The Malik Report
The Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/NBCSN/97.1 FM; tonight is Military Appreciation Night at the Joe) hoping to break through Tampa Bay's 9-and-3 record against the Wings of late, as well as the Wings' 1-and-5 record against Atlantic Division teams this season (per MLive's Brendan Savage).
The Wings hit the ice at the Joe for their morning skate just after 10:30 AM, per MLive's Ansar Khan...
Power play practice before morning skate for #RedWings:
Tatar-Nielsen-Larkin, Mantha, Smith
#RedWings lines at skate:
#RedWings defense pairs:
Kronwall off until Thursday practice.
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa...
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
• It's no secret the Detroit Red Wings have had trouble scoring goals. But exactly how bad has it been? Thanks for asking. Nobody has struggled more than Riley Sheahan, who has yet to score in 16 games this season. Mike Green has went 13 games without scoring since getting a hat trick Oct. 17, Darren Helm (4 goals) hasn't scored in 11 games, Gustav Nqyuist (3) has went 10 games without a goal, Drew Miller (2) and Frans Nielsen (2) have both went eight games, Tomas Tatar (2) has one goal in his last 11 games, Luke Glendening has one goal in 16 games and Steve Ott has one goal in 13 games.
• The Red Wings have 15 goals in their last eight games, an average of 1.9. They've been shut out twice, scored one goal one time and two goals another time. It's been 10 games since they've scored more than three goals. On the season, the Red Wings are averaging 2.6 goals per game.
• The Red Wings have a 1-5 record against Atlantic Division foes. They've been outscored 19-12 in those games, have been shut out twice and have allowed at least five goals to Tampa Bay and Montreal. Their lone victory was 5-1 Oct. 17 over Ottawa.
The Detroit Red Wings hope to rebound from Saturday's embarrassing performance against the Montreal Canadiens as the Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/NBCSN/97.1 FM; tonight is Military Appreciation Night at the Joe).
Tampa Bay comes into the game not that far separated from the Wings in terms of performance--at 9-6-and-1 as compared to Detroit's 8-7-and-1 record--but the Lightning took a chunk out of the Wings in the season opener (winning 6-4), and the Lightning find the Wings at a point of the season where making a push for the playoff pack is particularly important.
Tampa Bay also comes into tonight's game having played on Monday, defeating the New York Islanders 4-0 on Monday (with Andrei Vasilevskiy in the net; Ben Bishop will oppose Petr Mrazek this evening)...
And the Lightning possess a 9-3-and-0 record against the Red Wings over the past two seasons' worth of regular-season and playoff action.
The Lightning took care of the Islanders fairly easily on Monday evening--sweeping the teams' 3-game 2016-17 season series--but they weren't completely happy with the effort they thrust upon Andrei Vasilevskiy's shoulders, as they told NHL.com's Brian Compton:
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with the Red Wings regarding the emphasis on "battle drills" at today's practice...
"Every guy in this room can be a little better and it starts with one-on-one battles," Luke Glendening said. "You've got to be better than the guy across from you. It's in the offensive zone, it's in the defensive zone, it's at our net, at their net, faceoffs."
The Red Wings (8-7-1) face the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).
"We talked about identity and being relentless and being fast and being competitive," Blashill said. "You can't win in this league if you're not highly competitive and I thought in Montreal we got out-competed."
Winning more puck battles will help improve two areas that have been lacking the past two games and in a few others this season – breakouts and forechecking.
"All of us take our jobs very seriously and are very professional about it," Justin Abdelkader said. "Today was a good day for us to come back and get to work and focus on some of the things that we need to get better at. It is a long season, but at the same time you don't want to be as streaky as we've been. We want to try to be a little more consistent."
As did the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that Joe Hicketts is fitting in superbly well on the Grand Rapids Griffins' blueline:
"Since the start of the season he's grown a lot," [Griffins captain Nathan] Paetsch said. "You have to understand, he's 20 years old and there will be speed bumps. But he's getting better every night. You can tell. Plus, he's gained confidence and that's really important for a young guy."
It was the height that hurt his draft position, and will remain an obstacle to the NHL, but it not an impossibility with an interest nowadays in fast moving, offensive-minded defenseman. (See: 5-9, 185-pound MSU grad Torey Krug with Boston, 5-10, 190-pound Tyson Barrie of Colorado and 5-10, 185-pound veteran John Michael Liles, also with Boston.
"I know and recognize that I'm one of the smaller guys on the ice, but I don't pay much attention to it," said Hicketts, who checks in at 180 pounds. "I'm not scared to go into a corner with bigger guys. Obviously I know my limitations, but I try and use good hockey sense and play smart."
"He may be our shortest player but he's also our biggest hitter," Paetsch said. "There are some tall D men who can't stay on their feet. When you're that solid, the two kind of cross each other out."
Hicketts went into the corner Friday against 6-4, 224-pound Carl Dahlstrom of Rockford and emerged with the puck. He also picked up an assist and got off a team-high five shots. He went up against 6-4, 218 pound veteran defenseman Adam Pardy the next night in Milwaukee.
"Because of my size I think I can surprise a lot of guys," he said. "I'm getting more comfortable and just getting my timing down and if some of my checks can generate momentum or a scoring chance, all the better."
DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji updates Thomas Vanek's status:
Thomas Vanek has been skating with the team for several days now and is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve after Friday's game.
"I feel pretty good," Vanek said. "I've skated all week. So far no setbacks. Every day I'm trying to do more and more and so far, so good."
Vanek has missed the last nine games because of a hip injury. "I felt a little something before the Carolina game already," Vanek said. "I think I just hurt it a little bit worse at the end of the game. I just tried it and it didn't feel good."
Despite missing so much time, Vanek remains the Wings' fourth leading scorer with eight points.
"Of course it was frustrating," Vanek said. "As a team and myself, I felt good about my game and how our line was going. Again, even back then I thought maybe I'll sit out a game and be back in a week. It got worse, so it was frustrating."
Wakiji continues, and as she notes, Vanek will return on Sunday vs. Calgary if all goes well...
Update: MLive's Ansar Khan also weighed in...
Updated 6x at 2:58 PM: The Red Wings returned to practice Monday in preparation for Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (again, Tampa Bay plays in Brooklyn this evening), and the Red Wings both switched up their lines and revealed that Niklas Kronwall will take the next three days off completely--including Thursday's game against Calgary--to rest his knees.
The Wings' lines, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan on Twitter, raised fans' eyebrows:
#RedWings lines at practice:
MLive's Khan was first out of the chute with a practice report, discussing Kronwall's status...
From the Red Wings:
RED WINGS UNITE WITH VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA MICHIGAN ON TUESDAY FOR MILITARY APPRECIATION NIGHT PRESENTED BY APPLEBEE’S
… Red Wings to Honor Active and Former Military Members Throughout Day and Game on Tuesday, Nov. 15 …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will host their ninth annual Military Appreciation Night, presented by Applebee’s, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, when the team takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit, NBC Sports Network and 97.1 The Ticket).
“We are excited to be a part of Military Appreciation Night with the Red Wings,” said Mark Schostak, whose family owns 66 Michigan Applebee’s locations, “and we are proud to continue to honor servicemen and servicewomen year-round with Military Monday, when veterans and active duty military will receive a 30-percent discount on their food purchases all day every Monday at Applebee’s.”
For its third year of pairing with the NHL to produce a behind-the-scenes documentary series leading up to the league’s annual Winter Classic, Epix is rebranding and undertaking a bigger endeavor. This year, instead of covering two teams, Epix Presents Road to the NHL Outdoor Classics will follow four teams for the two outdoor games that will be played in January.
As reported by Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, the series will film the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs in anticipation of their New Year’s Day matchup at Toronto’s BMO Field, along with the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues before they face off Jan. 2 at Busch Stadium.
Producer Ross Greenburg told Ourand that the idea behind following four teams in this year’s series was to create a quicker pace for the four episodes. During the 60-minute episodes, the series will focus on one game that each of the teams play that week. Additionally, the plan is to follow two individual players away from the ice in every episode.
Updated 2x at 12:32 PM: Mrazek starts Tuesday, Vanek returns Sunday, Kronwall "off" Tuesday: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena at 11 AM this morning, practicing to prepare to battle the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
With the Lightning playing in Brooklyn this evening (with Andrei Vasilevskiy starting), the Wings might be able to pounce upon a tired opponent tomorrow, but that's only possible if the team manages to improve significantly from their 5-0 loss to Montreal this past Saturday.
MLive's Ansar Khan reported in from practice...
Kronwall not practicing today. Same with Athanasiou (knee). #RedWings
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.