The Malik Report
The Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan penned her pre-game notebook, and Capitals coach Barry Trotz gave a great quote about his memories of Joe Louis Arena, as well as the building's legacy:
Said Trotz: “To me, it was always about the tradition. When I was in Nashville, especially in the early years, you look across, and they were in they heydays. One time I remember looking across, and you’ve got Scotty Bowman on the bench and they have nine Hall of Fame guys on their bench, all at the same time. But the Joe has character. It has a lot of character. They’ve won a lot of games in that building. As a visitor, it was a tough place to come into. It’s sort of iconic. You don’t really call it Joe Louis Arena. It’s ‘The Joe.’ It’s probably time for ‘The Joe’ and for Detroit to get a new building.”
Update: Here are a few more Capitals on the Joe, per WashingtonCapitals.com's Mike Vogel:
Former Red Wings forward Boyd Devereaux lives an ecclectic life, and Sports Illustrated's Brian Weitz caught up with Devereaux in an intriguing Q and A:
Boyd Devereaux is a retired NHL player, originally drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1996. In addition to the Oilers, he played for Detroit (where he won a Stanley Cup in 2002), Phoenix and Toronto. And during his NHL career, he and business partner Joe Greenwald also founded Elevation Recordings, a record label devoted to heavy psych rock and experimental metal.
I first heard about Boyd when he won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings. But it wasn’t until a few years later that someone in the music community asked if I’d heard of a hockey player that supposedly liked the legendary Michigan noise band Wolf Eyes. I hadn’t, so I set out to track the player down. I eventually read about Boyd and Elevation in Arthur magazine and realized it must be him.
As a big hockey fan, I was excited to find a former player with interests so close to my own. We recently spoke about his parallel experiences as an NHL player and deep music fan, his time running Elevation Recordings, and his new project, Waking Sound Productions, in which he attempts to bring his love of old skateboarding videos to hockey.
Of Red Wings-related note ahead of today's game against the Washington Capitals (2 PM EST on FSD/CSN Mid-Atlantic/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM):
1. Jeff Blashill and Barry Trotz held their pre-game pressers, as noted by DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:
#Capitals Trotz, asked who is in goal today: "Yes."
#RedWings Blashill didn't say this today but usually says, "All lineup decisions will be made after warmups." #Capitals
MLive's Brendan Savage also took note of the long list of scouts taking in today's game...
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins received goals from 5 players and 32 saves from Cal Heeter en route to a 5-2 victory over the San Antonio Rampage on Friday night.
The Red Wings face a unique challenge in batting the red-hot Washington Capitals this afternoon (2 PM on FSD/CSN Mid-Atlantic/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM). The Capitals boast one of the NHL's best records at 39-11-and-2, the Capitals have won 6 straight games, and they're coming off a 6-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks...A week ago.
The Capitals are coming off their "Bye Week" facing the Wings, and while the 13 teams that have taken part in "Bye Weeks" are 3-9-and-1 in their first game, the Wings--who are playing for pride at this point--lost 6-3 to Washington on February 9th.
In their first practice after the break, the Capitals told the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan that they're aware of the impediments to continuing their scintillating pace of late:
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
CORKS, PUCKS AND BREWS SET FOR FEB. 21
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins and Easterseals Michigan are teaming up for the sixth annual Corks, Pucks and Brews, a wine and beer tasting fundraiser to be held on Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Goei Center.
Griffins players will serve over 100 varieties of wine and craft beer samples to guests at the event, highlighted by live music, hors d’oeuvres and silent and live auctions. Items up for bid include two Chicago Cubs VIP packages consisting of 4 suite tickets, food and parking for an upcoming game; an autographed Jimmy Howard jersey; Griffins packages; a golf experience featuring a round at the Jewel Golf Course in Mackinac Island; casino packages; beauty packages; product baskets; wine and beer tours; gift cards and more.
Henrik Zetterberg and Frans Nielsen spoke with the Free Press's George Sipple regarding playing through an incredibly frustrating 2016-17 campaign:
Zetterberg, the team captain, acknowledged that this has been a tough season.
“Not just for me,” Zetterberg said. “It’s hard to go through this, but you do it as a team, and you try to get better every day.”
Forward Frans Nielsen agreed. He signed a six-year, $31.5-million deal to join the Wings this season and expected to make the playoffs.
“No one is feeling good about it right now,” Nielsen said. “We’re absolutely not where we want to be and think we should be, with the talent that’s in that room.”
Nielsen said the Wings have to play with pride the rest of the season. He thinks the Wings have “three potential superstars” in Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha.
“Within the next couple years, we might have three of the best players in the league in those three,” Nielsen said. “We’ve got some great, great young players to build this team around.”
Quick update: MLive's Ansar Khan also weighs in:
Updated at 4:43 PM: The Detroit Red Wings practiced at the University Liggett School ahead of back-to-back matinee games against Washington (at the Joe) and Pittsburgh (in the Steel City), with the Wings icing some familiar lines, with Vanek, Nielsen and Athanasiou reunited and Anthony Mantha back on his familiar spot on Henrik Zetterberg's wing.
After practice, Dylan Larkin spoke with the Free Press's George Sipple about what's become one hell of a sophomore slump...
Larkin has 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points this season. He has a minus-18 rating in 55 games heading into Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals (2 p.m., FSD, NHL Network).
“Right now, we have 25 games left,” Larkin said. “Especially for a player like myself, where things this year haven’t gone the way I would have liked them to, every day is a tryout. Every day, I’m trying to earn extra ice time, earn more trust. Earn things doing it the right way and working hard.”
“You look at opportunities and you look at bounces, even, as crazy as it sounds,” Larkin said. “You look at shots on goal, in the past few months, (it) hasn’t been there for myself. It’s a stat that’s black and white, in the face. To score goals, to get assists off rebounds, to create offense, you have to put the puck on net.”
Larkin averaged 2.8 shots per game and a 10.4 shooting percentage last season. He is averaging 2.4 shots per game this season, with a 9.2 shooting percentage.
Sipple continues, and in the multimedia department, MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Henrik Zetterberg regarding "taking advantage" of the Capitals as they come off their "Bye Week":
Of Red Wings-related note from ESPN's Craig Custance's Friday Insider column: Thomas Vanek apparently wants to stay in Detroit, and the Wings want to re-sign Vanek, but they don't want to give Vanek a no-move clause before the expansion draft. The result? Vanek will probably be traded and may or may not circle back to the Wings during the off-season:
“I’ve had some good conversations with Ken [Holland],” said Vanek’s agent Steve Bartlett on Thursday. “They’ve been very complimentary towards Vanek and vice versa. Certainly there’s some good will both directions.”
With the Red Wings playoff hopes all but squashed, it doesn’t make much sense for them to sign him right now. And the reality is, it makes no sense for Vanek to sign with Detroit at this point either, because doing so may just lead to him being exposed in the expansion draft. A contract with Detroit could end up being a contract with Las Vegas.
“It is complicated,” Bartlett said. “It’s not every year we have an expansion draft. From our standpoint, we’re not necessarily sure he would be a protected player. Maybe we sign and think we’re in Detroit and all of a sudden we’re in Vegas. Everyone has their own vested interest. We are certainly open to playing in Detroit next year.”
Bartlett has had two or three conversations in the last month with the Red Wings, but there’s no reason to do a deal now. It would take a "no-movement clause" to assure Vanek he wouldn’t be going anywhere, and then that adds another forward for the Red Wings to protect. That wouldn’t make a lot of sense from an asset management point of view.
Custance continues, suggesting that Vanek's situation is representative of may unrestricted free agents-to-be who want to re-sign with their current teams...
And he doesn't believe that the Wings are going to send a 1st-rounder to St. Louis for Shattenkirk given that the Wings will probably draft pretty high in the draft this summer...He doesn't believe that the Wings will get more than a 2nd-rounder for Vanek, either.
The Red Wings practiced at the University Liggett School today, preparing for Saturday's game against Washington (2 PM EST) and Sunday's game against Pittsburgh (3 PM EST).
The team's goaltenders preceded the players onto the ice, as noted by the Free Press's George Sipple:
Henrik Zetterberg, 36, has 877 career points. What will be his final career point total? @DetroitRedWings
MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed the Wings' presence at McCann Arena...
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.