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Red Wings-Islanders quick take: Wings play their road game to a tee, defeat the Isles

The Red Wings entered their final game of the pre-All-Star break schedule facing a team that they'd never defeated as members of the Eastern Conference, and faltering in the standings as the 50-game mark approached. The New York Islanders had won 3 out of 4 heading into tonight's game, and were running on all cylinders as the Wings skated at the Barclay's Center for the first time.

The Red Wings played a bit of a rope-a-dope game against the offensively-explosive Islanders, but the Wings, beleaguered pair of Jonathan Ericsson and Alexey Marchenko included, earned full marks for a hard-fought 4-2 victory over the Islanders on Monday night.

Detroit did what it's been unable to do thus far in scoring not only a go-ahead goal, but also an insurance goal--a 2-goal margin for error--and the Wings needed Danny DeKeyser's goal to count when Mikhail Grabovski raced in on a breakaway that Petr Mrazek wasn't able to stop (one of the few times that Mrazek was unable to absolutely dominate in the net).

The Wings gave up that late 3rd period goal but held on, got an empty-netter to salt it away, and the Wings go into the All-Star Break with a very well-deserved and well-earned victory.

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St. James: Wings-Avs alumni game will have bench bingo bango (Mickey Redmond will coach)

From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Update: From St. James in text form:

Kris Draper told the Free Press Monday evening that Mickey Redmond has been confirmed to run the bench for the Feb. 26 outdoors game at Coors Field against Colorado Avalanche alumni.

Draper tried to recruit the legendary Scotty Bowman, but he had prior commitments. "He would have loved to coach us, he said," Draper said.

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Evening news: On Datsyuk’s longevity, special teams and ‘simpler’ road play

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. FYI:

2. Among MLive's Brendan Savage's game-day stats and notes:

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Detroit News: Yzerman will play in Wings-Avs alumni game

From the Detroit News:

Red Wings great and NHL Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman will participate in the alumni game ahead of Detroit's outdoor game vs. the Avalanche at Coors Field in February.

Yzerman's participation in the Friday, Feb. 26 Wings-Avalanche alumni game was confirmed to The Detroit News by Kris Draper.

Yzerman, general manager of the Lightning, played for Detroit in the Wings-Maple Leafs alumni game at Comerica Park as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival on Dec. 31, 2013.

Draper, special assistant to Wings general manager Ken Holland, also is participating in the alumni game, which will begin at 7 p.m. at Coors Field.

Continued, and WXYZ's Brad Galli is also reporting that Yzerman will play...

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Red Wings-islanders game-day Tweets and articles: Tangradi, Jensen ‘game-time decisions’

Updated 2x at 1:52 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face the New York Islanders in their final pre-All-Star break game this evening (7 PM EST start on FSD/MSG Plus/Sportsnet Ontario/Sportsnet Pacific/97.1 FM), and the morning skate revealed that the Wings will probably keep Eric Tangradi and Nick Jensen in the press box this evening. MLive's Ansar Khan Tweeted the following morning skate lines:

#RedWings lines at skate:
Jurco-Glendening-Pulkkinen (Tangradi)


#RedWings defense pairs at skate:

Petr Mrazek will oppose Jaroslav Halak in the nets this evening, as Khan confirmed after the skate:

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A sign of the ‘brave new world’ of NHL player monitoring: nutrition, sleep, recovery all matter

This article is a little "different" in terms of its Red Wings-related status, but I'm going to throw it out there anyway: the Wall Street Journal's Rachel Bachman reports that pro sports teams are focusing very heavily on players' vitamin D levels as there's a correlation between vitamin D and soft tissue injuries, and the Red Wings' nutritionist was quoted in Bachman's article:

Pro and college sports engage in “smack talk,” about maintaining healthy vitamin D levels in their athletes, says Lisa McDowell, sports dietitian for the Detroit Red Wings and a member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association. “It’s a source of pride when your team checks in with a good level.”

Some teams also test athletes for other nutrients such as iron and magnesium to make sure deficiencies aren’t slowing them down.

Ms. McDowell aims to get her hockey players’ vitamin D levels between 40 and 80 nanograms per milliliter. Many players show up to training camp with vitamin D levels in the teens, she says.

An adequate vitamin D level for the average person is between 20 and 50 ng/ml, with a level over 50 potentially producing adverse effects, according to the IOM. But some experts have said the bottom end of that range is too low, and the Endocrine Society recommends maintaining a level between 40 and 60 ng/ml.

Red Wings players get little sun due to the team’s Midwestern locale. Ms. McDowell encourages players to spend time outside when the team plays in California so they can soak up vitamin D.

The Wings, like me, take vitamin D supplements as well...I happen to have a vitamin D deficiency (my initial blood test results had a vitamin D level of 6, which my doctor had never seen before), but I'm not posting this for that reason:

I'm posting this article because it's a reminder that players' nutrition and even bloodwork are monitored like never before in the NHL, with every team employing nutritionists to make sure that the players are eating well, taking the right supplements and taking care of their bodies in terms of rest and recovery from games. The Wings have spoken with a sleep specialist as well, and you may have seen some of the Tweets/Instagram pictures of the players sitting down with compression sleeves pumped up around their legs or arms to facilitate muscle recovery.

It ain't eating pizza and having a Coke and a couple cigarettes after a game any more.

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Quincey on the prized ‘HNIC’ towel

Sports Illustrated's Alex Prewitt spoke with NHL players of all stripes regarding the prized status of a Hockey Night in Canada interview towel, and Kyle Quincey addressed the phenomenon as only Kyle Quincey can, discussing Don Cherry's status as must-see TV, and, well...

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey remembers high school parties screeching to a halt whenever intermission arrived. Music off. TV to full blast. Everyone silent, listening to Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner segment, then the intermission interview. “Three minutes later, boom, party’s back on,” Quincey says.

As for the towel? Quincey never really noticed it until he reached the NHL. He still remembers his first Hockey Night in Canada interview. He didn’t know players could keep their towel. He gave it to his parents. They still have it at home.

“I think it was, like, holy s--- I’ve made it,” Quincey says.

Prewitt continues, and somehow I'm imagining Quincey hanging out at a high school party in his denim suit...

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Red Wings-Islanders morning skate Tweets: No line-up changes for Detroit or NYI

Updated with lineup news at 12:48 PM: The Red Wings play their last game before the All-Star break as they face the New York Islanders this evening (7 PM EST start on FSD/MSG Plus/Sportsnet Ontario and Pacific/97.1 FM), and the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Wings will take a 6-day break after tonight's game:

Petr Mrazek is back in goal, in what will be his last game in a fantastic month. He has gone 6-1-1, with a 1.24 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in January.

After the Islanders, the Wings don't have anything on their agenda until practice Feb. 1. Where some teams don't go on break until after playing Wednesday, a favorable schedule means Wings players have been told that they are allowed to scatter for sunny shores straight from New York.

The Islanders took to the ice around 10:20 AM for their morning skate...

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Dylan Larkin eligible for fan vote into All-Star Skills Comp’s ‘Breakaway Challenge’

From the NHL's All-Star skills competition release:

Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™

Fans will have two opportunities to exercise their vote in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™. While five spots will be determined by team captains, one guaranteed spot in this event will be determined by the fans, who will vote on Twitter as part of the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™ Fan Vote campaign.

The eligible candidates are forwards Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fans can vote via Twitter for their favorite eligible player by including his hashtag – #NHLBreakawayDuchene, #NHLBreakawayLarkin or#NHLBreakawaySaad. Voting will open on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 12 p.m. ET and close on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. ET.

Each team will provide one goalie to participate in this challenge. Each shooter will attempt two shots, and teams will alternate after each shot. Style, creativity, and flair are encouraged. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply.

As soon as the last competitor completes his routine, fans in-arena and watching on television in the U.S. and Canada will get another opportunity to make their case on Twitter by casting their vote using the hashtag that corresponds to the player of their choice. The shooter with the highest fan vote will be crowned the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™ winner and score one point for his team.

Points Available: 1 – The shooter with the highest percentage of fan votes scores one point.

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Charitable news: ‘Great Skate’ raises $25K; ‘Shocks and Saves’ game this Saturday

From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner (with an embedded photo gallery):

Fans and skaters got to join the Grand Rapids Griffins on the ice over the weekend in the Griffins' 14th annual Great Skate at Rosa Parks Circle.

The 34-hour event, with 24 hours of at least one Griffins player on the ice beginning late Saturday night through 10 p.m. Sunday, raised about $25,000 for the Griffins Youth Foundation.

About 350 kids play in the foundation's first-through-12th grade and girls hockey programs. It also supports the Grand Rapids Sled Wings sled hockey team. The foundation provides all equipment, staffing and ice time, with expenses exceeding $500 per child per year.

And if you're interested in attending a Wings alumni game during the All-Star break, the Saginaw News's Hugh Berenreuter reports that the Saginaw Spirit will host their annual "Shocks and Saves" game this upcoming Saturday:

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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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