The Malik Report
Ken Kal previews the Wings/Jets game tonight and you can hear from Xavier Ouellet and Petr Mrazek.
I'm still trying to get back on my feet, and when I read that Andrej Nestrasil had been claimed on waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes, I felt like I got punched in the gut--and in the heart. Andrej is one of the nicest human beings I've ever met and by far one of the kindest, most humble and hardworking human beings I've been graced by the game of hockey to get to know over the past five years...
But in a way, as much as it stings to know that the Red Wings lost a 6'3," 200-pound 3rd-or-4th-line forward, I'm happy for him. If the Hurricanes were one of several teams that put a claim in on Nesty, at least he's going to a coach who's familiar with him in Bill Peters and a team that's not going to sit him on the bench like the Wings were going to when Pavel Datsyuk gets healthy and Stephen Weiss very necessarily gets his chance to prove that he's more than a waste of $4.9 million a season (and I'm rooting for "Weisser" to get healthy and salvage himself, too).
No, the Wings don't have many other 6'3," 200-pound grinders with hearts of gold and, "I don't want to play in the KHL, I want to be a Red Wing" attitudes in the system.
And yes, to some extent, this is the fault of Ken Holland, Mike Babcock and the management team for re-signing Daniel Cleary.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The lineup will feature Petr Mrazek starting in goal, and defenseman Xavier Ouellet subbing in for Brendan Smith, who is out 10 days with an infected hand. Coach Mike Babcock has high regard for both Mrazek and Ouellet, two 21-year-olds who have impressed with steady play in prior appearances during call-ups from the minors.
Of Ouellet, Babcock said, "we just want him to come in, move the puck, go back, play like he can. He played real well for us in training camp. We didn't have any room for him. We called him up, we could have easy not put him in, but we just decided that he's played well for us."
The plan all along was to play Mrazek against the Jets, to spell Jimmy Howard.
"I don't believe you can play your starter every game," Babcock said. "I think the other guy has got to play between 15-20 games in our league. So every once in a while, you've just got to give the other guy an opportunity. Petr's played real well for us, it's kind of like with X, in exhibition, and we thought he was great in training camp. He gets an opportunity tonight."
St. James also has reaction of Nestrasil heading to Carolina...
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
"It’s going to be a good test for us," said captain Andrew Ladd. "But at the end of the day I think it’s our confidence in what we can do in here and how hard we play from our end out that’s key to whether we’re successful or not.
"We’ve found a formula that gives us success. You can see that everyone is excited to play every night and excited about what we can do. You don’t get that feeling of disappointment every night… we’re really good at rallying and getting back up and being positive about what’s going on, whether things are going good or things are going bad.
"The best teams in the league or that I’ve played on are always great defensively. That’s the starting point that we need to nail down. We’ve done a good job of cementing what we need to do from our end out and that’s got to continue to be our backbone, regardless of whether we’re scoring goals or have the offence clicking every night. We know that that defence is there and it’s something we can fall back on and win a game with."
a bit more...
Media on site in Winnipeg say Pavel Datsyuk is not skating, all other Wings are.
Updated as needed...
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has claimed forward Andrej Nestrasil on waivers from the Detroit Red Wings. Nestrasil will join the Hurricanes on their current road swing which continues tonight at Los Angeles.
“Andrej is a young player with good size who we feel can contribute to our group of forwards,” said Francis. “He has improved in each of his pro seasons and took a big step last year with Grand Rapids.”
via Bob McKenzie tweets,
Will be interesting to see if players on waivers today -- TOR Matt Frattin and DET Andrej Nestrasil -- get claimed tomorrow.
Another year to go on contract, with cap hit of $800K, may work against Frattin but Nestrasil is 23-year-old on one-year deal at $550K.
Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha spoke with WDFN's Matt Sheppard on Tuesday, discussing what we'll call his delayed NHL debut, his recovery from his first major injury in the broken leg suffered during the team's prospect tournament and his self-improvement targets as he "turns pro" with the Grand Rapids Griffins:
I willupdate this post as needed.
added 1:26pm, Mrazek starts tomorrow...
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.