The Malik Report
The Red Wings kick off a 3-game Western Canadian road swing and a 6-game road trip against the Vancouver Canucks this evening (10 PM EST on FSD/CBC/97.1 FM) needing to match a more desperate opponent's urgency.
Vancouver's coming off a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles, but possesses a 3-1-and-1 record over its past 4 games; prior to that little stretch, however, Vancouver lost 5 straight, and they sit in a 3-place tie for 3rd in the Pacific Division.
The Vancouver Canucks lost their last game 3-2 to the LA Kings and talk about having a bounce back game tonight against the Wings.
Updated 6x at 5:45 PM: The Red Wings flew to Vancouver to begin their Western Canadian road swing against the Canucks tomorrow night (10 PM EST start on FSD), and MLive's Ansar Khan reported that all the Wings' players were present and accounted for Friday's practice...
Everybody practicing today for Wings at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, including Kindl, who's not eligible to come off IR until Sunday.
As did the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
Kindl (elbow) participating in practice today
In the prospect department, Dylan Larkin didn't register a point as Team USA was ousted 3-2 by Russia in the World Junior Championship's quarterfinals, and Axel Holmstrom and Christoffer Ehn's Swedes are tied 3-3 with Finland presently;
Practice continued, with Khan reporting a bit of a switch-up:
Ansar Khan of Mlive answered some questions from his readers...
Q: I know he shoots left but do the Wings have interest in Keith Yandle?
A: They would have interest in anyone who can help them, including Yandle. The Arizona Coyotes look like they're already out of the playoff chase, so they might step up efforts to move Yandle. But, again, a rebuilding team will be seeking a top prospect, a good young roster player and/or a first-round pick, assets I don't see the Red Wings relinquishing, especially for a player who will be unrestricted in July 2016.
Q: If you were a betting man, who do you think will be our trade acquisition (if any)? Washington lacks depth down the middle and we seem to be center heavy. Not sure we can part with what they'd want (for Green)
A: I doubt they'll acquire any of the top-tier defensemen that might be available. If they make a move, it'll probably be for a second- or third-pair defender.
"He's a good skater, good two-way player, I think he's done everything that Team USA would want. I was very impressed with the way he played."
"Plays hard both ways, he can transport the puck up the ice, he makes little plays. He competes hard. He's a good prospect, a good player. Our scouts liked him a lot when we picked him. Certainly the way he's played at Michigan and now the way he's played at World Junior, we're very happy with where he's at with his development."
That's Ken Holland on Dylan Larkin at the WJC. More propect talk from Holland by Ansar Khan on Mlive.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Tomas Tatar has missed hanging out with his Detroit Red Wings teammates - going to dinner with them, catching a movie, going shopping.
He'll get his wish, in spades, over the coming two months, as the Wings make up for a very home-friendly November and December with a marathon of road games. Today was tagged for traveling to Vancouver, where Saturday's game against the Canucks begins a stretch that has the Wings away from home 17 of the next 23 games.
It all evens out after 82 games, of course, and being on the road can lead to some great bonding.
"I won't say it's going to be nice to go on the road," Henrik Zetterberg said after scoring the game-winning goal in Wednesday's 3-1 victory over New Jersey. "But we don't see these trips any more that often. Now we're going to get a little long trip, and it's going to be good for our group to get together and spend some time together."
Before the Wings moved to the Eastern Conference at the start of the 2013-14 season, the schedule would feature two trips each to California and western Canada. Such trips often include two days between games - like this upcoming one, when the Wings will have Sunday off in Vancouver, because the next game isn't until Tuesday at Edmonton. That means fun times, to Tatar.
Update: From SoDakWingNut:
The Red Wings are about to go on a very, very long trip, most likely leaving after Thursday's practice for a 6-game road trip that will take them through Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and then back East to Washington, Buffalo and St. Louis, not seeing the Joe for a home game until the 17th of January...
And they're going to do so having both fumigated the locker room lest the Devils' mumps lingered at the Joe, and they're going to do so on a winning note. The Wings had a difficult December, losing for 6 of their 10 home games (though 4 losses were of the OT-or-shootout variety) and splitting 2 of their 4 road games regualtion losses there), going 6-4-and-4 on the month, but the Wings ended the month, year and 38th game of the 14-15 campaign the way the team hopes to play going forward.
Detroit won nothing less than a "trap game" against a trapping Devils team, surrendering the game's first goal but tying things up in a hurry, hanging in until they un-tied the game with 5:01 left in the 3rd and pushing their way toward a 3-1 win that was just as necessary as it was "clutch"--with Jimmy Howard superb in the net, the Wings' defense stellar in front of him, and the Nyquist-Helm-Franzen line leading the way offensively.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"This is getting close to the halfway point and it's the end of 2014, so you want to go out on a good note," Glendening said. "You want to play well, especially after the game we just had we need to get back on the right track."
Said forward Stephen Weiss: "We've got to take care of our home games because we have a long stretch on the road here. This is a very important game for us. Make sure that we go on the road on a good note and we're feeling good about ourselves. But in saying that, we can't put any extra pressure on ourselves, we have to go through the process of doing what we do well, and hopefully the result takes care of itself."
The Red Wings will be renewing their traditional New Year's Eve game, which didn't take place the past two years due to the NHL lockout and then the Jan. 1 Winter Classic.
"It's a game that we need to win," Babcock said. "It's New Year's, people get all excited, the fans and that come down here. We need to win a game."
added 11:24am, Pleiness also talked with Babcock after the skate...
My apologies for the absence of late and thanks to Paul for covering: a little holiday depression...Seems to happen. The sooner December is over, the better given the ups and downs.
I tried to watch the Red Wings' 5-2 loss to Boston on Monday, and tried to watch as much of it while not distracted as possible (which isn't easy when you're used to doing three or four things at once during games). Among my observations:
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.