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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Hurricanes and Griffins-Amerks pre-game storylines

Amongst your pre-game reading and watching ahead of tonight's Red Wings-Hurricanes game, the Wings posted a video game-day preview...

As well as some quips and quotes from the morning skate in its Game Day Blog:

"Being their home opener, I expect them to come out hard, be aggressive on their forecheck and pinching their (defense), so we’re going to have to be moving the puck well early on."- Daniel Alfredsson

Regarding Jordan and Eric Staal...

"They’re both big and strong and have a lot of skill. They’re good at both ends of the ice. You got to work and earn your ice against them and be aware of them defensively. Try to make them play in their zone as much as possible."
- Stephen Weiss

"I know Eric real well, he’s a good player, and then you add Semin into the mix. He’s a world-class talent. He can pass the puck and shoot the puck, big body. It’s a good group."- Mike Babcock

In the "feature story/notebook" department, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted a story about Cory Emmerton, who reflected upon being waived and then finding his way back into the lineup...

“Last year was huge for me,” Emmerton said. “Our penalty kill was kind of suspect there at the beginning of the season. We made a few changes and I found myself with an opportunity to play on it. When you get an opportunity you have to make the most of it and I ended up playing the rest of the year on it and being a big part of it. I just wanted to carry that over to this year and do what I can to help on the penalty kill.”

It presents another situation where Emmerton can display his value to Detroit coach Mike Babcock.

“Every day is a new opportunity,” Emmerton said. “It’s kind of how you choose to go about your business. I think it’s tough to say that it’s not difficult sometimes after that (being waived) happens. You have to be mentally strong and if you’re not, you’re not going to last. It’s a tryout every day for me. That’s what I’m going to do, wake up and try and do the same things.”

Teammates admired the professional manner in which Emmerton handled the ups and downs of the past week.

“He kept a great attitude and a great mind throughout,” Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard said. “He never sulked. He never had the ‘poor me’s.’ He went out there and he worked hard. It just goes to show you never know what’s going to happen from day to day.”
To Emmerton, the equation is a simple one. He’s going to do whatever it takes to remain with the Red Wings.

“It’s special,” he said. “It’s a great team here, a great organization, everything – something you don’t want to leave and you don’t want to kind of get away from. Everyone knows that we have chance to do really well this year and go far as long as we play the way we can and stay healthy. I want to be part of it. I’m going to do the best I can to make sure I’m here and contributing.”

MLive has a poll asking whether fighting should carry a stiffer penalty, the Kalamazoo K-Wings have posted a story about a member of their front office joining the Wings, and the Boston Globe's Amalie Benjamin reports that the Bruins are waiting to battle the Wings tomorrow at 7 PM EDT (FSD/NHL Network U.S.):

The Bruins were back on the ice this morning for a 45-minute practice after taking their season opener from the Lightning Thursday night.

Next up for the B's? The Red Wings, who move east this season and into the Atlantic Division. Detroit -- and its two-decade-long playoff streak -- brings significant talent to the division, and is likely to be battling Boston all season for a chance to head back to the postseason.

“I think they’re an elite team,” coach Claude Julien said. “They always have been. They’re a good, experienced team. They’re a smart team, they play a good, smart game. That’ll certainly bring an element of an even bigger challenge for all the teams in our conference right now to add them in there.”

The Bruins rolled out the same lines as Thursday, with Carl Soderberg (ankle) still not on the ice. Jordan Caron skated in his place. Soderberg appears to be getting better, but it isn't clear when he'll be back in the lineup.

“It’s a hard injury to say, listen, he’s going to be in on Sunday or Monday,” Julien said. “It’s hard to really pinpoint with that type of injury, but he is definitely getting better every day. I think he really is getting close. Hopefully, if there’s no setbacks, he should be on the ice soon.”


In the Twitter department...

For the record, the below-noted video's accompanied by five regular, normal and predictably staid photo galleries and one of a wacky ice cream truck and its inhabitants...



In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins begin their Calder Cup defense this evening, battling the Rochester Americans in Rochester NY...

Griffins coach Jeff Blashill shared most of his opening-night lineup with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner...

Tom McCollum will start in goal, Blashill said, with newcomer Jared Coreau to start against Toronto. Petr Mrazek, last year’s starter, remains in Detroit as Jimmy Howard’s backup.

The top line to start will be center Calle Jarnkrok flanked by Tomas Jurco and Gustav Nyquist, Blashill said. The second line with be center Luke Glendening with Jeff Hoggan and Teemu Pulkkinen. Blashill was uncertain Friday on the other two lines with one more forward expected to be moved.

Forward Landon Ferraro, third on the team in scoring last year (24-23-47) is expected out another week with a foot injury.

Unlike the lockout last year, which provided little player movement and a relatively calm camp, the Griffins’ roster this preseason has been a revolving door with Detroit. Mrazek, for one, has been shuffled between locations twice the past two weeks. That has also made it difficult for Blashill to decide on his power play and penalty kill teams.

Nyquist is not expected to remain in Grand Rapids for long, while Mrazek is expected back in Grand Rapids once Jonas Gustavsson is healthy.

Defensively, Blashill has been impressed with Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul, although Ouellet spent much of camp in Detroit. Another expected to anchor the blueline is Adam Almquist, who also got an extended look in Detroit.

I posted the Griffins' weekly press release last night, but if you missed it, the team made several "under the radar" transactions...

Ready in Waiting: On Monday, the Griffins assigned forward Kevin Lynch to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. In addition, Detroit Red Wings reassigned forward Trevor Parkes and defenseman Max Nicastro to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye from Grand Rapids on Tuesday. Lynch, Nicastro and Parkes all skated for the team at training camp and could see time in Grand Rapids this season.

And finally, via Paul, the AHL's website's Alyssa Dombrowski posted a story about East Grand Rapids native Luke Glendening:

“He’s got the respect of everybody in the locker room,” [Griffins captain Jeff] Hoggan said. “Luke is a character guy that possesses a great amount of leadership skills for a second-year pro.”

Glendening’s attitude is just part of what makes him an exceptional asset to the team, according to his coach.

“Luke is a player who has a rare combination of extraordinary work ethic, extraordinary capacity to get better and great inner confidence,” Blashill said. “When you combine those three attributes, it can really make for a special person and player.”

The forward’s breakout rookie season caught the attention of Grand Rapids’ NHL affiliate, and he signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on July 5 – less than a year after being cut from his first AHL training camp. Glendening will begin the 2013-14 season in Grand Rapids, helping the Griffins defend their title.

“I think ‘whirlwind’ is the perfect word to describe it,” said Glendening of the past year. “I’m just trying to take it all in. There’s just something about being a part of this program and learning from these guys around me. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

“He’s in a pretty good position now to take that next step,” said Hoggan of Glendening’s chances with the Red Wings this year. “He works hard every single day and he’s one of the guys that Detroit has really got their eye on. He can take what we accomplished last season to be successful for us this year, and be one of those guys getting the call up [to the NHL]. There’s no question about that.”

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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.