The Malik Report
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
Here's how the Red Wings stack up this week.
• USA Today: 10th, down from seventh last week. What they're saying: "Jimmy Howards groin muscle injury gives goalie Petr Mrazek a chance in the spotlight."
• ESPN.com: 11th, same as last week. What they're saying: "Oh, boy, the loss of Jimmy Howard could be have a big impact. Let's see how the Red Wings respond."
• NHL.com: Ninth, up from 10th. What they're saying; "Not only do the Red Wings lead the League in fewest shot attempts allowed per 60 minutes at even strength (45.0), they have been even better at suppressing them since Dec. 1 (42.8). They've also upped their output at the other end slightly."
• CBSSports.com: 11th, up from 12th. What they're saying. "This is the part of the rankings where it gets tricky. The Red Wings await news about Jimmy Howard's groin injury. If he's out an extended period of time, the Wings could be in a world of trouble."
even more rankings...
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
The Sabres not only retired the No. 39 Dominik Hasek wore during nine seasons in Buffalo, but Mrazek got to meet his childhood idol and fellow Czech Republic native on the ice after the pregame ceremony before going out and recording his sixth victory of the season.
It's a day the 22-year-old netminder will never forget.
"It's nice when you meet the legend and the goalie who did so much stuff for country and for himself," Mrazek said. "He won everything he could. I just say congratulations to him for what he did. I think if I were to meet him now, we would talk a little bit more.
"It's Dom's number on the puck so I'd like to keep it. It's nice to have these memories. I have every puck from junior championship or from the Calder Cup Finals. So I rescue every puck I can. It's nice to keep.
"I have it for the rest of my life."...
The idea to go up and shake hands with Hasek didn't wasn't Mrazek's but instead came from coach Mike Babcock, who coached "The Dominator" in Detroit during the final two seasons of his legendary 16-year NHL career.
from Amy Moritz of the Buffalo News,
There’s no need to soften the blow. Those first few years of professional hockey were a struggle for Sanborn native Tom McCollum. The numbers weren’t good for the goaltender. He kept shuffling between the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League. His one NHL appearance was forgettable.
Frankly, it wasn’t looking good for the former first-round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings.
But when things got bad, he kept working, went back to basics and found the stepping stones back to success.
Re-signed by Detroit over the summer, McCollum has put together a solid season for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. Injuries necessitated his call-up by the Red Wings for Tuesday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres in First Niagara Center. But every opportunity is part of the adventure of a pro hockey career. Especially when that career got off to a rocky start and doubts about future opportunities loomed large.
This is more than a little disappointing to those of us who knew that there was a gem of a franchise playing in the Detroit's Western suburbs, but once USA Hockey snagged Compuware Arena, Peter Karmanos made no bones about the fact that he was willing to move his Plymouth Whalers due to their ever-flagging attendance, and the Windsor Star's Bob Duff reports that OHL fans will now have to go to Windsor, Sarnia, Saginaw--or Flint--to get their fix:
The Plymouth Whalers are expected to announce the sale of their franchise to IMS USA and the relocation of the Ontario Hockey League franchise to Flint, Mich., at a press conference slated for Wednesday at 11 a.m.
IMS USA, a Florida-based group, took ownership of Flint’s Perani Arena Dec. 31 with the announced goal of bringing a major tenant to the building for the start of the 2015-16 season.
“We are in high-level negotiations with the OHL at this time,” IMS USA president Costa Papista said. “Our goal is to bring the very highest calibre of hockey to Flint and Genesee County in time for the 2015-16 season.”
Perani Arena seats 4,021 for hockey, with standing room for an additional 400.
“I want to bring in top-level hockey to the area,” IMIS USA technical director Rolf Nilsen said. “It’s a good thing for hockey fans and a good thing for Flint and Genesee County.”
Duff continues, and I received an email stating that Karmanos will be at the presser, so...
It wasn't elegant, it wasn't perfect, and Detroit didn't exactly run rampshod over the Buffalo Sabres, but the Wings' 3-1 win was a bit unconventional--with Kyle Quincey posting a 2-assist night, the Stephen Weiss-Darren Helm-Teemu Pulkkinen line playing most consistently overall, and Petr Mrazek making the saves he had to--and as such, the Wings were able to take 2 points from Buffalo on Dominik Hasek's jersey retirement night.
Hey, he won the Cups in Detroit, and while this slightly injury-depleted Wings are a particularly young and slightly jittery team, getting back on track in the point-earning department was essential as the Wings' six-game road trip slowly comes to a close, and Detroit earned the points they needed to while not making the game too "interesting" in terms of energy-depletingly underestimating the Sabres' pluck on a night when there some actual pride on the line.
Media reports also state no lineup changes expected from the Wings.
So not much news today.
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Tuesday's start against Buffalo will be special for Mrazek, a native of the Czech Republic, who'll start opposite fellow Czech Michal Neuvirth on the evening former Sabres and Red Wings Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek, another Czech, will have his No. 39 retired by the Sabres.
"That was my hero growing up," Mrazek said. "It'll be special for everyone in here who played with him.
"I never met Dom. It's going to be my first time (meeting Hasek). He was special. He played with a definite style. When we were younger and playing on the streets or playing outside for fun, we were either Hasek or Jaromir Jagr (another Czech legend)."
more on Mrazek...
I did not see anything from Detroit's media contingent but this via tweets from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
I should note we talked to Babcock and the Wings. They practiced here at FNC today. Auto show in Detroit so they came here to work out.
#RedWings thrilled to be the opponent for Hasek ceremony. Said Henrik Zetterberg: "It's going to be special for me to be a part of that."
#RedWings coach Babcock on Hasek: "He gave Buffalo an opporutnity to win every night. He was an absolute star and did it his own way."
So really not a very newsworthy day but I will keep you posted especially if there is an update on Jimmy Howard.
from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,
"Well, too much up and down," Ericsson said, when asked to evaluate his season. "I want to be more consistent.
"We are playing against the best lines every night. And, of course, everything's not going to go as you want, every night.
"I like the challenge to get out there against the best guys, and I'm just trying not to look too much at what I've done and more at what I want to accomplish. And I want to be more consistent and more reliable."
Ericsson says his bothersome hip is better this year, after the Wings staff and others with whom he consulted devised a training program geared to improve the situation, which made it difficult to walk after some games last season.
He said he was happy not to require surgery.
"If it can just stay like this the whole season, I am really happy because I was afraid of how it was going to be this season," he said.
more plus other Detroit notes...
If there is any additional information tonight on Howard, I will update this post.
added 6:20pm, via Brendan Savage of Mlive,
Goaltender Jimmy Howard will undergo another medical test to determine the severity of the groin injury he suffered Saturday night in Washington.
Howard underwent an MRI Sunday afternoon and general manager Ken Holland told MLive in a text message that team doctors want an ultrasound performed Monday "so we have a better read on his injury."
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.