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The overnight report: Red Wings-Canadiens set-up—‘4-point game’ in the offing against dominant Habs

The Detroit Red Wings face a gargantuan task in battling the Montreal Candiens this evening (7:30 PM on FSD/Sportsnet/97.1 FM), because this game defines a "four-pointer"--the Wings could either close to within 2 points of Montreal's Atlantic-leading 76 with a game in hand, or the Wings could find themselves 6 points behind the Canadiens...

And between the fact that the Wings are 0-1-and-1 of late going into a game against a Canadiens team that's gone 4-0-and-1 over their past 5 games (and 9-2-and-1 over their last 13 games) that's coming off a 2-1 shootout win over Toronto on Saturday, and the fact that the Wings are 0-3-and-1 against Montreal over the team's last 5 meetings and 0-1-and-1 against the Leg-Humping-Goal-Waving-Off Carey Prices...This game is going to test the Wings' character like nobody's bloody business.

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Prospect news: Pulkkinen scores 30th in Griffins win; Callahan out for year; Frk scores 2 for Toledo

Two Red Wings developmental affiliates and one Wings prospect's Major Junior team played on Sunday, but the Grand Rapids Griffins stole the show, defeating the Chicago Wolves 5-1 while playing in Chicago, while playing the Griffins' 3rd game in 3 nights, and during the game, Andreas Athanasiou registered a goal and 2 assists, Marek Tvrdon registered a goal and an assist, Anthony Mantha scored a goal, Jared Coreau stopped 25 of 26 shots, and a certain Teemu Pulkkinen hit the 30-goal mark [edit: Jakub Kindl didn't post a point but finished at +2, too /end edit].

Pulkkinen has registered 30 goals, 27 assists and 57 points over the course of only 44 games played, and he leads the AHL in goals and points, which is all damn impressive.

The Griffins' website posted a game recap...

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Wings Want To Avoid Turnovers Against The Canadiens

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"We got to keep it out of our net," coach Mike Babcock said. "We can't give up so many goals. We got to take care of the puck better."

Jimmy Howard will make his second start in goal after missing nearly five weeks with a groin injury. He wasn't sharp on a couple of goals against the Jets on Saturday, but the Red Wings didn't manage the puck well.

"We had everything going our way (early in the second period) and then we turned the puck over," Babcock said. "It's hard to be organized when you turn the puck over. You have a team, because you're playing good and you're on top of them they don't look that quick, and then suddenly you turn the puck over and they look like they're ultra-fast. So taking care of the puck is a big part of what we have to do right."

Said forward Gustav Nyquist: "They did a good job of forechecking us and tracking us hard and creating those turnovers, but we're responsible for taking care of the puck. That's something we need to improve for sure against Montreal."


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Early Afternoon Practice For The Detroit Red Wings

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Howard, who Babcock said will start start vs. Canadiens, has a net to himself in practice. Mrazek and Gustavsson alternating at other end.

Power play units at practice:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Weiss, Abdelkader (net front), Kronwall
Tatar-Datsyuk-Sheahan, Helm (net front), DeKeyser.

Couple changes in lines:

Updates from practice will be posted if needed.

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Mike Babcock’s World

from Brett Popplewell of Sportsnet,

Standing in the doorway of his suburban home, Mike Babcock smiles before mentioning that the retriever trying to sneak around him and get outside is named Mac. If you can find your way past Mac, you can step inside Babcock’s grand open foyer. After closing the door, Babcock explains that he and his wife, Maureen, named Mac after a point on Emma Lake, Sask., where the couple’s favourite bar used to stand. The dog is old, 10 or 11 Babcock reckons; her mane already sports more grey than her 51-year-old master’s. Babcock hobbles, looking slightly pained from his morning workout and run, as he walks to his kitchen and sits down next to the granite island where he has placed his laptop. He has an office, lined with hockey memorabilia and the sun-baked skulls of some of the animals he has killed—an African lion, a leopard, some bears and deer—but today he’s working in the kitchen.

Everything in Babcock’s home seems to be in perfect order. Devoid of clutter and dust, the house is lined with family portraits. Though he isn’t wearing his usual fitted suit, cuffed shirt and tie, he is nonetheless put together in a creaseless flannel shirt. His hair—freshly cut and as auburn as ever—is combed beneath his ball cap. As he offers up a glass of water it seems, to the untrained eye, that his cuticles are well-maintained.

continued (long read)

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Garbage Avs player named 1st star by defiant scribe, and it’s as junk a move as Cody McLeod himself

Updated at 3:34 AM: I was going to post this in Kukla's Korner hockey, but I might get some shit for it, and I'm not going to sully Paul's name with this garbage.

I'm with Sportsnet's Rory Boylen on this one: It's pathetically silly, and shame on the Denver Post's Mike Chambers for doing this:

OK, so the NHL’s Three Stars given out at the end of each game isn’t the most scientific measure of how well a player performed. But they generally reward a guy for scoring a goal, getting a shutout or making a key play at a crucial point in the game. These players are highlighted in the boxscore of the game on the NHL’s website.

It’s not a literal ranking of the top three players in the game – but it’s also not supposed to be a mockery.

But that’s what it was Saturday night in Colorado. Despite a spirited 4-1 win by the home side Avalanche over the Dallas Stars – who first pulled their goalie with around nine minutes left of a 3-1 game – somehow, for some reason, Cody McLeod was named the first star of the game. He must have scored a goal, recorded an assist or made an important play, right?

McLeod’s line: Zero goals, zero assists, 30 penalty minutes, 8:58 of ice time.

In fact, McLeod was ejected partway into the third period after an altercation with Jason Demers, which can be seen [below]. It really fired up the crowd, but being named first star for fighting twice and making a guy bleed (likely by accident)?

The actual game summary reveals that Chambers picked the 3 stars, and on a night that Alex Tanguay and Dennis Everberg registered a goal and an assist apiece, Jarome Iginla and Gabriel Landeskog scored goals, Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 of 25 shots and Jhonas Enroth stopped 27 shots in his Dallas Stars debut, McLeod (who took 5 shots) and Brad Stuart (1 assist, 2 blocked shots) were named the 1st and 2nd stars.

McLeod was baffled as to why he was penalized at all, as NHL.com's Rick Sadowski's recap noted...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Jets wrap-up; on Kindl, Marchenko, Howard, Birthday Mrazek & Sheahan

Because the Red Wings dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night, the Wings now sit 4 points behind the Montreal Canadiens (with 1 game in hand) and 2 points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (with 3 games in hand) in the Atlantic Division.

The Wings' second loss (albeit not a second regulation loss) magnifies the importance of winning Monday night's "four-point game" against a Habs team the Wings haven't defeated in 5 Eastern Conference games (0-3-and-2), especially given that Montreal defeated Toronto 2-1 (in a shootout) on Saturday...

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Prospect news: Griffins, Walleye win; Hicketts registers 3 helpers, Pope scores for UNO

The Grand Rapids Griffins found out that Mitch Callahan's out for the year with a torn ACL, and they took out their frustrations on the San Antonio Rampage the old-fashoned way: Landon Ferraro doffed gloves with Vincent Trocheck, and the Griffins defeated San Antonio 4-2 on Saturday night.

The Griffins' website posited a game recap...

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Another Gordie Howe health update

The Free Press's Mike Bruendell spoke with Mark Howe when the Red Wings' director of pro scouting attended the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony watch Sergei Fedorov's induction, and Howe also spoke about his father's condition after attending that all-important Kinsmen's Dinner in Saskatoon on February 6th:

"I talked to my sister yesterday (Wednesday), and Gordie had three or four really good days after he got back from Saskatoon," said Mark, director of pro scouting for the Wings. "Periodically over the course of the last year and a half, he ends up getting these little tremors, so he was going through some tremors yesterday (Wednesday). Once these pass, he gets back to normal. But the bottom line from where he was two months ago, his quality of life is so, so much better, and that's what we are so appreciative of."

Howe praised Fedorov and continued:

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Griffins’ Bob Kaser: Mitch Callahan out for the year w/ ACL injury

This is awful news for Mitch Callahan, the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Detroit Red Wings:

During the Griffins' 4-2 win over San Antonio on Saturday, Landon Ferraro made sure to fight Vincent Trocheck for having taken Callahan's knee out on Friday.

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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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