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The Malik Report

The overnight report: Larkin’s pitch(es); a short, hot take; on prospects past and present

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Dylan Larkin threw out the first pitch at Friday night's Tigers game as a part of "Michigan Night" at Comerica Park, and he sat down with Fox Sports Detroit's John Keating before delivering the pitch:

The Wings' Twitter account followed Larkin's path to the pitcher's mound as well:

2. In the land of "Hot Takes," which the Hockey News has become--I hate to say it, but it's true--Sam McCaig delivered a zinger toward the Red Wings while making predictions as to "The 15 NHL teams that won't make the playoffs in 2017-18":

6. Detroit Red Wings: The playoff streak looks good to continue, except now it’s about missing the post-season rather than making it. Even if Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom came back, this team would be in trouble.

While Kelso from That 70's Show appreciates the "righteous burn," it would be nice if the self-proclaimed "Bible of Hockey" did more than issue a Hot Take and run.

I know that the Red Wings are a borderline playoff team, but why does McCaig think so? What's his rationale? Why give the Wings two sentences and four clauses' worth of analysis, and then move on?

3. In the, "Really cool stuff that's regrettably behind a paywall" category, The Athletic's Jack Han broke down the Red Wings' shootout successes and failures via some solid video, and the article's quite good, but how do you summarize video?

I guess you deliver a "teaser":

Gustav Nyquist – 3/6 last year, 11/31 career (35.5%)

Once a player has mastered one great shootout move, the next logical step is to learn a second. But as Nyquist demonstrates, players should be deliberate when adding a complementary deke or shot to their arsenal.

When looking at his 2016-17 attempts, one could certainly not accuse Nyquist of making things up as he went. The Swede only used two moves, both coming off the exact same run-up. Shading slightly to his off-wing as he approached the opposing goal, Nyquist would either stutter-step and try to slip the puck in five-hole, or brake (as to make the goalie back into his net) and then pick a corner with his wrist shot.

The beauty of Nyquist’s strategy is its simplicity. Instead of having to take in a large quantity of information on the goalie’s positioning and his own feeling with the puck in order to create on the fly, Nyquist follows his oft-travelled path until he reaches the top of the circles, where he can branch off into either one of his two moves. Meanwhile, the opposing goalie is acutely aware of Nyquist’s penchant for the five-hole finish, but still needs to stay out far enough to have a play against the ‘brake and shoot’. Instead of passively examining what the goalie gives him like Athanasiou, Nyquist is dictating play and forcing his rival showing him what he likes to see.

4. In the prospect department, part 1: the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms signed former Wings prospect James de Haas to an AHL contract. I have no idea whether the Wings will regret letting a 6'3," 212-pound puck-mover go, but I didn't like the fact that the team didn't sign de Haas to at least an ECHL deal. We shall see what happens in terms of de Haas' development;

5. In the prospect department, part 2: the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan penned a profile of soon-to-be Boston University defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo:

“My strength is basically I can play in any situation,” Kotkansalo said. “I’m a two-way defenseman, but I can be a shutdown defenseman. That might be a strength. But there are a lot of things I have to work on, and I know that.”

Most analysts felt skating is something that Kotkansalo needs to improve, as well as some offensive parts, such as passing and shooting the puck.

Kotkansalo, who wasn’t sure where he’d be drafted in June, was pleased it was early, and especially by the Red Wings.

Growing up, Kotkansalo followed the Red Wings because of the success of fellow Finland native Valtteri Filppula, now with the Philadelphia Flyers. But being part of the Red Wings organization, regardless, is a thrill.

“It was a pleasant surprise,” Kotkansalo said of being drafted by the Wings. “This organization has been so successful, and so many great players have played here. To be part of it, I still can’t believe it. I’m very excited.”

Choosing Boston University over junior hockey was a difficult choice, but one Kotkansalo was comfortable with.

“There’s the education, obviously, and that’s so important,” Kotkansalo said. “But for me, it’s the best place to develop as a  hockey player. It just suits me well, better than playing at home (in Finland) or in the Canadian Hockey League (junior hockey).”

6. In the prospect department, part 3: According to MassLive's Annie Maroon, incoming Qunnipiac University freshman and Wings prospect Keith Petruzzelli was playing summer shinny in a league led by Boston Bruins forward Frank Vatrano;

7. On Twitter, Martin Frk is preparing for the 2017-18 season with his hometown team, HC Energie Karlovy Vary...

Matt Lorito and Kyle Criscuolo shared their "Day with the Calder Cup" in Connecticut...

And this is important:

8. And finally, it makes me uncomfortable to ask, but it's "that time of year." The Red Wings' fall prospect tournament starts in just under 3 weeks, and the main training camp is 4 weeks away, so I have to ask for assistance in getting up to Traverse City for the two weeks' worth of hockey.

So, I'm using Paypal to raise funds, and http://paypal.me/TheMalikReport will take you to a fancy-schmancy donation page. If you are able to lend a hand, I would be incredibly grateful for your assistance in allowing me to provide the content you, well, content that's worth paying for.


Update: It looks like Petr Mrazek's still using his Czech national team pads as he prepares for the regular season:


��Getting work done�� with @pipa33_goaliecoach #goaliedrills #offseason #footwork #focused

A post shared by Petr Mrazek (@pmraza34) on

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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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