The Malik Report
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
John Hynes has already received plenty of early attention as a possible Jack Adams Award winner for his work with the New Jersey Devils.
Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien also has to be on that list, along with Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff. The Washington Capitals’ Barry Trotz also should to be among the favorites for coach of the year. The class of deserving candidates is large.
But my pick goes to Detroit Red Wings first-year coach Jeff Blashill.
Blashill’s first NHL head coaching job comes with overflowing pressure, and somehow he has managed to guide the Red Wings to the seventh-best record at 14-8-4.
From the Red Wings:
Ken Holland and Jeff Blashill earn victory for bell ringing
Red Wings 10th Annual Competition Raised $13,699 for The Salvation Army on Friday, Dec. 4
DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland and Head Coach Jeff Blashill earned a victory in the team’s 10th annual bell ringing competition on Friday night, as the four groups of Red Wings players, personnel and alumni brought in a grand total of $13,699.17 for The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.
During a two-hour span of bell ringing at Kroger in Plymouth, Holland and Blashill raised $6,086.13 for the nonprofit to win the bell ringing competition. Holland has now been a member of the winning team in nine of the last 10 years that the Red Wings have joined forces with The Salvation Army.
Updated substantially at 3:26 PM: So the Red Wings held an optional morning skate ahead of tonight's game against Nashville (7 PM EST on FSD/FS Tennessee/the NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM), and the Predators' skate revealed that Paul Gaustad will return from an injury as Petr Mrazek and Pekka Rinne face off in the nets.
After the skate, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Joakim Andersson regarding any "rust" that he might feel after spending most of the month in the press box (or, technically speaking, riding a bike in the locker room):
The Red Wings will attempt to extend their points streak to 10 games against the Nashville Predators this evening (7 PM on FSD/FS Tennessee/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM), but facing Pekka Rinne and old "friends" In the Predators won't be easy.
The Wings hit the ice just after 10:30 AM for their morning skate, and the Free Press's George Sipple reported that the Wings took an optional...
Optional skate today.
As did MLive's Ansar Khan...
Optional skate for #redwings. Few players on ice.
#redwings expected lines:
Of Red Wings-related note:
In the AHL, Xavier Ouellet had 2 assists, Andreas Athanasiou scored a highlight-reel goal (which you can see below) and Jared Coreau stopped 31 shots as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Chicago Wolves 3-1. The Griffins' website posted a recap...
The 14-8-and-2 Detroit Red Wings have a particularly stiff task on their hands when they face off against the 13-18-and-4 Nashville Predators this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/FS Tennessee/NHL Network U.S. with the Center Ice/GCL blackout/97.1 FM).
Detroit is on a 9-game points streak (6-0-and-3) as they welcome a Predators team that's in a 2-5-and-1 slump, having most recently dropped a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday, and Nashville's lost 3 of their past 4 games, but as you and I both know from the Wings' long and colorful history with the Predators, Pekka Rinne tends to have his best games against Detroit.
It wouldn't be surprising at all if enough sparks remain from the Wings-Predators rivalry for Nashville to bring their absolute best against the Wings this evening.
The Grand Rapids Griffins held "90's Night" on Friday, and as part of their promotions, they had Mitch Callahan (who is from California), Eric Tangradi (who's from Philadelphia), Andreas Athanasiou, Colin Campbell and Griffins play-by-play man Bob Kaser re-enact the theme song from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. This video is...most certainly...singular. And Athanasiou's got rhythm:
Red Wings players and coaches served as guest bell ringers for The Salvation Army on Friday, raising a grand total of $13,699.17 in a two-hour period.
Head coach Jeff Blashill and general manager Ken Holland earned the most of the four groups, bringing in $6,086.13 in Plymouth.
The team of Luke Glendening, Riley Sheahan, and Dylan Larkin collected $3,901 in Farmington Hills, while Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm took in $3,283 in Troy. Rounding out the group was Hall of Famer Larry Murphy, who raised $429.04 in Birmingham.
During the ten years of the "Red Wings for Red Kettles" campaign, the team has raised over $113,000 for The Salvation Army.
WXYZ posted a video of the event:
From the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
What shocked me the most when I first set out to write the 50 Greatest Red Wings was that no one had been bold or foolish enough to previously undertake this endeavour. As with any list, the contents are always open to debate. These are my rankings. They don’t have to be yours. Here’s a rundown of my top five Red Wings of all-time and why I slotted them where I did.
#2 surprised the heck out of me:
2. Nicklas Lidstrom: No. 2 with a bullet aimed directly at me by some among the Red Wings faithful who see no one else in this spot other than Steve Yzerman. Well, here’s why I slotted Lidstrom ahead of Yzerman in a close call. The seven-time Norris Trophy winner was considered the best defenceman of his generation and if you were ranking the 50 greatest defencemen, Lidstrom would be near the top of the heap. Yzerman was never considered the best centre during his NHL days, playing in the shadows of Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. To put an end to the debate, it was Yzerman who called Lidstrom the best player he ever played with. Case closed.
Updated 3x at 3:29 PM: The Red Wings conducted a short practice on Friday, reuniting the Eurotwins ahead of Saturday's game with Nashville and bringing Joakim Andersson and Tomas Jurco back into the lineup due to Drew Miller and Teemu Pulkkinen's injuries.
We begin this "practice article" post with a few more Tweets, from the Free Press's Helene St. James...
Petr Mrazek starting Saturday.
And MLive's Ansar Khan:
Blashill said Mrazek starting and same defense tomorrow. So Kindl remains out.
Khan posted a video of Blashill's off-day comments regarding Pulkkinen and Miller's injuries...
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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.