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Red Wings-Canadiens quick take: growing pains

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to break the Montreal Canadiens' hex over the Wings on Saturday evening, battling Montreal to a 2-1 OT defeat.

Detroit worked damn hard, especially without Tyler Bertuzzi and Brendan Smith's services, but the Wings were unable to translate an OT power play into a goal, and the Canadiens skated in 2-on-1 and Galchenyuk tucked the puck past an otherwise heroic Petr Mrazek.

This was a "growing pain" game for the Wings--Detroit took a step forward in going toe-to-toe with the league's best team, Detroit dominated statistically and nearly won it, but the Wings couldn't finish vs. Carey Price, and that was enough to sting the Wings.

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Petr Mrazek commits grand robbery

Petr Mrazek made an amazing save on Artturi Lehkonen:

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‘Three Things’: A Game-Day Preview video, two game set-ups and a Griffins preview video

Updated 2x at 6:04 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Red Wings filed a Game-Day Preview video in which Dan Mannes sets up tonight's game:

2. Canadiens.com posted a game preview in which Max Pacioretty stated the Canadiens' plan against the Red Wings this evening:

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Jeff Blashill Before Tonight’s Game Against Montreal

via Ansar Khan tweets,

 Blashill said Kronwall out tonight, being back to back situation. Ouellet in. Wouldn't reveal pairings.

 Blashill said Jurco, back from @griffinshockey not available tonight. Had some back stiffness. Wouldn't reveal whether Miller in.

Here's more from DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

#RedWings Blashill said Kronwall will not play as part of pre-planned maintenance for his knees.

And the Red Wings:

Coach Blashill said Niklas Kronwall is OUT tonight vs. MTL (scheduled maintenance day off) Xavier Ouellet IN. #RedWings

Update: Here's a video of Blashill's comments, posted by the Red Wings:

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St. James updates the statuses of Athanasiou, Helm and Jurco

The Free Press's Helene St. James reported that Jared Coreau would be recalled from Grand Rapids today, with Jimmy Howard and Alexey marchenko placed on the 7-day IR, and now St. James offers two more injury updates:

While it’s only short-term IR – seven days – the news isn’t good. Speedster Andreas Athanasiou's return from a sprained knee suffered Nov. 10 is still not on the horizon.

“He’s a couple of weeks away,” Holland said of Athanasiou. “He skated a little bit on his own the last two days, but he’ll have to practice with the team for at least a week before he can play. And he’s not there yet.”

Athanasiou’s absence, coupled to Darren Helm being out at least until January with a dislocated shoulder, leaves the Wings notably slower. Athanasiou has a way of using his speed to create something out of seemingly nothing, because he can accelerate so quickly and has a nice finishing touch.

The availability of Tomas Jurco is also in flux after he spent two games playing with the Grand Rapids Griffins in an effort to make a comeback from off-season back surgery.

“He felt a little tightness in his back” after Friday’s game, Holland said. “He’ll see our doctor in Detroit and then based on that, we will decide where to go next.”

St. James continues...

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Red Wings-Canadiens morning skate Tweets: Habs skate in Detroit

Updated at 12:48 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to earn an unlikely win against the Montreal Canadiens this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM). The Red Wings didn't skate this morning, but the Montreal Canadiens did skate at the Joe:

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On Vili Saarijarvi’s OHL return/Mississauga Steelheads debut

The Mississauga News's Ian Colpits spoke with Red Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi regarding his return from a 3-month hiatus due to wrist surgery. Saarijarvi made his debut with the Mississauga Steelheads during last night's 5-3 loss to Sault Ste. Marie:

“It’s been hard to watch these games, but I’m happy to be back and I’ll try to do everything I can to help the team win,” Saarijärvi said. “That’s the first thing I want to do.”

His return comes at a time when Mississauga (6-10-3-3) has lost five straight games and 10 of their last 11 to fall to last place in the OHL Eastern Conference, a very disappointing spot for a team that was expected to be the top team in the East before the season began.

Steelheads coach James Richmond paired Saarijärvi with Swedish defender Jacob Moverare against Sault Ste. Marie. Richmond is looking forward to Saarijärvi’s speed and his ability to move the puck up to forwards efficiently, resulting in a quick transition from defence to offence.

“Other than one pass I know he’d like to have back, I thought he was good,” Richmond said. “He gave us a little boost, gets the puck out of the zone pretty efficiently. Defensively he’s sound, it’s just about getting his legs under him now to get him up to game speed.”

Colpits continues, reporting that Saarijarvi will probably take part in the World Junior Championship while playing for Finland.

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St. James: Wings will place Marchenko, Howard on 7-day IR, recall Jared Coreau

Per the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Update: It's official, per the Wings:

… Alexey Marchenko and Jimmy Howard Placed on Injured Reserve …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Jared Coreau from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins and placed defenseman Alexey Marchenko (retroactive to Nov. 20) and goaltender Jimmy Howard on seven-day injured reserve.

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‘Three Things’: A late-breaking recap, comment videos and Tweets of note

Of Red Wings-related note on this non-morning skate morning, ahead of tonight's game between the Wings and Montreal Canadiens (7 PM EST on FSD/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM):

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James penned a late-breaking recap of last night's Wings win over New Jersey:

“I think we were doing the little things well,” Green said. “We were putting pucks to the net and actually driving to the net. There was a lot of composure. We played a great hockey game. It’s something to build on, for sure. We need to continue this.”


“We need to keep scoring goals,” Mantha said. “We need to be good defensively and maybe give less, for sure. We handled four goals against tonight, but it’s not every night that we can do the same thing."

2. The Red Wings posted a slate of post-game comment videos this morning, including quips from Mike Green...

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“A Very Good Hockey Game” Played By The Wings Last Night

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings twice surrendered the lead, including once with less than six minutes remaining, and allowed four goals.

But for coach Jeff Blashill and several players, the good far outweighed the bad Friday in their 5-4 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

They equaled a season-high goal total with their highest yield since Oct. 21. They outshot the Devils 33-19, their biggest differential of the season.

"I thought we played a very good hockey game," Blashill said. "That's the way we're going to have to play to be successful. Obviously, we gave up more goals than we wanted to, but we didn't give up a whole lot of chances, we didn't give up very many shots.

"I thought we played on top of them. I didn't think we gave them lots of ice. We had lots of different guys scoring. So, I thought it was a real positive night."

continued and watch extended game highlights below...

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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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