Red Wings-Capitals morning skate Tweets: It’s an optional sort of morning

Updated 3x at 11:40 AM: The Detroit Red Wings will host the Washington Capitals this evening (7:30 PM EDT on NBCSN/97.1 FM) with the Red Wings looking to win two games for the first time since late February.

The Wings “took an optional” this morning, as noted by Fox 2’s Sky Kerstein…

And the Red Wings…

It’s presumed that Philipp Grubauer will start opposite Howard tonight.

The Capitals hit the ice for their morning skate at 11:25 AM…

And NBCSN’s Joey Alfieri penned a Wings-Caps preview:

The Capitals have an opportunity to put a little distance between themselves and the second place Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. Washington is two points ahead of the Pens with a game in a hand, so a win tonight would put them four points clear of second.

The Caps got some good news, as Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body) made the trip to Detroit. Kuznetsov suffered an upper-body injury against the Isles last week. Even though he’s traveling, it’s unclear if he’ll actually suit up tonight.

Since losing back-to-back games in Anaheim and Los Angeles, the Capitals have rattled off five victories in their last six contests. That includes a win in San Jose, a win over the Jets, a pair of wins over the Islanders and a victory over Dallas.

As for the Red Wings, they’ll look to play spoiler again. They’re 5-4 overtime win over the Flyers on Tuesday night allowed to snap their 10-game losing skid. Before Tuesday’s game, you had to go all the way back to Feb. 25 to find Detroit’s last victory. Yeah, it took them long enough.

Even though they aren’t in the playoff picture, there’s no denying the win felt good for the struggling Wings.

“We talked about it as a team after the last game, certainly frustration was starting to boil over,” coach Jeff Blashill said after the win over Philly, per the Detroit News. “Our guys came out and played great. The third period wasn’t good enough, but we played great for two periods (and) to finish was critical.

“You don’t want to come in here and talk about another loss. It was critical (to win).”

Blashill’s team currently find themselves in 26th place with 65 points. A few more losses down the stretch and they’ll be able to improve their NHL Entry Draft lottery odds.

Update #2: (son):

Update #3:




Also of Twitter-related note…

And, from the New York Post’s Larry Brooks:

Brendan Smith’s miserable season has ended in almost predictably miserable fashion, The Post has learned.

The defenseman, who was assigned to the Wolf Pack after clearing waivers Feb. 9 in the midst of the first season of his four-year, $17.4 million deal, suffered a broken hand in a fight at practice this past Sunday with Vinni Lettieri.

According to, a buyout of Smith would come at the cost of $1,091,667 in dead-cap space each of the next two seasons, $3,266,667 in 2020-21 and $1,266,667 for each of the three seasons following that. If he is unable to make the Rangers and winds up in Hartford again, his cap charge would amount to $3.325 million next season and $3.275 million the two years after that.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.