The Malik Report
If you're wondering why there is only one NHL game on the schedule, it doesn't have anything to do with the NFL--it has everything to do with the Canadian Football League instead, because the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Calgary Stampeders are playing for the Grey Cup at 6 PM EST, and TSN is airing the game in Canada.
Today's one NHL game is of course the Detroit Red Wings' Sunday matinee game against the Vancouver Canucks (2 PM EST on FSD/City TV/97.1 FM), and Rogers' Hometown Hockey is going to air on the NHL Network prior to the game, spotlighting Brad McCrimmon's hometown of Brandon, Manitoba (where McCrimmon and Jordin Tootoo's alma mater, the Brandon Wheat Kings, play).
The Wings are coming off a 5-4 shootout win over New Jersey, and have won 3 straight and 5 of 6; Vancouver defeated Columbus 5-0 on Friday and have also won 3 straight, 4 of 5 and 9 of their 13 November games, so the Wings' hopes of extending their winning streak to 4 games intersects with a surging opponent today.
The Red Wings' prospects had a particularly busy Saturday's worth of work, but this Tweet from Bob McKenzie notes an announcement which have longer-ranging implications for Tyler Bertuzzi, Zach Nastasiuk and Joe Hicketts:
As McKenzie noted, Hicketts had a little injury scare on Saturday, but was okay; the Wings' three Canadian WJC-eligible prospects may be joined by Americans Dominic Turgeon and Dylan Larkin and possibly Swede Axel Holmstrom at the World Junior Championships, which will be taking place in Toronto and Montreal starting on December 26th.
In Glen's Falls, New York, the Red Wings' AHL affiliate--which contains no WJC-eligible prospects as Anthony Mantha's just too old to play for Canada--played their first game in the Red Wings' old home, the Adirondack Civic Center, and the Grand Rapids Griffins came out on top, defeating the Adirondack Flames 6-1, in front of Miracle On Ice Olympians Dave Silk and Dave Christian, no less.
The Red Wings have some particularly high standards for retiring numbers, which is fine and dandy, but modern era Red Wings' ranks all but include a small section of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the fact that the Wings have no "Ring of Honor," no "Legends Row," no visible tributes to the Konstantinovs, Holmstroms, the Grind Line or the 2001-02 Hall of Fame team save that one little trophy case on the concourse that contains a Vladimir Konstantinov jersey, a pair of Steve Yzerman's gloves, Mike Vernon's 1997 Cup-winning mask and a Gordie Howe jersey all trailing the four small commemorative Stanley Cups the Wings organization received from the NHL.
You get your number retired to the rafters, you earn a banner, or you live on in the memories of the fans and the media guide that's now released as a PDF instead of printed form. #14, #24, #25, #33, #39, #96, they're all still in circulation, and while there's little doubt that #91 will be retired at some point, the players that helped contribute to the Cups in secondary roles--and the players who became heroes in the pre-Cup years, like Dino Ciccarelli, Bob Probert, or even Mickey Redmond.
Chris Chelios wants to change that, if only to help clean out the basements of his fellow alumni, as he told the Free Press's Carol Cain:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The power play has perked up considerably. Young players who were slumping the first month of the season are finding the net more consistently. Better health has provided more depth.
Offense was a concern for the Detroit Red Wings coming into the season. Lately, they've been quite productive.
They have scored 35 goals in their past 10 games (3.5 per game), after picking up 33 goals in their first 13 games (2.54 per game).
The Red Wings (13-5-5) face the surprising Vancouver Canucks (16-6-1) Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena in a clash of teams with three-game winning streaks (2 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).
"Like any team, we were a work in progress at the beginning of the year," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "We were able to find some wins early, get some points on the board. I think we've got some people feeling better about themselves 20 games in."
Updated 3x at 3:30 PM: The Red Wings didn't get back to Metro Airport until 1 AM, but the play-every-other-day march is in full force until December 7th, so the Wings hit the ice at noon to prepare to build off last night's 5-4 shootout win over New Jersey when the Vancouver Canucks visit tomorrow for a 2 PM-starting affair.
The Canucks defeated Columbus 5-0 on Friday evening, and the 16-6-and-1
Ryan Miller-is-totally-Drew-Miller's-brother-ZOMGs, I mean Canucks--sorry, thought like MSM for a minute there--have won 3 straight, are 4-0-and-1 over their last 5 games and are 9-3-and-1 for November.
MLive's Ansar Khan reported that Babcock "put the band back together" at practice...
A couple of line changes at practice. Datsyuk and Zetterberg together again.
And Khan continued:
The Red Wings flew back to Detroit on Friday night having committed a little Black Friday larceny in New Jersey, rallying from a 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 shootout decision from the New Jersey Devils.
The win was anything but elegant and anything but pretty for the vast majority of the time, but the Wings spent Wednesday's post-game media availabilities explaining that they are a team that remains very much so in progress and very much so far from the team that they want to be, so there are times that both fans and fans pretending to be bloggers on the internet kind of have to swallow their pride and accept the team's first 3-game winning streak of the year as beautiful, even if it came about by a bit of a "butterface" game.
This is very strange. I've got two bits of Gordie Howe news for you, and the first one did not appear online. Instead, the Waterbury, Connecticut Republican-American posted this and credited it to the Detroit Free Press and the Associated Press, and I'm assuming that it involves Wings director of pro scouting Mark Howe speaking with the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Hockey legend Gordie Howe has shown minor improvements, even as he remains largely quiet and immobile.
His son, Mark Howe, told the Free Press on Thursday that Gordie Howe "isn't in so much pain any more. No walking or speech, but at least he's out of the bed."
Gordie Howe, 86, suffers from dementia, and has had a series of strokes since last summer, including a severe one on Oct. 26. That stroke left his right side paralyzed, and his sons, Mark, Marty and Murray, all rushed to the home of their sister, Cathy, in Lubbock, Texas, where Gordie Howe is staying.
The Red Wings' AHL and ECHL affiliates had similar adventures in terms of offense chasing defense, but only one team was able to out-score the goals it gave up.
The Grand Rapids Griffins weren't that team. Grand Rapids surrendered 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads en route to a 4-3 overtime loss to the Rochester Americans. The Griffins' website posited a game recap:
The Red Wings have had a tendency to fear the number three all year long, but they weren't shy in surrendering three first-period goals to the New Jersey Devils on Friday night, so the Wings appeared to be en route to delivering a Black Friday Turkey after emerging from the 1st period down 3-1, and the Wings surrendered the 4-1 goal all of 28 seconds into the 2nd...
But Fox Sports Detroit's cameras panned to a stoic Mike Babcock on the bench, saying, "Come on, let's go" to his next line, not Jimmy Howard, and the Wings and Petr Mrazek battled back from their 3-goal deficit to tie the New Jersey Devils 4-4 and ultimately emerge with an ugly-but-pretty 5-4 shootout win.
Ken Kal from the Prudential Center...
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.