The Malik Report
Updated 2x at 11:22 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Jeff Blashill and Anthony Mantha after last night's game. Blashill had this to say about the Wings' roster decisions:
"I think we'll sit down tomorrow and we'll make decisions on our roster," he said. "We probably won't really finalize that until Monday. I think Mantha and Double A and Ouellet and Sproul and those guys – to some degree AA had some establishment here last year – but the other guys haven't been established.
"So they've laid out how they play through the preseason and we'll make decisions."
2. ESPN's Victoria Matiash penned a set of fantasy hockey notes for each and every one of the NHL's 30 teams:
Detroit Red Wings: Frans Nielsen is pumped about the prospect of playing alongside veteran forward Henrik Zetterberg. If this 30-plus forward pairing can keep up with the kids, there's a solid chance we see the long-time Islander break the 60-point barrier for the first time in his career.
3. Henrik Zetterberg turns 36 today:
Just under eight minutes in length.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
There are reasons, however, to think the Wings can cross the 2016-17 finish line to what would be a 26th consecutive trip to the playoffs for factors both external and internal.
Talking to players as Thursday’s opener at Tampa Bay approaches, there is a distinct sense that this season offers an opportunity to prove last season’s disaster was an aberration, not the new norm. Many players underachieved, special teams struggled, and by the end, there were lessons learned.
“The guys didn’t take as big a step as we should have last year,” Darren Helm said. “Everybody this year knows how important that is. We got some pretty good acquisitions and they are definitely exciting guys.
“I think we have a playoff team. We just have to do the things that we need to do. Hopefully we can just all buy into what we need to do. Winning games and making the playoffs is very important for us.”
Last season, the Wings finished in the bottom third of the NHL in goals-per-game at 2.55, and in the middle of the pack in goals-allowed per game at 2.67, powerplay at 18.8% and penalty killing at 81.6%. Do just a little better in each area, and at least a handful more victories should materialize.
“The way I look at it is marginal gains,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We need to be be marginally better in a bunch of different areas. I don't think it’s this big, huge step forward. I talk all the time about taking a thousand steps forward through the course of a year. We need marginal gains in a lot of areas — we need guys to be a little better individually. We need our special teams units to be a little better.
added 9:20am, I see George posted this earlier, sorry for the double post.
From the Free Press's Helene St. James' Red Wings preview:
“I think what people underestimate with the Detroit Red Wings is the culture in the locker room,” [Red Wings coach Jeff] Blashill said. “And I know culture is an easy word to throw around. But I know for a fact, having gone through coaching searches this year and having talked to lots of coaches throughout the league, that our locker room is at an elite level in terms of everyday work ethic, everyday attention to detail, and selflessness.
“And I think that’s allowed this team to continue to earn opportunities to compete for the Stanley Cup by making the playoffs. And that is what will allow us to do it again this year.”
The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Saturday night, wrapping up their preseason slate with a narrow win as the Wings' "A Team" got all of a single game to attempt to gel ahead of this week's season-opener against Tampa Bay.
Our friends from Toronto were relatively satisfied with their game, but TorontoMapleLeafs.com's Adam Proteau duly notes that the Wings' resiliency carried the day...
Of prospect-related note:
In the ECHL, Alex Globke scored and Jake Paterson pitched a 25-save shutout in the Toledo Walleye's 1-0 win over the Kalmazoo K-Wings, wrapping up the Walleye's exhibition season. The Walleye's website posted a recap:
Trying to do the narrative recap a little differently, here's my quick take on the Red Wings' 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Here are my thoughts from the 1st period of play:
- Thomas Vanek found Gustav Nyquist with an absolutely slick pass off a set of turnovers from the Maple Leafs, yielding a 1-0 goal for Nyquist. That was a gorgeous goal at 1:46:
- Dylan Larkin nearly replicated the feat, finding Mike Green for a back-door shot that Fredrik Andersen stopped, and on the power play, with Green continued to last pucks at the net;
- And on a 2-man advantage, Dylan Larkin stopped a Zetterberg shot-pass and rifled a backhand pass past Andersen's glove to make it 2-0 at 8:11:
The Detroit Red Wings close out their preseason schedule with a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs this evening (7 PM EDT on FSD/TSN4). The Red Wings will be icing what's very close to a full lineup against an equally NHL-ready Leafs squad, and Henrik Zetterberg will be part of Detroit's roster this evening.
Here's an open post to suit your needs.
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned forwards Tyler Bertuzzi, Matt Lorito and Evgeny Svechnikov and defensemen Joe Hicketts and Robbie Russo to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins and released forwards Louis-Marc Aubry and Kyle Criscuolo, defenseman Nathan Paetsch and goaltender Cal Heeter from professional tryouts. Additionally, the team placed forwards Tomas Jurco and Tomas Nosek and defensemen Vili Saarijarvi and Dan Renouf on injured reserve, reducing its active roster to 32 players (19 forwards, 10 defensemen and three goaltenders).
from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,
“I think there’s always this focus on the opening day roster,” Holland said, before the Red Wings were to play the Maple Leafs Saturday (7 p.m., Joe Louis Arena, Fox Sports Detroit).
“But, at the end of the day, before the year is over we’re going to need 15, 16 forwards, eight or nine defensemen, and we’ll probably need three goalies,” he said.
“There is a focus on the opening day roster. But if we keep somebody up and they get an opportunity to play and don’t play very well, and someone else had a good preseason and they go down and they start out good in Grand Rapids, you can flip them. It’s a two-hour drive a way.”
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.