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Shanahan, Babcock discuss ‘R&D’ing’ the Red Wings way in Toronto

NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a fascinating article regarding Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan and coach Mike Babcock's attempts to build a Red Wings-like machine in Toronto as the Centennial Classic approaches:

This event is a celebration of the history of the NHL and the Maple Leafs in particular, and this part of it is a reminder of the influence the Red Wings have had on two men who are trying to build the Maple Leafs' future: Shanahan and coach Mike Babcock.

Each has many influences. Each faces far different challenges in Toronto. Neither wants to make the Maple Leafs an exact replica of the Red Wings.

But Shanahan spent nine seasons in Detroit as a player and won the Stanley Cup three times. Babcock spent 10 seasons there as a coach, won the Cup once and came within one victory of back-to-back championships.

They brought that with them to Toronto and have applied it in broad ways, direct ways and subtle ways most might not notice.

"What did I learn in Detroit the most?" Babcock said, leaning back in his chair in his office at the Maple Leafs' practice facility. "If you treat people right and you push them hard and you surround yourself with real good people and players, you have a chance to be happy every single day. That's what we've got to do. Now, we've got a long way to go."

Cotsonika continues...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Panthers set-up—fourth try, first win?

The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to go into their Christmas break on a positive note when they battle the Florida Panthers this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Florida/97.1 FM), and despite the Wings' struggles against Florida, the 14-15-and-4 Red Wings aren't that far behind the 15-14-and-5 Panthers in the standings.

The Red Wings need to simply start winning some games and winning some games against Atlantic Division rivals. That will be even harder than usual for the Wings given that the Panthers have won all 3 of the teams' meetings thus far.

The Wings will be without Mike Green again this evening, and the team spent Thursday afternoon working on their special teams play; the Panthers played against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, and while Jaromir Jagr passed Mark Messier for 2nd all-time in points scored, the Panthers lost 3-1 to Boston (snapping a 2-game winning streak).

So while the Panthers were happy for Jagr, they were disappointed with the outcome of the game, as they told the Miami Herald's George Richards...

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Xavier Ouellet’s Twitterview

Xavier Ouellet held a Twitter interview via the Wings' Twitter account today, and here's what he had to say:

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A bit more about the Ted Lindsay Foundation’s latest donation to autism treatment

Earlier today, I referenced a pair of news stories regarding the Ted Lindsay Foundation's $1 million donation to the Beaumont Chlidren's Center's autism program, and NHL.com's Dave Stubbs gives me another excuse to plug the Ted Lindsay Foundation:

On Wednesday, the rugged 91-year-old Hockey Hall of Famer with the butter-soft, oversized heart was on hand for the official opening of the Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center in Southfield, Michigan. A $1 million donation from the hockey icon's fund-raising efforts had played a huge role in the creation of the building, a sprawling, state-of-the-art facility that among many things offers speech pathology and other services to children with autism spectrum disorders and other learning and developmental disorders.

"There are many medical terms and I'm not smart enough to understand them, so I'll just keep working at it," Lindsay said with a soft laugh Thursday from his Detroit-area home. "The one thing I know how to do is raise money."

Since the creation of the Ted Lindsay Foundation in 2001, Lindsay and his partners have raised more than $3.5 million through celebrity golf tournaments, wine tastings and myriad events to which he tirelessly continues to invest his time.

...

In 2012, the Beaumont HOPE Center, part of the Beaumont Children's Center, came to his attention, and he dipped his toe into support with a $64,000 donation to provide iPads to help facilitate communication for otherwise silent children.

"To me, iPads don't mean a thing," Lindsay said at the time. "But they mean an awful lot to the doctors and the kids. A kid who couldn't communicate in words took the iPad and wrote, 'Mom, I love you.' That was the first time the mother had seen that. Never heard it, but she saw it. Can you imagine what kind of feeling that would be?"

Stubbs continues, and

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Three ‘teasers’ for Episode 2 of ‘Road to the Winter Classics’

The Red Wings posted a Tweet that teases the Red Wings discussing "Closing out the Joe" as part of EPIX' "Road to the Winter Classics'" second episode, which airs tomorrow at 10 PM on EPIX and NHL.com,

EPIX' YouTube channel posted two clips of the Wings disussing the topic of closing the Joe (it's got different content from the clip above) and the legacy the team is trying to uphold:

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The Hockey News profiles Filip Hronek

Ahead of this year's World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal, The Hockey News is profiling key players on the WJC's participating teams, and they've profiled defenseman Filip Hronek from the Czech Republic's team:

Learning is a daily process for all teenage hockey players, but for Hronek, who plays for OHL Saginaw, there are plenty of extra study sessions on his agenda. “Here it’s a physical game,” Hronek said. “It’s a small rink and it’s very fast. In Czech, it’s a little slower.”

Moving to North America, Hronek was thrust into a personal cultural revolution. It has required him to learn to play the game on the smaller rink while also adapting to changes in diet and necessitating he take a crash course in deciphering the English language. Although he’s still uncomfortable speaking the language, Hronek now grasps it. He required a translator during the summer months, but that’s no longer necessary.

On the ice, the process is also evolving quickly. He’s averaging almost a point-per-game for the Spirit this season. “He has a real ability to move the puck, and he seems to be able to handle a forecheck,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “I think that’s the hardest thing in today’s game, to handle how hard everyone is forechecking, so you have to be able to manage that puck, and he does a good job of it. He’s got a little edge to him for his size.”

That’s the real issue with Hronek. Most scouts felt he possessed a first-round skill set but at six-foot and 163 pounds, he wasn’t equipped with a first-round physical package. The Red Wings grabbed him in the second round (53rd overall) in 2016. “To get himself to the NHL, he’s going to have to be dynamic offensively,” Blashill said.

Like with Finnish defenseman Vili Saarijarvi, another undersized defender with high-end skills, a year ago, the Wings moved quickly to get Hronek’s name on an entry-level deal in the summer and assimilate him into North American hockey and lifestyle. They want to fast-track Hronek and get him to the AHL by next season.

The article continues, and it's quite good...

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Articles from practice: Wings attempt to find consistency on special teams; LCA in-rink cam is live

Updated 2x at 7:03 PM: As Paul reported, the Red Wings' practice at the BB&T Center on Thursday was relatively uneventful, with the Wings focusing on their special teams play, and coach Jeff Blashill deferred his personnel decisions for Friday's game against Florida to game day.

After practice, Steve Ott spoke with MLive's Brendan Savage regarding the "state of the Wings"...

The Red Wings are in a tailspin with a 1-4-1 record in their last six games and a 3-5-2 mark in the last 10, something that can be directly attributed to their poor special teams.

They haven't scored a power-play goal in five straight games after going 0-for-5 Tuesday in Tampa, making them 0-for-21 with a man advantage in that stretch. During the last 10 games, they're 1-for-32 (.032). Is it any wonder they're not winning?

"It's a work in progress," said veteran forward Steve Ott. "We're a mixed bag of players right now in the sense that we've had some really key injuries and young guys stepping into our team, but all together we need to continue to work on things, our five-on-five game, but more importantly I think all these games here in the last while have been lost by our special teams.

"The power play not clicking sometimes and our penalty killing not supporting (and) vice versa. Like you've seen today in practice, we spent a lot of time on special teams. Both making our power play work and try to continue to push forward and figure it out.

"We've got too many great skill players to not have this continue us through the rest of the season and vice versa. We worked on things on the penalty kill, shore that up and get that back to where it was and we're starting to see progress in that as well."

Savage continues, and he posted videos of Steve Ott and Jeff Blashill addressing the media:

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Frans Nielsen On The Power Play Issues

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

But if the Red Wings don't want to fall out of the race soon, they know they have to start putting together some victories before the skid snowballs even further.

"Absolutely," said veteran forward Frans Nielsen. "We can't just win one, lose two, win one, lose one. We have to find a way to put a streak together pretty soon.

"For sure we're still in it and we got to put a streak together like we did early on but we feel like we're there and still have a chance at it."

One problem, according to Nielsen, is something that has plagued the Red Wings all season - they don't shoot enough when they have the opportunity.

Instead of firing the puck at the net and getting a good bounce or rebound - not to mention a goal - they often seek the perfect pass and end up with nothing.

"We make wrong decisions with the puck," Nielsen said. "When we have opportunities to get it to the net we're kind of passing up those and trying to making a hard play instead of going through guys. Again, I think we have to be more simple with it. That's what it is. And hopefully you get a bounce and it goes in.

"You can build confidence like that. When it's not working, I know it's a boring answer, but you have to simplify."

more on the Wings...

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After Practice Report On The Wings

 

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Not Much News From Detroit’s Practice At BB&T Center

 

 

 

George or I will do another post when Blashill/players talk after practice.

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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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