) Game 3 this evening, and sometimes the people who are paid to put things into context summarize a whole game's worth of jitters in one paragraph.
The Free Press's Steve Schrader issues a perfect reading of the temperature and/or atmosphere of Red Wings nation in his "Octopus Garden"...
Sometimes you have to remind yourself that winning one game at Tampa is a good thing, a bright side, it's what the Red Wings needed to do, they now have home-ice advantage and all that. But this time of year, you only feel as good as the last game. That's just the way it is.
And WDIV's David Bartkowiak, Jr. summarizes everyone's feelings about Brendan Smith rejoining the lineup:
He has to be smarter. Period. And if he is he can be a huge asset on the back end. He can jump up into the rush and help pop in a goal or two and rely on his speed to get back into position on defense.
Like everybody else who cheers for the Red Wings, I have some very strong and positive feelings for Steve Yzerman, but given that the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning are playing against each other in the playoffs, I also believe--and have believed since I was hacking, whacking and slugging my friends in the tennis court across from Divine Child High School in the 90's that there is one and only one axiom in hockey: when someone doesn't represent your side, and the puck has been dropped, there are no friends on the ice.
The Red Wings will host the Tampa Bay Lightning at 600 Yzerman Drive at 7 PM this evening, and I will make sure that my Steve Yzerman poster will be where it's been for the last ten days--down and facing the wall. These are Steve Yzerman's Lightning trying to end the Wings' season, so there's no question of loyalty or sentiment for me.
That's why this superb article from the Tampa Tribune's Ira Kaufman gets its own entry--Yzerman is an executive, the other team's GM, and as grateful as I am to him as a Red Wings fan, he's on the other side now, and he is not rooting for the Detroit Red WIngs:
Of Red Wings-related note this evening, and in the vein of stuff that didn't make it into the practice post before I ferried the mom to the accountant's:
If there was a theme to the Red Wings' practice and post-practice activities, it was this statement from Wings coach Mike Babcock, as noted by the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, that embodies the Wings' outlook going into Game 3:
“The think I would say when you evaluate our team, we have a lot more to give,” Babcock continued. “We’re two games in and we’re 1-1, we have a lot more to give. We need everyone on deck. We can’t be one on or one off. We need everyone onboard. Abby’s a competitor. He’s a guy that’s good at the net. He plays hard. He competes hard. I’m sure he’ll be ready to go.”
The Wings are looking forward to the return of Justin Abdelkader, as they told CBS Detroit's Ashley Dunkak...
FYI, from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
There are pictures from Game 2 that show Lightning forward Steven Stamkos appearing to bite the glove of Kyle Quincey. Stamkos laughed off the charge after the game and Quincey did Tuesday, also.
"If he was biting my hand, it was my glove and not my fingers," Quincey said. "I didn't feel anything. I didn't see any pictures. That's the first I heard of it."
Quincey was more perplexed by getting an extra two minutes of roughing for the scrum, and putting Tampa Bay on a power play, during which it scored.
"I never go after after a guy like Stamkos, that's not in the hockey by rules," Quincey said. "To get two minutes for roughing. ... I never saw him coming. He choked me from behind."
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.