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Articles from practice: Smith out, Howard starts vs. Caps

Updated at 4:17 PM: The Red Wings practiced ahead of tomorrow night's game against the Washington Capitals at the Joe today, tweaking their lines slightly (to Brendan Smith's detriment) and preparing to start Jimmy Howard tomorrow evening. MLive's Ansar Khan Tweeted out the Wings' lineup...

#RedWings power-play units:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader, Green-Sproul
& Tatar-Nielsen-Larkin, Mantha, Kronwall


Looks like Smith is out on defense:
Smith/Ouellet (extras)


#RedWings lines:


Jimmy Howard will start tomorrow for #RedWings at @Capitals

And here's Khan's practice report:

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Caples: Spitfires, Spirit prepare for ‘Farewell to the Joe’ game on December 4th

From Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples:

The Saginaw Spirit and the Windsor Spitfires held a joint press conference at Joe Louis Arena Thursday morning to discuss their ‘Farewell to the Joe’ game on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.

The game will serve as the OHL’s last inside the historic hockey building, and it will feature numerous events and tributes for a Sunday full of celebrations as the league says goodbye to The Joe.

“I can tell you from being around our guys and the guys in the locker room know this game is going in, it’s a pretty special deal, not only with this building and it being its last year, the history, the players and the storied organization that the Wings,” said Spencer Carbery, head coach of the Spirit. “That these players are getting to play here, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in an NHL building, in front of a great crowd, such a historic place. They are extremely excited to be able to have the honor of playing in this city. For a majority, it’s once-in-a-lifetime; they’ll never get another opportunity to do this after December 4.”

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Ken Kal on the IR

From the Free Press's George Sipple and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

Thankfully the Wings are in good hands with Kaser behind the mic.

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Practice Tweets: Smith ‘out’ as lines, d-pairs changed up; Howard likely to start vs. Capitals

The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena for a late-morning practice today, preparing to face off against the 10-4-and-2 Washington Capitals tomorrow evening (7 PM on FSD Plus).

Tyler Bertuzzi returned from Grand Rapids in time to take part in today's practice, as noted by DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

#RedWings Howard in starter's net for practice.


#RedWings Kronwall skating today, as expected.


#RedWings Blashill mentioned yesterday that Ott has played center and this morning he is centering Bertuzzi and Miller.

MLive's Ansar Khan...

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Red Wings make Bertuzzi recall official

The Red Wings have made Tyler Bertuzzi's recall official:

… Darren Helm Placed on Long-Term Injured Reserve …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled left wing Tyler Bertuzzi from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Additionally, the Red Wings placed Darren Helm on long-term injured reserve.

Bertuzzi was assigned to Grand Rapids on Tuesday and played in the Griffins’ 6-3 win over the Texas Stars last night, picking up a power-play goal and an assist. The 21-year-old winger has tallied six points (3-3-6), a plus-four rating and 32 shots on goal in 10 games for Grand Rapids this season. Bertuzzi made his NHL debut with the Red Wings on Nov. 8 at Philadelphia and appeared in three games for the team last week, picking up five hits and two shots on goal in 9:57 average time on ice. The 6-foot-1, 198-lb., winger has skated in 83 games for the Griffins since 2014-15, notching 37 points (16-21-37) and 139 penalty minutes and adding 20 points (14-6-20) and 18 penalty minutes in 23 AHL postseason games.

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Now Is The Time For Riley Sheahan To Make An Impact

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Maybe a move back to his natural center position will spark Riley Sheahan.

The Detroit Red Wings need more offense and they need someone to step up in that third-line center spot with Darren Helm sidelined six-to-eight weeks with a separated left shoulder.

Sheahan has struggled on the wing this season. He has no goals, three assists and a minus-9 rating in 17 games.

"I thought he had lots of opportunity early and then his opportunity went away here in the last little bit, so it's hard to produce when you don't get the opportunity," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "Certainly production matters to him and ultimately we need to score goals. But I'd like it to still be followed by good process and that being he's physically, he's strong on the puck and gives us that heavy on the puck presence that we need."

The Red Wings were hoping Sheahan could carry over his play from the last quarter of 2015-16, when he had seven goals and five assists in the final 22 regular season games. He was more assertive, going hard to the net, and more physical, utilizing his 6-foot-3, 226-pound frame.


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‘Two Things’: On the Toast of Hockeytown and Helm’s absence

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Wings held their annual Toast of Hockeytown at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday evening, as noted by WXYZ's Brad Galli...

And DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

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Prospect news: Griffins defeat Texas; Walleye beat Atlanta; Holmstrom has sprained knee

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, Colin Campbell scored twice, Matt Lorito registered a goal and an two assists, Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist and Jared Coreau stopped 26 shots as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Texas Stars 6-3.

The Griffins' website filed a recap:

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Red Wings recall Tyler Bertuzzi, place Darren Helm on LTIR

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Griffins coach Todd Nelson and Bertuzzi himself about the recall:

He scored a power-play goal and added an assist in a 6-3 win against Texas. The call up came about an hour after the game.

"They all go on Twitter, they all watch the games and know what's going on up there, and so that's why there were such good efforts out there tonight," coach Todd Nelson said. "But they're hockey players. They work hard every night."

Thomas Vanek (strained hip) is expected to return when the Red Wings play Sunday against Calgary, so the call up could be brief.  Anthony Mantha, the Griffins' leading goal scorer, has been up with the team since Friday.

Bertuzzi returned and jumped right in on the Griffins' power play. He said the experience helped his confidence in his return. He was not thinking about a quick return to Detroit.

"I tried not to think about it that much," he said. "Everyone has a chance to go up. But we have a game to play here and you worry about that first and then if you get a call, you get a call."

Nelson thought Bertuzzi didn't miss a beat.

"He did come down with a little bit extra confidence and that's part of his growth," Nelson said.

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USA Today’s Allen talks Corsi with Blashill

Jeff Blashill was one of many NHL coaches and players to speak with USA Today's Kevin Allen about the proliferation of Corsi and Fenwick stats as the preferred ways to judge team success, and I may get in trouble for this, but I agree with Blashill here:

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said he has not noticed players developing any ill-advised habits to inflate their Corsi. But he has his own cautionary tale about advanced statistics.

“I don’t think we have found a good measurable,” Blashill said.

He said he believes Corsi and Fenwick, which counts unblocked shot attempts, can predict success, but not for the reasons people think.

“Shots are more of a byproduct of how you play rather than a driver of performance,” Blashill said.

Blashill said the teams that have good Corsi are those that are outplaying their opponents. That’s why they have more attempts. In other words, teams aren’t dominating because they generate more shot attempts. They have more shot attempts because they are dominating.

He believes it’s an important distinction.

“I want to find things that are an indicator of performance,” Blashill said. “I think we have to dig way deeper.”

Allen continues...

And while Red Wings certainly haven't played well enough this season--their 8-8-and-1 record is the most telling stat in that regard--and while their Corsi and Fenwick have to improve, I don't necessarily believe that those stats are THE predictors of team success. There's more to the story--that's why teams keep their own shot numbers, and in the Red Wings' case, emphasize scoring chances and zone time over plain old shots-and-shot-attempts.

The Wings need to improve in all aspects of their game if they are to become a playoff team, but I'm not going to freak out if their Corsi remains below-average. They've got to generate shots, scoring chances and spend more time in the offensive zone than theyr opponent, and mostly, they've got to start out-scoring and out-competing their opponents.

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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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