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Pavel Datsyuk Thinks He Is Done Playing In The NHL After This Season

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

Pavel Datsyuk wants to go home. His career has been here. His wealth has been here. His celebrity has been here.

But his heart is somewhere else. It’s in Russia — with his teenage daughter and his roots, both of which he wants replanted into his life.

“I’m thinking I go home after this season,” he said, in a long discussion at the Northville home of his agent and friend, Dan Milstein. “I may not be done with hockey, but — it is hard to say — I think I am done playing in NHL.”

While this may be a shock to fans, it cannot be to the Red Wings. The truth is, Datsyuk has been squirming to go home since 2012, the year he played in Russia during the NHL lockout.


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Prospect news: Holmstrom, Skelleftea win; Cape Breton loses; Griffins lose to Chicago; Walleye lose

Of prospect-related note:

In playoff action, in the SHL, Axel Holmstrom had an assist, 2 shots and won 54% of his faceoffs in 12:53 of ice time as Skelleftea AIK defeated the Vaxjo Lakers 5-3, taking a 3-2 lead in their SHL semifinal series;

In the QMJHL, Evgeny Svechnikov had an assist, 3 shots and won 5 of 11 faceoffs as his Cape Breton Screaming Eagles lost 4-3 in overtime to the Saint John Sea Dogs. The QMJHL semifinal series is tied at 1-1;

In the WHL, the Joe Hicketts-less Victoria Royals defeated the Kelowna Rockets 3-2, taking a 2-0 series lead;

In regular-season play, in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins blew a 3-1 lead and lost 4-3 to the Chicago Wolves. Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist and Mark Zengerle had 2 assists, but Grand Rapids couldn't stifle the Wolves' power play.

The Griffins' website posted a recap:

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Kulfan, St. James talk Wings-Bolts

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan and the Free Press's Helene St. James are already teeing up the Wings-Lightning first-round rematch. The Bolts are without Steven Stamkos, Anton Stralman and possibly Tyler Johnson, but the Wings aren't expecting an easy ride...

“They still have a lot of weapons, they have a lot of great players on that team,” goaltender Jimmy Howard said. “We have to be ready to go. This year, it seems like home ice advantage has been key going against each other. But we have to find a way to steal one in the playoffs.”

The teams split four games this season, each winning twice on their home ice.

The Red Wings made the playoffs for the 25th consecutive season and don’t care how it happened — getting in despite losing to the Rangers on Saturday.

Coach Jeff Blashill told his team about Ottawa defeating Boston right after the Red Wings came into the locker room, with the Senators’ win putting the Red Wings into the postseason.

“Once we found out we were in, my biggest message to them was to congratulate them, remind them we earned our way into the playoffs and let’s get ready to beat Tampa,” Blashill said.

Kulfan continues with his mini-series preview, and St. James picks it up from there:

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‘Roughly Translated’: Zetterberg, Kronwall address the Wings’ playoff streak

Via RedWingsFeed, here's a little "Bonus Swedish" from Expressen's Gunnar Nordstrom:

Detroit is headed to the Stanley Cup [playoffs] again

Los Angeles. Despite the 3-2 loss in New York against the Rangers, Detroit hinged upon a playoff spot. And the incomparable streak continues. This is the 25th consecutive year that the Red Wings are in the playoffs and fighting for the Stanley Cup.

"One can safely say that it's a great relief that we [got in]," says Niklas Kronwall.

But they have to thank Erik Karlsson's Ottawa Senators, who defeated Boston 6-1 in Boston and gave Detroit the help they needed.

"It's a cruel streak that Detroit has, so it's cool for them that they're in the playoffs for the 25th consecutive year," says Erik Karlsson to Sport-Expresen after the big victory in Boston.

Zetterberg, Kronwall and the other Swedes in the Red Wings might well owe you a real feast this summer?

"Yeah, that's really true, ha ha."

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Red Wings-Rangers wrap-up: the process and the product

The more I think about it, the less I care about the fact that the Red Wings backed into the playoffs via their 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers combined with the Bruins' loss to Ottawa on Saturday.

I understand that "how you did it" matters in life, but in sports, you either accomplish a goal or you don't, and Henrik Zetterberg and Jeff Blashill both wisely pointed out that you count the points and wins from 1-82, and if you've got more than the opponent, you've got more than the opponent.

I liked the way the Wings played in their 3-2 loss to the Rangers. I thought their jam, grit, and poise were fantastic in the second and third periods, and especially coming off that stinker of a loss to Boston, I was happy that the Wings were building for Wednesday's opener in Tampa Bay.

That's where we're at, talking about Wednesday's opener in Tampa Bay.

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They’re In

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings couldn't get the job done themselves on Saturday, needing some help to reach the playoffs.

But they're not apologizing for it. All that matters to them is that they qualified for the 25th consecutive season.

Minutes after his team's 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill walked into the dressing and gave the players the news – the Ottawa Senators beat the Boston Bruins 6-1, enabling Detroit to clinch third place in the Atlantic Division, setting up a first-round matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Once we found out we were in, my biggest message to them was to congratulate them, remind them that we earned our way into the playoffs and let's get ready to beat Tampa," Blashill said.


from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

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Red Wings in the playoffs for a 25th straight year

So the Wings' 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers didn't matter; Boston's 6-1 loss to the Senators clinched Detroit a 25th consecutive playoff year.


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Red Wings-Rangers quick take, take 3: Backing in despite a fine effort

The Red Wings faced the biggest must-win situation of the season against the New York Rangers on Saturday, and the Red Wings were unable to take care of business despite out-playing the Rangers by a wide margin, losing 3-2.

Detroit backs into the playoffs because Boston lost 6-1 to Ottawa, and it's disappointing, because Detroit played fantastic hockey over the final 2 periods against the Rangers. Regrettably, Antti Raanta was stellar against 33 Wings shots and 59 Wings attempts.

So Detroit backs into a likely match-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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A ‘mushy’ article suggesting that the Wings need a ‘proper rebuild’

Via RedWingsFeed, the Hockey News's Mike Brophy suggests that the Red Wings "need a proper rebuild":

It might actually help the Red Wings to finish a little lower in the standings in a transition season to get that elusive high pick. In the past five drafts, Detroit’s first picks were: 19th, 15th, 20th, 49th, 35th.

During the Red Wings time at the top of the NHL, it was often said they were a smart organization because they took their time with their prospects; forced them to learn the pro game in the AHL. A quick peak back, though, offers another possibility; with future Hall of Famers like Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull, Igor Larionov, Larry Murphy, Luc Robitaille, Slava Fetisov, Dominik Hasek and Chris Chelios playing ahead of them, the prospects simply couldn’t crack the lineup.

When players like Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Ericsson and Kyle Quincey finally established themselves as full-time NHL players, they were good, but not great.

For years the Red Wings have received well-earned pats on the back for their ability to snag great players later in the draft. The list goes on and on and on: Zetterberg 210th in 1999; Datsyuk 171st in 1998; Ericsson 291st in 2002; Helm 132nd in 2005; Quincey 132nd in 2003; Gustav Nyquist 121st in 2008; Valtteri Filppula 95th in 2002; Jimmy Howard 64th in 2003; and Tomas Tatar 60th in 2009.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland and his scouting staff are to be congratulated.

But unless their prospects are going to take giant leaps forward in the next few years as Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall continue to fade, a change of direction might be the best bet.

Brophy continues, and I don't think he understands how Ken Holland operates...And he undervalues the Wings' prospects significantly.

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Grand Rapids jostling for playoff position as regular season winds down

From the Grand Rapids Press's Steve Kaminski:

The Grand Rapids Griffins can look up, down and all around the Central Division standings for challenges as they head into the final week of regular-season play.

If the Griffins want to find their biggest challenge of all, though, all they have to do is look into the mirror.

That's what goaltender Tom McCollum said after recording 21 saves in Grand Rapids' 4-3 victory over Chicago Friday night at Van Andel Arena.

"I think our biggest challenge right now is ourselves," McCollum said. "Sometimes, we've had a few questionable performances here and there, but I think as long as we keep ourselves focused and play well, we will do great things."

The Griffins (44-25-1-1) are one of four Central Division teams that have clinched a playoff berth, and the scramble is on to earn home-ice advantage through the first round of the playoffs. That will go to the top two teams, and the Griffins are currently second with five games to go, but the race remains close.

Grand Rapids, which has 90 points, trails front-running Milwaukee by five points. Friday's win gave the Griffins a one-point lead over Lake Erie and a two-point margin over fourth-place Rockford.


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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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