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The Malik Report

The overnight report: Red Wings-Coyotes set-up

The Detroit Red Wings will face the Arizona Coyotes this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Arizona Plus/97.1 FM) with a bit of a problem on their hands, thanks to the Coyotes' 7-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday:

How does a team struggling to score goals solve a team that's going to want to do one damn thing--systemically eliminate shots and scoring chances against?

The 9-14-and-5 Coyotes have lost 7 of their past 8 games, owning a 1-4-and-3 record over that stretch, and will be playing the 2nd game of a 4-game road swing on Tuesday at the Joe. They were embarrassed on Monday night, and a team that gets its butt kicked can be a handful when they're playing the next night--which isn't good news for a Red Wings team that's gone 2-7-and-3 at home of late.

Arizona was embarrassed on Monday night, as noted by NHL.com's Wes Crosby...

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Shoot the puck!

I was absolutely fascinated by Jeff Blashill's candor in lamenting the Wings' unwillingness to shoot pucks on net instead of trying to make plays, as Blashill stated after yesterday afternoon's 1-0 loss to Philadelphia...

And whether you like him or loathe him, Blashill was blunt, direct and refreshingly honest about his attempts to instill a shooting mentality into a pass-first team, as noted by the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

“We just have to do a better job of going to the net and shooting more pucks,” said Blashill after Sunday’s 28-shot loss to the Flyers and rookie goalie Anthony Stolarz. “We were passing up shots. The shot attempts after the second (period) were even. We had three times the zone time in the first (period), then we don’t end up outshooting them because we don’t shoot the puck enough.

“We have to decide if we want to shoot the puck, if we want to go to the net. It’s been an issue here for three years, five-on-five offense, and we have to decide if we’re going to change it. Until we do that, we’re not going to score enough.”

There's no doubt that in particular, Riley Sheahan, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar aren't even living up to the most modest and realistic expectations regarding their goal-scoring output, but I agree with Blashill--this is a team-wide issue, to the point that even Anthony Mantha's started to try to make plays over shooting the damn puck as he's spent more time with the team--and the issue must be rectified ASAP:

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Wallner: Bob Kaser to substitute for Ken Daniels on Tuesday

According to the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner, Grand Rapids Griffins play-by-play announcer Bob Kaser will substitute for Ken Daniels during the Red Wings-Phoenix Coyotes game on Tuesday:

Bob Kaser, the radio voice of the Grand Rapids Griffins, will handle the play-by-play broadcast Tuesday of the Detroit Red Wings' game on Fox Sports Detroit under difficult circumstances.

The veteran broadcaster will fill for Ken Daniels, the Red Wings' veteran announcer whose 23-year-old son, Jamie, passed away on Dec. 7.

It will be Kaser's first TV broadcast with the Red Wings. Matt Shepherd's of FSD filled in previously.

"I'm flattered and honored to be considered to do this," Kaser said, praising the skills of Daniels. "But the circumstances are just horrible. Let's call it what it is. So it will be a tough deal to get through, no question."


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Red Wings to ring bells for the Salvation Army on Friday, December 16th

From the Red Wings:

… Holland, Blashill, Draper, Osgood, Chelios, Larkin, Glendening, Abdelkader & Helm to Bell Ring on Friday, Dec. 16 Across Metro Detroit to Raise Funds for The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will compete for bragging rights on Friday, Dec. 16, to see which group can raise the most money for The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, as four teams bell ring at different Metro Detroit retail locations from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Fans are asked to make a $10 donation per autograph at all four locations.

At the Kroger in Northville (425 North Center St.), Head Coach Jeff Blashill will join Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland, who is serving as Honorary Chairman of the 2016 Red Kettle Campaign for the 11th straight year. The duo will look to defend their bell-ringing title, as Blashill and Holland raised more than $6,000 last year in the two-hour span.

Fans visiting Hockeytown Authentics in Troy can obtain an autograph from forwards Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm by making a $10 donation per player. Forwards Dylan Larkin and Luke Glendening will also represent the Red Wings at Kroger in Royal Oak, while Red Wings Alumni Chris Chelios, Kris Draper and Chris Osgood will bell ring at the second Kroger location in Northville (17447 Haggerty Rd.).

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St. James offers an assessment of the struggling Wings

The Free Press's Helene St. James offers an assessment of the underachieving Red Wings this morning:

[Jimmy] Howard’s .945 save percentage ranks second, and his 1.68 goals-against average is third overall. He is a bright spot on a team that, so far, has squandered the first two games of a five-game home stand. Today is a scheduled day off, with the next game coming against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (7:30 p.m., FSD).

Other than a handful of veterans, led by Henrik Zetterberg, Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek and Mike Green, and youngsters Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou, most of the other players need to figure out how to make the Wings better -- quickly -- or Howard’s stellar work won’t reflect in victories.

The lack of production from Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar is especially egregious -- at four goals apiece, they are on pace for 11-goal seasons. The Wings were counting on 25-30 from each. Neither drives to the net like needed.

Riley Sheahan is now at 29 games and no goals, on pace for 14 points and a minus-31 rating. He did, at least, have a couple of good chances in Friday’s 4-1 loss to Columbus. But the lack of goal support in front of Howard is disturbing -- it was only thanks to his 35-save performance that the Wings emerged from Sunday’s 1-0 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers with a point.

St. James continues...

Update: MLive's Ansar Khan also discussed Jimmy Howard's play:

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Prospect news: Griffins lose in Chicago; Walleye win in Alaska; Hronek 1+1

Of prospect-related note: In the AHL, Evgeny Svechnikov scored the game's first goal and Jared Coreau stopped 16 of 19 shots as the Grand Rapids Griffins lost 4-1 to Chicago. The Griffins' website posted a recap:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Flyers wrap-up—offensively challenged

The Red Wings battled their way to a 1-0 OT loss against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday evening, and the Red Wings spoke with a surprising level of frustration after dropping to 2-7-and-3 at home in the second game of a 5-game home stand. The Wings are incredibly concerned with their inability to score, and understandably so.

For once, I'd suggest that you listen to coach Jeff Blashill's post-game remarks, because he was pointed and a bit P.O.'ed after the game:

The Flyers' win was their 9th straight victory, and as the Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi noted, goaltender Anthony Stolarz was very happy to "steal" one for the Flyers:

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Red Wings-Flyers quick take: Damn fine game but an OT loss nonetheless

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to end the Philadelphia Flyers' 8-game winning streak Sunday evening at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings played an excellent game and a so-so overtime period, earning a hard-fought point in the form of a 1-0 OT loss...

And this game was incredibly frustrating from a results standpiont, but very good for the Wings from a "progress" standpoint. The Wings held their own against one of the hottest teams in the league, the Wings' PK was excellent, and the Wings just couldn't dent Stolarz.

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Afternoon news: A Game-Day Preview, Wings-Flyers stuff, on Vanek’s influence, etc.

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. Here's the Wings' Game-Day Preview video:

2. MLive's Ansar Khan summarizes Jeff Blashill's pre-game comments as neither the Wings nor Flyers held a morning skate:

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Jimmy Howard Starts Today And Jonathan Ericsson Still Out

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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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