The Malik Report
Paul for George who is improving.
The beat writers report from the morning skate that Jimmy Howard will start tonight.
added 11:43am, Quincey is a healthy scratch.
added 12:21pm, via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Goaltender Jimmy Howard is returning to lead the Detroit Red Wings in goal with five games remaining before the playoffs.
The Wings host the Predators at 7:30 tonight Howard hasn’t played since re-aggravating a groin injury March 19 against Washington, but coach Mike Babcock decided he’s the best man for the job as the Wings look to pad their one-point lead on fourth place in the Western Conference.
“Everything seems to be OK,” Babcock said. “He says he’s feeling good about himself, so obviously, we’d like to get him going.”
Babcock is making one other change to tonight’s lineup, as he’s pulling defenseman Kyle Quincey, whom the Wings acquired a week before the trade deadline, and inserting reserve d-man Jakub Kindl. Quincey hasn’t had a particularly slick transition since joining the Wings a month ago, but Babcock made a point of saying nothing should be read into this decision other than that he wants everyone to play before the playoffs.
“We have seven D,” Babcock said. “We believe we really have depth on D. I told the D before the Columbus game we’re going to have a rotation. I wouldn’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about that. That’s just what I decided to do. I thought Kuba’s played great his last five or six games. So you’ll see a different guy out next guy.”
added 12:45pm, from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
Paul in for George…
Well, the coach may have a change of heart…
Coach Mike Babcock is reconsidering who he’s going to start in net Friday when the Detroit Red Wings host the Nashville Predators in a game likely to determine who’ll finish fourth in the Western Conference.
Babcock had decided on backup Ty Conklin as of Tuesday, but Howard is ready to return from a groin injury, and he’s got to play at some point. Babcock’s original thinking was that he didn’t want to put Howard in against the Predators because he hasn’t played since March 19, but on the other hand, Friday’s game is huge.
“I’m a big believer in having a guy ready before he get’s into a situation like this,” Babcock said after practice today. He planned to talk the matter over with goalie coach Jim Bedard and then make a decision Friday morning.
This via Helene St. James of the Freep where you can read more on the game.
What do you think?
Instead of going into Nashville on Friday with a 3 point lead on the Predators, the Wings will now face them with a 1 point lead with each team having 5 games remaining.
Will the loss tonight come back and haunt them or will the Wings find a way to win on Friday.
Either way, Detroit fans can’t be happy with the way the Wings played tonight.
So let your feelings be known below.
Oh yes, this is Paul filling in for George who plans to return tomorrow sometime.
I am not even going to post any highlights for two reasons, I am pretty fried right now and I need content to post.
Paul here for George.
Both Ericsson and Franzen are scheduled to play tonight and Conklin will start in goal.
Howard says he feels fine in practice but it looks like he won’t play the next two games.
Khan has all the information at Mlive.
Paul for George…
from Zack Crawford of the Wings website,
Having clinched a playoff spot this week, the Red Wings had good reason to be positive at the Detroit Economic Club luncheon held at MotorCity Casino Hotel on Tuesday afternoon….
As for the current state of affairs, Holland pointed to the “offense by committee” as one of the things he likes most about the team, comparing the current squad’s ability to score goals on all four lines to the teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which saw crucial goals being scored by players like Kris Draper, Joey Kocur, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty.
“When you go into a game,” Holland said. “You’re not sure where the goals are going to come from but you know that they’re there, because the statistics say that they’re there, so I think that’s one of the things I like about the makeup of our team.”
from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
In the time defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom has been with the Red Wings’ organization there’s been one feeling he hasn’t had to deal with … what it’s like to not make the NHL playoffs.
On Monday night, Detroit qualified for the postseason a franchise-record 21st consecutive, 20 of those season have been with Lidstrom.
“I’ve always made it so I don’t know how it feels not to make it so it’s pretty hard to answer that question,” Lidstrom said. “I’m sure it’s disappointing not playing in the postseason.
“It’s a relief to make it but it’s always something we come to expect here as an organization,” Lidstrom continued. “We’ve done it for 21 straight years. The bar is set high here. And we expect a lot out of ourselves here too.”
continued with more player reaction…
Paul appearing for George this morning.
The beat writers report this morning from practice that Johan Franzen plans to play tomorrow, while Ericsson and Howard are game time decisions.
Babcock says if players don’t play tomorrow, they won’t play on Friday against the Predators. He doesn’t want their first game back to be against Nashville.
Babcock also stated Nyquist will remain with the Wings for now, not sure who he will replace tomorrow with Franzen returning.
Paul filling in for George who is under the weather.
The Wings continue to have a shot at the Stanley Cup by qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 21st consecutive year after defeating Columbus 7-2.
I will be adding to this post as more highlights become available. but let’s first start with Gustav Nyquist’s first NHL goal.
A nifty pass by Datsyuk.
Paul here for George.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Detroit Red Wings will use the same lineup tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena than they did Saturday vs. Carolina.
But several of their injured players are close to returning.
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (fractured left wrist) said he hopes to play Wednesday at Columbus. Forward Johan Franzen (back spasms) said there’s a chance he could play Wednesday, if not than he should be back Friday at home against Nashville. And goaltender Jimmy Howard has targeted Friday for his return from a strained groin.
“That’s the ideal plan, Friday,’’ Howard said. “Get several really good practices under my belt and continue to work in the weight room, strengthening it and see how it holds.’‘
He has faced shots the past two practices and said he “felt like I can do everything. Now continue to keep practicing for a couple of days and we’ll see.’‘
During the Detroit Red Wings’ 5-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes last night, a sequence of play more or less encapsulated Tomas Holmstrom’s 1,000-plus-game tenure with the team: after going to his “office” in front of Cam Ward, Holmstrom was cross-checked from behind into Ward by Hurrianes defenseman Tim Gleason. When Holmstrom attempted to extricate himself from Ward, Gleason punched Holmstrom in the head, removing his helmet, and as Holmstrom shoved Gleason back in an attempt to plain old get away from his opponent, Gleason punched Holmstrom’s face again, but by the time the referees blew play dead with the puck on Red Wings players’ sticks, something predictable ensued: thanks to Holmstrom’s reputation, Gleason received a roughing penalty, but Holmstrom was also assessed a phantom goaltender interference penalty for getting the stuffing beaten out of him. For every legitimate penalty Holmstrom’s assessed for bumping goalies, he endures twenty or more infractions from opposing teams’ players or goaltenders, and he absorbs their abuse like a happy human pincushion.
Holmstrom left the penalty box two minutes later and got right back to work attempting to screen one of the many goaltenders he scouts via video in an attempt to emulate their movements while trying to tip pucks traveling at 80-plus miles an hour, absorbing cross-checks, slashes and otherwise uncalled infractions and toeing the line that is the top of the goal crease along the way, and his fearlessness in terms of doing a very dirty job very, very well—while receiving a ridiculous amount of punishment along the way—explains why the Detroit chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association nominated Holmstrom for the Masterton Trophy as the Wings player who embodies perseverance and dedication to hockey.
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.