The Malik Report
Red Wings-Lightning set-up and overnight report: banged-up Wings hope to get back on track vs. Bolts
Ahead of tonight's game between the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 PM EST, FSD/Sun Sports/NHL Network U.S. with the cursory Center Ice/GCL blackout/97.1 FM), I have one piece of advice for Red Wings fans concerned about Henrik Zetterberg's status as on the LTIR until December 28th, Jimmy Howard's "dinged up" knee, Stephen Weiss's groin (okay, there aren't many of you), Danny DeKeyser's shoulder (the Free Press's Helene St. James first issued a freaky-out-headline-update on Howard and then revealed that DeKeyser should be back on the 28th) or any other of the Red Wings' asundry injury issues:
The Michigan Chronicle's Donald James did something interesting on Wednesday, and his work's worth a stand alone-entry because he chose to speak with the Ilitches' representatives regarding their take on the public funds which will help build the Red Wings' follow-on rink project:
“There will be no taxpayers dollars going to fund this project,” said Susan Durgan, director of communication for Olympia Development of Michigan. “The state is actually funding the majority of the public sector piece of the project through economic development funds that have been available for years. The money can only be used for economic development.
“The city of Detroit in bankruptcy is very unfortunate, but it’s drawing a line in the sand, basically,” Durgan said. “However, the city must move on. This is a ‘move on’ project. This is something that will create revenue.”
Amongst Wednesday's Red Wings-related prospect news: Bear with me. The Wings have been up-and-down of late, and the injury bug is running around like a bad gastrointestinal virus, so let's go with some unmitigated joy to start things off.
In the QMJHL: Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha's heading to Toronto to take part in the Canadians' pre-World Junior Championship "selection camp" (he's made the team, as has Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson), and then he and the Canadian WJC team will head to Malmo, Sweden to play in the World Championships from December 26 to January 5.
Updated 2x: St. James and Kulfan report that Jimmy Howard needs tests on his knee: How did the Red Wings make cap room to recall Petr Mrazek because Jimmy Howard has simply received a "bump," and is probably not injured? It's not great news, per MLive's Ansar Khan:
Khan is also confirming in article form:
The Red Wings posited the following Tweet, and this has to mean that either Jonas Gustavsson, who was slated to start tomorrow against the Lightning, or Jimmy Howard "can't go" due to an injury:
Red Wings executive Chris Chelios spoke with The Fan 590's Jeff Marek and Doug MacLean earlier this afternoon, and he offered an intriguing take as to why the Red Wings and their defense continue to struggle, he offered a bit of a Winter Classic Alumni Showdown preview, and he offered a few 24/7 antagonist tidbits (it appears that the Red Wings' coach and goalie coach both dislike the cameras), he talked about the spate of suspension-worthy offenses, the fighting-non-fighting debate given that his sons play NCAA hockey (and he played NCAA hockey as well) and he offered a unique take on what happens when you play "on the edge": as far as Chelios is concerned, you have to expect some retaliation. Chelios has always believed in the whole, "Sometimes you have to take the hit, take the number of the bus that hit you and skate away" part of the equation, too:
Red Wings Wednesday news: Weiss’s groin’s acting up; Wings-Panthers tailings, on Franzen and Yzerman
Updated 8x at 2:31 PM: The Detroit Red Wings took to the ice in Tampa Bay for a relatively early (and brief) practice on Wednesday morning, and MLive's Ansar Khan, the Free Press's Helene St. James and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan delivered surprising news regarding one of the protagonists in the Wings' 3-2 shootout loss to Florida.
Wings on ice for early practice in Tampa. Weiss is not skating.
And after practice, well:
Babcock said Weiss is out with some type of groin issue or stomach strain. Will have tests to determine extent.
The Grand Rapids Griffins have posited a quintet of promotional and/or creative videos of late, and while they're promoting a "6 Game Flex Pack" in the first two videos, I can't deny that I'm surprised at how well Wings prospects Luke Glendening, Riley Sheahan, Mitch Callahan and Ryan Sproul (quite the set of roommates) can carry a Christmas tune...
Their "Christmas Q and A" is amusing...
NHL.com's Dan Rosen's "Over the Boards" column mostly focuses on the Tampa Bay Lightning's injury issues, the Minnesota Wild and a pair of New Jersey Devils rookies, but Rosen also offers stand-alone-entry-worthy quips from someone who turns 41 today in Daniel Alfredsson. Alfredsson's been wearing an alternate captain's "A" in Henrik Zetterberg's absence, and Alfredsson told Rosen that he's become accustomed to reprising a familiar role on what may still remain a somewhat unfamiliar team:
Captain Henrik Zetterberg's absence from the Detroit Red Wings lineup because of injury has opened the door for Daniel Alfredsson to adopt a bigger leadership role with the team. Alfredsson, who was the Ottawa Senators' captain for 13 years, told NHL.com he feels far more comfortable exerting his brand of leadership now than when he first arrived in Detroit.
"It was a bigger adjustment period than I thought it would be, both on and off the ice, with changing everything," Alfredsson said. "Looking back on it, it has been a great learning experience for me to see what players go through when they change things in a way that I didn't really appreciate before. It's natural, too. You don't just come in and in my case being a captain for so long, just try to take over. I try to see where I can fit in, where I can help out. I think I've got a pretty good feel for that now. I definitely feel comfortable enough with this team now where I'm able to act as normal."
Alfredsson is on a hot streak, with 10 points (four goals) in his past nine games.
Alfresson also had this to say about Pavel Datsyuk's work ethic...
My overriding thought regarding the Red Wings' 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers, at least when I was trying to curl up in bed until my, "Be a responsible adult with a bad virus and write up a wrap-up, dammit" voice in my head won out, had little to do with the Wings' litany of 3rd-period collapses, their 10 straight shootout defeats, Jimmy Howard's up-and-down performances or my crazy theory about the Wings adding a #3 defenseman (and I like Alex Edler of Vancouver, who may only be tradeable because his $5 million cap hit belies $6 million in total compensation this season and then
$8.5, $12, $12, $12 and $8.5 million $4.25 million, $6.25 million, $9 million, $9 million, $6 million and $4.25 million in total-compensation investments over the balance of his deal).
It was this: Holy shit, we're 2 months and 11 days into the season, and 15-9-and-8 equals the Red Wings having played 32 games already, and when the Winter Classic takes place three weeks from today, the Wings will be playing in game 42.
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.