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The Malik Report

A sideways year

I’ve been a very bad Red Wings fan over the past 48 hours. Since the parent received the, “We need you in first thing tomorrow to have a basal cell sarcoma removed” call on Tuesday evening, I’ve spent a decent amount of time in front of the computer, but haven’t done much of anything hockey-related. I know that the Wings played a “spirited” game against the Rangers on Wednesday (with Ty Conklin in goal) but remain winless in six, are 2-5-and-2 in March and have gone 3-7-and-3 since setting their home-ice winning record way back on February 19th. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t watch it—I taped it and played the Sims 3 instead because my brain was too rattled to even watch a Red Wings game.

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Morning Wings Talk

Paul here filling in for George who hopefully will return sometime today.

Doug Janik has been returned to Grand Rapids and the Wings have an off day today.

I have a question… There is talk of Jimmy Howard wanting to start on Saturday against Carolina. 

The Wings play Columbus at home on Monday then travel to Columbus on Wednesday.

Are the Wings better off holding him back and let him play in one of the Columbus games or are you okay with him playing Saturday?

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Wings Lose 2-1 In A Tight Game To The Rangers

Paul here for George who hopefully is recovering from a long day.

Probably the type of game Babcock wanted from this lineup, just could not find a way to put the puck in the net.

Only Detroit goal was scored by Zetterberg in the first period.

added 10:56pm, Game highlights have been added below…

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Excused absence

My apologies for not being around to do my job over the last 24 hours…Between exhaustion on my part and a health scare for the parent which has me writing this from the parking lot of the doctor’s office which asked the parent to come in immediately for a follow-up appointment, my priorities are regrettably elsewhere today. I shall return to work as soon as my and especially my parent’s health circumstances allow, and again, I apologize for the interruption in service.

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Red Wings kind-of-sort-of sign Riley Sheahan

MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that Red Wings prospect and University of Notre Dame forward Riley Sheahan has exhausted his college eligibility by committing the following deed:

Riley Sheahan, the Wings’ top pick (21st overall in 2010), has signed an amateur tryout contract with Grand Rapids, will join Griffins.

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On the Red Wings rattling off inexcusable play and Radulov

In light of the Detroit Red Wings’ troubling performance in their 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday, The Oakland Press’s Chuck Pleiness, via RedWingsFeed, offers an assessment of the injury-marred Red Wings’ difficulties in terms of not being able to scrounge together wins without Nicklas Lidstrom…

So now we know exactly what the Red Wings’ NHL-record 23-game home winning streak means in retrospect. The Red Wings are 3-7-1 since it ended following a 5-3 home loss. The streak was a nice middle-of-the-season accomplishment, but, in less than a month, it has become a distant memory. The Red Wings have played at a considerably less than .500 pace since in a league where the vast majority of teams are above .500 overall because of the overtime and shootout rules.

They have gone from fighting for the first seed overall throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs to a tight race with the Nashville Predators for the fourth seed in the Western Conference, which would mean the home ice edge in the first round. By the Red Wings’ high standards, this is a collapse. There are reasons for it. Injuries, in particular, have been the main factor. It’s not an excuse, either. Just the truth.

Snip and re-set:

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Red Wings lose Howard to groin injury…again

Unbelievable: Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard is out again according to MLive’s Ansar Khan:

Wings’ Jimmy Howard has groin injury again. Team is recalling Ty Conklin from Grand Rapids on emergency basis.
...
Holland said Howard is day to day, nothing serious. Conklin on re-entry waivers. If he clears he’ll join team in New York

The CBC’s Tim Wharnsby says that Conklin has been placed on re-entry waivers.

Update: From the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, this sounds like a precautionary measure and/or insurance in case Joey MacDonald’s more hurt than the team believes he is:

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Red Wings-Capitals wrap-up and overnight report: Wings fighting themselves, playoff math

The Detroit Red Wings’ 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday night requires quantification via another one of those “simple equations”: Wings going 0-4-and-1 in last 5 games and/or 3-8-and-2 since February 19th + Nashville and Chicago playing on Tuesday night = Detroit could head into New York to play the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers on Wednesday 4 points and 2 regulation or overtime wins behind their likely first-round opponent, the Nashhville Predators, and only 2 points ahead of their Central Division pursuers in the Chicago Blackhawks.

As such, the Red Wings must, must, must win the vast majority of their 9 remaining games to earn at least home-ice advantage in the first round, regardless of the absences of Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle, could return as early as Friday), Johan Franzen (back spasms, “day-to-day”), Jonathan Ericsson (broken wrist, out at least 3 more weeks), Jakub Kindl (strained oblique muscle, out one more week), Darren Helm (sprained left knee, out 4-6 weeks) and/or Joey MacDonald (back issues, will need clarification regarding MRI on Tuesday)...

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Red Wings-Capitals no take: Wings at their best and worst at the same time

A certain blogger’s internet connection is about to conk out for the third or fourth time tonight, so I’ll simply say this: the Detroit Red Wings’ 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals represented the team at its best and worst, and a game the Wings could have easily won—had they not committed four grevious errors in the defensive zone that were all but de-facto assists on the Capitals’ goals.

Jimmy Howard was sterling at times, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Valtteri Filppula, Brendan Smith, Danny Cleary, Niklas Kronwall and more than a handful of other Wings players played their hearts out, the Wings power play finally got going and in a game where slew-foots apparently don’t count, the Wings almost won in spite of themselves…Until, perhaps predictably, they were given a late power play and managed to bungle it and then surrender an empty-netter while scrambling to…scramble.

Have we seen the worst of the Wings? What were tonight’s positives and bright points for you? Do you think that the Wings can salvage home ice against Nashville? Talk amongst yourselves…

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Oh swell: further clarification needed for Red Wings goaltender Joey MacDonald’s back issue

Updated at 7:19 with, “Oh, hell with it” Wings pre-game news: Red Wings back-up goaltender Joey MacDonald had an MRI today thanks to both back spasms and “shooting pains” down his legs starting during last Wednesday’s game in Anaheim, but the Red Wings released no information regarding his status during the morning skate (and that particular post will continue to be updated till near game time due to late-breaking gnus), nor did the Wings update MacDonald’s status when Wings GM Ken Holland revealed that Darren Helm will be out until the start of the playoffs with a 2nd degree sprain of his left MCL. This evening, MLive’s Ansar Khan explains why the team is in a holding pattern regarding MacDonald:

Wings goalie Joey MacDonald will see a back specialist tomorrow for a better read on the MRI he had today, GM Ken Holland said.

If MacDonald has suffered some sort of disc herniation, remember that the Wings won’t be able to recall Ty Conklin until after the regular season ends to avoid exposing him to re-entry waivers…

And Holland did engage in a radio interview with The Fan 590’s Bob McCown, but he wasn’t allowed much of a word in about his team as McCown challenged Holland’s take on “hybrid icing” and other rule changes proposed during the GM’s meetings:

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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.

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