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Frans Nielsen named to NHL All-Star Game Roster

According to the NHL's press release, the following Red Wings player will represent the team at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles:

F Frans Nielsen (DET)

MLive's Ansar Khan confirms...

As does the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Update: Michigan Hockey and the Red Wings confirm:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Blackhawks set-up—winning against Chicago would be ‘big’

The Detroit Red Wings' "Dads' Trip" consists of the final two games of their 7-game road trip, starting with tonight's affair against the Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 PM EST on FSD/WGN/97.1 FM), and a win against the 26-12-and-5 Blackhawks would be monumental for the 17-18-and-5 Wings.

Detroit's practice on Monday revealed that Justin Abdelkader (knee) and Mike Green (upper-body) are highly lkely to return on either Tuesday or Thursday against Dallas, and both players would bolster a Wings lineup that's coming off a 6-3 loss to San Jose;

Our friends from Chicago chose not to practice the day after winning a 5-2 decision over the Nashville Predators, and the Hawks have won all 3 games of a 4-game home stand which concludes this evening.

As MLive's Ansar Khan noted, the Blackhawks have been ridiculously dominant against the Wings of late:

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Khan: Zetterberg addresses the Wings’ need to ‘get on a run’

After the Red Wings practiced in Taylor today, Henrik Zetterberg spoke with the media regarding the Wings' need to get "on a run," as MLive's Ansar Khan noted:

"We're getting down to crunch time, we all know that," Zetterberg said. "We know how many games we have left, we know how many points are left to (attain). We pretty much know many we got to win."

The Red Wings are tied for last place in the Atlantic Division with the Buffalo Sabres. They are seven points out of the final playoff spot. And having three other teams to leap-frog makes it that much more difficult.

"You know you have to put a run together for weeks and games," Zetterberg said. "If you're not doing that, you're not going to move. Even if we're doing that and other teams are doing that, it's the same thing. It's hard to be behind and we're behind now."

Will Zetterberg need to deliver another fiery dressing room speech like the one documented in the EPIX special prior to the Centennial Classic?

"We'll see. It's nothing that I'm planning on doing," Zetterberg said. "When it's necessary, I do. We all know what we have to do. You can only talk and say that much. You got to out and play better."

Khan continues...

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Krupa: Blashill not the fall guy as Wings struggle

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa argues that Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill should not have to shoulder the vast majority of the blame for the Red Wings' underwhelming, under-performing 2016-17 campaign:

Their playoff chances are so narrow they must reap about 65 percent of the points available in the 42 games remaining to match their 93-points of last season, when they squeaked into the playoffs. It will require significant improvement. In the first 40 games, they garnered slightly less than half the points.

Amid the maelstrom, Blashill, 43, grapples in his second season with destructive trends dragging down the franchise. Players who won Stanley Cups are largely gone. Prized free agents have decide to play with other teams. Misjudgments on personnel have hampered “the rebuild on the fly.” A roster with a good supply of support players lacks top stars.

Blashill is not to blame.

But he should be gauged by whether players improve and play up to their potential. And, at about the halfway point of the season, those are big issues of concern.

Unless there is a marked improvement in the Red Wings performance by April, there is likely to be a harsh review of Blashill’s first two seasons. While the ultimate reckoning may be inappropriate, the team’s descent towards the bottom of the NHL standings increasingly will be attributed to him, despite developments plainly beyond his control.

Krupa continues at significant length, suggesting that Blashill's role as a teacher to the team's younger players may end up being the criteria upon which he is judged...

I'd suggest that the "blame" for this season is one of "thirds"--one third shouldered by player personnel, a third shouldered by the coaching staff, and a third shouldered by the management group--but that's just my theory.

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Prospect news: Saarijarvi discusses WJC experiences; Griffins prepare for Great Skate

Of disparate prospect-related note:

In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin didn't play in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's 3-1 win over Dynamo Riga;

In the OHL, the Mississauga News's Ian Colpits spoke with the Mississauga Steelheads' players regarding their World Junior Championship experiences, and Vili Saarijarvi put a "happy face" on a difficult situation for Finland:

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Articles from practice: Abdelkader, Green likely to return soon; getting ready for the Dads’ Trip

Updated 6x at 5:18 PM: As Paul reported, the Red Wings practiced at the Taylor Sportsplex before heading off to Chicago for tomorrow's game against the Blackhawks (8:30 PM EST on FSD/WGN/97.1 FM), and based upon the team's practice lines, it appears that Justin Abdelkader and Mike Green will return tomorrow, as MLive's Ansar Khan reports:

Justin Abdelkader and Mike Green felt good in practice Monday for the Detroit Red Wings, but their status for Tuesday's game at Chicago (8:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit) will be determined following the morning skate, coach Jeff Blashill said.

Abdelkader, out since Dec. 1 with a sprained MCL, skated on a line with Dylan Larkin and Tomas Tatar. Green, out since Dec. 17 with an upper-body injury, was paired with Danny DeKeyser.

Abdelkader and Green both practiced on the power play.

"We'll make those lineup decisions tomorrow," Blashill said following practice at Taylor SportsPlex. "We wanted to get a practice in and make sure they we ready to go. They both I think felt good, but I'll wait for them to get evaluated by the trainers and we'll make that final decision."

Khan continues, discussing the injuries to Niklas Kronwall (lower-body), Brendan Smith (knee), Darren Helm (shoulder) and Tomas Tatar (shoulder), and Khan posted three videos:

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Struggling Dylan Larkin

Jared Clinton of The Hockey News lists five, 2nd year playings who are struggling.

Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings

Outside of the goaltending the Red Wings have gotten from Jimmy Howard, everything in Detroit has been a struggle this season. As such, it’s not that surprising to find Larkin, 20, near the top of the list. It is, however, incredibly disappointing because in his rookie year he had all the makings of the type of player who could turn around and score 60-plus points in his sophomore year.

Larkin is the perfect poster child for the sophomore slump, though, because it’s not as if he’s not playing well despite the fact that he’s on pace to only produce about two-thirds of what he managed in his rookie campaign. He’s been as effective as anyone with the puck on his stick and he’s still getting second line minutes as he continues to develop.

His 11 goals are tops among all Red Wings, but what has kept his point totals down is the almost laughable amount of bad luck he’s had when it comes to producing assists. He has just four all season, and Larkin is one of only three players to have more than 10 goals with less than five assists.

four more struggling sophomores...

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The Detroit Red Wings Holding Practice In Taylor Before Flying To Chicago For Tuesday’s Game

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Abdelkader and Green practicing power play, so they might be ready tomorrow.

Petr Mrazek in starter's net, expected to start for #RedWings

power play:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Nielsen, Vanek (net), Green
Larkin-Athanasiou-Mantha, Abdelkader (net), Sproul

Tatar is not on power play, apparently due to shoulder injury that hinders his shooting ability. 

more as needed....

added 12:26pm, Khan...

Now Tatar has replaced Larkin for the final few power play reps as Larkin watches from bench. 

added 12:32pm, Khan again with practice lines...

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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

Abdelkader to boost third line?

Justin Abdelkader might return as early as Tuesday in Chicago, saying that will be determined after Monday's practice. He's been out since Dec. 1 with a sprained MCL,

Abdelkader might replace Riley Sheahan on the third line, with Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist. Chances are, Jeff Blashill won't break up the top two lines (Henrik Zetterberg with Anthony Mantha and Tomas Tatar, Frans Nielsen with Thomas Vanek and Andreas Athanasiou), which have been producing....

With Green back, who sits?

Mike Green said he expects to return this week. He suffered an upper-body injury on a hit from Ryan Kesler in the final minute of a game against Anaheim on Dec. 17.

Green leads a low-scoring blue line with seven goals and 18 points. He'll probably be reunited with Danny DeKeyser. Chances are Nick Jensen, who has been paired with DeKeyser, will be reassigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Jensen has played eight games since being recalled on Dec. 19. If he plays two more he would need to clear waivers to be sent down.


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The overnight report: On inconsistency, Vanek and Mantha and alumni on alumni games

As the Red Wings return to practice today, they will be searching for the simple equation that has escaped their hockey-playing efforts thus far: consistency of play from game to game.

The Wings' beat writers hammered home the "inconsistency is the problem" message during Sunday's off day because the players suggested as much after Saturday's loss to San Jose, as noted by the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...

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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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