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Prospect news: Svechnikov scores 2 in Griffins win over Milwaukee; Skelleftea wins

Of prospect-related note: In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins received 2 goals from Evgeny Svechnikov, a goal and an assist from Robbie Russo and a 27-save shut-out from Eddie Pasquale as the Griffins defeated the Milwaukee Admirals 3-0.

The Griffins' website filed a recap:

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Evening news: Vanek weighs in on Wings’ struggles + charitable news

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Red Wings' players and coach were quite outspoken after last night's loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness duly notes that Thomas Vanek shared his theories as to why the Wings are struggling and what they need to do to turn the ship around:

“It’s not scoring on a consistent basis, I’m right there too,” Thomas Vanek said. “It’s not going in. I’m right there with a few other guys. Frustration is creeping in. You’ve got to keep that out of your head and just be better next game.”

The Wings have allowed a total of 21 goals in their last six games and take away the six-goal outburst Saturday against Anaheim they’ve only scored a total of four goals in five of their last six games.

“It’s not on top where it can be or it should be,” Vanek said when asked if the team was fragile at this point. “It’s a long year. You have your ups and downs. We’re having our down right now, but we’ve got to stick together and get that last win on Friday before Christmas and use the break to kind of rejuvenate everyone and get back to work afterwards.

“If you’re confident and you feel better I think you’re on pucks a little quicker,” Vanek added. “You make plays that are there. Right now I think we see the plays, but by the time we make it it’s already closed up. I think we overthink a little bit. Right now we’ve got to get those ugly goals, especially on the power play. Get two, three guys in front, shoot the puck and the nice ones will come after.”

Pleiness continues...

2. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan discussed the team's power play struggles:

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St. James: When the Wings get healthy, they might want to bench players

The Free Press's Helene St. James suggests that the Red Wings' coaching staff might want to sit some of the team's underachieving players as the team's injured performers return...

Perhaps it is time for Blashill to send a message. It is problematic that the Wings’ best players have been the ones approaching the ends of their careers: Henrik Zetterberg, Thomas Vanek, Mike Green, Steve Ott and Jimmy Howard. And their biggest underachievers have been the ones who were supposed to ease the burden on the veterans. In the summer of 2015, forward Gustav Nyquist got a four-year, $19-million contract with the expectation that he’d deliver 25-30 goals, as he’d done the previous two seasons. Instead, he has four goals this season -- one in the last 27 games. Nyquist averages 3:07 minutes per game in power-play time, third-highest on the team, yet has just two power-play points.

Forward Tomas Tatar reached seven goals after a hat trick last weekend, but he’s still only on pace for 17 goals. Forward Riley Sheahan has yet to score. Those three players’ lack of goals is reason No. 1 the Wings are where they are. Why not sit one of them, as a message? And if the Wings win that game, sit the player another game. It was a tactic employed by Scotty Bowman, regardless of the player’s stature.

The expectation is that several of injured players, most notably forwards Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader, will be rejoining the lineup on the other side of Christmas. So there is an opportunity to sit an underachieving regular.

But it sure doesn't sound like the coach believes that the team's struggles in terms of scoring--at even strength and on the power play--will be aided by sitting players:

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A kind-of-sort-of update on Jimmy Howard’s condition

Updated 3x at 1:23 PM: The Red Wings recalled Jared Coreau to substitute for Jimmy Howard, who suffered a "lower-body injury" against the Tampa Bay Lightning last night, and MLive's Brendan Savage and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness received a kind-of-sort-of update on Howard's condition from Red Wings GM Ken Holland:

Update: As Savage notes in text form, the Wings received quite the performance from Howard this year:

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Morning news: Wings lament special teams play; post-game comment videos; happy birthday, Joe Kocur

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James penned a late-breaking recap that didn't hit the wires until after I went to bed last night (i.e. very late), and her article is definitely worth your time:

“We lost the special team's battle bad,” Blashill said. “Hard to win on the road, especially when you get down 1-0 early. We’ve put so much pressure on our PK because our power play doesn’t score. Not only that, but it created frustration and we lost momentum. To a man, we need to make sure and look in the mirror. We need to own that we’ve got to way better, whether that's our coaching staff, whether that’s our players, we’ve got to be way better on it.”

Detroit was 0-for-5 on the power play and surrendered 2 power play goals during 6 penalty-killing situations.

The Wings have the worst power plays in the NHL, operating at just 12.4%. Players are at a loss to explain it.

“It costs us games, we know that,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “It did that tonight again. We got a 5-on-3. We didn’t play the way we wanted to. Puck didn’t go in. Got to be better.”

The Wings have said that entirely too much this season.

“It’s an area we work on, we talk a lot, but at the end of the day, special teams lost us the game, especially the power play,” Thomas Vanek said.

St. James continues...

2. The Red Wings posted post-game comment videos after my head hit the pillow, and the Wings' frustration is more than palpable in said videos.

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Toledo Walleye are playing dominant hockey

The Toledo Walleye have earned the ECHL's best record over the course of the 2016-17 season thus far, but not many people are talking about the Walleye's absolutely dominant play. The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe tries to change that this morning via a profile of forward Dane Walters. Walters is one of the most grounded and mature hockey players I've ever met:

Walleye forward Dane Walters believes camaraderie and confidence have been two of the key elements to the team’s amazingly successful start to the season.

Walters said Toledo’s close-knit locker room has played the biggest role in the team's ascension to the top of the ECHL.

The Walleye (21-4-0) have won 21 of their first 25 games. They are on top of the ECHL overall standings with 42 points. The Walleye are off to the best start in Toledo ECHL history with more wins and points through the first 25 games of a season than any other team.

“We go into every game thinking we are going to win,” Walters said. “We expect to win every night. Even in games we don't win or don't play our best, we go back to the drawing board and find areas to improve.”

Walters is among a group of veterans who have played for the team in past seasons. He is often paired with teammates who have played multiple seasons for the Walleye, including Shane Berschbach, A.J. Jenks, Alden Hirschfeld, and Evan Rankin.

Walters said Toledo has a talented and tight team that would do anything for each other. “We have a really good team where we are very well-rounded,” Walters said.

Monroe continues...

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Wings officially recall Jared Coreau

From the Red Wings:

Here's the Wings' text release:

… Jimmy Howard Placed on Seven-Day Injured Reserve …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Jared Coreau from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins and placed goaltender Jimmy Howard on seven-day injured reserve.

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Wallner: Matt Ford, Ben Street reunited on the Griffins

From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner:

When Ben Street made a recruiting trip to the University of Wisconsin - a foreign land for an 18-year-old from Coquitlam, British Columbia, - it was a sophomore from California, Matt Ford, who guided him around campus.

Fast forward 11 years later and an adult version of that scenario played out this summer when Ford made another pitch, to play together on the Grand Rapids Griffins. This time there was a lot more to consider - careers, families and finances among them.

But there was also friendship and an opportunity that might never happen again. It was a full-circle thing more than 10 years of hockey in the making.

Plus, a reunion ensured they wouldn't pound on each other as opponents.

"We always joked and laughed - not only us, but our wives - that it'd be great if someday we could play in the same place," Ford said. "And then things just kind of collided this year."

Wallner continues...

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Wings waste no time in recalling Coreau; WZZM 13 anchor to substitute at Griffins’ morning skate

I had wondered whether the Red Wings were going to allow Jared Coreau to play in tonight's Grand Rapids Griffins game against the Milwaukee Admirals before recalling him. According to WZZM 13, the Wings aren't going to risk losing Coreau to an injury:

The Grand Rapids Griffins have a new backup goalie this morning.

WZZM 13 Morning News Anchor Dan Harland will be in net with the Griffins during their Wednesday skate at Van Andel Arena.

The Griffins will host the Milwaukee Admirals Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.

Harland was called into action after Red Wings’ goalie Jimmy Howard suffered a lower-body injury in Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Detroit then recalled Jared Coreau from Grand Rapids to serve as Petr Mrazek’s backup with the Wings.

With the Griffins needing a second goalie, the team called Harland late Tuesday night.

This will be Dan’s second-time suiting up for the Griffins. He practiced with the team last December, after one of the team’s goalies was dealing with an injury.

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A Very Bad Power Play

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

In 81 percent of their games dating back to Nov. 2, they haven't been able to even get a single fluke power-play goal off somebody's leg, an opponent's skate or somebody's backside.

Nothing in 22 games.

During that stretch, the Red Wings are 8-for-92 on the power play. That's a success rate of 8.7 percent. Given that production, the Red Wings seem fortunate to have an 11-12-4 record in that span.

Yet only four of those 11 victories have come in regulation.

Now, with nine of the next 10 games on the road, where do the Red Wings turn to get themselves straightened out before their 25-season playoff streak is in serious danger by mid-January?

The Red Wings have ideas but whether they can implement them is another story.

"I think the best players on this team have to be better," said captain Henrik Zetterberg, who leads the Red Wings in assists (16) and points (22). "Leaders have to get the guys ready more. We win one game, we score six goals and we come in and we score no goals.


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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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