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The Malik Report

Evening news: A Game-Day Preview; Jeff Salajko on goaltending; on Justin Abdelkader and Cole Fraser

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Here's the Wings' Game-Day Preview with Ken Kal:

2. It's not game-related, but Red Wings goalie coach Jeff Salajko engaged in a Q and A with USA Hockey's website, and his comments make for an intriguing read:

USA Hockey: What things do you do with Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek that you do with your own kid’s team?

Salajko: I’ll tell kids, if they come to one of our practices, they’re going to see a lot of the same things that I do with Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek. We have a routine that we have on game day, it’s simple short-side stick steers on the ice, far-side stick steers on the ice. We’ll do shots in the body, we’ll work the hands, guys will walk off the circle so they have to shuffle and be patient on their feet, and then we do one little post play with a dead angle shot and a wraparound. It’s a routine we do. It’s so simple but the guys love it. They feel like they’re ready for the practice, and it covers all the major food groups. Gets everything warmed up. We do that every day.

Obviously there are going to be times where we challenge them. I have access to five or six shooters where we can do more, but a goalie coach on a youth team doesn’t. For example, I do about 90 percent of the warm-ups on our goalies, I do it myself. I know some goalie coaches in the NHL will not let guys shoot on their goalies to warm them up. I know Carey Price’s coach is that way, he will not let anybody shoot on them. I’m not like that, it just so happens that oftentimes, guys are in meetings, so we’re out there doing it.

The conversation continues...

3. Heading back to the big club, the Free Press's Helene St. James wrote an article about Justin Abdelkader, and she included a video of Abdelkader, Larkin and Blashill speaking with the media:

"He’s really reliable,” Larkin told the Free Press after the morning skate at the Saddledome. “He always makes smart plays with the puck. You look at the last game with Tats’ game-winning goal, he was right there and just popped it back to Tats and created a ton of space for him.

“I like playing with him. I played with him a lot in my career and I feel like we look for each other and it’s fun playing with him.”

Abdelkader had two assists against the Canucks, one day after setting up a goal in the victory at Edmonton. Overall, Abdelkader stood at a respectable nine points after 16 games. He’s not judged as much just on points (compared to players such as Tatar and Gustav Nyquist) because Abdelkader is one of the few forwards on the team who plays with physicality, and who goes to the net – the latter of which he learned as an understudy to the net-front master Tomas Holmstrom.

Here’s how Blashill judges a good game by Abdelkader.

“One, is he skating, is he in on the forecheck, is he doing a great job as F1 on the forecheck, including that would be physicality, and then his net presence,” Blashill said. “The winning goal the other night, he’s around the net, they throw it down low and he makes a play to Tats and it ends up in their net. I thought Justin was excellent last game, I thought he pushed the puck up the ice and he got in on the forecheck and he had great net presence.

“He’s learned to be great at it. That’s what makes him an asset in this league, not just on our team, is that he is a big body with good skill that knows how to go to the front of the net and can be very physical. There aren’t lots of those in the league any more. You’ve got to be able to skate in order to play that role, and he can do it. When he’s moving his feet like he was the other night, he is a really, really good hockey player, and he is most nights.”

St. James continues, and here's her video:

4. ESPN's Victoria Matiash penned a fantasy hockey-based column in which she focuses on potential power play performers for each and every one of the NHL's 31 teams:

Detroit Red Wings: Six games in following a resolved contract standoff with the Red Wings, Andreas Athanasiou (9.1 percent) is fixed on a top power play with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha. Frankly, we'd like to see more of this young, speedy trio at even strength, a combo already used by Detroit coach Jeff Blashill. While Larkin and Mantha are largely spoken for in ESPN.com fantasy leagues, Athanasiou is very available. Playing on a one-year deal will only heap on additional incentive for the 23-year-old to break out in his third NHL campaign.

5. And I've never heard of this before, but the Peterborough Examiner's Mike Davies reports that Peterborough Petes defenseman and Red Wings prospect Cole Fraser has been suspended for 5 games for fighting an unwilling opponent:

Jonathan Ang will not be suspended for a cross checking match penalty incurred Sunday but Cole Fraser is suspended five games for fighting an unwilling opponent, the OHL informed the Petes this week.

Petes GM Mike Oke said there was some confusion over how Ang's penalty was marked down on the game sheet after he cross checked a Mississauga player following a Steelheads goal which made it 6-2 in a Petes' 9-2 loss.

After reviewing the incident, Oke said the league deemed no suspension was necessary. Fraser got a five-minute fighting penalty after throwing punches at Mississauga's Michael Little who was not penalized.

Oke said Fraser was suspended for what the OHL called "inappropriate interaction with an opposing player."

Update: FYI:

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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.