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What a difference a season makes for Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s take on ‘the kids’

This little ditty was included in the Wings-Penguins wrap-up, but the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's recap of the Wings' 4-3 shootout loss to Pittsburgh offers both new comments and one quote that bears repeating and highlighting given the Wings' lineup back on October 2nd:

“For sure, no question,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said when asked if the play of the former Grand Rapids Griffins saved their season. “We couldn’t have done it without them. They came here and took jobs, they’re not going anywhere.

“They’re real good players that keep getting better and will be part of us for a long time,” Babcock continued. “What I liked is Jimmy Nill and his staff, before Jimmy moved on, did a real good job because we have these kids. (Jeff Blashill) did a real good job in the minors with them.”

Daniel Alfredsson sounded pretty dang pumped about making the playoff cut, too:

“We’re a good group, we have fun and we know how to work for each other,” Alfredsson said. “It’s kind of contagious when you see everybody going. Everybody kind of drags along and now they pull their share as well.”

Pleiness continues at length...

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Red Wings-Penguins wrap-up and overnight report: Wings back into the playoffs, lose Wild Card ground

Quite frankly, the headline says it all for Team Runs With Scissors:

Well, ditto...

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Quickie Red Wings prospect news: Mantha shut out as Val-d’Or loses; Wheaton, Tvrdon, Rockets advance

Three Red Wings prospects took part in playoff action on Wednesday night, and they experienced mixed results.

In the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha was held off the scoresheet and finished at -2 as his Val-d'Or Foreurs dropped a 3-2 decision to the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Drummondville's win ties the teams' second-round series at 2 games apiece. Mantha still has 7 goals, 4 assists and 11 points registered over the course of 8 playoff games played;

In the WHL, things went better for Mitchell Wheaton, Marek Tvrdon and the Kelowna Rockets. Tvrdon had a goal and an assist as Kelowna defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 5-2, sweeping Seattle and advancing to the WHL's Western Conference Finals, where the Rockets will probably play the Portland Winterhawks. Tvrdon has 5 goals and 6 assists for 11 points in 9 playoff games played, and Wheaton, who finished at +1, has 4 assists in 9 playoff games played.

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It’s Official, The Wings Are In

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings clinched a spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup® Playoffs for the 23rd straight season by taking a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. The Red Wings currently sit in the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference standings with 91 points (38-27-15) and two games remaining in the regular season.

Detroit’s streak of 23-straight playoff appearances (1990-91 – present) is the longest active streak in all of North American major professional sports and is the fifth longest of its kind in NHL history. Among NHL teams, the next closest active playoff streak is 10 seasons, currently held by the San Jose Sharks.

Despite a franchise-record 406 man-games lost due to injury this season, the Red Wings push for a 23rd straight playoff appearance has featured the team in the midst of a 9-4-2 run in its last 15 games. Wednesday’s shootout defeat comes only one night after head coach Mike Babcock collected his 414th victory in Detroit, making him the all-time winningest coach in franchise history. 

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The Detroit Red Wings Get Their Point

The only goal that mattered tonight...


George just lost his internet connection so you have me with a very brief game recap.

No more goals, saves, etc., just knowing the Wings are once again in the Stanley Cup playoffs should be the topic tonight.

George will get back to work as soon as his cable company fixes the outage.

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Red Wings release details of Friday’s ‘Fan Appreciation Night’ promotions

From the Red Wings' PR department:

... Every Fan in Attendance Has a Chance to Win an On-Ice Photo with a Red Wings Player + Autographed Stick ...

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will thank the fans of Hockeytown by hosting its annual ‘Fan Appreciation Night’ on Friday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. when the Red Wings take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the final regular season home game of the 2013-14 campaign.

Fans in attendance at Joe Louis Arena for Friday’s game, along with those tuning in to the exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports Detroit and following the Red Wings social media channels (Facebook, Twitter), will be eligible to win hundreds of exciting giveaways, prizes and unique Red Wings experiences. In addition, fans who subscribe to the team’s text alerts (Text “WINGS” to 21732) are also eligible to win prizes. 

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From Datsyuk and Zetterberg to Nyquist and Tatar?

SI's Sarah Kwak gave Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar quite the set of compliments today:

With old, reliable names out of the lineup, new ones began to emerge. Before this season, Nyquist and 23-year-old left-winger Tomas Tatar had nine goals in 67 games between them. Now they lead the Red Wings with 28 and 19 goals, respectively, and are being called the team's next generation of stars.

It might be too early to hand the keys to the franchise to this dynamic duo, but there are reasons to believe that they're more than a flash in the proverbial pan. Their profiles have skyrocketed, but not altogether surprisingly. Both Nyquist and Tatar were perhaps overripe by the time they stuck with the Wings. As is the case with most Detroit prospects, breaking into the lineup is often the hardest part. Since signing in March 2011, Nyquist, a fourth-rounder in 2008, was sent down to the minors 11 times. Tatar has made nine such trips since he was drafted 60th overall in 2009.

Such is the plight of playing for a deep, talented, and well-managed organization. When success is as longstanding and commonplace as it has been at the Joe, there isn't much room for learning on the job. Particularly up front, rookies come in as veterans. So to go with his impressive speed, Nyquist has developed a hockey IQ that is already "off the charts," in the words of Detroit coach Mike Babcock. And Tatar has shown no quit in his play as he continues to make those around him better.

And she continues...

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Teemu Pulkkinen and Ryan Sproul named to AHL’s All-Rookie Team

The AHL found a unique way to announce that Red Wings prospects and/or Grand Rapids Griffins forward Teemu Pulkkinen and defenseman Ryan Sproul has made the league's All-Rookie Team:

From the Griffins:

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Red Wings-Penguins game-day updates: Gustavsson vs. Fleury; Wings have an ‘iffy’ skater

Updated 3x at 2:38 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to earn two points, if not send something of an, "We're not going to be easy pickings" message, when they tangle with the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight (8 PM EDT on NBCSN, TSN2 and 97.1 FM). If anything, the biggest message will be two points, however, because the Columbus Blue Jackets will be spotted a 1-0 lead in their Rich Peverley make-up game against Dallas.

Given that the Wings played last night in Buffalo, defeating the Sabres 4-2, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's report that the Wings "took an optional" is not surprising:

Very optional for the #RedWings this morning with Howard, Gustavsson, Bertuzzi and Andersson on the ice here at Consol Energy Center.

Roose then revealed the starting goaltenders...

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Red Wings-Penguins set-up and morning report: the only ‘message’ Wings need to send is a 2-point one

Update: Oh joy:

The Red Wings were relatively satisfied with their slightly ugly 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, but the Wings will need to take their games to another level if Mike Babcock's ship is to take 2 points from the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening (8 PM EDT on NBCSN/TSN2/97.1 FM), especially given the wild-and-woolly way in which the Wings took a 5-4 OT decision from Pittsburgh on March 20th.

Tonight's "NBC Rivalry Night" game may precede a rekindling of the teams' playoff rivalry a week from now, and the Peguins, who are as flummoxed by the NHL's new playoff format as the rest of us, have split their past 4 games but have won 4 of 6, including a 3-2 shootout win over Colorado last Sunday--a win in which the Penguins sat a bunch of slightly-injured players.

As the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Chris Adamski notes, the Penguins are dealing with a number of injuries, but none more significant than Evgeni Malkin's "foot injury":

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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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