The Malik Report
Red Wings-Panthers set-up and overnight report: undermanned Wings hope to earn first win vs. Florida
After a practice which yielded a mixed bag of injury news, the Detroit Red Wings flew to Florida to both kick off their fathers' trip and battle a pair of vexing opponents ahead of the Winter Classic.
The Red Wings will battle the Panthers this evening (7 PM on FSD/Fox Sports Florida/NHL Network U.S. with the cursory Center Ice and GCL blackouts/AM 1270; of course HBO's 3rd episode of 24/7 will air at 10 PM) and the Nashville Predators on Monday (8 PM on FSD and AM 1270), knowing that the Maple Leafs are breathing down the Wings' necks in the Atlantic Division (Toronto's 4-3 shootout win over Buffalo on Friday tied the Wings' 43 points, though the Wings have a game in hand), and knowing that the Panthers have defeated the Wings twice--the Wings lost 2-1 on December 7th and 3-2 in a shootout on December 10th.
The Detroit Red Wings will be very busy away from Metro Detroit until Tuesday, and their roster's in flux ahead of tonight's game against the Florida Panthers and Monday's tilt against Nashville...
So I'm not exactly going to cover the Hockeytown Winter Festival in detail (I will be attending the Griffins-Marlies game on Monday, the Alumni Showdown on Tuesday and the Winter Classic itself, so that's where I'm going to focus my coverage), but I can't deny that I've had a smile on my face watching the local news stations report that the Coke Zero Fan Zone has exceeded expectations (with all of the NHL's trophies minus Monday and Tuesday's guest, the Stanley Cup, in attendance, and Wings alums like Mickey Redmond and Nicklas Lidstrom signing autographs).
The Red Wings themselves posted a video promoting the Hockeytown Winter Festival...
As you probably already know that Jake Paterson will start for the Canadian World Junior team when they tangle with the Czech Republic today at 11:30 AM (on TSN; Paterson and Canadian teammate Anthony Mantha are the only Wings prospects taking part in the tournament), the Red Wings prospect whose team took part in the biggest game on Friday didn't actually play in his team's game.
Wings prospect Mike McKee (who the Kalamazoo Gazette's David Drew reports is transitioning from defense to forward) was watching from the press box as Western Michigan University defeated Michigan 3-2 in overtime at the Great Lakes Invitational, setting up a championship match-up with GLI defending champions Michigan Tech (who defeated Michigan State 3-2) at 7 PM tonight (WMU's website reports that the game will be streamed on FoxSportsDetroit.com and will be shown on tape-delay at 10 PM; the MSU-Michigan consolation game will air at 3:30 on FSD, and yes, this yields more than enough parenthetical expressoins for one entry).
I'm reluctantly posting this as a separate entry because the player in question is taking part in the Red Wings' Alumni Showdown, and I'm posting it because the end of his playing career seems to be taking the same pattern of intrigue and mystery with which his NHL career began:
Over the past four months, CSKA Moscow GM Sergei Fedorov's navigated what turned out to be a professional comeback on Friday with a finely-tuned general manager's worth of wordplay and double-entendres, and after helping CSKA Moscow defeat the Rochester Americans 4-3 at the Spengler Cup, he engaged in a little show-and-hide with the Russian press.
The AHL posted a press release confirming that Monday's Griffins-Marlies game will be televised--with the game airing on Sportsnet in Canada, not the CBC--and I recieved word that Sunday's Whalers game will be televised as well...to some extent.
Here's the AHL's press release:
AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE OUTDOOR GAME TO BE TELEVISED LIVE FROM DETROIT
Red Wings and Maple Leafs affiliates to square off at Comerica Park Monday
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League has announced that Monday evening’s regular-season outdoor game between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies will be televised live to audiences across the United States and Canada from Comerica Park in Detroit, Mich.
The seventh outdoor game in the American Hockey League’s 78-year history will take place Monday, December 30, at 5 p.m. ET, as part of the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival, which leads up to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. The Griffins and Marlies are the top development affiliates of the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, who will play at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Wednesday.
In the U.S., Monday’s game will air live on FS Detroit, which is available in Michigan and surrounding areas on most cable systems as well as nationally on DirecTV channel 663, Dish Network channel 412/5430 and AT&T U-Verse channel 737/1737. In Canada, the broadcast will air live across the country on Sportsnet in all four of the network’s broadcast regions.
Updated 10x at 3:40 PM: The Hockeytown Winter Festival, the Alumni Showdown and Winter Classic are all taking place over the next six days, but the Detroit Red Wings themselves won't be trying out "Snowilla" or watching Jake and Dean Chelios take part in the Great Lakes Invitational tonight (Michigan Tech plays Michigan State at 3:30 on FSD and Michigan vs. Western Michigan at 7 on FSD Plus) or tomorrow.
The Wings get back to work today ahead of a pair of games in Florida on Saturday (7 PM start against the Panthers on FSD) and in Nashville on Monday (8 PM start against the Predators on FSD), as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted...
Christmas break is over for the #RedWings who are back practicing this morning at Joe Louis Arena. They play in south Florida on Saturday.
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reported both good and bad news regarding the team's injury situation:
The Hockey Hall of Fame will have to wait two more years to welcome Sergei Fedorov, because, after three months and an inordinate amount of hype, Fedorov resumed his professional career as a GM-turned-player skating for CSKA Moscow:
The Spengler Cup is an annual tournament that takes place in Davos, Switzerland, and Fedorov and CSKA are playing against the Rochester Americans presently.
Via the IIHF, here he is:
Update #2: CBS Sports' Chris Peters posted some Fedorov photos.
The Red Wings will resume practicing today ahead of a pair of games in Florida on Saturday (7 PM on FSD) and in Nashville on Monday (8 PM on FSD Plus), with the team hoping to rebound from a difficult loss to the Islanders and hoping to welcome back at least some of Henrik Zetterberg (back), Darren Helm (shoulder), Jimmy Howard (knee), Justin Abdelkader (concussion) and/or Johan Franzen (concussion) prior to the Winter Classic...
But Downtown Detroit will be hopping with other hockey action today as the Hockeytown Winter Festival kicks off with a pair of Fox Sports Detroit/FSD Plus-aired Great Lakes Invitational Games (Michigan Tech vs. Michigan State at 3:30 and Michigan vs. Western Michigan at 7; Wings prospect Mike McKee plays defense for WMU) at Comerica Park.
MLive's Gus Burns posted the Hockeytown Winter Festival's schedule...
The Red Wings' prospects got back to work on Thursday, and while Anthony Mantha's hat trick for Canada at the World Junior Championship stole the show, the Wings' Swedish and AHL prospects were busy on Thursday, too.
For the Grand Rapids Griffins, Boxing Day was an unpleasant day. The Griffins dropped a 4-1 decision to their nemesis, the Milwaukee Admirals, and Tom McCollum got pulled after giving up 4 goals on 16 shots, Teemu Pulkkinen both scored a goal and absorbed a thundering bodycheck, and putting things delicately, the Griffins opened up a two-games-in-two-nights slate (they play in Rockford tonight and then host the Toronto Marlies at Comerica Park this upcoming Monday before going back indoors to tangle with Toronto on New Year's Eve) losing to a bitter rival.
There's a simple rule about merchandise regarding any large sporting event: If it's priced too good to be true, it's probably fake.
That most certainly applies to the Winter Classic jerseys, hats, t-shirts, banners--hell, WDIV reports that the Detroit Sports Commission is selling the street pole banners currently adorning streetlights on Woodward and Jefferson Avenues for $150 a pop--everything that could possibly have a Red Wings, Maple Leafs and/or Winter Classic logo has been made, but the "real stuff" and the "fake stuff" are surprisingly similar and both mostly made in China these days (easy tip-off #1: Reebok no longer makes merchandise with an "RbK" wordmark; they use a full "Reebok" script, so if you see "RbK" logos, it's fake).
The Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby reports that the NHL's going to conduct a pre-event crackdown on counterfeit stuff sold in both Detroit and Ann Arbor...
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.