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Red Wings-Rangers quick take: Howard shines for injury-decimated Wings, who must produce more

Well I don't know how to summarize this one.

The Red Wings and Rangers played an absolutely elegant hockey game for the first two periods and a grit-and-grab-and-grind-fest for the third, and Jimmy Howard was absolutely sensational for an incredibly depleted team (no Alfredsson, Andersson, Datsyuk, Ericsson, Franzen, Gustavsson, Helm, Tatar, Weiss, etc. etc.)...

But the Rangers got the kind of goal you expect to decide a tale in which the Wings were out-shot 48-38, with Mats Zuccarello tapping the puck off Brian Lashoff's stick and past a goaltender who was understandably playing the pass on a 3-on-2, the Red Wings either could not or would not place butts in front of Henrik Lundqvist's field of view all night long, and as such, the Wings go 2-and-3 on their road trip and have been shut out in consecutive games.

There comes a time when it doesn't matter who's in or out of the lineup--the team has to get it done--and all this talk of structure and leadership and youth playing well is swell and all (hey, Nyquist, Jurco and DeKeyser were 3 of the 6 players out for the final minute), and the fact that Howard has gone from slippery rock to rock solid again is fantastic...

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Howard with a glove save and a beaut

No replay on this yet, but Jimmy Howard made one hell of a save on Carl Hagelin, and Howard's stopped 35 Rangers shots over the course of 2 periods as the Wings and Rangers remain scoreless going into the 3rd:

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Red Wings’ placing of Pavel Datsyuk on short-term IR is no reason to panic

I think this is kind of obvious given that the Red Wings recalled Cory Emmerton (to sub for Joakim Andersson) and that the player in question probably won't return this weekend but it's sure going to garner headlines, per TSN and RedWingsFeed:

The Detroit Red Wings placed forward Pavel Datsyuk on injured reserve prior to Thursday's game against the New York Rangers.

Datsyuk will miss a fifth straight game on Thursday for what the team termed a lower-body injury. The three-time Selke Trophy recipient also sat out seven consecutive contests earlier this season after sustaining a concussion on Nov. 23.

Recently named captain of Russia's men's ice hockey team at the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, Datsyuk leads Detroit with 15 goals this season and ranks second on the team with 32 points.

The Red Wings recalled center Cory Emmerton from Grand Rapids of the AHL in a corresponding move.

Update: The move, she is no big deal:

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Grand Rapids Griffins to hold annual Great Skate this weekend

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

Grand Rapids Griffins players, sled dogs, ice sculptors, zoo animals, figure skaters, horse-drawn carriages, winter sport athletes, museums, libraries and local celebrities will all be part of the 2014 Great Skate Winterfest, which will run for 34 consecutive hours this Saturday, Jan. 18 and Sunday, Jan. 19 at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

Everyone is invited to join this celebration of winter in our city and help the Griffins Youth Foundation provide opportunities for more than 350 kids – many of whom are underprivileged, underserved, at-risk, physically challenged or have other special needs – to participate in the great sport of hockey at no cost.

The fun begins at noon on Saturday with the sixth annual Winterfest, a day full of winter-inspired events, sports demonstrations and family activities, and concludes with the 12th annual Great Skate, a 24-hour skating marathon with Griffins players that runs from 10 p.m. on Saturday until 10 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the Great Skate Winterfest is free, although donations are encouraged and fees apply to skating ($2 per person) and carriage rides ($5 per person).

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Three Red Wings among ESPN’s top 50 NHL prospects

ESPN's Cory Pronman posited a list of his top 50 NHL prospects for this season in an Insider-only entry, and three Red Wings prospects made the cut (though they made the "middle"):

28. Tomas Jurco, RW, Detroit Red Wings
DOB: 12/28/92 | Age: 21
2013-14 stats (Grand Rapids, AHL):
32 GP, 13 G, 19 A, 32 P
Preseason ranking: unranked

Jurco has been great in his second AHL campaign, earning a brief call-up to the Wings earlier this season. He's a sensational puck handler who can make a ton of plays in the offensive end of the rink. Jurco needed time to adjust to the QMJHL level before he elevated his game, and after a bumpy first pro AHL season he looks to be turning the corner again.

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Wings Recall Emmerton Who Will Play Tonight

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled center Cory Emmerton from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Emmerton is slated to be in the lineup tonight as the Red Wings take on the New York Rangers on the road tonight at 7:00 p.m..

added 4:11pm,

 

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After Detroit’s Skate Today

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson might be ready to return to the lineup on Saturday, but defenseman Jonathan Ericsson isn’t likely to be back until next week.

Both said they felt good Thursday after the morning skate at Madison Square Garden, as the Red Wings prepare to face the New York Rangers tonight (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit)....

“I’m starting to feel good now, should be a matter of maybe a day or two,” Gustavsson said. “I went full today, no issues so far. Maybe Saturday (vs. Los Angeles); we haven’t discussed everything but I think it would be ready to go.”

Ericsson, out since Dec. 23 with fractured ribs, was hoping to return Saturday, but it appears as if he’ll sit out at least a couple more games.

more including Helm skated today but still day-to-day...

added 1:34pm, Helene St. James view on the game at the Detroit Free Press, including video of Babcock talking about the Rangers...

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Those Working “Bastards”

from Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News,

“They’re very strong on the puck, a very hard team as far as reloading, back-checking, pursuing the puck to get it back, and when they have it, they work like bastards to keep that puck,” Alain Vigneault said Thursday morning after his Rangers (24-21-3) prepared at the Garden for their 7 p.m. start. “I mean, it’s unreal how hard those guys work. And one thing, offensively, that I think they do as well – if not better – than any other team in the league, is that net presence. There’s always one guy on each line that seems like – he’s not – but it almost seems like he’s designated to stand in front of the goaltender and make it real hard on him, and that’s why they’ve been one of the best teams in the league for so long.”

Detroit will have to replicate those strengths, however, without several key contributors.

Young Slovakian forward Tomas Tatar sadly will be absent as he attends his father’s funeral. Meanwhile, the Red Wings also are expected to be without seven other regulars due to injury: Pavel “The Magic Man” Datsyuk (concussion, lower body) – ask ‘Siri’ who the Magic Man is – Daniel Alfredsson (groin, back); Johan Franzen (upper body; concussion); Darren Helm (groin, shoulder); Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder, ribs); Stephen Weiss (groin, hernia); and backup goalie Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson (groin, neck).

The Rangers, though, still have their work cut out for them to rebound from a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. They are still just 10-11-3 at the Garden, despite starting this four-game homestand 2-1-0.

more on tonight's game..

And a Malik update below...

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Time Now On The Side Of The Wings

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Three days off before facing the New York Rangers Thursday at Madison Square Garden might help them adjust after flying back home from Anaheim following Sunday’s game.

Regardless, they’re relieved they don’t have to go further west than St. Paul, Minn., the rest of the season.

“I was really tired (Tuesday); it was tough getting home at 5:30 in the morning,” goaltender Jimmy Howard said. “But, thankfully, both our West Coast swings are over and we’ll primarily be in the Eastern Time Zone. I’ll be nice from here on out.”

Of their remaining 36 games, 33 are in the Eastern Time Zone.

“It is a big difference, no doubt,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said.

more on the Wings...

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Datsyuk Thought He Would Miss One Game

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Whatever lower-body issue is troubling Datsyuk – it was supposed to be a “day-to-day” injury -- will now have caused him to miss five consecutive games.

“(I wasn’t) expecting this way,” said Datsyuk after Wednesday’s practice, of which he was not a participant. “I thought I’d miss one game and come back. But it’s not feeling great. I just have to fight through.”

Datsyuk isn’t likely to even make the trip to New York to play the Rangers. He wasn’t sure about his availability for Saturday’s home game against the Kings.

“(Take a) couple of days (off) and we’ll see when the team comes back,” Datsyuk said.

more on the Wings...

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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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