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The overnight report: On Tyler Bertuzzi’s maturation and positive signs for Franzen

The Red Wings tangle with the Boston Bruins this evening (7:30 PM; no TV), and while the Wings are going to ice a more veteran roster tonight, the strength of the Red Wings' prospect pool hasn't gone unnoticed. Niklas Kronwall had this to say to the Detroit News regarding the performances of the Dylan Larkins, Anthony Manthas, Tyler Bertuzzis, etc...

“There are a lot of younger guys in here who can play,” said Niklas Kronwall, who recalled how he struggled to play the positional game in his first camp as he got used to the North American style of hockey. “It’s incredible,” he said. “But it just goes to show you: You have a good scouting staff, and they’ve been doing a tremendous job for not just a few years now. I mean, it goes back a long way.

“And, in today’s era, if you don’t get the first five picks, you’ve got to have a really good scouting staff to narrow down what you’re looking for. And, so far, it’s been spot-on, really. It’s great to see these young guys coming up and doing so well, they’re not just happy to be here. They want to make an impression and to make sure that after each game the coaches are talking about them.”

And, as noted in Friday's practice post, the beat writers focused on the development of one Tyler Bertuzzi, who was originally drafted as an Andrew Shaw-style instigator.

After dealing with a set of neck injuries that required Bertuzzi to work with the same Univeristy of Michigan Neurosport program that has been working with Johan Franzen to recover from what was initially diagnosed as a concussion, Bertuzzi chose to change his style of play, and that decision's paid off, as MLive's Ansar Khan noted:

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Post-practice articles: Franzen reports no ill effects; Pulkkinen, Green nursing minor injuries

Updated 2x at 2:59 PM: The Red Wings' split-squad practices revealed a pair of injuries--an upper-body injury for Teemu Pulkkinen and "tender groin" for Mike Green--but MLive's Ansar Khan reports that there's good news regarding one player ahead of tomorrow's exhibition game against Boston:

Johan Franzen was back on the practice ice Friday, having experienced no issues the day after his first game in nearly nine months. Another hurdle has been cleared. Franzen will play again Saturday when the Detroit Red Wings continue the preseason against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m., no local TV).

"It felt good, I wasn't afraid to go anywhere, like in the corners," Franzen said of his play in Thursday's 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I didn't think about my head. It was a good test, mostly for my physique, my legs. It's good to have that first game."

Franzen said it's fun to be back playing, after being out since Jan. 6 with a concussion.

"I felt a little bit better than I thought I was going to feel," Franzen said. "It was a little tough, the last five (minutes) in the first. That's the part you're not used to, the battling. It's so much harder than skating around and doing stops and starts. All the battling, that's what I got to get used to."

Khan continues, duly noting that Daniel Cleary will play on Saturday...

In the fantasy hockey department, TSN's Scott Cullen suggests that poolies pick up Franzen as a "sleeper candidate"...

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Glendening to serve as grand marshal of Down Syndrome Support Team’s Buddy Walk

From the Wings:


... Red Wings Forward Continues ‘Gametime with Glendening’ Community Initiative By Hosting a Child with Down Syndrome and His or Her Family at
Every Red Wings Home Game …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that for the second-straight year forward Luke Glendening will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 11th Annual Down Syndrome Support Team’s Buddy Walk on Sunday, Sept. 27 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. in Gallup Park (3000 Fuller Rd.) for the one-mile walk starting at 3:00 p.m.

The Buddy Walk is one of more than 250 events planned in cities throughout the country this fall to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people with Down syndrome. The walk celebrates the abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome, and will be followed by refreshments, children’s activities, a raffle and silent auction. More than 800 people are expected to attend, with participants including people with Down syndrome, their families, friends, co-workers and supporters. The general public is also invited to attend.

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Custance: Ken Holland trying to manage Larkin expectations

Among ESPN's Craig Custance's Friday Insider column's notes:

We know how the Detroit Red Wings operate. We know that the young players have to wait their turn, that the tie in every roster battle is going to go to the veteran.

Then you see a performance like the one turned in by Dylan Larkin on Thursday night -- his first two goals scored in Joe Louis Arena as a pro -- and it becomes natural to wonder if he’s different. Factor in how well Larkin is thought of by scouts and executives around the league, and it’s fair question whether he’s the Red Wings prospect who forces the hand of the organization and grabs an NHL spot as a teenager. Well, let’s put it this way, one game won’t be changing years of organizational philosophy.

“It’s preseason. You have to factor in the competition. There’s no [Sidney] Crosby. There’s no [Phil] Kessel,” said Red Wings GM Ken Holland on Friday morning. “We’re not playing NHL rosters.”

Larkin is the Red Wings' top prospect and one of the better prospects in the NHL right now. He also happens to play for a team that had 100 points last season and Stanley Cup aspirations this season.

His path at center is jammed up, and with a player like Larkin, Holland said the priority is playing time. Not just any kind of playing time, but playing time that includes being on the ice in the most important situations, being a major contributor on the team, whether that’s in the AHL or the NHL.

Custance continues, pointing out that Larkin would have the opportunity to play in the World Junior Championships if he's assigned to Grand Rapids, and he concludes with a message of patience from Holland:

“There’s a lot of different paths that Dylan Larkin can take over the 2015-16 season,” Holland said. “He has the potential to be a real important player for the Detroit Red Wings going forward. We need to do what we think is right for Dylan so that those things come to fruition.”

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Ken Holland discusses the Red Wings’ youth movement, UFA additions and Datsyuk on WDFN

Red Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on WDFN's Matt Sheppard show yesterday morning, discussing the strong performances of the Red Wings' youngsters, the new faces on the roster and the timeline for Pavel Datsyuk's recovery:

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Practice Tweets and articles: split squads practicing, Green has a ‘tender groin’

Updated 7x at 1:13 PM: Pulkkinen and Green are day-to-day with injuries:

The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena this morning, and the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa explained how exactly two teams of players practice on the same ice surface:

@DetroitRedWings practices with split squads, 10:30 and noon. coach blashill likely after second session.

DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose confirmed:

The #RedWings group that did not play in Thursday's 6-1 win is currently on the ice in Practice No. 1 at Joe Louis Arena.


#RedWings first power-play unit today is Abdelkader, Zetterberg and Nyquist with Kronwall and Kindl on the point.

As did MLive's Ansar Khan:

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Riley Sheahan to take part in Michigan Humane Society’s ‘Mega March for Animals’

From the Red Wings:

... Sheahan to Autograph New Red Wings Pucks for Paws Pet Calendars During Mega March on Sunday With All Sales Benefiting the Michigan Humane Society …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that forward Riley Sheahan will appear at the Michigan Humane Society’s 10th annual Mega March for Animals on Sunday, Sept. 27 from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. at Belle Isle State Park in Detroit to help raise funds and awareness for homeless pets in Michigan. The Red Wings forward will take photos with marchers and autograph the new 2015-16 Red Wings Pucks for Paws Pet Calendar, which features several Red Wings players either with their own pets or a pet from the Michigan Humane Society.

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Morning lines: Blashill on Larkin, Gordie Howe

Two articles of Red Wings-related note popped up this morning, and in both cases, Jeff Blashill's words seem to be the most appropriate "lines" to quote.

The first comes from MLive's Brendan Savage's recap of the Wings' 6-1 exhibition win over the Pittsburgh Penguins...

Larkin, Bertuzzi and Pulkkinen all spent time in Grand Rapids last season, when new Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill was behind the Griffins' bench.

"They did a good job," Blashill said. "I think Dylan has a maturity level way beyond his years. That's one thing that struck me right away when he came to play for us last year in Grand Rapids. He has a real maturity level to him.

"He's got a real good quiet confidence. He doesn't have that fake bravado confidence. He's just a confident kid, but a down-to-earth kid. He doesn't let things bother him and he's very competitive.

"That's not to say there's not errors. Yes, he does need to continue to grow ... but sometimes that competitiveness gets the best of him. But he's a real, real mature person."

And the second comes from the Free Press's Helene St. James:

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Red Wings-Penguins preseason wrap-up

The Detroit Red Wings' kids went to work on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, and after a pretty solid performance against the Chicago Blackhawks two nights previously, the "kiddie corps" pounced upon the Penguins' "B Team," defeating Pittsburgh 6-1 thanks to a pair of Pulkkinen goals, a pair of Larkin goals and some surprisingly stout play from Jimmy Howard, who stopped 34 of 35 shots for the Wings.

The Wings have wrapped up a set of 3 games in 3 nights going 2-and-1, and they'll wrap their series against Pittsburgh next Wednesday in the Steel City. In the interim, we're likely to see a more veteran team take on the Boston Bruins on Saturday and "this team" take on the B's in Boston next Monday.

The Penguins' press corps followed the team to Detroit but didn't snag many quotes, so the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari's recap is a "just the facts" version...

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Preseason quick take, Red Wings vs. Penguins: Larkin’s debut is a fine one

The future's so bright, you've got to wear several pairs of shades--or at least that's probably what you're thinking after the Red Wings' 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Red Wings received 2 goals from Teemu Pulkkinen and Dylan Larkin, a goal and 3 assists for Tyler Bertuzzi, a 4-point night from Pulkkinen, 2 assists from Nick Jensen, a team-leading 4 shots from Larkin, strong performances from Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Alexey Marchenko, Ryan Sproul and Robbie Russo, a healthy performance from Johan Franzen, shot blocks from Brendan Smith, and yes, 26 saves (including 17 in the 3rd period) from Jimmy Howard, who was stout, strong, and even controlled in his rebounds.

The Wings came out strong with 3 1st-period goals and out-shot Pittsburgh 15-5 in the 1st, but Detroit was out-shot 30-12 in the 2nd and 3rd periods, and still managed to out-score Matt Murray's Penguins 3-1.

Detroit will practice on Friday and begin a set of back-to-backs against Boston on Saturday at home, heading to Boston on Monday and then wrapping up this series against PIttsburgh with an exhibition game in the Steel City on Wednesday, September 30th.

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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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