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The Malik Report

The Detroit Red Wings Prepared To Take On The Hot Washington Capitals

Ansar Khan of Mlive with the post morning skate report...

The Detroit Red Wings start the second half of the season tonight against one of the hottest teams in the NHL, the Washington Capitals, who are 11-1-4 in their past 15 games.

The Red Wings have won two in a row, halfway through a stretch of six consecutive road games.

Teemu Pulkkinen will make his season debut for Detroit, replacing Daniel Cleary in the lineup. The only other lineup change for the Red Wings is in goal, where Jimmy Howard will start.

Henrik Zetterberg and Kyle Quincey didn't skate this morning at the Verizon Center but coach Mike Babcock said they're 100 percent ready to play.

Pulkkinen, recalled Thursday from the Grand Rapids Griffins, leads the AHL with 20 goals and has scored a goal in his past eight games, equaling a Griffins franchise record.

"We're going to give him the opportunity tonight, and depending on what he does we'll give him more opportunities," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It's on an ad-earn basis, so you got to play real well and if you play real well you get to play."


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Zetterberg And Quincey Not Skating This Morning

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Zetterberg and Quincey not skating this morning in Washington. Should know their status for tonight shortly when Babcock talks.

Nyquist-Cleary (for Z)-Abdelkader

added 12:09pm, via Khan,

Babcock said Zetterberg and Quincey good to go tonight. Howard starting. Only other change is Pulkkinen in for Cleary.

added 12:21pm, via Gregg Krupa tweet,

babcock said miller is with sheahan and pulkkinen in warmups. "we'll see what happens. we'll see how they want to match and go from there."

added 12:36pm, additional tweets by Krupa below...

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Ansar Khan’s Mailbag

Q: Do you think the Wings will ever cut Franzen loose, admit they erred in going too long on his contract? The Pistons did as much with Josh Smith. (Franzen) is too plodding and he is not a good match for any of our lines. He neutralizes the first half of all power plays and is keeping a worthy player or three in Grand Rapids, skaters who could help the parent club.

A: This is their annual quandary with Franzen. He plays like a star for stretches, piling up goals and points, and then disappears for long stretches. That hasn't changed this season.

He turns 36 midway through next season. If the organization believes he's still capable of scoring 20 goals, he'll stick around because it will be difficult to find a replacement at that cap hit ($3.95 million) in a free-agent market that gets thinner by the year.

Q: Can the Wings buy out Franzen or has that boat sailed?

A: Compliance buyouts (where the full salary comes off the cap) no longer are available to clubs. But teams can continue using ordinary course buyouts, where a portion of the salary counts against the cap.

I doubt the Red Wings are prepared to do that with Franzen this off-season, despite his inconsistency and injury issues. But if he continues along the same path it's certainly a possibility in 2016. He has five years remaining on his contract after this season.

many more questions answered by Ansar Khan of Mlive...

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Mike Babcock On Pulkkinen And Jurco Out At Least A Week

from chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,

Teemu Pulkkinen is known for one thing … his shot.

“It’s amazing,” Riley Sheahan said of Pulkkinen’s shot. “It’s almost like every time he shoots the puck it’s either going in or the goalie’s not going to know where it’s going and it’ll hit off him and create another scoring chance. It’s hard. It’s accurate. He gets it’s off pretty quick. Not many guys have a shot like him.”

Sheahan will center a line with Pulkkinen and Drew Miller on Saturday at Washington.

“Hopefully he shoots it every time he touches it,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said Friday after the team finished practice at the Taylor Sportsplex.



added 2:36pm, Pulkkinen talks after practice, watch below...

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Wings Skating In Taylor

Yes, at the Taylor Sportsplex which is about five minutes away from the airport.  They will board a plane after practice and head to Washington D.C. for their game tomorrow night.

via Chuck Pleiness tweets,

Early indications have Pulkkinen skating on a line with Sheahan and Miller.

Cleary is the extra forward in Red. Weiss on fourth line with Glendening and Andersson. Top two lines remain same.

Updates to this post as needed.

added 11:20am, more from Pleiness,

Johan Franzen (upper body) and Tomas Jurco (back) aren't at practice.

Jonas Gustavsson a late arrival to practice

added 11:36am, Pleiness again...

Doesn't look like Pulkkinen will be on the power play. He just took Datsyuk's spot out there and pretty sure Pav isn't leaving the PP.


Now Pulkkinen is working on the second PP unit. I guess we will see what the deal is after practice.

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Ken Holland On Teemu Pulkkinen

from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,

“I think the thing we like about Pulkkinen is he’s got a tremendous shot,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview Thursday. “He’s got a weapon. His shot is his weapon. He likes to use it and he seems like he knows how to get open.”

Pulkkinen equaled a Grand Rapids franchise record Wednesday with a goal to extend his goal scoring streak to eight consecutive games. The mark was set by Donald MacLean in the 2005-06 season.

“We felt he deserves to come up here,” Holland said. “Mike Babcock and I had been talking the last little while that if we had an opportunity along the way to see what he could do we would. He certainly deserves to be rewarded with an opportunity.”


added 6:59pm, Pleiness also talked with Holland regarding the Wings first half of the season...

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Here Comes Teemu Pulkkinen

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled winger Teemu Pulkkinen from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and placed Johan Franzen on injured reserve.

Pulkkinen, 23, sits atop the AHL leaderboard with 20 goals in 33 games and is second in the league with 39 points (20-19-39). The Vantaa, Finland, native is currently on an eight-game goal scoring streak for Grand Rapids, which ties the franchise record, and has tallied nine goals and 13 points in that span. Last season, Pulkkinen paced Grand Rapids with 59 points (31-28-59) in 71 games en route to becoming the Griffins all-time leader in goals scored by a rookie. Originally drafted by Detroit in the fourth round (111th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Pulkkinen made his NHL debut last season and suited up in three games with the Red Wings. Prior to turning pro, the 5-foot-10, 198-lb., winger played four seasons with Jokerit of Finland’s SM-Liiga, totaling 128 points (49-79-128) in 185 games.

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Teemu Pulkkinen May Be On His Way To Detroit Due To Injuries

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

It appears Johan Franzen will miss more than just Wednesday's game due to an upper-body injury, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

Following the 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames, coach Mike Babcock said Franzen didn't feel good on the short flight in from Edmonton and didn't know if would go on injured reserve.

Tomas Jurco also missed the game due to lingering pain in his lower back.

With two regular forwards ailing -- both will be re-evaluated on Thursday -- this might be an opportunity for the Red Wings to promote sniper Teemu Pulkkinen from the Grand Rapids Griffins.


Detroit next plays on Saturday in Washington.

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Video- Just In Case You Missed The Wings/Flames Game

Or just want to review the game.  Here are the extended highlights from the 3-2 Detroit win.



added 8:13am, Sportsnet's highlight package of the game can be watched below...

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Super quick take, answering machine version: Red Wings [defeat] Flames

Hello, you've reached this blog because the Detroit Red Wings played a game, and they either won or lost (they won, defeating Calgary 3-2). The regular blogger is dealing with depression (it sucks), and Paul has a 6 AM wake-up call, so please discuss the game's result (not bad rallying from a 1-0 deficit, with Zetterberg and Abdelkader registering a goal and an assist apiece, not so good giving up a shorthanded 3-2 goal in the 3rd or going 27-and-36 on faceoffs, or having Petr Mrazek out-shot 30-22).

The Red Wings will be returning to Detroit for a short stop--where Tomas Jurco will get his ailing back looked at, and it sure sounds like Johan Franzen will have a baseline neurological test as he missed the game due to an "upper-body injury" involving his head--before resuming their 6-game road trip in Washington this Saturday. Weigh in as you wish:

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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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