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The Malik Report

On care, concern and shootouts

Minus an overnight report, I at least found two articles that reveal surprising quotes and/or stats. The first comes from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, who discusses Tomas Tatar's status as 1st on the team in goals and 3rd in points; while speaking about Tatar with Wings coach Mike Babcock, Kulfan delivers one of the best quips Babcock's ever posited:

"Tats has the skill set and has the drive to be real good," Babcock said. "And he's ultra-competitive. That adds up to getting better each and every day and you're here (in the NHL) and you're serious about your craft."

Some have suggested Babcock has been a sort of mentor for Tatar, but the coach believes it's a different relationship.

"I love all the guys and try to make them better people and better players," Babcock said. "I try to treat them with respect as much as I can. But respect for me is different than some people. Respect for me, it's maximizing their potential and pushing them to be better."

Kulfan continues, discussing Jimmy Howard's 1-and-7 shootout record, and MLive's Brendan Savage happened to discuss said shootout strugles (stopping just under 41% of the shootout shots he's faced; Kulfan also happened to posit a Q and A with Howard) as compared to Howard's historical averages:

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Ken Daniels on Detroit Sports 105.1 and discussing the Wings’ personnel

The Red Wings actually flew back to Detroit and chose not to practice after Wednesday's 3-2 shootout win over Chicago; the team's likely to practice tomorrow and then spend the following week (or most of it) on the road, playing road tilts in Dallas on Saturday, Anaheim on Monday the 23rd, LA on Tuesday the 24th, San Jose on Thurdsay the 26th and then Nashville on Saturday the 29th.

Ken Daniels appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM to discuss the disputed offsides goal and the Wings' trade deadline options with Matt Dery...

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Red Wings promise ‘augmented reality functionality’ with new mobile application

You'll have to pardon me for describing this press release as "really neat," but I think it's clever, even if posting it equals free PR:

RED WINGS LAUNCH AUGMENTED REALITY FUNCTION ‘WINGSCAPE’ WITHIN MOBILE APPLICATION
... ‘Wingscape’ Designed to Give Fans an Exciting and Dynamically Different Way to Explore the World of the Red Wings …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced the launch of augmented reality technology available through the Red Wings Official Mobile App. Coined ‘Wingscape,’ the augmented reality platform will give fans an exciting and unique way to explore everything surrounding the Red Wings through interaction with real-world objects and images found at Joe Louis Arena, online or from home.

Similar to the technology behind QR codes, fans can explore augmented reality by launching the Red Wings Mobile App and selecting ‘Wingscape’ on the main menu. Fans can then search for the ‘Wingscape’ logo and scan it with a mobile device to launch fully-immersive experiences, including behind-the-scenes videos, animations and greetings from select Red Wings players. The ‘Wingscape’ logo can be found at multiple locations within Joe Louis Arena when attending a Red Wings game and online at DetroitRedWings.com.

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The #91 To The Rafters Debate

from Keith Gave of FoxSports Detroit,

... But raise No. 91 to the rafters? Not likely.

Not as long as the Ilitch family owns the Detroit Red Wings.

The Ilitches love winning, love having their names engraved on that big silver trophy every bit as much as the players do. And they know well how important Fedorov and his Russian comrades were to helping Detroit end a 42-year Stanley Cup drought. Mike Ilitch spent considerably while orchestrating the covert activities that brought Fedorov, Vladimir Konstantinov and Slava Kozlov to Detroit against the will of the crumbling Soviet Union. And the owner didn't grumble, at least publicly, when he felt Bowman overpaid in trades to acquire Slava Fetisov and Igor Larionov.

Had Fedorov stayed in Detroit and played his entire career for the Red Wings, there would be no need for this discussion. Retiring his number would be a slam-dunk. But he didn't, and above all else, the Ilitches value loyalty. Fedorov compromised himself twice in that regard, first flirting with the Carolina Hurricanes in 1998 and forcing the Ilitches to honor a front-loaded, $38 million contract that called for Fedorov to be paid $28 million of that within a few months of signing the deal. He might have been forgiven for that; it was business, after all, and the Ilitches are no strangers to playing fiscal hardball.

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Your Weekly Rankings

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Is it possible for a team to go from the top spot in the entire NHL to the middle of the pack in one week?

The Hockey News thinks so.

A week ago, THN had the Detroit Red Wings No. 1 in its 30-team NHL Power Rankings.

But after seeing the Red Wings lose a 5-4 shootout to the Winnipeg Jets and then fall 2-0 Monday to the Montreal Canadiens - both games were at home - The Hockey News dropped the Red Wings all the way to No. 15.

Talk about your proverbial fall from grace.

Everybody else this week has the Red Wings among the top 10 teams in the NHL Power Rankings despite their mini-slump before beating Chicago 3-2 Wednesday in a shootout.

Sports Illustrated wasn't the only media outlet to rank the Red Wings No. 1 last week. CSN Washington also had Detroit at the top of the heap but until SI.com only dropped the Red Wings four spots to No. 5.

continued

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Wings’ Compete Level Started Out Slow Last Night But Did Improve

 Angelique S. Chengelis of the Detroit News normally covers U of M football but last night she was on the Wings' beat...

"A shootout is like a roulette," Tatar said. "We don't have a good stat this year, but we're glad we beat them. I don't get (the 3-8 record) either, to be honest. I'm surprised with the skill we have, it's kind of weird. It seems like we can do lots of things on the ice when we play five on five and all of a sudden shootouts come, and we have a tough time scoring a goal."

The Red Wings opened the game sluggishly, while the Blackhawks outshot them 17-6 in the scoreless first period....

"We played really tight, they played tight, as well," Tatar said. "There wasn't many great chances. We had leads twice and we let them tie the game real fast, which put them back on the horse."

The Wings were aggressive in overtime, attacking Blackhawks' goalie Corey Crawford with a flurry of three shots, including a strong attempt by Helm.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock wasn't thrilled with how the team started, but liked how well Howard, in his third game since returning from injury, played and how the team got stronger as the game wore on.

"Once we started getting competitive and got heavy on our stick and won some battles, I think we got a lot better," Babcock said. "It was one of those games that they were way heavier on their stick. They skated and won more races early, and we watched them. Once we got competing, things went better for us.

"We were fortunate we had some guys really dig in for us, including (Howard), but we have to be better than we were tonight."

more and below watch Babcock post-game...

added 9:33am, Watch Joel Quenneville post-game below...

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Quick take, Red Wings vs. Blackhawks: Detroit Sacks Chicago in shootout

The Detroit Red Wings played a game against teh Chicago Blackhawks in which the team never really engaged until the 3rd period, in which 99% of the "bounces" went Chicago's way, as did what Ed Olczyk would describe as the "good non calls," and in a game where the Chicago Blackhawks fired the puck at or near the Wings' net over 70 times...

Detroit charged out to 2 leads, gave them up within a minute of scoring the 1-0 and 2-1 goals, and somehow, thanks to some amazing goaltending from Jimmy Howard, heady play by Darren Helm (1G 1A) and gorgeous goals by Tomas Tatar, the Wings emerged with a hard-fought 3-2 shootout decision over the Chicago Blackhawks that was earned, deserved and felt really *#$%@& good.

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Could Sergei Fedorov become an NHL GM, somewhere, someday? I suppose so..

I usually take a short nap before games (the life of a blogger does not involve more than five or six consecutive hours of sleep at a time), but a little booger-related tossing and turning had me thinking about this quip from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, at the start of his weekly 30 Thoughts column:

[Sergei] Fedorov has two years remaining on his contract as general manager of CSKA Moscow in the KHL. The “Red Army” (as we knew them in North America) was the dominant force in Russian hockey through the Soviet era, culminating its run with 13 championships in a row from 1977 to 1989.

The fall of the Iron Curtain brought a fall in its influence, as the organization floundered and ceased to be an on-ice success. That continued after the formation of the KHL, since CSKA Moscow is the owner of just two playoff wins in six seasons.

Things are changing, however. CSKA currently stands No. 1 in the KHL, with 132 points in 56 games. (Regulation wins are worth three points.) Fedorov hired John Torchetti — now back with the AHL’s Iowa Wild — as coach last season, a move that stabilized things and set a foundation for the future.

Friedman asked Fedorov if he'd jump at the chance to become an NHL GM when his contract expires, and this is the answer he received:

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Red Wings-Blackhawks pre-game Tweets and notes

Updated 2x with a whole lotta Helene St. James @ 6:58 PM: The Red Wings didn't hold a morning skate ahead of tonight's game between Detroit and Chicago (7:30 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), but Wings coach Mike Babcock spoke to the media around 5:30 PM EST...

NHL.com's Brian Hedger penned an "At the Rink" article that includes both probable Wings and Hawks lineups, as well as a discussion of the special teams battle...

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Do Detroit’s warts scare away players?

ESPN's Craig Custance penned an Insider-only entry about the most common teams on no-trade lists, and in speaking about one of my favorite cities, Winnipeg, Custance's discussions with player agents found that it's not just the cold Canadian markets (Winnipeg and Edmonton), the disasters on ice (Buffalo), ownership-scary teams (Phoenix) or the big Canadian media markets (like Toronto) that scare people off...Or would if they're not winning:

Another agent pointed to Detroit, a town not known for its great winter weather or vibrant nightlife but one that’s become a destination all the same.

“Why do people want to go to the Detroit Red Wings? They win,” said the agent. “They have a proud organization. Players want to play there because they have a chance to win. They’re proud to play there.”

Still, that Winnipeg weather.

“If you think it’s cold in Detroit, it’s like that for four months in Winnipeg,” said the agent. “If you have a family, you’re a shut-in. The kids can’t go outside and play. You go outside for 15 minutes and it’s frostbite.”

Custance continues, and I have no doubt that between the city's weather, the city's reputation (even though the vast majority of the nearly 5 million people who live in Metro Detroit don't live in Detroit), the Joe's reputation and the pluses and minuses of playing for the coach (as spread around by a certain former Wing who wore #22) yield a "harder sell" than we've assumed...

But the Wings do win and the Wings do treat their players like kings.

That, and the Metro Detroit area is far more lively and provides more anonymity than anyone really expects at first blush.

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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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