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The Malik Report

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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The overnight report: Red Wings-Lightning wrap-up—stuck in neutral, if not reverse

At this point, the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning was almost predictable...and you have to wonder whether the Wings' season ended when Jimmy Howard went down thanks to a collision with Nick Jensen and Erik Condra in the crease:

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Red Wings-Lightning quick take: stinker!

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to snap the Tampa Bay Lightning's 7-game home unbeaten streak against Detroit on Tuesday night.

The Red Wings lost their goaltender and lost their mojo, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Wings' struggles continue. The power play was dreadful, the PK was rough, and Detroit looked to be overwhelmed by the Bolts' confidence.

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Wings lose Jimmy Howard on collision with Jensen


Jimmy Howard exited the Red Wings' loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning after a collision with Nick Jensen:

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji weighs in:

At 5:39 of the second period, Tampa Bay forward Erik Condra, a Trenton, Mich. native, went hard to the net, crashing into goaltender Jimmy Howard.

In an attempt to get Condra out of there, Nick Jensen ended up on top of Howard.

Howard was in a lot of pain and had to be helped off the ice.

Howard faced 16 shots and allowed one goal, a deflection by Brian Boyle at 7:02 of the first.

Petr Mrazek replaced Howard in goal.

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Prospect news: Ehn, Kadeikin take part in wins; Griffins, Walleye file weekly releases

Of prospect-related note:

In the SHL, Christoffer Ehn played 10:45 in the Frolunda Indians' 2-1 win over HV71;

In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin played 12:18 and won 6 of 8 faceoffs in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's 3-1 win over HC Sochi;

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins filed their weekly press release:

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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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