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Shoot The Puck Riley Sheahan

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Sheahan said he's tried to be a bit more effective offensively this season.

"I guess just trying to get in those spots where I can shoot," he said. "Since I've scored some goals, I've gotta keep taking more opportunities to take the puck to the net. I think every game going out there contributing, maybe not even scoring, but getting chances always helps, just builds your confidence."

Wings coach Mike Babcock said Sheahan skates better now than he did when he first saw him.

"He shoots it once in a while," Babcock said. "Now he scored a couple games ago, we might not see it for another 20 games, but he can absolutely shoot it and he can skate. So, you know he can do those things and he knows he can do those things so obviously he's better offensively and he's just more confident."

Sheahan said he has a tendency to look to pass first.

"I think it's just the judgment of passing or shooting, it's a big thing for me," he said. "Maybe I just gotta focus a little more on shooting.

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A Fast Start Tonight A Must For The Wings

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Babcock is focused on getting off to a better start. The Red Wings have an even goals differential in the first period (41-41) but have outscored opponents 58-38 in the second.

"Our first period last game was unacceptable," Babcock said. "When we played Winnipeg last time (4-3 win on Nov. 20) our first period was unacceptable. So we've got to make sure we're ready to go. They're a real good first-period team; they're third in the league in goals for in the first period, so we've got to be prepared."

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Red Wings-Jets morning skate Tweets and articles: no changes for Detroit or Winnipeg

Updated 4x at 12:07 PM: Both the Red Wings and Winnipeg Jets hope to rebound from losses when they battle tonight at Joe Louis Arena (7 PM EST on FSD/CITY TV/97.1 FM), and, well...

As per usual, MLive's Ansar Khan was the first to list the Wings' lines...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Jets set-up; on Fedorov, DeKeyser, travel and dynasties

The Red Wings hope to regain their footing and put Wednesday's loss to Pittsburgh behind them as the Wings play their only 2 home games of February tonight against Winnipeg (7 PM EST on FSD/CITY TV/97.1 FM) and Monday against Montreal.

The Jets are coming into town having dropped a 3-1 loss to Nashville on Thursday, but that game snapped both a 2-game winning streak and a 4-game unbeaten streak (2-0-and-2) for a Jets team that's in a furious battle for either 3rd place in the Central Division or one of 2 Western Conference Wild Card spots.

I normally begin these set-ups by surveying the opponent, but as the 31-13-and-9 Wings sit 3 points behind both the 34-17-and-6 Lightning (with 4 games in hand on Tampa Bay) and the 35-15-and-4 Canadiens' 74 points (with 1 game in hand on Montreal), it's essential to emphasize that the Wings have exactly zero sympathy for the Jets' plight.

The Wings told CBS Detroit's Ashley Dunkak that the Bolts and Habs' steady winning = the Wings feel pressure to win every night, too:

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Prospect news: Griffins lose Purple Game, Callahan; Bertuzzi paces Guelph, McNulty assists Blazers

The Grand Rapids Griffins' Purple Game went well charitably-speaking but didn't go so well in the results department. Grand Rapids rallied from 3-1 and 4-2 deficits as Teemu Pulkkinen scored 2 more goals, but the Griffins lost Mitch Callahan en route to a 5-4 OT loss to San Antonio.

The Griffins' website filed a recap...

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Red Wings to hold ‘Fan Day at the Joe’ on Thursday, March 5th

From the Red Wings:

RED WINGS FAN DAY AT THE JOE SET FOR MARCH 5
… Fun-Filled, Free Event Presented in Partnership with Coke Zero and Kroger …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings have teamed up with Coke Zero and Kroger to present the 2015 edition of Coke Zero Fan Day at Joe Louis Arena, scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 5 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

In order to obtain tickets to this fun-filled, free event, citizens of Hockeytown must attend an upcoming Detroit Red Wings Experience Day, presented by Coke Zero, which gives fans a chance to test their skills at various interactive hockey games and take photos with player cut-outs. Red Wings Alumni Association members Larry Murphy and Darren McCarty will be in attendance to sign autographs at upcoming Detroit Red Wings Experience Days.

This year’s Coke Zero Fan Day provides a behind-the-scenes look at Joe Louis Arena with several unique photo opportunities for fans, such as a chance to take a photo with Nick Lidstrom’s recently-retired jersey banner and Al Sobotka’s famed Zamboni. Locker room tours will also be available to fans in attendance.

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St. James, Khan, Kulfan: Red Wings will stick with 3-goalie rotation…for now.

Updated 7x, quite significantly, at 4:45 PM: Some interesting news popped up at the end of the Red Wings' practice on Friday, per the Free Press's Helene St. James...

Per Babcock, Jimmy Howard starting Saturday, Petr Mrazek backing up

...

Asked Ken Holland about goaltending situation, was told no decision today for Red Wings

MLive's Ansar Khan...

Babcock said Mrazek will back-up Howard tomorrow vs. Jets. They'll take it day by day after that, so no decision yet on if he'll go to GR.

...

Holland said no decision today on what they'll do about their backup goalie.

And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

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NHL video: Datsyuk and Friday the 13th

NHL.com posted a very clever video regarding a certain #13 and Friday the 13th superstitions:

(We won't tell NHL.com that Datsyuk is in fact quite superstitious)

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Practice Tweets: Wings revert to ‘usual lines’; Mrazek still practicing w/ team

Update #1 right on top @ 12:19 PM: From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Per Babcock, Jimmy Howard starting Saturday, Petr Mrazek backing up

The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena today, hoping to rebound from Wednesday night's loss to Pittsburgh knowing that an aggravated Jets team (Winnipeg lost 3-1 to Nashville last night) will want to steal two home points from the Wings tomorrow.

Detroit's only home games of the month--Saturday vs. Winnipeg and Monday vs. Montreal--take place this weekend(ish), and as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose notes, the Wings have a personnel decision to make:

#RedWings are on the ice for practice this morning. All 3 goalies are skating. Holland said he'll likely make a decision today on Mrazek.

It looks like the lines have reverted back to their most recently familiar forms, despite coach Babcock's decision to reunite Datsyuk and Zetterberg, the Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist line and the Miller-Glendening-Andersson line for the 3rd period of the Wings' loss on Wednesday:

#RedWings lines in practice today:  Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader;  Tatar-Datsyuk-Helm; Jurco-Sheahan-Glendening; and Miller-Andersson-Weiss

While we're waiting for more Tweets (or I am, at least), this didn't make the pre-practice news entry, but this mailbag answer from ESPN's Craig Custance (insider-only) may answer a question that those who believe the Wings need to add a top-six-or-nine forward might be asking...

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Pre-practice post: on Mantha, ‘Asking Ansar,’ Fedorov’s MSHOF speech and ‘news from other blogs’

Updated with a superb Luke Glendening interview at 10:52 AM: Amongst this morning's pre-practice articles of note:

Pro Hockey Talk's Dhiren Mahibian spoke with Grand Rapids Griffins forward Anthony Mantha and Griffins coach Jeff Blashill about Mantha's slow progress developing into a pro hockey player, and Mantha readily admits that missing two months with a broken right leg placed him behind the learning curve:

In 36 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Mantha has eight goals and 10 assists.

“I think its been hard. Especially starting late on everyone, but I’m getting there now and its going up hill,” Mantha said of the adjustment. “The guys are way better over here. They’re stronger; they’re harder on the puck. The goalies are also really good over here.”

Despite his early season struggles, Griffins’ coach Jeff Blashill has no doubt about Mantha’s future in the game.

“He’s got special skill for a guy his size. He can do things that other guys just can’t do,” said Blashill. “He’s going to be a great player; I truly believe that and its just going to be a matter of time. When you care as much as he cares, as soon as he learns the daily attention to detail and the daily work ethic it takes, with his skill set, he’s going to be a special player.”

Mahibian continues, and his article's superb...

At the NHL level, MLive's Ansar Khan answered questions in his "Ask Ansar" mailbag feature...

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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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