The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings are spending this afternoon taking their first "day off" in over a week, and it's well-deserved given the Wings' 3-2 win over Phoenix, building upon their back-to-back wins over Anaheim to give the Wings the six points they needed to earn on their four-game road trip with one more tilt--Thursday's game against a San Jose Sharks team that will be playing its third game over the course of four nights--to go.
While the Wings enjoy their time away from the rink, a trio of Tweets of Red Wings-related note popped up, and two offer no surprises...
But one, from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose, offers good news of a sort:
What a difference four days can make. The Detroit Red Wings entered their 4-game road swing through the Western U.S. sitting all of a pair of points up on every "playoff pack" team, including those damn Columbus Blue Jackets.
Heading into their first practice-less "dayoff" ince the Wings' 4-2 loss to Minnesota seven days ago, the Wings have gone 3-for-3 on their road trip, racking up 5-1 and 2-1 wins over Anaheim and, playing their 3rd game in 4 nights and their 4th in 6, a gritty 3-2 win over Phoenix.
The Wings now have 39 points, and sit in 5th place in the Western Conference, 1 point behind both the Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks. The Wings lead the St. Louis Blues by 3 points, Thursday's opponent, the San Jose Sharks, by 5, they have a 5-point lead on Nashville, a 6-point lead on Dallas and a 7-point lead on those damn Blue Jackets.
The Coyotes? They're 9 points back and sit in 12th place, just ahead of the Oilers, Flames and Avs. They also haven't won a game since March 9th, going winless in 6 straight games, so it's not surprising to find out that Coyotes GM Don Maloney told Fox Sports Arizona's Craig Morgan that his team is on the precipice of becoming trade deadline "sellers":
In the first period of the Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, things did not look good. The Wings had blown Ian White's 1-0 goal thanks to a tip-in from Martin Hanzal and a roof-job from Rob Klinkhammer, and Jonas Gustavsson was the only player holding a disinterested, slow-witted and downright lazy Wings team in the game.
Gustavsson ended up stopping 13 of 15 first-period shots, and despite blowing a power play early in the 2nd period, the Wings slowly but surely found their legs, and Johan Franzen scored an absolutely gorgeous power play goal with 39 seconds left in the 2nd period (after Mike Babcock started the 2nd unit regularly, the Franzen-Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Kronwall-Brunner got the "shoot the damn puck!" message)...
Excellent news regarding Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey from MLive's Ansar Khan:
Update: Khan has news on the Mikael Samuelsson front:
Via RedWingsFeed, Hockey's Future's Adam Schnepp's released a "mid-season" list ranking his top 20 Red Wings prospects, and given that Wings fans have become familiar with Brendan Smith, Petr Mrazek, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson this year, and especially given the spotlight shining upon Calle Jarnkrok at present, perhaps we should look at Schnepp's take on the "next wave" of prospects instead of the favorites who've either already made the NHL jump or are close to earning full-time NHL employment:
We've talked about this at some length now, but the Free Press's Mike Bruendell is confirming what TPLHockey reported on Sunday: the Red Wings played no part in Fox Sports Detroit's decision to fire Larry Murphy, and Murphy's still baffled as to why FSD vice-president and general manager Greg Hammaren tossed Murphy to the curb, citing "ratings" and the fact that Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond will cover games down the stretch and during the playoffs:
“I guess I didn’t see it coming -- I had no clue,” Murphy, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, said today. “I just got the call and was told, 'We are not going to use you.' I thought I was doing my job and doing it well.”
Murphy said he was “hurt” and “disappointed” at first but kept busy over the weekend, checking out comments online, calls for a petition to bring him back to the network and “recording the Malaysian Grand Prix and St. Petersburg IndyCar race” off TV.
“You second-guess yourself at first -- wonder what kind of job you are doing,” said Murphy of his initial reaction to his firing. “But it was very humbling to read some of the online comments about how some people thought I did a good job.”
Murphy confirms that he was told that he was let go due to ratings woes, and he tells Bruendell that he's receiving support from his fellow broadcasters as well...
Red Wings-Coyotes game-day updates: LaBarbera starts for Phoenix, Bertuzzi in tough & Jarnkrok stuff
Updated 6x with pre-game videos at 9:03 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to build upon their pair of wins in Anaheim while playing against a playoff-desperate Phoenix Coyotes team tonight (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), and as the Coyotes begin a slate of 4 games over the course of 6 nights, as noted by the Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan...
The Wings will wrap up a slate of 3 games over the course of 4 nights and 4 in 6 hoping to win their 5th straight road game, and McLellan reports that the Wings won't have to face Mike Smith in goal tonight:
The Detroit Red Wings will try to go 3-for-3 on their Western U.S. road trip when they tangle with the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), but today's "morning" skate won't take place until at or around 3 PM EDT, so the vast majority of today's Red Wings news dovetails the overnight report's storylines, starting with DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose confirming that the Wings are indeed bringing Calle Jarnkrok over to the U.S. to play in what MLive's Ansar Khan reported would be a 9-game stint with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins
The Griffins are confirming:
I tried to combine the Red Wings-Ducks wrap-up and set-up for tonight's Wings-Coyotes game (10 PM EST, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM) into one entry because that's how the narrative seemed to present itself, but not everything fit in one place, so...
Prepare for an extravaganza of discussion about Jarome Iginla, Danny DeKeyser, Calle Jarnkrok, Ladislav Smid(!), Pavel Datsyuk, Wings prospect and Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson, and a wee bit about the NCAA regional hockey playoffs, as one Wings prospect will play in Grand Rapids and another in Toledo.
But we'll start with a fantastic "status report" regarding the 16-11-and-5 Wings from the Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott, who found that both Wings coach Mike Babcock and forward/alternate captain Pavel Datsyuk believe that the team's adjusting to Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom's retirements and the departures of Brad Stuart and Jiri Hudler at exactly the rate they expected the team to acclimate given its injury situation:
The Detroit Red Wings managed to hand the Anaheim Ducks their first set of home losses since January this past weekend, courtesy of a 5-1 win on Friday and a 2-1 grind-fest on Sunday night, but the Wings flew to Phoenix after Sunday's triumph to face off against the Phoenix Coyotes this evening (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), and if Sunday night's game was a task-and-a-half, Sunday's game will take two hands' worth of effort:
While the 16-11-and-5 Wings now have 37 points and are inching up the Western Conference standings, Phoenix is winless in 5 games, but hasn't played since last Thursday's 2-1 loss to Vancouver. Phoenix sits in 12th place in the West with 30 points, and with Edmonton (29 points), Calgary (28) and Colorado (26) close behind, and San Jose, Nashville and Columbus all sitting two points ahead of the Coyotes, all the legitimate media "experts" and "insiders" claimed that, should Phoenix lose tonight, their playoff hopes might be over, and with a week-and-two-days remaining until the trade deadline, they might become "sellers."
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.