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Red Wings-Sharks game day articles: Miller, Jurco return; Blashill wants Jurco to be ‘great’

Updated 4x at 6:31 PM: The San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings square off tonight (10:30 PM EST on FSD/CSN California/97.1 FM), and the morning skate revealed that the Sharks will start Martin Jones opposite Petr Mrazek.

After the skate, the Sharks posted a video of coach Pete DeBoer's pre-game comments...

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Xavier Ouellet, Jeff Hoggan to represent Grand Rapids Griffins at AHL All-Star Game

According to TheAHL.com, Xavier Ouellet and Jeff Hoggan will represent the Grand Rapids Griffins at the AHL All-Star Game on February 1st in Syracuse, NY. Congrats to both!

The Griffins confirm, via RedWingsFeed:

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Red Wings-Sharks morning skate Tweets and articles: Jones starts for SJ; Mrazek starts for DET

The Detroit Red Wings kick off the West Coast portion of their 6-game road trip against the San Jose Sharks this evening (10:30 PM EST on FSD/CSN California/97.1 FM).

The Sharks have split their past 4 games, and are coming off of a 4-1 loss to Winnipeg this past Saturday; the Red Wings are on a 2-game winning streak, with their most recent win coming against New Jersey, and Detroit will regain Drew Miller's services this evening.

Prior to the Sharks' morning skate, CSN California's Kevin Kurz penned a short game preview from San Jose's perspective:

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Morning news: Wings heading to ‘sunny California’; Zetterberg > Larkin?

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. From MLive's Brendan Savage's notebook:

Basking in sunshine? Like any Eastern Conference team, the Red Wings look forward to heading west in the middle of the winter to get away from the cold weather. There's only one problem this year. "It was 58 (degrees) and raining," said captain Henrik Zetterberg. "At least it's not going to snow. It's warmer than here. But for us before, when we were in the Western Conference, those trips got tough for us. Now we just do it once. You almost look forward to it. I think it's good for us to get some time together and play some road hockey."


One-night home layover: Blashill originally wanted to fly directly from New  Jersey to San Jose Monday but changed his mind after a gentle nudge from general manager Ken Holland. "Ken Holland said you might want to think about that again at the beginning of the year and we changed it and thankfully we changed it," Blashill said. "I thought it was great to be home yesterday. I'm sure the guys felt the same way. It's just a day to kind of get yourself refreshed, get lots of laundry done and get ready for a good road trip here."

2. And Sportsnet's Luke Fox suggests that the NHL picked the "wrong All-Star" from the Wings, while positing a set of power rankings:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Sharks set-up, a crazy trade rumor and prospect news

The Detroit Red Wings begin the Western U.S. portion of their 6-game road trip against the San Jose Sharks this evening (10:30 PM EST on FSD/CSN California/97.1 FM).

This game is both more consequential than it looks and very hard to "set up"; with the Florida Panthers streaking in the East, the 20-13-and-7 Wings sit 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 2 points behind Montreal and 3 points ahead of Boston and Ottawa;

The 18-17-and-2 San Jose Sharks sit in second-to-last place in the Pacific Division, but the Sharks haven't played since Saturday's 4-1 loss to Winnipeg, and the Sharks are also 3 points out of 2nd in the division as the Pacific is jam-packed.

San Jose's split its last 4 games (2-and-2) and is 4-4-and-2 over its past 10 games, and it's spent the 4-day break practicing and holding team meetings, attempting to hone their games for a pre-All-Star break push, as the Mercury News's Curtis Pashelka notes:

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Wakiji: Drew Miller to return to Wings’ lineup Thursday

From DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

After missing 14 games with a broken jaw, Miller is ready to return.

"It’s been a little while since I’ve been back in the lineup so feeling ready to go and excited to get back with the boys and playing," Miller said. "You try to get back as fast as you can. Key on the things that are big in my game and be defensively sound and on the penalty kill and get out there and create some energy."

Blashill said Miller would play Thursday in San Jose.

Miller, who will wear a full cage mask to protect his surgically repaired jaw, should bolster the team's penalty kill, which has fallen to 20th, at 79.4 percent.

"I've said all year, Drew Miller's an elite penalty killer," Blashill said. "One of the things about the penalty kill is you have to have great killers and part of that is having guys able to make reads in situations. The penalty kill puts you in chaotic situations 'cause there's five of them and four of you and you've got to be able to make hockey reads. You can't draw every situation on the board and he can make great hockey reads, he's got a great defensive stick and he blocks tons of shots. He'll help our penalty kill. It doesn't mean that he'll execute every single time but he'll certainly help our penalty kill."


Update: From the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:

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St. James: Wings should examine acquiring Jonathan Drouin from Tampa Bay

I don't believe that Steve Yzerman is going to trade Jonathan Drouin within the Northeast Division--if he trades Drouin at all--but the Free Press's Helene St. James suggests that the Red Wings should kick the tires to see whether they can pry Drouin from the Lightning:

[W]hat Drouin also is is 20 years old, the No.  3 overall selection in 2013 (the same draft that netted the Wings Anthony Mantha in the first round), highly skilled and signed through 2016-17 for a cap hit of less than $900,000, after which he is a restricted free agent.

That's what makes him so intriguing. Imagine Drouin and Dylan Larkin leading the Wings deep into the future, with a supporting cast of Evgeny Svechnikov and Mantha, among others.

It is the potential of Drouin's future that also is going to drive the cost, all the more so because Tampa Bay and Detroit both operate in the Atlantic Division. Intradivision trades are tough; when the Columbus Blue Jackets were shopping Rick Nash in 2012-13, the asking price for the Wings started with Valtteri Filppula and Justin Abdelkader and included a first-round draft pick.

That said, it'd still be worth the Wings' time to inquire. The Lightning are limited by having just $2 million in cap space. Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times said on Twitter that the Lightning might be looking at defensemen, especially right-handed ones. The Wings could tempt with righty-shooting Alexey Marchenko and Ryan Sproul. Add forward Tomas Jurco to the package -- he has underachieved for the past season and a half, this season under a coach who knows him better than anyone. Maybe like Drouin, he'd be better off in a new place. Marchenko has a cap hit of less than $700,000, and Jurco is at $900,000. Sproul is in the minors. Financially, this would work for the Lightning.

St. James continues...

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Practice articles (mostly): A bit of understandable Larkin-mania

Updated 4x at 3:13 PM: The Red Wings took part in an hour-long practice before flying to San Jose early this afternoon, and the main news that came from practice--other than Dylan Larkin's selection as an All-Star--involved the imminent return of Drew Miller and the possible returns of Kyle Quincey and Tomas Jurco.

As you might imagine, however, Larkin's status as a 19-year-old All-Star, and the Wings' 2nd rookie All-Star, with Steve Yzerman as his company, commanded most of the press's attention--and deservedly so.

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Practice Tweets: Drew Miller to return vs. Sharks; Larkin talked up as an All-Star

The Red Wings hit the ice in Taylor to practice ahead of tomorrow's game against the San Jose Sharks, as noted by the Free Press's George Sipple...

Jimmy Howard first on the ice. #wings

MLive's Brendan Savage...

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Dylan Larkin named to NHL’s All-Star Game roster

From the NHL:

NEW YORK (Jan. 6, 2016) – The National Hockey League announced today the full roster of players as well as the head coaches for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star celebration, which will be held Jan. 30-31 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Forty players were selected by the NHL, joining the four division captains elected by fans in the 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Vote: Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers (Atlantic), Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (Central), Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (Metropolitan) and John Scott of the Arizona Coyotes (Pacific).

Below are the complete rosters for each division, comprised of six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders per team:

2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game Rosters

Atlantic Division
F Patrice Bergeron
F Jaromir Jagr (FLA)*
F Leo Komarov (TOR)
F Dylan Larkin (DET)

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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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