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The Malik Report

Quick take, Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs: Not bad for starters

The angles, the lines, the incessant talk, mostly about the coaching staff, nearly five months of that ended when the puck was dropped at Joe Louis Arena this evening, and the Red Wings gave everyone something to talk about, defeating Toronto 4-0 on the strength of 3 Justin Abdelkader goals, one by Dylan Larkin and three assists by Henrik Zetterberg--and a shutout by James Tiberius Howard, all en route to a win that the Wings made look easy.

Not just that, but it was a 4-0 win where the Red Wings gave fans curly fries while trying very, very, very hard to not run up the score to half-a-dozen or more on a structure-less Maple Leafs team.

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Here’s Justin Abdelkader’s hat trick

He should keep wearing the $20 shield.

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Dylan Larkin scores his first NHL goal

And it was a beauty:

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Evening news: Videos and ‘reasons’ why the Wings will be OK without Babcock

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

Here is the Red Wings' Game Day Preview video:

WXYZ's Brad Galli also filed a report from the Joe...

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Ken Holland discusses coaching, opening night and Cleary on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM

Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery and Darren McCarty today, discussing Mike Babcock's decision to join the Maple Leafs, Jeff Blashill, the imminent opening night against Toronto and the Daniel Cleary situation:

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Cleary’s not going to Grand Rapids

Updated 3x at 1:12 PM: Per the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:

2/2 holland spoke to me yesterday about cleary's "passion for the game," & cleary's interest in management/player issues.

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

Daniel Cleary not reporting to minors, according to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland

...

Ken Holland said it is between club and Daniel Cleary whether he gets paid salary, even as he told Wings he's not reporting to minors.

As does WXYZ's Brad Galli...

Dan Cleary is not reporting to Grand Rapids. He informed the Red Wings he has no intentions to play for the Griffins this season.

...

Ken Holland said Cleary told the team yesterday. The $950K he signed for? "That's between the club and Cleary," Holland said.

MLive's Ansar Khan...

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Red Wings-Maple Leafs game-day articles: Blashill on butterflies, lineups and Franzen on his return

Updated 13x at 3:14 PM: FTR: Tim Peel and TJ Luxmore will referee tonight's game, with Matt MacPherson and Don Henderson working the lines.

The Maple Leafs' morning skate is still underway ahead of tonight's game between Detroit and Toronto (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/Fox 2/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), but articles are already hitting the wires from the Wings' portion thereof.

Jeff Blashill addressed the media regarding his take on his official coaching debut, as CBS Detroit's Ashley Scoby noted...

Jeff Blashill, the new head man in Detroit, will lead the Wings against the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday, who is coached by Mike Babcock. Babcock left Detroit for the new gig last year, and the teams actually played each other last week in the preseason.

“It gave everybody a chance to ask some questions and gave us a chance to kind of work it out,” Blashill said about the dynamic of the Wings playing against their former coach. “It’s not as abnormal. Babs and I get along great. It was good to see him this week and good to see him a little bit here this morning.”

In the two-game preseason series last weekend, the Red Wings won both, 4-2 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday.

But even though he has a full preseason of coaching this team under his belt, Blashill said he is still a little nervous about the season opener at Joe Louis Arena.

“I think when you step on the bench at the beginning of any season, at the beginning of any time you take a new job – anybody that’s taken a new job understands what that’s like,” Blashill said. “So I’m sure I will tonight, and I’d say most games I’ll have little butterflies to start.”

MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed the Wings' lines...

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CBS Sports’ Peters picks the Wings over Toronto

CBS Sports' Chris Peters goes out on a limb to suggest that the Red Wings will defeat the Maple Leafs tonight:

Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings, 7 p.m, ET

It's hard to imagine a more perfect opening night matchup for the Detroit Red Wings.

Not only is it the official start of the Jeff Blashill era as the team's newest head coach, but they're also taking on an original six rival when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Who just so happen to be coached by Mike Babcock, the man that stood behind the Red Wings bench at Joe Louis Arena for the past 10 years and compiled one of the best coaching resumes in the league, taking the team to two Stanley Cup Finals and winning the whole thing in 2008.

And now he's back behind the other bench.

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Chris Ilitch believes in the Wings, knows pizza sales must help Tigers

I cannot deny that this article from the Free Press's JC Reindl and James Jahnke made me smile:

Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, was given the 2015 Goodfellow of the Year award this morning at Cobo Center. Also in attendance were his parents, Mike and Marian Ilitch, who own the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings.

The younger Ilitch stopped to answer a few questions about his family's sports ventures:

• On the Red Wings: "I think you can expect a very exciting team, a very competitive team. We're super excited about our Detroit Red Wings this year. We think we're going to be a very competitive team, and it's going to be a lot of fun to watch."

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‘What’s New at the Joe’

From the Red Wings:

WHAT’S NEW AT THE JOE

UPDATES AND IMPROVEMENTS SET TO TAKE PLACE AT JOE LOUIS ARENA FOR UPCOMING RED WINGS SEASON

... Clear Bag Policy, ‘Experience the Upgrade,’ Mobile Ticketing, Free High-Speed Wi-Fi, Hockey Hall of Fame Nights and Much More Highlight Recent Changes at Joe Louis Arena ...

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced several new updates and improvements set to take place at Joe Louis Arena for the upcoming 2015-16 Red Wings season.

“While the team on the ice looks to qualify for its 25th straight playoff appearance, we’re committed to everything taking place off the ice to make sure our fans have the best possible experience when visiting  Joe Louis Arena,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment. “As we celebrate our final two seasons at The Joe and prepare for an exciting new chapter in the Detroit Events Center, we’re always looking for new ways to improve and show our fans how much we appreciate their continued loyalty.”

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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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