The Malik Report
The Red Wings' 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night yielded both a "series split" in the teams' home-and-home exhibition-ending tilts (on Friday, Detroit defeated Toronto 5-2 in a battle of NHL lineups) and what I can best describe as mixed signals from the Grand Rapids Griffins-heavy lineup battling an almost equally green Leafs team.
As I noted in the quick take, you could expect Mikael Samuelsson to look like, well, himself, but witnessing not only Drew Miller and Jakub Kindl, but also Cory Emmerton, Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff mail in their performances was downright odd, because that trio has very little job security.
People say that I make far too big a deal of preseason games, and I won't deny that fact while admitting that I'm disappointed in the Red Wings' effort in a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Both teams' rosters were miles away from the players who skated in Friday night's 5-2 Wings win, but the players who played the most indecisively and were most guilty of mailing it in weren't Jarnkrok, Pulkkinen, the goal-scorer Callahan or Sproul, Ouellet, Sheahan, Jurco, or even Hoggan or Paetsch, who all gave their all, just like Mrazek (who was near-heroic) and Coreau (who had no chance on the goal that beat him).
When every player on the Red Wings' roster is healthy, the team will have 3 extra forwards and a Capgeek-estimated overage of $2.387 million to clear off their salary cap figure to become cap-compliant as well as compliant with the NHL's 23-man roster rules.
The Red Wings are not healthy, however--Darren Helm is still slowly making his way back from a back injury, complicated by a groin injury, Jonas Gustavsson has a tweaked groin, Patrick Eaves sprained his ankle and tweaked his MCL in an accident at practice, and Jordin Tootoo may or may not be ready for the season opener after bruising his shoulder.
I can't rule out the Wings waiving a player or sending Gustav Nyquist to Grand Rapids before his waiver-exempt status expires with two NHL games played, but it is incredibly likely that the Wings will avail themselves of long-term injured reserve exemptions, as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan suggests:
Both the Red Wings and the Maple Leafs are dressing relatively prospect-laden lineups when the teams battle in Toronto this evening (7 PM, CBC/NHL Network U.S.), with Petr Mrazek and Jared Coreau slated to split duties (per MLive's Ansar Khan) opposite James Reimer. The Leafs hope to gain a measure of revenge for their 5-2 loss to the Wings on Friday night.
The NHL Network claims that it's going to air tonight's game, but we have yet to find out whether they'll "flip the switch":
Th CBC's gearing up for its regular season "dress rehearsal"...
From the Red Wings:
The Detroit Red Wings today announced that they have agreed to terms with goaltender Jake Paterson on a three-year entry-level contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.
Originally selected by Detroit in the third round (80th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Paterson has spent his entire career with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League. In 100 career games with the club since 2010, the 6-foot-1, 183-pound netminder has compiled a 47-38-10 record, a 3.45 goals against average, a 0.904 save percentage and two shutouts. He also sports a 6-10 postseason record alongside a 3.64 goals against average and a 0.890 save percentage.
A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Paterson also represented his country at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, but he did not appear in game action. Prior to entering the OHL full-time, Paterson spent most of the 2010-11 season with the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, posting a 10-2-1 record in 13 appearances with a 2.95 goals against average and two shutouts.
Updated 6x at 6:20 PM: The Detroit Red Wings are sending a gaggle of Griffins to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs tonight (7 PM EDT, CBC/NHL Network U.S.; the Griffins are also playing the Lake Erie Monsters in Plymouth tonight at 7, and the teams will play in Windsor on Sunday night), and the Fan 590's David Alter reports that the Leafs may dress soething of a "B Team" as the Leafs hope to rebound from the Wings' 5-2 drubbing on Friday night:
The Wings already had defensemen Adam Almquist, Xavier Ouellet, forward Tomas Jurco and goaltender Petr Mrazek on their roster, and they inked defenseman Nathan Paetch and forward Jeff Hoggan to pro try-outs and then recalled defenseman Ryan Sproul, forwards Teemu Pulkkinen, Calle Jarnkork, Mitch Callahan and Riley Sheahan, as well as goaltender Jared Coreau.
Given the Red Wings' call-ups from Grand Rapids, Detroit's taking a "B Team" up the 401 to Toronto to battle the Maple Leafs this evening (7 PM EDT, CBC/NHL Network U.S.), and minus both stars and a precautionarily-sat Stephen Weiss, the Wings' youngsters will face an NHL-heavy roster and an agitated Leafs team after dropping Toronto 5-2 on Friday night at the Joe.
Looking ahead to get it out of the way (I guess this is your "set-up"), I'm sure that the Grand Rapids Griffins' exhibition games against the Lake Erie Monsters tonight in Plymouth and tomorrow in Windsor will be entertaining affairs, and the Hockeytown BrewHaHa at the Joe might interest the beer-and-street-food enthusiast, but given that the Wings' lineup will largely consist of Luke Glendening, Teemu Pulkkinen, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, Mitch Callahan and Jeff Hoggan up front, and Xavier Ouellet, Adam Almquist, Ryan Sproul and Nathan Paetsch on defense, with Petr Mrazek scheduled to start and Jared Coreau backing Mrazek up...
I would generaly include this in the overnight report, but as Red Wings fans have become so very accustomed to preseason injuries mounting, and as Stephen Weiss suffered a tweaked groin in the Wings' 5-2 win over Toronto, MLive's Ansar Khan provides some reassurance regarding the state of #90's groin:
Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss said he is “100 percent'' certain he will be ready for the regular season opener on Wednesday, after sitting out the third period of Friday's 5-2 preseason victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I feel pretty good,'' Weiss said. “Just a little something going on there, decided to shut it down in the third and make sure we're ready for Wednesday.''
If you're heading to the Air Canada Centre to watch the Red Wings take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night (7 PM, CBC/NHL Network U.S.), you might want to know that the Red Wings' lineup that dominated Toronto en route to a 5-2 victory won't necessarily be the one skating at the Air Canada Centre...
Because the Wings, who already have Tomas Jurco, Luke Glendening, Xavier Ouellet and Petr Mrazek on their roster, called up 9 players to play at the ACC:
RED WINGS RECALL EIGHT FROM GRAND RAPIDS
Detroit, MI... The Detroit Red Wings today recalled forwards Mitch Callahan, Calle Jarnkrok, Teemu Pulkkinen and Riley Sheahan, defenseman Ryan Sproul and goaltender Jared Coreau from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Additionally, the Red Wings signed forward Jeff Hoggan and defenseman Nathan Paetsch to professional tryouts. With the moves, the Red Wings’ roster now stands at 40 players. The team will wrap up the preseason with the second game in a home-and-home set against the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road tomorrow (7 p.m.).
Updated 3x with video and good news about Weiss and Babcock's presser and stats and stuff at 10:49 PM: There was a wee bit of bad news during the Red Wings' 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but it involved ye olde precautionary pull as opposed to anything major (hopefully, anyway)...
Update: From WXYT: Babcock to St. James: They hope Weiss's not hurt, they yanked him as soon as he was sore, they think he'll have a good start/be good teammate. So the emphasis on Weiss is "precautionary." That's good news.
Update #2: Good news again:
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.