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Red Wings-Blue Jackets morning skate Tweets and articles: Athanasiou, Marchenko to return tonight

The Detroit Red Wings host the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD Plus/FS Ohio/97.1 FM; tonight is the Toys for Tots collection night at the Joe), and as strange as it might sound, this is a "measuring stick" game as the 13-11-and-3 Wings face the 15-5-and-4 Blue Jackets.

The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just after 10:30 AM for their morning skate, per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

MLive's Ansar Khan...

Optional morning skate for #RedWings, with 10 skaters and Howard on the ice.

Blue Jackets commentator Rob McElligott...

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About the Red Wings’ ‘Hometown Holiday Assist’

As noted last night, the Red Wings and kids from Jack Adams Arena in Detroit teamed up to give both kids at Children's Hospital in Detroit and the youngsters taking part in the shopping trip a happy Christmas, and DetroitRedWings.com's Josh Berenter wrote an article about the event held last night at Meijer in Madison Heights:

The age-old adage during the holiday season is it's better to give than to receive. And sometimes, selfless generosity can go a long way and pay dividends.

That was the case Thursday night for 20 metro Detroit children who teamed up with the Detroit Red Wings Foundation for the third annual Hometown Holiday Assist.

20 kids from Jack Adams Memorial Arena's introductory hockey program joined Red Wings players Mike Green, Jimmy Howard, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul, along with members of the Lady Wings organization at Meijer in Madison Heights, Mich., to purchase gifts for Children's Hospital of Michigan patients unable to go home for the holidays.

"Our entire organization cherishes the holiday season as a time for giving to others, and often to those you don't personally know," said Kevin Brown, director of community relations and Detroit Red Wings Foundation. "Hometown Holiday Assist is about so much more than providing gifts to Detroit's youth."

"It reinforces a powerful message of placing the needs of others before oneself. We know the children walked away from this event with a stronger appreciation of making someone else's holiday just as special as their own."

Berenter continues...

And, via the Wings:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Blue Jackets set-up

The Detroit Red Wings open their longest home stand of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD Plus/FS Ohio/97.1 FM; today is the Toys For Tots toy collection night at the Joe) with a surprisingly stiff opponent.

The aforementioned 13-11-3 Red Wings are about to kick off a stretch of 5 straight games at the Joe and 7 games played over the course of 12 nights against the 15-5-and-4 Columbus Blue Jackets, one of the hottest teams in the NHL.

The Blue Jackets most recently defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 on Monday, and Columbus has won 4 straight games and 5 of their past 6.

Columbus has enjoyed a leisurely week of practices and off-days, and as a result, the Blue Jackets were able to summarize "who's hot" in the scoring department via a Tweet...

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Prospect news: Kadeikin registers 2 assists; Hronek posts a helper

Of prospect-related note:

In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin had 2 assists in 11:53 of ice tim in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's 3-2 loss to Severstal;

In the Finnish Liiga, Julius Vahatalo played 7:02 in TPS Turku's 4-2 win over Jukurit;

In the SHL, Axel Holmstrom's Skelleftea AIK lost 3-1 to Lulea;

Christoffer Ehn had 4 shots in 12:44 of ice time as the Frolunda Indians lost 4-0 to Leksands IF;

And in the OHL, Filip Hronek had an assist and 7 shots in the Saginaw Spirit's 3-0 win over Sarnia.

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All about Grand Rapids Griffins rookie Kyle Criscuolo

Grand Rapids Griffins rookie Kyle Criscuolo scored a goal that made ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays recently...

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Dylan Larkin, Zach Werenski meet as NHL peers Friday at the Joe

According to the Columbus Dispatch's Tom Reed, Dylan Larkin and Zach Werenski have more than an abundance of hockey skills in common. They're good friends who have taken similar development paths:

“I know he’s really pumped,” said Larkin, a 20-year-old Detroit forward.  “I think he’s going to play well and I’m excited to see him.”

Few people outside Werenski’s immediate family know the rookie defenseman better than Larkin. They were teammates in youth ranks, classmates at the national hockey development program and roommates at Michigan.

Born a year apart, they began playing together for an elite suburban Detroit team when the elder Larkin was 11 years old. He recalls how composed and skilled Werenski was for his age. Little has changed, Larkin said.

Werenski has emerged as a leading candidate for the Calder Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s top rookie, with six goals and 11 assists in 24 games. The 19-year-old quarterbacks the league’s top-rated power play.

“To see the success he’s having isn’t surprising,” Larkin said. “At every level, with every step he’s taken, his play has improved. He’s become more poised, better defensively and more physical.”

Reed continues...

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Red Wings, kids from Jack Adams Arena hockey program give and receive holiday gifts

The Red Wings' players shopped with kids from Jack Adams Arena to provide gifts for the Wings' Children's Hospital visit...And the kids were also given the opportunity to pick out their own Christmas gifts, which included some donated hockey eqiupment from Warrior.

WXYZ's Brad Galli was there...

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Articles from practice II: on roster decisions and post-practice videos

As noted in today's practice article post, the Red Wings expect to have Andreas Athanasiou and Jimmy Howard back in the lineup tomorrow against Columbus, and Alexey Marchenko may return to the lineup as soon as Sunday. Their returns will yield some difficult lineup deisions, as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted:

“We’d like to have more hard decisions; the more hard decisions means you have more good players around,” Blashill said. “Now sometimes, you can go in reverse and you have easy decisions by people playing great, and that’s one way to ensure yourself a spot in the lineup, by playing great.

“The question I get (from players) is, ‘What did I do to come out?’ My question back is, ‘What did you do to stay in?’

“You have to make sure, as a player, your job is to play as great as possible to make your case, and my job is to make those hard decisions. We’d like to make as many hard ones as possible by everyone ultimately playing great.”

The Red Wings posted Twitter videos of Howard, Athanasiou and Marchenko discussing their respective statuses...

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Prayers Go Out To The Ken Daniels Family On The Sudden Passing Of His Son Jamie

via a release from the Detroit Red Wings,

The Detroit Red Wings and FOX Sports Detroit are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamie Daniels, son of television play-by-play broadcaster Ken Daniels. Jamie passed away in his sleep on Wednesday morning at the age of 23. Both the Red Wings organization and FOX Sports Detroit would like to offer their heartfelt condolences to the Daniels family during this most difficult time.

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Any Interest In Patrik Nemeth?

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News answered questions from the fans...

Question: Play GM: Give us a trade scenario that would immediately make the Stars better.

Heika: Here's a weird one. Patrik Nemeth to Detroit for one of their prospects. The Wings needs some physicality on defense and Nemeth would be a perfect fit with the Swedish history of that team. I personally think a player like Joren Van Pottelberghe would be interesting for Dallas because he is a big project goalie who they could develop in Europe and then possibly move him over next season or the season after. But Jim Nill knows that system, so let him work his magic.

continued from the Dallas side and more Q & A...

NHL.com player page on Patrik Nemeth.

Hockey'sFuture page on Pottelberghe.

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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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