The Malik Report
Among the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa's "News and Views":
News: With Kyle Quincey set to return, there is a logjam along the blue line.
Views: The Wings are deep with similarly-talented defensemen, albeit at different stages of development.
Quincey, Niklas Kronwall, Danny DeKeyser and Mike Green are certain in their roster positions. Jonathan Ericsson, Brendan Smith and Alexey Marchenko, who has exhibited enormously solid play as a rookie defenseman, are also likely in place.
That puts Jakub Kindl firmly in a position he has mostly occupied in his seven NHL seasons, on the bubble.
Meanwhile, Xavier Ouellet still toils in the minors, way over-ripe. The Wings clearly know that Ouellet likely would have made any one of several NHL rosters not only at the start of last season, but the previous one, too.
The situation hollers for a midseason trade. But a deal that is anything beyond a mere fire sale is a difficult bargain to drive in the era of both free agency and the salary cap, when an equitable swap is discouraged by the financial considerations.
Whatever occurs, it is unlikely Kindl remains among the seven defensemen on the roster and Ouellet must continue to have the patience of Job.
Krupa continues, discussing the Jimmy Howard-vs-Petr Mrazek-for-starter debate, Jeff Blashill's coaching and Dylan Larkin's goal against New Jersey...
And as far as I'm concerned, the Red Wings need to do what's necessary to ensure that Alexey Marchenko and Xavier Ouellet are part of the Wings' seven-man defenisve corps next year at this time.
I understand that the temptation is to go out and trade for another offensive defenseman given Niklas Kronwall's disappointing offensive numbers and Mike Green's acclimation process, but I believe that the answer to the Wings' problems, over the long haul, anyway, still exists in promoting Marchenko, Ouellet and possibly Sproul.
American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews announced today that Syracuse Crunch forward Mike Angelidis and Grand Rapids Griffins forward Jeff Hoggan will serve as playing captains for the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic, to be held January 31 and February 1 in Syracuse, N.Y.
Captains for the American Hockey League All-Star teams are selected by the league president in recognition of their outstanding leadership and service.
A 14th-year pro now in his fourth season as captain of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Jeff Hoggan has skated in 653 regular-season AHL games, registering 163 goals and 159 assists for 322 points. The 37-year-old native of Hope, B.C., has won two Calder Cup championships in his career, with Houston in 2003 and with Grand Rapids in 2013, and was the 2014-15 recipient of the AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey. Hoggan has also appeared in 107 career games in the National Hockey League with St. Louis, Boston and Phoenix. This will be Hoggan’s first AHL All-Star Classic
Team USA defeated Axel Holmstrom, Christoffer Ehn and Team Sweden by an 8-3 score on Tuesday, capturing the bronze medal at the World Junior Championships.
Holmstrom scored a goal, but his goal made the score 8-3 instead of 8-2 as the Swedes played a flat game. Holmstrom finished with 3 shots and a -1; Ehn took 3 shots and finished "even"--and Ehn was named Sweden's player of the game.
Holmstrom finished with a goal and 6 assists in 7 games played, finishing at +3 with 15 shots;
Ehn finished with 1 goal, 1 assist, a +1 and 11 shots.
Chris Chelios won a bronze medal as he was an assistant coach for Team USA.
The Red Wings flew back to Metro Detroit after games 1 and 2 of their 6-game road trip, and the Free Press's George Sipple reports that the Wings, who just wrapped up a set of 6 games in 10 nights, will rest today and skate in Southeastern Michigan tomorrow before flying to San Jose:
The Wings have today off. They’ll return to practice Wednesday in Michigan before leaving for California, where they visit the San Jose Sharks on Thursday (10:30 p.m., FSD).
Whether the Wings will start goaltender Petr Mrazek for a fourth consecutive game was not immediately known after their latest victory. Mrazek made 22 saves against the Devils, earning his second shutout of the season.
“I’ll decide -- not tonight,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We’ll decide when we get out west there ... publicly, at least.”
Sipple also noted that Blashill doesn't feel that Dylan Larkin's 14 goals or +22 exempt him from critique or a rookie's learning curve:
From MLive's Ansar Khan:
#RedWings have reassigned Tomas Nosek to Grand Rapids.
Drew Miller must be close to returning.
Update: The Red Wings confirm:
DETROIT ASSIGNS NOSEK TO GRAND RAPIDS
… Rookie Forward Played Six Games During First NHL Stint …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned center Tomas Nosek to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Of Red Wings-related note the morning after Detroit's 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils:
AWood40 posted an extended set of Wings-Devils highlights:
The Red Wings also posted post-game comments from Mike Green...
The Red Wings flew home to Metro Detroit for one final day ahead of a 4-game swing to the U.S. West Coast on Monday night, and they did so having out-checked and out-ground the New Jersey Devils en route to a 1-0 win that represented the 2nd win of 2016.
Put a little less fluffily, the Wings won an ugly, ugly game thanks to a beautiful goal...
And after that, the Wings banked on elite goaltending from Petr Mrazek and a lunch bucket full of hard checking, detail work and grit and jam.
Our friends from Newark weren't exactly devastated after the loss, as they told the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti...
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
The Detroit Red Wings are counting on Petr Mrazek and Dylan Larkin to lead them into the future.
Monday night, they were awfully good in the present – something that's becoming a regular occurrence.
Both have been among the Red Wings top players this season, a trend that continued Monday night at the Prudential Center.
Mrazek stopped 22 shots for his second shutout of the season while Larkin scored a highlight-reel goal to give the Red Wings a 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Mrazek sent a message early that he was on his game when he stoned Travis Zajac on a breakaway before the game was a minute old. That set the stage for the seventh shutout of his brief career.
"He did a good job there and made some real good saves early," said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill. "The one thing Petr does very well is he battles extremely hard around his crease and is able to freeze pucks. So not too many pucks go to those areas.
"Against a team that wants to go hard to the net that's real important."
Below, watch extended game highlights...
Of prospect-related note:
In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin finished at -1 with 2 shots in 13:20 of ice time as SKA St. Petersburg lost 5-1 to Dynamo Moscow;
And in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins filed their weekly release:
This time, the Red Wings couldn't suggest that they were walking into a trap, or that they had underestimated the Devils' pluck. After 2 straight losses to the New Jersey Devils, the Wings came into tonight's game knowing that they faced a team that's had Detroit's number and knowing that the Devils possess an active defensive corps that digs into leads when the Wings sit back.
No excuses, no bullshit. This game couldn't be an ambush.
It wasn't any of those things. The Red Wings defeated New Jersey 1-0 thanks to a gorgeous goal from Dylan Larkin, a 22-save performance from Petr Mrazek, and a whole bunch of solid, stout defensive plays from solid, stout defensive players = Detroit out-forechecked, out-backchecked, out-ground, out-hustled and out-Deviled New Jersey en route to the aforementioned 1-0 victory.
It wasn't pretty, it wasn't necessarily all that entertaining, but it was a win, the Wings' 2nd of 2016, and the 4 points the Wings have accumulated thus far matter more than elegant hockey, as much as it pains me to say that.
With four games against big, nasty and competitive Western Conference teams starting on Thursday, the Wings are going to need to apply the checking lessons they've learned in their 3-game series against the Devils toward playing enough "boring road hockey" to steal some points out West.
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.