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Red Wings prospect news: Backman’s LHC eliminated; Mantha, Bertuzzi, Athanasiou post points

The Red Wings' prospects mostly had a good day/evening Tuesday, but we may be engaging in another, "Will he or won't he come over?" situation regarding one player:

In Sweden's SHL, Linkopings HC lost a 7-3 decision to Skelleftea AIK, losing the series 4 games to 1, and Skelleftea now advances to the SHL final to defend last year's title.

Mattias Backman finished at +2 with a shot and 2 assists 23:45 of ice time, and the defenseman was on loan to LHC, so he may do what Mattias Janmark did last night in heading to North America to finish out the year with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

In North America, in Major Junior Hockey:

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TMR Evening Line: Pavel Datsyuk explains who sails the Red Wings’ ship

The Red Wings defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Tuesday night, earning Mike Babcock his 414th winas the Wings' coach (the most ever), and then Pavel Datsyuk broke the quote machine while speaking to Pro Hockey Talk's Joe Yerdon:

Update: Here's Datsyuk:

And we have a winner, via Sarah "Helmerroids" Dwyer:

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Red Wings-Sabres quick take: an ugly, greasy, messy and necessary win

When Mickey Redmond described what was eventually a 4-2 Red Wings win over the Buffalo Sabres as "not the prettiest of games," I thought, "You know what, I bet he's great at letting people down easy."

The Red Wings rallied from a 1-0 deficit--though it took 32-and-a-half minutes for them to do so--killed off 1:51 of a 5-on-3 almost immediately after Brendan Smith tied the game,  did absolutely nothing on their own power plays, the Wings pushed themselves ahead by one goal early in the 3rd, by 2 later in the game, and the team predictably gave up a 3-2 goal with 2:11 left, having to eke out a 4-2 decision via an empty-netter...

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Red Wings-Sabres game-day updates: Howard starts for Wings; Sabres get reinforcements

Updated at 12:55 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to shake off Saturday's loss to Montreal when they battle the Sabres this evening (7 PM, FSD/MSG-B/97.1 FM), kicking off a slate of back-to-backs (Detroit plays in Pittsburgh tomorrow), 3 games in 4 nights and 4 in 6 to close out their regular season.

The Wings defeated Buffalo 3-2 last Friday, barely hanging on prior to laying two periods' worth of eggs against the Habs, but the Wings insist that they won't take Buffalo lightly again.

Again, last night's Devils loss theoretically drops the Wings' "Magic Number" of points needed to clinch a playoff spot down to 3, though the Wings and Blue Jackets (who host the Coyotes this evening) are still neck-and-neck in terms of locking down the first Wild Card spot, which would allow the teams to avoid a 1st-round match-up with the Boston Bruins (and again, Columbus has 40 total wins to the Wings' 37 and 35 Regulation-or-OT wins to the Wings' 32):

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Red Wings-Sabres set-up and overnight report: Wings won’t overlook Sabres; Janmark to play for GR

I would complain more about the Red Wings' schedule if the Blue Jackets weren't engaging in such similar circumstances.

After Monday's practice, the Red Wings flew to Buffalo to take on the Sabres tonight (7 PM EDT, not 7:30, on FSD, MSG-B and 97.1 FM); the Wings then head to Pittsburgh for an NBCSN "Rivalry Night" game against Pittsburgh on Wednesday (8 PM EDT start); the team will fly back to Detroit to host the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, likely after taking Thursday off, and they will then head to St. Louis to battle the Blues  on Sunday (this time on NBC, at 12:30 PM EDT, or 11:30 AM local time).

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Red Wings prospect Mitchell Callahan discusses his injury with the Grand Rapids Press’s Wallner

I tried to avoid posting that gruesome "selfie" Mitchell Callahan shared with the world after losing somewhere between 10 and 12 teeth, requiring surgery for a broken jaw and a visit from "Momma Callahan" ahead of what are certain to be a set of reconstructive surgeries to repair and replace what used to be a gap-toothed smile.

Whether you agree or disagree with the optics--literal and physical--of posting that kind of gruesome content, all I can say is that the world is a very different place for young people, and hockey players in particular have always viewed showing their gory scars as a badge of honor, so we're probably stuck with the, "Warning, graphic content!" comments preceding links on sports websites forever.

To me, someone who's been speaking with Callahan every summer since a week after he was drafted, the hardest part of the picture to take was the glazed-over look on his eyes, because it was evident that the young man's injury had sent him into shock.

Callahan's of course feeling a little less introspective about the implications of his work, and instead, he tells the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner (per RedWingsFeed), via email, that he just did what came naturally:

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Olympia Development names preferred contractor for follow-on rink’s construction

Via Crain's Detroit Busines's Bill Shea, Olympia Development has filed a press release announcing the firm they've chosen to utilize to build the Red Wings' follow-on rink, the Barton Manlow Company (whose corporate headquarters is located in Southfield, MI):

Olympia Development Recommends Barton Malow-Hunt-White As General Contractor For New Events Center
Events center will create 5,500 jobs and $200 million in job-related income including over $100 million for Detroit residents

DETROIT, April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) today submitted to the Downtown Development Authority Board for its review and approval the recommendation of Barton Malow-Hunt-White as general contractor for the new Detroit events center.  The DDA board is scheduled to consider and vote on the recommendation at a meeting on Wednesday, April 9, at 3 p.m.

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Red Wings Monday practice post: no injuries today, Wings unconcerned about ‘magic number’

Updated 9x at 4:46 PM: The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena preparing for an incredibly busy week admist a tightly-packed race for the Eastern Conference's Wild Card spots.

As the Wings hope to rebound from their difficult loss to Montreal on Saturday when they tangle with the Sabres tomorrow and the Penguins on Wednesday (both games will take place away from Joe Louis Arena), MLive's Ansar Khan reported good news on the injury front--no changes in terms of the players skating at the Joe...

Wings on ice for practice. Everybody who played in Montreal is skating, plus Bertuzzi and Andersson.

Though the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reported that Wings coach Mike Babcock's line combination switch-ups, which began late in the 2nd period on Saturday, continue to involve experimentation:

Babcock juggling up the lines. Datsyuk skating with Franzen and Abdelkader. Nyquist with Sheahan and Tatar.

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Red Wings mid-day news: on Babcock’s Jack Adams candidacy, the Wild Card Wings and odds

As the 2013-2014 season winds down, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's name has popped up pretty regularly in discussion of potential Jack Adams Award candidates--and the NHL's coach of the year award is voted upon by broadcasters, not journalists--but those who predict how awards races will go haven't changed their consensus picks.

At present, it appears that Babcock might finish in the top 3, but Lightning coach Jon Cooper, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, Bruins coach Claude Julien, Flyers coach Craig Berube, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and, most regularly, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy have received more nods as the consensus picks.

NHL.com's Brian Compton praises Babcock's work in pushing an injury-decimated Wings team toward the playoffs, but only after suggesting that Roy should win the award..

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Red Wings overnight report: on the playoff chase, Datsyuk and Jurco

I'm afraid that the Red Wings may have to "win out" to stave off the Blue Jackets. The Wings will resume practice ahead of a slate of 3 games in 4 nights and 4 in 6 (@ Buffalo on Tuesday; @ Pittsburgh on NBCSN on Wednesday; home vs. Carolina on Friday; @ St. Louis on Easter Sunday) today at Joe Louis Arena, and they'll do so with the standings whiteboard in their locker room looking like this:

Those damn Blue Jackets just keep rolling along. They defeated the Islanders 4-0 on Sunday, and they've gone 4-2-and-1 since defeating the Wings on March 25th. Their schedule is also comparable to the Wings' sked--they host Phoenix on Tuesday and head out on a 3-game road trip through Dallas, Tampa Bay and Miami to wrap up their regular season,

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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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