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NHL announces ‘Game-Day Plans for 2017 Rogers Centennial Classic’

From the NHL:


33 Members of 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian To Be Announced in New Year’s Day NHL Centennial Pregame Ceremony

Top Recording Artists Billy Gilman and Dean Brody Join Musical Entertainment Lineup

NEW YORK (Dec. 28, 2016) – The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced game day plans for the 2017 Rogers NHL Centennial Classic™ Alumni Game featuring Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings greats on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 12:00 p.m. ET (NHLN, SN) and the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™ much-anticipated Original Six™ rivalry game between the stars of today’s Maple Leafs and Red Wings on Sunday, Jan. 1 at 3 p.m. ET (SN, TVAS, NBC) at Exhibition Stadium (170 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto). 

Fifteen year old Maple Leafs anthem singer Martina Ortiz Luis will perform the U.S. and Canadian national anthems before the Alumni Game on Saturday, Dec. 31.

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Morning news: On ‘falling behind,’ Smith and Kronwall, the GLI and Tweets of note

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Free Press's Brandon Folsom duly noted that the Red Wings have developed a particularly poor habit of late:

Tuesday's loss marked the 10th straight game in which Detroit allowed its opponent to score first.

"I don't see it as a lack of urgency, but you could look at it and see 10 games (and think that)," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "But I don't see our (players) as not being ready to play. Ten games is a lot of games to not be ready to play. I haven't seen (a lack of urgency), really, at all. I've seen our team come out and be ready to play, but we're giving up a lot of goals. That's a results thing, and we got to do a better job of that."

Added Miller: "We got to put our talk into action and be better from the start. I really don't have any other explanation than that."

The Wings (15-16-4) recorded a season-high 43 shots on goal against the Sabres and will try to push forward when they visit the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (8 p.m., FSD).

"I thought we've been getting better the last few games on getting shots to the net," Zetterberg said. "We did that tonight again and got three (goals), so we just got to keep on doing that coming up here."

Folsom continues...

2. I didn't think that Brendan Smith's return to the lineup was an exemplary one, but TSN's Scott Cullen reports that Smith had a good Corsi performance last night:

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All about Alden Hirschfeld

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe profiles Toledo Walleye forward Alden Hirschfeld this morning:

Alden Hirschfeld’s sheer perseverance through a journey of unimaginable adversity has established a renewed appreciation and a new role for the Walleye forward.

Hirschfeld, a 28-year-old whose future in the sport was uncertain nine months ago, said he fully embraces his role as a mentor. The Sylvania native and Northview High School graduate has completed a remarkable and quick recovery from brain surgery to repair a condition that led to seizures.

Just five months after the operation, Hirschfeld was back skating. After re-signing with his hometown team, he was named an assistant captain and promptly produced. He ranks 10th on the team in scoring.

“It’s all back to normal, and I just love what I do,” Hirschfeld said. “It took some time to get back into it. It’s great to be back at the rink, getting dressed, and hopping out on to the ice versus just watching. I’m just excited and blessed to be able to play in my hometown.”

Monroe continues...

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The Wings Are Giving Up Too Many Goals

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"We lost, so it's tough to say something good about (his performance)," Mrazek said. "I have to be better, that's all."

Said coach Jeff Blashill: "In the end, we just got to find ways to stop more pucks, whoever's in net. We can't give up four goals and expect to win lots of games in this league.

"That's not all on Petr, that's on our whole team. As a hockey team, we got to make sure we do a better job of defending. I know we talk lots about scoring here, but I've said it for two weeks, you can talk about scoring but you better be careful if you start giving up goals. You're in trouble and we can't give up four goals and expect to win."...

"I didn't like the defensive play on the fourth goal at all," Blashill said. "That was the one to me that you got to be above people, you can't not be above people. But those are young mistakes. That's part of the process as players mature. The only way to get better is to play them and I've made the decision to do that and they're going to have to grow from those mistakes."


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The overnight report: Red Wings-Sabres wrap-up—‘chasing the game’ solves nothing

The Detroit Red Wings played their last home game of 2016 and their last home game until January 14th, 2017--seven road games away from the Joe and two-plus weeks on the road's worth of time--and the Wings struggled against the Buffalo Sabres, dropping a 2-0 lead and rallying to tie the game at 3, only to fall 4-3 to Buffalo despite a wide dispairity in shots and shot attempts (43-22 and 73-43, respectively).

If the Red Wings' home record couldn't be embarrassing enough, the Wings lost on the night the team honored their 1997 Stanley Cup-winning team, with the Stanley Cup in the house.

Surrendering the game's first goal for the 10th straight game, the Wings did rally from that as well as a 3-1 deficit, but the Wings were able to hold the tie for all of a minute and 56 seconds--when Evander Kane scored the Sabres' game-winner, as the Associated Press's recap noted:

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Prospect news: Walleye beat Wheeling; van Pottelberghe delivers upset at World Juniors

Of prospect-related note: In the ECHL, Alden Hirschfeld scored 2 goals and Jake Paterson stopped 31 shots as the Toledo Walleye defeated the Wheeling Nailers 4-3.

The Walleye's website posted a recap:

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Red Wings honor their 1997 Stanley Cup team (plus many FSD videos)

The Red Wings honored their 1997 Stanley Cup-winning team prior to Tuesday night's game against Buffalo, and the Buffalo News's Mike Harrington took note of the player and coaches' comments...

"We had as solid a team as you could have," said Bowman, the 83-year-old Williamsville resident who works as a consultant for his son and Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman. "This is a team that's for the ages. It's a team that meshed together."

The '97 Red Wings only had a 94-point regular season, going 38-26-18 and finishing 10 points behind Dallas in the Central Division. They beat St. Louis in six games in the first round, then swept Anaheim in a second-round series that saw three games go to overtime. The Wings beat Colorado in a six-game grudge match for the Western Conference championship, then swept Philadelphia in the Stanley Cup final. Detroit held the Eric Lindros-led Flyers -- coached by current Buffalo assistant Terry Murray -- to six goals in the four games.

Roughly 30 players and coaches from the club were on hand, with huge cheers going to Hall of Famers Nicklas Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman, the team's captain. The first standing ovation was accorded to former Detroit defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov, who was brought to center ice in a wheelchair. Konstantinov has been paralyzed since being injured in a limousine crash just six days after the Cup clincher against the Flyers.

Owners Mike and Marian Ilitch, both in their 80s, were unable to attend the ceremony but were also part of Bowman's remarks.

"The owner wanted to win so badly and that goes down through the ranks of the players," Bowman said.

The Free Press's Brandon Folsom asked the Wings about their tour of Little Caesars Arena...

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Red Wings-Sabres quick take: Wings pepper Sabres but lose 4-3

The Red Wings honored their past in the 1997 Stanley Cup team ahead of Tuesday's game against the Buffalo Sabres. Once the puck was dropped on the actual game taking place at the Joe, the Red Wings dug a 2-0 deficit for themselves, they rallied in a big way, and then they fell short, losing 4-3.

Detroit out-shot Buffalo 43-22--30-10 over the final 2 periods of play--and Detroit out-attempted Buffalo 73-43, but the Wings were unable to dent Lehner 4 times, and they surrendered 4 goals. That's a recipe for failure despite strong efforts to the contrary, and now the Red Wings will embark upon a 7-game road trip that will likely tell the tale of the 2016-17 season for a frustrating-to-watch team.

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Evening news: A Game-Day Preview video; Cup champs back in town; on Smith and Jensen

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Here's the Red Wings' Game-Day Preview video, which includes Jared Coreau, Brendan Smith and Jeff Blashill:

2. The Red Wings are celebrating their 1997 Stanley Cup Championship tonight:

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Wallner: Busy Griffins resume tough schedule after holiday break

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that the Grand Rapids Griffins will resume an incredibly busy schedule tomorrow, after a well-deserved holiday break:

The Griffins returned to practice Tuesday after a Christmas break that began with a 3-0 win last Wednesday against first-place Milwaukee. They jump back into a busy schedule that has three games in four days beginning Wednesday in Cleveland.

It has already been a busy month for the Griffins, with nine games in 19 days leading up to the break.

The Griffins have won six of seven to put them percentage points ahead of Milwaukee (.696 to .661) atop the Central Division. They play again in Cleveland on Friday before returning to Van Andel Arena for a 6 p.m. game New Year's Eve against Rockford.

"As a coach, you're always worried because, going into the break we've been playing well and you don't want to mess with that," Nelson said. "But mentally, for them to go into the break with a winning streak, you feel good about that. And it (the season) is such a grind so anytime you can get anyway for a few days is a good thing."

Wallner continues...

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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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