The Malik Report
I'm still trying to get up to speed blogging-wise after (well, during) a bit of a depressive episode, so:
If I were to suggest that there might be a hiccup in the Stadium Series game that you might want to account for in your Saturday night planning, I would suggest that you add an hour to 90 minutes to your scheduled viewing window (the game is on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports at 8 PM EST) for a weather delay.
The Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the alums were quite happy with the ice on Friday...
And the Wings and Avs won't be holding a morning skate to keep the ice under wraps (literally), but it's going to be 70 in Denver on Saturday, and the Wings held a short practice on Friday because the ice was too goopy to use. As the Windsor Star's Bob Duff noted, the team was concerned about the playing surface's condition:
I'm guessing that no matter what I post that has something related to Ken Holland these days, there's going to be some yelling and there's going to be some expression of frustration, so let's just get this quip out of the way given that the Wings probably won't make a deadline deal.
The Toronto Sun's Michael Traikos penned a column about Lee Stempniak's probability of getting dealt, and this quip from Holland stuck out:
“You believe you’re getting better and you believer you’re getting deeper, but there’s a certain chemistry that’s been there for 60 games in that locker room that you’re changing,” said Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, whose team went 8-10-2 after adding Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky at the deadline. “I don’t think our team played as well after we made the deals, but I don’t think it had anything to do with those players. It’s just that the chemistry changes.”
Traikos continues, and I've said it before and will say it again: if KH is really committed to the "transition," I would rather see him not make a move this year and force unerachievers like Tatar, Nyquist and Green to deliver on their primise--if not the current roster as a whole to come together.
The Avalanche defeated the Red Wings 5-2 in the alumni game, mostly because of Patrick Roy's goaltending (ugh, to bring up a dead horse and beat it)...
And the Denver Post's Mark Kiszla makes sure to let us know that the Draper-Lemieux spat isn't going away any time soon, either:
"I went on to play 1,000 games in the National Hockey League. I won four Stanley Cups. Did I expect what happened for our team and organization after I took that hit? Not at all. But if I had to take that hit to win four Stanley Cups, I'd do it again," said Draper, who blew a big bubble of pink gum as he was booed during introductions for the Stadium Series alumni game.
"You can tell this hit won't ever be forgotten. My teammates love me. And a lot of people hate me. I'm OK with that. For my teammates to like me and my opponents to hate me, I guess I did things right."
After all these years, the hate between the Wings and Avs is real. It's as impossible to erase as the scar still evident near the right eye of Draper. It was never Lemieux's intention to start a blood feud by smashing a foe's face. But apologize for the hate? Forget that.
"When the incident happened, people told me to apologize. And I said: 'An apology is not going to fix what has been done.' It's way too big," Lemieux said.
"I disliked a lot of guys. Hate is a big word ... Regardless of what happened on the ice, I never held grudges. But people tell me: 'That's easy for you, Claude. You were the one always causing the problem.' "
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek penned a lengthy column about trade deadline deals, and this one remains my favorite--as a biased observer:
Arguably, the most cost-effective trade-deadline deal was engineered back in 1997 by the Detroit Red Wings, when they landed defenceman Larry Murphy from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for future considerations. Murphy, who had previously played for Red Wings’ coach Scotty Bowman in Pittsburgh, helped the Red Wings win back-to-back Stanley Cups in his first two seasons with the team.
Nill, who was an assistant to general manager Ken Holland with the Red Wings when the deal went down, remembered how anxious the Leafs were to move Murphy.
Of all places, Denver's KUSA 9 posted some fantastic interviews with Wings alums, including Nicklas Lidstrom...
Darren McCarty--10 minutes' worth of "Mac"...
The Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game is on Fox Sports Detroit, Altitude, the NHL Network (outside of Chicago for some reason) and Sportsnet, and these may be the only highlights of the night, but they're good ones after 1:
Here are the player introductions, with Chris Chelios's, "Boo" and Darren McCarty's salutes peppering the mix...
And did someone say, "Goal, Yzerman?"
According to the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, Friday's Red Wings practice at Coors Field was cut short due to very poor ice conditions, and while the captain and the coach put on brave faces about tomorrow night's local 6 PM Mountain Time-starting game--and the 70-degree forecast...
If the game Saturday were to be postponed, it would be made up Sunday evening. But no one expects that to happen — at this point.
“It should be fine, it cools down to game time and no one will be on the ice (during the day Saturday) either, so it’ll be much better,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “If we can’t pass the puck, we don’t really care. But if it’s bad so we could end up injured, that’s when we have to have discussion what what to do. (But) I’m pretty confident that the ice will be good. I have no plans or thoughts about a postponement or moving it, or anything like that.”
Said coach Jeff Blashill: “I have no concern to be honest with you. We knew today was an impossible situation with the sun. They wouldn’t have scheduled a game during the day for that reason. We had to try to get a practice in and be able to walk on the ice, (but) we knew it was going to be impossible. We knew that when the sun is up and it’s 70 degrees, it was going to be hard to manage but we fully expect 100 percent the ice to be good tomorrow.”
The Wings did voice their concerns about the ice, with Darren Helm leading the way, as Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski noted:
The Colorado Avalanche preceded the Red Wings onto the ice at Coors Field in Denver--with today's practices serving as the only opportunity for the teams to acclimate to the outdoor ice surface--and the Avs reported that the glare from the sun and ice conditions were slight issues for an Avs team that will stick with its lineup from Wednesday's shootout win over San Jose.
The Red Wings hit the ice just after 1 PM MT to prepare for tomorrow's game...
Kris Draper appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Dery and Sharp show on Friday, addressing Adam Foote's comments regarding Draper, and while Draper spent a good portion of the interview expressing surprise at how quickly the story spread, Draper stated that he didn't want anyone to like him when he played, and if Foote disliked him, he had no problem with that.
Draper stated that he and Foote weren't exactly best chums, but he was more bemused with the way that the news spread through social media than he was concerned about anybody taking a piece out of him this evening, and he seemed most concerned with his kids dealing with dad being booed as a bad guy than anything else:
Both the Red Wings and Avalanche got their one practice on Coors Field's ice surface on Friday afternoon--as there is no morning skate tomorrow--and the Avs preceded the Wings onto 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.