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Howard ‘on the rebound’

MLive's Brendan Savage penned an article about Jimmy Howard's resurgent play:

After missing almost three months with a knee injury, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard might be playing the best hockey of his career.

Take it from somebody who knows Howard's game perhaps as well as anyone on the Red Wings' roster.

"Howie looks every bit as good as maybe he's ever been," said defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who has been Howard's teammate since the veteran netminder broke into the NHL in 2005-06. "I think he's looked real solid all these games he's played and he's playing just as good as he was before he went down with the injury. It feels very comforting to have him back there."

Howard has been outstanding in three of four games since returning from a sprained MCL March 10. The latest was Tuesday's 2-1 overtime win in Montreal, where he stopped 35 of 36 shots against one of the NHL's top 10 teams.

He kept the Canadiens off the board until Artturi Lehtonen tied it 1-1 with 2:29 remaining.

Since returning to the lineup, Howard has a 3-1 record, 1.82 goals-against average and .939 save percentage.

Savage continues...

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Steve Yzerman speaks with ‘the 313’ regarding ‘the Joe’

Ahead of what may be Steve Yzerman's final visit to Joe Louis Arena, Fox Sports Detroit's "The 313" asked the Tampa Bay Lightning's GM about his first memory of Joe Louis Arena:

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Morning news: A Russo Twitterview, an effective power play, Z’s playoff streak and no USNWT in TC

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. If you're interested, Wings defenseman Robbie Russo will be holding a "Twitterview" at 1 PM EDT:

2. The Windsor Star's Bob Duff duly notes that the Red Wings' power play and goaltending have improved dramatically over the course of the last half-dozen games:

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‘The Brawl in Hockeytown’ 20 years later

The Free Press's Bill Dow has chronicled each and every one of the 9 fights which took place during the "Brawl in Hockeytown"--which took place 20 years ago this Sunday--and Dow penned a lengthy article describing the game:

Within the first 10 minutes, four fighting majors were called. Colorado took a 1-0 lead thanks to Valeri Kamensky, who would score a hat trick that night.

At the 18:22 mark, things escalated when Colorado’s Forsberg slammed Igor Larionov backward into the boards. Larionov, never known to fight, grabbed Forsberg around the neck and wrestled him onto the ice.

“I simply had enough. You can only take so much,” Larionov said in a recent interview.

As Forsberg and Larionov wrestled with each other without throwing punches, McCarty started looking for Lemieux. Knowing that, Foote grabbed McCarty.

“(Brendan Shanahan) knew that I wanted Lemieux,” McCarty said, “so he chopped at Foote, which sent me loose.”

Lemieux stood alone, watching Larionov and Forsberg. “When I saw that, I thought, ‘Oh-oh, this is not good,’” Lemieux said. “I probably should have had my gloves off. I didn’t want one of those crazy brawls. I just wanted the game to be over with.”

McCarty skated toward the distracted Lemieux and landed a right-gloved haymaker to Lemieux’s right temple. Lemieux fell hard on his back. He then rolled to his left, on his knees, as McCarty pounded him with lefts.

Dow continues...

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A Ted Lindsay hockey tale

CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield re-tells Ted Lindsay's take on the fall of the 1950's Red Wings, as well as Lindsay's comeback from hockey's Siberia:

The great Ted Lindsay won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings — and would have won a bunch more, he said, “if it wasn’t for stupid Jack Adams, our general manager.”

Adams, known in his day as ‘Trader Jack’ for his tendency to swing blockbuster deals, presided over the Red Wings for 36 years, including the duration of Lindsay’s first stint with the team. After Lindsay helped the Wings to their fourth Stanley Cup in six years in 1955, not to mention their seventh consecutive regular season title, Adams shook up the roster.

“One year, we won the Stanley Cup and he traded nine players away from our team. And in those days, you only had 18 players — one goaltender, five defensemen, two or three lines, and two extra players.”

The Red Wings’ streak of regular season dominance came to an end after the 1955 season. So did their penchant for winning the Cup. (They would not win another one until 1997). The Canadiens took control of the league from there, capturing the Cup in each of the next five seasons.

“When (Adams) broke up our team, I tell you, of the five Cups that Montreal won, we should have won all five of them. I’ll give them one, maybe,” said Lindsay. “He screwed us.”

Burtchfield continues...

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The return of the charitable donut

From the Red Wings:

DETROIT RED WINGS FOUNDATION and TIM HORTONS® BRING BACK ANNUAL RED WINGS DONUT with proceeds benefiting the detroit red wings foundation
... Red Wings Forward Dylan Larkin to Visit Tim Hortons® Restaurant in Troy on Saturday, March 25 to Serve Special-Edition Donut with Edible Red Wings Logo …

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings Foundation and Tim Hortons® are pleased to announce the return of the “I Love the Red Wings” Donut, a specially-themed donut decorated with an edible Red Wings logo and red and white sprinkles. The Red Wings Donut will be available in participating Michigan Tim Hortons® restaurants for $1.25 beginning Friday, March 24 through Friday, April 7. Proceeds from the sale of the special donut will benefit the Detroit Red Wings Foundation.

Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin will assist in serving the special-edition donut at the Tim Hortons® restaurant in Troy, Mich. (507 E. Big Beaver Rd.) from 9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 25. Due to time constraints, Larkin will not be signing autographs for customers.

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On Mantha’s resurgent play vs. Montreal

The Free Press's Helene St. James penned an off-day article discussing Anthony Mantha's ups and downs...

“Mo has such potential,” veteran Niklas Kronwall said. “You see glimpses and pieces of it throughout the game. Big body. Can skate. Unbelievable hands. Has a bomb of a shot. He really has all the tools.”

Mantha netted his 15th goal of the season Tuesday, when he scored in overtime to lift the Wings past Montreal, 2-1, collecting his third career goal against the Habs. The goal was Mantha’s first point since being sat mid-month, an event that came after he looked egregiously sloppy -- even in what was a sloppy game by the entire team -- on March 8 at Boston.

When Mantha returned to the lineup March 15, it was with a message received.

“It is all a learning process, in the end, and I decide to skate more, shoot more pucks, keep being good in my D-zone,” Mantha said. “I think it paid off.”

From the way Mantha, 22, talks, he seems to understand that he is being pushed hard by coach Jeff Blashill because Mantha has such a high-end skill set.

“He just wants me to bring it every night, and that is, basically, what I need to learn,” Mantha said. “We have been working on it for years now, even when I was playing in (Grand Rapids), we were talking about it. It's just something that needs to come into my mind and be an automatic instinct for me to move my feet as hard as I can and do the little details.”

St. James continues, and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan also took note of Mantha's performance as assessed by his coach:

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Khan tackles expansion draft question in this week’s ‘Ask Ansar’ column

Among MLive's Ansar Khan's "Ask Ansar" questions and answers for this week:

Q: Why not expose a couple of the albatross contracts (Danny DeKeyser, Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm) instead of younger, cheaper players such as Xavier Ouellet and Nick Jensen? Given the excessive length of all three deals, Vegas would be doing the Red Wings a favor by selecting any of them. They have all proven themselves as average players now and all have four-plus years left on their deals. DeKeyser has been especially bad this year and is paid way too much as a second-pair defenseman. Abdelkader looks lost without (Pavel) Datsyuk creating space for him and Helm is too injury-prone. – Tom

A: The front office viewed those players as key pieces in helping the team extend its playoff streak, so it overpaid in both money and term on all the deals.

Of the three you mention, I don’t think they’ll protect Helm. I think the seven forwards protected will be Anthony Mantha, Gustav Nyquist, Henrik Zetterberg, Tatar, Athanasiou, Abdelkader and Frans Nielsen, who must be protected due to his no-movement clause. Dylan Larkin is exempt. Of course, this list could change if they swing a trade before the expansion draft.

I doubt Vegas would take Helm, considering his contract (four more years at a cap hit of $3.875 million), age (30) and health concerns based on his history.

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Givani Smith And Filip Hronek Join The Grand Rapids Griffins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday reassigned forward Givani Smith (jih-VAH-nee SMIHTH) to the Grand Rapids Griffins from the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm and defenseman Filip Hronek (FIHL-ihp H’RAWN-ehk) to the American Hockey League club from the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit. 

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Red Wings Alumni to raise funds for United Cerebral Palsy on March 25th

From Fox 2 Detroit:

Some Detroit Red Wings alumni are gearing up for a charity hockey game later this month that benefits United Cerebral Palsy of Detroit. The event is a chance to see some of your favorite hockey players up close and personal while supporting a great cause.

The event features a sled hockey game with Grand Rapids Sled Wings, a silent auction and then the alumni game. Last year's event raised more than $40,000 for United Cerebral Palsy of Detroit.

The game is on Saturday, March 25 at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Ice Arena in Orchard Lake. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and the sled hockey game kicks off the day's activities at 4 p.m. Tickets are just $10 a person, or $30 for a family up to 5 members. Kids 5 and under are free.

Organizer Jay Adams joins us in studio with Mickey Redmond and Michael Ward from United Cerebral Palsy of Detroit to tell us more about Skate Without Limits. You can watch in the video player above, or visit http://www.skatewithoutlimits.org for more information.

For more information on United Cerebral Palsy of Detroit, visit http://www.ucpdetroit.org


Mickey Redmond was among the participants who spoke with Fox 2's Amy Andrews this morning:

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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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