Kukla's Korner

The overnight report: On bridges unburnt, net-front players, Ouellet, Weiss and praise for the Isles

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

If you need a little "light reading," if not a change of pace given the Wings' 5-game losing streak, and we're going to do via yet another two-or-more-sport-referencing article from the Free Press's Evil Drew Sharp, mostly because his comparison of Jim Harbaugh and Mike Babcock's respective contract situations is...Thoughtful? Yes indeedy:

Babcock's apparent reluctance in committing to the Wings beyond this season easily could have turned ugly. Everyone understands how thin-skinned Detroit gets if it thinks its shiniest sports baubles want out at their earliest convenience.

But general manager Ken Holland isn't panicked. There's no rush. More important, there's no rancor. Holland fully appreciates what Babcock has brought to the Wings since his arrival for the 2005-06 season. Holland knows he has the best coach in the NHL as well as the best owner in Mike Ilitch, who's unafraid to spend premium dollars on premium talent. He can wait. Holland knows that if Babcock leaves after the season, it won't be because the Wings turned miserly.

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Red Wings-Islanders wrap-up: The inevitable return of the rope-AND-dope

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I'm just not surprised. The Red Wings' 2-1 loss to the New York Islanders, punctuated by Jimmy Howard's "lower-body injury" exit necessitating the recall of Tom McCollum and demotion of Xavier Ouellet due to roster space reasons...

It was coming, as was the Wings' 0-2-and-3 slide. This team is still just young enough, just thin enough in terms of depth or the lack thereof and just still working out its identity as a recharged, reloaded team on an upward trajectory to allow a set of injuries that disrupted team continuity to screw everything up--via a cascading series of self-inflicted wounds.

The 7-1-and-1 run sewed the seeds for both a probable rebound performance during January and February's road-heavy schedule, and the temporary losses of Johan Franzen's production, Danny DeKeyser, Stephen Weiss, Justin Abdelkader et. al. (and even Pavel Datsyuk's return) jostled the Wings just enough to put them on their back foot before tumbling a top-heavy team right over.

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Prospect news: Athanasiou hurt, Backman exits, Hicketts makes WJC, Griffins and Walleye win

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

It was a good news-bad-news night for the Red Wings' prospects, and these tidbits = the bad news:

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St. James, Khan: Red Wings to recall McCollum, demote Ouellet due to Howard’s LBI

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Well, shit:

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Quick take, Red Wings vs. Islanders: This sure as hell better be the low point

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings have fallen into the worst drought of their season, unable to score, unable to defend, and unable to move the puck efficiently up or down the ice between their and their opponent's goals. As a result, the Red Wings dropped a 5th straight defeat, losing 2-1 to the New York Islanders, on Friday night.

The fact that this was only the team's first regulation loss among their 5 (0-1-and-3) seems near-miraculous given how lost the Wings look on the ice, given how much of  disaster Jonathan Ericsson has become and given how plain old dumb the team is playing, working to be as inefficient as humanly possible while sending one skater into two, three or four opponents with no support and no outlets for the puck.

Turnovers result, goals against result, and now Niklas Kronwall is making that face he made during the Wings' no-Datsyuk-and-no-Zetterberg losing streak, looking lost and distant.

That's very bad for a mostly healthy team in December, even if Jimmy Howard left the game early due to "precautionary" reasons.

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Jimmy Howard exits Wings-Isles game for precautionary reasons

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I've never seen so many Tweets hoping and nearly praying that a goaltender has the stomach flu, and the stomach flu of the violent kind, but this is the mump era:

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Grossness

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

Hockey can be great, and hockey can be, uh, gross.

Think of how germs can spread in school classrooms, college dormitories or everyday offices. Now think of how they can spread in NHL dressing rooms, bench areas or ice rinks.

These guys play in petri dishes filled with snot, spit, sweat and blood. Despite the best efforts of medical, training and equipment staffs – better manned, educated and equipped than ever before – they exchange bodily fluids easily and often.

A hockey sweater might as well be a motel comforter.

“Who knows what gets on you?” said New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck. “It’s pretty gross. It really is.”

continued

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Wallner: Grand Rapids Griffins lose Andreas Athanasiou to broken jaw, Backman back to Sweden

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Crappy news from the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner. The Darren Helm of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Andreas Athanasiou, has suffered a broken jaw:

The 6'2," 200-pound center was earning top-line duty between Anthony Mantha and Andy Miele, and had registered 7 goals, 9 assists and 16 points over the course of 25 games played. He'd also earned gushy praise from coach Jeff Blashill, who suggested that "AA" ws the Griffins' best, hardest-working player more nights than not.

Double whammy:

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Statement From Gordie Howe’s Family

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

DETROIT – The following statement was issued today by the Howe family regarding improvements to the condition of Gordie Howe:

“Following the press coverage of our father’s deteriorating medical condition, the Howe Family was contacted in late November by Dr. Maynard Howe (CEO) and Dave McGuigan (VP) of Stemedica Cell Technologies. McGuigan knew our family as a result of his previous employment with the Detroit Red Wings. Stemedica is a biotechnology company that manufactures allogeneic adult stem cells in its U.S. government licensed, cGMP facility in San Diego, California. Although no relation, Dr. Howe and his brothers Drs. David and Roger are hockey players and big Gordie Howe fans, having grown up in Minnesota. They wished to help our father by generously facilitating Dad’s participation in a stem cell clinical trial at Novastem, a licensed distributor of Stemedica’s products in Mexico. 

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Win One

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit

Where do I start? The Wings have to WIN one, how's that? We are currently on a four game losing binge. I know many out there say winless in four. That's just a way to avoid the hard reality of actually having to say losing four in a row.

Yes, there are the loser points, for which I am grateful, but, this current string of losses is unacceptable. Settling for a loser point seems to get easier each time. Three in one week is bullshit. It's shameful. That's lazy Hockey.

Make you're own breaks, because in order to win one, you have to beat the Islanders and the zebras.

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