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Custance on Howard, expansion draft candidate

From ESPN's Craig Custance's "10 takeaways" from this past weekend, an Insider-only entry:

7. Headed to Las Vegas?

The management group for the Las Vegas expansion team took in both games in Detroit over the weekend, as they were in town for the under-17 Five Nations tournament being held in nearby Plymouth. General manager George McPhee was at Joe Louis Arena Friday, and assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon was there for both games, against the Jets and Oilers.

Both said they’re watching players closely who could be candidates for the expansion draft. At this point, the Vegas management team has a pretty good idea of who will be available.

Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard turned in a strong performance in front of them on Sunday, stopping 26 of 28 shots, with neither goal scored on him one you could put on his shoulders. Howard now has a .965 save percentage after adjusting the way he plays in the offseason. He’ll most likely be there for the taking when the expansion draft rolls around.

Custance continues...

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Articles from practice: Bertuzzi, Blashill discuss #59’s recall from Grand Rapids

Updated 7x at 3:14 PM: The Red Wings practiced with Tyler Bertuzzi on the second line after his recall from Grand Rapids, but "maintenance days" for Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall indicate that we won't know the Wings' final lineup for tomorrow night's game in Philadelphia until after Tuesday's morning skate.

After practice, Bertuzzi spoke with the media, as recorded by MLive's Ansar Khan:

CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield (via RedWingsFeed) also asked why the Wings chose to recall Bertuzzi over Anthony Mantha, who's tearing it up in the AHL:

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Wings announce Little Caesars Arena construction tour contest

From the Red Wings:


Little Caesars Arena on schedule for September 2017 opening; contest and video series provide VIP access to site

DETROIT – With less than a year to go until Detroit’s new, 20,000+ -seat downtown arena opens, Olympia Entertainment and the Detroit Red Wings announced a VIP Fan Access contest in which 12 people, and a guest, will win the opportunity to tour the Little Caesars Arena construction site.

Little Caesars Arena will serve as home of the Detroit Red Wings NHL franchise and countless other sports, entertainment and community events, and is on schedule for completion in September 2017, prior to the NHL hockey season.

Fans can enter the VIP Fan Access contest through Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment and Little Caesars Arena social pages. The contest will run from Nov 7-Nov 17, 2016. Details and rules/regulations can be found here: http://www.OlympiaEntertainment.com/Contests/Detail/LCAVIPFanaccess/


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Toledo Walleye raising funds for police, fire departments

The Toledo Walleye have a unique ticket-buying promotion underway:


A local rivalry is renewed! The Toledo Police and Toledo Fire Department hockey teams will hit the ice for the annual Battle of the Badges hockey game on Saturday, December 3. This is a great opportunity for T-Town Hockey fans to enjoy a doubleheader at the Huntington Center while supporting our local first responders.

The Police vs. Fire Department hockey game will be played at 3:30 p.m. That’ll be followed by the Toledo Walleye taking on Quad City at 7:15 p.m.

Tickets are available at a special rate of $15 and are good for both games! Plus, a portion of each ticket sold will benefit Police and Fire Department charities!

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Practice Tweets: Bertuzzi joins the team; Wings prepare for Flyers

Updated 6x with a video of Bertuzzi's remarks at 12:11 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena after Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, hoping to regroup ahead of Tuesday's game in Philadelphia, and a new face joined them, per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

#RedWings Bertuzzi practicing on a line with Nielsen and Larkin this morning.

The Free Press's Helene St. James...

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‘Gotta find a way’

CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield finds some irony in the Red Wings' post-loss lapses into hockey cliche territory:

Three words popped up over and over again in the Red Wings’ locker room following their 2-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night: “Find a way.”

Almost always, they were preceded by two others: “We gotta.”

Lately, the Wings haven’t – and they’re mired in a five-game losing streak as a result. Four of those defeats have come by two goals or less.

“We gotta find ways to win these games, not lose them,” said Justin Abdelkader. “Anytime you lose some games in a row, you gotta dig deep and find a way. It’s never easy to break a streak like that but we just gotta” – you guessed it – “find a way.”

Like muffled, broken records, the Wings stressed the need to spend more time in the offensive zone, throw more pucks on goal and get more traffic in font. They struggled in all of these areas against the Oilers, particularly in the third period.

Detroit managed just 11 shot attempts in the final 20 minutes. Only four of them reached the net.

Burtchfield continues, and I at least appreciated the Wings' honest takes on how they are to "find a way"--by simplifying their play and bearing down on scoring chances.

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Red Wings recall Tyler Bertuzzi, place Thomas Vanek on LTIR

Well then:

Vanek will have to miss a total of 10 games to qualify for the LTIR; he's already missed 6 games with his groin and/or hip flexor issue.

Update: Here's the Wings' press release:

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Searching For Answers

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"It's not a good trend, that's for sure," Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "It was a tough game, but both teams played pretty well, both goalies played well.

"But it's hard for me right now to say what needs to be changed. Maybe we're a little bit too much outside. I thought we spent a lot of time in their end, but we didn't get enough shots through or enough shots overall."...

"We've got to get more aware of getting bodies to the net and getting pucks to the net and they've got to know it's being delivered there," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We've got to find a way, especially on our entries, to be a little bit more about shooting ... with bodies going to the net that hopefully creates chaos."...

"We got to get an ugly one," Howard said. "That's getting in on the forecheck, crashing the net and just getting some ugly goals, not looking for the perfect pass set-up play, just putting pucks on net and hoping it hits something and goes in the net.

"I don't think we're playing as bad as it looks. I think we've been doing a lot of good things out there, just come out on the wrong end."


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Prospect catch-up post: Griffins split weekend series; Walleye split; Pope posts 4 assists

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, on Friday, the Grand Rapids Griffins said, "Hello" to former captain Jeff Hoggan and former forward Teemu Pulkkinen and said farewell, with Matt Lorito and Robbie Russo scoring a goal and adding an assist apiece and Jared Coreau stopping 30 shots as the Griffins defeated the Iowa Wild 4-1.

The Griffins' website filed a recap...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Oilers wrap-up—simplify, do or die, simplify

The Red Wings' 2-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday was the Wings' fifth straight defeat of some sort, and it was a particularly lethargic effort from a Red Wings team that rather desperately needs to reclaim the fast-skating, high-energy efforts with which it built a 6-game winning streak earlier this season.

Going into Tuesday's game against Philadelphia, where the Wings have lost every game they've played there since 1997, is it time to worry? Maybe so, but the Red Wings will have ample opportunities to either dig themselves into a deep hole or dig out of it as they play 3 more times over the next 6 nights, so the team's troubles will play themselves out on the ice.

Our friends from Edmonton were incredibly happy about having defeated a Red Wings team that was both far rested and much healthier, as Oilers coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Sun's Robert Tychkowski:

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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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