The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/17/17 at 11:30 AM ET
The Red Wings practiced at the University Liggett School today, preparing for Saturday's game against Washington (2 PM EST) and Sunday's game against Pittsburgh (3 PM EST).
The team's goaltenders preceded the players onto the ice, as noted by the Free Press's George Sipple:
Henrik Zetterberg, 36, has 877 career points. What will be his final career point total? @DetroitRedWings
MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed the Wings' presence at McCann Arena...
Howard on ice before practice but left once it started. Club hopes he's ready for conditioning game or 2 next weekend with @griffinshockey
#RedWings power-play units:
Mantha-Nielsen-Abdelkader (net front), Kronwall-Zetterberg
Tatar-Athanasiou-Vanek, Helm (net front), Green
#RedWings practice lines:
Nyquist also practicing. Has five games remaining on suspension. Will return March 4 at Edmonton. #RedWings
#RedWings defense pairs:
Petr Mrazek, as you'd expect, in starter's net for #RedWings
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa went with a little self-promotion...
12 days before trade deadline.
#RedWings in the cellar in east.
-10 BOS 1 game in hand.
-9 TOR, TOR 1 game in hand.
6:30 p.m. #KrupaQs
DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji said, "Hello"...
In "cheerier" news, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan duly noted that Dylan Larkin seems to be shaking off one hell of a sophomore slump...
“The third period [on Wednesday] was one of Larks’ best periods,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Larks had good jump in the third (period). That was one of his better periods in a while.”
Larkin played just over 16 minutes — more than he had since Jan. 22 — as Blashill put Larkin on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar, while switching out Anthony Mantha. Larkin was credited with two shots on net, was strong on the puck, and was noticeable — something that hadn’t always been the case in recent games.
“I switched Mantha and Larks because I thought Larks had a little more compete in him (against St. Louis),” Blashill said.
The second NHL season hasn’t gone as smoothly for Larkin as his first. In 54 games, Larkin only has 19 points with 12 goals and seven assists and a minus-18 rating. Larkin has been unable to find chemistry with consistent linemates. But Blashill has seen progress.
“I also would say this, I see him doing tons of good stuff,” Blashill said. “I see him doing the types of things that it takes for long-term success that you guys won’t see, and it won’t show up on the score sheet.
“But he’s stopping on pucks, he’s playing from the defensive side of the puck, and those types of things are critical in order to be a real good player in the league.
“He’s really taken steps forward.”
And in not-so-cheery news, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff talked about the Wings' trade candidates:
The attraction to Vanek, who shares the team lead with 13 goals, is obvious. He’s a high end skill player who can ignite a power play and goes to the dirty areas to score, a vital characteristic in the playoffs. Vanek has been quite open to discussing the possibility that he could be wearing another team’s sweater in two weeks time.
“You wait and see, and wait for a phone call I guess, someone to let me know if I’m staying or going,” Vanek said. “I’ve got to worry about tomorrow, make sure my game is good, and that’s about all I can control.”
There hasn’t been as much outward speculation about Ott but as a depth forward who can kill penalties and play all three forward positions, he certainly would prove an asset to a contender. An NHL source indicated that Detroit GM Ken Holland’s phone is blowing up with calls about Ott’s availability.
Of the two, Vanek certainly offers the potential to bring more in return in any transaction.
“Do I like it here?” Vanek asked rhetorically. “Yeah I do. Could I see myself staying here? Yeah that would be great but again, it’s a business. I think Kenny’s got to make a decision. At the same time, if there is a deal to be made, it’s gotta be right on both sides. I’ve been through it before. Would it surprise me that he would move me if he could get something good? No, not at all. If I was the GM, it would be something I would look at.”
Vanek made it clear he doesn’t want to leave Detroit - he’s actually loved his time with the Wings. But like he said, he’s aware that’s a call which is out of his hands.
“I like it here a lot,” Vanek said. “I think it’s been a good fit. I think it’s a good culture here. Are we one of the better teams in the league right now? I don’t think so. Are we too far off from getting back in the playoffs and making some noise? I don’t think so. Again, I think we’re not there but I think this team could get there.”
Also, the Free Press is selling a book called The Joe, a 128-page tribute to Joe Louis Arena and Mr. Ilitch, this March.
Ted Kulfan also said, "Hello":
Red Wings practicing at Liggett today...interesting how they are able to score, clear zone all while playing against themselves
Different than facing Blue Jackets, Wild and Blues
After practice, per Sipple...
Jimmy Howard wason ice today, but Blashill said won't be available before the break. @DetroitRedWings
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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.