The Malik Report
Ken Kal has your game preview from Ottawa.
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Everyone on active roster is skating today for the Wings in Ottawa, including Kronwall and Weiss, who were shaken up the previous game.
Looks like Andersson, Cleary scratched
Looks like Kindl will be scratched
The Wings have activated Jimmy Howard and reassigned Tom McCollum to Grand Rapids.
added 12:31pm, Khan tweet,
Weiss said he's been cleared and is ready to play tonight. Kronwall feels good but said he needs to be cleared by the doctor tonight.
Ansar Khan of Mlive answers some questions regarding a few of the Wings' prospects...
- Pulkkinen is tied for the AHL lead with 15 goals in 28 games and ranks fourth in points (30).
He won't be waiver-exempt next season, so the Red Wings must find a spot for him on their roster or move him. I don't see why he wouldn't be in Detroit permanently in 2015-16. He has a tremendous shot and he's right-handed, something the organization lacks.
- I think Pulkkinen will get an opportunity with the Red Wings at some point this season.
First, a roster spot needs to be freed up due to injury. Then the club must decide whether to use a current roster player, like Daniel Cleary or Joakim Andersson, to play in that spot, or bring in a player with a different dimension, like Pulkkinen.
That part is coach Mike Babcock's call, depending on who he would rather have in the lineup. They're not going to put Pulkkinen on the fourth line. He needs to be with skilled players who can get him the puck.
- The Red Wings had talked a month ago about possibly bringing up Mantha after he had played a few weeks in Grand Rapids. But he needs more time in the AHL, so it's doubtful he'll be up anytime soon.
Still, they probably want to see him play a few NHL games later this season.
T'was the night before Christmas, and...Well, it's not a night for poetry, so:
The aunt's theory was simple: in a house where the only alcohol that exists is a bottle of cooking sherry and a terrible-tasting acai-berry cocktail that's never going to be opened, her sister had been asking for Rob Roys forever, so, on Christmas, she'd make one (as many of you know, I'm something of a Shirley Temple connoisseur).
As gag gifts go, this one kept getting shuffled to the bottom of to-do and shopping lists, and because the aunt rarely gets out, it became the, "Well, when you're out without your mother" (which happens once in a literal blue moon), "You'll go and get a bottle of Canadian Club and some Maraschino Cherries" albatross of the Christmas shopping season.
The NHLPA managed to carve out a holiday break that prohibits any sort of team activity (other than flying to and from games) from and including the dates of December 24th to December 27th as part of the 3rd owners' lockout, and while I know that some of you rather DESPERATELY wish you could be watching hockey instead of interacting with your relatives...
The longer break means no more flying back home on Christmas eve to spend time with your family, only to fly out on the evening of Christmas Day for teams that are trying to squeeze in family time during road trips, nor retail-style Christmas Day flights to and fro to take part in Boxing Day matinees (which are a little more pointless than usual thanks to both the expansion of Bowl Week and the World Junior Championship's popularity).
I'm going to work on a catch-up post of some sort this evening, but in the interim, the Wings posted a "Happy Holidays" video focusing upon the team's charitable efforts...
The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with the Wings' "Europeans" about their Christmas traditions...
Update: SoDakWingNut with art:
The Red Wings' 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres was a gorgeous result negating a horrific, hideous, gross and disgusting start.
The Red Wings' 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres might not be more if the team doesn't keep 'er going after this.
The Wings' 6-3 win included losing Stephen Weiss to a head injury and Niklas Kronwall to an "upper-body injury" whose severity we will find out sooner than later;
The Wings' 6-3 win happened despite Jakub Kindl playing so hideously badly (with Brendan Smith not far behind) that, had Kronwall not gotten smeared, Kindl might be finding himself waived and Grand Rapids bound come December 28th.
It was gorgeous, it was exciting, it was wonderful to see Detroit rally from a 3-1 deficit, to see Detroit score 4 power play goals and to see Johan Franzen snap his scoring streak, but this is a "conditional" win--conditional upon improved performance as the Wings begin a road-heavy second half schedule after the break.
Edit/update: This is a relief:
Via Pro Hockey Talk's Dhiren Mahibian, here's the hit:
Niklas Kronwall got sandwiched by 2 Sabres early in the 2nd period and left the game...
Red Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM on Tuesday afternoon, speaking with Braylon Edwards and Sean Baligian about the return of Stephen Weiss, the Wings' shootout issues and his philosophies regarding developing prospect slowly:
The Buffalo Sabres have actually gone 5-4-and-1 over their past 10 December games, and they're at least in the process of attempting to regain playoff footing, so ahead of tonight's game (7:30 PM start on FSD/MSG B/97.1 FM; Stephen Weiss is back for Detroit but Jimmy Howard remains sidelined), Wings coach Mike Babcock told the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness that the Sabres are to be underestimated at one's peril:
"They gave everyone a tough game,” Babcock said. “They win too much. Everyone was talking about (Connor) McDavid was going there or (Jack) Eichel was going there. It doesn’t look like either one is going there.”
Buffalo has 29 points and just nine points out of the playoffs.
“Those guys play hard,” Babcock said. “They’re organized and check real well. They make it hard on you. They made it hard on Boston last night. When you’re not scoring like we are so everyone is hard. So let’s get ready like we did last night for 60 minutes and eventually everything is going to turn.”
The Sabres are an injury-depleted team that dropped back-to-back games to Colorado and Boston this past weekend, so the Buffalo News's Mike Harrington reports that the Sabres will debut highly-heralded prospect Joel Armia this evening:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Stephen Weiss will return to the lineup tonight for the Detroit Red Wings against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena (7:30, Fox Sports Detroit), but goaltender Jimmy Howard will allow his sore groin a few more days to heal.
Weiss has missed four games with a shoulder injury. As with anyone coming back after sitting out more than a week, Weiss said he'll try keep his shifts short and play simple.
"Just get to the net and try to find loose pucks and create some chaos in front of the net and hopefully bang some in," Weiss said.
Weiss scored twice on Nov. 24 vs. Ottawa, after sitting out a month with a groin strain. The Red Wings are 8-1-2 when he's in the lineup.
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.