The Malik Report
This article from the Associated Press is a "rookie round-up" that sounds more than a little familiar, but there's nothing wrong with a little gratuitous praise for Dylan Larkin as the headliner of the 2015-16 rookie class:
Baby-faced Dylan Larkin is just 19 and doesn't appear to be in much need of a razor.
The Detroit Red Wings' center plays like a man by any measure.
After Monday's games, Larkin led the league in plus-minus rating, was tied for the most even-strength goals and had scored more than anyone else in an impressive NHL rookie class.
Not bad for someone who was hoping just to make the roster.
''I'm still pretty surprised I'm having this type of success this year,'' Larkin said.
Buffalo's Jack Eichel, another standout rookie, shrugs when he sees Larkin effortlessly skate and handle the puck with his soft hands to make plays against the best hockey players in the world.
''You guys will all get used to this,'' Eichel said. ''I've seen it for years now.''
The AP continues, and if you missed Larkin's slick pass to Henrik Zetterberg last night, here it is:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Jimmy Howard's shootout troubles from the past couple of seasons continued on Tuesday, but he was also mainly responsible for the Detroit Red Wings stealing a point in a game in which they were badly outshot.
Howard made 38 saves in regulation and overtime against Washington before shootout goals by T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov lifted the Capitals to a 3-2 victory at the Verizon Center.
"I think when you get to overtime, you get to a shootout, you're leaving it to chance a bit," Blashill said. "I think that's the reality of life sometimes.
"With him I'd focus on the fact that he did a great job and I don't think we get the point if he doesn't play great."
The Red Wings (15-8-5) have earned at least one point in 11 consecutive games (7-0-4).
"You know, it's just too bad," Howard said. "Been there for the team the whole game, would have liked to pick up that extra point, but you know, they made two good moves."
The Red Wings' 3-2 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals was perhaps a "necessary evil" for a Wings team that just wasn't "on its game" Tuesday evening. It extended the Wings' point streak to 11 games and gave Detroit a 7-0-and-4 record over the past 11 games, depite being out-shot 40-23 and really out-played over the second half of the game's 65 minutes...
But the Capitals felt very similarly about their own "character win," as they told the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan...
The Red Wings began a set of three "test games" against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, hoping to buck a losing trend at the Verizon Center and against Braden Holtby while extending Detroit's point streak to 11 games. This was going to be a tough, tight game no matter what, and in Mike Green's return to Washington, the Wings needed to deliver for their new teammate.
Regrettably, the Wings blew a 2-1 lead and had to settle for a 3-2 shootout loss, in no small part because Detroit blew their only power play (in overtime; Washington had 4 power plays), but this was yet another Capitals game in which Detroit was badly out-shot (40-23) and badly out-attempted (68-52), but--despite his shootout performance--Jimmy Howard stole the Wings a point.
Losing always sucks, but on a very "off" night for the Red Wings, and a very strange night in terms of the penalties and lack thereof, the Wings were able to continue their "unbeaten" streak and push their points streak to 11 games (7-0-and-4)--and in the end, as frustrated as I am with the Wings both blowing that 2-1 lead and doing absolutely nothing on that OT PP...
There are more prospects playing tonight, but some games of consequence took place this afternoon, and I'm going to try to squeeze them and a news release ien before the Wings-Capitals game:
First, as a FTR, NHL.com reports that Evgeny Svechnikov is officially on Russia's WJC selection camp roster;
In the Champions hockey league: Julius Vahatalo didn't register a point in TPS Turku's 2-1 shootout loss to Lukko Rauma, and the loss eliminated TPS from the Champions Hockey League quarterfinals;
Axel Holmstrom took 2 shots and finished at -1 in Skelleftea AIK's 4-1 loss to Davos, which eliminated Skelleftea from the CHL playoffs as well;
And Christoffer Ehn finished at -1 in the Frolunda Indians' 6-4 win over Lulea Hockey, a win that pushed Frolunda through to the CHL semifinals.
Back over on this side of the pond, Grand Rapids Griffins forward Eric Tangradi is playing lights-out hockey, and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with the surging forward:
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
Mike Green spoke with the Washington press about his time with the Capitals, speaking with the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan...
“I mean, I was just a piece of the puzzle, really,” Green said Tuesday morning, during his first trip inside Verizon Center’s intimate (read: tiny) visiting dressing room. “I didn’t do anything spectacular other than enjoy playing the game here. You know, we enjoyed when the fans would come out and watch, and like I said, I was just a piece of the puzzle. It’s exciting to see how far it’s come, though, since when I first started.”
And it’s shocking to realize how few of the current Caps were here for that time. The only current Capital who played in Green’s debut in October 2005 — a 7-2 road loss — was Ovechkin. Brooks Laich was the only other current player who took the ice for Washington that season. It was a team of Ben Clymers and Steve Emingers and Matt Pettingers and Brian Sutherbys, a team not terribly far from something special, but still emerging from a massive tear-down. Green’s first home game — also a loss — attracted a crowd of about 10,400. There were acres of empty purple seats back then, and pointed questions about how far down the list of NHL franchises the Caps ranked.
“I remember my first couple games in the Verizon Center — I think at the time it was called the MCI Center — there was maybe six, eight thousand fans,” Green said on Tuesday. “And now I know they sell out most nights, if not every night. And that’s quite an accomplishment for the organization.”
And the Washington Times' Zac Boyer...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Mike Green returned to Washington on Tuesday, lately looking more like the dynamic offensive threat he was on the Capitals blue line the past 10 years.
After a slow start, followed by a shoulder injury that sidelined him for six games, Green has been picking up the pace offensively for the Detroit Red Wings.
He is jumping up in the play, taking more chances. He has nine points (goal, eight assists) in his past 14 games.
"The more comfortable you get the more confident you are," Blashill said before the game. "He couldn't get traction because of the injuries (groin in training camp, shoulder on Oct. 23), but since he's been back we've had him with a pretty stable partner in him and Kronner (Niklas Kronwall) being together real consistently.
Updated 4x at 2:11 PM: The morning skate ahead of tonight's game between the Red Wings and Capitals (7:30 PM on NBCSN/Sportsnet/97.1 FM) revealed that the Capitals will play with Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson in their lineup, while the Red Wings made no lineup changes save starting Jimmy Howard opposite Braden Holtby.
The Capitals will ice the following lineup, per NHL.com's Katie Brown...
CBS Sports' Chris Peters focuses on the Red Wings' resurgence while penning his latest list of power rankings:
Some openly wondered if this was the year the Detroit Red Wings would take a step back. Losing head coach Mike Babcock and bringing in rookie bench boss Jeff Blashill was one reason. The team's core of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall getting older was another. Plus the tough decisions the team had to make in net.
None of those concerns has really materialized so far this season. Blashill has done a fine job of replacing Babcock. The aging core remains effective, but are now bolstered by a youth movement that has significantly improved the roster. Meanwhile, goaltending has been among the least of Detroit's concerns as both Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard have played well when called upon as they share the net.
Right now, the Wings are one of the league's hottest teams. They have not lost in regulation in any of their last 10 games and now sit firmly in second place in the Atlantic Division.
There has been a lot of impressive things happening during the streak, like the wings winning five of the eight overtime games they've played in or more importantly, that they've scored 33 goals over their last 10 games. Prior to the streak, the team had scored four or more goals in a game only three times. They've scored four or more six times during their current run.
This is just a hot streak in a season, the kind that pretty much any team can go on. However, the Red Wings are playing better hockey as a whole. They really are a different team with Datsyuk in the mix, but they've got the depth around him and Zetterberg to make their jobs easier, too. Detroit has a chance to push their consecutive playoff appearances to 25 seasons this year and look poised to do at least that. What they have to try to do now is build off of this recent run of success and find a way to sustain the increased goal scoring they've enjoyed over the last month. Year after year we learn that you just shouldn't ever count out the Red Wings.
Peters continues, ranking the Wings 11th overall...
Updated 3x at 12:35 PM: The Red Wings will try to extend their points streak to 11 games against the Washington Capitals this evening (7:30 PM on NBCSN with Ken Daniels and Pierre McGuire/Sportsnet/97.1 FM). Normally, this post is Tweet-based, but a couple of articles popped up overnight, so:
1. The Capitals' website posted several notes about tonight's game in their "Capitals Today" press release:
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.