The Malik Report
The Red Wings- 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes was weird, man. Detroit was out-shot 47-19, and if you believe the scoresheet, out-attempted 89-35. Detroit was out-played for the vast majority of two periods, but it was Cam Ward who crumbled under a 3rd period workload that was far too difficult for him to handle; the Red Wings had little to no spark from any line not including Zetterberg, Abdelkader and Larkin, so Jeff Blashill astutely swapped out Larkin and Brad Richards to the tune of generating two goals...
Unlike a Mike Babcock team, in the first of 16 sets of back-to-back games, the Red WIngs' forwards and defensemen had the green light to go all the damn way offensively during the third period, unlike a "flat" Babcock team, the Red Wings found that extra gear...
And perhaps, "Like a Jeff Blashill" team, the Wings got not only clutch goaltending from Petr Mrazek but also clutch offense when they needed it most to steal two points from the Hurricanes and return to Metro Detroit both exhausted from their first set of back-to-backs and boasting an ugly but well-deserved 2-0 record.
It helps when you've got a captain that can do this (many thanks to AWood40)...
Back-to-backs. The Red Wings have 16 sets of them this season, playing almost every Friday and Saturday until American Thanksgiving, and back-to-backs tend to test teams' character and resolve.
The Wings kicked off their back-to-back-heavy schedule with a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night, and the win was anything but pretty--save the goals the Wings scored and the saves Petr Mrazek made en route to a 44-save performance, anyway.
Detroit looked exhausted and was out-skated, out-worked and out-hustled for the vast majority of the game, and when the Wings finally went down by a goal, Jeff Blashill's decision to place Tomas Tatar, Teemu Pulkkinen and Dylan Larkin together = 2 goals in 1:57 and a hard-fought victory that was made possible by Justin Abdelkader's "insurance" goal.
Updated 5x at 1:55 PM: The Red Wings take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight (7 PM on FSD/FS Carolinas/97.1 FM), and there were no surprises from the morning skate. Cam Ward will oppose Petr Mrazek, and CarolinaHurricanes.com's Michael Smith reports that the Canes will employ the following lineup...
The Hurricanes took to the ice first, as CarolinaHurricanes.com's Michael Smith noted:
Morning skate time for the #Canes on #Canes101015. Home opener vs. Detroit coming up tonight.
#Canes forward lines:
#Canes defensive pairs:
The Raleigh News & Observer's Chip Alexander also reported from the Canes' skate:
MLive's Brendan Savage offers this regarding Dylan Larkin:
He played for the United States in last season's World Junior Championship, was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year as well as a second-team All-American for Michigan, made his pro debut in the AHL playoffs and helped Team USA win a bronze medal at the World Championship.
In six AHL playoff games, he had three goals and two assists for the Grand Rapid Griffins, whose coach at the time was none other than Blashill.
Blashill wasn't surprised by Larkin's coming-out party.
"I thought Dylan played very well," Blashill said. "I talked to him before the game. He's pretty unflappable. He seems to be extremely mature as a young guy. He seemed ready to go. I didn't think he pressed, didn't think he tried to do too much,
"I thought he played hockey and he does it very, very well. It was a good line. I didn't know how he was going to do on the wing. That was the one unknown for me, not that he's never played it. He played it a little bit for us in the Calder Cup playoffs but I thought that line was real effective. It's a good first step for him."
Two options today, first is from awood40...
Below, the game in six minutes with the Sportsnet feed...
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins opened their 2015-16 season by playing the first AHL game in Bakersfield, California. While Tom McCollum stopped 39 shots and the Griffins nursed a 0-0 tie for over 58 minutes, the Griffins found themselves on the losing end of a 1-0 decision to the Bakersfield Condors thanks to a late goal from Andrew Miller and a would-be tying goal which the Bakersfield Californian's Mike Griffith reports was waved off:
Iiro Pakarinen broke down the right side and fired a shot at Tom McCollum from the circle. The rebound dropped in front of McCollum, and Miller was there to bang it past.
“Their goalie played phenomenal and so did ours,” Miller said. “It was going to be a gritty goal, and luckily we were able to take the puck to the net and I was able to get the rebound.”
The Griffins came storming back, with [Laurent] Brossoit making the first of his final three saves with 50 seconds left. Then came to the biggest save of the night as he somehow kept the puck out of the net with 31.4 ticks left.
There is video review in the American Hockey League, so fans had to wait, and wait and wait — it took about five minutes — before the referee finally ruled no goal.
“I knew 100 percent it wasn’t in, but because it was such a long review I started doubting it.” Brossoit said. “I asked the goal judge there and he said no and everyone else said no so after that I was pretty confident.”
Here's the Grand Rapids Griffins' game report:
The Detroit Red Wings hope to keep the good times rolling against the Carolina Hurricanes this evening (7 PM EDT on FSD/FS Carolinas/97.1 FM) despite having arrived in Raleigh at nearly 1:30 AM the morning after Friday's 4-0 Wings win over Toronto.
The Wings are playing an opponent for whom things can only get better: the Hurricanes dropped a 2-1 decision to the Nashville Predators on Thursday, and they lost James Wisniewski's services to a torn ACL along the way.
On Friday evening, the Raleigh News & Observer's Luke DeCock was attempting to accenetuate the positive from Carolina's Thursday effort, but he wasn't doing very well:
We might be getting a little ahead of ourselves when someone like Sportnset's Chris Johnston suggests the following...
Larkin could be a Calder candidate…All the talk surrounding Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel has been great for the NHL, but on the flipside it has overshadowed a handful of talented rookies, one of those being Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings. Larkin, the 15th-overall pick from 2014, had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut Friday as his Red Wings stomped all over the Maple Leafs. Larkin became the youngest Red Wing to score since Keith Primeau in 1991.
But this is pretty cool...
The angles, the lines, the incessant talk, mostly about the coaching staff, nearly five months of that ended when the puck was dropped at Joe Louis Arena this evening, and the Red Wings gave everyone something to talk about, defeating Toronto 4-0 on the strength of 3 Justin Abdelkader goals, one by Dylan Larkin and three assists by Henrik Zetterberg--and a shutout by James Tiberius Howard, all en route to a win that the Wings made look easy.
Not just that, but it was a 4-0 win where the Red Wings gave fans curly fries while trying very, very, very hard to not run up the score to half-a-dozen or more on a structure-less Maple Leafs team.
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.