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Tomas Tatar Looking For Success

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Blashill and Tomas Tatar are both confident Tatar will expand on a fine World Cup of Hockey tournament into the regular season.

“Last year was frustrating for him,” Blashill said. “Having a good start in the World Cup helps him, helps everybody, to score and gain that kind of confidence, and to have that kind of fun and team success that they (Team Europe) had.

“He’s a guy that wants team success a ton. It was a good springboard.”

Team Europe wasn’t supposed to be a threat in the tournament, what with a collection of players from eight different countries. But the team meshed under coach Ralph Krueger and made the finals before losing to Canada.

Tatar had three goals on 16 shots in six World Cup games.

“It was awesome,” said Tatar of the experience. “The whole tournament, I had trust in the coach, the team did great, we were confident and we played together.

“It was just fun to be in the locker room. We played calm, and we talked in the locker room to do what was better (for the team).”

Kulfan has more from Blashill on the defensive game...

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Jeff Blashill Explains The Defensive Adjustments

from Ansar Kahn of Mlive,

"We allowed breakaways and outnumbered rushes on poor decisions. We've got to make sure we clean up," coach Jeff Blashill said following the morning skate. "We didn't necessarily give up a lot of chances in our D-zone, but we spent too much time in our D zone, so we've got to make sure that we're faster in our D zone."

In an effort to rectify that, Blashill adjusted his top two defense pairs, putting Danny DeKeyser with Mike Green and joining Brendan Smith with Alexey Marchenko.

"I'm just trying to find the right balance, the right chemistry amongst our D corps," Blashill said. "We haven't given Green and DeKeyser a lot of time together through the two years. It was something we thought about when we signed Green, but he hasn't had a whole lot of time with him.

"I think Danny's more than just a steady Eddie but you have a steadier guy with a rush-type guy in Greener and you have a steadier guy in Marchy with a rush-type guy in Smith. That doesn't mean that Marchy and Danny can't be up the ice because they can. It kind of balances that out a little bit."

read on

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Detroit’s Morning Skate

The Detroit media reports today's skate is an optional, so not much news to report.

Below, watch Gerard Gallant talk about both teams after the Panthers' morning skate.

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Andreas Athanasiou Must Battle And Frans Nielsen Knows His Role

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou, with his speed and potential to have an impact, was too enticing to leave on the sidelines for long.

So Athanasiou will go from healthy scratch in the season-opening loss to first-line duty Saturday against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

Athanasiou will skate on a line with Frans Nielsen and Henrik Zetterberg.

"The bottom line for Andreas is he's got to win puck battles and win physical battles, and when he does that, he's a really good player," coach Jeff Blashill said. "When he doesn't, nobody is. He knows that, we had a conversation about that the other day.

"Hopefully, he goes in and wins tons of puck battles, and he's got obviously really elite ability to skate and make some plays. I think it could be a good match on that line with Nielsen and Z, but we'll see."


from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

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‘Roughly Translated’: Henrik Zetterberg discusses Detroit’s evolution and the ‘Swedish Mafia’

Expressen's Magnus Nystrom engaged in a long conversation with Henrik Zetterberg regarding numerous topics (via RedWingsFeed), and here's a rough translation of their discussion:

"You've seen a lot of misery and terrible things"

Detroit. It was a city in ruins with one of the world's best hockey teams. Now the team might miss the playoffs for the first time in 26 years, but the city has received a new lease on life.

It's a new era in Detroit.

"In the past we were recommended to not stop at a red light at night. But now it's become much better here," says Henrik Zetterberg.

The Red Wings captain celebrates the city's real heroes, and he strikes back at allegations that he belongs to a "Swedish Mafia."

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Red Wings will unveil a ‘JLA Walk of Fame’

From the Red Wings:

Update: In the promotional vein:

... Pucks Used by Both Teams During Warmups Will Be Available for Purchase on JLA Concourse …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that dual-logo pucks used by both teams during pregame warmups will be available for purchase at select home games this season.

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Custance weighs in on the ‘waiver wire’ issue

In his Friday Insider-only mailbag, ESPN's Craig Custance answered a question as to why the Red Wings "let Martin Frk walk":

Let’s talk about the Red Wings for a minute. Being based in Detroit, I hear the calls that wish management and the coaching staff would give young players more of an opportunity. There’s frustration that players like Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek are brought in at the cost of top-six ice time for the young forwards.

Red Wings fans see Edmonton, Toronto, Philadelphia, Winnipeg, Arizona and all these other organizations playing the young talent, and want to see the same thing happening in Detroit. I totally understand it. That’s where the league is headed.

I agree that it would do the Red Wings well to take their foot off the gas, move some veterans and spend time in the draft lottery. They need a top-three talent badly.

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Here’s the Griffins’ game-day preview video for the home opener

The Grand Rapids Griffins open their regular season tonight against the Chicago Wolves, and the Griffins posted a game-day preview video ahead of tonight's home opener:

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Articles from practice: Red Wings juggle lineup before Saturday’s game vs. Florida

Updated 4x at 5:31 PM: The Red wings engaged in a mid-afternoon practice in Sunrise, Florida on Friday, and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the Wings switched up their lines:

Andreas Athanasiou, a healthy scratch Thursday, skated on the top line with Frans Nielsen and Henrik Zetterberg as the Red Wings prepare for Saturday's game against the Florida Panthers (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

Dylan Larkin centered a line with Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan. The third line remained the same as Darren Helm was flanked by Gustav Nyquist and Thomas Vanek. Justin Abdelkader skated on the fourth line, in place of Steve Ott, with Luke Glendening and Drew Miller. Ott rotated in on that line.

On defense, Danny DeKeyser skated with Mike Green while Brendan Smith was paired with Alexey Marchenko. The third pair of Jonathan Ericsson and Xavier Ouellet remained the same.

Update: The Free Press's Helene St. James posted a clip of Andreas Athanasiou and Jeff Blashill speaking with the media (via RedWingsFeed):

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Tweets From Detroit’s Practice Today

via Ansar Khan tweets,

3 different lines in #RedWings practice:

Ott rotating in on fourth line.

One switch in #RedWings defense pairs in practice:
Kronwall (knee) and Sproul extras

Petr Mrazek in starter's net

more as needed...

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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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