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The Malik Report

‘Two Things’: On Abdelkader at the World Cup and Steve Ott, locker room leader

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. At the World Cup of Hockey, Team USA was eliminated from semifinal contention in a 4-2 loss to Canada, and Justin Abdelkader took 1 shot, had 3 hits and finished at -1 in 11:16 of ice time in the loss;

2. And you may take this statement from Jeff Blashill for what you will, per the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:

“I think our best chance to win is to win as a team and I know that’s kind of cliche-ish in sports but it’s extremely true,” Blashill explained. “Sometimes you can win with a couple of superstars. I think this team is built that we’re going to have to win as a team.

“Part of that is camaraderie. I think Steve [Ott] can really help in that area. That might not seem significant to some. I think it’s extremely significant. I’ve already talked with Otter about helping in that area, making sure we have a group that’s really close.”

There was a sense from the outside that this element, for so long a strength of the Red Wings, was beginning to slip away last season and that factions were evolving within the Detroit dressing room.

“I think that one thing that’s separated this team from lots of other teams over the years is that it’s been a selfless group, a group that works hard every day,” Blashill said. “I think we also need to make sure that we’re a group that’s extremely tight. How do you do that? Just little things off the ice, little things after practice.”

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Audio from the Red Wings’ loss to Carolina at the prospect tournament ‘16

The Detroit Red Wings' prospect tournament ended with an "almost." The Red Wings' prospects battled their tails off in attempts to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes, but Detroit kept digging multiple-goal-deficit holes for themselves, and as a result, the Wings lost 6-4 to Carolina in the championship game.

After the game, Givani Smith discussed the game and the Wings' late-third-period surge, his increasing comfort level with the Wings' system of play as the prospect tournament progressed and how he'll transfer that momentum to the main training camp, and I made sure to ask him and every interview subject about the impression that the legion of volunteers made upon them:

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Red Wings’ prospects lose championship game against Carolina

The Detroit Red Wings' prospects gave the Carolina Hurricanes as good as they could give, but a 2-0 deficit kept getting bigger and bigger, and as a result, the Red Wings battled from a 6-2 deficit to lose 6-4 to the Hurricanes in the championship game at the Wings' prospect tournament in Traverse City, MI.

Tyler Bertuzzi had a fantastic game, scoring 2 goals, Zach Nastasiuk had a goal and an assist, Filip Hronek had 2 assists and the Wings worked their asses off, but they just dug too deep a hole to dig out of, and some poorly-timed penalties in the 2nd and 3rd period hurt the cause.

The prospects will get a 2-day break before main camp begins on Friday.

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Afternoon news: Useful Tweets, a season preview and a prospect profile

Of Red Wings-related Twitter note:

1. Quite important:

2. In the promotional department:

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‘Three Things’: How to watch tonight’s prospect tourney game, a Canes game preview and steps of note

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. From the Red Wings:

The Detroit Red Wings will battle the Carolina Hurricanes in the championship game of the NHL Prospect Tournament tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich.

Fans can tune in to watch the Red Wings battle for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup courtesy of a live stream on the FOX Sports Go app and DetroitRedWings.com. Users in the United States can download the FOX Sports Go app and stream the game for free, regardless of cable or satellite provider, while the stream on DetroitRedWings.com has no geographic restrictions. The game will feature the play-by-play commentary of Red Wings radio broadcaster Ken Kal.

The Red Wings have qualified for the championship game for the second-straight season and Detroit will look for its first title since the 2013 tournament.

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Impressions from the morning skate during championship day at the Red Wings’ prospect tournament ‘16

As noted in the audio post, the Red Wings' prospects held an "optional" skate that included every healthy skater ahead of tonight's championship game against the Carolina Hurricanes (7 PM EDT on Fox Sports Go and DetroitRedWings.com). Carolina didn't do the same...

The Canes' website also posted a clip of coach Ulf Samuelsson's comments after last night's game...

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Svechnikov finding his stride in Traverse City

NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale spotlighted the Russian-born players taking part in the Red Wings' prospect tournament, including Wings prospect Evgeny Svechnikov:

Svechnikov, 19, who is making his second straight appearance in Traverse City, is a lot more comfortable this year. He has one goal [one assist], a plus-1 rating and [9] shots on goal in [three] games.

"It was one of the hardest summers for me, training-wise," Svechnikov said. "I feel ready for the Traverse City tournament and for training camp."

Svechnikov (6-2, 199) likely will start the season with Grand Rapids, the Red Wings' AHL affiliate. He played in two AHL playoff games last season, after he had 32 goals and 79 points in 50 games with Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"I think I took a lot being in Grand Rapids for those two games," he said. "Watching and playing was a good step for me. I watched how they played and how the players moved the puck and themselves so quickly. Positioning is so important and I'm trying to work on that [in Traverse City]."

Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who is playing on the top line with Svechnikov in Traverse City, had plenty of praise.

"He has one of the hardest shots I've ever seen," Bertuzzi said. "He's physical, strong and works hard, and that's what you want in a linemate."

Morreale continues...

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Berenter on the Red Wings’ ‘championship ticket’ and Tyler Bertuzzi’s evolution

DetroitRedWings.com's Joshua Berenter penned a pair of articles today, discussing the Red Wings' win over the St. Louis Blues last night...

“We had to win outright in regulation to get to the finals, and the players all knew that so they were sacrificing their bodies,” [coach Todd] Nelson said. “It was really good to see. The guys paid the price tonight and we got the win.”

Nelson said he was impressed with his team’s ability to respond after suffering the 5-0 shutout against Chicago on Saturday.

“I thought our guys played solid for 60 minutes,” Nelson said. “I thought our compete level was there, I thought we executed a lot better, I thought we played our system better. Each and every one of these players gave everything they had tonight, and as a coach, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

The Red Wings, who lost in last year’s final to Columbus, will face the undefeated Carolina Hurricanes in Tuesday’s championship game at 7 p.m. The Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars with a combined score of 14-8 on their way to the tournament final, and Nelson said his team will have their hands full with the Hurricanes.

“They’re a very solid club,” Nelson said. “We’ll be playing for the championship. It’s a one-game stint and anything can happen. But if our guys play like we did (against St. Louis), we’ll have a good opportunity to win.”

And Berenter wrote an article profiling Tyler Bertuzzi, no longer merely a scrappy player:

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Practice Tweets: Pulkkinen ahead of schedule in rehab from shoulder surgery

Updated 6x at 2:54 PM: Of note from the Red Wings' "big club's" practice at Joe Louis Arena:

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Audio from the morning skate at the final day of the Red Wings’ prospect tournament ‘16

The Detroit Red Wings' prospects battle the Carolina Hurricanes' prospects for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup tonight in Traverse City (7 PM EDT on Fox Sports Go and DetroitRedWings.com), and the Wings took an "optional" practice this morning...

As in every uninjured player (Jeff De Wit has a hip flexor issue and Adam Marsh is injured, so Luke Kirwan will draw into the lineup tonight) took part in the relaxed practice, with 13 forwards, 7 defensemen and 3 goalies going through a set of drills that were relaxed in pace but not in execution.

There was a palpable level of excitement on the ice as the Wings' prospects know what's at stake this evening, and there was a bit of goofing around here and there, but for the most part, the players' excitement yielde a businesslike demeanor.

As I'm writing this, Justin Brazeau is still shooting on Stephen Dhillon some 28 minutes after practice was supposed to end...

And after the main practice ended, I spoke with the following players:

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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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