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Video- Anyone Else Remember Dale McCourt?

via TSN,

He was Canada's first ever superstar at the World Junior Hockey Championship. James Duthie has more on Dale McCourt, the man who became a legend some 40 years ago, and the difficult career that followed.

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Ducks set-up—crunch time in California

The Detroit Red Wings face a make-or-break situation over the next half-dozen games, with the Wings beginning a stretch of must-win-most-of-'em slate against the Anaheim Ducks this evening (10:30 PM EST on FSD/FS West/97.1 FM).

Detroit possesses a 16-16-and-5 record and heads into a stretch in which they face the Ducks, Kings and Sharks over the course of 4 nights, and the Red Wings' power play is so bad that they're going to try Steve Ott as a net-front man;

Our friends from Anaheim own a 19-12-8 and record, and while the Ducks are 2-0-and-1 over their past three games, having most recently won a 4-3 shootout decision over the Philadelphia Flyers, but the Los Angeles Times' Curtis Zupke reports that Ducks coach Randy Carlyle isn't happy with his team:

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Prospect news: Axel Holmstrom returns for Skelleftea; Saarijarvi helps Finns escape relegation

Of prospect-related note:

In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin played 5:45 in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's 3-2 shootout loss to HC Sibir;

In the Finnish Liiga, Julius Vahatalo played 7:10 in TPS Turku's 2-1 win over Jukurit;

In the SHL, Axel Holmstrom returned for Skelleftea AIK after missing two-and-a-half months with a reaggravated knee injury, finishing at -3 with 1 shot and a 61% faceoff winning percentage in 13:27 as Skelleftea AIK lost 5-2 to Linkopings HC;

Christoffer Ehn played 11:41 in the Frolunda Indians' 5-0 win over Farjestads BK;

In World Junior Championship relegation play, Vili Saarijarvi scored a goal and added an assist in 24:21 played during Finland's 2-1 win over Latvia. Saarijarvi was named his team's top defenseman.

Finland at least avoids relegation, but it's a steep drop-off from last year's Gold Medal-winning performance, and that's what happens when your best players graduate to the NHL;

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Steve Ott On The Power Play

from Chuck Pleiness of the Daily Tribune,

At practice Tuesday, Detroit coach Jeff Blashill switched up its two units with Ott getting net-front time with the top group – Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Tatar, Anthony Mantha and Niklas Kronwall.

“I think the biggest issue with our power play is we don’t spend enough time in our zone,” Blashill said. “There are two reasons for that in my mind. One is we don’t retrieve enough pucks, so he can certainly help with retrieval of pucks. The other is the break in. Those are two things we’ve got to make sure we do a better job of. But we’ve just got to spend more time in the zone.

“Everybody’s talking about how few shots we have,” Blashill continued. “I think a lot of that has to do with we don’t have enough zone time. So that’s area I think you need somebody who’s going to go win pucks back and who’s going to do a good job of that and obviously he’s got the ability to be a net front guy as well.”

The Wings have scored just twice with the man advantage on the road in 53 opportunities (3.8 percent) this season. The next worst road power play heading into play Tuesday was New Jersey’s at 10.8 percent.

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Early evening ‘practice Tweets’: Wings’ power play gets an overhaul; Getzlaf iffy for Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings practiced in Anaheim on Tuesday afternoon, preparing for Wednesday's match-up with the 19-12-and-8 Ducks. Our friends from Anaheim may or may not have Ryan Getzlaf in the lineup

AnaheimDucks.com's Kyle Shohara filed a practice report prior to the Wings taking the ice at the Honda Center:

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Prospect catch-up post: WJC semis underway; Griffins win 2 weekend games, Walleye win 1 of 2;

Of prospect-related note over the past four days:

At the World Junior Championship: on Friday, Joren van Pottelberghe stopped 18 shots as Switzerland defeated Denmark 5-4;

On Saturday, Filip Hronek scored a goal on 7 shots and 23:23 played in the Czech Republic's 5-2 loss to Sweden;

Joren van Pottelberghe stopped 49 of 51 shots as his Swiss lost 2-0 to Vili Saarijarvi's Finns. Saarijarvi had an assist in 24:03 played;

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Three Wings-related ‘thoughts’ from Friedman

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman posted three Red Wings-related "thoughts," and three of them are Red Wings-related:

21. You could see last weekend how the Red Wings’ playoff streak weighs on those who’ve been there a while. Niklas Kronwall is as friendly as anyone, but his face tightened as that topic came up. Same with Henrik Zetterberg. I’ve written before about how he spoke up a couple of years ago in Dallas on the last day of the season, demanding victory because the run wasn’t ending on his watch. They know what a challenge this is going to be. Those two have a lot of pride in both themselves and the Winged Wheel. It’s not an easy subject for them.

22. The captain, in particular, knew exactly where each question was going. Does he read everything? “No, I don’t,” he replied. “But I’ve been around long enough to understand what’s being said by the questions being asked. If you read everything, you’d go nuts.”

23. Detroit’s makeup date for the cancelled game in Carolina means three games in three nights from March 26-28. The other option was interrupting the NHL/NHLPA negotiated five-day break in late February. That was a no-go for the players.

Friedman continues...

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CP article discusses ‘the streak’

From the Canadian Press's Jonas Siegel:

About half of the current Detroit Red Wings weren't even born when the team last missed the playoffs. The streak of 25 consecutive playoff appearances weighs heavily on this group, especially given the increasing likelihood that this will be the first Red Wings team to miss the post-season since 1990.

"You don't want to be the team that's part of breaking that streak," veteran Drew Miller said. "We take a lot of pride in that."

Detroit sits well back of a playoff spot with the season's halfway point right around the corner, closer to the Eastern Conference basement.

Captain Henrik Zetterberg said his team would be "really, really, really disappointed" if they failed to qualify for the playoffs, but thought the streak had also become too much of the focus.

"It's almost that we make the post-season to continue the streak and then we kind of relax a little bit and so that's what we want to get away from and just focus on getting into the post-season," Zetterberg said recently. "But it's not going to be easy for us and we all know that. It's not like we have a team that we had in the mid-2000s (which won two Stanley Cups). But you won't have those teams forever either. We believe we're a good team when we're playing well and we've just got to have a high level a little more often than we have this year."

Siegel continues, regrettably piling on the, "The Wings are doomed with no talent in the pipeline unless they tank" line...

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Prospect news: Jake Paterson named ECHL goaltender of the week

From the ECHL:

PATERSON NAMED CCM/ECHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK

Jake Paterson of the Toledo Walleye is the CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week for Dec. 27-Jan. 1. It is the second time in his career that he has received the weekly honor.

Paterson went 3-1-0 with a 1.76 goals-against average and a save percentage of .940 in four appearances last week.

The 22-year-old stopped 31 shots in a 4-3 win against Wheeling on Tuesday, made 34 saves in a 4-1 victory at Kalamazoo on Wednesday, had 14 saves in a 2-1 loss to Brampton on Friday and stopped 31 shots in a 3-1 win at Fort Wayne on Saturday.

A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Paterson has appeared in 19 games for the Walleye this season and is tied for third in the league with 14 wins, ranks fifth with a 2.35 goals-against average and is eighth with a .918 save percentage.

A third-round selection (80th overall) of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Paterson has appeared in 51 career games with Toledo posting an overall record of 33-13-3 with four shutouts, a 2.24 goals-against average and a save percentage of .922. He also has seen action in two career games with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.

 

Prior to turning pro, he appeared in 192 career Ontario Hockey League games with Saginaw and Kitchener going 96-75-15 with seven shutouts, a 3.29 goals-against average and a save percentage of .907.

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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

California trip

The Red Wings continue a stretch of seven consecutive road games with a three-game trip to California, against a trio of clubs currently in a playoff position.

It starts Wednesday in Anaheim (10:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit), where Detroit is 5-2-2 in its past nine, The Ducks (19-12-8) are second in the league on the power play (24 percent).

They visit Los Angeles Thursday (10:30, FSD), where the Kings (18-15-4) have won four of their past five vs. the Red Wings and are led by Jeff Carter's 20 goals and 31 points. Peter Budaj, subbing for an injured Jonathan Quick, has a 2.03 goals-against average in 32 appearances.

The trip concludes Saturday in San Jose (10:30, FSD Plus). The Pacific Division-leading Sharks (23-13-1) were 8-2 in their past 10 games heading into the week and are led offensively by defenseman Brent Burns (15 goals, 35 points).

Road power play woes

The Red Wings' league-worst power play (11.7 percent) has been particularly poor on the road (2 for 53, 3.8 percent) - the next-worst road power play is converting at 10.8 percent.

Detroit hasn't converted in 48 power-play opportunities on the road dating back to Thomas Vanek's goal at 6:15 of the first period on Oct. 19, in a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers.

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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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