The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings will resume practicing after an "off day" on Thursday, and a team that's dropped successive games to Phoenix, San Jose (albeit by a shootout decision) and then Ottawa on Wednesday needs to get its offensive and defensive acts together as soon as possible if the team hopes to improve upon a suddenly-middling 6-4-and-1 record.
The Wings' task in terms of salvaging 3 out of 6 points on their 3-game home stand will be difficult: the New York Rangers come to town on Saturday (7 PM, FSD/MSG/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM, and Saturday is the Wings' Hockey Fights Cancer game) with a 2-and-6 record, and they'll have Cam Talbot in net instead of the mysteriously-injured Henrik Lundqvist, but the Rangers are angry after having dropped a 2-1 decision to the league-worst Flyers on Thurdsay, having been denied a game-tying goal in the third period, as the New York Daily News's Pat Leonard noted...
I got into something of a Twitter tiff regarding the play of one Stephen Weiss, because I'm with the Free Press's Helene St. James regarding the fact that we've all ignored Weiss's status as having neither played in more than 17 games nor probably having returned to full strength--or confidence--regarding his surgically-repaired left wrist (perhaps exacerbated by the broken pinky he's apparently playing trough)--as factors in Weiss's incredibly slow and bumpy adaptation to the Red Wings' system of play...
But I cannot deny that Weiss, who's admittedly struggled to find his stride while learning Mike Babcock's incredibly strenuous-on-centers defensive system (as well as the Wings' puck possession system as opposed to the Panthers' dump-and-not-chase system from age 18-30), has struggled. Weiss has 2 goals, 2 penalty minutes and is a -6 over the course of 11 games played with the his second NHL employer, and the "by comparison" stats to the players he's succeeded aren't pretty:
I wouldn't normally post this in a Red Wings blog, but Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock may be "brothers in arms" in one respect--now that HBO's released the details of its Winter Classic lead-up coverage, the coaches know that they're going to be protagonists in the series...
And both of the coaches are only participating in a public dissection of their coaching techniques and sharing of some of their trade and scouting secrets because they have to, as Carlyle told the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran:
“I’m just dying for this to happen,” said Carlyle, his voice dripping with irony.
Boudreau, formerly coach of the Washington Capitals, became a bit of a cause celebre for his profane language when the HBO crew filmed the Caps dressing room for the 2011 Winter Classic. So as he prepares for his closeup, Carlyle says he’ll watch his language.
“In the environment that’s created within the room, I hope that I have enough patience and enough wherewithal when those times come to not embarrass myself,” said Carlyle.
I don't think that Babcock's going to five a flying *#$%@& about what people have to say about his *#$%@& swearing, but he has all but literally recoiled when discussing the concept of laying his coaching style plain for international critique.
NHL Chief Operating Offcier John Collins doesn't believe the HBO's 24/7 (which the NHL will also air on Sportsnet in Canada) is a "necessary evil," however...
I've been pretty vocal about a) the concept that the civil suit between Steve Moore and a list of defendants which includes Todd Bertuzzi, Marc Crawford, Brian Burke, Orca Bay Sports and the NHL will continue to be delayed until the Red Wings forward retires; b) that I don't believe his early-season play or on-and-off-ice importance to the team indicate that the 38-year-old's retiring anytime soon; and c) that I'm not exactly thrilled with the way that one of the most prominent lawyers in Canadian legal history, one Tim Danson, is handling the case--willingly delaying it to put the whole dang league on trial and to maximize the payout...
So I'm not surprised that the Moore-Bertuzzi lawsuit's "current" trial date was recently changed to September 8th, 2014, with the CBC's Michael Drapack reporting that the trial will take three months before it goes to a jury...
Today, the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons, who's covered the legal wrangling from the outset, spoke with Danson about the news, the delays and the aims of the $38 million lawsuit:
Red Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on Detroit Sports Radio 105.1 FM's Matt Dery show earlier this afternoon, and they both posted Dery's interview with Ken Holland on their webpage and made the MP3 of the interview available to KK and TMR.
Holland discussed the Wings' struggles to find secondary scoring, their loss to the Senators and the progress of the team thus far, ad he addressed the statuses of Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves and their soon-to-be-made-necessary roster moves, which Holland hopes will allow the team to recall Gustav Nyquist, who's currently sidelined in Grand Rapids due to an undisclosed injury:
Per the Red Wings' community relations department:
RED WINGS FORWARD DREW MILLER TO VISIT CANTON CHARTER ACADEMY ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON
... Wings School Assembly Program Set to Make 115 Visits During 2013-14 Season ...
DETROIT - Red Wings forward Drew Miller will visit Canton Charter Academy in Novi, Mich., on Friday, Oct. 25, as part of the Detroit Red Wings School Assembly Program sponsored by the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and The Kroger Company of Michigan. The program will take place from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. in the school gymnasium.
Miller and the Red Wings School Assembly Team will introduce more than 750 students to the sport of hockey through a youth street and floor hockey initiative. The Wings will provide equipment and hands-on instruction to familiarize kids with the sport of hockey and to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.
Upated 2x at 2:48 PM: Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related news stories, subsequent to the Wings' 6-1 loss to Ottawa, and during what is probably a CBA-mandated "off day"...
The Red Wings won't play again until Saturday, and the Grand Rapids Griffins open a set of 3 games in 3 nights by hosting the Charlotte Checkers on Friday, so Xavier Ouellet's driving back up I-96 today:
RED WINGS SEND OUELLET TO GRIFFINS
… Defenseman has Played One Game with Detroit, Five with Grand Rapids as First-Year Pro …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned defenseman Xavier Ouellet to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Ouellet, 20, made his NHL debut with Detroit on Monday, recording one shot, one hit and 17:15 of ice time in a 1-0 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks on Monday. A first-year pro from Bayonne, France, Ouellet has also suited up in five games for the Griffins, registering two assists and a plus-one rating. Last season, he skated in 50 games with the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, recording 41 points and earning a spot on the QMJHL First All-Star Team for the second straight year. He finished his major junior career with 160 points (41-119-160) in 223 games from 2009-13 with Blainville-Boisbriand and the Montreal Juniors.
Scott Burnside of ESPN is in the middle of an online chat, here is one Wings related question...
What do you make of the Red Wings? On paper and vs. some top teams like Boston, we look like a Cup contender. Then other nights like last night vs. Ottawa or Phoenix, we look lost. Whats you take?
Scott Burnside Yes, weird up and down start for the Wings. Injuries continue to dog them and for a team that relies on a kind of blue line by committee it doesn't take much to upset the rhythm there. Not sure Stephen Weiss is completely comfortable yet - I remain skeptical he'll be the kind of point-producer the Wings expect him to be - combined with a completely new conference of teams and different style of play from the west and I think it adds up to uneven results. Lots of time though for Mike Babcock to get this team into a groove.
In case you missed the news at the KK Hockey section, here is some information on HBO's 24/7.
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.