The Malik Report
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star at Canada.com,
Twenty-three straight years as a playoff team. Four Stanley Cup titles. Six Cup final appearances. The Detroit Red Wings are the NHL’s benchmark franchise. General manager Ken Holland discusses the formula that’s made Detroit such a success.
Q: What do you think is the key to Detroit’s long run as an NHL playoff team?
Holland: Good players. You need good players. Up until two years ago, we had one of the best defencemen in the history of the game in Nick Lidstrom. When Nick retired, I think he finished sixth in Norris Trophy voting that year. Anytime you’ve got a dominant player on the back end like Nick who was really able to defy Father Time and win Norris trophies — the first thing you always want to have is a dominant defenceman.
The last two years we haven’t had Nicklas Lidstrom and at the same time, we lost Brian Rafalski and Brad Stuart, so we’ve been what I’d call a bubble team. But I’m proud that we’ve been able to find a way to stay above the bubble rather than below the bubble.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
"He's really demanding, but he's really well prepared," Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said of his coach. "When you're playing an opponent, you know what to do, you know what they're doing and you go out and play."
Zetterberg likened how the Wings would handle Babcock's contract status to how the team would handle that of a star in his free-agent year.
"We just think we'll have a good year here with him and if next year he's not, we had a good run, and if he is, we'll keep doing good things," said Zetterberg.
Many believe Babcock would consider turning the Leafs around to be a bigger challenge.
Babcock however said all the right things about staying in Detroit....
Babcock said the challenge for him is keeping things fresh in Detroit.
"I think sometimes when you've been here a long time the challenge is to re-invent yourself, to go outside, and to cross-pollinate information," said Babcock. "I spend way more time trying to me CEOs of other companies and try to take it into our own business. Hire new people. We've had lots of changes in our coaching staff. We've had lots of new ideas from our staff this year, which I think is important...
Helene St. James tweets,
Mike Babcock on his future with #RedWings: "I don't think it's going to be my final year here. If it is, it is."
Mike Babcock on his future with #RedWings: "My relationship with my general manager is such that the grass isn't greener on the other side."
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Lines tonight: Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, Miller-Andersson-Cleary, Porter-Weiss-Callahan, Abdelkader-Nosek-Nestrasil.
Petr Mrazek is playing the first two periods tonight. Tom McCollum in third.
Darren Helm (groin) said he feels better and hopes to play Wednesday.
I will post the defense when available.
added 12:14pm, via Khan,
Wings defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Brendan Smith didn't skate today and are day-to-day with groin/hip flexor issues.
added 12:30pm, via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Kyle Quincey-Ryan Sproul
Xavier Ouellet-Alexei Marchenko
Aaron Rome-Nick Jensen
Ansar Khan of Mlive answered some questions from fans...
Q: Are the Wings getting any closer to signing Babcock to an extension?
A: Babcock and general manager Ken Holland had brief discussions during training camp and plan to talk more in-depth later this week or on the weekend – or so the club hopes.
That's when the Red Wings are expected to make a formal offer, after ownership gives final approval on the term and salary.
I've thought all along that Babcock will keep his options open and see what's available after the season. But if the Red Wings make him an offer he can't refuse, maybe he'll sign.
However, I don't think money will be the issue, because he'll probably be the highest-paid coach wherever he winds up. I think he'll want to go to the team he believes has the best chance of winning in the next few years, whether that's Detroit or somewhere else.
Q: I'm not surprised that Darren Helm is injured again. Why can't he stay healthy? Do you think his injury issues, coupled with their depth at center, might convince the Wings to trade him?
A: He suffered a broken nose in the preseason opener last Monday, but a sore groin caused him to miss a couple of practices last week. He's listed as day-to-day, but this type of injury often lingers.
I don't believe they would look to move him. He's had a bizarre 2½-year stretch with a variety of injuries, but he's still a valuable player when healthy because of his speed and tenacity. He provides a unique dimension. Babcock had big plans for Helm, using him on Pavel Datsyuk's line in training camp.
added 1:45pm, from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Nyquist left Saturday's 3-1 loss to Boston with a dinged right leg after a knee-on-knee hit, but general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that Nyquist isn't expected to miss much time. The Wings host Toronto Monday in an exhibition game.
Nyquist was thoroughly examined by team doctor Douglas Plagens after the game and "Dr. Plagens said there was no significant injury," Holland said Sunday afternoon. "I'm assuming he's sore, but Gus hasn't reached out to anybody saying his knee has ballooned up.
"It looked scary at the time but the initial word is that it looks like a day-to-day, short-term injury."
more plus some Alfredsson talk from Holland...
Preseason games aren't televised in some markets for a variety of reasons, including attempts to not conflict with other sports' schedules (see: Fox Sports Detroit's Tigers campaign), to get people to come to the rink (to pay full prices for exhibition games) and generally because the cost exceeds the benefit.
I wish that I had some sort of replay to show you what the hell happened to one of the Red Wings' most important players at the end of Detroit's 3-1 loss to Boston on Saturday, but for now, we're going to have to take MLive's Ansar Khan's word for it:
Forward Gustav Nyquist left the game in the final minute with an apparent leg injury and was receiving treatment afterward.
General manager Ken Holland said, "Looks like he's going to be OK, we'll know more tomorrow."
Update: The Free Press's Helene St. James confirms:
The Red Wings dropped a 3-1 decision to damn Ville Leino and the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, and afterward, the team sent six players to Grand Rapids--Marek Tvrdon, Jared Coreau, Jake Paterson, Tyler Barnes, Nathan Paetsch and Brennan Evans. The former trio had no chance of making the team and the latter trio were on pro try-outs and are signed to AHL-only deals.
For whatever reason, the Wings' remaining roster still includes Joe Hicketts, who's playing for the WHL's Victoria Royals presently. Sorry for the screenshot; the formatting on this release was...interesting.
RED WINGS REDUCE ROSTER BY SIX
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned forward Marek Tvrdon and goaltenders Jared Coreau and Jake Paterson to Grand Rapids and released forward Tyler Barnes and defensemen Brennan Evans and Nathan Paetsch from their tryouts.
The Red Wings’ roster now sits at 49 players, as the team squares off in its fifth preseason game (2-1-1) on Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:30 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.
PLAYERS ASSIGNED TO GRAND RAPIDS ON 9/27/14
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Brian Lashoff won't be the odd-man out, however. His job is safe.
"Lash isn't in any trouble," coach Mike Babcock said before Saturday's preseason game against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena.
"Lash trained like crazy," Babcock said. "Lash is smart. Lash does a good job penalty killing. Lash is what he is."...
"There's a spot on the team for everybody, and everyone just assumes that when a new guy comes he's taking over for one of the guys on the fourth line (or bottom defense pairing)," Babcock said. "No. You do what you do. We're looking for guys who can move the puck. So it isn't necessarily that they (defense prospects) are slotting in this role."
Babcock said the same applies to Jakub Kindl, meaning don't expect him to be replaced by a young defenseman.
"We're in the market for a top-four D," Babcock said. "We're dying to give it to somebody. There's lots of minutes for you."
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.