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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch for this week:

What to do about that second line?

The newly formed second line – Dylan Larkin centering Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar – was ineffective in Sunday's 1-0 overtime loss at the New York Rangers and logged less than 12 minutes.

Nyquist (10 games without a goal) and Tatar (no points in seven games) are struggling, creating a dilemma. Do you keep them together and hope a fresher Larkin (he was sick over the weekend) can help spark them? Do you go back to the lines from last week, splitting them up?

Nyquist is at his best with Henrik Zetterberg and Tatar likewise with Pavel Datsyuk, but separating Datsyuk and Zetterberg might not be wise.

Phone lines busy before trade deadline?

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, as usual, will be working the phones in the days leading up to the 3 p.m. Monday trade deadline. He's not looking for depth – he said he'll only acquire a player if it's a "significant upgrade" over what they have.

Of course, the price has to be right. The Red Wings are up against the cap, so they'll need to shed almost an equal amount of salary to add anybody, making it more difficult to deal.

If they make move, it's more apt to be for a forward (a top-six scorer or a decent-sized and abrasive fourth-liner) than a defenseman.

more topics...

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Elliotte Friedman On The Wings At The Trade Deadline

Elliotte Friedman did an AMA Reddit today and there was a Detroit related question and answer...

Do you think the Red Wings upgrade their secondary scoring at all? Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar both have 12 points each in their past 30 games.

Friedman- They will try.

But, the Franzen cap situation and Holland's unwillingness to consistently give up futures make it harder. Sometimes, it has to be solved from within.

Many more NHL questions answered.

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All About The Stadium Series Game Between Detroit And Colorado On Saturday Night

STAMFORD, Conn. – Feb. 22, 2016 – NBC Sports Group presents wall-to-wall hockey this week – 11 combined NHL and college hockey games spanning the next seven days, with at least one game every night – highlighted by NBC’s primetime presentation of the NHL Stadium Series on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, when rookie phenom Dylan Larkin and the Detroit Red Wings face off against Matt Duchene and the Colorado Avalanche at Coors Field in Denver, Colo., home of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies.

Three-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will call the Red Wings-Avalanche NHL Stadium Series matchup on NBC from Coors Field. Kathryn Tappen and Jeremy Roenick will provide pre-game and intermission coverage on-site.

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The Ice Time For Gustav Nyquist And Tomas Tatar

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"The other side of it is they have to go out and scream at me that they want to play more," Blashill said. "I didn't think they screamed at me that they want to play more. That's one way to make sure you get more ice time."

Nyquist has gone 10 games without a goal (five assists) and has just two goals in his past 27 games (along with nine assists). He has logged less than 15 minutes in seven of his past eight games, excluding Feb. 14 vs. Boston, when he missed time due to an injury.

Tatar has no points in seven games and just six points (two goals, four assists) in 16 games. He has logged less than 15 minutes in seven of the past nine games.

For the season, Nyquist and Tatar rank eighth and ninth in ice time among the club's forwards, averaging 15:07 and 14:37, respectively.


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We Will Know More About The Status Of Nicklas Kronwall Tomorrow

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Jimmy Howard’s Best Game Of The Year

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Jimmy Howard was the Jimmy Howard of old Sunday, rejecting point-blank shots, making a blocker save on a penalty shot, stepping up as the Detroit Red Wings' top penalty killer.

"I told him through the 11 years of on an off (as a teammate) that might have been the best game I've ever seen him play," Kyle Quincey said. "I'm happy that he had such a great game and hopefully he can keep going with that. If he does that, we're in great shape."

They still need to score more. They didn't score any on Sunday and that's why they lost 1-0 in overtime to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, in a game the struggling Howard deserved to win.

"First and foremost you want to get the two points and walk out of here feeling really good about yourself," Howard said. "But on a personal note maybe this is a step in the right direction figuring out my role here. It's been hard. It's been tough to figure out, but hopefully I'm starting to get it."


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Wings’ coaching staff distraught by Kalamazoo tragedy

From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...

As the Red Wings boarded their team bus Saturday in Ottawa, Jeff Blashill saw the tragic news of the senseless mass shooting that left six people dead and two critically injured in Kalamazoo.

It wasn’t that long ago that Blashill coached college hockey in the West Michigan town, but his immediate thoughts were of one of his assistants.

“Pat Ferschweiler’s family still lives in Kalamazoo, so I let him know as soon as I saw it on the Internet,” said Blashill, who led Western Michigan University to the CCHA championship game in 2010-11. “That incident wasn’t far from Pat’s home. So certainly our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Kalamazoo. It sounds like it was a random, horrific act, so it’s a real sad thing.”

The Free Press's Helene St. James...

Blashill himself spent a year in the area when he coached at Western Michigan in 2010-11. He lived for three years in Grand Rapids while coaching the Griffins, from 2012-2015.

"I only spent a year there, but it was a great year," Blashill said. "Great, great people in west Michigan. Obviously, spent numerous years in west Michigan, and it's not a spot you think something is going to happen but that talks about how it's a fleeting life at times. Real sad thing."

And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

“Horrible,” Blashill said of his emotions. “My first thought was actually Pat Ferschweiler’s family still lives in Kalamazoo so I let him know as soon as I saw it on the Internet. That incident wasn’t far from Pat’s home.

“Certainly our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Kalamazoo. It sounded like a random, horrific act. A real sad thing.”

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Red Wings-Rangers quick take: Offense can’t bail heroic Howard out

The Red Wings kicked off a 3-game late-season series against the New York Rangers on Sunday night, hoping to snap an 0-4-and-1 road record with Jimmy Howard in the net opposite Henrik Lundqvist. That's...That's a stiff task.

Howard almost pulled it off, stopping 29 of 30 shots as the Red Wings lost 1-0 to the Rangers in overtime. The Wings were involved in a controversial no-goal call in which Jimmy Howard tripped a Ranger but was allowed to do so because Jesper Fast's skate came up and caught Howard in the mask, and the Rangers will insist that the Wings stole a point from them for that reason...

But Howard was damn, damn good in bailing out the Wings on many occasions, and the now-toothless-on-the-road Wings just couldn't or wouldn't generate offense in a simple, direct manner against an incredibly tough-to-score-on Rangers team. During a game that was more than a little bit of, "Old Time Hockey" in terms of the allowance of tackle/wrestling/rugby hockey plays, Detroit ground out a point, and they may have deserved a second one, but a terrible read in OT yielded the one shot that Howard could not stop, a perfect chip by Kevin Klein that went over Howard's glove.

Detroit's 0-for-4 power play played into the equation, but Detroit couldn't score period because they couldn't find their way into Lundqvist's field of vision, and when you can't screen a goaltender as good as Lundqvist, it's a matter of time and a margin of error before you get beat first.

That being said, Detroit got 2 points in 2 OT losses, and those points will add up come playoff time.

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Dylan Larkin Is Probable And Tomas Jurco Will Sit

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Andreas Athanasiou Playing The Right Way

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"Whatever opportunity you get you have to make the most of it and do the best to help the guys win, whether it's scoring a goal to build momentum or just going out there and working hard in the D-zone," Athanasiou said.

He was playing 18-to-20 minutes a game in all situations with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Now he's logging 8:25 a game, none of it on the power play and only a little on the penalty kill.

"You've got to be ready whenever you hear your name called," Athanasiou said. "You know how to play the game whether you're playing 5-10 minutes or 10-20 minutes. It's hockey. You've always got to be ready."

The more defensively responsible line of Luke Glendening, Darren Helm and Riley Sheahan logged twice as many shifts as Athanasiou's line, with Tomas Jurco and Teemu Pulkkinen, in the close game against the Senators.

Blashill said Athanasiou is the kind of player who can have an impact with limited ice time.

"It's real hard to play seven minutes and keep your focus and be able to go out and still have a positive impact in the game," Blashill said. "I thought he had a positive impact in the game. So good for him, keep battling, keep doing things the right way."


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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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