The Malik Report
DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji penned a notebook in which she speaks with Frans Nielsen regarding "coming home" to Brooklyn to play against the New York Islanders this evening...
"It was weird landing here last night, coming in, staying at a hotel," Nielsen said. "I saw Johnny Boychuk in his car waiting by the elevator. I jumped in his car and got a little two-minute ride down there with him. It's all kind of weird right now. Hopefully I take like one or two shifts and it's going to feel like any game."
And she spoke with Nielsen regarding his present circumstances in Detroit:
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. Here's the Red Wings' Game Day Preview video ahead of tonight's game against the New York Islanders:
2. The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa took note of Wings coach Jeff Blashill's pre-game comments:
Updated 3x at 12:25 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. From Jared Coreau:
2. MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Coreau regarding his first NHL start:
Frans Nielsen's "homecoming" will be front and center when the Red Wings face the New York Islanders this evening (6 PM EST on FSD/MSG+/97.1 FM).
In recent days, Nielsen's spoken with Newsday's Arthur Staple and the New York Times' Alan Kreda regarding his decision to leave the Islanders to sign with Detroit, and this morning, NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika posted a profile of Nielsen which examines his time with the Islanders and his attempt to find a new home with the Wings:
"I never thought I was going to leave," Nielsen said. "I was pushing my agent hard even before the interview period started to get something done, but for some reason, it dragged out. We couldn't figure it out. I had a chance to talk to other teams. That was the moment where I realized maybe it would be fun to try something new."
Knowing Okposo likely would leave as a free agent (he signed with the Buffalo Sabres), Nielsen listened when the Red Wings called. He liked their history and style of play. He knew Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg. He received a six-year, $31.5 million contract.
"It can be dangerous if you're too comfortable," Nielsen said. "If you're in the same spot too long, you need a new challenge sometimes and to just listen to a new voice in the room, see some new faces. …
"As a hockey player, I think Detroit's just one of those places, it's tough to turn down somehow, with all the tradition, with all the great players that's been here over the years. Overall, it's one of the most popular teams in the world. There was just something about it when I talked to these guys. I was like, 'Wow, this could be a great opportunity for me.' "
Cotsonika continues, and his article's worth your time...
The Red Wings' 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins stung and stung badly, but Detroit will have the opportunity to put a bit of a stinker behind them as they face the New York Islanders on Sunday evening (6 PM EST on FSD/MSG+/97.1 FM).
With a short flight to Brooklyn and likely no morning skate on Sunday, the Wings will continue a stretch of 3 games in 4 nights hoping to give Frans Nielsen a happy homecoming against the Isles...
But Saturday's loss was a painful one, and while the Red Wings were left to decompress and re-set in a hurry, the Penguins were able to cherish their 5th 3rd-period rally of the season, as they told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Jonathan Bombulie:
Of prospect-related note: In the AHL, Matt Lorito had a goal and 2 assists, Eric Tangradi had 2 assists, Mitch Callahan, Louis-Marc Aubry and Kyle Criscuolo scored and Cal Heeter stopped 33 of 34 shots as the Grand Rapids Griffins won 4-1 over the Rockford IceHogs.
The Griffins' website filed a recap:
The Detroit Red Wings attempted to assuage an overtime loss to Florida on Thursday as they faced the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, starting Jared Coreau opposite the Penguins' All-Star shooters.
The Red Wings should have delivered Jared Coreau a win, but Detroit was unable to hold a 3-1 lead, dropping 4 3rd-period goals en route to a 5-3 loss. The Red Wings' defense and forwards simply lost coverage on several goals and were also incredibly turnover-happy, surrendering puck after puck in a set of unforced errors that afforded the Penguins easy goals and an easy two points in a game they should have won.
It wasn't fair to Coreau and it wasn't fair to the fans at home, frankly. Detroit played its worst 3rd period of the year, and Coreau was more than good enough to win the damn game, but the Wings were insufferable when it counted. This one hurts.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. Here's the Wings' Game-Day Preview video, which includes comments from coach Blashill, Jared Coreau and Luke Glendening:
Here's the Griffins' Game-Day Preview ahead of the Griffins' battle with the Rockford IceHogs as well:
Yesterday, Newsday's Arthur Staple spoke with Frans Nielsen about his imminent return to Brooklyn as a member of the Red Wings, and today, the New York Times' Alan Kreda speaks with Nielsen about his decision to leave the Islanders for the Red Wings:
“I didn’t think I was going to leave, to be honest,” said Nielsen, who was drafted by the Islanders in 2002. “I always thought we would get a deal done. But I don’t have one bad thing to say about the Islanders organization.”
Nielsen said he pushed hard to agree on a new contract, but when negotiations dragged on, he had an opportunity to talk to other teams.
“That was the first time I ever thought about trying something else,” he said. “Before that, I did not want to leave. I never even thought about it.”
Nielsen's former teammates and coach weigh in on #51's return before NIelsen disusses the importance of Sunday's game:
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