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Khan: the Red Wings’ special teams are no longer weaknesses

The Red Wings are still 10 minutes away from landing in San Jose after spending last night in Phoenix, and there's no point in sitting on this story until the team practices at 2 or 3 PM PDT (see: 5 or 6 PM EDT), so...

In an "on-day" article, MLive's Ansar Khan duly notes that the Red Wings' power play stank on ice early on,  as did the Wings' penatly-killing unit...

But the Wings have scored power play goals in 8 straight games now, and that comes as no surprise to coach Babcock--or his charges:

“Our specialty teams in the first 10 games were awful, both the power play and the penalty kill,'' coach Mike Babcock said. “We had a change in staff (Jeff Blashill became head coach in Grand Rapids, replaced by Tom Renney), also have a bunch of different players. So when you put it all together it takes some time. I thought it was coming on, but it never really went in the net for us and now it's going in the net.''

After a day off Tuesday, the Red Wings will return to practice today, in preparation for Thursday's game in San Jose (10:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit), when they will attempt to sweep this four-game West Coast trip. Detroit's power play is tied for 18th in the NHL at 17.6 percent.

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Red Wings mid-day news: on DeKeyser, Howard, the trade deadline and Frk

Updated 4x at 3:02 PM: Pulkkinen and Jokerit Helsinki live to fight another day: Amongst today's Red Wings-related news stories:

TSN's Bob McKenzie reports that Danny DeKeyser may be receiving the kind of "wining and dining" treatment usually reserved for NHL superstars and not 23-year-old #3/4 defenseman in the making, but DeKeyser needs to make a decision as to which one of the probably 20+ teams that have made presentations at Newport Sports Management provides the best option and opportunity for him, and he needs to do so ahead of next Wednesday's trade deadline. As such:

In news regarding actual Red Wings players, ESPN's Craig Custance reports that MLive's Ansar Khan's suggestions that Jimmy Howard's about to ink a 6-year contract extension at or around $5 million per season might be a little premature.

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Happy Happy Mr. Hockey

Sports Illustrated's Allan Muir points us toward a video in which a slew of NHL players, celebrities and other luminaries wish Red Wings legend Gordie Howe a happy 85th birthday:

If there’s one thing Hallmark’s on top of, its birthdays. So no surprise then that the Hallmark Channel is ahead of the curve when it comes to honoring Gordie Howe, who celebrates his 85th birthday on Sunday.

The U.S. cable net traveled to rinks around the NHL to gather best wishes for Mr. Hockey from current stars like Teemu Selanne, Dion Phaneuf, Dustin Brown and Nail Yakupov, among others.

Of course Hallmark has a vested interest in this. It’s promoting the U.S. premiere of “Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story,” on May 4. The bio-pic, which stars Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1) and the great Kathleen Robertson (Beverly Hills, 90210) focuses on Gordie’s return to action at age 45 to play with his sons Mark and Marty in the World Hockey Association. And, being the Hallmark Channel, there’s probably a love story angle as well.

Should be worth a watch. In the meantime, check out the video and see which players were smart enough to refer to him as Mr. Howe.

Here's the video (and Howe turns 85 on March 31st):

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Red Wings overnight report: Wings hitting their stride II, on Jarnkrok, DeKeyser and other stuff

Stupid internet. Oh, how you trick me, going out for long enough that I wait for you to return, get sleepy, decide to not write an overnight report, and then, poof! Back on you go!

I'm in a grumpy mood this morning as my "rest day" mostly involved not sleeping and engaging in a pain-in-the-ass chore. It happens.

Thankfully, regardless of what you think of Brendan Smith's Tweet (I think that between ordering 50 In N' Out burgers for their post-game meal and relaxing by the pool on Tuesday, somebody said, "Whatever everyone at the bar wants, this round is on us!" and they charged it to Smith, but that's my gut feeling, because I just can't picture anyone but Todd Bertuzzi having a Pina Colada), it's good to know that the Red Wings had a restful day off, and it's good to know that the team feels that it's finally finding its stride and identity.

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Red Wings evening news: Quincey’s sore, the Wings are finding their footing and a Frk’n honor

Building upon today's early-afternoon post, the Red Wings' "day off" from their 48-games-in-99-nights marathon hasn't resulted in a dearth of Red Wings-related news. While the Wings are enjoying their time in Phoenix, back at Joe Louis Arena, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose spoke to Kyle Quincey about taking one bullet and dodging another.

Quincey's left cheekbone is "busted up," but Quincey won't need surgery to repair the fractures he incurred when a shot ramped up his stick and hit him in the face, so he told Roose that he'll take the good news that he could return in two weeks, but he's going to need some extra strength Tylenol, too:

“The incident is pretty scary,” Quincey said, “so (Monday) was the best day in a week and a half, for sure. I was dealing with all of that pain, and getting that good news was … worth it, I guess.”

Injured late in the third period of the Red Wings’ 3-2 overtime win at Edmonton on March 15, Quincey hasn’t returned to a regular diet as it still hurts to chew, and he’s experiencing some numbness and sinus problems. He even likened his cheekbone and orbital bone fractures to cracking a hard-boiled egg.

“It just shattered,” he said.

Quincey told Roose that his cheek will heal on its own, but it's still a bit of a mess:

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Five facts about ‘the Brawl in Hockeytown’

The Red Wings and Darren McCarty have reminded us that today marks the 16th anniversary of, "The Brawl in Hockeytown," and in honor of "Turtle Day" (via RedWingsFeed), 97.1 the Ticket's Jamie Samuelssen offers five facts about the game that might surprise you:

1) Joe Kocur missed the game because of the flu. If there was one game in his career that Joe Kocur would have wanted to play in, it was that one.

2) Mickey Redmond missed the brawl because he was in the elevator heading down for a between period interview. If there was one fight in his career that Mickey Redmond would have wanted to call, it was that one.

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Red Wings mid-day mishmash: on Kindl, Murphy, Iginla, prospects and Turtle Day

The Detroit Red Wings are spending this afternoon taking their first "day off" in over a week, and it's well-deserved given the Wings' 3-2 win over Phoenix, building upon their back-to-back wins over Anaheim to give the Wings the six points they needed to earn on their four-game road trip with one more tilt--Thursday's game against a San Jose Sharks team that will be playing its third game over the course of four nights--to go.

While the Wings enjoy their time away from the rink, a trio of Tweets of Red Wings-related note popped up, and two offer no surprises...

But one, from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose, offers good news of a sort:

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Red Wings-Coyotes wrap-up and overnight report: three for three yields a happy day off

What a difference four days can make. The Detroit Red Wings entered their 4-game road swing through the Western U.S. sitting all of a pair of points up on every "playoff pack" team, including those damn Columbus Blue Jackets.

Heading into their first practice-less "dayoff" ince the Wings' 4-2 loss to Minnesota seven days ago, the Wings have gone 3-for-3 on their road trip, racking up 5-1 and 2-1 wins over Anaheim and, playing their 3rd game in 4 nights and their 4th in 6, a gritty 3-2 win over Phoenix.

The Wings now have 39 points, and sit in 5th place in the Western Conference, 1 point behind both the Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks. The Wings lead the St. Louis Blues by 3 points, Thursday's opponent, the San Jose Sharks, by 5, they have a 5-point lead on Nashville, a 6-point lead on Dallas and a 7-point lead on those damn Blue Jackets.

The Coyotes? They're 9 points back and sit in 12th place, just ahead of the Oilers, Flames and Avs. They also haven't won a game since March 9th, going winless in 6 straight games, so it's not surprising to find out that Coyotes GM Don Maloney told Fox Sports Arizona's Craig Morgan that his team is on the precipice of becoming trade deadline "sellers":

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Red Wings-Coyotes quick take: ugly can be beautiful

In the first period of the Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, things did not look good. The Wings had blown Ian White's 1-0 goal thanks to a tip-in from Martin Hanzal and a roof-job from Rob Klinkhammer, and Jonas Gustavsson was the only player holding a disinterested, slow-witted and downright lazy Wings team in the game.

Gustavsson ended up stopping 13 of 15 first-period shots, and despite blowing a power play early in the 2nd period, the Wings slowly but surely found their legs, and Johan Franzen scored an absolutely gorgeous power play goal with 39 seconds left in the 2nd period (after Mike Babcock started the 2nd unit regularly, the Franzen-Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Kronwall-Brunner got the "shoot the damn puck!" message)...

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Khan: Red Wings may have caught a ‘break’ with Kyle Quincey

Excellent news regarding Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey from MLive's Ansar Khan:

Update: Khan has news on the Mikael Samuelsson front:

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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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