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NBC confirms that Sunday’s Red Wings-Hawks game was 2nd-most viewed NBC game ever

Wowzers, from the NHL and NBC Sports:

SUNDAY’S NHL COVERAGE SCORES RECORD RATINGS FOR NBC AND NBC SPORTS NETWORK

Blackhawks-Red Wings Earns 1.6 Overnight, Best Ever for Single-Game Regular-Season Coverage on NBC, Excluding Winter Classics

Canadiens-Bruins Draws 813,000 Viewers, Best Ever for Sunday Night Regular-Season Game on NBC Sports Network

Boston & Chicago Set Local Ratings Records

NEW YORK – March 5, 2013 – Sunday’s NHL coverage of two competitive games, which featured the Chicago Blackhawks victory over the Detroit Red Wings on NBC, and the Montreal Canadiens win versus the Boston Bruins on NBC Sports Network, resulted in the former setting a regular-season overnight ratings record for single-game coverage, excluding Winter Classics, and the latter posting a viewership record for Sunday night telecasts. The records continue a trend for the 2013 NHL season, as NBC Sports Group’s NHL coverage has set numerous ratings and viewership marks this season.

BLACKHAWKS-RED WINGS

NBC’s coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks dramatic 2-1 shootout victory against the Detroit Red Wings (12:30-3:15 p.m. ET) resulted in a 1.6 overnight rating, the best-ever for a single regular-season game (excluding Winter Classics) and up 60% vs. last year’s same-weekend coverage (1.0, Bos-NYR). The Blackhawks extended their season-starting point streak to 22 straight games with the win. Final ratings and viewership will be available later this week.

Locally, the Chicago market delivered a 9.7 rating, the market’s best-ever for a NHL regular-season game on NBC, with the exception of the 2009 Winter Classic, which was played at Wrigley Field -- also between the Blackhawks and Red Wings -- and drew an 11.8 rating in Chicago.

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Red Wings GM Ken Holland talks trade turkey with ESPN’s LeBrun

Well this is interesting. ESPN's Pierre LeBrun spoke to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman and Flyers gM Paul Holmgren about their take on the possibility of big trades going down at the deadline, as well as a slate of possible need for their respective teams. Holland told LeBrun that, at present, it doesn't appear that anyone wants to make a move...

"The standings dictate how much movement there is, separation or lack there of," Red Wings GM Ken Holland told ESPN.com Tuesday. "You look at the West, from third to 11th this morning, there’s just three points separating those teams."

Detroit is one of those clubs in that cluster. And like so many teams around the league, the slate of games leading up to the April 3 trade deadline will play a major factor on what transpires.

"Ultimately, the next two to three weeks will determine certainly my thinking for the Detroit Red Wings," said Holland.

And he suggests that there are strong arguments for and against making deadline moves...

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Flames’ Brian McGrattan helped Jordin Tootoo find sobriety

And, via SI's Al Muir, file this story by the Calgary Sun's Eric Francis under, "Who knew?": Newly reacquired Calgary Flames forward Brian McGrattan battles alcoholism, and he helped former Nashville Predators teammate and now Red Wings forward Jordin Tootoo get sober:

Somewhere in the midst of his four years of sobriety, Brian McGrattan reached a point where helping himself simply wasn’t enough. He wanted to help others, too.

The first beneficiary was Jordin Tootoo, who leaned heavily on McGrattan in Nashville where the two Predators teammates drew strength from one another as part of a friendship/mentorship that endures today. But the Calgary Flames winger wanted to take his passion for helping others turn their lives around to another level. So, he approached the NHL.

“I had a meeting with the (league’s substance abuse program’s) doctors in October and asked if I could give them a hand,” McGrattan said of one of many bold steps he’s taken since he had the realization that his life was spinning out of control because of addiction. I’ve been talking to Alcoholics Anonymous groups, and I go back to my treatment centre I went to and talk to the people there to tell them my story. I feel it comes to me pretty naturally. I spoke to my parents about it in the summer, and post-hockey it’s one of my biggest interests. As the years have gone on, I’ve been more vocal about it, and I feel the more I can give back and help, the more I can save lives.”

Francis' story continues, and Francis reports that McGrattan and Tootoo, who's now playing for and starting to thrive with the Red Wings, remain friends:

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Red Wings-Avalanche game-day updates: no changes for the Wings

Updated 13x at 2:55 PM: No changes for Detroit, Avs won't have Hedjuk and Giguere's starting: The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Colorado Avalanche tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/Altitude/97.1 FM, and it's Breast Cancer Awareness Night at the Joe) hoping to rebound from a 2-1 OT loss to Chicago on Sunday while scrambling for points in a tightly-packed Western Conference.

While the Avs are perceived to be in a less playoff-ready "rebuilding" mode than the Wings' rebuild-in-progress, the Red Wings' Game Day Blog notes that Detroit's taking the threat that a team sitting all of 4 points behind the Wings presents very seriously, and the Wings do indeed view this second of three straight home games as a must-win affair:

"The one thing about a team in our situation, every night's a real contest, we understand that totally.”- Mike Babcock

The Red Wings will face Colorado for the first time this season tonight when the Avalanche pay visit to the The Joe, a place filled with years of history between the two teams. The Avs enter the week at No. 13 in the Western Conference standings, but still only four points behind the Red Wings, who currently sit in the final playoff spot with 24 points.

“They’re fast, they’re extremely quick up front." said Jimmy Howard. "You just have to find a way every single night to get points.” The light-scoring Avs started slow this season. And despite a 5-4-3 record in February, the owners of the third worst goal-differential (-10) in the West are 1-1-3 in their last five games.

Regarding tonight's charitable activities, from 97.1 the Ticket's Ken Kal...

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Red Wings-Avalanche set-up and overnight report: low-octane Wings to tangle with banged-up Avs

The Detroit Red Wings will continue their stretch of 8 games played over the course of 14 nights by welcoming the Colorado Avalanche to the Joe tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD/Altitude/97.1 FM), and the on Breast Cancer Awareness night (click for the Wings' press release regarding tonight's in-rink activities and their request that fans wear pink to the game), the Wings may very well be hoping that the Avs are coming into town in a charitable mood.

The Wings have posted a 3-5-and-2 record over their past 10 games, including Sunday's 2-1 shootout loss to Chicago, and that places the Wings in 9th place in a ridiculously tightly-packed Western Conference, with the same 24 points as 4 other teams...And within a group of 12 teams separated by all of 6 points between the top (Vancouver at 26 points) and bottom teams (Calgary, Colorado and Edmonton at 20).

The Wings haven't been scoring many goals of late--they've been giving up 1 and 2-goal leads instead--and the team needs to make hay while the sun shines, especially given that the team will play 7 of its last 9 games of the month on the road. 

Enter the Avs, who come into town having dropped a 2-1 OT decision to the Columbus on Sunday, possessing a 1-3-and-1 record of late (with three of their four losses coming in OT or a shootout), and an 8-8-and-4 record that isn't all that different from the Wings' 10-8-and-4 record, minus two games in hand, anyway.

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Red Wings evening post: Wings ready to grind it out, Wings-Avs tidbits and power rankings stuff

A pair of Red Wings stories popped up after the practice post that simply shouldn't "wait" for the overnight report, because their content gives us an insight into the Wings' mentality heading into a very busy slate of games (7 over the next 14 days), starting with tomorrow night's tilt against Colorado.

The Wings' players and coach told WXYZ's Brad Galli that they're resigned to the concept that this season will be something of an identity-finding grind...

"We're not as good a team as we wanna be, but we're making significant strides," head coach Mike Babcock said.

12 teams are separated by just six points, and a shortened schedule makes every game that much more important. Looking at the Red Wings play the last two weeks, they have taken steps towards being the team fans are used to seeing the past two decades.

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Red Wings want fans to wear pink to Breast Cancer Awareness Night game on Tuesday

From the Red Wings' PR department:

FANS ASKED TO WEAR PINK TUESDAY FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS NIGHT PRESENTED BY TEAM REHAB

… Fans who Wear Pink to Tuesday’s Game can Enter to Win 2012-13 Team-Signed Jersey …

Detroit, MI… Fans are asked to wear pink this Tuesday, Mar. 5, for Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Team Rehab when the Wings take on the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Any fan who wears pink to the game can enter to win a 2012-13 team-signed jersey by picking up a numbered ticket on the concourse behind Section 126.

When doors open at 6:00 p.m., the Joe Louis Arena concourse will be home to a variety of activities, including a silent auction, mystery puck draw, 50/50 raffle and a special sale of soccer-style scarves with all proceeds benefiting the Karmanos Cancer Institute (Weisberg Cancer Treatment Center in Farmington Hills) and St. John Providence Health System (Liggett Breast Center in Grosse Pointe).The funds raised will help alleviate the costs of breast cancer screening and treatment for uninsured and underinsured women in the Metro Detroit area.

BCA Night activities include:

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An FYI about ‘Hockey Night in Brighton’

Winging it in Motown's Josh Howard wants the rest of us to know that the Red Wings Alumni Assoication will take part in a charity game in Brighton, MI this Saturday, and they'll tangle with "The Well Church" to raise funds for Livingston County charities.

Hello everyone! I'd love to invite you out this weekend to see the Wings Alumni play. The event is on facebook and can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/488008931230410/ . Tickets are available still and should be purchasable at the door. Stop on by and say hi. I'll be there along with my wife to help support the cause as well as taking pictures. We'd love to meet you and chat Red Wings... also, did I mention it's for charity? Yeah... that's sort of important too. wink

Quoting the event's Facebook page...

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Red Wings Monday practice post in progress: Fil’s still out and good Helm news

Updated 7x at 4:31 PM:The Red Wings hope to rebound from their loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday as they play seven more games over the next two weeks, starting with a game against Colorado tomorrow night, but it doesn't sound like they're going to get unrestricted free agent-to-be Valtteri Filppula's services back any time soon:

I'm not sure what to say about this one:

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Matheson weighs in on Red Wings’ chances of re-signing Filppula, Cleary

Via both Paul and my pal NHL Gossip, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson posted a less-than-surprising but still intriguing quip about Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula's contract demands (according to MLive's Ansar Khan, Filppula's sore shoulder's keeping him from practicing this morning)...

- The Detroit Red Wings are in a pickle with Val Filppula, who has tons of ability but has never really broken through to star status. He makes $3 million US now, and sources say he’d like $4.5 million or so in a new deal when he’s an unrestricted free agent July 1. That’s too rich for Detroit, but what if Pavel Datsyuk, 34, returns to Russia after his contract ends in 2014? “They know that’s a possibility,” said one NHL executive. Then, they need the Filppula, who’s 28.

And Matheson offered two more Wings-related quips...

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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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