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Morning news: Blashill on the Wings’ ‘passengers’; post-Ducks comment videos & a Wings-Kings set-up

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. MLive's Ansar Khan took note of Jeff Blashill's comments after the Wings' 2-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday evening:

"I thought early in the game we were really skating," Blashill said. "I thought our D got away from getting the puck to our forwards at the right times, so that slowed us down a little bit.

"But as the game went along, I thought there was not enough guys, I guess too many guys that were passengers, not enough guys driving the train. I thought we didn't have enough guys going. I'd say half our forwards were going and half of them weren't, so that's not good enough."

Why was that?

"It's disappointing for certain," Blashill said. "We got to be better than that, for sure. I think everybody recognizes the importance of the games. Nobody is at their optimal every night, but the nights when you're not, you want to make sure it's still real good, B-plus game. I can't say anybody was bad, but we need to be a little bit better."

Khan continues...

2. The Red Wings posted videos of post-game comments from Jonathan Ericsson...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Ducks wrap-up: some post-game discontent, relatively speaking

The Detroit Red Wings suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night, and as you might imagine, the regular commentary was issued regarding the injuries to Brendan Smith (knee) and Niklas Kronwall (???) after the game:

That's the rub, and perhaps the positive to be found with the negative:

Detroit plays the Los Angeles Kings this evening (10:30 PM on FSD/FS West/Sportsnet/97.1 FM), and the 19-15-and-4 Kings have won 2 straight games over the San Jose Sharks, including a 2-1 OT victory over the Sharks on Tuesday, but as the Kings open a season-high 7-game home stand, they've lost 5 of their past 8 games, so they're trying to regain their world-beating form.

On Wednesday, it was the Ducks who rebounded from a difficult outing, as AnaheimDucks.com's Adam Brady noted:

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Prospect news: Nosek, Street lead Griffins over Iowa; Sambrook 1+1

Of prospect-related note: in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins won a wild and woolly affair, defeating the Iowa Wild 6-5 on the strength of 2 goals from Ben Street, 2 goals from Tomas Nosek, 2 assists from MItch Callahan and a battling performance in the net by Eddie Pasquale, who stopped 23 Iowa shots.

The Griffins' website filed a recap:

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Red Wings-Ducks quick take: oh quack me a river

The Detroit Red Wings began a 3-game road swing against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night, with the Red Wings hoping to earn their first win of 2017 against a physical Ducks team.

Detroit did what happens when the Wings lose 2 defensemen to injuries and are completely ineffective on 3 power plays--they lost 2-0 to the Ducks, mostly due to a pair of defensive breakdowns and an inability to score the kind of goals that gave Detroit a point in Toronto. It was as if the Wings got too afraid to take it to the Ducks, and Anaheim was quite happy to rope-a-dope their way to a win.

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Speaking of ‘we knew it was coming’

This is just thoroughly disappointing:

I don't like questioning the coach publicly unless I have a big beef him, because the coaching staff and players know more than we do about who's "going" and who's not, but the fact that Andreas Athanasiou is sitting for not being dynamic--and don't get me wrong, I think Athanasiou has been poor lately--while 0-for-36 Riley Sheahan stays in the lineup...

That really sticks in my craw. I hope AA comes out in the next game and is dominant, and I hope the Wings survive without him.

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Evening news: A Game-Day Preview, Mrazek on Mrazek and Sheahan on ‘doing the same things’

Of Red Wings-reltaed note this evening:

1. Here's the Red Wings' Game-Day Preview video (from their YouTube channel), with Ken Kal, Anthony Mantha, Steve Ott and coach Jeff Blashill:

2. MLive's Ansar Khan penned an article in which Petr Mrazek discusses his work with goaltending coach Jeff Salajko as he attempts to rediscover his game:

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It’s not exactly, ‘Sell, sell, sell,’ but the Wings front office’s ‘take’ should be expected

FanRag Sports' Chris Nichols "Covers the Insiders" extremely well, and Nichols took in TSN's Darren Dreger's appearance on NBCSN's "Rivalry Night" pre-game, reporting, well...

According to Nichols, Dreger stated pretty much what I expected in terms of the Red Wings front office's plans as the team's playoff picture becomes increasingly dependent upon pushing the "miraculous comeback" button:

Well, they’re just going to stay the course,” began Dreger. “Obviously they want to try to claw back into the playoff picture. "They believe they’re at least there. They’re on the nibbling edges, seven points back. They’ve got the worst power play in the National Hockey League. That going to have to change for the Red Wings to have any chance of getting back into the playoff mix. They need better goaltending. Petr Mrazek had a pretty good year last year. In fact, he was showing signs of being a developing star in the world for the Red Wings. He has not been that this year. So they need a consistent level of goaltending from Petr Mrazek.

“But they also need better health. They’ve got a string of injuries. So Ken Holland, the general manager, first wants to see this group healthy. He wants to give Henrik Zetterberg, a good soldier for the Detroit Red Wings, an opportunity to keep this streak alive. Likewise for Nik Kronwall. But if they get into February and they’re now 10 points or 12 points out of a playoff spot and it becomes obvious that they’re not going to make it, then you’ve got to look at their roster. Look at their expiring contracts, like a Drew Miller or an Ott or a Vanek as an example – Brendan Smith as another example – as a player to be moved for a draft pick.”

Nichols continues, and this news is absolutely unsurprising. I know it's going to upset some of you that the team doesn't believe that now is the time to, "Sell, sell, sell," but it doesn't. That's not how Ken Holland operates, and one difficult season isn't going to drastically alter the GM's game plan in a league of "parity."

Whehter you or I agree with it is of course a matter of our respective opinions, but the front office's approach is not going to change if the Red Wings miss the playoffs this season.

Update: Here's the video of Dreger's remarks, from NBCSN:

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Toledo Walleye coach Dan Watson to coach ECHL All-Stars

Yesterday, Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson was named the Central Division's coach at the AHL All-Star Game, and today, Toledo Walleye coach Dan Watson will coach the ECHL team as they battle the Adirondack Thunder at the ECHL's All-Star Classic:

Head Coach Dan Watson has been chosen to be the head coach for the 2017 CCM / ECHL All-Star Classic presented by I LOVE NY.

In his first season as head coach, Watson has led the Walleye to the best 30 game record in Toledo ECHL history (24-5-1) and is currently the top team in the entire ECHL with 49 points collected. Toledo currently has the most road wins (15) in the ECHL and is also the top scoring team in the ECHL averaging 4.20 goals per contest. The Walleye are tied with Quad City allowing the fewest goals per game (2.70) of any team in the league. Watson’s club also boasts the top power play unit (23.5%) and the 9th best penalty kill (85.1%).

“I am really looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to coach a tremendous roster of players and to work with another great coach in Brad Ralph of Florida,” said Head Coach Dan Watson. “A lot of the credit goes to the players and staff for what we have accomplished so far this year. A lot of the vision I had for this team in the summer has come to fruition.”

Watson joined the Walleye staff back in 2009 as an assistant coach and served in that role or as an associate head coach in each season since helping lead the Walleye to the playoffs in 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016. He also helped guide the Walleye to back to back division titles and the 2014-15 Brabham Cup.


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Red Wings-Ducks game-day articles: Mrazek starts for Wings, Getzlaf out for Ducks

Updated 8x at 5:55 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face the Anaheim Ducks tonight (10:30 PM EST on FSD/FS West/97.1 FM), and as Paul reported, both teams held optional morning skates; Petr Mrazek will start for the Red Wings in goal, and on the Ducks' side of the ice, Ryan Getzlaf will not play for Anaheim.

As the Red Wings face a particularly grueling and quite possibly season-defining set of 3 games to be played over the course of 4 nights, it's highly likely that Jared Coreau will start tomorrow vs. Los Angeles, with the starter for Saturday's game in San Jose up in the air, but as per usual more and more regularly these days, Wings coach Jeff Blashill told the beat writers that he would reserve his final roster decisions until warm-ups.

The Free Press's Helene St. James filed a morning skate report...

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Wings/Ducks Had An Optional Skate Today


The Ducks had an optional too and also announced Getzlaf will not play tonight.

If anything worth posting comes up during practice, I will post it here.

added 2:54pm, via Detroit Red Wings tweets,

Petr gets the start tonight

All other lineup decisions will be made after warmups tonight.

"If we work and compete we give ourselves a good chance to win." - Coach Blashill 

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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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