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Dylan Larkin Out Tonight

Update:

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Teemu Pulkkinen May Be In The Lineup Tonight Due To Dylan Larkin’s Illness

from Bill Roose of the Wings' website,

Pulkkinen has been a healthy scratch for the past eight games. He has six goals and six assists in 29 games this season.

“I like him lots as a player,” Blashill said. “We’ve got different players in different roles. There’s certain guys you got to have as penalty killers, got to have guys that bring energy to your team, got to have physicality. I think Teemu is a real good player and I think ultimately he’ll score goals in the NHL. He scored to some degree so far. The more he scores the more he’ll play in that sense. But he’s got to do it in a complete game.

“I got lots of belief in Teemu. I got no problem putting him in here tonight and expecting him to be great tonight.”

Sitting and watching games from the press box has been frustrating, Pulkkinen said, but he’s remained positive.

“Everybody wants to play, so when you’re not playing, you’re not kind of happy,” he said. “This is pro hockey and there’s only a number of guys who can dress and some guys have to sit.

“Just work out hard. Be ready for every day. There’s not much you can do. You can just stay positive and work hard.”

more plus other Detroit notes...

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Red Wings-Senators morning skate Tweets and articles: Anderson vs. Mrazek; Larkin is ill

The Red Wings face the Ottawa Senators this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/TVA Sports/City/97.1 FM) hoping to snap a 4-game road winless streak; in terms of the standings, the Wings need to push the Senators back as Detroit could either end tonight's game up 9 points or 5 points ahead of Ottawa.

The Senators took to the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre at 10:15 AM, per the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch...

Tonight is the 1,800th game in franchise history. The club is 811-751-115-122 in 1,799 games. #Sens

...

Borowiecki on the ice this AM. #Sens

...

Daniel Alfredsson out here to work with the players this AM. #Sens

...

Hoffman-Turris-Stone; Dzingel-Zibanejad-Ryan; Smith-Pageau-Neil and Paul-Lazar-Chiasson. #Sens

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Team Meeting Is The Story Of The Day

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Henrik Zetterberg left Canadian Tire Centre making plans for lunch. So did several Detroit Red Wings teammates.

Some, including Pavel Datsyuk, spent the early afternoon partaking in an optional practice, others opted for off-ice workouts, then a good meal. But one thing was different: A meeting that lasted double the usual seven-to-eight minutes. The coaching staff spent much of it on video.

"It's just showing stuff we need to improve on," Justin Abdelkader said. "Giving up five goals is not the style and the type of play that is going to move us forward. We've got to be better, have better attention to detail. We've got 24 games left, so it's a sprint to the finish here."

Petr Mrazek will be back in net for Saturday's game against the Ottawa Senators. Mrazek has allowed 10 goals his last two starts, but no one lacks confidence in the young goaltender.

continued

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Wings Had An Optional Practice In Ottawa Today

via Helene St. James tweets,

Red Wings held longer meeting than usual before today's practice, players and coaches.

Was an optional practice for Red Wings. Pavel Datsyuk still hit the ice

via Bill Roose tweet,

The #RedWings are skating in Ottawa. No sign of Zetterberg, Richards, Quincey and Helm. Likely a maintenance day. Kronwall is skating.

added 2:15pm

Helene St. James tweets, saying Blashill announces Mrazek in net tomorrow and also says hasn't decided on lineup, but all players who played yesterday are available.

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Questions For Khan

Ansar Khan of Mlive answers questions from the fans...

Q: I was wondering about Teemu Pulkkinen. Is it just a numbers game as to why he isn't in the lineup or are there some other issues keeping him from playing more? I've heard that he may not have the best work ethic but with the team struggling to score goals (especially before the last few games) I would think they would want his big shot in the lineup.

A: There is no room for Pulkkinen in the top six, where his ability is best suited. Jeff Blashill believes he has better options for the top two lines. They tried Pulkkinen on the fourth line for a few games but that didn''t work. That leaves the third line. It basically comes down to Pulkkinen or Tomas Jurco and right now Blashill prefers Jurco. He said he wants to give Jurco an extended opportunity instead of alternating him with Pulkkinen, and Jurco had a decent game in Pittsburgh.

Also, despite Andreas Athanasiou's limited minutes, Blashill likes the speed element he brings and his ability to kill penalties.

Other than Jurco or Athanasiou, I don't see Pulkkinen replacing anyone else in the lineup. So he might need to wait for an injury to get back in there.

Q: Think the Wings get in on any of the marquee free agents in the summer? Some team is going to sign (Steven Stamkos) to the league max with money and term if he gets to free agency. Do the Wings have a chance? 

A: I highly doubt it. I think Stamkos will either re-sign with Tampa Bay or bolt for Toronto. I don't think he's worth the league maximum (20 percent of the upper salary-cap limit). I'd rather have two quality players making $5 million each than Stamkos for $10-12 million.

I could see the Red Wings, depending on their cap space, exploring the possibility of adding a decent-sized forward in free agency. Andrew Ladd (Winnipeg), David Backes (St. Louis), Milan Lucic (Los Angeles) and Eric Staal (Carolina) are among those slated to hit the market, though a couple might re-sign with their current club.

continue for more Q & A...

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Wings’ Defense Needs To Tighten Up

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

"I didn't think we were good enough defensively," said coach Jeff Blashill. "I didn't think as a five-man unit we weren't even close. We cannot play that way and have long-term success.

"I thought we were way too loose, we gave up way too many chances. Certainly credit to them, they played really well but I focus on our team. I thought it was our weakest five-man unit defensively we've had in a while."

In Mrazek's last start, the Red Wings beat the Boston Bruins 6-5 to complete a homestand that saw them earn nine of a possible 10 points.

Blashill thought Mrazek was better against the Penguins than he was vs. the Bruins, when he faced just 22 shots.

"I thought he was fine tonight," Blashill said. "I thought the other night he was a bit off. He would tell you that as well. Tonight I didn't see that. The only thing is making sure his crease management is real good, where he doesn't get too far out of the cage, so he can continue to battle for all those rebound goals.

"But I just think – I don't care who's in the net – you can't play that way defensively and have long-term success."

more

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Red Wings-Penguins quick take: out-worked, out-hustled, out-goaltended

The Red Wings faced a stiff task in battling the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday evening, facing a team that they could very easily end up battling for a Wild Card spot should the Wings fall off their pace even slightly.

The Wings were also absolutely embarrassed by the Penguins on New Year's Eve, losing 5-2 in a game that they were absolutely dominated, so there was pride on the line on Thursday evening.

The Wings sure didn't play like pride was on the line, giving up rush after rush and being out-worked, out-hustled, out-ground, out-executed and thoroughly out-played as the Penguins defeated Detroit 6-3.

Petr Mrazek looked very ordinary, the defense in front of him was so bad that Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall appeared to be missed, and on a night where the Wings needed balanced scoring to show up, Smith, Green, Tatar, Richards and Sheahan were conspicuously absent.

Instead, Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Abdelkader generated 17 of the team's 38 shots, Larkin found chemistry with Glendening and Helm of all people, and Ouellet and Marchenko looked to be punching above their weight not only against Crosby and Kessel, but also Cullen, Hornqvist and Kunitz.

It was a disturbing game all the way around, and the Wings get no break as they play in Ottawa on Saturday, New York against the Rangers on Sunday, and at home against Columbus on Tuesday.

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A Big Two Points On The Line Tonight

from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,

With only 25 games left, there isn’t much time for the Red Wings to lock down a playoff spot while extending their impressive postseason streak to 25 consecutive seasons.

Currently, the Wings are one of two teams with a negative goal differential that are holding on to a playoff position. The Wings have scored one fewer goals than the 147 goals allowed but are in third place with 67 points in the Atlantic Division trailing first-place Florida (72 points) and second-place Boston (68). New Jersey, which holds the Eastern Conference’s first wild card – by one point over Pittsburgh – has a minus-6 goal differential.

The Wings know they can’t afford to finish this season like they did a year ago when they posted a 10-11-4 record in the final seven weeks to end with 100 points.

“That’s been like that all year,” Wings forward Gustav Nyquist said. “You feel like you go on a small little run, take points in five straight games and win four of them, but you’re not really running away with a good lead. A lot of teams are right there in the mix, five, six points, there’s not a lot of difference between the teams. For sure a big two points tonight.”

more topics...

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2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship Names USA Hockey Arena In Plymouth, MI As Host

PLYMOUTH, Michigan — USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, has been selected to host the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship, it was announced here today by USA Hockey.

The event, tentatively slated to run from April 1-8, 2017, will include 22 games and feature the top female hockey players in the world. The majority of the games will be played on the main rink of the two-sheet facility, with the remaining games being staged on the secondary sheet.

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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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