Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Where does Tomas Jurco fit in?

From MLive's Ansar Khan, here's Tomas Jurco's 2016-17 season outlook:

2016-17 outlook: Jurco, with his skating ability and offensive skills, showed much promise as a rookie in 2013-14. But his career has gone south ever since. He didn't take the next step in 2014-15, when he would have been better off in Grand Rapids, and continued to regress last season.

Now, with a crowded roster, he'll have a tougher time cracking the lineup.

Former coach Mike Babcock wanted Jurco to utilize his size by playing more physical, going to the hard areas of the ice, including the net front, and wear on defenses by forechecking hard, instead of trying to beat opponents one-on-one. He would need to adjust his game to play on the fourth line and embrace the role because his skills are more suited for a top-nine role.

Jurco will need to distinguish himself in training camp and the preseason, when the team will be missing six forwards who'll be playing in the World Cup, plus the injured Teemu Pulkkinen. But even if he does, it might not be enough to avoid being a regular healthy scratch.

Jeff Blashill said last season the organization has a long-term plan for Jurco. But if he's still with the team following the season he is likely to be exposed for the expansion draft.

Khan continues

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Morning news: On international hockey events and Blashill’s take on time management

Of very brief Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Champions Hockey League begins play this week, and Axel Holmstrom's Skelleftea AIK and Christoffer Ehn's Frolunda Indians will be taking part in the tournament;

2. DRW Prospects on Twitter reports that two Red Wings prospects, Alfons Malmstrom and Mattias Elfstrom, will be taking part in the Under-20 Four Nations Cup late this month:

3. If you find yourself in Yekaterinburg, Russia this Friday, the "Pavel Datsyuk Arena" will open with an All-Star Game in which Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin, Valtteri Filppula, Alex Ovechkin, Artemi Panarin and Vladimir Tarasenko will all take part in the "Friends and All-Star" tilt;

4. And USA Hockey's Harry Thompson added another note from USA Hockey's coaching symposium in St. Louis last week, pointing out that Jeff Blashill believes that the "selfie generation" prefers to learn quickly:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Questioning Detroit’s Defense

Ansar Khan of Mlive answers some questions from the fans...

Q: One of the most disappointing things about our defense last season was that we were playing (Jonathan) Ericsson and (Kyle) Quincey over (Alexey) Marchenko and (Brendan) Smith. While I understand everyone's frustration about obtaining a top-three D-man proving to be too difficult through trade, I'm all right with our current defensive pairs so long as we put Ericsson-(Niklas) Kronwall on the bottom pairing, reducing their minutes. I know Marchenko will probably never be a top pairing D-man, but I truly believe that Smith has potential to be at least top three, especially after seeing his advanced stats compared to other D-men. Am I crazy thinking that we could be all right (and possibly even successful) with the current D-men we have right now?

A: You're not crazy for thinking that. But, defense remains a big concern and many things must fall into place. How will Kronwall's knee hold up? Can Ericsson rebound from a bad season? Will Smith step up in a contract year? Will they get more production from Mike Green? Can Danny DeKeyser and Marchenko take the next step? Is Xavier Ouellet ready for full-time duty? What do they have in Ryan Sproul?

They're essentially replacing Quincey -- one of their more consistent defensemen the past couple of seasons, someone who played with grit – with Ouellet (on the roster, not necessarily in the lineup). That, in itself, doesn't make the defense better. But, individually, they all have room to improve.

Kronwall's minutes must be trimmed. He should be rested on some back-to-back situations. He can't be matched up against top lines as much and should be shifted to the second power-play unit.

Even if some of these players improve to make the unit better, they still need that top-three defenseman at some point.

read on for more Q & A...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Nyquist’s ‘numbers’ indicate upward trends…if he remains a Red Wing

Every Monday, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose or Dana Wakiji has examined a Red Wings player's 2015-16 campaign "By the Numbers," and today, Roose examines Gustav Nyquist's 15-16 season:

The Red Wings current iron man takes full responsibility for the dip in offensive production that he experienced in 2015-16.

Nobody was immune to the criticism for a team that underperformed down the stretch and suffered another first-round playoff exit.

“That’s a big part of it,” Nyquist said, in April. “A lot of guys didn’t reach to their potential this year. Obviously for myself I just wasn’t able to put the puck in the net as much as last year and for sure that’s on me. I’ve just got to be better.”

208 | The Swedish forward is the Red Wings’ current iron man, last missing a regular-season game in December 2013. He is the only Wings player to appear in every game of the past two seasons.

Roose continues, noting that the studious Nyquist is still either the leader or near-leader in several offensive categories. Ideally, Nyquist rebounds from his 17-goal, 43-point 15-16 campaign, but at this point, we don't know whether Nyquist or Tomas Tatar will open the 16-17 season as members of the Red Wings, either. The team may have to trade one of their two offensive contributors to acquire a top-pair defenseman.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Brendan Smith’s Future With The Wings Could Be Decided This Season

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: This is an important season for Smith as he approaches unrestricted free agency. Can he demonstrate enough improvement defensively to prompt the Red Wings to attempt to sign him to a long-term deal? If not, they might look to move him by the trade deadline him rather than lose him for nothing in July.

Smith has always had offensive skills – he's a good skater who likes to rush the puck, thinks offensively and has quarterbacked the power play at lower levels. But it comes at the expense of his defensive play because he takes a lot of risks.

Jeff Blashill gave Smith an occasional look on the power play, but it didn't last.

He must continue improving in his own zone – not getting caught out of position and making better decisions with the puck to limit turnovers.
Smith is competitive, has decent size and plays with an edge, a much-needed dimension for the team.

Key question: Does Smith have a long-term future with the organization?


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Discussing Henrik Zetterberg’s pluses and minuses

The Free Press's Helene St. James discusses Henrik Zetterberg's pluses and minuses this morning:

Looking back: Zetterberg scorched the start of the season, cramming 15 points into the first 13 games. He spent much of the season playing with rookie Dylan Larkin, a symbiotic pairing that saw Zetterberg benefit from Larkin’s speed and Larkin benefit from Zetterberg’s savvy. Less impressive second-half, culminating with one goal the final 20 games. Zetterberg still led the team in points, but that came as Pavel Datsyuk missed a chunk of games and much of the team underachieved. Zetterberg’s 13 goals were a career-low among full NHL seasons, and his minus-15 was a career-worst, and the second straight season he finished as a minus player.

Looking ahead: Zetterberg, slated to compete for Sweden at the World Cup this autumn, turns 36 on Oct. 9. While having missed five games the past two seasons demonstrates he’s in good health after undergoing back surgery in 2014, Zetterberg has slowed down, showing the wear and tear of many hard minutes. If Larkin can handle being the No. 1 center, Zetterberg should benefit from a move to wing, which involves less skating. There’s no questioning Zetterberg’s smarts or skill, but he cannot continue as the workhorse among the forwards. This is why it’s imperative to team success that some of the mid-20s players come through and carry more of the burden, just as Zetterberg did when he was that age.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

On Jeff Blashill’s appearance at USA Hockey’s coaching symposium

Jeff Blashill took part in a coaching symposium held by USA Hockey recently, and USA Hockey's website posted an explanation of what Blashill focused on during his presentation...

Blashill on Pressure Situations

Young Gordon Bombay once crumbled under his coach’s misguided in-the-moment pressure. Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill used that cinematic moment from “The Mighty Ducks” to illustrate how not to coach players in pressure situations.

“Don’t make the stakes higher than they already are,” said Blashill. “Instead, focus on the details of the process that lead to success.”

Blashill also referenced statistics refuting the idea that certain players can elevate their performance in clutch situations. Instead, he suggested, it’s more a matter of those players’ performance not deteriorating as much as others during key moments. His recommendation to coaches was to avoid propagating the supernatural Roy Hobbs expectation in high-leverage situations and “just get your athletes to perform close to normal.”

As well as a video of Blashill speaking about maximizing teaching time:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- 55 Minutes Of Pavel Datsyuk In The Playoffs

via awood40 at his YouTube channel,

Pavel Datsyuk Playoff Highlights. Every Goal & Assist + Great Dekes/Hits/Defensive plays.

watch below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Pens’ Ian Cole brings the Cup to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

From MLive's Martin Slaghter:

Growing up playing youth hockey before attending Pioneer High School, there was no doubt in Ian Cole's mind that the Stanley Cup would visit Ann Arbor if it came into his possession.

After bringing the cup to Angelo's for breakfast, the Pittsburgh Penguin player spent the the early afternoon of Friday, Aug. 12, with the Stanley Cup by making a stop at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Cole took photos with dozens patients and their families inside the Michigan Game Day Experience Room of the hospital before making his way to the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor.

Later in the afternoon, Cole said he planned on meeting with fans during a public visit at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube before ending the evening at his parents' house for a private party with family and friends. Along the way, he also made stops at BTB Burrito and Coach & Four Barber Shop.

"To be able to bring the Stanley Cup back to your hometown and share it with as many people as possible is something you really look forward to as a young kid," he said. "I wouldn't want to bring it anywhere else."

"One of these days it will sink it, it just hasn't quite yet," he added.


Update: WXYZ posted a clip of Cole's day with the Cup:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

‘Two Things,’ video version: Jeff Blashill speaks with USA Hockey and Griffins on Hicketts

Of Red Wings-related note in the video category:

1. USA Hockey posted a video of Jeff Blashill speaking about his committment to the U.S. program as he attended a recent coaches' symposium...

2. And the Grand Rapids Griffins posted a "Summer Showcase" spotlight of Joe Hicketts:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

« Previous       ‹ First  < 387 388 389 390 391 >  Last ›      Next »

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.


Most Recent Blog Posts