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Justin Abdelkader Needs To Find His Game

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Justin Abdelkader is mired in a lengthy scoring slump, so Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill wants him to go back to his roots.

"What makes Abby special is he is a big body who when he's at his best is on the forecheck, winning puck battles, skating hard on the track, allowing for good gaps, great net-front presence," Blashill said. "He came into the league as a hard-working guy, kind of a grinder, evolved into a grinder with real good skill, allowing him to play with good, skill players.

"He's got to make sure he keeps that working, grinding mentality as he moves forward in his career."

Abdelkader has gone 12 games without a goal, during which time he has just two assists. He had four goals and an assist in the first two games, earning him the weekly No. 1 star honors from the NHL.

Abdelkader admits he's frustrated.


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The overnight report: On Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom’s Hall of Fame induction nights

Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom gave their Hockey Hall of Fame induction speeches on Monday night, and the media did a fine job of distilling 20 minutes' worth of comments into a fine bunch of articles.

We'll start our survey thereof with MLive's Brendan Savage, who took note of Fedorov and Lidstrom's comments...

"Since Day 1 I arrived in Detroit area Michigan, everywhere I went I received warm welcome," Fedorov said. "I play there 13 seasons, we won three Cups. I spent the best days of my life in this organization. I'd like to thank all the fans. They believed in us, they had patience with us, they support us. Those victory rallies will be my memory forever."

Fedorov also thanked the Ilitch family, his parents and his wife, who was unable to attend the ceremony because she is expecting the couple's first child.

He also made sure to thank Bryan Murray, his first coach with the Red Wings who is battling cancer, as well as Bowman, who coached the three Stanley Cup championship teams Fedorov played on in Detroit.

"Bryan is fighting for his life," Fedorov said. "My thoughts and prayers are with him. I also like to thank Scotty Bowman. He's not only the greatest hockey coach but he's a great human being, showed me a lot, taught me a lot. He made me understand and realize what life is all about on the ice and off the ice."

Savage continues, and he also spoke with Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Larry Murphy and Tomas Homstrom on the red carpet...

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Red Wings-Capitals set-up: history *might* be made on Sergei Fedorov night at the Joe

From one uphill battle to another. The 7-6-and-1 Red Wings face all they can handle in a 10-3-and-0 Washington Capitals team on Tuesday evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/CSN DC+/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), with the Wings hoping to rebound from Sunday's 4-1 loss to Dallas against another team that's attempting to sustain a sterling start.

On Monday, the Wings were happy to see Pavel Datsyuk practicing with the team, but Datsyuk isn't ready to return just yet, and Brendan Smith's ill, so tonight, the Red Wings may still look a little shorthanded while attempting to prevent "History from Being Made."

On Sergei Fedorov night at the Joe, Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is tied with Fedorov for all-time goal-scoring among Russian players, and Ovechkin's 484th goal will pass Fedorov's mark (Ovechkin scored the shootout winner in the Capitals' 3-2 shootout win over Toronto on Saturday, but had a goal disallowed due to a coach's challenge).

As Ovechkin's former Capitals teammate, Fedorov told DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose that he's excited to see his record broken sooner than later:

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Here are Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction speeches

The NHL has posted clips of Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom's Hockey Hall of Fame induction speeches:

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Evgeny Svechnikov thanks parents for major assists in his hockey upbringing

The WHL, OHL and QMJHL are holding a series of 6 total games against a set of Russian prospects whose ranks will include Evgeny Svechnikov--for at least a couple of the games, anyway--and the WHL portion of the Subway Super Series schedule kicks off off tonight in Kelowna (10 PM EST on Sportsnet) and Kamloops, British Columbia tomorrow (also 10 PM EST start). Joe Hicketts, who's been much talked-about on this blog, will play in both WHL games, and will captain the team in Kamloops Tuesday evening (his hometown).

The Russian roster changes from game to game, so it's not certain whether Svechnikov will play against the WHL, but the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward is certainly one of Russia's better prospects.

Tonight, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald's Andrew Rankin tells us the story of Evgeny Svechnikov's upbringing, and it's a great story:

Evgeny Svechnikov never debated what he would do with the money he earned from his NHL entry-level deal with the Detroit Red Wings.

When the three-year contract was finalized in October, he sent his signing bonus straight to his parents, Elena and Igor Svechnikov, who live in Kazan, Russia.

“They need it more than me,” said the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles sophomore star. “I have a very good life, much better than theirs.”

It’s been well over a year now since the Red Wings’ 2015 first-round draft pick packed his bags and headed to North America to pursue his NHL dream. Truth is, the gregarious 19-year-old doesn’t miss home all that much, except for his parents and brother Andrei, also a highly touted hockey player.

Svechnikov’s parents never had it easy. But they saw promise in their boys from an early age and were determined to see that potential fulfilled. Svechnikov spent most of his boyhood playing hockey in Siberia. His father delivered cakes for a living while his mom was a billet mother of sorts, tending to three or four of Evgeny’s teammates year-round.


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Evening news: Fedorov/Lidstrom HoF talk; Fedorov, Green talk Caps; on Howard, Ericsson & Athanasiou

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

Via RedWingsFeed, Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with the NHL Live regarding Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom, and he did so for nearly nine minutes:

Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski penned an article about Fedorov's mixed legacy as a polarizing force...

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Mike Green Ready For His Former Team

from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,

For the first time since he signed a three-year contract with the Red Wings last July, Mike Green will face the team that he spend the first 10 seasons of his NHL career with.

“It’ll be strange, but I’ve moved forward now,” Green said. “I think it’s more exciting than anything. I know the personality in the dressing room and how most of these guys play, so it will be fun. But it will be fun because we’re competing.”

One thing Green will try to do Tuesday is help prevent Ovechkin from surpassing Fedorov as the league’s all-time Russian-born scoring leader.

“If you let him skate or you give him too much room he’s got an incredible shot,” Green said. “If you can eliminate his time in space, you eliminate a lot of his chances.”

Green said he knew at the end of last season that his time was up in Washington and that he would benefit from a chance in scenery.

“I was there a long time and obviously, sometimes chance is good,” the Red Wings’ defenseman said. “I felt I was becoming a little bit stagnant there, so I wanted to evolve, and I felt that coming here would be the best thing for that.”

more plus other Detroit topics...

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Post-practice articles: Datsyuk skates on top line; numerous players absent; Abdelkader in bottom 6

Updated at 3:17 PM: The Red Wings practiced on Monday ahead of Tuesday's tilt against Washington (7:30 PM on FSD/CSN Washington/TVA Sports/97.1 FM; Mrazek starts), and while Pavel Datsyuk isn't returning tomorrow, he skated on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Dylan Larkin. The beat writers also told us that Brad Richards and Landon Ferraro didn't skate with the team, nor did Brendan Smith, who was feeling ill.

MLive's Ansar Khan filed a practice report...

[W]hen [Datsyuk] does ]return], coach Jeff Blashill indicated that Datsyuk likely will be paired with Henrik Zetterberg, at least initially. The other winger on that line hasn't been determined. Dylan Larkin skated with Datsyuk and Zetterberg during Monday's practice, as slumping Justin Abdelkader was moved to the third line.

"We haven't done anything yet for tomorrow; that was for practice today," Blashill said. He added, "At some point when (Datsyuk) gets back, my plan is to play him with Zetterberg, at least to start. Those plans can change. That's our thought right now. We wanted to get him on a line with just three guys by themselves. Who plays with them, we'll see."

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Pleiness, Khan: Quincey to get a second opinion on his ankle on Tuesday

From the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...

MLive's Ansar Khan...

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LeBrun speaks with Fedorov regarding the Russian 5, roadblocks to current Russian immigration to NHL

From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee anecdote blog:

Inductee Sergei Fedorov is proud of his role in the fab Russian Five in which legendary coach Scotty Bowman made him part of along with defensemen Vyacheslav Fetisov and Vladimir Konstantinov and forwards Igor Larionov and Slava Kozlov in the mid- to late-1990s in Detroit.

"It’s hard even now to analyze how much we did that kind of a job and influence and impact the whole NHL and the hockey world," Fedorov said of the Russian Five. "What we did is enjoy each other’s company on the ice, went through a lot of ups and downs, played together as a group. We learned that style of hockey from Soviet Union and Russia under great coaches too; and we were able to put that together for North American fans. Thank you, Scotty Bowman. He gave us the opportunity and the chance to play together."

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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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