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When the other team’s goalie makes a stop so good you’ve got to share it

The Red Wings could only shake their heads and smile--and the Wings' crowd could only cheer--when Ryan Miller made this diving-back-toward-the-empty-net save on Henrik Zetterberg:

The Red Wings still won 3-1...

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Red Wings-Canucks quick take: hard-working win that was hard work

The Red Wings attempted to establish a winning streak against the struggling Vancouver Canucks, hoping to push a team that had lost lost 9 of 10 games back on to a losing trajectory.

The Red Wings had to work very, very hard to earn their second win in a row, with Jimmy Howard stopping 36 of 37 shots en route to a 3-1 victory over a plucky Canucks team that was anything but a pushover. Larkin, Smith and Ott scored the goals and Ryan Miller was damn good for the Canucks, too, but Howard was excellent for Detroit and the Wings were able to out-grind Vancouver.

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Savage: Wings lose Athanasiou to LBI

From MLive's Brendan Savage:

Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou left the game against the Vancouver Canucks late in the first period Thursday with a lower-body injury, the team announced.

Athanasiou appeared to be favoring his left leg when he skated to the bench with a little less than four minutes remaining in the first period after taking a hit from Nikita Tryamkin.

Athanasiou had no shots on goal in 3:50 of ice time.

Here's the hit, via NHL.com's Dave Hogg:

Updated at 10:29 PM:

Updated at 11:01 PM: From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that Athanasiou is “out for Saturday” when the Wings play at Montreal.

Beyond that, Holland said more about Athanasiou’s injury would be known Friday.

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Evening news: A Game-Day Preview video, praise for Howard and Bertuzzi, and a ‘Farewell to the Joe’

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Here's the Red Wings' Game-Day Preview with Red Wings Productions' Dan Mannes:

2. Of fantasy hockey-related note from ESPN's Victoria Matiash:

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Trying To Fix Detroit’s Power Play

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

We need to get more pucks to the net and establish movement and cause confusion in their end,” defenseman Mike Green said. “We’ve been working on it. It’s not easy to score on the power play in this league, and we have to make sure we bear down.”

While the previous game, at Philadelphia, saw the Wings have solid possession time on two of their man advantages, the previous stretch of power plays wasn't good at all.

“We weren't winning enough face-offs, and then our entries weren't good enough,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “So then you don’t have enough possession time and you’re not going to get enough power-play opportunities. Last game, we had some of that, we did a little bit better job on entries, we did a little bit better job on face-offs. We had better attack mentality, but we have to have better net presence.”

Blashill complimented Frans Nielsen’s power-play unit with Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Justin Abdelkader and Brendan Smith but chided Henrik Zetterberg’s unit with Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Niklas Kronwall and Mike Green.

“Nielsen’s unit is attacking, and they've had lots of chances,” Blashill said. “The other unit has to do a better job.”


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Wallner on Bob Kaser’s pinch-hitting for Ken Kal

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Grand Rapids Griffins play-by-play announcer Bob Kaser regarding his "pinch-hitting" NHL debut on 97.1 the Ticket this evening:

"I don't really have that deep of a vocabulary, which isn't always a good thing - because I can't really put into words what this means," said Kaser, a native of Kalamazoo who grew up in Flint and serves as the Griffins' vice president of community relations and broadcasting."This is a team I grow up watching and rooting for and to be a part of it for even one game is just beyond incredible."

Last year, Kaser won his seventh broadcast excellence award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He has three previous Michigan Associated Press radio awards.

Kaser arrived in Detroit in the early afternoon to begin preparations, though many of the players on both side are familiar to him through his years of AHL calls.

He already has received his share of encouragement.

"It's been overwhelming," he said. "I got a text earlier from (Tomas) Tatar telling me, 'Congratulations. Welcome to the big time, kid.' That's how it's been."

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‘Three Things’: On a resurgent Howard, Tyler Bertuzzi’s play and historic notes

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield penned an article discussing Jimmy Howard's resurgent play:

Howard leads the NHL in both save percentage (.958) and goals against average (1.26) through the first month of the season. Detroit’s nominal backup will make his third straight start tonight when the Wings host the Vancouver Canucks.

That’s not a disparagement of Petr Mrazek, who remains the team’s goalie of the future. But the hot-handed Howard has, for now, wrested the crease from his younger teammate.

“Jimmy’s playing real good hockey and he’s playing at such a level there that it just makes the most sense,” said coach Jeff Blashill.

Mrazek understands. In fact, he has enjoyed watching Howard rebound after a disappointing 2015-16 campaign.

“It’s good. He found his game and got back on track. The season is long so hopefully we can keep it that way,” Mrazek said.

Burtchfield continues...

2. The Vancouver Province's Ben Kuzma discussed Tyler Bertuzzi's play:

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Wakiji provides an update on Thomas Vanek’s status

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji provides an update regarding Thomas Vanek's status:

Thomas Vanek, who has missed the last seven games with a lower-body injury and was placed on long-term injured reserve Monday, is taking a step towards returning.

"He skated today," Blashill said. "Thomas is skating a little bit. I think he's going to have the sufficient time to make sure that when he comes back he's going to be going full out. I assume when he's ready to come off the long-term IR then he should then be ready to step in and play. The one thing I talked to him about was he came off the World Cup and I thought he could hit the ground running at the start of the year. Now that he's been off a lengthy amount of time we want to make sure it's the same thing. He's ready to hit the ground running when he comes in for his next game."

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Red Wings-Canucks game-day Tweets and articles: Howard starts for DET; Canucks share JLA memories

Updated 6x at 2:15 PM: The Red Wings face off against the Vancouver Canucks tonight (7:30 PM EST on FSD/Sportsnet Vancouver/97.1 FM), and the Red Wings made some minor tweaks during their morning skate, but their lines will remain relatively static as they battle Vancouver.

The Canucks' morning skate was still underway as the Wings' beat writers filed their articles, so:

It appears that there won't be a Miller-vs-Miller showdown as Tyler Bertuzzi will be playing instead of Drew Miller tonight, per the Canucks...

Jimmy Howard will start opposite Miller, and the "Same lineup" = this lineup the Canucks employed against the New York Rangers (with Vancouver snapping an 8-game losing streak via a 5-3 win) on Tuesday:

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Griffins’ Bob Kaser to call tonight’s Wings game on 97.1 the Ticket

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Over the course of their 15-year affiliation with the Detroit Red Wings, the Grand Rapids Griffins have seen four coaches and more than a half-dozen employees make the jump to their parent club, while 69 different players have heeded the Red Wings’ call to display their talents at the NHL level.

Tonight, it’s Bob Kaser’s turn.

The “Voice of the Griffins” since 2000 and a 38-year veteran of hockey play-by-play, Kaser will call the first NHL game of his distinguished career when the Red Wings host the Vancouver Canucks at 7:30 p.m., filling in for Ken Kal, who will miss the game due to illness. Color commentator Paul Woods will join Kaser for the 7:10 p.m. broadcast on the Red Wings’ radio network, which includes ESPN 96.1 FM in Grand Rapids and WXYT 97.1 FM in Detroit.

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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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