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Red Wings-Blue Jackets game-day articles: Wings stick with Mrazek, Jurco

Updated 3x at 2:36 PM: The Red Wings face the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Ohio//97.1 FM), and the morning skate didn't reveal anything we didn't already know, as noted by the Free Press's Helene St. James...

Petr Mrazek was in the starter’s net at the morning skate, as expected after his 42-save, shutout performance at Nashville. The last time the Wings hosted the Blue Jackets, in December, the Wings played well but were thwarted by a sub-par performance from Mrazek and an outstanding one by Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

If Mrazek stays hot, and the Wings build on their last two performances, maybe their little winning streak can grow.

“Our biggest thing is to play like we’ve been doing,” defenseman Brendan Smith said. “Get pucks deep, get pucks to the net. I know we haven’t more than three in a row since the start of the year, and we are going to try to change that. We’re emphasizing having a better first period. Our jump has been better the last two games, and we are trying to build off it.”

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An adorable moment

This is adorable. Enjoy the video below:

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TMR mid-day line: St. James on Vanek

Updated 5x at 2:08 PM: From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Update: Here's more from CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield:

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Savage: Wings’ TV ratings take a hit

According to MLive's Brendan Savage, the Red Wings' TV ratings have taken a hit as the team has struggled this season:

SportsBuisinessDaily.com collected ratings for 21 of the teams based in the United States and 12 of them have seen a decline compared to last season.

The Red Wings experienced the fifth-largest drop in local TV ratings at 28 percent. They were followed by the New York Islanders (31 percent), Dallas Stars (33), Anaheim Ducks (46) and Colorado Avalanche (57).

The Red Wings, who are 14th in the Eastern Conference's overall standings with a 22-21-9 record, have a 2.16 local rating. The ratings indicate the percentage of all possible TV households or viewers.

Nine teams have seen their ratings increase led by the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are near the top of the NHL's overall standings with a 33-13-5 record entering tonight's game against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Savage continues...

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Red Wings-Blue Jackets morning skate Tweets and articles: Wings ‘take an optional’

The Detroit Red Wings face one of the hottest teams in the league in the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM).

The Wings "took an optional" this morning, per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

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Howard, Miller discuss respective statuses in Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with two members of the Red Wings' organization regarding their statuses as members of the Grand Rapids Griffins.

One player, Jimmy Howard, is open to playing more games with the Griffins as a means by which to prepare for a return to the Red Wings, especially given his difficulties in Saturday's 5-4 loss to Milwaukee...

On Monday, Howard worked out with former Red Wings teammate Drew Miller and the Griffins staff for an additional 45 minutes after the rest of the players had left the ice.

"Just get the timing back and moving around," Howard said.

After Wednesday's home against at Manitoba, the Griffins have away games Friday and Saturday at Iowa. The Red Wings, meanwhile, are at Washington on Thursday and have back-to-back weekend games - at Columbus on Saturday and Minnesota on Sunday.

Howard, with a league-best 1.96 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in 14 games with Detroit, said physically he's fine and just wants to get back to form.

"Whatever they tell me to do, I'll do," Howard said. "Physically I felt fine. Nothing alarming with the knee or anything like that. Physically it was just about tracking the puck."

Wallner continues, and he also spoke with Drew Miller regarding the beginning of his stint with the Griffins after being waived by the Wings last month:

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Dear Joe Louis Arena

from Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets,

Dear Joe Louis Arena,

It's hard to believe that this will be the last game I ever play on your ice surface.

And to think, when I was a kid growing up in Grosse Pointe Woods, all I ever wanted was to play a game at The Joe and to be a Detroit Red Wing. Let's make one thing clear: it's the honor of a lifetime to be a Columbus Blue Jacket and to wear this sweater, but six-year-old Zach saw your sheet of ice as the ultimate goal. It meant everything to lace up my skates and twirl on the same ice as all the greats to wear the winged wheel.

I'm only 19 years old now, and it feels so weird to be saying goodbye to you.

When we played hockey in the street or practiced in one of our local rinks, I wanted to be Nick Lidstrom. He's one of the biggest reasons why I chose to become a defenseman (I wasn't the best at the other positions, but still) and I wore No. 13 for most of my life and through college because I idolized Pavel Datsyuk. 

continued

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Red Wings’ Goal Is To Stay Hot

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

“We have good teams we’ll be playing against, but our thing is just to kind of play the way we’ve been doing,” defenseman Brendan Smith said. “Play hard, get pucks deep, get pucks to the net, and that’s kind of our mentality going forward.

“I know we haven’t won more than three games in a row since the start of the season, but we’re going to try to change that. We have to do that, if we’re going to be a playoff team.”

Blashill: Goaltending key to Wings' playoff aspirations
The Red Wings remain a bit of a long shot to make the playoffs — entering Monday trailing Boston by five points in the divisional race and Philadelphia by six points for the wild-card — but with 30 games left and that win streak, there is hope.

“There are so many points left in the season,” said forward Steve Ott, who was activated Monday off the injured list. “When you have 30 games to go, the standings will switch so much until probably the last game of the year, like it has every single year.

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Articles from practice: Nielsen, Kronwall on IR as Wings prepare for a difficult week

After this morning's Red Wings practice, the Wings placed two players on the IR, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan...

The Detroit Red Wings have placed center Frans Nielsen on short-term injured reserve and activated forward Steve Ott.

Nielsen must sit out at least the next two games. He is eligible to return for Saturday's game in Columbus.

Nielsen injured his shoulder during the second period of Friday's 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders, when he was checked into the boards by Jason Chimera.

Ott has been out since Jan. 14 due to a shoulder injury.

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall did not practice today. He is listed as day to day but is doubtful for Tuesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

And the Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with the Wings regarding their particularly difficult schedule this week--the Wings face Columbus twice and the Washington Capitals and Minnesota Wild, playing 4 games over the course of 6 nights:

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On Bob Kaser’s time with the Wings

From the Grand Rapids Griffins' Mark Newman:

During his 38 years as a broadcaster, including 17 with the Griffins organization, Bob Kaser has watched countless players get the call to play in the National Hockey League.
              
In early November, it was his turn.
              
Kaser got a phone call from Todd Beam, the Red Wings’ director of communications, telling him that the organization might need him to fill in for Detroit’s radio play-by-play man Ken Kal, who was ill and might have to miss a game or two.
              
“When I got the call, it didn’t really sink in until about an hour later. That’s when it really hit me,” Kaser recalled. “After all these years, I was probably going to get to work my first National Hockey League game. The first thing I did was call my sons.”
              
His sons Charlie and Sam – not to mention his wife Rosalie and a multitude of Griffins fans – had long been convinced that he was good enough to work in the NHL. Kaser, who won his seventh broadcast excellence award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters last year, wasn’t as sure, but was overjoyed at the prospect.

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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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