The Malik Report
Of Red Wings-related note on a ridiculously soggy Saturday morning in Metro Detroit:
1. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan reports that the vast majority of the Red Wings' games--as you might expect--have been one-goal affairs, and the Wings' record in one-goal games is pretty damn good:
Thursday’s 2-1 victory over the Sharks was the 26th one-goal game for the Red Wings, who are 16-3-7 in those games. They have played 41 games overall.
“So many games by one goal,” Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek said. “(Whether we are) winning or losing, we have to be focused for 60 minutes.”
It’s safe to say the Red Wings are getting comfortable playing in close games. But ...
“It would be nice if we had a little insurance, but the way it’s going right now, that’s just now how it is,” defenseman Danny DeKeyser said. “We just have to battle it out and if we win 2-1, we’re happy with that.”
Kulfan continues, and discusses the Wings' PK and Mrazek's play;
2. Kulfan also discusses Danny DeKeyser's attempts to generate offense without "taking away from his defensive game," as evidenced by his goal on Thursday:
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins had a difficult Friday night. Already playing without Xavier Ouellet, Nick Jensen, Andreas Athanasiou, Mitch Callahan, Tom McCollum, Daniel Cleary and Triston Grant, defenseman Richard Nedomlel got kicked out early in the second period of their game against the Milwaukee Admirals, yielding a seriously shorthanded blueline nursing a 2-1 lead...
And then reality intervened in a terrifying manner. Alden Hirschfeld had a seizure on the bench and had to be carted off on a stretcher, and while Hirschfeld is OK, the event stopped the game and shook up the Griffins, the Admirals and the crowd at Van Andel Arena significantly.
The Griffins scored all the goals they'd needed by the time Hirschfeld suffered his seizure, so when the game resumed, Tomas Nosek's goal and assist, Martin Frk's goal and assist, Nathan Paetsch's goal and assist, they'd already been scored and accounted for, and a little over half of Jared Coreau's 31 saves had been made, so that inevitable desire to continue the game without a fallen comrade yielded a 4-1 margin that stood up as a 4-2 Griffins victory over Milwaukee.
Whether or not they should have continued playing isn't up to me to judge. I'm going to relate the details of the Griffins' win and say a very rare prayer for Alden Hirschfeld and his family.
Here's the Griffins' recap of the game...
Grand Rapids Griffins forward Alden Hirschfeld had a seizure during Friday night's Griffins-Admirals game, and the Griffins filed a statement after the game:
STATEMENT ON ALDEN HIRSCHFELD
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Grand Rapids Griffins forward Alden Hirschfeld suffered a medical incident on the team's bench with 6:19 remaining in the second period of tonight's game against the Milwaukee Admirals at Van Andel Arena. After being attended to by paramedics and Griffins medical and training staffs, he was transported to a local hospital in stable condition for further evaluation. More information will be made available as warranted.
The game was temporarily suspended with the Griffins leading 4-1. The teams went to their locker rooms while the ice was resurfaced, and play recently resumed with 6:19 remaining in the second period.
The Grand Rapids Press's Peter Wallner reported from the game...
via Michelle's Twitter...
The medics have an IV and oxygen tank out tending to the downed player. Still can't tell who it is though
Sounds like it might be Alden Hirschfeld that's being gended to be medics. Still waiting for confirmation though
Hirschfeld is now standing up, gives wave to the crowd & is stretchered off (precautionary). Huge cheers to see he's up & moving
more tweets from Michelle...
Prepare for a slightly fluffy entry: The Red Wings received Friday off, and they spent their break at Huntington Beach, as illustrated by the players' Instagram accounts:
Via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Ansar Khan engaged in an extended and extensive interview with Ken Holland, reflecting upon the Red Wings' "first half" of the 2015-16 season, as well as the team's outlook going forward:
"A bit of a roller coaster ride, but I think it's a roller coaster league," general manager Ken Holland said. "The league is really close. Last year we had 100 points and 97 missed the playoffs. I don't see teams needing quite as many points this year because of parity; 94-95 possibly gets in."
The Red Wings, trying to extend their playoff streak to 25 seasons, are on pace for 98 points.
"We're relatively satisfied where we're at in the standings," Holland said. "There's areas we'd like to improve, but there's 29 other teams saying that. Everybody is going through the same things we're going through, other than Dallas (62 points) and Washington (63 points)."
Scoring was a major concern earlier in the season, when the Red Wings ranked last in the league in shots per game and shot differential. But their puck possession predictably improved when Pavel Datsyuk returned after missing 15 games following off-season ankle surgery.
"Two tough stretches; we went 1-5-1 after a 3-0 start, then lost four of five in regulation around Christmas," Holland said. "Other than those two stretches we've played pretty good. We're right in the hunt with everyone in our division."
Khan continues, and here's Holland's best quote about the youth movement:
San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton received a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct for his actions in the closing seconds of the Red Wings' 2-1 win over the Sharks last night...
And Comcast Sportsnet California's Kevin Kurz reports that what some might find to be skullduggery or cheap shots, the Sharks see as "leadership":
Like most kids raised in the Mitten, there was never a question of Jim Harbaugh’s loyalties when it came to sports teams.
Growing up in Michigan meant you cheered for the hometown teams, and certainly, the Red Wings were no different.
Asked if he was a Wings’ fan growing up, Michigan’s football coach cracked a wide smile, then answered rhetorically, “Who wasn’t?”
All kidding aside, Harbaugh, who attended the Red Wings’ 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday, has adored the Original Six franchise for as far back as his memory permits.
“Absolutely loved the Wings, loved the uniform,” said Harbaugh, whose favorite all-time Wing remains Gordie Howe. “It’s been neat. I’ve had the chance to meet Steve Yzerman (in the past) and some of the guys, and (Dylan) Larkin tonight that was a neat experience. I mean, who wasn’t a Michigan kid that didn’t pull for the Red Wings?”
The Detroit News's David Goricki reports that University of Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson has been surprised by the incredibly fast development of Dylan Larkin:
The Wings' first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft has 14 goals and 28 points while leading the NHL with a plus-23 at the halfway point of the season.
“I’m surprised that he’s made it look that easy and he’s probably surprised too,” Berenson said. “He’s stepped right in, and maybe we put the NHL on too high of a pedestal, but how many 19-year-olds are doing that? Dylan was a good player here and he really took off after the World Junior Tournament. He came back and he led the team in scoring and that got his confidence going and he took off.”
So, why did Berenson try to talk Larkin out of leaving?
“Detroit, I know they want to sign these guys, but I thought he’d probably be delegated to the Grand Rapids team, but then he played so well in (training) camp. It’s just that they couldn’t guarantee he’d play in Detroit. I just tried to give him my perspective. I mean Detroit’s history has not been to put 19-year-old draft picks in the lineup.“Riley Sheahan played how many years in Grand Rapids? Nyquist led college hockey in scoring two years and he played two years in Grand Rapids. I wasn’t convinced he’d play with them, but I’m glad for Dylan. We’re not here to hold a kid back from playing in the NHL, but who would have thought he’d be doing what he’s doing and now playing in the All-Star Game?”
Berenson continues, discussing the next steps in Larkin's development and his status as a frequent visitor at Wolverines games...
From the Red Wings and Savvy Digital:
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.