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The Wings-Bolts Game 2 brawl

This was utterly stupid. Tampa TV feed:

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Red Wings-Lightning Game 2 quick take: trouble trouble trouble trouble

The Red Wings entered Friday's game needing to come home with a split. Tampa Bay didn't dominate the Red Wings during Game 1, but they came out on top possessing a little bit of swagger, and Detroit needed to reclaim a little of their own mojo while facing stiff and physical opposition.

The Red Wings fell in the face of the Lightning's stiff physical and territorial opposition, making grevious defensive errors and losing 5-2. Detroit will return to the Joe down 2 games and in desperate need of a better mental game as the Lightning are simply playing smarter, more efficient and sometimes necessarily vicious hockey.

While the Lightning's decision to pick a massive dust-up with the Wings while up 5-2 was ridiculous, some of Detroit's physical plays were ill-advised to say the least, and it appears that the game between the ears is escaping a Wings team that's simply getting out-Johnsoned.

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Datsyuk loses a tooth

Thanks, Victor Hedman:

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Evening news: On Larkin’s first playoff game, ‘going home 1-1 vs. down 0-2’ and passionate hockey

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The numbers are facing outward on the Red Wings' game jerseys, indicating that the Wings lost Game 1:

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Griffins will open playoffs on the road, hold home games on April 26 and 27

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday announced the dates for their first two home games of the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs.

The Griffins will host Game 3 and Game 4 (if necessary) of the best-of-five Central Division Semifinals on Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday, April 27 against either the division champion Milwaukee Admirals or the second-seeded Monsters, both of whom have secured home-ice advantage in the first round. Each game will face off at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.

Grand Rapids’ opponent will be determined and the full schedule for its opening series will be announced no later than Saturday night, when the Griffins complete their 20th regular season by hosting the Bakersfield Condors for the first time ever. Game time is 7 p.m.

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Red Wings and Griffins Game-Day Preview videos

Here are the game-day preview videos for the Red Wings, who battle the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening, and the Grand Rapids Griffins, who are tangling with the Rockford IceHogs tonight. Ken Kal narrates the Wings' video...

And Bob Kaser narrates the Griffins' video:

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Wings Need A Win Tonight

from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,

The conventional battle cry for teams beginning a playoff series on the road is to steal a game before heading home.

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill is a little more aggressive when it comes to the underdog doctrine. But a series split is the best the Wings can do now after the Tampa Bay Lightning took a 1-0 series lead with a 3-2 win in Game 1 on Wednesday.

With a win in tonight’s Game 2 at Amalie Arena, the Wings can return home with a series split, something the team has managed to do in each of their past five playoff series.

The first-round series shifts to Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday.

“I didn’t come down here wanting to come away with a split,” Blashill said. “We wanted to come down here and win four games as fast as possible and we weren’t able to do it in Game 1. Ultimately, each game is extremely important and we want to win a hockey game tonight, and that’s our single focus here tonight.”

If the Wings are to gain a split after two games, they need to slow the Lightning’s top forward line from repeating its Game 1 performance. Center Tyler Johnson and forwards Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn were dazzling on Wednesday, accounting for all three Tampa goals.


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Key Points For Game 2 Detroit/Tampa Bay

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

The Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning play Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series Friday at Amalie Arena (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports, FS-F, FS-D). The Lightning lead 1-0.

Here are five keys for Game 2:

1. Contain the Johnson line: The line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat led the Lightning to victory against the Red Wings in the first round last year, with Johnson scoring six goals in the series. In Game 1 of the series this year, Johnson's line, with Alex Killorn in place of Palat, combined to score all the Lightning's goals in a 3-2 win. The Red Wings want to limit the line's rush chances.

"Slow them down," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "Before they even get the puck we've got to be close right away. That way it will be harder for them to gain that speed. So we've got to be tighter all over the ice."


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Walleye ready for the playoffs to begin

From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:

The intensity will ratchet up tonight as the “second season” begins for a Walleye team that was one shot away from reaching the Kelly Cup finals last year.

Toledo has eight players back from last season’s team that endured three Game 7s and reached the conference finals only to fall in triple overtime.

A tight series once again is expected in the ECHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals that pits No. 1 seed Toledo (47-20-5) against No. 8 Reading (36-26-10). Game 1 is set for a 7:35 p.m. faceoff on Friday at the Huntington Center.

Walleye veteran goalie Jeff Lerg will start for Toledo in the best-of-7 series. Lerg, the team’s diminutive (5-foot-6) and ultra-competitive netminder, started in 15 of the 21 playoff games last season and went 7-4-4 with a 2.12 goals-against average.

“Everything gets amped up a level. The light switch goes on,” Lerg said. “We’re excited to elevate our game to another level against a real good opponent. This is what it’s all about. Hopefully we’ll have a comfort level [in the playoffs] because we’ve been there and done that.”

Monroe continues at extended length...

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Remembering unsung playoff goaltender Earl Robinson

From NHL.com's Dave Stubbs:

Earl Robertson will never be confused with legendary goaltender Terry Sawchuk, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings, or with Dominik Hasek, another Hockey Hall of Fame member who won the Stanley Cup twice with the Red Wings.

Robertson didn't have the pedigree of Chris Osgood, the Detroit goalie whose name was engraved on hockey's ultimate team trophy three times.

But no Red Wings goalie ever played a more important or more unlikely role for his team than did Robertson in the 1937 Stanley Cup Final. On April 15, 1937, the 26-year-old's magnificent work carried Detroit to its second consecutive NHL championship that season, marking the first time a U.S.-based team had won the League title in two consecutive seasons.

"The Stanley Cup now rests in an American city for the seventh time in its 45-year history and for the fourth time in the last five years," a Montreal newspaper reported the morning after the Red Wings' successful defense.

With the Red Wings for so brief a time that virtually all NHL photos of him show him in later action with the New York Americans, Robertson shut out the Rangers in the final two games after having surrendered one goal in a 1-0 Game 3 loss.

Pressed into emergency service in relief of injured Vezina Trophy winner Normie Smith, Robertson not only survived the pressure of the Final, but he thrived in his first NHL action.


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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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