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Red Wings-Penguins game-day updates: Gustavsson vs. Fleury; Wings have an ‘iffy’ skater

Updated 3x at 2:38 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to earn two points, if not send something of an, "We're not going to be easy pickings" message, when they tangle with the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight (8 PM EDT on NBCSN, TSN2 and 97.1 FM). If anything, the biggest message will be two points, however, because the Columbus Blue Jackets will be spotted a 1-0 lead in their Rich Peverley make-up game against Dallas.

Given that the Wings played last night in Buffalo, defeating the Sabres 4-2, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's report that the Wings "took an optional" is not surprising:

Very optional for the #RedWings this morning with Howard, Gustavsson, Bertuzzi and Andersson on the ice here at Consol Energy Center.

Roose then revealed the starting goaltenders...

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Red Wings-Penguins set-up and morning report: the only ‘message’ Wings need to send is a 2-point one

Update: Oh joy:

The Red Wings were relatively satisfied with their slightly ugly 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, but the Wings will need to take their games to another level if Mike Babcock's ship is to take 2 points from the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening (8 PM EDT on NBCSN/TSN2/97.1 FM), especially given the wild-and-woolly way in which the Wings took a 5-4 OT decision from Pittsburgh on March 20th.

Tonight's "NBC Rivalry Night" game may precede a rekindling of the teams' playoff rivalry a week from now, and the Peguins, who are as flummoxed by the NHL's new playoff format as the rest of us, have split their past 4 games but have won 4 of 6, including a 3-2 shootout win over Colorado last Sunday--a win in which the Penguins sat a bunch of slightly-injured players.

As the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Chris Adamski notes, the Penguins are dealing with a number of injuries, but none more significant than Evgeni Malkin's "foot injury":

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Red Wings-Sabres wrap-up: Babcock passes Jack Adams as Wings earn necessary points

The Red Wings didn't paint a work of art in winning a rather homely 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres last night, but the Wings' 3-2 win last Friday wasn't pretty, either, and given that a) those damn Blue Jackets both won in overtime vs. Phoenix, b) those damn Blue Jackets start tonight's Rich Peverley Make-Up Game with a 1-0 lead over Dallas, and c) given that the Red Wings have a big game against the Penguins tonight (8 PM EDT on NBCSN/TSN2/97.1 FM), sometimes you've got to bank away points any way possible, and the Wings have earned a necessary 4 of 4 points and 2 regulation wins over Buffalo.

The Eastern Conference Wild Card standings are still bunched-up at the top, but Detroit and Columbus have separated themselves from the rest of the pack:

The Sabres tossed off several slew-foots, Mike Weber boarded Gustav Nyquist, and the game was less than friendly, but WGR 550's Paul Hamilton felt that it was at least one Red Wing who played dirtily early on, with Darren Helm running goaltender Jeff Hackett too aggressively until #43 was called for goaltender interference:

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Red Wings prospect news: Backman’s LHC eliminated; Mantha, Bertuzzi, Athanasiou post points

The Red Wings' prospects mostly had a good day/evening Tuesday, but we may be engaging in another, "Will he or won't he come over?" situation regarding one player:

In Sweden's SHL, Linkopings HC lost a 7-3 decision to Skelleftea AIK, losing the series 4 games to 1, and Skelleftea now advances to the SHL final to defend last year's title.

Mattias Backman finished at +2 with a shot and 2 assists 23:45 of ice time, and the defenseman was on loan to LHC, so he may do what Mattias Janmark did last night in heading to North America to finish out the year with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

In North America, in Major Junior Hockey:

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TMR Evening Line: Pavel Datsyuk explains who sails the Red Wings’ ship

The Red Wings defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Tuesday night, earning Mike Babcock his 414th winas the Wings' coach (the most ever), and then Pavel Datsyuk broke the quote machine while speaking to Pro Hockey Talk's Joe Yerdon:

Update: Here's Datsyuk:

And we have a winner, via Sarah "Helmerroids" Dwyer:

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Red Wings-Sabres quick take: an ugly, greasy, messy and necessary win

When Mickey Redmond described what was eventually a 4-2 Red Wings win over the Buffalo Sabres as "not the prettiest of games," I thought, "You know what, I bet he's great at letting people down easy."

The Red Wings rallied from a 1-0 deficit--though it took 32-and-a-half minutes for them to do so--killed off 1:51 of a 5-on-3 almost immediately after Brendan Smith tied the game,  did absolutely nothing on their own power plays, the Wings pushed themselves ahead by one goal early in the 3rd, by 2 later in the game, and the team predictably gave up a 3-2 goal with 2:11 left, having to eke out a 4-2 decision via an empty-netter...

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Red Wings-Sabres game-day updates: Howard starts for Wings; Sabres get reinforcements

Updated at 12:55 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to shake off Saturday's loss to Montreal when they battle the Sabres this evening (7 PM, FSD/MSG-B/97.1 FM), kicking off a slate of back-to-backs (Detroit plays in Pittsburgh tomorrow), 3 games in 4 nights and 4 in 6 to close out their regular season.

The Wings defeated Buffalo 3-2 last Friday, barely hanging on prior to laying two periods' worth of eggs against the Habs, but the Wings insist that they won't take Buffalo lightly again.

Again, last night's Devils loss theoretically drops the Wings' "Magic Number" of points needed to clinch a playoff spot down to 3, though the Wings and Blue Jackets (who host the Coyotes this evening) are still neck-and-neck in terms of locking down the first Wild Card spot, which would allow the teams to avoid a 1st-round match-up with the Boston Bruins (and again, Columbus has 40 total wins to the Wings' 37 and 35 Regulation-or-OT wins to the Wings' 32):

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Red Wings-Sabres set-up and overnight report: Wings won’t overlook Sabres; Janmark to play for GR

I would complain more about the Red Wings' schedule if the Blue Jackets weren't engaging in such similar circumstances.

After Monday's practice, the Red Wings flew to Buffalo to take on the Sabres tonight (7 PM EDT, not 7:30, on FSD, MSG-B and 97.1 FM); the Wings then head to Pittsburgh for an NBCSN "Rivalry Night" game against Pittsburgh on Wednesday (8 PM EDT start); the team will fly back to Detroit to host the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, likely after taking Thursday off, and they will then head to St. Louis to battle the Blues  on Sunday (this time on NBC, at 12:30 PM EDT, or 11:30 AM local time).

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Red Wings prospect Mitchell Callahan discusses his injury with the Grand Rapids Press’s Wallner

I tried to avoid posting that gruesome "selfie" Mitchell Callahan shared with the world after losing somewhere between 10 and 12 teeth, requiring surgery for a broken jaw and a visit from "Momma Callahan" ahead of what are certain to be a set of reconstructive surgeries to repair and replace what used to be a gap-toothed smile.

Whether you agree or disagree with the optics--literal and physical--of posting that kind of gruesome content, all I can say is that the world is a very different place for young people, and hockey players in particular have always viewed showing their gory scars as a badge of honor, so we're probably stuck with the, "Warning, graphic content!" comments preceding links on sports websites forever.

To me, someone who's been speaking with Callahan every summer since a week after he was drafted, the hardest part of the picture to take was the glazed-over look on his eyes, because it was evident that the young man's injury had sent him into shock.

Callahan's of course feeling a little less introspective about the implications of his work, and instead, he tells the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner (per RedWingsFeed), via email, that he just did what came naturally:

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Olympia Development names preferred contractor for follow-on rink’s construction

Via Crain's Detroit Busines's Bill Shea, Olympia Development has filed a press release announcing the firm they've chosen to utilize to build the Red Wings' follow-on rink, the Barton Manlow Company (whose corporate headquarters is located in Southfield, MI):

Olympia Development Recommends Barton Malow-Hunt-White As General Contractor For New Events Center
Events center will create 5,500 jobs and $200 million in job-related income including over $100 million for Detroit residents

DETROIT, April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) today submitted to the Downtown Development Authority Board for its review and approval the recommendation of Barton Malow-Hunt-White as general contractor for the new Detroit events center.  The DDA board is scheduled to consider and vote on the recommendation at a meeting on Wednesday, April 9, at 3 p.m.

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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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