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Weiss Says He Needs More Practice, Will Not Play In Grand Rapids On Sunday

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Stephen Weiss said he won't play in Grand Rapids tomorrow, feeling he needs more practice time. Still hopes to be ready for Wed. at Montreal

But Weiss said he might need to play a game or two for Grand Rapids next weekend before returning to NHL.

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Red Wings recall Jurco, Sheahan, Fournier for this weekend’s practices

This set of players recalled by the Red Wings will take part in today and tomorrow's Wings practices, which DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose confirms will take place at Grosse Pointe Woods' University of Ligett School. We'll have to wait to find out whether Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco remain with the Wings post-Olympic break, but I think it's pretty safe to assume that Gleason Fournier will head back to Grand Rapids on Sunday evening:

DETROIT RECALLS JURCO, SHEAHAN AND FOURNIER FROM GRAND RAPIDS
… Red Wings Set to Resume Schedule Next Week with Visits to Montreal and Ottawa …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled forwards Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan and defenseman Gleason Fournier from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

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Setting up the Gold medal game from a Red Wings-centric perspective

Updated at 10:25 AM: As you might imagine, Team Canada and Team Sweden (which is not particularly concerned about the refereeing "controversy"; Daniel Alfredsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Jonas Gustavsson, Niklas Kronwall and Gustav Nyquist might be concerned as to whether they should attend a Monday-evening Swedish Olympic reception in Stockholm, however, given that the Wings play in Montreal on Wednesday and Ottawa on Thursday) are jostling verbally ahead of tomorrow's Gold medal game (7 AM EST, NBC/CBC), and while you and I are pretty familiar with Babcockian commentary, as noted this morning by ESPN's Pierre LeBrun...

The Canadians are the defending Olympic champs, having accrued the knowledge of what it takes on this stage in this exact game four years ago in Vancouver. From Sidney Crosby to Jonathan Toews to 11 returnees overall from Vancouver, these guys understand what it's going to be like Sunday.

"The reality for me is we have 11 guys play at the Olympics last time and have success," coach Mike Babcock said earlier in the tournament. "This is a new opportunity, and we've got to come up with a new identity and a new way to play for a new group. Does experience and experience in winning help? Absolutely. Do the Olympics weigh in more than the guy who played and won the Stanley Cup? I don't know that. I like guys who have won because you've been through it; you've done it right. You don't win unless you do it right."

Including a wee bit of bluster...

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Expressen: Swedish hockey team’s players may take part in Stockholm celebration on Monday

You're going to get Google-translated Swedish for this one, but this story is most certainly of Red Wings-related note: According to Expressen's Henrik Sjoberg, Sweden plans on holding a reception to honor its Olympic medalists on Monday evening in Stockholm, but the Swedish hockey team's players have to decide whether to participate in the event by 9 PM Sochi time--noon Eastern Standard Time--and the hockey players have to ask their individual NHL teams for permission to fly back to Stockholm with the Swedish Olympic Committee.

With the reception taking place on Monday night and Daniel Alfredsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Jonas Gustavsson, Niklas Kronwall and Gustav Nyquist NHL employer set to play in Montreal on Wednesday and Ottawa on Thursday, the Red Wings' Swedes might put themselves in quite the travel pickle if they choose to take part in the celebration instead of flying home on an NHL-chartered plane alongside the Americans at 1 AM Monday, Sochi time:

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Sweden’s Par Marts, Niklas Kronwall won’t bite regarding supposed Gold game refereeing controversy

As Paul noted, ahead of tomorrow's Gold medal game between Sweden and Canada (7 AM EST, NBC/CBC), the Swedish newspapers chose to stir up a little controversy.

Aftonbladet's Mats Wennerholm finding that former NHL'er and Modo Ornskoldsvik assistant GM Peter Forsberg was more than willing to facetiously describe the referees' assignments for tomorrow's game a "*#$%@& joke."

Sweden's other sports tabloid, Expressen, responded with Carl Juborg asking Don Cherry whether having a Canadian referee would hurt Sweden, and Juborg received a predictable reponse--Cherry stated that he'd bet money on a Canadian referee calling Team Canada (who Cherry believes will prevail, of course) for the game's first penalty to prove their "impartiality."

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Ken Holland clarifies Henrik Zetterbeg’s situation in conversation with AP’s Lage

As noted in the overnight report, the Associated Press's Larry Lage Tweeted that he'd spoken to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, and Holland had stated that 1. Zetterberg won't return from Friday's surgery until/unless the Wings begin playing playoff hockey in mid-April, and 2. In terms of Zetterberg's long-term health, his herniated disc won't yield a "premature" end to #40's hockey-playing days.

Lage penned an article chronicling his conversation with Holland, confirming and fleshing out the details of their discussion:

"I don't anticipate he'll be ready to play in any games of the regular season," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told The Associated Press on Saturday. "I'm hopeful that we can play our way into the playoffs and that he'll be back, but that's down the road."

The Red Wings and Swedish Olympic hockey team captain played once at the Sochi Games before pulling out because of the injury. Holland is hopeful Zetterberg's back injury does not prematurely end his career.

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My ‘best part of the Olympics’ has involved watching Mike Babcock drive non-Red Wings fans nuts

Between not being at 100% yet personally and the fact that Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's commentary as Team Canada's coach is stuff that you and I have heard before, I've consciously chosen to keep the Everything Babcock Says Is Super Important To The Canadian Media Watch coverage to a bare minimum.

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Red Wings overnight report: on out-till-playoffs Zetterberg, Sweden-Canada & Olympic participation

Updated with very good news from the AP's Larry Lage, posted at the end of this entry, at 7:25 AM: The Olympics are winding down ahead of today's Bronze medal tilt between the U.S. and Finland (10 AM EST, NBCSN/CBC) and tomorrow's Gold game between Sweden and Canada (7 AM EST, NBC/CBC), so reporters aren't Tweeting quite as much real-time news, but the following Tweets popped up between 5 and 7 AM, with the headliner not surprising anyone given Henrik Zetterberg's back surgery on Friday...

[edit: quickie update: Here's Lage in text form, via RedWingsFeed, and 8 weeks of recovery time equals mid-April anyway:

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland does not expect Henrik Zetterberg to play again during the regular season because of his back ailment.

Holland told The Associated Press on Saturday that Zetterberg could return to play if the team extends its postseason streak to 23 consecutive seasons.

/end edit]

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Red Wings prospect news: Griffins and Walleye lose again; Mantha hits 50-goal mark

Amongst this morning's Red Wings-related prospect news...

The Grand Rapids Griffins have begun to regularly achieve something no one would've believed they could do earlier this season: they're losing games. The Griffins owned a 22-8-1-and-2 record heading into the 2014, but since their New Year's Eve shootout loss to Toronto, the team's won 8 of their past 21 games, and after Friday night's 4-2 loss to Oklahoma City, the Griffins now possess a 30-17-2-3 (i.e. 30-and-22) record.

The Griffins' website recounts the game's events...

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St. James: Team Sweden’s doing just fine without Zetterberg thanks to Captain Kronwall’s leadership

Henrik Zetterberg's status as having to bow out of the Olympics due to a herniated disc has yielded two and exactly two positive storylines:

1. The Wings and Zetterberg finally chose to have one of the nation's best back surgeons operate on Zetterberg's back today to prevent further damage and hopefully ensure that he's playing for the Wings for a long time to come;

2. And Niklas Kronwall's taken to Team Sweden's captaincy like a fish to water. Today he pestered the hell out of Teemu Selanne and played a team-leading 22:06 in ice time over the course of Sweden's 2-1 win over Finland, and now the Swedes are on a collision course with Mike Babcock and Team Canada in Sunday's Gold Medal game (7 AM EST, NBCSN/CBC).

Both Kronwall's teammates and the rest of the Swedes have gushed about Kronwall's leadership in speaking with the Swedish press, and today, the Free Press's Helene St. James found that Daniel Alfredsson, Jonathan Ericsson and Gabriel Landeskog were more than happy to sing Kronwall's praises in English:

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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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