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The Malik Report

A glowing review of Little Caesars Arena

The Buffalo News's Mike Harrington penned a weekend column in which he reviews the NHL's arenas, and Harrington says that the Red Wings "got what they paid for" in Little Caesars Arena:

Little Caesars Arena (Detroit): There's so many places to eat and so much to walk around and see that outsiders are stunned by the number of empty seats during the actual game. People are still checking out the building. The concourse is unmatched, with a sweeping cityscape effect under a massive roof.

The seating bowl entrances are on one side and a brick facade housing offices and multiple restaurants is on the other side. The marquee from old Olympia Stadium has been re-purposed on one wall next to a giant photo of Gordie Howe. There are statues of ex-players, interactive video, history displays like old goalie masks, the players bench from Joe Louis Arena. It's brilliant.

Inside, the bowl is designed like Montreal's Bell Centre with a massive lower level and steep pitches unlike anything we've seen since the Oranges at the Aud so that even the high seats have a great view. And you don't have to even look at the ice if you don't want to because the scoreboard is the biggest, brightest and sharpest of any arena anywhere. Not to mention the Red Wings even have a practice rink on the lower level that has the Stanley Cup banners from Joe Louis Arena and a great outdoor plaza for use come spring. At a total cost of $863 million, you really do get what you pay for.

Harrington's tour of the NHL's best arenas continues...

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Red Wings-Rangers no-morning skate Tweets and articles: game previews and Tweets of note

The Red Wings will attempt to rebound from their ugly loss to Edmonton when they face the New York Rangers this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/MSG 2/97.1 FM).

We already know the goalie match-up--Jimmy Howard will start opposite Henrik Lundqvist--but the Rangers did not hold a morning skate, so their lineup is an estimated one at this point.

NewYorkRangers.com's Matt Calamia penned a game preview...

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Prospect news: Walleye lose in Fort Wayne; Ehn, Sambrook register assists

Of prospect-related note:

In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye had to both work on Thanksgiving and take a bus ride to Fort Wayne, Indiana to do so.

The Walleye had a rough Thursday, rallying from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to take a 4-3 lead on the Fort Wayne Komets...and then the Walleye witnessed their lead evaporate in 18 seconds, ultimately losing 5-4 to the Komets. Christian Hilbrich had a goal and an assist, Zach Nastasiuk scored a goal and Vili Saarijarvi had an assist* in the loss.

The Walleye's website posted a recap:

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Red Wings-Rangers set-up: Wings hope to rebound against ‘Smitty’ and ‘the King’

The Detroit Red Wings continue their slate of 3 games to be played over the course of 4 evenings as they battle the New York Rangers this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/MSG 2/97.1 FM), and this one worries me, because the Rangers have been on a hell of a run.

Despite splitting their last 4 games, the 11-9-and-2 Rangers are both on a 2-game winning streak and they assembled a 6-game winning streak prior to their most recent losses--so the long story short is that the Rangers have won 8 of their past 10 games (and thus 10 of their 11 wins as the Rangers' season start was terrible).

The Rangers most recently defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 6-1 on Wednesday. While they did practice on Tuesday, a couple of Tweets of the team tossing a football around at their practice rink and a video of Kevin Shattenkirk and Brandy Skjei talking about Thanksgiving constitute the Thursday coverage of the Rangers' skate.

Given the nature of their season, the Rangers team that's won 8 of its past 10 games has placed most of its early-season worries behind it, and one of those early-season worries was the play of one Brendan Smith. Smith signed a 4-year contract with the Rangers last summer, and the New York Daily News's Justin Tasch reports that Smith is finally finding his fit on the team:

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Articles from practice: Mantha reacts to Blashill’s criticism

Updated 4x at 4:55 PM: The Red Wings' quick Thursday practice involved the returns of Scott Wilson ("lower-body injury") and Martin Frk (groin) to the ice, as well as an indication that Jimmy Howard may start at Madison Square Garden tomorrow, but you and I both know that the main focus would involve Anthony Mantha's comments regarding coach Jeff Blashill's call-out after the Wings' loss to Edmonton:

The Free Press's Helene St. James provided the goods in Tweet form...

And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan braved the media wasteland that is the very end of a Lions game to offer Mantha's remarks in article form. Kulfan reports that Mantha first learned of Blashill's comments via Twitter

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Tweets from practice: Wings skate for half-an-hour; waiting on Mantha’s response

Updated with Mantha comments at 3:33 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice for a Thanksgiving Day practice on Thursday afternoon, a day after the team dropped a 6-3 decision to the Edmonton Oilers, and Jeff Blashill called out Anthony Mantha. The Red Wings are preparing for a set of back-to-backs against the New York Rangers (on Friday at Madison Square Garden) and then the New Jersey Devils (on Saturday at LCA).

There was some good news regarding the player I describe as the Anonymous Wing, who blocked a shot and left last night's game, per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

You and I both know that practice is sort of secondary for the media corps--and the rest of us--who will to focus upon Anthony Mantha's reaction to coach Blashill's remarks (and I'll post the Tweets in this entry).

Anyway, Wakiji continued, posting the Wings' practice lines...

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HockeyCentral at Noon with a quick debate on calling out Mantha

Sportsnet's Darren Millard, Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean discussed Jeff Blashill's "calling out" of Anthony Mantha, and the gents shared disparate opinions on the subject:

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Good Wings, Bad Wings

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

A few days ago the Detroit Red Wings were fast and structured, hard to play against and being led by talented, young forwards.

In two games since then, they've been slow, disorganized and mistake-prone. And, according to coach Jeff Blashill, some important players have been passengers.

The Edmonton Oilers scored three unanswered goals in the second period Wednesday to snap a tie and defeat the Red Wings 6-2 at Little Caesars Arena.

It was another squandered opportunity for the Red Wings (10-9-3), who were facing a struggling Oilers club that lost 8-3 in St. Louis the night before. It came on the heels of Detroit's 4-3 overtime loss to Colorado on Sunday.

continued

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Prospect news: Walleye shut out by Cincinnati; Larsson stops pucks and posts an assist

Of prospect-related note:

In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye were unable to give Matej Machovsky the "run support" the Walleye's goaltender needed, dropping a 1-0 shutout decision to the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Walleye's website posted a recap:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Oilers wrap-up—blame without purpose is a fruitless endeavor

The Detroit Red Wings both self-destructed and got a lot of help along the way toward a 6-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday evening, and the headline-catcher came in the form of Jeff Blashill calling out Anthony Mantha after the game, as CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield noted:

“Anthony Mantha has to be way better, way better. It’s not okay to just be a passenger when you’re given the opportunity to be an impact player,” said Blashill.

For the second straight game, the 6’5 Mantha was mostly invisible. He drifted on the perimeter and was careless with the puck. The 23-year-old’s fluidity can sometimes be mistaken for a lack of effort, but on Friday night he looked genuinely disengaged.

“It’s just a matter of making sure you compete every shift,” Blashill said simply.

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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.

 

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