The Malik Report
Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard's new mask mostly pays tribute to the City of Detroit, but WXYZ's Brad Galli duly noted that its backplate's American flag-themed background wouldn't be out of place atop a Team USA jersey.
The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Howard about his uphill battle in terms of out-dueling Jonathan Quick, Ryan Miller, Craig Anderson and Cory Schneider for one of three available spots on Team USA's 2014 Olympic roster (depending on the "expert," Howard's either expected to back up Quick, duke it out with Anderson for the #3 spot or not make the team at all).
Howard told St. James that he understands the first three-or-so months of the regular season will determine whether he'll book a ticket to sunny Sochi...
Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington has been doing an Eastern Conference preview over the summer. Today he takes a look at the Wings.
Our take: The Red Wings will trade in their bitter rivalries with the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues for new ones with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. And that’s a good thing.
The Red Wings barely got into the playoffs last season, but they’ll tighten the Eastern Conference playoff race and that could be a bad thing for a handful of bubble teams. Detroit will miss the playmaking abilities of Valtteri Filppula, but they’ll get a boost of offense from second-line center Stephen Weiss and veteran winger Daniel Alfredsson, who is hoping to win his first Stanley Cup after 18 years without one in Ottawa.
Strong up front and average on the blue line, the Red Wings will rely heavily on U.S. Olympic team candidate Jimmy Howard between the pipes.
Overall, the Red Wings will benefit from playing most of their games in the Eastern time zone and would make for an interesting first-round playoff opponent in their new conference. But it won’t be easy getting there.
The Red Wings' prospect tournament starts next Thursday in Traverse City, preceding the main camp on September 12th, and even though the Wings' roster contains half the players that took part in the summer development camp, jamming eight teams' worth of rosters into one rink = as it turns out, the rental semitruck becomes the equipment room.
NHL.com kindly shared the top 50 player ratings for EA Sports’ upcoming NHL 14 title on Friday, so that naturally opens the door for outrage and excitement.
Obviously, the first few guys represent familiar faces, with Sidney Crosby and Pavel Datsyuk tied for the highest (active) player ratings at 95 each. Here’s a screenshot of each players ratings, so you can dispute someone’s speed or hand-eye coordination in the comments:
Here's Datsyuk (click to "embiggen"), listed 2nd behind Crosby...
Daniel Alfredsson made his first "official" (at least media-viewed) appearance at Joe Louis Arena on Friday, and after taking part in an informal skate with the Wings, he spoke with Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner about his acclimatization process...
“It felt good to finally come here and skate,” Alfredsson said. “It’s been a few months since I signed, and the only thing that has happened is moving the family. We arrived yesterday, and coming here, skating with the guys, almost makes it feel that it’s real now. I’m excited to be here, and I’m really looking forward to this challenge and what I can do for the team. Hopefully, I can have a good year.”
Updated 2x at 3:08 PM: Once again, the Red Wings' players took part in an informal skate at Joe Louis Arena this morning...
#11 appears to have shorn his locks, too:
Goalie mask-painting maestro Ray Bishop revealed Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard's 2013-2014 season goalie mask this morning, and Howard's lid has a very specifically Detroit-related theme:
So the Shelby Mustang's gone, and instead, the Spirit of Detroit's raising Detroit's skyline. Very, very cool stuff, especially given what the city's going through and the rest of his gallery's available on Facebook (and yes, I know that SI's Allan Muir posted the mask art at the same time, but I had the thing bookmarked after an inadvertent quick-look leak last night).
I spoke with former Michigan State University goaltender Jeff Lerg during the Red Wings' summer development camp, but between the workload and the nutso summer, the story got away from me. This is quite belated, but especially given that the Red Wings just released their prospect tournament roster with no goalie under Jake Paterson's 6'1" on their roster, and given that Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples recently reported that a similarly-diminutive goalie in U of M's Matt Hunwick just retired...
I don't usually transcribe radio interviews, but TMR readers have an incredibly regular
argument, I mean flame war, I mean debate, as to whether Red Wings GM Ken Holland and Mike Babcock all but come to blows regarding player personnel, and I'm happy to say that Babcock resolved that issue while speaking with The Fan 590's Greg Brady and Jim Lang, he addressed that issue directly:
From the Red Wings' PR department:
RED WINGS RELEASE 2013 NHL PROSPECTS CAMP ROSTER… Eight NHL Teams Face off Next Week at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich. …
Detroit, MI... Hundreds of potential future NHL players will hit the ice next week, as the Detroit Red Wings will host their annual NHL Prospects Tournament at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich. from Sept. 5-9. This year’s roster includes the Red Wings’ top pick from each of the last four NHL Entry Drafts in Riley Sheahan (21st overall in 2010), Tomas Jurco (35th overall in 2011), Martin Frk (49th overall in 2012) and Anthony Mantha (20th overall in 2013). Mantha also headlines a group of four players from the 2013 NHL Entry Draft who will be in attendance. Prospects from the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues will also be competing in this year’s tournament.
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.