The Malik Report
Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front with a post-skate update on Datsyuk,
Pavel Datsyuk appears to be getting closer to returning from his lower-body injury.
“Good,” Datsyuk said when asked how he felt. “I can skate now. It’s much better. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. (It’s) not walking up, it’s when I skate. I feel better every day. (I) can’t say anything more.
“It’s much better now,” Datsyuk continued. “(I’m) looking forward to skate tomorrow and it’s day-by-day. (I’ve had) too many injures this season, maybe it’s my age. I also have lots to think about my game.”
more including Ericsson excited to return to tonight.
from Brian Stubits of CBS Sports,
The injury issue is very real but that doesn't mean other issues aren't present. For one the Wings don't scream greatness down the middle. Get past the awesome Pavel Datsyuk and you're talking about a center corps that has Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist (who has been most productive of this bunch), Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss among a few others who have popped up from the AHL. Weiss was supposed to be the No. 2 guy but he's been felled by the old injury bug and before that was having a dreadful beginning to his Wings career with four points in 26 games.
There is also the issue of a lack of offense from the blue line. Niklas Kronwall is fourth on the team with 29 points but among defensemen Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl are next with a whopping 11. The defensemen not named Kronwall have combined for a goal and six assists on the power play, a power play that is 22nd in the NHL at 16.8 percent. It's pretty apparent Niklas Lidstrom isn't back there anymore.
It all helps to explain why the Red Wings, the high-powered Red Wings just a couple of seasons ago, are 23rd in the NHL with 2.45 goals per game. When we adjust for the goal that absolutely should not have counted against LA as it was scored by the mesh above the boards, the Red Wings have scored six goals in the past six games -- three coming in one game.
Updates will be posted as needed.
added 10:57am, Beat writers say Ericsson tells them he is in tonight.
added 11:06am, Khan tweets,
Kindl still skating, so it looks like he is a healthy scratch tonight.
added 11:10am, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune tweets,
Defenseman Brendan Smith says Red Wings want "redemption" against #Blackhawks for last season's playoffs.
added 11:12am, Khan on Datsyuk,
Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front with an update after practice,
Howard was in getting treatment and said he has fluid on his knee and that he didn’t think the injury was as serious as the MCL sprain he suffered last month.
He injured the knee making a save in the first period on a Blues’ power play.
“As the game went on in the second period it just got stiffer and stiffer,” Howard said. “I’m hoping short term. It’s not as serious as it last time in Tampa.”
Howard, who will get re-evaluated in a week, missed eight games after suffering the MCL sprain during practice.
“First and foremost is getting the knee healthy for this organization,” said Howard, who added he wasn’t concerned about missing the Olympics. “It is frustrating. You’re moving in the right direction, you feel you’re doing all the right things and we were doing all the right things. It’s just bad luck, I guess.”
more plus other injury news...
added 2:18pm, Khan with his post-practice update, Gusttavsson cleared to play and Ericsson is possible for tomorrow...
I guess I have to report this, via the AP...
Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard left the game against the St. Louis Blues midway through the second period with what the team called a lower-body injury.
Howard, who is one of the U.S. Olympic team goalies, was replaced by Petr Mrazek after making 22 saves. Detroit was trailing 3-1.
Howard is 9-11-8 with a 2.58 goals-against average. He stopped all three shots he faced in the tiebreaker to lift Detroit to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Because Mickey Redmond suggested that he was ill, not suffering from a tweaked groin or hip flexor, all of Twitter and even Roberto Luongo have been making "poopy" jokes over the last 30 minutes. At this point I am HOPING that Howard's ill and not injured.
via Kan tweets,
Babcock said Emmerton wasn't available anyway because he hurt his hand the last game. Ericsson is due back Wednesday, Babcock said.
Daniel Alfredsson (lower back inflammation) said he feels better and hopes to start skating in next couple days.
No update on Datsyuk. Doctors told him to stay off ice for a few days to see how injury responds. Working out off-ice.
Franzen continues to skate but not full-out. Still not feeling well and no way of knowing when he'll be better.
Helm says he's playing tonight.— Chuck Pleiness (@wingsfrontman) January 20, 2014
Darren Helm's return to the line up tonight could be the energy boost that the Detroit Red Wings have missed. Coming off of a game of bizarre puck luck the addition of Helm will be another step in the right direction for Detroit.
Update: Make that 2-and-1...
More than a few Red Wings fans readily agreed that Niklas Kronwall's game-tying goal en route to the Wings' 3-2 shootout win over Los Angeles shouldn't have counted...
But instead of lamenting the off-the-net-and-in goal as a disgrace to the league (believe me, Tomas Holmstrom's former employer's fan base tends to strongly support the concept of making every "discretionary" call on a scoring play reviewable by the NHL's War Room, and we wish that the GM's and Board of Governors agreed with us), we thought, "Huh, now we're even."
Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels remembered the play immediately, stating that it happened against the Sharks in 2008; my friend Brian did some digging and found the exact incident--February 29th, 2008--and Paul and SYF dug up the clip of Devin Setoguchi scoring the 3-1 goal in what would end up as a 3-2 San Jose Sharks win over the Wings on Leap Year Day, as well as the larger reaction to the goal.
The highlight clip isn't fantastic, but fewer bloggers had their DVR's hooked up to their laptops back then:
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