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Petr Mrazek In Net, No Changes To The Detroit Lineup And Sidney Crosby On The Rivalry

Mrazek in net.

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Detroit Red Wings face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Consol Energy Center (7, NBCSN, FSD) for their second meeting of the season. The teams are far removed from having met in the 2008 and 2009 Stanley Cup finals, but pair them off any time, and the rivalry flares.

"I think it's still there," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said after the morning skate. "When you look back and you're coming right off a playoff run, it's a little different, it's a little more heated. But I think it's still there.

"Both teams have a lot of pride, and when you go through games like that, there is a history. It's really competitive and two teams that like to play a pretty similar style. So, yeah, I would say it's still there."

read on

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Prospect news: Mantha hat trick powers Griffins to win over Milwaukee

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

Mantha Among Boys

Milwaukee Admirals 1 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4

Feb. 17, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Anthony Mantha’s first career hat trick powered the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.

Mantha scored in each period and added an assist to also mark his first four-point game, as the Griffins toppled a first-place team for the second straight home game. Milwaukee began the night tied atop the Central Division with Rockford, which Grand Rapids beat 4-3 in overtime on Feb. 6.

Continue Reading »

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A Hockey School In The Detroit Area

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

Derek Langlois, the lead on-ice instructor at the Detroit Hockey Academy, stood to the left of the net and along the goal line of the larger of two practice rinks.

He fired a series of pucks up along the glass, out toward a line of four players 30 feet away. Each player grappled with a difficult puck to handle, gained possession, abruptly and laterally skated left, and fired a shot toward the net.

Defensemen call it “walking the line.”

On and on the drill went, puck along the glass after puck along the glass, possession after possession, shot after shot. Then, Langlois led some skating drills.

And so hockey class went for the day.

Before and after hockey class, the four players were in academic classes in a room just beyond the fitness room.

The school day for the 23 students enrolled in grades 6-12 at the Detroit Hockey Academy, owned in part by former Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace, is both traditional and modern. Hockey lessons are mixed with academic learning, every day, unless a student’s school work lags. Then, ice time may be denied.

The annual tuition is $12,000.


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Joakim Andersson Working On His Game In Grand Rapids

from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,

Anderson, who played twice for the Griffins over the weekend at Iowa and Rockford, has played sparingly with the Red Wings this season. He played twice for them this month and just 28 games on the season with one goal and two assists. He cleared waivers in late January but stayed up with the team due to injuries.

"You just have to stick with it when it doesn't go your way," Andersson said. "I talked with (general manager) Ken Holland and we agreed it would be good to get to playing some hockey. It's good to get some games in, touch the puck a bit and we'll go from there."

The plan is shake off the rust and see if he can get going offensively.

"The role I've played up there I haven't played a lot of minutes and so the first couple games here I've played a lot more than I'm used to, but that's good," he said. "Get my legs used to it. That's what I want and come back to the player I think I can be."


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It’s Nick Lidstrom Night On February 23rd

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced details for Nick Lidstrom Hall of Fame Night, which will be celebrated on Tuesday, Feb. 23 during the Red Wings home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network / FOX Sports Detroit / 97.1 The Ticket).

Lidstrom will participate in a ceremonial puck drop prior to Tuesday’s game alongside Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg and Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno. Several in-game videos will also showcase Lidstrom’s career and his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November.

All fans in attendance for Tuesday’s game will receive a one-of-a-kind Nick Lidstrom Collectible Print. Fans will also have the opportunity to sign a “Congratulations Nick” card on the Joe Louis Arena concourse. Red Wings fans are encouraged to share their photos of the night on social media using #NickNight. 

Numerous merchandise options will also be available for fans to purchase to commemorate Nick Lidstrom Hall of Fame Night, including Lidstrom Hall of Fame lapel pins, pucks and autographed Lidstrom jerseys and game pucks with the signature including “HHOF 2015.” Items will be available throughout the Joe Louis Arena concourse during the game, while supplies last. Additionally, fans can purchase Lidstrom Hall of Fame items at Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (1845 Big Beaver Road). Hockeytown Authentics will also take phone orders (248-680-0965) on Tuesday until 10 p.m., or while supplies last.

A limited number of tickets remain for Nick Lidstrom Hall of Fame Night and can be purchased by calling the Red Wings Ticket Sales & Service Office at 313-471-7575 or by visiting www.DetroitRedWings.com/tickets.

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Niklas Kronwall Getting Closer To A Return, Teemu Pulkkinen Still Sitting

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall described Wednesday as a good day as he took part in his first full practice with the team since having arthroscopic knee surgery on Jan. 18.

Kronwall won't play Thursday in Pittsburgh and said it's difficult to tell if he'll be ready for the weekend – Saturday in Ottawa and Sunday at the New York Rangers. He said he's day-to-day.

"I felt pretty good, actually," Kronwall said. "Let's come back tomorrow morning and see how it feels. Hopefully it feels good and we'll go at it again and then we'll go from there. Conditioning-wise, felt pretty good. I've been skating with (strength and conditioning coach) Mike Kadar for a few practices and I'm going to keep doing that as well. And then the last thing is just getting the timing down in all kinds of different situations out there."

Kronwall has missed 12 games....

Blashill said Petr Mrazek will start in Pittsburgh. He doesn't anticipate any other changes. So Jakub Kindl and Teemu Pulkkinen will be scratched.

It will be the eighth game in a row Pulkkinen has been sat out, since Feb. 3.

"There's give and take with that," Blashill said. "To get him in, you have to take somebody else out. As we kind of saw with (Brendan Smith) and Kindl, once we
stopped rotating it kind of helped Smitty to be able to really get his game in order. As long as we like the results of the guys we have in, we'll stay with that for now.

"It's not easy to go a long time without playing, that's for certain. He's going to have to stay strong mentally and make sure if he does get the opportunity that he's prepared to go in and play real well."

more on the Wings...

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Flint Firebirds Fire Their Coaches Again


added 3:30pm,

Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds Hockey Club announced today that Head Coach John Gruden and Assistant Coach Dave Karpa have been relieved from their duties effective immediately.

Firebirds Director of Hockey Operations, Sergei Kharin will become the Firebirds interim head coach and Petr Jonak will continue to serve as the assistant coach.

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All about Jeff Lerg

From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe, via the Toledo Walleye on Twitter:

From overcoming blindness in one eye to battling asthma, Walleye goaltender Jeff Lerg has fought through obstacles his whole life.

At 5-foot-6 and 155 pounds, Lerg’s undersized frame has forced him to constantly struggle against unfounded doubts about his abilities based on preconceived notions. His stellar numbers in a Toledo uniform and his ultra-competitive drive prove otherwise.

“I’m someone who relishes adversity. I’m used to it,” Lerg said. “It motivates me to continue to perform at a high level. When people doubt me, I like to raise my game.”

Lerg, whose acrobatic save on Sunday made national headlines, led Toledo to the best record in the ECHL last season when he finished as the league’s runner up for goalie of the year. Lerg, who led Michigan State to an NCAA title in 2007, went 32-9-3 with a 2.37 goals-against average.

Lerg, a native of Livonia, Mich., is again among the ECHL leaders. Lerg (20-5-7) is tied for second among ECHL goaltenders in wins, he ranks third in goals-against average at 2.05, and his .929 save percentage is second best.

Yet, in his fifth pro season Lerg has played in just one game at the higher level American Hockey League.

“It’s frustrating, but I’m still trying to reach my peak level,” Lerg said. “Some things I can’t control. It’s a numbers game, and I’ve tried to work my way up as an outsider. The only thing I can do is perform."


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Practice Tweets: Kronwall joins team in pre-Pittsburgh practice

Updated 2x at 12:34 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice just after 11 AM on Wednesday, preparing for a nasty stretch of 4 games in 6 nights:

The Wings play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, the New York Rangers on Sunday and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday the 23rd.

MLive's Ansar Khan reported good newes...

#RedWings on ice for practice. Kronwall skating. Ericsson (lower body injury) still out.


Mrazek working in starter's net, as you'd expect him to start in Pittsburgh tomorrow.

As did the Free Press's George Sipple...

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Sipple: USA Hockey Arena to host Women’s Worlds, U.S. WJC summer camp

According to the Free Press's George Sipple (via RedWingsFeed), two major events will be coming to USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth this spring and summer:

USA Hockey is expected to make two major announcements about future events at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth during a news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday.

USA Hockey president Jim Smith, executive director Dave Ogrean and director of women’s hockey Reagan Carey are expected to attend the news conference. Plymouth Township supervisor Shannon Price also will attend. Ogrean will give a State of USA Hockey address, ahead of the ninth annual Hockey Weekend Across America --  a three-day celebration of hockey, celebrating the game at all levels.

USA Hockey will unveil the site of the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship, and indications are that the event will be held in Plymouth. Scheduled for early April 2017, the event will feature eight teams comprised of the world’s best female players.


USA Hockey also is expected to announce that it will bring its U.S. junior camp, which features the best male hockey players under age 20, to Plymouth this summer, in preparation for the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins in late December 2016 in Toronto and Montreal.

Sipple continues...

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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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