The Malik Report
From Russ Espinoza of 5280: The Denver Magazine:
Detroit ultimately won more Stanley Cups during this era, but Avs fans can reflexively cite that the team edged out the Red Wings in three of five playoff series. Draper and Maltby can only say “wow” and laugh a little upon learning of their team’s 32-30-1 record against Colorado during that stormy eight-year period.
“I think it was just, I don’t know, a match made in heaven with a little bump in there where a guy kinda got his face smashed in,” says Maltby. “But in the end, I don’t think anyone—other than Kris—got too injured, too hurt, and it made for great hockey, great entertainment.”
On February 26, on a makeshift ice rink atop the Coors Field baseball diamond, Darren McCarty, Kris Draper, Claude Lemieux and many other hockey heroes will face-off for one last savage ballet. Hopefully this time, the guys will go home with their faces intact.
According to Draper, the lone conversation he’s had with Lemieux occurred at the 2015 NHL Draft in June, but it was strictly business, as Lemieux is now a player agent and Draper is a special assistant to Detroit’s general manager. “We drafted one of his clients,” Draper says. “Nothing was mentioned of the hit—two-three minute conversation, that was it.”
Check them out:
Helm is ill and not practicing today.
via Ansar Khan tweets,
#RedWings lines at practice:
Wings defense pairs are:
Smith-Ouellet appear to be the extras.
Additons to the post will be made as needed.
added 1:11pm, Khan again...
Power play units in practice Nyquist-Datsyuk-Zetterberg, Sheahan (net front), Kronwall
Pulkkinen-Tatar-Jurco (net front), Richards-Green
#RedWings Petr Mrazek practices in Stadium Series gear.
The trade deadline's six days away, and that has the Free Press's Drew Sharp lamenting that the Red Wings may or may not have another Dylan Larkin in the pipeline while almost tripping over himself suggesting that the only thing that can restore the polish on Ken Holland--and as you and I know by now, the GM hasn't been golden for a while now--is surrendering some of those prized apples on the tree for the "veteran rental":
The greatest fear in today’s salary-cap NHL is surrendering a future star for a veteran rental who could make the difference in a tough playoff series. That emphasizes the proper long-range evaluation of young talent. A miscalculation there could prove just as costly.
But that process requires patience. Telling fans who have waited seven seasons since their most recent Cup — six seasons since this organization’s most recent playoff run beyond the second round — to wait a little longer for talent to properly blossom means trusting Holland’s judgment.
And let’s face it. Blindly believing in him now isn’t as automatic as it was previously.
“It’s not that we haven’t tried in making what we thought were the right moves,” Holland said. “We thought we were very close at this same time last year and made a couple moves for depth. Our record this season is 10 points worse after 60 games than it was at that same time a year ago. But I still think we’re in a better position with the way some of our young guys have stepped up.”
Sharp continues, and I don't know if anybody blindly believes in Ken Holland any more, but that's okay.
On a night that the Red Wings were delivered from Columbus by both Petr Mrazek, Andreas Athanasiou, a pleasant surprise in Riley Sheahan and a crap-ton of ice time for Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Kyle Quincey, Danny DeKeyser, Niklas Kronwall and some guy named Alexey Marchenko, I felt comfortable knowing that a Red Wings team whose youth isn't delivering on quite enough of a regular basis for us to be wowed by Tatar, Nyquist or even Larkin are moving in the right direction again.
That direction probably isn't toward a Stanley Cup run this spring, but if you're committed to the "transition," why go and waste assets on another David Legwand or Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky when it costs a Mrazek, Athanasiou or Marchenko (and a first-round draft pick) to get that "veteran rental" that the Wings' cap structure can't accomodate?
Or, as the Detroit News's Bob Wojnowski tells it:
The Detroit Red Wings opened a 3-game series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday evening, with the Wings hoping to snap a 4-game winless streak on "Nick Lidstrom Night" as the Wings returned to Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings should have earned a regulation-or-OT win on a Petr Mrazek home-run pass to Pavel Datsyuk, but that's not how it turned out thanks to TJ Luxmore and company, and instead, Detroit earned a shootout win on gorgeous goals by Riley Sheahan (who also scored in reguliation) and Andreas Athanasiou in the extra session...
And in terms of nursing the regulation tie through 33 minutes of regulation and OT time, Detroit leaned incredibly heavily upon Pavel Datsyuk (21:37), Henrik Zetterberg (21:09), Danny DeKeyser (26:13), Niklas Kronwall (24:25), Kyle Quincey (20:27) and someone who got burned for a goal against but made a lovely play on the Sheahan breakaway in Alexey Marchenko (20:47), who's asking the coach whether he sits when Jonthan Ericsson returns.
It was a hard game to watch, a hard game to play and a hard game to win, but Detroit earned it by the narrowest of margins, and sometimes that's enough. Even though it should have been a "ROW."
The Red Wings posted a video of Lidstrom's media availability as well...
from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,
It's only fitting that Niklas Kronwall should return to the lineup on a night when Nicklas Lidstrom is honored at Joe Louis Arena for his Hall of Fame induction.
Kronwall, who played with Lidstrom for many years, has missed the last 15 games since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Jan. 19.
Although Kronwall has been skating with the team for a while now, it will be a challenge to play in a game after missing so much time.
"Conditioning, timing," Kronwall said. "Those are the two things that it doesn't matter how much you skate on your own, once the game gets going, it's all game-type situations and it's hard to simulate that in practice."
Wings coach Jeff Blashill said they have to guard against expecting too much out of Kronwall in his first game back.
"We can’t throw too many minutes at him," Blashill said. "I think other guys have done a good job on the penalty kill that we feel confident in that area. He’ll certainly be on the one power-play unit. I think the biggest thing is to keep your expectations in check. I thought Nick was playing really, really well when he had the surgery, playing at a really high level, but we can’t expect him to hop on the ice today and expect him to be as good as he was when left off just because of the time off. It’s the reality of it."
continue plus line combination talk and the health of Jonathan Ericsson...
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, who have played well since being reunited, are now skating with Gustav Nyquist. Justin Abdelkader moved off of their line to play with Tomas Tatar and Dylan Larkin.
Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Nyquist and Tatar are capable of contributing more offense.
“So we want to see if there’s other combinations where we can keep Pavel and Z at the level their playing but get a little more from other people,” Blashill said. “We’re trying to get that little 2% better. So you want to be able to score a little more without losing your defensive integrity.
“I thought, coming out of Pittsburgh, we weren’t good enough defensively. I thought, the last two games, we did a really good job overall defensively, and we want to maintain that defense but still get a little more offense. So there’s a lot that went into the lines, and we’ll see how they go.”
Blashill said it’s “an ongoing struggle” because the NHL is so tight.
“It becomes a play here and a play there within the game,” he said.
Earlier this morning the Wings assigned Jakub Kindl to Grand Rapids, then this...
via Ansar Khan tweets,
#RedWings on ice for morning skate. Kindl not skating. He would need to be assigned to GR to make room for Kronwall, who appears good to go.
#RedWings defense pairs:
Ericsson (injured)-Ouellet (extra)
#RedWings lines at skate:
Power play units:
Nyquist-Datsyuk-Zetterberg, Abdelkader (net front), Kronwall
Pulkkinen-Tatar-Larkin (net front), Richards-Green
added 10:52am, Khan tweets saying Mrazek is in the starter's net.
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.