Posts tagged “Matt Ellis”

Kings claim Ellis

Update (3:19 PM): The official site has more, including quotes from Babcock and Ellis’ former teammates, here.

Also, IwoCPO suggests this is evidence that Ken Holland is up to something. – Matt

Ryan Doherty reports that the LA Kings claimed Matt Ellis off the waivers today.

Rarely do the Wings make personnel moves that deserve overt criticism, but this is one such instance. Yesterday, I attempted to keep a positive outlook on the move, assuming Ellis would clear waivers and would be able to return to Grand Rapids. The risk of his being claimed seemed small. I should have known better.

I have to wonder what the Wings were thinking by not taking another strategy to get Ellis to Grand Rapids. Say a two-week conditioning stint. It worked for Meech and certainly would have been justifiable for Ellis given the fact that he’s cracked the lineup just four times over the past 19 games.

Ellis was a real asset to this organization, much more so than Hartigan, and I’m sorry to see him go.  The guy built a reputation as one of the hardest-working players in the system and the reward he gets is being cast off. If the Wings did this as a favor to help him get to a team that could use him more, that’s nice, I suppose. You still hate to see the guy have to uproot his young family and move 3/4 the way across the country.

Good luck with LA, Matt.

St. James: Osgood to start versus Phoenix

Helene St. James reports that Chris Osgood will get his fourth straight start Saturday night against the Coyotes.

Personally, I’d like to see Dominik Hasek get a chance to get on track, but this gels with Bruce MacLeod’s report of earlier this week in which he reported that Dom would start either Saturday or Tuesday. Hopefully Babcock will stick with that plan, as Hasek needs some reps, even if Osgood is tearing it up.

Also, Kirk Maltby (back) did not skate today, so he will not dress tomorrow. Matt Ellis, having been cleared to play, will return to the lineup and will give the team some added defensive security. He practiced on the fourth line with Aaron Downey and Tomas Kopecky.

11/27 Injury Update

Update (4:40 PM): It looks like the Wings’ site is ramping up the news updates, even on off days. Nice to see.’s Bob Roose has more on Draper’s knee injury, including a better description of what happened and on the effect the injury will have on the roster make-up.

Also, a response to this piece by Ryan Dixon of The Hockey News, in which he berates Andreas Lilja for fighting Dion Phaneuf after the latter’s high hit on Jiri Hudler last night. Regardless of the cleanliness of the hit (a somewhat debatable point given the fact that Phaneuf left his feet and used his elbow), Lilja was perfectly within his rights to challenge the Flames defenseman. Like George Malik points out, Phaneuf did not have to accept the challenge and could have easily skated away. Few would have questioned his toughness.

Dixon betrays his true motivations for criticizing Lilja here:

Would the thinking go: “Well, I could give my team a lift by laying somebody out, but is that worth our worst defenseman getting more ice time while I sit in the box for five minutes?”

Dixon’s all wound up because Phaneuf is touted as a star in the League, whereas is Lilja a no-name player who had the gall to challenge him and take him off the ice, away from prospective fans, for a whole five minutes. Mr. Dixon, it’s part of the game and Lilja earned points with his own fanbase for the fight. It’s not all about Phaneuf. It’s too bad for the Flames that it happened in the last 7 minutes, but, again, Phaneuf didn’t have to fight. – Matt

Update (3:22 PM): Red Wings TV has added three post-practice interviews:

– Matt
Bruce MacLeod reports that Kris Draper will be out 10-14 days with a knee sprain. That’s a big hit to the team’s defensive capablities, especially going into the game against the NHL points leader Vincent Lecavalier and Tampa Bay tomorrow night. It’s not the end of the world by any means, given the defensive talent on the roster, but the third line won’t be as effective at shutting the other team down.

… Tomas Kopecky has been cleared to play.

… It looks like the earliest Matt Ellis will be back is Tuesday night in Montreal.

… Kirk Maltby did not practice today and the reason given is a shoulder injury. MacLeod does not know his status for the Tampa Bay game. If he’s not able to go, the team will carry 7 defensemen or call up a forward from Grand Rapids in order to fill in the empty roster spot. Personally, I hope Derek Meech gets to see some ice time, if Maltby needs a night off. The last thing the Griffins need is to lose a forward, however temporarily.

… Apparently, Chris Osgood will start again tomorrow night. It’ll be his third start in a row. Dominik Hasek is slated to start either Saturday or Tuesday. Babcock says the strategy is to play Osgood more in the first half in order to rest Dom for the second half and the playoffs. Okay, I can believe that, but tell me Dom wouldn’t be starting more often if he were tearing it up like Osgood has been.

Khan: Osgood to start versus Calgary

Update (4:10 PM): Bruce MacLeod has more on the situation. Basically, Osgood is getting the team points, while Hasek is not. So, the “backup” gets the start while the “starter” sits. – Matt

Ansar Khan reports that Chris Osgood will get a second consecutive start Tuesday night versus the Flames. Something’s obviously going on behind the scenes here. Sure, Ozzie’s earned it, but Hasek is still nominally the starter and you’d think he’d be in net again after a strong showing Thursday night.

Khan also says that Matt Ellis did not skate today, as his headaches continue. Sounds like it could be a concussion, though Babcock professes to know nothing about it. Tomas Kopecky (shoulder) skated, but mostly by himself.

Osgood to start vs. St. Louis

Bruce MacLeod reports that Chris Osgood will start in net tomorrow night versus the Blues. Why? To Mike Babcock (and most other people paying attention), it’s simple: “To me, he’s earned the right.” It’s looking more and more like IwoCPO’s right.

Dominik Hasek will start Thursday in Nashville after getting another day of practice with Jim Bedard, the goaltending coach.

Also, it looks like Aaron Downey will sit out after having a strong game Sunday. In practice today, he and Matt Ellis were the extra men on the fourth and second lines, respectively.

And some good news: the team practiced 5-on-3 defense today. As HockeyTownTodd has been pointing out, there seem to be more of those lately, so they might as well be prepared.

Lastly, I apologize for the dearth in posting over the past few days. School tasks have made it difficult to find time to attend to the blog, but I should be able to return to regular posting now. For a while, anyway.

11/6 Post-practice Update

Bruce MacLeod, Ansar Khan, Helene St. James, and Ted Kulfan all report that Chris Osgood will be the starter tomorrow night against the Predators while Dominik Hasek will make his return from an aggravated hip Friday versus the Blue Jackets.

… MacLeod is the only one of the beat writers to go beyond the goalie story and report on other items of interest from practice. First of all, he reaffirms that Niklas Kronwall won’t be back Wednesday. Good to know (and to be reminded yet again of how injury prone Nik is).

He then suggests that Jiri Hudler could be a healthy scratch tomorrow, given that he’s been working with the first and second lines all week and hasn’t had reps with the fourth line, to which he was supposedly demoted Sunday. MacLeod’s suggestion is given added weight by the fact that Aaron Downey, Dallas Drake, and Matt Ellis have been the first group of forwards to represent the fourth line in drills lately, and that at the expense of Tomas Kopecky.

Assuming MacLeod’s speculation is correct, it looks like Babcock is gearing up for a physical showdown with the Predators by dumping some offense in exchange for toughness. I still think Hudler’s getting the shaft because he’s shown himself capable of playing against physical teams, but it does make sense to put the biggest and grittiest guys in there against a Nashville team that no doubt will be running and gunning for the Wings’ top line.

If Babcock does make these changes, it’ll be one of those rare instances in which the Wings throw down the gauntlet on physicality. I like it, despite the fact that I think it’s grossly unfair to Hudler.