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The Malik Report

Quick take, Red Wings vs. Canadiens: Wings back into the playoffs via bummer OT loss

The permutations were many and the reward was simple: "Win and you're in." If the Red Wings didn't win against the Montreal Canadiens, snapping a 5-game losing streak, their playoff fate got complicated amongst "ands," "ifs" and "ors," but if they managed to break the Bell Centre hex, they'd have no more math or magic numbers to worry about.

Regrettably, the Detroit Red Wings gave up some distressing goals and a disastrous, disastrous penalty from Brendan Smith--who appears to have punched his card out of Detroit--en route to a 4-3 OT loss to the Canadiens, but Detroit clinched a 24th consecutive playoff spot via the Boston Bruins' 4-2 loss to Florida.

I wish the Wings could have skated in feet first instead of ass first, but in is in. In is still in via the sixth straight loss to Montreal, in is still in via a poor set of goals given up by Jimmy Howard on the Smith penalty and the tipped-in OT winner, Brendan Smith may want to sell his condo and/or house, but in is in.

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Red Wings-Canadiens game-day post II: video/audio, on Nyquist/Tatar, Pulkkinen & clinching scenarios

The Red Wings will take on the Montreal Canadiens not too long from now, and as the Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs noted, the Wings' jerseys are placed a certain way in the locker room for a reason:

Ken Kal posited a game-day preview video...

And you'll have to tune into Kal on WXYZ AM 1270 as the Tigers game will be airing on 97.1 FM a little (lot) late...The TV situation may change as well :(

In terms of audio and articles that didn't quite make the game-day post, Kirk Maltby gave an intriguing interview to Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery regarding the state of the Wings and their late-season slide...

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Andy Miele And Teemu Pulkkinen Named First Team Team All-Stars In The AHL

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins center Andy Miele and right wing Teemu Pulkkinen on Thursday were named to the 2014-15 American Hockey League First All-Star Team.

This marks the first time that two players from the Griffins have been named to the First All-Star Team since Grand Rapids’ inaugural AHL season of 2001-02, when John Gruden and goaltender Martin Prusek earned the honors.

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Red Wings-Canadiens game-day articles: on clinching scenarios and a difficult game tonight

Updated 2x at 2:38 PM: The Red Wings and Candiens' morning skates ahead of tonight's tilt (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/RDS/Sportsnet/City TV/97.1 FM) were relatively uneventful save the talk radio scuttlebutt.

It sounds like Teemu Pulkkinen's going to play on the Glendening line, that Landon Ferraro will play alongside Weiss and Andersson, and that Justin Abdelkader's still out tonight, but that's about it for the Wings; the Habs held an optional, and other than Brian Flynn playing in Torrey Mitchell's place, they won't be making any substantial lineup changes, either.

It is important that the Red Wings win tonight, as NHL.com noted...

* The Detroit Red Wings would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Canadiens in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Canadiens AND either the Senators lose in any fashion or the Bruins lose in regulation OR if the Senators lose in regulation.

And Pro Hockey Talk's Jason Brough translated into English:

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Red Wings-Canadiens morning skate Tweets and articles: Datsyuk, Abdelkader skipping the skate

Updated 6x at 12:22 PM: The Red Wings face a deceptively simple task against the Montreal Canadiens this evening (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/RDS/Sportnset East/City TV/97.1 FM): snap a 5-game losing streak against the Canadiens, and the Wings are in the playoffs.

If the Wings lose and the Senators lose tonight, the Wings are in the playoffs, too, but if the Senators defeat the Rangers and the Wings lose, things get...complicated.

The Max Pacioretty-less Canadiens preceded the Red Wings onto the ice at the Habs' practice facility, but the Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs reports that not all of them skated...

Only an optional game-day skate for #Habs in Brossard this morning

And the Canadiens confirmed:

Entraînement optionnel pour les Canadiens ce matin. // Optional skate for the CH this morning in Brossard. #GoHabsGo

Stubbs also posted today's referee and linesmen's assignments...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Canadiens set-up; Wings are in if they best Habs

Thanks to the Washington Capitals' 3-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division and Wild Card standings look like this today:

If the Red Wings defeat the Montreal Canadiens (7:30 PM on FSD/Sportsnet East/RDS/CityTV/97.1 FM) this evening--and Detroit has not done so in some way, shape or form in seven games now--the Wings will be in the playoffs.

No magic numbers, no math, no more worrying about the Ottawa Senators (who play the Rangers tonight).

The Wings, who are without Erik Cole for the balance of the year, who are most likely without Johan Franzen for the balance of the year, probably without Justin Abdelkader until Saturday, and are without Tomas Jurco, simply need Jimmy Howard to stand on his head opposite Carey Price and the Max Pacioretty-less Montreal Canadiens to defeat 'em for the first time in 6 tries.

No pressure!

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Playoff and regular season prospect news: Guelph drops 2nd round opener; Griffins win w/ big Mantha

In playoff action, in the OHL, the second round did not begin on a good note for the Guelph Storm or Tyler Bertuzzi; Guelph dropped a 7-4 decision to Sault Ste. Marie, and Bertuzzi finished scoreless and at -1;

In the SHL, we now know that Axel Holmstrom and Skelleftea AIK will attempt to defend their SHL championship against the Vaxjo Lakers. Vaxjo defeated Christoffer Ehn and the Frolunda Indians 4-1, taking their semifinal series 4 games to 3, and Ehn finished at -1 in 12:13 of ice time.

And FYI: David Pope and the University of Omaha-Nebraska Mavericks will battle Providence in the Frozen Four on Thursday at 5 PM. The game will air on ESPN2.

In regular season play, in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins will spend this weekend in San Antonio, Texas, playing a set of back-to-backs in San Antonio, but they made hay while the home sun shined on Wednesday, defeating their arch-rival Milwaukee Admirals 6-2.

The Griffins' website posted a recap...

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Dylan Larkin Will Play For Team USA In World Championships

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Three top college NHL prospects, including high-profile Detroit Red Wings draft pick Dylan Larkin of the University of Michigan, have committed to play for the USA at the World Championships next month.

Nashville Predators prospect Jimmy Vesey of Harvard and Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick Mike Reilly of the University of Minnesota also are expected to be on the roster.

Larkin is considered a Jonathan Toews-style center prospect, and Vesey had 32 goals in 37 games. Reilly is a puck-moving defenseman.

continue for a bit more...

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Post-practice articles: Cole done for the year, Abdelkader healing, Howard starts Thursday

Updated at 2:42 PM: The Detroit Red Wings received some good news and some very bad news during Wednesday's "optional" practice. While Erik Cole skated--perhaps to keep his spirits up--Cole told reporters that he's done for the season and that his career may be in jeopardy due to a spinal contusion;

While Justin Abdelkader only skated briefly at the end of practice, he's apparently going to travel with the team on its two-game road trip to Monreal (who won't have Max Pacioretty in the lineup) and Carolina (Jimmy Howard is starting vs. Carey Price), and Abdelkader stated that his injured right hand is bruised and inflamed, not broken.

In the former category, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke with a distraught and distressed Cole...

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Ken Daniels discusses Wings’ playoff road, possible match-ups on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM

While Red Wings fans were finding out about Erik Cole and Justin Abdelkader's relative health or the lack thereof (poor Cole, done for the year :( ), Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels delivered a fantastic interview on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery show, discussing the Wings' battle to make the playoffs, the competition that Ottawa and Boston are providing, the possible playoff opponents that the Wings might not want to face, and he addressed the Wings-Habs match-up tomorrow night (no Max Pacioretty for Montreal tomorrow), too:

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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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