The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings' 7-6 win over the Dallas Stars was wild, woolly, insanely bipolar and completely, totally unnecessary should the Wings have even marginally showed up mentally.
In a game where the winning goalie pitches a 2-save shutout, Jakub Kindl has 2 goals, Detroit goes down 10, 4-2, and 6-4 but wins--despite three incidents in which Dallas scored goals with Stars players impeding Jimmy Howard, and Detroit ties the game with Justin Abdelkader shoving Kari Lehtonen...
This game was baffling, infuriating, a 4-point effort for Pavel Datsyuk, a ridiculous farce by the officiating crew, an astonishing display of the Stars' courage, and in terms of the recap, I wrote most of the 3rd period stuff while the Wings were down, but I'm not editing a word or taking any of it back, because it's how I felt, it's how crazily the game went, and it speaks to what an insane experience this was.
During a game in which the Dallas Stars have mashed, crashed and otherwise impeded the Red Wings' goaltender, the Red Wings have also lost their captain, most likely to the punches and shoves of Jamie Benn:
Update: Rut roh:
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Pro scouts for the Detroit Red Wings are putting in the last few days worth of evaluations as the NHL trade deadline approaches. But unlike two of their Atlantic Division rivals, there's no desperation around the Wings.
The team begins a five-game road trip with a date tonight against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center, fresh off having beaten, for the second time this season, the Chicago Blackhawks, a favorite to win the Stanley Cup. The Wings have solid footing as a playoff-bound team, and that's why general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that if he does anything before March 2, it'll be an upgrade. He doesn't need depth.
via the Detroit Red Wings YouTube page,
Featuring - Ken Kal, Coach Babcock, Brendan Smith, Tomas Tatar, and Jakub Kindl.
We haven't broached this subject, but several former Red Wings and members of the Wings' alumni association are part of the class-action concussion lawsuit against the NHL, and former Wings captain Reed Larson penned an op-ed letter for the Detroit News on Friday night, explaining why he's joined the cause despite not having been afflicted with post-concussive symptoms himself:
As I see my fellow teammates suffering from unexpected neurological issues, I live with the reality that my time with the NHL came with a greater cost than I or my teammates could have ever imagined.
During my NHL career, I remember numerous hits that left me feeling dizzy and disoriented, and some that even knocked me out cold. Concussions were treated no different from standard shoulder injuries. If you could skate, you could get back on the ice.
As the captain of the Red Wings, I was always eager to return to the game and my team as quickly as possible, and the NHL was more than willing to encourage this by never treating or acknowledging the head hits.
Although my playing days are decades behind me, my former teammates and rivals remain close friends.
Unfortunately, during these almost-daily interactions it becomes clear that many are affected by headaches, depression and memory loss, or worse. I know of men who suffer from debilitating neurological diseases and are unable to afford the care they deserve.
The letter continues, and it's certainly moving.
I'm still updating the "morning skate" post, but MLive's Aaron McMann noted that the Red Wings alums who took part in last night's Wings Alums vs. Flint Generals Alumni tilt had incredibly positive things to say about the Red Wings' prospect development pipeline:
"They all bring different elements to the game and that's what's made them so successful," [Dino] Ciccarelli said. "(Tomas) Tatar and (Gus) Nyquist have certainly created a spark offensively, some of the defenseman, (Riley) Sheahan, you need these guys and the guys that play the roles. (Petr) Mrazek stepped up when Jimmy Howard was injured. That's what you need in the playoffs to have success, you've got to be healthy and need everyone to step up."
McCarty credits second-year players Sheahan and Luke Glendening, two of the eight players 25 years of age or younger on the Detroit roster, for the spark they provide.
"Because obviously I like the third and fourth-line guys," McCarty said. "It just goes to show you that the product -- the formula for success -- of the Detroit Red Wigs organization the past 25 years hasn't changed. And that's a tribute to the Illitchs, Kenny Holland and Mike Babcock. They are breeding champions."
Red Wings broadcaster Mickey Redmond, who still plays in 11 to 12 alumni games a year, called this year's Detroit team fun to watch because you never know what you'll get. Years ago, he said, Detroit's lineup was star-studded and you knew they would win.
"That's not the business anymore," Redmond said. "Anybody can win and I think we have as decent a chance as anybody with the personnel we have."(The young guys) came up a little bit earlier than they wanted them to. But they've handled it very well, they've matured very quickly. And they've handled it, that's the important thing. And this year they have continued to grow."
Red Wings-Stars morning skate Tweets and articles: Lehtonen starts for Dallas; Quincey out for Wings
Updated 12x at 2:53 PM: The Detroit Red Wings begin a set of 3 games in 4 nights and 5 in 8 via a "trap game" against the Dallas Stars this evening (8 PM EST on FSD/FS SW/97.1 FM).
As the probably Kyle Quincey-less Wings begin the "dog days" of the NHL season, we can only hope that the Wings don't look at the Stars' status as 11th place in the West or absent Tyler Seguin and simply overlook the Stars given Monday and Tuesday's games against the Ducks and Kings.
I skipped an overnight report because I earned a blogging-related injury on Friday (frostbite), so I'm starting what's usually a Tweet-filled post with a game preview:
The Dallas News's Mike Heika reports that Ales Hemsky will likely return to the lineup of a Stars team that hasn't given up hope of earning a Wild Card spot, and the Stars most recently dropped a 4-2 decision to San Jose, but they've won 4 of their past 6 games:
The Red Wings will continue their six-game road trip with a "trap game" in Dallas on Saturday. As tonight's tilt precedes a particularly nasty stretch of 4 games in 6 nights against Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose and Nashville, I'd suggest that the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa's list of 5 reasons why the Wings are "sitting pretty" = one of the reasons I'll be totally satisfied if the Wings win 3 of five in less-than-convincing fashion:
It is the dog days of the NHL season. The Red Wings have surpassed seemingly everyone's expectations — except, perhaps, their own.
Are they tired, as in "fatigued?" Could be.
But the ability of some teams to "skate them" recently, despite the fact that speed is among the Wings' best weapons, may well be evidence of playing in games 50 through 60 in a long season.
If it is fatigue, Mike Babcock almost certainly knows and will try to help, by adjusting the schedule.
And, in the scheme of things, a second wind is likely on the way. It often refreshes teams around the start of March.
The Wings looked to be over their heads at times against Chicago, but the win counted regardless of style points, and if the Wings can even less-than-convincingly earn six or more points over the next week's 5 games in 8 nights, these are the dog days. If you've gotta win ugly, this is the time of year when points matter over precision.
Krupa continues, but I'm going to be resting my frostbitten fingers (it's a long story), and I'll see you in the morning (and yes, a prospect catch-up post is in the offing).
I suppose that one leads to the other: TSN's Darren Dreger used some very Ken Holland-sounding terms to wonder aloud whether the Red Wings might be better served by sticking with their "rebuild/reload" as-is instead of surrendering assets, should the Wings not be as far along in the process as fans might imagin;
Later on Friday afternoon, Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave asked Ken Holland about this strategy.
Here's what Holland told Gave--who reports that the Wings have
sent "demoted" Tomas Jurco to Grand Rapids[? I think?] "to find his finishing touch"[???]*
"We like our depth. We like our kids," Holland said. "We've got a lot of great kids. They're not all going to make it to Detroit, but some of them are."
Some others may wind up in the NHL as well, although with other clubs. But only for a deal that makes sense, Holland said, hinting that if an opportunity surfaces he won't hesitate to pull the trigger.
"We have lots of cap space, and every day that goes by that space that we're below the cap grows," he said. "So if a player is available that will upgrade our team, we can do something. But I won't trade away our futures for depth."
Whether Petry, the son of former Tigers pitcher Dan Petry, is a player the Wings would give up some depth for is a matter of some debate within the organization. He's a 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-shot defenseman in the prime of his career at age 27.
The Wings have scouted Petry, and while some in the organization describe him as "very average," others close who have watched Petry develop in youth hockey around Detroit and now in the NHL see him as very good fit with the Wings. Playing with better players Detroit has throughout its roster will only make Petry a better player. He came into the NHL with strong skating and passing skills, a good, hard shot and considerable offensive acumen. And like his father, he has a tremendous work ethic.
Again, Petry's name comes up, and after reading the rest of Gave's report, you might want to head over to the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's take on Petry's future with the Oilers given that Matheson spoke with Petry about his uncertain future.
As for this stuff, it's news to me, and the italics are mine [demoted = press box? demoted = in Grand Rapids? Gave's text is hard to decipher] :
Paul already posted this in KKH, so I'd generally not toss it out there, but TSN's Darren Dreger posited a particularly intriguing set of paragraphs in his Dreger Report, discussing the Red Wings' trade deadline strategy given the team's record (it's pretty dang good) and growth of/improvement from its younger players:
Detroit won't be swapping first- or second-round draft picks or a quality prospect for a rental player. As close as the Wings may seem to be to another Stanley Cup run, they're not far enough advanced in the build to throw away assets merely to improve their chances of winning a round in the playoffs.
Last year, Detroit traded a third-rounder (upgraded to a second when they secured a playoff spot), top prospect Calle Jarnkrok and Patrick Eaves to Nashville for David Legwand in an effort to make the playoffs for a 23rd straight year. It worked, but Detroit is in a different place now with no significant post-season threat. As close as the race is in the East, trading quality assets to improve this teams chances of winning a round in the playoffs may not be worth the gamble.
In the remaining days leading up to the deadline, Holland will undoubtedly stay active in discussions and is well-positioned if the asking price on sought-after defencemen like Carolina's Andrej Sekera, Edmonton's Jeff Petry and Arizona's Zbynek Michalek drops to an affordable price. In the meantime, opportunity knocks for rookie Alexey Marchenko who may turn out to be the right shot d-man Detroit has been patiently looking for.
Dreger continues, and I know that some of you would of course argue that the whole reason to have so many assets--not all of whom will make the NHL or remain with the Wings--is to use them, but it's a very "Ken Holland" thing to suggest that the team isn't necessarily done with its "reload on the fly," so Dreger's suggestion that the Wings aren't "far enough advanced in the build" really raised my eyebrows.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson also happens to have discussed Jeff Petry's status this afternoon...
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.