The Malik Report
from John Niyo of the Detroit News,
The Wings don't have many pending free agents on the roster, but they do have a few, and none more notable - or mystifying - than Valtteri Filppula, the 29-year-old Finnish center who has become a lightning rod for criticism this spring.
In this new-and-improved, salary cap-strapped NHL, where nearly every team insists its focus is a draft-and-develop strategy -- and where fewer and fewer top-tier players are making it to free agency -- Filppula's bound to be a player with opportunities to cash in elsewhere.
The problem for the Wings is deciding what value he still has here in Detroit, where the former third-round pick has been a regular in the lineup ever since Steve Yzerman retired in 2006 and a regular in coach Mike Babcock's doghouse for a good, long time, as well.
10:08 PM ET tonight seems so far away and a long day is ahead of us.
So how's the mood of the Red Wings fans today as we wait until the puck drops?
What's your gut say, how about any dreams you may have had, will the Wings be traveling to Chicago after the game or will it be a long trip back home to begin the exit process?
from AJ Manderichio of AnaheimDucks.com,
“When you’re a kid, you have dreams that you’re playing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs,” Corey Perry said. “That’s the fun part of the hockey. You dream about Game 7s and to be that one guy to step up [and win one] is pretty special.”
“You don’t get many opportunities like this,” Cam Fowler said. “You try and cherish that moment and you look forward to it. It’s another game of hockey, but the stakes are raised a little bit.
“I’m looking forward to it. No butterflies, just excitement.”
Bruce Boudreau has both played and coached in Game 7, and believes playing carries less pressure.
more and a 3 minute video can be watched below with a few Ducks including Boudreau talking about game 7...
from Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register (paid subscriotion) at the Centre Daily Times,
Game 7 is set for Sunday night at Honda Center.
It wasn't necessary.
Neither was Game 6, really, but the Detroit Red Wings, spurred by jerseys in the ceiling or echoes from the '90s or something even more spiritual, have done something remarkable in this first-round series.
They have won two games with an inner-body injury. They came back twice after their souls were crushed.
The Detroit Red Wings nearly did themselves in against the Ducks, thanks to some awful play by Valtteri Filppula, on uncalled trip by Corey Perry and some terrible mistakes by the Quincey-Smith pairing...
But Jimmy Howard was masterful, Henrik Zetterberg was clutch, the Wings got butts in front of Jonas Hiller, and 1:09 into OT, the Red Wings defeated the Ducks 4-3--despite blowing a 3-1 lead--and are headed to Anaheim for Game 7 on Sunday at 10 PM. More in a minit, but please do comment!
Update: This game was baffling. On a night that the Grand Rapids Griffins smoked the Toronto Marlies 7-0 to open their second-round series and Wings prospect Martin Frk won a Quebec Major Junior League title with the Halifax Mooseheads, the Wings remain a riddle wrapped up in an enigma wrapped up in a gift-wrapped giveaway.
Pavel Datsyuk scored such a masterful opening goal late into the 1st period, after Jimmy Howard made some utterly remarkable saves...
The Red Wings' goaltender hasn't been perfect, but he's been close, and this save on Teemu Selanne was remarkable (2 views follow):
Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk put the Wings up 1-0 on Anaheim with this gloriously gorgeous goal:
Update: Here's what the Ducks' broadcasters thought of it:
I asked this question on Twitter, and ahead of what may be the last Red Wings game fans like you and me witness until training camp and the exhibition season get underway in September...
If the Wings' playoff push ends tonight, and "the kids" don't quite deliver against the Ducks, will you be satisfied with the progress made by a Red Wings team enduring a transitional year and an embraced-by-necessity youth movement? Do making the playoffs despite so many self-inflicted stumbles and giving the Ducks a run for their money constitute "enough" for you?
Coach Mike Babcock isn't overly concerned about having a lot of young guys in the lineup as the Wings face elimination, just because the Wings have changed so much this season overall. The biggest emphasis, he said after the morning skate, is to start well.
Babcock relayed a discussion he had with young defenseman Brendan Smith during Wednesday's game in Anaheim.
"I explained to one of our guys, one of kids, that's it kind of like a lawnmower," Babcock said. "You choke it and you start it, and it's revving for a few minutes to get going.
"We don't need to be a lawnmower. We need to get that done in warm-up. We need to be idling just perfect."
Ditto from the other side: "We all know this is going to be the most difficult," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If we're not at our peak best, we're not going have success."
more from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press...
So it looks like no Eaves or Lashoff, Colaiacovo skating in his place.
added 10:48am, Numerous reports say Howard left practice early but Holland says he will play tonight.
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.