The Malik Report
It can't be this *#$%@& complicated.
I would really love to be more eloquent or offer a better, "Let's rally the troops, it's gonna be okay" message this morning, but the Red Wings' fifth loss in five games (though the Wings are 1-and-4) and seventh straight home loss have me as frustrated as anyone else with the Red Wings' inability or unwillingness to close out opponents.
And at the 20-game mark, 9-5-and-6 plain old isn't good enough, regardless of the team's personnel changes, injuries or its status as a "young team" by Detroit standards.
While the Detroit Red Wings continue to struggle, their developmental affiliates and top prospects continue to roll along.
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins took a 5-3 decision over the Rockford IceHogs, and Tomas Jurco posited his first professional hat trick, Gustav Nyquist registered 3 assists and points 18, 19 and 20 over the course of only 14 games played, Calle Jarnkrok had 2 assists, Teemu Pulkkinen had a goal and an assist and the Griffins have won eight of nine, as the Griffins website's recap notes:
I am officially frustrated.
You start instead. The Wings blew a 2-goal lead in the 3rd period, yet again, Jimmy Howard received little support from his defense--this time literally getting pulled out of position by Brian Lashoff on the game-tying goal--and a predictable pattern emerged in the shootout, i.e. everybody tried their usual moves, and as such, Washington won 4-3 in a game the Wings had no business losing, yielding a seven-game home losing streak.
Jonathan Ericsson's return made the Wings' defense and transition game much, much better, despite Daniel Alfredsson's last-minute groin yank, the Wings' forwards were fine and Franzen was excellent, but the Wings can't seem to sweat the details of closing a game out or playing a solid 3rd period.
I'm baffled. You try to explain this one, because I'm really lost as to what the *#$%@& is going on right now. 0-1-and-4 over the last 5, with four striaght home losses.
The Red Wings are playing with seventeen skaters due to an injury whose severity depends on who you believe...
Updated 2x: Both Eaves and Glendening have been assigned to GR: This isn't all that surprising given how many teams are close to the cap. Patrick Eaves wasn't claimed on waivers, so the Red Wings have assigned him to Grand Rapids:
The Red Wings confirm:
Khan confirms in text form:
Updated 12x at 2:46 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to snap a 6-game home losing streak and a 4-game winless streak when they battle the Washington Capitals tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD/CSN Washington/NHL Network U.S/1270 AM), and as the Wings are playing a slate of back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow (against the Islanders, in Longs Island), the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's Tweet regarding the morning skate isn't surprising...
An optional skate at the Joe. Weiss on ice. He's been out with a groin. No Patrick Eaves. We'll see at noon if he's claimed off waivers.
Nor are the Tweets of MLive's Ansar Khan:
Optional skate today for Wings includes Stephen Weiss (groin) who's not due back until next week.
Patrick Eaves not skating as he waits to see if he's claimed off waivers by noon.
This one might hold more interest:
Red Wings-Capitals set-up and overnight report: Wings finally get back to work amidst sticky wickets
The good part of the Red Wings' relatively "light" schedule of late involves the fact that the Wings have enjoyed three two-day breaks between what one can generously describe as a three-game slate of hiccups after the team's successful Western Canadian swing.
The Wings have had time to rest, to practice, and in the case of the Wings' most recent personnel moves--demoting Jordin Tootoo and waiving Patrick Eaves included--affording Johan Franzen (???), Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder, will return tonight) and Brendan Smith (who will return from his shoulder injury sooner than later) time to recover from their injuries.
Given the team's six-game home losing streak and status as winless in four, however, all that "free time" has yielded a downright poisonous atmosphere amongst a fan base that feels the team's summertime moves and previous signings are coming back to strangle the progress of its younger players, as well as a fan base whose recollections of last year's 48-games-in-99-nights demolition derby have yielded far less patience and much more intense concern when things go wrong during the course of an 82-game, six-and-a-half month marathon.
So the fact that the Red Wings are getting back to work with a home game against the Washington Capitals tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/CSN Washington/NHL Network/1270 AM) and a road tilt against the Islanders tomorrow (7 PM, FSD/MSG Plus) is...A huge *#$%@& relief for those of us who are tired of the warring and arguing among Wings fans, and want to see what the team can do to back their comments up on the ice.
Thursday night was a bit of a "slow" evening for the Red Wings' prospects, but I've decided to separate prospect news from "big club" news, so you'll have to bear with me.
The Red Wings did assign Jordin Tootoo to Grand Rapids, and he'll be wearing #22 when the Griffins attempt to rebound from their 2-1 loss to Milwaukee when they host the Rockford IceHogs tonight (and the Griffins also play in Chicago on Saturday).
As I stated regarding MLive's Peter J. Wallner's conversation with Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, the AHL is a very different league than the NHL--a league where teams more or less have to carry a dedicated enforcer of some kind, and where fighting is not on the decline--so Tootoo is incredibly likely to drop his gloves more games than not.
While Tootoo thanked fans for their well-wishes...
This is a wee bit...Let's say into the proceedings, but DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that the Red Wings are taking part in "Movember," and they've joined a website to help raise awareness of and funds for men's health by growing moustaches:
Mustaches are sprouting throughout the Red Wings’ locker room in honor of Movember, an effort to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.
“I think it’s always important to bring awareness to anything of this magnitude,” forward Darren Helm said. “I mean we do the breast cancer thing, the cancer thing and it’s all very important for people to remember. It’s just a small thing we do to help and it’s just a fun thing to do.”
The players are having plenty of fun with the effort. The mustaches are growing at different speeds and angles, but two weeks into Movember there is already a clear frontrunner.
Roose continues, and concludes with the following:
This should be interesting, via RedWingsFeed: We're T-Minus 17 days until Daniel Alfredsson returns to Ottawa on December 1st. The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reports that the Senators plan on
allowing fans who are justifiably angry at him to empty their lungs of boos (hey, you're more than allowed to do it once, it happens), I mean pay tribute to #11:
The club still has time to decide on what kind of tribute they should give Alfredsson when he comes back to Ottawa with the Red Wings. No, they won't ignore the occasion just because words were exchanged after his departure.
"We'll do something. We don't know what we're going to do yet," said Senators president Cyril Leeder in a 1-on-1 interview with the Sun this week. "We don't want to advertise it. We've tried different things with (Matt) Carkner where we flashed on them on the bench during a timeout to give them enough time that they get some respect."
In Alfredsson's case, it would make sense for the Senators to do a video. One possible model the club may explore is what the Indianapolis Colts did when Peyton Manning returned with the Denver Broncos earlier this season. The club did a video highlights package when Manning came onto the field with the rest of his Broncos' teammates.
"They did something in the pre-game that allowed (the tribute) to take place before the game started," said Leeder. "We're looking to see if there's may be something we can do there that allows Daniel to be recognized by the fans.
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.