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The Malik Report

Audio from the Red Wings’ prospects Friday practice: Mantha, Nicastro, Coreau, Pulkkinen, Nastasiuk

Updated with the Stars' lineup for tonight's game at 2:29 PM: The Red Wings' prospects prepared for a stiff test in facing Jim Nill's Dallas Stars' prospects this evening at 7:30 via a brisk and superbly-organized practice this morning at Centre Ice Arena. The vast majority of Jeff Blashill's drills were very specific, involving dump-in retrieval, neutral zone play, breakouts, rotating penalty-killing "boxes" and power play units to get more traffic to the front of the net. Jim Bedard made sure that the goalies, including tonight's starter, Jared Coreau, would be sharp and ready for traffic themselves.

At present, it appears that the lines will remain the same as last night, with two exceptions:

Michal Plutnar will take Marc McNulty's place alongside Alexei Marchenko, and Jordan Maleta (both Plutnar and Maleta are try-outs) will take ramblin' Rasmus Bodin's place.

It also looks like Barclay Goodrow's going to get a look on the Wings' second power play unit as a net-front man, so Goodrow continues his uphill ascent.

As an FYI, Fox Sports Detroit is also here, and they're shooting an "All Access" feature that will air presumably in October. They're working very hard and have brought oodles of camera gear with them.

DallasStars.com's Mark Stepneski reports that the Stars have named their starting goalie...

And I can confirm that Stars GM Jim Nill was lurking around watching the Wings practice--and coach Mike Babcock is up here, though he darts back and forth from the coaches' offices to the locker room and back so fast that I can't even try to get him grumbling with a, "Hello, coach!"

The interviews I snagged after today's practice are a little...Difficult to hear, or at least the first two are. I was allowed into the locker room while Tomas Jurco was playing some AWFUL Slovkian techno music VERY LOUDLY, so Anthony Mantha and I did our best to have a good conversation about his status as no longer deer-in-the-headlights stunned at playing for the Wings, but still trying to adjust to NHL-level competition and intensity...

I spoke with Max Nicastro about wearing an "A," having to compete with an abundance of incoming Griffins defensemen and his desire to "keep it simple"...

Jared Coreau kindly moved me away from Jurco's tunes and discussed his game-day preparation, the status of his now-healed shoulder, and, well, we talked about goalie equipment as I am a former goaltender...

I managed to snag Teemu Pulkkinen--who kindly came out of the locker room after taking a shower to have a chat--and while he didn't know me and I didn't know him, my second interview with him in three years went pretty well, with Pulkkinen discussing the adjustment to North American hockey despite having a Finnish professional pedigree, his ability to battle through targeted hits, his desire to crank up his offense and the fact that he wears his visor tilted down.

I'd asked Zach Nastasiuk to interview him as Pulkkinen came out, so I asked if he could wait for me.

While I was talking with Pulkkinen, Nastasiuk's lunch pals, Mantha and Phillipe Hudon (Mr. Super Nice Guy), showed up and were ready to go, but Zach asked the gents to wait for me to interview him, and they did just that. Nastasiuk discussed his transition from draft pick to prospect, his take on playing against NHL-level talent, his goals going forward and that sparkly World Under-18 Championship ring he showed off on Twitter:

I'm just really impressed with the fact that these gents are so accommodating and happy to talk. They display character on the ice, maturity off it, and as it turns out, they're very patient and really go out of their way to make my job easier, which is tremendously appreciated and not to be overlooked.


Update: Dallas Stars writer Mark Stepneski just posted Dallas' lineup for tonight:

Dallas Stars prospects are back in action tonight at the NHL Prospect Tournament, taking on the Detroit Red Wings at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Michigan.

Both teams won their opening game Thursday night, so tonight’s winner will be in the driver’s seat for taking the division and earning a spot in Monday’s championship game.

Philippe Desrosiers, a second round pick of the Stars’ in this summer’s draft, is expected to get the start in goal tonight for the Stars.

The Valeri Nichushkin-Radek Faksa-Alex Chiasson line will stay intact for tonight’s game. All the players who were scratched last night will be in tonight.

Here’s the expected lineup:



Desrosiers (starter)
Lagace (backup)

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Great start George! Any chance you could ask Philippe Hudon if this is him n he video? If it is he’s multitalanted http://www.pinkbike.com/video/110330/

Posted by FireTheTroll on 09/06/13 at 02:11 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

That’s not Phil. Phil looks like this:

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/06/13 at 02:28 PM ET


Wow. McKenzie scores a hattie and gets put on the 4th line.

Posted by I'm Orthodox 13 on 09/06/13 at 03:36 PM ET

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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.