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ESPN’s McDonald praises Sergei Fedorov’s two-way play

From ESPN's Joe McDonald:

"He's one of the best I ever had," said Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman. "He was a great player. Sergei could do it all. He was one of the players you would want on the ice in the last minute."

Bowman compared Fedorov's ability to that of Hall of Famers Dit Clapper and Red Kelly.

"When he first came up, he was noted for unusually strong defensive play for a European player," Bowman said. "He didn't show the offense right away. He was such a great skater. He was an amazing player. He had a heck of a shot, too. He was a wonderful player to have on a team. He could do it all."

The Red Wings' defensive core was riddled with injuries one season, so Bowman decided to put Fedorov back on defense.

"He was the best defenseman in the league for a six-week period," Bowman said.

Continued, with comments from Wayne Gretzky and Chris Chelios...

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Calder trophy talk aside, Dylan Larkin is on a learning curve

According to the Free Press's Malowe Alter and MLive's Brendan Savage, the odds-makers still view Dylan Larkin as a Calder Trophy long shot. The Free Press's Helene St. James duly notes that Larkin is slowly but surely learning the NHL game as he goes...

The Detroit Red Wings took Wednesday off because they don't play until Friday at Toronto. A two-game winning streak has been spun for the first time since opening week, with Larkin netting the game-winning goal in each game. He has four goals and five assists in 12 games, and a best-among-rookies plus-10 rating.

"He has done a very good job. That is undeniable," coach Jeff Blashill said after Tuesday night's 2-1 victory over Atlantic Division rival Tampa Bay. "His impact on games has been very good. Does he have to get better at stuff? Absolutely. Our job as coaches is to continue to hold him accountable as he is having success, just like we hold everybody else accountable, and we will do that."

One reason Blashill moved Larkin from center back to wing was Larkin's struggles on face-offs. Blashill also said Larkin needs to get better at management of games and realizing when to forego a potential scoring chance if there is a greater chance of a giving up a scoring chance against.

The bottom line is, mistakes or weaknesses are forgiven as the points pile up. At 19, Larkin is tied for second on the team in goals and scoring. His most recent goal was a short wrist shot goaltender Ben Bishop undoubtedly rued, but one that didn't surprise teammate Jimmy Howard.

St. James continues...

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The Wings’ Goaltending Duo Is Ranked 16th

Luke Fox of Sportsnet ranked the NHL goaltending today, he has the Wings at #16...

The NHL's murkiest goalie time-share situation. Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek are still battling for the crease, posting comparable (and decent!) numbers in six starts apiece.
Grade: B
Previous: 21

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All Darren Helm

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

MLive: When did you realize how fast you were? As a kid or when did that kind of come to life?

Helm: I knew I was pretty quick growing up as a kid. I didn't know how much that would transfer as I got older. Then when I got to junior, I started realizing that some of these guys I was playing with were drafted and would be playing in the NHL and that I was as fast or faster than them and that's when it hit me that this would be a big part of my hockey game. I wanted to embrace it and keep it up and get faster if I could.

MLive: Were you a fast runner as a kid or are you a fast runner now or is it just something on the ice?

Helm: I'm pretty quick. I did a little bit of track in junior high and high school. Nothing competitive but in a small town or city or whatever you want to call it I was one of the quicker kids.

read on

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Khan: Red Wings working on re-signing Abdelkader

From MLive's Ansar Khan:

he Detroit Red Wings and Justin Abdelkader have made significant progress in contract talks.

The club and Abdelkader are putting "the finishing touches" on a long-term deal that might be completed within the next couple of weeks, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told M-Live.

The contract is expected to be longer than four years. It is unclear how much it will be worth but is likely to average more than $4 million per season.

Getting the big, gritty forward with a scoring touch signed before the off-season was a top priority for the Red Wings. Abdelkader, 28, could become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but the Muskegon native and Michigan State product wants to remain a Red Wing for many more years.

Khan continues...

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Evening news: Pondering Larkin’s Calder candidacy and discussing the Wings’ split goaltending duties

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan posits an intriguing theory...

Suddenly, it’s fair to wonder. Dylan Larkin is a strong candidate to win the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year). A fine start and Tuesday’s injury that knocked No. 1 pick Connor McDavid (broken clavicle) out for two to three months opens the door for Larkin.

Larkin, who added another early-season highlight Tuesday with his second consecutive winning goal, has nine points (four goals) in 12 games and ranks second in the NHL with a plus-10 rating.

Still, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill knows there’s plenty to work on.

“He’s done a very good job, that’s undeniable,” Blashill said. “Does he have to get better at stuff? Absolutely. Was there lots of stuff over the first two periods (Tuesday) I thought he has to continue to improve at? One hundred percent. Our job as coaches is to make sure we continue to hold him accountable as he is having success just like we hold anybody else accountable, and we will do that. He’ll continue to improve because he wants to improve.”

Kulfan continues...

And the Windsor Star's Bob Duff discussed the Red Wings' split goaltending situation:

Continue Reading »

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Prospect news: Saarijarvi named OHL’s defenseman of the month; Svechnikov registers 4 assists

In the prospect department:

Per HockeyFights.com and from the Ontario Hockey League, Vili Saarijarvi has been named the OHL's defenseman of the month:

Flint Firebirds 18 year-old blueliner Vili Saarijarvi is the OHL Defenceman of the Month. The Detroit Red Wings prospect put together an outstanding first full month in the OHL, scoring two goals along with 9 assists for 11 points in 11 contests to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-9. The Finnish rearguard registered points in seven of his 11 October appearances, scoring his first OHL goal as part of a two-goal effort against the Ottawa 67's on October 16th. Saarijarvi had three multi-point performances, including three assists against the Peterborough Petes on October 11th. Saarijarvi is currently tied for the lead in scoring among OHL defencemen with two goals, 14 assists and 16 points in 14 games.

A native of Rovaniemi, Finland, Saarijarvi was Flint's first round, ninth overall selection in the 2015 CHL Import Draft. A third round pick by the Detroit Red Wings at the 2015 NHL Draft, Saarijarvi was named best defenceman of the 2015 World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Switzerland after he paced Finland to a fourth place finish with three goals, six assists and nine points in seven games.

And in game action:

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Wings listed in ‘Paid Patriotism’ report

Well this is creepy, per CBS Detroit's Ashley Scoby:

A joint congressional report by Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, released this week, cites the Detroit Red Wings as one of many professional sports teams that have engaged in “paid patriotism” contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense.

...

According to the report, the Department of Defense has spent $10.4 million on marketing and advertising contracts with professional sports teams between 2012 and 2015.

It details “to the greatest extent possible DOD’s inappropriate and frivolous spending on paid patriotism activities, as well as the gifts, tickets, and other perks in each professional sports team contract” that was identified.

The Red Wings’ contracts, totaling $41,500, were detailed. Benefits and ceremonies that were paid for by the DOD (and therefore taxpayers) rather than the franchise, according to the report, included:

Continue Reading »

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Off-day news: Hall of Fame talk; on Sheahan and the goaltending rotation, Bertuzzi’s slew foot and Z

The Red Wings didn't practice today as they're going to play a slate of 3 games played in 5 nights between Friday and Tuesday, but that doesn't mean that the Wings news cycle has slowed down a lick.

Update: FYI:

1. ESPN's John Buccigross reexamined his Hockey Hall of Fame predictions from 2007, and Buccigross is still bullish on Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg making the cut one day, and he makes a bet regarding a rookie possibly earning a nod down the line:

Continue Reading »

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Jeff Blashill appears on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Sean, Matt and Maz Show today, discussing the Red Wings' goaltending rotation thus far, Dylan Larkin's play, the Wings' emphasis on "team speed" and much more over the course of 10-and-a-half minutes:

 

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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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