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It’s An Optional Skate At The Joe


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Jack Eichel On Dylan Larkin

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

On Tuesday, Larkin and Eichel will go head-to-head for the first time as professionals when the Red Wings face the Sabres at Joe Louis Arena...

It hasn't surprised Eichel that Larkin has been able to impress in his first NHL season.

"I knew he was going to play in the League this year and knew he would do terrific," Eichel said. "He's a good friend of mine. Ever since that second year when we were [at the NTDP] that was his coming-out party. He was one of our best players every night. And if you've seen him play, he stands out right away just because of how great a skater he is. He always seems like he's moving. He's like the energizer bunny."

Last season Larkin ranked second at the University of Michigan in goals (15) and points (47), and was tied for first with 32 assists. His 47 points were second among NCAA freshmen behind Hobey Baker Award-winner Eichel at Boston University.

"I don't know how that guy does it but he buzzes around as fast as he can, and as fast as he can is really fast. So he's super-skilled and understands the game," Eichel said. "He has an unbelievable release too. So I'm not surprised at all that he's doing so well."


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The 4th Line Speaks

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"They'd be the first to tell you they want to be the line that's trusted at the end of games, that goes out and shuts the door," coach Jeff Blashill said. "It hasn't necessarily been their fault every single time, but it's been too many times they've been on the ice and they got scored on late.

"They certainly want that reserved. When they get more opportunities they got to make sure they don't give up any goals."

"It's been frustrating," Glendening said. "I think it's been my line the last four games or five games here, so we have to find a way to hold on.

"Maybe we're taking our foot off the gas a bit, I don't know. I don't think it's a work-ethic thing or anything like that. But we have to capitalize on our chances and minimize theirs."...

"A couple minuses here the last couple of games, those happen," Miller said. "I don't think it's because of our play. I think our line has been playing pretty well and generating chances. For some reason it's just tough to score goals right now."


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Losing The Lead On The Minds Of The Wings

from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,

The Red Wings extended their point streak to seven games (4-0-3) on Sunday, however, six of those contests were decided in overtime after the team failed to protect leads late in the third periods.

The latest collapse occurred in Sunday’s 2-1 overtime loss, which was made possible when Florida forward Reilly Smith scored with 5:22 left in regulation.

“For most of the games we’ve played pretty well in,” defenseman Danny DeKeyser said. “I thought a lot of the second periods is when we brought most of our energy and had the most chances, but then we can’t score enough goals or can’t get that one extra goal that gives us a little more breathing room. It’s then a tighter one-goal game and one mistake and it’s in our net, then it’s a tie game and that’s what’s been going on lately.”

Four other times this season, the opposition has scored with less than 2 ½ minutes left in regulation to force three-on-three overtime.

“We’ve talked about it, but I don’t know,” fourth-line center Luke Glendening said. “It’s been frustrating. I think it’s been my line the last four games or five games here, so we have to figure that one, I mean, find a way to hold on.”


added 5:13pm, The Wings made their annual visit to the Children's Hospital of Michigan today, Dana Wakiji has the story...

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The Detroit Red Wings Focused On The Power Play Today Plus Some Line Juggling

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Power plays made up the bulk of today's practice for the Detroit Red Wings, who have come up short in that area for three straight games.

They take a seven-game point streak up against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena, but it's not as weighty a streak as possible because of a recent trend of surrendering leads. Sunday was the latest example; the Wings ended up losing in overtime, which probably could have been avoided had they converted on either of their two third-period power plays.

"It hasn't been good enough here for a while," Jeff Blashill said. "We want to get back to the basics a little bit on our power play, and hopefully it has a positive impact come tomorrow night,"

The Wings are at 15.8% overall on power plays, one of the worst conversion rates in the NHL.


from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

added 2:47pm, Khan added below too...

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Jeff Blashill After Practice Today




Also from Khan,

Blashill said Pulkkinen in, Jurco and Andersson out tomorrow. Smith in, Kindl out.

More from Khan...

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Practice Underway At The Joe Louis Arena

via Ansar Khan tweet,

#redwings power play units in practice:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader (net), Kronwall-Richards
Pulkkinen-Datsyuk-Tatar, Sheahan (net), Green

More will be added if needed.

In the meantime, George's mother is scheduled to be released from the hospital today and he should be back doing what he does sometime later today.

added 12:19pm,



added 12:33pm, Khan tweete the line combos...

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Can Detroit’s 4th Line Be Fixed?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

Options for struggling fourth line?

It has been a season-long struggle for the fourth line, which has accounted for only one goal -- by Luke Glendening, who has three points in 24 games and a team-worst minus-9 rating (tied with Niklas Kronwall). Drew Miller has just one assist and a minus-5 rating in 24 games.

Darren Helm, who's moved up and down the lineup but has played on the fourth line for the past several games, has no goals, three assists and a minus-6 rating in 20 games.

Beyond the lack of offense, they haven't as good defensively. At least one member of that line has been on the ice during the opposition's tying goal in the third period in each of the past three games.

This might prompt Jeff Blashill to make changes, but his options are limited. He can insert Joakim Andersson, but he has no points in 11 games. Teemu Pulkkinen, scratched on Sunday to make room for Tomas Jurco, isn't good enough defensively and can't kill penalties. Jurco also isn't a grinder.

more 'things'...

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The Talk After The Wings Went Down 2-1 To The Panthers In OT

Oops, this should have been posted 12 hours ago but someone (me), did not open the post...

Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com spoke with a few players after the game...

Dylan Larkin

Have players talked about ways they can do a better job of preserving late-game leads?

“I don’t know if there’s much thought right now. I think everyone is frustrated with the loss. I think it seems like it’s happening more and more and I think we just have to bear down and close out the game.”

Has the coaching staff been able to point to one thing that has led to this problem lately?

“No, but I mean, it’s pretty obvious it momentum and they’re coming at us and were sitting back, and then they get the goal where it goes off a guy or they bang one in in front of the net. I think just structure and intensity when we have a one-goal lead with five minutes left.”

How difficult was it to get forwards in a rhythm with so much special teams play tonight?

“I don’t know. I think the penalty kill did a great job and the power play could have been a little better and capitalized a few times. It’s a big part of the game and I think with an early game like today you’ve got to find a way to keep the legs going and stay focused.”

continued plus more players

Below, watch Blashill, Zetterberg postgame and highlights...

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Quick Recap- Wings/Panthers

The Detroit Red Wings suffered a 2-1 OT loss to the Florida Panthers in a game that really lacked any flow.  A lot of corner battles and not many grade A scoring chances, but when those did happen, both Petr Mrazek and Roberto Luongo were tough to beat.

And yes, I did look at the clock around the 14 minute mark in the 3rd and silently said, "hold the lead."

Guess my thoughts were not heard.

Your thoughts?

Early in the first period, the Florida Panthers thought they had a goal...


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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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