The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/10/17 at 07:23 PM ET
Updated with Brendan Smith news at 7:39 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Red Wings posted their Game-Day Preview video, which includes Frans Nielsen, Mike Green, Justin Abdelkader, coach Jeff Blashill and forward Tomas Tatar:
2. Frans Nielsen may be a strange selection for the All-Star Game, but that doesn't mean that he's any less excited about or honored by the selection, as he told MLive's Ansar Khan:
Nielsen will be the Red Wings' lone representative at Staples Center in Los Angeles for the skills competition on Jan. 28 and the game the following night.
"It's going to be fun," Nielsen said. "For sure, it's something I'm very proud of.
"I watch them every year on TV, all the years I've been (in the league), and as a kid you watch them. So, it's going to be really exciting."
Nielsen has eight goals, 22 points and a minus-12 rating in 40 games. Other Red Wings are having better seasons (Henrik Zetterberg, Thomas Vanek, Anthony Mantha), but several factors go into the selection, not the least of which is whether the player wants to participate.
That wasn't an issue with Nielsen.
"I think everyone is feeling it right now, and the schedule's been tough, but especially being my first one, it's something I'm really excited about," Nielsen said.
Khan continues, and he posted a video of Nielsen's remarks...
The Free Press's Helene St. James also spoke with Nielsen, his friend Thomas Vanek, and coach Blashill about Nielsen being named an All-Star...
“I watch them every year on TV,” he said. “Even as a kid. So it is going to be really exciting. Really proud and honored to be a part of that.”
Good friend and linemate Vanek said, “I think he deserves it. I’m really happy for him. He’s a great guy off the ice, so it’s easy to like him. On the ice, it’s the way he thinks the game -- he thinks at a high level, and the success is showing here. He kills penalties, plays the power play, does it all. He’s a player you can put out in every situation and trust him.”
Starting last year, the All-Star Game format was changed to 3-on-3, mirroring the overtime format in the regular season.
“I don’t worry too much with Frans,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I think, with him, he is such a good skater. He’s a fluid skater. Three-on-three is not real taxing. I think it’s more mental breaks, at this point, than it is physical breaks. And he is somebody that, he is such a driven person that I don’t worry about him mentally. I think he will be absolutely fine. And it’s in L.A., so it will be a nice getaway there, too.”
And St. James posted a video of the aforementioned players and coach discussing Nielsen's selection:
3. If you missed it, the Red Wings will be getting Justin Abdelkader and Mike Green back in the lineup, as the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa noted:
Getting players back from injury is a major development for the struggling Red Wings (17-18-5). They had lost the most games to injury in the NHL since the start of the season.
Abdelkader missed 16 consecutive games after he sprained a knee ligament against the Panthers Dec. 1.
He was originally expected to miss only two to four weeks, and it became about six.
“It’s exciting,” said Abdelkader, 29, who has four goals and four assists through 22 games, after signing a seven-year $30 million contract with the Wings in the offseason. “It’s been a little longer than I expected, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
“I always enjoy playing here,” he said, of Chicago.
Green has seven goals and 11 assists in 32 games, picking up his offensive production in his second year after the Wings acquired the former Capitals defenseman as a free agent in 2015.
“It feels good to be back for sure,” said Green, 31. “I’m excited. I feel good.”
Krupa posted a video of Blashill discussing the players' returns:
4. On Twitter:
5. Regarding Krupa on Twitter, from CBS Detroit:
The Detroit Red Wings today announced that the fan entry doors at the East and West Entrances of Joe Louis Arena will be wrapped with commemorative graphics representing the most memorable moments in the 38-year history of The Joe. The installation process is set to begin on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 10:00 a.m.
In conjunction with the “Farewell Season at The Joe,” the door graphics will date back to the opening of Joe Louis Arena and span to present day highlights. Memorable moments from both the Red Wings and Olympia Entertainment concerts and events hosted at The Joe will be displayed on the fan entry doors.
The door graphics will remain at the East and West fan entry doors for the duration of the 2016-17 season, in addition to the “Farewell Season at The Joe” stair wraps which were installed prior to the start of the campaign. Fans are encouraged to take photos of the door graphics and stair wraps at any time using the hashtag #Farewell2TheJoe.
Quick update: From TSN's Scott Cullen's power rankings:
27. DETROIT RED WINGS 17-18-5THIS WEEK: 27 LAST WEEK: 27
GF: 2.38 GA: 2.88 SA CF%: 47.8
PP%: 11.2 PK%: 83.2
With one regulation win in the past eight games, the Red Wings are teetering on the brink and with three defencemen hurt, they are fighting uphill.
Key Injuries: C Darren Helm (shoulder), D Mike Green (undisclosed), D Niklas Kronwall (lower body), D Brendan Smith (leg), G Jimmy Howard (knee).
Update: From the Free Press's Helene St. James:
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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.