The Malik Report
While we await the Red Wings' Sunday practice (turns out that it's an "optional," per the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa: more on it soon) subsequent to the Wings' 4-1 loss to Chicago in Game 5 of the teams' second-round series, some intriguing Tweets regarding playoff scheduling and TV ratings popped up...
The Detroit Red Wings played a poor game in losing Game 5 of their second-round series to the Chicago Blackhawks by a 4-1 tally, and, as noted in the multimedia post, the Wings and their coach made no excuses for what was unacceptable play.
The Wings have gotten worse in games 4 and 5 while the Blackhawks have gotten better, having registered 73 shots on Jimmy Howard, including 45 on Saturday; the Hawks were 2-for-3 on the power play, the Wings haven't answered Chicago's lineup changes both up front and on defense, and the Hawks' physical play, regardless of whether it is "clean" or dirty, has backed the Wings off the puck against a team that thrives on puck possession hockey, it's completely disrupted the Wings' transition game and forecheck, and it's given the Hawks the "time and space" to deke, dangle, cycle and score on the otherwise heroic Howard.
As I said in the multimedia post, the Wings go into Game 6 needing to play a smarter, more poised game against a nut that is cracked, but has yet to shatter, and the Wings' captain, the Wings' coach and their players must answer Chicago's desperation and determination stride-for-stride on Monday (Game 6 starts at 8 PM and will air on NBCSN and the CBC, with Fox Sports Detroit airing a post-game show), lest this series boil down to a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday.
Just as the Free Press's Helene St. James' excellent profile of Joakim Andersson nearly got lost in the shuffle of the Wings and Hawks' Game 4 stories, St. James got one helluva scoop prior to the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the form of an interview with Wings GM Ken Holland, regarding his decision to stand pat with the team's current roster at the trade deadline.
Holland also addressed the issue to some extent in an interview with Hockey Night in Canada's Cassie Campbell, also addressing Pavel Datsyuk's situation and stating that he did indeed meet with Pavel Datsyuk's agent, Gary Greenstin (albeit briefly), in Chicago on Saturday night...And addressing Jimmy Howard's contract extension...
But St. James both drops some, "The Wings were interested in" trade deadline-in-retrospect bombshells and asks Holland why he chose to put his faith on a roster that is "rebuilding on the fly":
I've got KK to myself tonight, and as such, while I've already posted a multimedia post in addition to a quick take on the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to Chicago, Hockey Night in Canada's Cassie Campbell posited a profile of Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, and for Wings fans, it's wonderful, must-watch video in which a man who's had to live up to the legacies of Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman does just that...
Through the same quiet determination and lead-by-example style that his predecessors taught to him. Zetterberg learned from the best, and that's why he's one of the best today.
Update: Beware, auto-play videos from the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press lurk within!
The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 4-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night, and due to bandwidth constraints, here's an abbreviated post encompassing the multimedia offerings from the game. Please be warned that some auto-play clips may lurk within, and I'd like to state the following:
If the Red Wings don't hate the Blackhawks by now, especially given their viciously clean physical play as well as their cheap-ass, dirty, chicken-shit and plain old immature grabs, gropes, after-the-whistle chirping, punching and slashing, and the fact that Chicago loads up on cheap shots--which Joel Quenneville insists show "leadership"--late in games...This is a mean, nasty and impudent Hawks team, cocky, brash and plain old *#$%@&-y.
Amongst the Chicago Blackhawks fans' trash talking after the Red Wings' Game 4 loss, they suggested that Bryan Bickell "Kronwalled" Niklas Kronwall.
1. Does not fit the "Kronwalling" definition as it was a hit from behind;
2. And while I happen to think that the hit was cheap, it's worth noting that Kronwall got up, skated away and shook off the hit. No pouting, no complaining to the referees, no retaliating. He took the hit and dealt with it like a grown-up:
Updated with more multimedia at 5:45 AM: The Detroit Red Wings' and their AHL affiliate had rough nights on Saturday. The Red Wings dropped a 4-1 decision to Chicago, and the Grand Rapids Griffins lost a 4-2 decision against the Oklahoma City Barons. Their Western Conference Final series is now tied at 1 game apiece, and the series shifts back to Oklahoma City for three games thanks to the AHL's 2-3-2 playoff format.
The Grand Rapids Griffins' website provides a superb recap:
The Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday became the first team to outshoot the Grand Rapids Griffins during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs and did so in impressive fashion, riding a 37-22 advantage to a 4-2 win at Van Andel Arena to knot the Western Conference Finals at one game apiece.
After Tomas Tatar gave the Griffins a 1-0 lead late in the first period, the Barons responded by scoring four of the next five goals, including an empty-netter in the final minute.
Grand Rapids, which eventually won five of its previous eight best-of-seven series which were tied 1-1, will now visit the Cox Convention Center for three straight contests, beginning with Game 3 on Wednesday, May 29 at 8 p.m. EDT.
The boss is under the weather and I'm feeling poorly enough that I'm going to take a "post-game nap," which I never do (would've done it had the Wings won). KK may be a little quiet tonight due to the so Paul and I will update the site with content as we are able.
So I'll leave you with this "evening line," suggest that you vent away in the Red Wings-Blackhawks quick take, and and will hopefully see you sooner than later.
Henrik Zetterberg told the reporters assembled in the Wings' locker room that momentum does not transfer from game to game, but all the Wings have been doing is giving the Hawks credit for playing harder and better:
The Detroit Red Wings theoretically came into Game 5 against the Blackhawks determined to win, but they displayed a strange abandonment of their puck possession system, throwing blind passes to either no one or Hawks players in all three zones...They allowed the Hawks' hacks-and-grabs to frustrate them, they allowed the Blackhawks to out-skate them while trying to do far too much as single players, and the Wings took some dumb penalties, made some awful, lazy clearing attempts and allowed Captain Pork Chop and his pals to climb back into this series, taking a 4-1 decision.
Game 5 will take place on Monday night in Detroit (8 PM start), and I'm sure that the rest of my night will be spent reading about how wonderful Jonathan Toews is, how Bryan Bickell (nice charge on Kronwall) and Andrew Shaw (scrum-meister) got the Wings' goat--they did get Abdelkader's--but I'm not willing to give the Hawks much credit here.
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.