The Malik Report
Updated 2x at 12:18 PM: The Detroit Red Wings spent Sunday morning flying to Phoenix probably feeling like Ales Hemsky did after he was very cleanly Kronwalled (and even the Edmonton Journal’s David Staples says the hit was clean)—probably a little dazed and confused as to how they’d managed to rally from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to take a 4-3 lead on the Edmonton Oilers…
And yet a three-goal third period wasn’t enough to overcome the team’s defensive miscues or its continued inability to score on the power play (the Wings went 0 for 4 and blew a full two-minute 5 on 3), and in their eighth shootout game, the Wings’ shooters got as cute as they did during the first 40 minutes of play, and as such, they dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the plucky Oilers.
For Edmonton, which has won four of its past five games, witnessing Sam Ganger keep the good times rolling by registering 3 points in his follow-up to his 8-point game against Chicago and managing to rally from their own mistakes was more than enough reason to celebrate, as Gagner himself told the Edmonton Journal’s Joanne Ireland:
Updated with highlights, fights, etc.: The Detroit Red Wings’ 5-4 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers was a tale of would’ve’s, should’ve’s and could’ve’s.
What would have happened if the Red Wings hadn’t given up a 2-goal lead? What should have happened had the Wings not allowed the Oilers to take a 3-1 lead on a goal scored with under a second left in the 1st period? What could have happened had the Red Wings scored on their four power plays—including 2 full minutes of 5-on-3 time which involved passing, passing and trying to cutesy a back-door goal into nowhere?
What would have happened had the Red Wings not rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the third, only to surrender a second last-minute goal in the 3rd, and then fell flat as played as flaccidly as they did during the first and the first half of the second periods?
And why did the Wings try to tempt the shootout gods for the sixth time in their last eleven games?
Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall landed a clean butt check on Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers. Kronwall was bloodied by Corey Potter and Hemsky had to go to the “quiet room” but has nothing more than a little cut on his upper lip—and Kronwall never left his feet:
Updated 8x with some pregame reading at 9:25 PM: Thus far there are scant updates regarding the Edmonton Oilers team the Detroit Red Wings will have their hands full tangling with tonight (10 PM EST, FSD/CBC/NHL Network US [CBC feed]/WXYT), but dammit, there’s more than enough reason to jump the gun on the game-day update thread, via the Free Press’s Helene St. James...
Jimmy Howard on ice with teammates this morning, good sign broken finger not too bad
DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose...
#RedWings Jimmy Howard is practicing at Rexall Place. Just showed me notched out part of stick to accommodate broken index finger. #NHL
And the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
File this puppy under things I didn’t think I’d say in the middle of the night on February 3rd, 2011: Lost amidst the news regarding Jimmy Howard’s broken index fingertip, the Red Wings’ first outdoor practice in Metro Detroit, their off-day trade talk, broomball tournament and discussion of Detroit’s 4-3 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks…
Nobody mentioned that the Wings’ tilt against the Edmonton Oilers tonight (10 PM EST, FSD/CBC/NHL Network U.S./WXYT) might be the most difficult game against the most challenging opponent the Red Wings will face on their four-game road trip.
Technically speaking, most broomball leagues employ straw “sweep” brooms, the kinds of balls used to torment elementary schoolers during “dodgeball games in the gym and tennis shoes with duct tape on the bottom, thus resulting in a game which, according to some of the people I knew who played in broomball leagues at the University of Michigan, was best played drunk, but DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose reports that the Red Wings’ players played with a professional level of broomball equipment while eschewing their hockey sticks to break up some February monotony in Edmonton on Friday, and whenever one gives Pavel Datsyuk proper equipment, he plays like Pavel Datsyuk:
The Wings used a day off in the middle of their four-game road trip, spending a fun afternoon playing broomball on an outdoor rink at the Strathcona Athletic Park, about 25-minutes south of Edmonton. Played on a regulation ice hockey rink, players hit a ball – a little smaller than a soccer ball – around the ice with a stick called a “broom,” with wooden shaft and a rubber-molded triangular head similar in shape to that of a regular household broom. Player usually wear special rubberized shoes for traction, but Wings’ players and coaches used regular athletic shoes, which made for a few comedic moments as guys slipped their way through the games.
But not [Pavel] Datsyuk, who flawlessly crisscrossed the ice surface, often in a sprint while helping Team Emmerton claim the tourney championship.
Updated 3x with trade talk, Howard and broomball updates, Oilers stuff and Gordie talk at 8:44 PM: Collective Red Wings fan/team/blogosphere freakout regarding Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard’s broken right index fingertip,/a> excluded, the Wings actually had a relatively quiet day following their 4-3 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that the team played broomball instead of practicing, which is incredibly appropriate given the way pucks went in the net during Edmonton’s 8-5 victory over Chicago:
In addition to Howard, forwards Todd Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary officiated the tournament. Coach Mike Babcock originally had planned an outdoor practice, but decided a non-hockey event would be even better. He likes doing these sorts of things to break up the monotony of the regular season; last year, for example, the Wings tried curling while here. In a reversal of roles, the broom ball teams were captained by youngsters Justin Abdelkader, Cory Emmerton, Jan Mursak and Jakub Kindl. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall was the first overall pick, while Nicklas Lidstrom went where he historically has gone. “I fit my profile,” he said. “Third-rounder.”
“It’s nice to break it up,” Lidstrom said. “Babs has been looking at doing something differently, especially with playing every other night. It’ll be fun to see what it’s all about.”
St. James posted a few more tidbits from the event Via Twitter:
WINGS TO CELEBRATE HOCKEY WEEKEND ACROSS AMERICA WITH HISTORIC OUTDOOR PRACTICE
… Tim Hortons and Kroger Sponsor Red Wings Skate at Downtown Detroit ’s Clark Park; 24 Hours of Hockey Action Planned for Joe Louis Arena …
Detroit, MI… As part of Hockey Weekend Across America and their ongoing Hockeytown Thanks initiative, the Detroit Red Wings will be presenting a variety of hockey events throughout the duration of Saturday, February 18. Teams and players from all ages and skill levels will be participating in this unique daylong endeavor, which will be highlighted by an outdoor practice at downtown Detroit ’s Clark Park featuring the entirety of the Red Wings roster.
The Red Wings outdoor practice at Detroit ’s Clark Park (between Vernor & I-75) will have special observation areas installed specifically for fans to catch all of the action beginning at noon (gates open at 11:00 a.m.). The first 2,000 citizens of Hockeytown to arrive on location will be able to watch the Red Wings skate for approximately one hour as they prepare for a Sunday home game versus San Jose . Fans wishing to attend the Red Wings’ historic outdoor practice on the 18th will be required to make one of three charitable donations upon entering the facility:
There’s kind-of-sort-of good news regarding the broken finger which will keep Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard out of the Wings’ next two games: According to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, Howard suffered a broken fingertip on his right index finger ([edit/update: Roose says it’s a clean break, too,] and not a broken pinky), which is something goalies can usually play through…
The Red Wings have learned that they will be without their All-Star goaltender for the remaining two games of their road trip after Jimmy Howard suffered a broken index finger on his right hand in Thursday’s 4-3 shoot-out win at Vancouver.The injury occurred early in the third period when Howard made a blocker save on a close-range shot along the ice by Canucks center Max Lapierre. Howard skated to the Wings’ bench during the next stoppage where he was examined by Piet VanZant, the team’s athletic therapist, who taped up the finger.
Howard finished the game and didn’t allow a goal in the shoot-out, stopping the Canucks’ Alex Edler and Mason Raymond to earn his league-leading 32nd win of the season. Howard is also third among league starters with a 2.03 goals-against average, and second with five shutouts.
The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan is confirming the team’s recall of Joey MacDonald, which will tax the Grand Rapids Griffins as they’re playing 3 games in 3 nights this weekend, and the Free Press’s Helene St. James spoke to Howard about his injury (and St. James posted a picture of Howard’s finger taped up as well)...
Via DetroitHockey.net’s Clark Rasmussen and RedWingsFeed, Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard did speak to Piet Van Zant after his blocker hand took a ding from a collision with a Canucks player during last night’s win,
but I’m not sure whether this Twitter post from Aaron Ward is accurate
[edit/update: I obviously owe Aaron Ward an apology here as he was on this first and was spot-on]:
Report out of Detroit that Joey McDonald has been called up.Jimmy Howard sustained a hand injury in the win over Vancouver last night. #TSN
We’ll find out whether this is true over the next hour or two. Here’s hoping that if this is true, it’s nothing more than a broken fingernail.
Update: Oh boy, per TSN’s Darren Dreger:
Word is Jimmy Howard has a broken pinkie, should be out about 2 weeks or so…
Update #2: Make that oh sh**, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
Following up @aaronward_nhl and news on Jimmy Howard injury. It’s suspected Howard suffered a broken finger. #TSN
Update #3: Make that two games, per the Red Wings:
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