The Malik Report
Red Wings-Stars morning skate Tweets and articles: Lehtonen starts for Dallas; Quincey out for Wings
Updated 12x at 2:53 PM: The Detroit Red Wings begin a set of 3 games in 4 nights and 5 in 8 via a "trap game" against the Dallas Stars this evening (8 PM EST on FSD/FS SW/97.1 FM).
As the probably Kyle Quincey-less Wings begin the "dog days" of the NHL season, we can only hope that the Wings don't look at the Stars' status as 11th place in the West or absent Tyler Seguin and simply overlook the Stars given Monday and Tuesday's games against the Ducks and Kings.
I skipped an overnight report because I earned a blogging-related injury on Friday (frostbite), so I'm starting what's usually a Tweet-filled post with a game preview:
The Dallas News's Mike Heika reports that Ales Hemsky will likely return to the lineup of a Stars team that hasn't given up hope of earning a Wild Card spot, and the Stars most recently dropped a 4-2 decision to San Jose, but they've won 4 of their past 6 games:
The Red Wings will continue their six-game road trip with a "trap game" in Dallas on Saturday. As tonight's tilt precedes a particularly nasty stretch of 4 games in 6 nights against Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose and Nashville, I'd suggest that the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa's list of 5 reasons why the Wings are "sitting pretty" = one of the reasons I'll be totally satisfied if the Wings win 3 of five in less-than-convincing fashion:
It is the dog days of the NHL season. The Red Wings have surpassed seemingly everyone's expectations — except, perhaps, their own.
Are they tired, as in "fatigued?" Could be.
But the ability of some teams to "skate them" recently, despite the fact that speed is among the Wings' best weapons, may well be evidence of playing in games 50 through 60 in a long season.
If it is fatigue, Mike Babcock almost certainly knows and will try to help, by adjusting the schedule.
And, in the scheme of things, a second wind is likely on the way. It often refreshes teams around the start of March.
The Wings looked to be over their heads at times against Chicago, but the win counted regardless of style points, and if the Wings can even less-than-convincingly earn six or more points over the next week's 5 games in 8 nights, these are the dog days. If you've gotta win ugly, this is the time of year when points matter over precision.
Krupa continues, but I'm going to be resting my frostbitten fingers (it's a long story), and I'll see you in the morning (and yes, a prospect catch-up post is in the offing).
I suppose that one leads to the other: TSN's Darren Dreger used some very Ken Holland-sounding terms to wonder aloud whether the Red Wings might be better served by sticking with their "rebuild/reload" as-is instead of surrendering assets, should the Wings not be as far along in the process as fans might imagin;
Later on Friday afternoon, Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave asked Ken Holland about this strategy.
Here's what Holland told Gave--who reports that the Wings have
sent "demoted" Tomas Jurco to Grand Rapids[? I think?] "to find his finishing touch"[???]*
"We like our depth. We like our kids," Holland said. "We've got a lot of great kids. They're not all going to make it to Detroit, but some of them are."
Some others may wind up in the NHL as well, although with other clubs. But only for a deal that makes sense, Holland said, hinting that if an opportunity surfaces he won't hesitate to pull the trigger.
"We have lots of cap space, and every day that goes by that space that we're below the cap grows," he said. "So if a player is available that will upgrade our team, we can do something. But I won't trade away our futures for depth."
Whether Petry, the son of former Tigers pitcher Dan Petry, is a player the Wings would give up some depth for is a matter of some debate within the organization. He's a 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-shot defenseman in the prime of his career at age 27.
The Wings have scouted Petry, and while some in the organization describe him as "very average," others close who have watched Petry develop in youth hockey around Detroit and now in the NHL see him as very good fit with the Wings. Playing with better players Detroit has throughout its roster will only make Petry a better player. He came into the NHL with strong skating and passing skills, a good, hard shot and considerable offensive acumen. And like his father, he has a tremendous work ethic.
Again, Petry's name comes up, and after reading the rest of Gave's report, you might want to head over to the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's take on Petry's future with the Oilers given that Matheson spoke with Petry about his uncertain future.
As for this stuff, it's news to me, and the italics are mine [demoted = press box? demoted = in Grand Rapids? Gave's text is hard to decipher] :
Paul already posted this in KKH, so I'd generally not toss it out there, but TSN's Darren Dreger posited a particularly intriguing set of paragraphs in his Dreger Report, discussing the Red Wings' trade deadline strategy given the team's record (it's pretty dang good) and growth of/improvement from its younger players:
Detroit won't be swapping first- or second-round draft picks or a quality prospect for a rental player. As close as the Wings may seem to be to another Stanley Cup run, they're not far enough advanced in the build to throw away assets merely to improve their chances of winning a round in the playoffs.
Last year, Detroit traded a third-rounder (upgraded to a second when they secured a playoff spot), top prospect Calle Jarnkrok and Patrick Eaves to Nashville for David Legwand in an effort to make the playoffs for a 23rd straight year. It worked, but Detroit is in a different place now with no significant post-season threat. As close as the race is in the East, trading quality assets to improve this teams chances of winning a round in the playoffs may not be worth the gamble.
In the remaining days leading up to the deadline, Holland will undoubtedly stay active in discussions and is well-positioned if the asking price on sought-after defencemen like Carolina's Andrej Sekera, Edmonton's Jeff Petry and Arizona's Zbynek Michalek drops to an affordable price. In the meantime, opportunity knocks for rookie Alexey Marchenko who may turn out to be the right shot d-man Detroit has been patiently looking for.
Dreger continues, and I know that some of you would of course argue that the whole reason to have so many assets--not all of whom will make the NHL or remain with the Wings--is to use them, but it's a very "Ken Holland" thing to suggest that the team isn't necessarily done with its "reload on the fly," so Dreger's suggestion that the Wings aren't "far enough advanced in the build" really raised my eyebrows.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson also happens to have discussed Jeff Petry's status this afternoon...
From the Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins:
RED WINGS RECALL KINDL FROM GRAND RAPIDS
… Detroit Continues Six-Game Road Trip on Saturday at Dallas …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled defenseman Jakub Kindl from his conditioning loan with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Kindl, 28, appeared in two games for the Griffins since being assigned on Feb. 14, picking up one goal and a plus-two rating in back-to-back wins for Grand Rapids. The Sumperk, Czech Republic, native, who has not played for Detroit since Dec. 27 after being sidelined with an elbow injury, has appeared in 28 games with the Red Wings this season, totaling nine points (2-7-9) and 14 penalty minutes. Kindl has logged 241 games for the Red Wings since 2009-10, recording 58 points (11-47-58) a plus-nine rating and 127 penalty minutes.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"He's just got to go back and execute with the puck," coach Mike Babcock said. "He's real good when he's got the puck looking up ice. If he does that, we're (happy)."
Kindl has two goals and seven assists in 28 games with the Red Wings this season
"Anybody that doesn't play for a long time does (lack confidence), so that's why we sent him down," Babcock said. "We expected him to play two more games (in Grand Rapids) and we expect him to come up on a high. He's had two real good games down there. It just makes it easier when you've sat out for a long time, you come back and you've haven't played and it's hard. This way you can come back and get going."
Quincey has three goals, 10 assists and a plus-5 rating in 52 games. He's formed a strong second pairing with Danny DeKeyser.
"He's just got a chronic thing so we'll see what happens," Babcock said.
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Quincey not skating today due to apparent minor injury. Ken Holland said he's day to day. Looks like Kindl might be brought back from GR.
Jurco rotating in.
Cleary (for Quincey)-DeKeyser
added 12:14pm, via Khan tweet,
Power play units:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Weiss, Abdelkader (net front), Kronwall
Tatar-Datsyuk-Pulkkinen, Sheahan (net front), DeKeyser
Minus an overnight report, I at least found two articles that reveal surprising quotes and/or stats. The first comes from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, who discusses Tomas Tatar's status as 1st on the team in goals and 3rd in points; while speaking about Tatar with Wings coach Mike Babcock, Kulfan delivers one of the best quips Babcock's ever posited:
"Tats has the skill set and has the drive to be real good," Babcock said. "And he's ultra-competitive. That adds up to getting better each and every day and you're here (in the NHL) and you're serious about your craft."
Some have suggested Babcock has been a sort of mentor for Tatar, but the coach believes it's a different relationship.
"I love all the guys and try to make them better people and better players," Babcock said. "I try to treat them with respect as much as I can. But respect for me is different than some people. Respect for me, it's maximizing their potential and pushing them to be better."
Kulfan continues, discussing Jimmy Howard's 1-and-7 shootout record, and MLive's Brendan Savage happened to discuss said shootout strugles (stopping just under 41% of the shootout shots he's faced; Kulfan also happened to posit a Q and A with Howard) as compared to Howard's historical averages:
The Red Wings actually flew back to Detroit and chose not to practice after Wednesday's 3-2 shootout win over Chicago; the team's likely to practice tomorrow and then spend the following week (or most of it) on the road, playing road tilts in Dallas on Saturday, Anaheim on Monday the 23rd, LA on Tuesday the 24th, San Jose on Thurdsay the 26th and then Nashville on Saturday the 29th.
Ken Daniels appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM to discuss the disputed offsides goal and the Wings' trade deadline options with Matt Dery...
You'll have to pardon me for describing this press release as "really neat," but I think it's clever, even if posting it equals free PR:
RED WINGS LAUNCH AUGMENTED REALITY FUNCTION ‘WINGSCAPE’ WITHIN MOBILE APPLICATION
... ‘Wingscape’ Designed to Give Fans an Exciting and Dynamically Different Way to Explore the World of the Red Wings …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced the launch of augmented reality technology available through the Red Wings Official Mobile App. Coined ‘Wingscape,’ the augmented reality platform will give fans an exciting and unique way to explore everything surrounding the Red Wings through interaction with real-world objects and images found at Joe Louis Arena, online or from home.
Similar to the technology behind QR codes, fans can explore augmented reality by launching the Red Wings Mobile App and selecting ‘Wingscape’ on the main menu. Fans can then search for the ‘Wingscape’ logo and scan it with a mobile device to launch fully-immersive experiences, including behind-the-scenes videos, animations and greetings from select Red Wings players. The ‘Wingscape’ logo can be found at multiple locations within Joe Louis Arena when attending a Red Wings game and online at DetroitRedWings.com.
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.