The Detroit Red Wings hoped to kick off the post All-Star Break schedule by kicking the San Jose Sharks while they were down, with San Jose struggling through a 3-game losing streak.
Both teams desperately needed to earn two points to help keep their playoff hopes alive, and the Joe Thornton-less Sharks had given up 14 goals over their previous three games.
On Wednesday night, the Red Wings earned their two points, scoring once in regulation and 3 times in the shootout, winning 2-1 over the Sharks. Detroit gave the Sharks a point by not building upon a one-goal 3rd period lead, but Petr Mrazek was excellent, Trevor Daley of all people scored a pretty goal and Athanasiou, Tatar and Abdelkader of all people delivered in the skills competition.
Todd Bertuzzi was sitting with teammates in a popular Vancouver restaurant mere minutes before he passed out in a hotel lobby.
“I remember sitting at the Cactus Club and, all of a sudden, I started getting the sweats really, really bad. All of a sudden, my heart started going like crazy and I wasn’t sure what was going on. I kind of got scared,” he said today about his final playing days in 2013-14.
He’d managed to call his trainers for help. And then medical staff from the Vancouver Canucks came to the aid of the visiting Detroit Red Wings winger. It was the veteran power forward’s last season in the NHL on what would be his last trip as an active skater to the city where he’d played eight seasons and also where he’d faced criminal charges for a violent on-ice incident 10 seasons earlier.
He was having a panic attack. What started that night didn’t alleviate for years, he said.
Continued, with an audio clip of Bertuzzi addressing the issue:
So, my question to those of you who are commenting and/or wish to comment in this blog is simple: are we doing a game thread this evening, or would you prefer to stay at your normal places and head here for the post-game wrap-ups?
Petr Mrazek will make his third start in the last four games but Blashill said it was not because the team is trying to showcase him before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
“Not for me, not one bit,” Blashill said. “Petr’s played pretty well lately, he’s gotten us points and I got tons of faith in both of them and we’re trying to win hockey games. We want to win tonight’s game and put ourselves in a better position to be a playoff team.”
Blashill said he has noticed an uptick in Mrazek’s confidence of late.
“I think when you’re more confident as a goalie, the puck sticks to you a little bit more, you play under control, especially him,” Blashill said. “He plays under control. I think confidence is a big factor. I think he’s worked hard on his game all year, going back to the summer. I think when he hasn’t played, he’s put himself in position to go out and play and done good work with Jeff Salajko, our goalie coach. Hopefully he can come out here and have a real strong performance for us.”
Mrazek is 1-2-0 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in four career games against the Sharks.
Of note from the Free Press’s Helene St. James‘ latest mailbag feature, in which she answers a question about the youth movement and whether the team may add at the trade deadline:
One of the biggest positives to emerge from this season is how well the rebuilding blocks have played. Dylan Larkin has emerged as a solid 200-pound center who can play both special teams, and play in any situation — and he’s only 21. Anthony Mantha has shown what a scoring touch he has, especially when he goes to the net. Andreas Athanasiou has shown what a game-changer he can be with his unique skill set of speed and hands to finish. On the second tier, I’d add Tyler Bertuzzi — he adds grit to a lineup that doesn’t have much of it, and just needs to work on his consistency (as with so many other players).
I don’t see any scenario in which the Wings are buyers at the Feb. 26 trade deadline. If they manage to do what they say they want to do — go on a run — and work their way into the Eastern Conference playoff picture (which, as I wrote this past weekend, I find doubtful), maybe they hold onto Mike Green, their top trade asset. Ultimately, though, I foresee the Wings will sell where possible. The front office knows the Wings are not contenders, that what the organization needs is a high-end draft pick.The Wings were not mathematically eliminated last year until March 28, but still sold at the March 1 trade deadline. The same needs to happen this year.
Updated at 2:19 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will welcome Justin Abdelkader, Trevor Daley and Darren Helm back into the lineup as they host the San Jose Sharks this evening (8:00 PM on FSD/NBCS Bay Area/97.1 FM).
I wasn’t particularly worried about aesthetics when setting up this website–I just needed to make sure that things worked, that the format was readable and that I could get underway.
Now that I am underway, I’ve gotten a few suggestions for improvement, including less white space, smaller fonts and a new banner.
I’m looking to recruit someone who is familiar with WordPress to assist me in updating the website to make it easier to read and/or update the header so that The Malik Report’s brand gets a new start.
If any of you are interested in helping me install a new theme and/or design a banner, I will pay you for your work. Please contact me in the comments section, on Twitter at @georgemalik or via email at email@example.com so we can hash things out.