The Malik Report
I've been trying to figure out whether Sergei Fedorov is actually coming out of retirement to play for CSKA Moscow or the KHL--as a general manager-turned player at 43 years of age--or whether his signign of a one-year, KHL-league-minimum with the team was a publicity stunt.
First, Fedorov was supposed to return to the team in the middle of October, but it didn't happen. He kept practicing with the team, and the Russian press speculated that Fedorov would finally return to action when CSKA Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg, the two Red Army Sports Clubs, tangled at the end of October. That didn't happen, and as CSKA's half-dozen injured players began to return from their injuries, Fedorov kept practicing with the team, but coverage of his activities waned, and a few pundits wondered whether Fedorov was waiting until the KHL resumed play after taking a break for the Euro Hockey Tour's Karjala Cup.
Well, the Karjala Cup came and went, and Fedorov has yet to do more than practice with his team. His playing status has become murkier and murkier, with the Russian press simply turning away from the story, but Sportbox.ru's Alexey Shevchenko managed to get Fedorov to speak on the record about his comeback, and while my Google and Promt-translated Russian isn't spectacular (two online translators are better than one), I believe that Fedorov dodged the question...Mostly...
Red Wings-Islanders game-day updates: Nabokov vs. Gustavsson in the nets, Vanek out, Alfredsson iffy
Updated 8x at 2:34 PM: The Detroit Red Wings need to rebound from their latest home setback against the Washington Capitals when they tangle with the New York Islanders this evening (7 PM EST, FSD/MSG Plus/97.1 FM), and the Islanders report that the Wings won't have to battle Thomas Vanek this evening, but they will have to solve an alumnus of a sort:
#Isles forward @T_Vanek26 is on the ice for morning skate. Game status update to come shortly from HC Jack Capuano.
Capuano: Nabokov in goal tonight. Same #Isles skaters as the last game meaning Vanek remains day-to-day.
NHL.com's John Kreiser reminds us why the Wings needed to get away from Joe Louis Arena so very desperately...
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled center Luke Glendening from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Glendening made his NHL debut with the Red Wings on Oct. 12 vs. Philadelphia. In eight games with Detroit, he has recorded eight shots on goal and averaged 9:28 of ice time. The 24-year-old forward has also skated in nine games with the Griffins this season, notching six points (3-3-6), a plus-6 rating and 14 penalty minutes.Last season, he tallied 21 points (14-7-21) in 28 games with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye before being recalled by his hometown Griffins, where he helped lead the team to their first-ever AHL championship. He registered 26 points (8-18-26) in 51 regular-season games and 16 points (6-10-16) in 24 postseason contests.
It can't be this *#$%@& complicated.
I would really love to be more eloquent or offer a better, "Let's rally the troops, it's gonna be okay" message this morning, but the Red Wings' fifth loss in five games (though the Wings are 1-and-4) and seventh straight home loss have me as frustrated as anyone else with the Red Wings' inability or unwillingness to close out opponents.
And at the 20-game mark, 9-5-and-6 plain old isn't good enough, regardless of the team's personnel changes, injuries or its status as a "young team" by Detroit standards.
While the Detroit Red Wings continue to struggle, their developmental affiliates and top prospects continue to roll along.
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins took a 5-3 decision over the Rockford IceHogs, and Tomas Jurco posited his first professional hat trick, Gustav Nyquist registered 3 assists and points 18, 19 and 20 over the course of only 14 games played, Calle Jarnkrok had 2 assists, Teemu Pulkkinen had a goal and an assist and the Griffins have won eight of nine, as the Griffins website's recap notes:
I am officially frustrated.
You start instead. The Wings blew a 2-goal lead in the 3rd period, yet again, Jimmy Howard received little support from his defense--this time literally getting pulled out of position by Brian Lashoff on the game-tying goal--and a predictable pattern emerged in the shootout, i.e. everybody tried their usual moves, and as such, Washington won 4-3 in a game the Wings had no business losing, yielding a seven-game home losing streak.
Jonathan Ericsson's return made the Wings' defense and transition game much, much better, despite Daniel Alfredsson's last-minute groin yank, the Wings' forwards were fine and Franzen was excellent, but the Wings can't seem to sweat the details of closing a game out or playing a solid 3rd period.
I'm baffled. You try to explain this one, because I'm really lost as to what the *#$%@& is going on right now. 0-1-and-4 over the last 5, with four striaght home losses.
The Red Wings are playing with seventeen skaters due to an injury whose severity depends on who you believe...
Updated 2x: Both Eaves and Glendening have been assigned to GR: This isn't all that surprising given how many teams are close to the cap. Patrick Eaves wasn't claimed on waivers, so the Red Wings have assigned him to Grand Rapids:
The Red Wings confirm:
Khan confirms in text form:
Updated 12x at 2:46 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to snap a 6-game home losing streak and a 4-game winless streak when they battle the Washington Capitals tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD/CSN Washington/NHL Network U.S/1270 AM), and as the Wings are playing a slate of back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow (against the Islanders, in Longs Island), the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's Tweet regarding the morning skate isn't surprising...
An optional skate at the Joe. Weiss on ice. He's been out with a groin. No Patrick Eaves. We'll see at noon if he's claimed off waivers.
Nor are the Tweets of MLive's Ansar Khan:
Optional skate today for Wings includes Stephen Weiss (groin) who's not due back until next week.
Patrick Eaves not skating as he waits to see if he's claimed off waivers by noon.
This one might hold more interest:
Red Wings-Capitals set-up and overnight report: Wings finally get back to work amidst sticky wickets
The good part of the Red Wings' relatively "light" schedule of late involves the fact that the Wings have enjoyed three two-day breaks between what one can generously describe as a three-game slate of hiccups after the team's successful Western Canadian swing.
The Wings have had time to rest, to practice, and in the case of the Wings' most recent personnel moves--demoting Jordin Tootoo and waiving Patrick Eaves included--affording Johan Franzen (???), Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder, will return tonight) and Brendan Smith (who will return from his shoulder injury sooner than later) time to recover from their injuries.
Given the team's six-game home losing streak and status as winless in four, however, all that "free time" has yielded a downright poisonous atmosphere amongst a fan base that feels the team's summertime moves and previous signings are coming back to strangle the progress of its younger players, as well as a fan base whose recollections of last year's 48-games-in-99-nights demolition derby have yielded far less patience and much more intense concern when things go wrong during the course of an 82-game, six-and-a-half month marathon.
So the fact that the Red Wings are getting back to work with a home game against the Washington Capitals tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/CSN Washington/NHL Network/1270 AM) and a road tilt against the Islanders tomorrow (7 PM, FSD/MSG Plus) is...A huge *#$%@& relief for those of us who are tired of the warring and arguing among Wings fans, and want to see what the team can do to back their comments up on the ice.
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.