The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/14/13 at 04:35 AM ET
One could very successfully argue that the Red Wings, who host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight (7 PM EST, FSD/Root/NHL Network U.S. with the commensurate Center Ice/GCL blackout/97.1 FM) and hope to earn a measure of vengeance for their 3-2 shootout loss to Tampa Bay when the Lightning (who play today! In New Jersey! Which will become ironic shortly!) come to town tomorrow afternoon (5 PM, FSD/etc. etc.)...
Face schedule that will either make the second half of the season bearable or yield the third, "scramble toward a playoff spot finish over the past four seasons. The Wings possess a 15-7-and-7 record overall, and they're going to play 6 games over their next 10 nights--after today and tomorrow's tilts, the team hosts the Ducks on Tuesday the 17th, the Flames on Thurdsay the 19th, they head to Toronto on Saturday the 21st and will return home to battle the Islanders on the 23rd--with five of the six games taking place at Joe Louis Arena, where the Wings have a 5-6-and-6 record.
The Wings will play the next 6 games without Jimmy Howard, who will miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained left MCL, and they'll play the next 6 games Danny DeKeyser, Darren Helm and Henrik Zetterberg, who are all scheduled to return on or around the Wings' December 28th game against the Panthers. Ideally, everybody will return in time for the Winter Classic (the Wings' post-Christmas schedule involves playing the Panthers on the 28th and the Predators on the 30th, both on the road, before returning for Wednesday,
December January 1st's outdoor affair)...
But it is entirely possible that both the Red Wings and their fans are going to be a little distracted during the game, and a lot distracted afterward, to the point that I would argue that the Wings' actions during the post-game media availability or the lack thereof may be almost as telling as their play on the ice.
I'm not going to get into the series in Wyshynski-like detail (love him or dislike him, Wyshynski and the Puck Daddy crew dissect HBO's 24/7 series like fancystats folks track shot attempts. They've got it down to a *#$%@& science), but I'm intrigued to see the series, and even the Red Wings both posted an series-promoting article and changed their Facebook page's header photo to promote the next four weeks' worth of must-see TV--and the Wings are as media-friendly as startled porcupines with rabies.
Okay, not with rabies. Most of the time.
The Wings have been dealing with the 24/7 cameras on-and-off since the start of training camp, and they've been living with an embedded crew since the Daniel Alfredsson return-to-Ottawa game, so they're clearly going to be interested in watching their close-up (which should yield quite the interesting post-game show on Fox Sports Detroit, don't you think? "Uh, we're gonna interview Darren Helm now...I can't believe Phil Kessel's such a dork! I mean over to you...")...
That worries the hell out of me. All of this pre-Winter Classic hype and Hockeytown Winter Festival excitement is fine and all, especially when it involves stuff like Henrik Zetterberg jersey giveaways (from the Free Press and the Detroit Sports commission), but getting there in one piece, or at least getting to the Winter Classic not fearing a second-half scramble, is going to involve a team possessing a 2-2-and-2 December record having to put in the hard work and attention to detail necessary to prove themselves worthy of more than "a point" most nights.
And if there is anything that rings true about the status of what will be a depleted Wings team for the next two weeks, it's that the team has played games one to thirty-three as if they were episodes of short-attention-span theatre.
There is some good news regarding the short-attention-span theatre's chances against the Penguins, however: while the Wings did not practice on Friday and did engage in some charitable activities, the Penguins hosted the New Jersey Devils (There's your irony. Not very ironic but still unexpected.) on Friday and won their third straight game, defeating the Devils 3-2.
The Penguins expended a significant amount of effort during the course of their win, too, as the Associated Press's recap noted:
The Pittsburgh Penguins put together a fast start Friday night, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury took care of the rest. Fleury made 30 of his 37 saves over the final two periods, helping Pittsburgh hold on for a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.
"We weren't giving them much (at the beginning); I was getting a little lonely back there," said Fleury, who improved to 12-2 at home. "But they didn't quit. They kept coming out after us. It was nice to hold on and get the two points."
Pascal Dupuis scored 41 seconds into the game, and Chris Conner and Jayson Megna also scored in the first for Metropolitan-leading Pittsburgh, which has won seven of eight. The Penguins also extended their home winning streak to seven games.
Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus scored 56 seconds apart early in the second period, but New Jersey dropped to 1-4-1 in its past six.
After Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission, the Devils controlled the remainder of the game. But Fleury was sharp. Perhaps his best saves came on Steve Bernier -- twice, with a pad and then his stick while sprawling -- with 14:40 to play in regulation. Fleury then denied Damien Brunner on a partial breakaway minutes later.
"He's going to tell you it's nice to be able to get a lot of shots and flurries and action at his net," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "But I think he'd just assumed not have grade-A chances on him at key points of the game -- especially in the third period."
NHL.com's Wes Crosby continues the game narrative...
With Pittsburgh protecting a one-goal lead in the third period, Fleury made several acrobatic saves to keep the Penguins in front. Devils forward Steve Bernier sent a wrist shot on net that turned around Fleury 5:19 into the third. Bernier collected his rebound and backhanded a shot toward the net, but Fleury swung his stick and made enough contact with the puck to clear it from the crease.
"I thought we started the game so well and everything was going well," Fleury said. "But we knew they weren't just going to quit there. They came out hard in the second, a lot of guys going to the net and shooting pucks. Even though they scored two goals, we were still focused on the game."
New Jersey's Damien Brunner had an even better chance 2:35 after Bernier on a breakaway. The forward charged at Fleury and deked to his right, forcing the goalie off his skates and sprawling to his stomach. But Fleury whipped his glove upward to rob Brunner of a game-tying goal.
Fleury made 13 saves in the scoreless third period.
"We weren't ready to play," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "That's on me. We have to be ready to go at the start of the game. The first period killed us."
Down 3-0 in 14:40, the Devils scored two goals in 56 seconds early in the second period. Shortly after Pittsburgh killed New Jersey's first power play, Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov shot the puck from a difficult angle and Patrik Elias deflected it past Fleury for his seventh goal of the season, making it 3-1 at 3:24. The Devils scored again when Jaromir Jagr's shot snuck through Fleury's pads and crept toward the goal line. Dainius Zubrus dove and tapped it in to make it 3-2 with 15:40 to go.
New Jersey outshot Pittsburgh 19-5 in the second period after trailing 12-7 after the first.
The Penguins were well aware of the fact that they nearly blew a 3-0 lead by letting the Devils off the mat and disengaging after the Devils rallied to make the game a 3-2 affair, as they told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Shelly Anderson...
"After that point, they dominated the shots, they dominated the opportunities and they certainly had some very good, Grade-A opportunities that we gave up," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "Marc-Andre had to make a handful of excellent saves."
In particular, he put his stick along the ice and channeled a rebound shot by Steve Bernier back out into the slot, and he made a glove save on a breakaway by Damien Brunner.
"The second two periods, we were creating chances for them off of things we were doing," [Chris] Conner said.
What started off looking as if it might be one of Fleury's easier nights didn't end up that way as New Jersey not only feasted on some Penguins puck mismanagement but also played offense with a level of zeal not usually attributed to the defensive-minded Devils.
"We're used to seeing them play pretty tight, pretty patient, very shut-down," Fleury said. "It was different to have them forechecking and playing offense."
New Jersey ranked last in the NHL before Friday with an average of 25.2 shots a game. The Devils reached 26 through two periods and finished with 39. They attempted 83, with 17 missing the net and 27 blocked by the Penguins. The Penguins had ranked ninth with 31.6 shots a game but had only 23.
"We know it's a looong, 60-minute game," [Chris] Kunitz said. "Teams have come back on us. We've come back on other teams. "They took it to us, and we hung on for the win."
But if we are to believe the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Rossi, the Peguins' performance was in fact embelmatic of a team that's roaring along with its afterburners lit:
Sidney Crosby is the NHL's leading scorer. Evgeni Malkin is hot on his heels. Those Penguins stars are headed to the Winter Olympics — as is, most likely, Chris Kunitz.
Marc-Andre Fleury is staying in Pittsburgh for the Sochi Games, and he knows it. His performance this season is making it look like he will stay here for the rest of his career.
“He's been our best player this year, by far,” Pascal Dupuis said of Fleury, who turned aside 37 shots — including 30 in the final two periods — in a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night at Consol Energy Center.
Fleury is 18-8-1, on pace for a career-best 45 wins. His goals-against average is 2.01, which would better his previous low of 2.32. His save percentage is at .924. He has hit the .920-range just once previously. This, Dupuis suggested, is MVP-like work.
That being said, as the man who coined #HossaWatch, #JagrWatch, #SuterWatch, #PariseWatch etc. on Twitter was also pushing a juicy-rumor-pushing angle:
The Penguins (22-10-1, 45 points) are attempting to earn home-ice advantage through the Eastern Conference playoffs for a second consecutive season — and that could mean a lot with the way Fleury has played at Consol Energy Center. He is 12-2-0 with 1.67 goals-against and .942 save percentage on home ice.
[Penguins GM] Shero can sign him to an extension this summer.
The general manager insisted that Fleury, off a fourth consecutive postseason with a sub-.900 save percentage, see the team's sports psychologist last summer. There always was a reason for that, though. Shero said he believed Fleury was a refocusing away from reclaiming his reputation as a big-game goalie.
“He's had some big games for us so far,” Kunitz said. “We've kept him busy, that's for sure. There have been some bad stretches on our part, turning over the puck, giving up odd-man rushes. He's been one of — no, the — best player for us.”
Head coach Dan Bylsma used the following words to describe forward Jayson Megna after morning skate on Friday: skill, speed and puck-distributor. But on his first-period tally, his fourth of the season, it was all about grit.
Megna looked as if he took a page out of the playbook of teammate Kunitz on his first-period score, crashing the net, banging around down low with defenders and depositing a rebound for a score.
After battling in front of Schneider with Devils defenseman Adam Henrique, Megna escaped the scrum and positioned himself above the blue paint with his stick patiently waiting on the ice. A Simon Despres slap shot bounced off the pads of Schneider and nicely onto the blade of Megna, who slid the puck off the left post and in to put Pittsburgh up 3-0 heading into the first intermission, a goal that proved to be the game-winner.
“I was just trying to get a good net-front screen,” Megna said. “Had a good battle there in front. Great shot by ‘Simon’ that found its way on to the net. Kicked out right in front of me and saw a little bit of an opening. I think I made it way too close than it had to be, going off the post. Just getting to the front of the net trying to create some traffic and fortunately it went in.”
And in terms of setting context for tonight's game, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari noted that the Penguins' blueline's not playing at full strength...
The Penguins have lost 153 man-games to injury this season. No fewer than 43 of those have involved their top four defensemen -- Orpik, Scuderi, Paul Martin and Kris Letang.
Even so, the Penguins entered the game against New Jersey with a firm grip on first place in the Metropolitan Division and the NHL's fourth-best goals-allowed average ( 2.22).
"Guys had to step up there," Bylsma said. "Our team has the luxury of being very deep at defense."
Consequently, NHL-caliber defensemen such as Robert Bortuzzo and Deryk Engelland occasionally have been unable to hold down a spot in the lineup.
"I think you had a capable guy who's not playing, who's sitting in the stands," Bylsma said. "They're not second-class citizens moving into a situation [when someone is injured]."
While Rossi both reported that Brooks Orpik took his first steps in attempting to recover from the concussion dealt to him by Boston's Shawn Thornton (expect Thornton to be suspended by the NHL today for kneeing Orpik in the head a week ago) and he revealed tonight's starting goaltender:
I implored Jeff Zatkoff to enjoy his Saturday night.
“Let’s see if I start,” Zatkoff said.
My eyes rolled. Zatkoff laughed.
As the Friday night proved, Marc-Andre Fleury is probably the Penguins’ MVP as this season nears its halfway point.
Zatkoff, though, has been quite a story. After a horrific first NHL game – a 6-3 loss at Florida on Oct. 11 – he has won four of five and allowed 10 goals while racking a .924 save percentage over that span.
He has earned this hometown start at Detroit on Saturday night.
These quips from the Post-Gazette's Anderson are also worth noting...
**The Penguins killed both New Jersey power plays and their penalty killers are 12-for-12 over the past five games. The Penguins had just one power-play, but it came an an opportune time -- with 2:25 left in regulation as the Devils were pressing hard for a tying goal. It was an unusual call, too, as Adam Henrique was given a minor for playing with a broken stick.
**The three goals were the most the Penguins have scored in the first period this season, and Dupuis' opening goal 41 seconds into regulation was the fastest goal at the start of a game this year. It was also the fastest goal the Devils have allowed this season.
**Sidney Crosby got the secondary assist on Dupuis' goal, upping his NHL-leading point total to 44 and giving him at least one point in 11 home games in a row. He also has a five-game overall points streak (three goals, five assists).
**Megna, a rookie, now has four goals, two of which are game-winners.
**The Penguins used the same lineup as their previous game, with rookie defenseman Brian Dumoulin the only healthy scratch and right winger James Neal serving the second of a five-game NHL suspension.
And that lineup, according to PittsburghPenguins.com's Sam Kassan, looks like this:
PP1: Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Jokinen, Kunitz
PP2: Niskanen, Maatta, Sutter, Dupuis, Kobasew
The Penguins' website also posted a slate of Devils-Penguins game highlights (also: Oh my Gord, the ROOT broadcasters are terrible, why do I have the bad feeling that the NHL Network will go with Herp and Derp...), they posted Dan Bylsma's post-game presser, and former Wings intern Michelle Crechiolo's...Red Wings scouting report? Huh, cool:
NHL.com's Wes Crosby posited a balanced game preview...
Last 10: Pittsburgh 7-2-1; Detroit 5-3-2
Penguins [team scope]: Despite injuries to three of its top defensemen (Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi), Pittsburgh has maintained its lead atop the Metropolitan. The Eastern Conference-leading offense (3.00 goals per game) and resilient defense (2.21 goals allowed per game, fourth in the NHL) has the Penguins eight points ahead of the Washington Capitals. Pittsburgh, which defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-2 at home Friday, has started December 4-1-0.
The Penguins will play without forward James Neal, who is serving a suspension. Pittsburgh is 8-7-1 on the road but has won three of its past four.
Red Wings [team scope]: Detroit has lost its past three games, against divisional opponents, and its past two via shootout. Its 2-1 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday left the teams tied for third place in the Atlantic, seven points behind the first-place Boston Bruins. The Red Wings are 6-3-2 since losing seven straight games.
Detroit's 14th ranked defense has improved. The Red Wings have allowed two or fewer regulation goals in their past four games.
Who's hot: Penguins forward Sidney Crosby, who leads the NHL with 44 points, has scored at least one point in 13 of his past 16 games. Forward Evgeni Malkin's 10-game point streak was snapped against New Jersey. Forward Chris Kunitz leads Pittsburgh with 17 goals and has scored six in his past seven games. … Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk has scored three points in his past three games (two goals, one assist). Forward Johan Franzen has three assists in his past two games.
Injury report: Scuderi (ankle) and forward Tanner Glass (hand) are expected to return to practice in the next 3-5 days, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. Orpik (head) and Martin (broken leg), and forwards Beau Bennett (wrist/hand) and Andrew Ebbett (ankle) are out. … Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard (knee) is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with an MCL sprain sustained during practice Wednesday. Forwards Henrik Zetterberg (back), Darren Helm (shoulder) and Stephen Weiss (groin), and defenseman Danny DeKeyser (shoulder) are out.
And the AP/Stats LLC's game preview offers what you might expect:
Pittsburgh (22-10-1) has registered a pair of one-goal victories since having a season-high five-game win streak snapped with a 3-2 loss in Boston this past Saturday. The Penguins used Sidney Crosby's third-period goal for a 2-1 win over Columbus on Monday and held on for a 3-2 victory against New Jersey on Friday after scoring three times in the first 15 minutes.
The Red Wings (15-9-9) are 2-5-6 in their last 13 games at Joe Louis and have dropped their past two, both in regulation.
Detroit suffered a pair of shootout losses during its two-game trip to Florida and Howard's replacement, Jonas Gustavsson, was outdueled in six rounds in a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday. The Red Wings haven't helped him by scoring a combined four goals in their last three games.
"We've got to find a way to score a goal for our goalie," coach Mike Babcock said. "Our goalie can't shut them all out. Guys that have scored fairly easily before, their attempts look like they're tight, too. ... We've got to change that, too."
Gustavsson, 8-1-2 with a 1.93 goals-against average in 12 games this season, will likely draw another start Saturday. He's 2-3-1 with a 3.63 GAA in six career games against Pittsburgh.
Detroit is facing Pittsburgh for the first time since a 4-1 road win Dec. 13, 2011. The Penguins won 5-4 in a shootout in their most recent trip to Joe Louis on March 21, 2011.
No Wings practice and news about Howard and the DeKeyser-Helm-Zetterberg trio's respective injuries--and no update on Stephen Weiss's groin troubles--yielded an "off day's" worth of Wings-Bolts tailings and lots of Winter Classic talk on Friday, but not much in the way of context-setting.
We can pretty safely assume that the Wings made a roster move whose pair of recalled players will be in tonight's lineup, however. Minus Weiss, the Wings had twelve healthy forwards. Now they have thirteen, but MLive's Ansar Khan noted that Cory Emmerton's no longer among them:
The Red Wings on Friday recalled forwards Patrick Eaves and Luke Glendening from the Grand Rapids Griffins and reassigned center Cory Emmerton.
Eaves appeared in three games for the Red Wings this season (no points) before being sent to Grand Rapids, where he picked up six points (four goals, two assists) in eight games.
Glendening, who has shuttled back and forth from Detroit to Grand Rapids this season, has played in nine games for the Red Wings (no points) and 17 games for the Griffins (three goals, seven assists).
Emmerton has played in nine games for the Red Wings (no goals, two assists) and 18 games for the Griffins (three goals, 11 assists).
6 games in 10 nights + Samuelsson and Cleary continuing to struggle + Zetterberg on the LTIR = time to bring up Eaves, see if Glendening can bring more speed to the lineup.
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness did pen an article discussing Jonas Gustavsson's surprising status as someone who the Wings will happily trust to carry the mail in Jimmy Howard's absence...
“He looks extremely good this year, obviously,” Daniel Alfredsson said. “He’s been healthy for a stretch again and at the right time. He’s off to a good start and playing with some confidence. He’s playing poised, he’s aggressive when he needs to be and it looks like he’s comfortable.”
Gustavsson, 28, is 8-1-2 this season and lowered his goals-against average to 1.93 after Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Tampa Bay. His save percentage is .933.
“He’s played the way we hoped he would when we signed him,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “Last year was rough for him. He was injured and then when he got healthy it was a must-win every night and we rode Jimmy Howard every night.”
Howard, who was injured late in practice Wednesday, has struggled winning games this season, dropping to 6-8-7 after a 3-2 shootout loss to Florida on Tuesday.
“He’s been a big story for us this year,” Holland said. “He gives us a chance to win every night. You have to have two goalies going because the days of one guy playing 70 games are over.”
Mrazek will serve as the backup to Gustavsson.
“With the two of them we believe they can give us the type of goaltending that gives us a chance to win,” Holland said.
Mrazek, who is 10-2-1 this season with the Griffins, made 14 saves in a 5-0 win at Edmonton in his lone appearance this season on Nov. 1.
As did MLive's Khan:
Holland said Howard was moving gingerly on Friday, two days after getting hurt in practice. He has not been placed on injured reserve, but he won’t be back before Dec. 28.The injury jeopardizes his chance to play in the Jan. 1 Winter Classic and possibly dashes his hopes to make the U.S. Olympic team.
“He’ll see how he feels in a week,” Holland said. “Knee sprains are harder on a goalie because they bend the knees so much and put pressure on it.’’
Gustavsson is ready to assume a greater role. This is the best he has felt in some time.
“You always try to feel good about what you do even if you win or lose; you try to take all the positives with you,” Gustavsson said. “On the other hand you can’t be too cocky going into a game. It’s so little between success and failure, especially at this level. But I’ve been feeling good and I’m going to try to push myself. That’s what I need to keep feeling good.”
Mrazek will back-up Gustavsson, and likely get an occasional start, while Howard is out. Mrazek has three career NHL starts, posting a 5-0 win at Edmonton on Nov. 1, his lone appearance with the Red Wings this season.Gustavsson said a chance to make the Swedish Olympic team for the second time is in the back of his mind, but not at the expense of losing focus on his job with the Red Wings.
“If you play good, you get some opportunities, you get a bigger chance to make the (Olympic) team,” Gustavsson said. “But there are a lot of (Swedish) goalies over here now. It wasn’t like my first year when I made the Olympic team (2010); we had maybe only 2-3 guys from Sweden playing in the NHL. The competition is tougher this time, but of course it’s something I would like to be a part of.”
The Free Press's Helene St. James has been playing the, "Howard's U.S. Olympic Chances In Jeopardy Seriously You Guys" angle for the last two weeks (no offense intent or meant, but it's come on a little strong), so, yeah, well...
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard may miss the Winter Classic, and his chances of making Team USA are growing almost as cold.
Howard hurt himself during practice Wednesday at Tampa, when he made a kick save on Daniel Cleary. Howard said his left knee tweaked as it absorbed his entire weight. For now, the Wings are waiting to see how Howard feels next week before deciding whether to put him on IR.
Howard had a rough November, leaving him at 6-8-7 with a 2.65 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. That’s tarnished his body of work as he’s under consideration for the U.S. squad that will compete in February at the Sochi Games. Three goaltenders will make the roster, and two of those spots already are locked up by Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller.
Howard is competing for the third spot with Cory Schneider, who is 4-6-4 but has a 1.89 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. Schneider might further appeal because at 27 he’s a couple of years younger than Howard, which could sway the selection committee that he’d be a better pick as it would give Sch
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan also talked about Howard's struggles in his notebook, and he added the following:
The Red Wings lost their sixth consecutive shootout this season, and 11th over the last two seasons, to the Lightning on Thursday.
“There’s nothing we can do about it, just keep on plugging,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said of the six possible points lost. “What we ask our team to do is compete and on most nights we really compete.”
Six Red Wings failed to score against Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop in the shootout.
“You try not to think about it,” forward Gustav Nyquist said. “Obviously we’re not scoring. We have to start to figure it out.”
Let's hope that the Wings don't go to OT, because they've lost 9 straight in either OT or a shootout. That, and we might miss part of 24/7 to watch the Wings lose.
Otherwise, we won't know more about tonight's lineup or how the Wings plan on approaching a game in which the Wings may or may not screw up their close-up while waiting for their close-up until the morning skate takes place...
And if you're in Southeastern Michigan, please be careful as we're supposed to get anywhere from 1-6 inches of snow this morning.
Also of Red Wings-related note: In case you were not already aware of the fact that Gustavsson might be a good fantasy hockey pick-up, or that you might want to drop Stephen Weiss given that his groin injury has a player who skated like the guy named Cleary when he was going like "Dan" and turned Weiss into a "Danny" at the start of the season, and now a "Daniel" (i.e. relatively fast, kinda slow and, "Well, he looks like someone who's battled groin injuries and degenerative knee problems for five years now") and may very well require surgical repair, ESPN's fantasy hockey experts, Sean Allen and Victoria Matiash, want you to know to pick up Gustavsson and drop Weiss, respectively;
The Sporting News's Sean Gentile doesn't believe that Howard's an Olympic-caliber goaltender for Team USA, and I hate to say it, but Gentile's, "He hasn't been particularly good" assessment of Howard's season has merit;
I am unaware of the identity of "Sports Radio Detroit," but they conducted an interview with Larry Murphy, who's apparently preparing for the Alumni Showdown and appearing on the NHL Network's "On the Fly" program, and it's worth a listen;
And in the promotional department:
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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.