The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings’ 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night illustrated how the Wings play when they are at their very best…And how darn hard it still is for the Wings to pay attention to detail when their attention span starts to waiver and wander.
The Wings raced out to a fantastic 5-0 first period lead thanks to nothing less than an elegant exploitation of the Coyotes’ error-prone defense, plucking pucks away and capitalizing on turnovers, cycling said puck and then putting it into the back of the net past Mike Smith and Jason Labarbera.
According to Fox Sports Detroit’s Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond, the Red Wings have chosen to sit Pavel Datsyuk for the rest of their game against Phoenix due to a “lower-body injury.” Here’s hoping it’s nothing but soreness, precautionary reasons and a 4-goal lead to blame.
Update: MLive’s Ansar Khan says the move was precautionary.
Update #2 at 10:10 PM: Regarding Datsyuk, Wings coach Mike Babcock told WXYT that Datsyuk left early as he was “a bit sore” going onto the game, he stayed sore and the Wings felt they should take him out, and will give him Friday off.
Update #3: Babcock further told the Free Press’s Helene St. James that Datsyuk “got a bump” the other day but will be fine. saying he didn’t suffer a tear or anything else…
Update #4: Via the Red Wings’ Twitter account:
Babcock on Datsyuk: We knew he was a bit sore going into the game, but he’ll be fine. We’ll probably give him tomorrow off and go from there
Babcock on Datsyuk: He’s got a bump the other day and he’s fine.
Updated 7x at 6:32 PM with one more slate of updates: The Detroit Red Wings will welcome back Valtteri Filppula (skate cut) when they host the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/FSAZ/WXYT), according to WXYT’s Brad Galli, via RedWingsFeed:
Valterri Filppula will play for the #RedWings tonight, according to Mike Babcock
Babcock says Filppula in tonight against Phoenix
Update the first: From NHL.com’s Brian Hedger:
Filppula will play tonight, according to Babcock. Will wear Kevlar socks and says he will wear them even after cut heals. #Redwings
Via Facebook, “Fake Henrik Zetterberg” co-creator Greg DeLisio stated that the Wings will host a very specific doppelganger this weekend:
The Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes face off tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD/WXYT/FSAZ, and its Johan Franzen bobblehead night tonight) as a pair of teams on streaks.
The Coyotes feel very good about theirs as their two-game road winning streak, most recently involving a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators, has them sitting atop the Pacific Division with 33 points; their opponents, however, feel a little more about streaking the way fans in Calgary did one unfortunate night when someone chose to only keep his socks on while attempting to re-live some 70’s silliness on ice (with predictably disastrous results), with a 3-2 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday punctuating yet another multiple-game losing streak.
As the two-time first-round opponents renew hostilities for the first time since last April, PhoenixCoyotes.com’s Dave Vest suggests that the Wings face something of a road juggernaut which hopes to increase Detroit’s magic number to 3 consecutive losses while eclipsing the Wings’ 33-point status:
Blues’ anger at Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard has to do with who he punched, not a ‘running’ problem
During the Red Wings’ 3-2 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday, both Blues goalie Brian Elliott and Wings goalie Jimmy Howard were engaged in collisions which resulted in goaltender interference penalties:
Because of the fact that we’re talking about goalies getting hit here—and it seems as if players have started to exploit the fact that the one thing Brendan Shanahan won’t automatically suspend a player for is running into a goaltender—the issue left the Blues’ press in something of a tizzy, but the fact that Howard also went unpunished when he chose to take matters into his own hands, and very specifically chose to punch David Perron, who’s just returned from a year’s worth of post-concussion symptoms, left both Perron and the Blues particularly sore about the incident, as they told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy RUtherford:
Grantland offers something of a strange self-critiquing beast of hoping to establish a higher standard of sports journalism, and today, they’re offering a 21-year-old article by Johnette Howard regarding the “Making of a Goon” named Joey Kocur. It’s a good read, and perhaps these days, it’s an even better read knowing that Kocur ended up winning a Cup with the Rangers in 94, came out of retirement to win 2 more Cups with the Red Wings, worked for the Wings’ coaching staff for a while, and is now both a successful businessman and the president of the Red Wings’ Alumni Association. We need a story about a “goon” with a happy ending right now:
In the beginning, it wasn’t Kocur’s idea to fistfight his way to the NHL. His first fight? He was just fourteen, playing in his first exhibition game with a new team, and an older kid cornered him and dared him to go. He says he was just fifteen when his coach was Gerry James, a sort of Bo Jackson of Canada, who had dual careers with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. James pulled Kocur aside and told him that if he wanted to make hockey a paying career, he had better start fighting with his fists.
“So I did,” Kocur recalls. “I had about ten penalty minutes in the first twenty games. In the last forty games, I had two hundred fifty.”
But Kocur’s start — his real start — came at age seventeen, the night he knocked out a kid named Bruce Holloway in a Western League game in Kamloops, British Columbia. Not every man can recognize a peek at his destiny when he gets it, and even then, not everyone accepts it. But there was no question in young Joe Kocur’s mind that he had done both after he saw Holloway collapse with a suddenness that was astounding.
Continued, and the article’s worth your time.
Red Wings off-day news: Fake Henrik Zetterberg’s hard at work; Joey ‘Mac’ and more Wings-Blues stuff
Updated 4x at 5:15 PM with angry Blues: The Red Wings received their first “off day” in a little over a week today, but the gents behind Fake Henrik Zetterberg, Jacob Hawkins and Greg DeLisio, kept Henrik Zetterberg busy by asking his doppelganger—and his nemesis—to endure a little automotive trouble:
You can follow Jacob, Greg and Fake Henrik on Facebook and Twitter, and their characterization of a hockey-gear-wearing office worker who’s just trying to find his niche in the big city left a smile on my face. I don’t know how they got “earnestly Swedish” down, but they’ve done it.
Updated at 7:28 AM with some CBA stuff: The Detroit Red Wings’ 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday evening merits a two-word description: earned result.
The Red Wings find themselves eye-to-eye with the Blues in the Western Conference standings and limped home (the Wings will at least enjoy their first practice-or-game-free day in ten on Wednesday) the owners of yet another multiple-game losing streak because the Avalanche did a fine job of encouraging a Wings team in still clearly struck in transition to indulge in some particularly bad habits, and the Blues did it better, lulling the Wings into something of a daze before out-hitting, out-working, out-trapping (this is a Ken Hitchcock-coached team we’re talking about) and out-hustling a team that didn’t regain its senses until it mounted a furious and futile comeback.
Given that he’s a teaching coach, just like Mike Babcock, Hitchcock told Fox Sports Midwest’s absolutely delighted that his not-so-new team’s now heeding his lessons:
Updated 2x with videos of Stuart’s save and the Elliott and Howard collisions at 11:46 PM: The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 3-1 decision to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night because the Wings chose not to learn lessons from their 4-2 loss to Colorado on Sunday, at least until it was too late for anything other than a a final flourish: for the second game in a row, the Wings were out-worked, out-hustled and ground down by a team that paid just a little more attention to detail, worked just a little more efficiently and effectively as a team and, plainly speaking, quite happily indulged the remnants of the Wings’ inner diva long enough to keep its inner grinder indulgently taking a catnap.
As Paul ever-so-kindly noted while I was out, Valtteri Filppula will miss tonight’s game between the Red Wings and St. Louis Blues (7:30 PM, FSD/WXYT in Michigan, Versus/TSN2 elsewhere), but this isn’t exactly a surprise given the severity of the cut he suffered to the front of his left leg on Sunday. Filppula told MLive’s Ansar Khan that he needs a day or two for lingering soreness to subside...
It was sore. I wouldn’t really skate,’’ Filppula said. “The skate (adjustment) was as good as it can be, but I really couldn’t really push it. It was pretty painful. I could cruise around a little bit but when I had to skate a little fast I couldn’t really do it.’‘
He is day-to-day, hoping to play Thursday at home against Phoenix. Danny Cleary will replace Filppula on the line with Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler. Cory Emmerton will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past four games.
Coach Mike Babcock said he wasn’t sure how he was going to adjust his third and fourth lines. He might put Emmerton on the wing or have him center the fourth line and put Justin Abdelkader back on the wing on Darren Helm’s line.
Filppula told DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose that he has no desire to spend an extended period of time out of the lineup…
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.