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Ranking The Wings’ Core

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

... no prospects who aren’t in the NHL. Dylan Strome is part of the future core in Arizona, but he doesn’t count for this exercise.

With that in mind, six players from each team were identified as the core, and I did the math to help get a sense of where each team is in the developmental cycle. The numbers ended up, in some cases, being surprising. Here are all 30 cores, listed from youngest to oldest:

29. Detroit Red Wings

Core average age: 29.3 years old

Pavel Datsyuk, 37

Dylan Larkin, 19

Gustav Nyquist, 26

Henrik Zetterberg, 35

Petr Mrazek, 24

Niklas Kronwall, 35

Datsyuk and Zetterberg skew the Red Wings to the old side, but there’s a nice, younger generation of Red Wings coming, led by Larkin. The biggest missing piece is a young, top-pairing defenseman to take the place of Kronwall, who is slowing down. But nearly every team in the league could say the same thing.

all teams (paid subscription and as always, the hockey topics from the ESPN Insiders is well worth it)

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Doing The “Right Things Tonight”

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

"I think everything is magnified this time of year," Green said. "Obviously, with how tight it is, the magnitude is stronger, and we have to make sure we do the right things tonight."

Coach Jeff Blashill had some new and old lines going during the morning skate, putting speedy Andreas Athanasiou with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar, and reuniting Dylan Larkin (who has no points his last seven games) with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader. Riley Sheahan centered Gustav Nyquist and Pulkkinen, leaving Luke Glendening, Darren Helm and Brad Richards on the fourth line.

Putting Athanasiou with Datsyuk might gain the puck magician a split-second more of space, as Athanasiou can make things happen with this speed.

Blashill said the move is less a reflection on Athanasiou and more on trying to find good line combinations amid the recent slide.

"Hopefully, that line together can do some real good things," he said.


added 12:45pm, from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

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Numerous Features Of The New Rink In Detroit

from Edward Pevos of Mlive,

During Wednesday's tour, Tom Wilson, Olympia Entertainment Pres. & CEO said the goal of The District is to bring people to the area well before games or events. There will be six restaurants and seven clubs in the arena alone. The adjacent outdoor plaza will host events and concerts before the actual concerts and events start inside the arena.

The plaza will be a place to tailgate and the huge screen will make for a great gathering place for fans to watch games. The plaza will have room for hundreds of people.

Forty feet underneath the outdoor plaza will be the Red Wings practice ice rink. It will also be the rink used by the Little Caesars Hockey Club. The main ice rink is also being built underground, along with a lot of other aspects of the new arena. The entrance to the arena building itself will be on ground level.

Inside the arena

For the fans, the seats will be about two inches bigger than the seats at The Joe. The rows will also be spread further apart. It's all about comfort. The lower bowl will be where most of the seats are located, making for great views and up-close seating throughout the arena.

The upper sections are also not too far from the ice, making for great views no matter where you sit. There will also be various other places to watch a game, including the clubs and the gondola seating high up over the ice for a unique perspective. Tom Wilson compared it to sitting on top of the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

For the players, the locker rooms will be four times the size they are at The Joe. They hope is updated amenities will better support the team and help draw high-ticket free agents. 


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Detroit’s Morning Skate

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Everyone skating for #RedWings this morning. Mrazek working in starter's net.

#RedWings lines at skate:

Defense pairs:

added 10:48am, via Khan,

Nyquist-Zetterberg-Pulkkinen, Abdelkader (net front), Kronwall
Tatar-Datsyuk-Helm (net front), Richards-Green

added 11:34am, Khan again,

Blashill said Smith is in tonight and Marchenko scratched.

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Bill Gadsby Died This Morning At Age 88

 Feature on Gadsby via the Hockey Hall of Fame is below...

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Hockey Guys On The Wings

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Judging by talk radio and fan forums, Red Wings fans are in a panic....

Hockey analysts, however, aren’t feeling the same way.

“I’d be a little surprised if the Red Wings don’t make the playoffs,” NHL Network analyst E.J. Hradek said. “But I will say they need to get at least four points out of these next three home games. They’ve let Philadelphia into the discussion.”...

“Every team goes through ups and down during a long season,” analyst Elliotte Friedman said. “ I just feel with players such (Henrik) Zetterberg and (Pavel) Datsyuk, they will find the way.

“That streak means a lot to them. I remember talking with Zetterberg a couple of years ago, shortly after a season-ending victory in Dallas, which they had to win to make the playoffs. He said something along the lines of they weren’t going to miss ‘on his watch.’ ”

more on the Wings...

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Detroit’s Playoff Run In Peril

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

What comes after 24? For the Detroit Red Wings, the answer is looking more and more like: one.

One, as in the number of years without a playoff berth.

With 16 games to play in the regular schedule, the Wings' historic postseason streak of 24 consecutive appearances is in real jeopardy. They are on the sunny side of the ledger for the moment, but only just. After dropping three straight, including a dismal effort on Tuesday night in Columbus, only two points separate them from the hard-charging Philadelphia Flyers, who are 5-1-0 in their past six and hold a game in hand in the pursuit for the East's second wild card berth.

Things have been trending the wrong way for awhile, but that 5–3 loss to the Blue Jackets was particularly troubling. Beat writer Ansar Khan called it Detroit's "worst performance of the season" and that assessment isn't hard to swallow. The Wings stumbled out of the gate, getting outshot 16-4 in the first period before penalty troubles and some soft defensive play ended any chance that backup Jimmy Howard would steal a win.


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The Playoff Streak

The Detroit Red Wings, losers of three in a row, are only two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers, who are 5-1-0 in their past six games, for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Detroit missed an opportunity to gain breathing room over the Flyers on Tuesday night, losing 5-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Red Wings have advanced to the playoffs in 24 consecutive seasons, an NHL record. Is this streak in jeopardy? NHL columnist Kevin Allen and digital producer Kristen Shilton weigh in.

Allen: It's going to be a wild ride, but it seems unlikely that Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg would let this streak end on his watch. The Red Wings haven't look sharp of late, but their primary problem has been the power play, which ranks 24th. With a lineup that includes Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Mike Green, among others, the power play unit won't remain ineffective forever. This same cast of characters gave Detroit the second-best power play last season. Nyquist and Tatar in particular are overdue for a hot streak.

Shilton: I didn't disagree with the Red Wings' decision not to make any major moves before the trade deadline. And I admire coach Jeff Blashill's defense of his roster as many questioned standing pat. But it takes more than the will of aging stars to grind out wins late in the regular season.

continued at USA TODAY....

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Video- Jeff Blashill On A Few Topics

We need some guys to do some soul searching here.

via Ansar Khan of Mlive...

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A Frustrating Bad Start

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

They lacked urgency and their overall effort wasn't nearly good enough, much to coach Jeff Blashill's surprise and dismay.

The Detroit Red Wings, fighting for a playoff spot, turned in their worst performance of the season Tuesday in a 5-3 loss to the cellar-dwelling Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

This one was difficult to explain.

"Not good enough," Blashill said. "It's disappointing, it's frustrating; there's no way that effort is good enough, especially in the first period. So we got to look at ourselves, each individual, and we got to play much better that we did, certainly in the first.

"I thought we played better in the second. We need 60 minutes of that type of effort to have any chance of success. I just think by a man we got to be a lot better."


Dana Wakiji talked with a few of the Wings post-game, starting with Henrik Zetterberg...

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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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