The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings earned their curly fries via Mike Green's hat trick in Detroit's 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night, but the Wings were most satisfied with having earned their first win of the 2016-17 season.
Detroit now stands at 1-and-2 heading into Wednesday night's game against the Rangers, and the Wings want to build upon the positives of Monday night's game while continuing to improve their defensive play, and that's quite reasonable; the Senators plain old want to throw Monday's effort in the garbage, as they told the Ottawa Citizen's Wayne Scanlan:
The Detroit Red Wings attempted to earn their first win of the 2016-17 regular season on Monday night's home opener against Ottawa.
The Wings did just that--despite being out-shot 32-25--as Petr Mrazek was stout, Thomas Vanek had a trio of assists and Mike Green scored his first career hat trick in the Wings' 5-1 win over Ottawa.
It was a scrappy, scrap-filled and sometimes "sporty" game for the Red Wings, whose team Corsi still sucks, but the Red Wings got the lead and held the lead, they won the special-teams battle (3-for-3 on the PK, 1-for-4 on the PP) and plain old out-worked and out-lasted the Senators.
Your scoresheet for curly fries can be printed here, and here's what I thought about the game:
Fox Sports Detroit posted its in-arena tribute to Gordie Howe:
Scenes from opening night:
I will readily admit that I said, "Hmm" to myself when I read this from ESPN's Craig Custance's Insider-only weekend summary:
6. Two teams that need defensive help: The best candidates to make a move defensively? It’s two proud franchises off to a slow start. In four games, the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings have combined to allow 17 goals. Detroit’s start has especially been concerning, with the Red Wings already at a minus-5 goal differential.
“Boston and Detroit would love to get a D,” said one GM.
The Red Wings like Jacob Trouba, but there’s not a good fit there trade-wise. They also really like Fowler, and if you’re handicapping their chances of trading for one of those two defensemen, that’s the better bet.
And along those lines...
From NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika:
The Red Wings are building a new arena because of many of the things that make Joe Louis Arena the Joe. It is a Spartan gray box of siding and cinderblock down by the Detroit River, surrounded by cracked concrete. It has three windows, and they're portholes cut into metal doors on the ground floor. It has smelly stairwells and crowded concourses. The out-of-town scoreboards have been broken for years, covered by banner ads, and the main scoreboard screens are small and in standard definition.
But the Joe has character and gives the Red Wings an old-school home-ice advantage. It is one of the last unique rinks left when so many new ones are essentially the same. It's named for a boxer, not a bank. There are suites, but all on the top level, keeping high society up high. The seats are red vinyl, worn from years of use, but the fans don't come for comfort and often stay on the edges. The sightlines are good. For big games, the volume is full blast.
"It's not a big show around it," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg once said. "You come in and watch hockey."
The end boards are the last in the NHL still made of actual wood. Beneath an eighth of an inch of white plastic, there is three quarters of an inch of plywood and another half-inch of plywood painted red, supported by a steel frame. It makes the end boards the bounciest in the League. When Nicklas Lidstrom played defense in Detroit, if he couldn't find a shooting lane, he often would miss the net on purpose, knowing the puck would ricochet into a scoring area.
Red Wings TV posted a clip in which many alumni--Larry Murphy, John Ogrodnick, Kris Draper, Jimmy Carson, Alex Delvecchio and Darren McCarty--recall Joe Louis Arena memories while looking forward to the new rink:
Meanwhile, earlier at the Joe, from Michigan Hockey:
Update: WXYZ's Brad Galli filed two reports from the red carpet celebration:
An FYI for Grand Rapids Griffins fans, via TSN:
The Calgary Flames have signed goaltender Tom McCollum to a two-year, two-way contract.
The 26-year-old cleared waivers and been assigned to the American Hockey League's Stockton Heat.
McCollum, a former first-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings, played 30 games for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins last season and went 15-13-0 with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
from Will Burchfield of CBS Detroit,
“We’re going to hurt those kids. If they get here and they’re not ready for this, and they lose their confidence and the coach loses his confidence in the player, now what?” he told 97.1 The Ticket on Monday morning. “I’m a big believer that the American Hockey League is the best development league.”
Like head coach Jeff Blashill earlier in the day, Holland stressed that the Wings are focused on assembling the best possible team for the task at hand.
“We’re trying to win tonight,” he said. “I don’t want to just play the game tonight and throw out a bunch of kids and we might not win. What’s gone on here since the early ‘80s is we’re trying to win, we’re trying to put a team on the ice.”
Update: Here are Holland and Blashill's interviews:
Tonight's game starts somewhere near 7:37pm ET and is on FSD, TSN5 and RDS1. A KK member also pointed out to me the game will be streamed on Yahoo (start here).
The Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings began the 2016-17 NHL season going in opposite directions.
The teams are scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m., Monday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit's season home opener.
Ottawa is 2-0-0 after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday night in its opener and a 4-3 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night, while the Red Wings are 0-2-0 after a 6-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night and dropping a 4-1 decision to the Florida Panthers Saturday night.
"Early in the season, it's good to grow and learn from different things ...," Senators forward Ryan Dzingel told the Ottawa Sun after Saturday night's game. "We grew as a team. Both wins helped us out a lot."
Dzingel had a goal and an assist in the game, in which defenseman Erik Karlsson and center Kyle Turris scored in the shootout.
It will be the Senators first road game of the season.
It is the first time that Detroit has lost its first two games of the season since 2009.
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.