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At The Bottom Of The East

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

The Detroit Red Wings are bottom dwellers in the Eastern Conference heading into the All-Star break. The Wings fell to 20-20-9 after being shut out for the seventh time this season in a 4-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

They are 10-11-4 at home in the final season at Joe Louis Arena and are in a large tie for last place in the Eastern Conference

After their latest loss, several Wings stressed the need to remain positive -- something they have been saying all season.

“We gotta keep believing,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “We’re a pretty good team when we play the right way. But we gotta do it for 60 minutes for every night. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it really comes down to it.

“Stick together and keep believing we can do this.”

Coach Jeff Blashill said he believes in the team.

“We’re going to come back Monday, we’re going to grind and we’re going to find a way to win a hockey game on Tuesday,” he said.

continued

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Ready, Set, Break

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Wednesday's 4-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs - their fourth straight setback - was the Red Wings' sixth game in 10 days and ninth in the last 16.

So everybody's proverbial battery can use some recharging before the Red Wings return to work Monday to prepare for the final 33 games of the season....

"I don't think it hurts, the timing," said coach Jeff Blashill. "Certainly, sometimes you want to come right back and play after a game like this, but we've played lots in the last little bit, so it certainly doesn't hurt.

"I think it's a mental refresher. It's a grind for sure. So, I think it's a mental refresher, physical refresher. We do that, we come back and we go to work. That doesn't make it any easier when we come back.

"We just got to come back as if we were playing tomorrow. We'd do the same thing. We have to flush this game. You learn from it and move forward. That's what we've done all year."

more

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Maple Leafs wrap-up—embarrassment or just another game?

The Red Wings struggled their way through a 4-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in incredibly distressing fashion on Wednesday, and like many particularly consequential games on the schedule, the participants had nothing particularly earth-shattering to say after the game.

For the Maple Leafs, inflicting a humiliating loss was far less fun than it was for the fans at the rink--or Sportsnet, which went ga-ga about the "Go Leafs Go" chant in the game's final frickin' minute, with the rink half-empty. Toronto has another game before the All-Star Break, in Philadelphia, so the Leafs took solace in a strong goaltending performance from Fredrik Andersen and their status as a playoff team, and they left town;

The Red Wings didn't talk about the "process" after the game, but they insisted that, going into the All-Star Break, all is not lost, and instead, that the Wings lost one game in which they could not score, and that the next game and the next game after that will be better.

That's how this buisness tends to work. So:

The Maple Leafs and their beat writers felt that Fredrik Andersen was the star of the night, as noted by the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran...

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Red Wings-Maple Leafs quick take: terrible, horrible, no good very bad game

The Red Wings closed out their pre-All-Star break schedule with an important game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. The Wings attempted to snap a 3-game winless streak against a Leafs team that had an 8-0-and-2 road record going into Wednesday night's game.

The Red Wings were thoroughly, thoroughly embarrassed over the course of a 4-0 home defeat to the Maple Leafs, and the Red Wings now face an incredibly steep, almost vertical climb if they are to attempt to earn a playoff spot.

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The most unique ‘trade’ rumor of the day

My understanding of the situation is that Ken Holland may very well retire when his contract expires next spring, but the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran has a theory...

Holland’s contract with the Wings, interestingly, expires after the 2017-18 season, the same year Leaf GM Lou Lamoriello’s deal with Toronto ends. Lamoriello will be 76 by then, Holland 63.

There could well be as many rumours about Holland coming to the Leafs then as there were circling Babcock at the end of his time in Detroit.

But Holland’s job is far from done in Detroit, where a bet is going around: What’s going to end first? The Wings’ time at the Joe Louis Arena, or their 25-year playoff streak?

McGran continues...

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Kris Draper on The Fan 590: next 2 or 3 weeks key for the team

The Red Wings were well-represented on Sportsnet's The Fan 590 today, with play-by-play voice Ken Daniels suggesting that Wings fans are "ready" for a full rebuild of the team, and "special assistant to the GM" Kris Draper appearing on the Andrew Walker show to discuss the Wings' attempt to make a run for a playoff spot.

According to Draper, the Red Wings are going to use the next 2 or 3 weeks to attempt ot assess the state of the Red Wings as they get healthier, and the team is deciding whether to buy, sell or stand pat at the trade deadline:

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Afternoon news: Pre-game Blashill and Ouellet the ‘regular’

Upated 3x at 6:13 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. From MLive's Ansar Khan...

#RedWings Blashill in pregame declined to reveal lineup or starting goalie. Said everyone who played last night available.

...

#RedWings Blashill said Mantha will play a lot tonight after having minutes trimmed last 2 games.

...

Blashill said he didn't like Mantha's game last night. Declined to specify but said he has full confidence in him to bounce back. #RedWings

...

Blashill on Vanek: “He skated this morning and felt better, so we’ll know for sure tonight after warmups.” #RedWings

And DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

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Brad Marchand Will Have A Hearing Tomorrow

Watch the play below if you missed it.

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TMR afternoon line: Babcock praises Ken Holland

Take this, from WXYZ's Brad Galli, for what you will:

From WXYZ in text form:

When a reporter brought up Detroit's 25-year playoff streak, the ex-Red Wings head coach pinpointed one person for all of the playoff apperances and success.

"Ken Holland. Simple. It's Ken Holland. (He) does it right each and every day. It's interesting, they've been so good for so long, but you look at all the young players they have and how good they are... I mean, they've done a heck of a job," Babcock said.

"The other thing they've done here is not only develop players, they develop people. You look at all the people that came through the organization and are working somewhere else, and doing a real good job. So, obviously Ken Holland and Mr. Ilitch are the key."

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Red Wings-Maple Leafs game-day articles: Wings take on streaking leafs; Vanek to return(?)

Updated 6x at 2:35 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face the Toronto Maple Leafs in need of 2 points this evening (7 PM--not 7:30--EST on FSD/Sportsnet/97.1 FM), and while the Wings only held an optional morning skate, there was good news coming out of it: the Wings' beat writers reported that Thomas Vanek may return this evening from his bruised groi...sore wedding tack...erm, lower-body injury.

MLive's Brendan Savage penned a Wings-Leafs game preview...

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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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