The Malik Report
Updated 12x at 4:21 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to tangle with the unbeaten (6-and-0) Colorado Avalanche tonight (9 PM, FSD/Altitude/1270 AM), it looks like it's going to be one of those hype-filled days...
Dater's referring to his story about the Avalanche's hopes of setting a team record while Roy takes what Dater describes as his "first swing" at Detroit while coaching the Avs, and the Denver Post suggested that the city's pro sports teams are without real rivals, necessitating a little old-rivalry-drumming-up for the sake of stirring the hornet's nest.
Updated 2xat 4:36 AM: While I made up for five hours of sleep at night with a wee afternoon nap, Paul noted that one Patrick Roy is preparing to welcome the Red Wings to town for what may be the team's biggest "barometer" game of the young season tomorrow.
It turns out that the Wings did not practice on Wednesday afternoon (thus the non-practice practice post), choosing instead to fly to Denver and acclimate to altitude instead of practicing before tomorrow's game against the 6-and-0 Avalanche (9 PM EDT, FSD/Altitude) and Saturday's rematch with the Coyotes (9 PM, FSD/FS Arizona: see also Phoenix delivering Detroit an embarrassing 4-2 loss last Thursday)...
And I don't care whether Patrick Roy's coaching the Avs or whether he's going to sign Claude Lemieux to a one-game pro try-out for tomorrow night's game. If you're not geared up to play a team that can establish a team record for its best start ever, and if you've had trouble against that team over the last 4 of 5 years (last season excluded), you sure as hell better be geared up to play the home and streak-wrecker.
I mentioned this in the Mrazek demotion post, but it probably deserves its own entry, given that InGoal Magazine posted a dedicated article to the news: goalie mask artist Ray Bishop placed the Spirit of Detroit on Jimmy Howard's mask, and painted a pink ribbon-themed helmet for Howard to promote the Wings' breast cancer awareness night.
Today, Bishop revealed the artwork for Petr Mrazek's mask on his Facebook page, and he chose to channel Detroit's other famous sculpture in Joe Louis's fist:
Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha was named the QMJHL's "First Star" after registering 10 points over the course of two weekend games, and, via RedWingsFeed, he earned the nod as the best player of the past week in the QMJHL, OHL and WHL:
The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Detroit Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha of the Val-d’Or Foreurs is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending October 13 after recording 10 points in just two games scoring five goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-7.
Mantha exploded offensively recording back-to-back five-point games helping the Foreurs earn a pair of victories last week to extend their winning streak to five straight games. On Friday night Mantha scored twice and added three assists as first star of a 6-4 win over the Drummondville Voltigeurs, then netted a hat-trick with two assists on Saturday as first star of a 6-5 overtime win over the Sherbrooke Phoenix.
Mantha, a 19-year-old from Longueuil, Quebec, is playing in his third QMJHL season with the Foreurs. A first round pick of the Red Wings, selected 20th overall in 2013, Mantha just recently signed an NHL entry-level contract and currently leads the QMJHL in scoring with 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points in just nine games.
Update: While we're at it, Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson engaged in a Q and A with the Saginaw News's Cory Butzin. It's a bit of fluffernuter, but it's an enjoyable read:
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Avs coach Patrick Roy, a centerpiece of the great rivalry with fights at center ice in Detroit with Wings goalies Mike Vernon and Chris Osgood, called it the best rivalry of his career — even better than the heated games he played against provincial rivals from Quebec while a Montreal Canadien.
Roy has a message for Avalanche fans: Show up at the game Thursday. In recent years, the Pepsi Center has had a lot of Red Wings jerseys in the stands, and Roy wants that to stop.
"I hope I'm not going to see a lot of red jerseys, that's all I can say. I want to see burgundy and white," Roy said.
Roy can set an NHL record if the Avs can win. He is tied with his former coach, Montreal's Mario Trembly in 1995, for the best start to a coaching career at 6-0.
more reaction to the Wings/Avs rivalary from some of the current Colorado players...
Darren Helm's less than happy to find himself squarely placed in blinding glare of the media spotlight, but it comes with the territory. Helm was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins for 2 "conditioning stint" games yesterday evening (Helm, who will wear #9, will play in Friday night's Calder Cup Championship banner-raising game against Milwaukee and Saturday's game in Rockford) and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Helm after today's Griffins practice:
“I just want to have a solid, smart game and not try and do too much,” Helm said after practice. “I mean, I’ve played four periods in the last 18 months, so it’s going to be a little different for me out there. So I’m a little nervous but I just have to get out there and go.”
Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland said the plan is for Helm to play Friday and Saturday – when the Griffins are at Rockford – and then return to practice with the Red Wings.
Coach Jeff Blashill said Helm will be on a line with Riley Sheahan and Landon Ferraro.
Ferraro was assigned to Grand Rapids today after recovering from some sort of leg injury.
Updated with pictures of Petr Mrazek's new mask at 2:21 PM: As noted earlier, the Red Wings have sent Petr Mrazek to Grand Rapids as Jimmy Howard's apparently at least healthy enough to back up Jonas Gustavsson tomorrow against the Avalanche, and the Griffins report that another Wings prospect's health has improved to the point that the Wings can make the paper transaction of sending him to the AHL:
FERRARO AND MRAZEK ASSIGNED
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday assigned center Landon Ferraro and goaltender Petr Mrazek to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
A native of Trail, British Columbia, Ferraro had been on injured non-roster status with Detroit since the preseason. The third-year pro has appeared in 130 games with the Griffins, posting 67 points (33-34—67) and 91 penalty minutes. During the 2012-13 regular season, Ferraro led the AHL in shorthanded goals and ranked among team leaders with 24 goals (1st), 23 assists (6th) and 47 points (3rd) in 72 games. The six-foot, 182-pound center also tied for third on the team and for sixth in the AHL with 16 points (5-11—16) in 24 playoff games en route to the Calder Cup.
Updated 5x at 2:57 PM: There's good news on the goaltending front via a demotion this morning...
Sending Mrazek back to Grand Rapids indicates that Jimmy Howard's sore catching hand may have healed to the point that he's able to at least back up Jonas Gustavsson against the unbeaten Avs tomorrow night, if not against Phoenix on Saturday.
Red Wings-Blue Jackets wrap-up and overnight report: on beating Columbus, Helm and a charitable plug
The Detroit Red Wings' 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets served as something of a palate-cleanser for Tigers fans ticked off by their team's 1-0 loss to the Red Sox, and between the surprise news regarding Darren Helm being sent to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint, the news that Jimmy Howard's getting better, the Wings' big win over the Bruins and the team's imminent departure for a showdown with the 6-and-0 Colorado Avalanche on Thursday (with a rematch against the plucky Coyotes to follow)...
It kind of felt like Tuesday's rope-a-dope win got lost in the shuffle, especially given its lack of aesthetic value.
If it's possible to believe it, Jonas Gustavsson may have been even better against Columbus than he was in fending off the Bruins. The Wings were out-shot by an ugly 18-7 margin in the 1st period, and his third-period save on Jack Johnson made Red Wings fans forget Gustavsson's "the Groin" nickname from last season:
So I'm doing my thing, writing the quick take on the Red Wings' 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, getting the stats up, and getting the Red Wings' confirmation of Darren Helm's conditioning stint in Grand Rapids...
And my go-to Twitter source for Wings news, RedWingsFeed, notes that NHL.com's highlight clip of Daniel Alfredsson's first goal as a Red Wing reads as follows: "Ottawa Senators Daniel Alfredsson's first Red Wings goal."
Talk about rubbing it in.
Another "Friend of TMR" in We All Bleed Red on YouTube snagged Alfredsson's first intermission interview, too, and I'm not posting these to "rub it in"--I'm posting these because I think that Alfredsson's goal merits its own entry given that he's played fantastically well for the Wings over his first seven games, registering a goal and 5 assists, leaving him tied with Niklas Kronwall for 3rd in team scoring.
In the words of Mike Babcock, when discussing Jonas Gustavsson's strong play, "Good for him and good for us." The Wings will worry about the Senators on the 23rd, and not before.
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