The Malik Report
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. This one doesn't translate to "blog" very well: USA Today's Kevin Allen asked six hockey luminaries to "re-draft" the NHL as if the Original Six were the only teams in existence, and former Wings assistant GM Doug MacLean got to pick 2nd. He picked quite the team, though there are some familiar faces rounding out the roster;
2. MLive's Ansar Khan penned a notebook article about Riley Sheahan, and if Sheahan can get better terms of one of his skill sets, he might make himself invaluable:
Jeff Blashill tells the Detroit media in Winnipeg that Luke Glendening will take the pre-game skate and if he feels well enough (flu), he will replace Joakim Andersson.
No other changes expected except for Jimmy Howard starting.
At the 2016 World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland...
And in a stand-off extraordinnare, Joe Hicketts scored the game-tying goal for Canada and Joren Van Pottelberghe stopped 32 of 34 shots as Canada defated Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout. Hicketts and Van Pottelberghe were named the respective teams' players of the game.
Here's Hicketts' goal, via Steph/MyRegularFace on Twitter...
TheAHL.com's Jason Pearson wrote a profile of Wings prospect and Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Robbie Russo, who's proved to be a solid free agent signing after the New York Islanders chose not to sign him out of Notre Dame:
“The Detroit Red Wings just seemed like one of the better options,” Russo said of where he looked to next. “They are a great organization and have been for the last 30 years, one of the top ones. There were about eight other possibilities, but I think all along the Red Wings were number one. There wasn’t really much consideration.”
Assigned to Grand Rapids on Oct. 4, Russo’s professional career took some time to get properly rolling. In the Griffins’ opening 11 games, he tallied just a single point and did not play in four of the contests.
“The game is a lot faster, so I had to do everything a little bit quicker all the time,” he noted.
Then, on Nov. 18, which freakishly coincided with the start of the team’s franchise record 15-game winning streak, Russo exploded for three points, including his first professional goal. He tallied points in 11 of the next 15 games, although he won’t admit to doing anything drastically different in his game and instead defers to his teammates.
“I don’t know about that night but I think since then, everyone has been playing better and I’ve just been a part of that,” said Russo. “We have a lot of great players down here and I’m just feeding off of them.”
Updated 6x at 4:00 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to rebound from last night's 3-1 loss to Minnesota when they face the Winnipeg Jets this evening (8 PM EST on FSD/TSN3/97.1 FM), and judging by the Wings coach's comments, Detroit should come out playing a far more competitive game against the Jets.
Our friends in Winnipeg hit the ice first at the MTS Centre...
Absent Jets line Tweets, I can only assume that Illegal Curve's David Minuk's list of estimated lines for tonight's game will hold true:
Of prospect-related note, on a "league by league" basis:
At the World Junior Championships:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Other than the strong play of goaltender Petr Mrazek (33 saves), Blashill found little to like about the Red Wings' 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.
"This was totally self-inflicted, 100 percent self-inflicted," Blashill said. "Not even close to good enough."
Pavel Datsyuk's goal with 1:57 to play in the third period prevented the Red Wings from being shut out by Devan Dubnyk, who made 28 saves as a late replacement for the injured Darcy Kuemper.
Datsyuk's goal cut the Wild lead to 2-1, but Mikko Koivu sealed it with an empty-net goal, his second goal of the game, with 1:04 to play.
"I just think overall we didn't have enough guys going at a high level," Blashill said. "It's hard to win in this league or any league when you don't have enough guys going at a high level. That's urgency, and it's hard to get any traction when you keep turning pucks over. I can't say it enough, we have no chance to win long-term if we turn pucks over like that.
"What's disappointing is we didn't correct the mistakes we made through the game and that was turning the puck over. We just kept turning it over and turning it over and you just have no chance for success there."
The Red Wings hoped to continue the momentum from Saturday's win over Nashville, building upon it as they tangled with the Minnesota Wild on Monday evening...
And instead, the Wings wound up on the bottom end of a check-fest.
You don't expect a team that fires 59 attempted shots at or near the net to struggle to score a single goal and fall by a 3-1 margin, but the Wild seemed to know exactly what they had to do to check the Wings into dust, and the Wild did just that, capitalizing on a few offensive rushes and otherwise blocking, deflecting, hacking, whacking and otherwise getting "gapped up" upon to the point that the Wings spent the 3rd period getting out-shot and out-played by a Wild team that had frustrated and tired out their opponent.
Of those 59 attempts, 29 got through to Devan Dubnyk, while 35 of the Wild's 45 attempts hit or went past Petr Mrazek, and Mrazek was arguably the team's best player.
It was just one of those frustrating games where the Wings have to learn that they've got more of this kind of style to expect from the West, and as they prepare for their West Coast swing in January, the Wings are going to have to use as much tape from this game to both remind themselves what they're going to face and to instruct themselves as to how NOT to play against a big, trapping team.
Ken Kal speaks with Jeff Blashill, Brendan Smith, Riley Sheahan, Petr Mrazek, and Dylan Larkin.
The Wings talk starts at the 2 minute mark.
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.