The Malik Report
The Red Wings haven't even completed practice today at Joe Louis Arena, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness may have posited all the news you need to know given that the team won't play again until they begin a slate of 3 games in 4 nights (and 5 in 8) against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday:
Something tells me that Datsyuk's practice habits will mirror Henrik Zetterberg's pre-surgery pre-playoff practice habits--i.e. #13 won't practice very often between now and the end of what's hopefully some sort of playoff run.
MLive's Ansar Khan also confirms:
The Red Wings' post-Olympic schedule is certainly...Different. After playing back-to-backs in Montreal and Ottawa this past Wednesday and Thursday, the Wings will return to practicing today with no game scheduled until Tuesday's road tilt in New Jersey...
But Tuesday's game kicks off a set of 5 games to be played over the course of 8 nights, including next Thursday's Nicklas Lidstrom jersey retirement night against the Avs; the Wings then host the Devils on Friday the 7th; after a day off, Sunday the 9th's home game against the Rangers is now a 12:30 PM EDT start to accommodate NBCSN (Spring Forward, boo!), and the Wings will tangle with a Wild Card playoff spot rival in those damned Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday the 11th.
After a two-day break, the Wings will play every other day for the rest of March (i.e. 10 games over the course of 18 nights), and the Wings will play 7 games in 12 April nights--including a pair of back-to-backs--to close out the season. The schedule gets particularly Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference-heavy (the Wings have 6 of their remaining 22 games against Western foes), though the Ott-and-Miller trade certainly throws a local flavor into the end-of-the-season road tilt in St. Louis...
As I'm behind by a few days, this will be something of a "prospect catchy-uppy" post, and I'll try to separate "tonight's" results from previous nights' events, on a league-by-league basis, as per usual:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins are spending the weekend in lovely Abbotsford, British Columbia, tangling with the Calgary Flames' AHL affiliate, and the opener of their back-to-back slate of games yielded a favorable result by the narrowest of margins. The Griffins blew 2-1 and 3-2 leads but emerged with a 4-3 shootout win thanks to a 31-of-34-shots and a 7-of-8-shootout-shooter-stopping performance by one Petr Mrazek.
The Griffins' website recounts the game's details...
Update: Wrong blog--I'm a little worn out after the first day back--but let's just say that this is the Tomas Holmstrom rule in action: Via Pro Hockey Talk's James O'Brien, the Minnesota Wild defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in a shootout on Friday night, but a certain Brad Meier (remember him from the Olympics?) waved off a Keith Ballard goal because, uh...Erik Haula was standing in the approximate vicinity of Eddie Lack:
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo reports that the Wild were baffled by the call:
Again, Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame are live-Tweeting tonight's MSHOF induction ceremonies, but a little gratuitious Nicklas Lidstrom-with-Tom-Leyden interview time (via RedWingsFeed) is never a bad thing--and there's an, "AWW" moment at the end, too:
I believe that Lidstrom's doing some autograph-signings in the area this weekend before next Thursday's jersey retirement.
Update: These guys look good:
One last catchy-uppy post, as I follow Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame live-Tweeting the 2014 Induciton Class joining the MSHOF (including one Nicklas Lidstrom, guest-starring Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall)...
Sometime in the middle of my uber-anxiety attack, I managed to hop on to the internet to check my email, I saw that ESPN had posted an Insider-only entry listing the "Top 25 trade targets" regarding next Wednesday's deadline, and ESPN's Craig Custance and Frank Provenzano suggested the following regarding a 28-year-old defenseman making $4 million (with a $3.775 million cap hit) in the last year of a 2-year, $7.5 million contract:
Hopefully this is my last "late to the party" post: The Grand Rapids Griffins are hosting a game to help raise funds for cancer research on March 7th, and this weekend, the Toledo Walleye are hosting a pair of games to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity:
5th annual Pink in the Rink weekend: March 1-2!
Join the Toledo Walleye, ProMedica Cancer Institute and Komen for the Cure of Northwest Ohio in the fight against breast cancer. These special game nights will focus on generating awareness of the disease and supporting efforts to find a cure as we celebrate survivorship.
SATURDAY, MARCH 1: 7 p.m.
- Ice surface will be painted pink
- Pink 'Design-A-Sign' activity
- Pink Glow Wands to the first 2,000 fans
- Postgame skate on the pink ice; skate rental available for $5 with 100% of the proceeds to benefit Komen
This is a bit belated but it's certainly worth noting: According to the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner, there was a reason that the Red Wings temporarily recalled Ryan Sproul prior to knowing whether Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson would be good to go for Wednesday's game against Montreal--and this is "bummerrific" news regarding a prospect who grew by leaps and bounds during his North American pro debut, to the point that he was the Grand Rapids Griffins' representative at the AHL's All-Star Game:
Alexey Marchenko, who made the AHL All-Star Classic with the Grand Rapids Griffins and is one of Detroit’s top defensive prospects, is expected to miss the rest of the season following an ankle injury.
Ryan Martin, the Red Wings assistant general manger, said Wednesday that Marchenko will have surgery "in the next couple days" for a severe high ankle sprain that occurred in Sunday’s game with the Griffins at Milwaukee.
The worst thing I can say about Nicklas Lidstrom, close to two years after he retired, is the truth: From every indication I've read over the past twenty-two months, Lidstrom has consistently and repeatedly stated that he is very, very happy being retired, enjoying the heck out of coaching kids' hockey for his alma mater, Vasteras IK, and living in a gorgeous house with a lake-front view.
Ahead of next Thursday's #5 retirement ceremony, the Red Wings published two articles, first offering a superb "By the Numbers" look at Lidstrom's career, and this afternoon (via RedWingsFeed), re-posting Bill Roose's year-old conversation with a...SIGH...Incredibly happily retired Lidstrom...From last February.
I can assure you that Lidstrom, whose work with Vasteras IK's 13-year-old's team amounts to a 5-day-a-week job in his words, hasn't changed a lick in terms of his enjoyment of his new role or his desire to retain showcasing his hockey skills on a rink full of kids who weren't born until after Lidstrom won his first Stanley Cup:
As an FYI--albeit a belated one--from the Wings:
NICK LIDSTROM JERSEY RETIREMENT NIGHT DETAILS ANNOUNCED FOR MARCH 6 GAME
… Puck Drop vs. Colorado Avalanche Moved to 8:00 p.m., Pre-game Ceremony Set for 6:30 p.m. …
DETROIT– The Detroit Red Wings announced today a game time change for Nick Lidstrom Jersey Retirement Night, presented by Flagstar Bank, on Thursday, March 6. The club’s 133rd consecutive sellout, originally posted as a 7:30 p.m. start, has been pushed back to 8:00 p.m. to accommodate the pre-game ceremony retiring No. 5 in honor of defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
Doors to Joe Louis Arena will open at 5:30 p.m. and fans are encouraged to arrive early for the game, as the pre-game ceremony will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will conclude by 7:20 p.m., and the game against the visiting Colorado Avalanche will begin at 8:00 p.m.
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.