The Malik Report
I generally believe that the less a writer thinks about writing before engaging in the task, the less he or she worries about what they actually end up saying. I must admit, however, that after watching the Detroit Red Wings’ home-ice winning streak end thanks to a 4-3 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks, I tossed, turned, stirred and tried to think about something profound to say about the concept that the opposing team at Joe Louis Arena was more serious about making history than the home team seemed to care about matching its opponent’s intensity, effort, work ethic, focus and plain old “jam”...
And it comes own to this: I understand that witnessing a 23-game winning streak come to an end is a historic moment, and that Wings fans are supposedly “spoiled” rotten to come to expect this kind of thing, but I do not feel ungrateful for saying that the Wings’ effort in terms of plain old trying to avoid a second straight sans-Pavel Datsyuk loss pissed me off to no f***ing end, and if you feel confused as to why you might be swearing and cursing this morning, I would at least say that you’re not alone, and that, if you’re a Wings fan who appreciates every minute of what the Wings give you and me, you have every right to be angry.
The Vancouver Canucks came into Joe Louis Arena insisting that they would break the Red Wings’ 23-game home ice winning streak. They repeated their mantra throughout the day, and they backed their bluster up, defeating Detroit 4-3 in a shootout.
As a Red Wings fan, I would be remiss to not point out that the Canucks never would have tied the game had Sami Salo not “Larry Murphied” an icing call, chugging his arms and legs so hard that the linesman believed the Canucks earned an icing which resulted in Daniel Sedin’s game-tying goal with all of 16 seconds remaining…
In the wake of the second allegation of sexual assault by a BU hockey player this season, Boston University President Robert A. Brown will convene a task force to examine the culture of men’s hockey. The task force, says Brown, will make recommendations to ensure that the conduct of the team conforms to the “very high standards to which we hold all our students, especially those who represent the University in a prominent way.” Brown announced his decision to create the task force today in a letter sent to the Boston University community.
“We will ask the task force to look at our program with fresh, impartial eyes,” Brown says, “to determine whether the culture of hockey at BU meets the high standards of our academic community. If it does not, if the task force finds a culture where players are privileged or entitled or held to lesser standards, it will recommend changes to the way we think about and manage our hockey program.”
Updated 3x at 8:20 PM: The difficult part of being a one-man blogging band is that you find yourself explaining absences—or at least I do—far too regularly, so I’ll simply say that I had to ferry a parent in significant back pain to her orthopedist, and it took two hours longer than anticipated. As such, as an addendum to the Red Wings-Canucks pre-game thread, here’s a mad dash’s worth of last-minute updates:
• If you missed it, NHL.com’s Brian Hedger talked to Pavel Datsyuk about his “break” from hockey after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to clean up one of his knees:
Updated 6x with Bertuzzi, Eaves, Datsyuk and Quincey news at 2:01 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the Vancouver Canucks tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD/Sportsnet West/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM), I’m going to jump the gun a little bit and note that the Todd Bertuzzi contract signing was confirmed by the Wings. who announced contract terms for the first time…ever?
The Red Wings re-signed veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi to a new two-year contract extension Thursday morning at Joe Louis Arena. Bertuzzi, in his 16th NHL season, and fourth with the Wings, agreed to a two-year deal worth $2.25 million per season.
The 37-year-old Bertuzzi has had a career rebirth, of sort, with the Wings, finding a home on the team’s top forward line along with Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen. Bertuzzi has 12 goals and 29 points in 54 games this season and has become an incredible shootout threat for the team.
The Detroit Red Wings, new arrival Kyle Quincey and the re-signed Todd Bertuzzi will attempt to continue their NHL-record-setting home-ice winning streak when they tangle against the Vancouver Canucks tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/Sportsnet West/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM—and take note that 3-6 inches of snow are expected in Southeastern Michigan this afternoon, so be careful if you’re headed to the game).
As noted on Wednesday night, the Canucks came into town insisting that they will make history tonight—as the tam that ends Detroit’s streak, and that the Canucks have gone so far as to suggest that they have been hoping that the Wings would continue to win so that the NHL’s “yippiest” team would earn the privilege of making their own exclamation point.
Now we’ll get into the talk in a minute, but I’d prefer to cut the bulls*** for a moment and get down to brass tacks here:
Updated with a superb article about Bertuzzi by the Bob Wojnowski at 3:10 AM: The Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James was on the story first and now she’s confirming it: the Detroit Red Wings have chosen to re-sign Todd Bertuzzi to a 2-year contract extension (Capgeek.com doesn’t have the details yet, but I’m sure their Bertuzzi page will have the breakdown soon):
Bertuzzi has made himself at home in the metro area since re-joining the Wings in the summer of 2009, and he will continue to do so for another two years. As the Free Press was the first to report Wednesday, Bertuzzi and the Wings have agreed to a two-year extension worth around $2.25 million a season.
“It was easy to do,” Bertuzzi said. “I love being here, I love being part of the Wings. I’m really excited about our team this year. I feel we’re very focused, especially on playing defense. We lacked that last year, and in training camp, everybody pretty much decided to up the ante.”
Continuing today’s off-day news while looking toward tomorrow’s match-up with Vancouver: it should come as no surprise that the Vancouver Canucks’ players and coach told the Vancouver Province’s Gordon McIntyre that they’d love to do nothing less than be known as the team that ended Detroit’s winning streak at Joe Louis Arena:
“That’s an amazing, amazing feat,” Alain Vigneault said. “I mean, to win 23 games in a row at home in such a competitive league is remarkable. We’re going to go in there, we’re going to have an opportunity to put our best game on the ice and see what happens.”
And you know what? Canucks players have been cheering for the Wings for a couple of weeks now, hoping they’d keep playing bad host right up to the moment the visitors from Vancouver ring the doorbell.
“We were hoping they’d still be undefeated by the time we got there, so it’s going to be fun,” Roberto Luongo said. “I was talking to the guys two or three weeks ago, hoping Detroit would hold on till we got there. That’s what’s fun about playing the game, challenges like this. As a group, we’re excited about it and we’re going to step up to the plate.”
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock tends to know a thing or two about what he’s talking about, which is why the TV news and sports talk radio stations in Metro Detroit have been abuzz since Babcock told 97.1 the Ticket that the Red Wings could use a state-subsidized hand in building a new rink and “mall” somewhere downtown, but after a day full of, “No comments” due to confidentiality agreements, we’re getting our first, “That’s not accurate,” via the Free Press’s John Gallagher and Ilitch Holdings spokesperson Karen Cullen:
“Our organization has been on record as saying we’d like to have a new arena downtown,” she said.
A rumor that Bloomfield Hills-based mall developer The Taubman Co. might be involved was quickly shot down by Karen MacDonald, a spokeswoman for the company.
“There’s no proposal that’s been made to us or that we’re reviewing, nor do we anticipate one. So there’s no truth to this,” she said.
Updated 5x at 4:33 PM: According to the Red Wings’ Twitter account, the Wings are making up for not having Sunday off by allowing the Vancouver Canucks to be the only team skating on Joe Louis Arena’s ice today (and Roberto Luongo already told the Vancouver Province’s Jason Botchford that he’s been “waiting for” the Wings game “for a while,” cue, “Streak-breaking” noises)...
The team has the day off today. The @VanCanucks are tomorrow’s opponent at Joe Louis Arena.
So we’re going to talk about today’s hot” trade rumor and the Quincey deal, at least to start.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun has started something of a tizzy about having this to say about Buffalo Sabres forward Paul Gaustad, a 30-year-old checking center who happens to be 6’5” tall and weigh 212 pounds, and might be on the market:
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.