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Game 3 Moves Paid Off For Jeff Blashill

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Petr Mrazek, replacing Jimmy Howard, faced only 16 shots but recorded his third shutout in eight career postseason games vs. the Lightning.

Brendan Smith, replacing veteran Kyle Quincey, was physical and strong defensively in one of his best games of the season.

The newly formed line of Justin Abdelkader, Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan held the Tyler Johnson line to no shots on goal, after they had dominated the first two games.

"I think on the bench he knows the right things to do," Sheahan said. "Being at home we had the last line change. We could do things we wanted to do and he made some good choices. You have to give him a lot of credit. He's an experienced coach and has had success at every level. We're happy with him."

When all is said and done, could it be the defining moment of Blashill's first season as an NHL head coach?

read on

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Justin Abdelkader Kept His Cool

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Give credit to Justin Abdelkader for having a ton of composure.

Tampa Bay’s Brian Boyle challenged Abdelkader to fight Sunday at the end of Game 3, only to have Abdelkader decline, for a variety of reasons.

Primarily, Abdelkader had already earned a misconduct in Game 2 for fighting Tampa’s Mike Blunden, and another misconduct would have earned him a one-game suspension.

“I’ve got to be smart,” Abdelkader said. “I don’t want to take myself out of the series.”

Boyle made a chicken-wing motion at Abdelkader and the Red Wings bench afterward.

“I don’t need to comment on that,” Abdelkader said. “If he wants to do that, good for him.”

continue for more on the Wings...

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

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Khan: Double A on the power play is at least a consideration

From MLive's Ansar Khan:

The Detroit Red Wings need to do something to spark their power play in this first-round playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Could Andreas Athanasiou help? The rookie makes things happen in his limited ice time. His speed puts opponents on their heels and he has some finishing ability, with 10 goals in 40 games, regular season and playoffs combined, while playing mostly in a bottom-six capacity.

Coach Jeff Blashill said Monday it's not out of the realm of possibility.

"We've certainly looked at everything as we go through the decision process," Blashill said. "Is there any ways that we can help ourselves do better in any area, including the power play? I would certainly give lots of credit to Tampa's penalty kill. I think they were one of the top penalty-killing units in the last 2-3 months down the stretch. They do a really good job, so let's make sure they get lots of credit there."

Regardless, the Red Wings must convert more often, starting in Game 4 Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. They are 1 for 17 in the series (5.9 percent) and have managed only 17 shots in 27:19 with the extra man.

"We have a guy we thought about inserting in (Teemu) Pulkkinen as well; he brings a real addition to a potential power play," Blashill said. "Double-A spent some time on our power play last year when I had him in Grand Rapids, not tons of time. He did a good job. It's something we'll look at."


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Never throw

The Free Press's Brian Manzullo and 97.1 the Ticket's George J. Fox have posted video evidence of it, and I don't want to show the video, but some yutz threw a beer at Brian Boyle while he was trying to fight Justin Abdelkader, and you may think what you will of Boyle or Abdelkader's actions last night...

But I cannot express how incredibly incorrect and wrong the behavior of the fan was in throwing anything at any player, even Claude Fricking Lemieux. Not beer, not coins, not rabbits' feet, not octopi (octopuses if you prefer), never, ever, ever throw something at a player while you are at a hockey game. It defines the term "bush league." Throw insults, throw firsts banging the glass, throw temper tantrums, but never, ever, ever throw something at a player, no matter what they are doing. It's just wrong.

I hope the "fan" was found and thrown out.

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Practice Tweets: Wings reflect on Game 3, the ‘chicken dance’

Updated 5x at 2:26 PM: The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before noon on Monday, hoping to "flush" Game 3 while looking ahead to prepare for Game 4.

MLive's Ansar Khan weighed in...

Highly optional practice for #RedWings. About a half-dozen players on the ice, including last night's scratches.

Practice ended quickly, and the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa entered the locker room...

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A bit about the offsides challenge from Ken Holland

TSN's Frank Seravalli wrote a column discussing many hot topics in the NHL this morning, and he spoke with Ken Holland regarding the NHL's current review of possible offsides plays:

The NHL’s general managers have two weapons at their disposal for their next meeting in June to refine the process of the offside challenge. They can push to have the league’s Situation Room in Toronto make the decision to speed up the process. They can also move to change the wording of the offside rule itself, making it less stringent so that, theoretically, fewer calls would be challenged in the future. The current rule wasn't written with the idea of frame-by-frame dissection in mind. It has been called the same way since the 1950s. Let’s not forget, just a month ago the response from GMs on the coach’s challenge in Boca Raton, Fla., was overwhelmingly positive. While removing the egregious mistake was the intended goal, whether a play was offside by millimeters or a yard doesn’t change the fact it is offside. We’ll see how much of an appetite there is to change a traditional rule, one with roots in 1930.

“We talked about whether the foot is in the air, or it’s the plane [of the blue line] but we’re going to leave that alone,” Red Wings GM Ken Holland said on March 14. “We’re talking history and tradition and the way officials have ruled the game for a long time. I think that’s good for right now … We’ll let it go through as it is until the summertime, but for the most part, it’s the better call.”

I wouldn't mind seeing the Situation Room weigh in, but I agree with Holland--these reviews may be a little aggravating, and between the Zetterberg kick-in ruling last night and Jon Cooper's coach's challenge, it took 7 minutes to review last night's 2-0 goal...

But they got it right, and that's what matters. Get it right, whatever the rules might be (and Mickey Redmond believes that the NHL will adopt a "breaking the plane of the blueline rule for offsides in the future).

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Morning news: On the ‘Chicken Dance,’ the Glendening line, Mac on the game and Athanasiou

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. If you want to re-watch the Abdelkader-Boyle exchange, the Tampa Tribune posted a video thereof, and Sportnset's Scott Lewis may or may not think that Abdelkader did indeed "chicken out" because he was facing a 6'6" Boyle:

2. NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned an article about the Sheahan-Glendening-Abdelkader line and Game 3's other storylines:

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The Shut Down Line

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Three players who have played almost exclusively on separate lines joined forces Sunday to shut down the hottest line in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Luke Glendening and new linemates Justin Abdelkader and Riley Sheahan played a large part in not only keeping the Tyler Johnson line off the scoreboard, they also helped prevent that unit from registering a single shot on goal.

That was the main reason the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series at Joe Louis Arena.

"The one thing we talked about this morning is you can't go out there and defend all night," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "So we felt Glendening, Sheahan and Abdelkader could do a good job of trying to make Johnson's line defend them and I thought they did a pretty good job. They are big guys, they can roll around the offensive zone and spending time in the other team's zone is the best defense."


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Red Wings-Lightning Game 3 wrap-up: A strong effort from Athanasiou to Zetterberg (sorry, Chief)

The Red Wings' 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning was characterized by the Wings' players as a stepping stone toward making a series out of their first-round tussle with the Bolts, but nothing more.

Despite out-shooting the Lightning 30-16, out-attempting the Bolts 63-42 and completely shutting down the Triplets Line, the Wings didn't get carried away by their victory, and that's essential given the job the Red Wings have ahead of them in attempting to win 3 of 4 remaining games.

Detroit made its adjustments in both personnel and systems play, and it was rewarded; they expect Tampa Bay to make adjustments in personnel and systems play, and come out even harder on Tuesday.

The Lightning did their best to suggest that they were bested by better execution in the neutral zone, as they told the Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson...

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Prospect playoff news: Skelleftea wins w/o Holmstrom; Hicketts adds 2 helpers in Royals win

Of prospect-related note:

In the SHL, the Axel Holmstrom-less Skelleftea AIK won 4-1 over Christoffer Ehn's Frolunda Indians, tying the SHL final at 1 game apiece. Ehn had a shot and won 60% of his faceoffs in 9:46 of ice time;

In the QMJHL, Evgeny Svechnikov took 2 shots, won 6 of 13 faceoffs and finished at -1 in the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles' 5-4 loss to the Saint John Sea Dogs. The second-round series is tied at 3 and will go to a Game 7 on Tuesday;

In the WHL, Joe Hicketts had 2 assists and finished at +2 in the Victoria Royals' 3-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. Hicketts was named the game's 3rd star. This second-round series is also tied at 3 games apiece and heading to a Game 7 on Tuesday.

Update: Grand Rapids Griffins captain Jeff Hogagn spoke with WOOD TV's Sports Overtime on Sunday:

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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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