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Red Wings-Canadiens game-day articles: Habs lineup in flux(?); Wings excited about hosting Habs

Updated 8x at 3:19 PM: The Red Wings' morning skate ahead of tonight's game against Montreal (7:30 PM on FSD/CITY/RDS/97.1 FM) revealed very little in the way of personnel surprises. Petr Mrazek will start opposite Dustin Tokarski and the Wings will make no lineup changes.

Our friends from Montreal held a very, very optional morning sate and Canadiens announcer John Bartlett summarizes its substance:

In plain old Google-translated French, La Presse's Richard Labbe confirms that the Canadiens neither held a full morning skate nor spoke with the media...

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Custance: Detroit the 3rd-best ‘Hockeytown?’

Via RedWingsFeed, ESPN's Craig Custance penned an Insider-only entry discussing "The Real Hockeytown," and according to Custance, if NHL factors are taken into consideration, Boston and Chicago rank ahead of Detroit--which is baffling given the youth participation and hockey programs that call Metro Detroit and Michigan home:

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Red Wings-Canadiens morning skate Tweets: Mrazek vs. Tokarski; Wings lineup unchanged

Updated 6x at 12:04 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to snap a 7-game winless streak against the Montreal Canadiens this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/CITY/RDS/97.1 FM) while pushing their own points streak to 12 games.

The Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena for the morning skate just before 10:30 AM, per MLive's Ansar Khan...

#RedWings on ice for morning skate. Mrazek in starter's net.

...

#RedWings lines unchanged:
Larkin-Zetterberg-Abdelkader
Helm-Datsyuk-Richards
Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist
Jurco-Glendening-Andersson

...

Defense pairs the same:
Kronwall-Green
DeKeyser-Ericsson
Smith-Marchenko
Kindl

Fox 2 sports...

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Griffins choose fan-designed alternate; McCollum out with ankle injury

Of Grand Rapids Griffins-related note:

1. Per TSN's Bardown blog, the Griffins chose their fan-designed alternate jersey:

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All Mike Green

MLive's Brendan Savage engaged in a Q and A with Red WIngs defenseman Mike Green:

MLive: Ten years in Washington. What was the coolest part about playing in a city like that?

Green: For me it was seeing hockey become a big part of the community. When I first got there no one really knew what the Capitals were and we got maybe 5,000, 6,000 fans for the games. As time went on, we were selling out each night and fans were pretty excited about hockey.

MLive: What's it been like coming to an Original Six city?

Green: It's been pretty incredible actually. You sit in the dressing seeing the photos and what not. A lot of history here, a lot memories for a lot guys. You can sense that presence in this dressing room.

Savage continues...

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Prospect news: Griffins defeat Milwaukee; Walleye’s streak snapped; Kadeikin scores gamer

Of prospect-related note,

In the AHL, minus Tom McCollum, the Grand Rapids Griffins received a goal and an assist from Eric Tangradi, 2 assists from Andreas Athanasiou, a goal from Mitch Callahan and 23 saves from Jared Coreau en route to a 4-1 win over the Milwaukee Admirals. The Griffins have now won 9 straight games.

The Griffins' website posted a recap:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Canadiens set-up—here comes trouble?

The Detroit Red Wings would be facing a particularly stiff task in battling the East-leading Montreal Canadiens this evening (7:30 PM on FSD/CITY/RDS/97.1 FM) and the surging New Jersey Devils on Friday (7:30 PM on FSD Plus) if the teams in question had no names.

The fact that the Red Wings possess an 0-5-and-2 record against the Canadiens since the 2013-14 season, and when you line that up against the Red Wings' 11-game points streak (7-0-and-4)--and add in the fact that the Canadiens lost their 3rd straight game last night, a 3-1 decision to Boston--and you end up with a recipe for some fireworks this evening.

The Red Wings will want to "measure up," but they've lost 7 straight against a team that's going to want to put the brakes on a 3-game losing streak, and with Detroit only 6 points behind the Canadiens, with a game in hand...

This could be the Wings' best chance to gain ground on the Carey Price-less Habs in ages.

The Canadiens rarely surrender a 3rd-peirod lead, but the Mike Condon-backstopped Canadiens dropped just that en route to Wednesday night's loss, as the Canadian Press noted:

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‘Roughly Translated’: On Mantha’s learning curve

Anthony Mantha didn't play in the Grand Rapids Griffins' 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday night, but the reasons for his scratching were unclear for Martin Frk's sake, but the 6'4" prospect is still a big part of the Red Wings' future.

Le Journal de Montreal's Jean-Francois Chaumont spoke with Mantha about his slow but steady improvement as a professional hockey player.

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Dylan Larkin The Calder Candidate

from The Hockey News,

In the first edition of the THN.com Roundtable, we debate who will, or should, win the NHL’s rookie-of-the-year award.

Dylan Larkin, C, Detroit Red Wings

LARKIN. Dylan Larkin.  Ah, feels good to see those surnames together. I have to show some bias toward my faux-bloodline. Seriously, though, Larkin outplayed Jack Eichel at the world juniors last year despite considerably less fanfare and has done it again this season. Larkin plays with discipline and grit in all three zone and is on pace to top 30 goals as a teenager. I’d bet my (minuscule) life savings he succeeds Henrik Zetterberg as captain someday. I don’t see the Jonathan Toews comparisons as hyperbole. Everything about Larkin screams “winner.” He’s already a franchise pillar.

read on for other candidates...

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Krupa: Here comes a ‘measuring stick game’

The 19-6-and-3 Montreal Canadiens will be battling the Boston Bruins this evening on NBCSN, and then the Habs head to Motown to take on the 15-8-and-5 Red Wings on Thursday. Detroit possess an 11-game unbeaten streak (7-0-and-4), and the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa duly notes that the measuring stick will be out on Thursday evening:

Thursday, the Red Wings are up against the Canadiens, who have presided over the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference for the entire season. The Wings trail them by six points, but head-to-head battles are often a better indicator.

"I didn't think we were good enough," coach Jeff Blashill said of the Wings performance against the Capitals. "The process is going to have to be better on Thursday."

Not having had much success against either Eastern Conference rival recently, the Wings feel they can provide better evidence of their playoff possibilities by improving their record against them.

They enter the contest Thursday with a seven game losing streak, against the Canadiens, including a 4-1 loss in Montreal, Oct. 17.

"Again, it gives us a chance to measure or record against the best teams in the league or the Eastern Conference," Blashill said. "We want to be a top team. So, to be a top team, you have to beat these teams. We haven't seen Montreal since early in the year in their building. So, it will be interesting to see how we stack up. Our focus has to be to play better than we did tonight. And, if we do, I like our chances against anybody."

Krupa continues, discussing Joakim Andersson and Tomas Jurco's performances against Washington and noting that the Wings won't face Carey Price on Thursday as he's injured.

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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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