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Detroit’s Morning Skate

The Detroit media reports today's skate is an optional, so not much news to report.

Below, watch Gerard Gallant talk about both teams after the Panthers' morning skate.

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Andreas Athanasiou Must Battle And Frans Nielsen Knows His Role

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou, with his speed and potential to have an impact, was too enticing to leave on the sidelines for long.

So Athanasiou will go from healthy scratch in the season-opening loss to first-line duty Saturday against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

Athanasiou will skate on a line with Frans Nielsen and Henrik Zetterberg.

"The bottom line for Andreas is he's got to win puck battles and win physical battles, and when he does that, he's a really good player," coach Jeff Blashill said. "When he doesn't, nobody is. He knows that, we had a conversation about that the other day.

"Hopefully, he goes in and wins tons of puck battles, and he's got obviously really elite ability to skate and make some plays. I think it could be a good match on that line with Nielsen and Z, but we'll see."


from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

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‘Roughly Translated’: Henrik Zetterberg discusses Detroit’s evolution and the ‘Swedish Mafia’

Expressen's Magnus Nystrom engaged in a long conversation with Henrik Zetterberg regarding numerous topics (via RedWingsFeed), and here's a rough translation of their discussion:

"You've seen a lot of misery and terrible things"

Detroit. It was a city in ruins with one of the world's best hockey teams. Now the team might miss the playoffs for the first time in 26 years, but the city has received a new lease on life.

It's a new era in Detroit.

"In the past we were recommended to not stop at a red light at night. But now it's become much better here," says Henrik Zetterberg.

The Red Wings captain celebrates the city's real heroes, and he strikes back at allegations that he belongs to a "Swedish Mafia."

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Red Wings will unveil a ‘JLA Walk of Fame’

From the Red Wings:

Update: In the promotional vein:

... Pucks Used by Both Teams During Warmups Will Be Available for Purchase on JLA Concourse …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that dual-logo pucks used by both teams during pregame warmups will be available for purchase at select home games this season.

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Custance weighs in on the ‘waiver wire’ issue

In his Friday Insider-only mailbag, ESPN's Craig Custance answered a question as to why the Red Wings "let Martin Frk walk":

Let’s talk about the Red Wings for a minute. Being based in Detroit, I hear the calls that wish management and the coaching staff would give young players more of an opportunity. There’s frustration that players like Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek are brought in at the cost of top-six ice time for the young forwards.

Red Wings fans see Edmonton, Toronto, Philadelphia, Winnipeg, Arizona and all these other organizations playing the young talent, and want to see the same thing happening in Detroit. I totally understand it. That’s where the league is headed.

I agree that it would do the Red Wings well to take their foot off the gas, move some veterans and spend time in the draft lottery. They need a top-three talent badly.

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Here’s the Griffins’ game-day preview video for the home opener

The Grand Rapids Griffins open their regular season tonight against the Chicago Wolves, and the Griffins posted a game-day preview video ahead of tonight's home opener:

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Articles from practice: Red Wings juggle lineup before Saturday’s game vs. Florida

Updated 4x at 5:31 PM: The Red wings engaged in a mid-afternoon practice in Sunrise, Florida on Friday, and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the Wings switched up their lines:

Andreas Athanasiou, a healthy scratch Thursday, skated on the top line with Frans Nielsen and Henrik Zetterberg as the Red Wings prepare for Saturday's game against the Florida Panthers (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

Dylan Larkin centered a line with Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan. The third line remained the same as Darren Helm was flanked by Gustav Nyquist and Thomas Vanek. Justin Abdelkader skated on the fourth line, in place of Steve Ott, with Luke Glendening and Drew Miller. Ott rotated in on that line.

On defense, Danny DeKeyser skated with Mike Green while Brendan Smith was paired with Alexey Marchenko. The third pair of Jonathan Ericsson and Xavier Ouellet remained the same.

Update: The Free Press's Helene St. James posted a clip of Andreas Athanasiou and Jeff Blashill speaking with the media (via RedWingsFeed):

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Tweets From Detroit’s Practice Today

via Ansar Khan tweets,

3 different lines in #RedWings practice:

Ott rotating in on fourth line.

One switch in #RedWings defense pairs in practice:
Kronwall (knee) and Sproul extras

Petr Mrazek in starter's net

more as needed...

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Walleye have championship aspirations

Ahead of tonight's season-opener in Atlanta, the Toledo Blade posted a massive Toledo Walleye preview section, and the Walleye told the Blade's Mark Monroe that they're going to make a hard push to earn the team's first Kelly Cup:

“The expectations are high. The fans want to win. We want to win,” [coach Dan] Watson said. “As a whole community, we’re in this together. The fans rally around this team and we feel that and embrace that. The fans pat us on the back when we do our job, but also kick us in the butt when we don’t. The whole town is in this together.”

Forward Shane Berschbach, who led Toledo in every offensive category last year, has been a point-per-game player the past two seasons.

“What we’ve built the last two years for this city is exciting,” Berschbach said. “The fans deserve a championship in this city, and that’s what we all want to bring. Some guys just don’t want to go play where they can get a couple more dollars a week. It’s about enjoying coming to work every day. That’s what this place does. That’s why we continue to come back.”

Toledo is seeking its first minor league hockey title since the Storm took the Riley Cup in 1994. The Walleye franchise has played in 38 playoff games in its seven-year history and won 17 of them, but never has reached the Finals.

“They know the expectations,” Watson said. “I think the reason a lot of them came back is because they are a little sour from last year. They have a bitter taste in their mouths and they want to get it done.”

Continued, and the Walleye's website posted a game preview as well:

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Jared Coreau ready to take the reins in Grand Rapids

Ahead of tonight's Grand Rapids Griffins home opener vs. Chicago, MLive's Peter J. Wallner profiles Griffins goaltender Jared Coreau:

Jared Coreau is finally in the position he wanted as the undisputed No. 1 goalie, and he doesn't duck expectations ahead of the Grand Rapids Griffins' season.

"I want to perform well, I want to be the guy and, if I am going to go up in the ranks, I want to leave Grand Rapids with a successful year for all of us," he said. "The goal here, given the guys we have here, is a championship."

Last season, Coreau and Tom McCollum wanted more playing time after sharing the role in goal for two years. The Detroit Red Wings signed Coreau to a two-year deal (one-way the second year), let McCollum go and the Griffins now count on the 6-foot-6, fourth-year pro to handle the lion's share in the nets.

Coach Todd Nelson said 55 to 60 games is possible.

"We'll see. He'll play as many games as he comfortable with," Nelson said. "He knows what's ahead. With that, the biggest thing for him is consistency. He'll have a heavier workload and I think he'll certainly be up to the task. He played really well (in camp with the Red Wings) and I'm sure that will help him get started here."

Wallner continues...

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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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