The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/21/11 at 10:04 AM ET
The Detroit Red Wings face off against a playoff nemesis tonight in the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 EDT, Versus/WXYT), and they’ll do so minus the services of Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Jiri Hudler.
While the fact that neither team likes the other very much thanks to their Stanley Cup Finals meetings in 2008 and 2009 might play into both teams’ levels of energy and engagement in the game, and their history certainly makes for a “good story” in the media, the absences of Datsyuk and Sidney Crosby take some of the bloom off this would-be rose, and, perhaps moreover, the bottom line for both teams is simple—as NHL.com suggests, the Wings and Penguins are in tight races for playoff positioning, and they want to earn two points in the standings more than anything else:
The Detroit Red Wings, who are just two points ahead of the San Jose Sharks for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on Versus in the U.S. and TSN2 in Canada.
Pittsburgh (41-23-8) is coming off a disappointing 5-2 loss on home ice to the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon. The Pens trail Philadelphia by six points in the Atlantic Division. Pittsburgh currently resides in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of Tampa Bay.
While the 43-21-and-8 Red Wings (94 points) hope to push the San Jose Sharks further behind them in the Western Conference standings, and have five and eight-point leads, respectively, on the Phoenix Coyotes and the pack of teams fighting for playoff spots, headed at present by the Chicago Blackhawks (and there’s almost no chance for the Wings to catch Wednesday’s opponent, the Vancouver Canucks, as they’re a full 9 points ahead of the Wings), the Penguins have been running at a .500 clip over their past ten games, and as they try to close their 6-point deficit on the Flyers, they’re also only 3 points ahead of the sixth-place Canadiens.
In other words, a little under a month away from the start of the playoffs, both teams need points more than they to send messages.
The Penguins dropped a 5-2 decision to the New York Rangers on Sunday, and even PittsburghPenguins.com’s Sam Kassan had to admit that they did so thanks to Matt Cooke’s latest bout of stupidity:
Turning Point: he Penguins were outshooting and outchancing the Rangers in the third period, but the score remained tied at 1-1. Matt Cooke was given a five-minute major penalty for elbowing. On the subsequent PK, Chris Kunitz scored to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead.
But seconds later defenseman Matt Niskanen was whistled for hi-sticking and was given a four-minute double minor. The Penguins had 1:42 worth of a two-man advantage to kill.
The Rangers would score twice during that power play sequence to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead en route to the victory.
Analysis: The Penguins put together one of their best efforts of the season against New York, but it only took a few minutes in the third period for the Rangers to capitalize to net a 5-2 win. Pittsburgh had completely dominated the bulk of the play throughout the 60 minutes, outshooting New York by a 40-27 margin. The Penguins spent the majority of the time in the offensive zone. Despite all their chances, Pittsburgh ran into a strong performance from Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
The tide of the game turned in the third period following penalty calls to Matt Cooke (five-minute major for elbowing) and Matt Niskanen (four-minute double minor for hi-sticking). A shorthanded goal from Chris Kunitz gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead, but the Rangers rebounded with two power-play goals to take a 3-2 advantage.
Pittsburgh played well enough to win, but it wasn’t enough in this contest. The Penguins will have to quickly put this game behind them as they’ll travel after the game to Detroit for a Monday night showdown with the Red Wings.
On the record, anyway, the Penguins could only shake their heads at their lack of composure, as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe noted…
“After the game, you sit back think, ‘We don’t need to put ourselves in these situations,’ ” right wing Craig Adams said.
Niskanen, who was effective most of the game, attempted to lift Ryan Callahan’s stick when he struck the forward in the face, drawing blood.
“It happens, but you’ve got to be more disciplined there,” Niskanen said. “You can’t put the team down two men in that situation. It’s a tough one to swallow because we played so well most of the game.”
Jordan Staal scored in a third straight game, and Chris Kunitz’s shorthanded goal gave the Penguins, who outshot the Rangers, 40-27, a lead. Callahan, Artem Anisimov, Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky scored for the Rangers.
As for the Penguins’ injury situation, Yohe notes that several Penguins, including Crosby, are taking steps forward…
A number of injured Penguins, including center Sidney Crosby, skated at Consol Energy Center before the contest. Crosby has skated almost every day during the past week and has reported no concussion-related symptoms. He was joined on the ice by defenseman Brooks Orpik, who could be close to returning from a broken finger, along with left wing Eric Tangradi, and right wings Nick Johnson and Eric Godard.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Shelly Anderson spelled out the aforementioned Penguins’ injuries...
The others who skated in the morning were forwards Sidney Crosby (concussion), Mark Letestu (believed to be shoulder, skated without gear), Nick Johnson (concussion) and Eric Godard (healthy scratch) and defenseman Brooks Orpik (finger).
Forward Arron Asham, who had a concussion, was taken off injured reserve, but Bylsma opted to dress Chris Conner and scratch Asham.
Before shifting focus to tonight’s game:
[Jordan] Staal said playing Detroit still has some tingle effect even if the clubs don’t cross conference lines to meet often in the regular season. The teams, which meet tonight at Joe Louis Arena, played in the Stanley Cup final in 2008 and ‘09 with a split.
“It would have been nice to get two points [Sunday] and roll into Detroit feeling good about ourselves,” Staal said.
The Beaver County Times’ Chris Bradford offered a capsule preview of tonight’s game…
Penguins at Red Wings
Time 7:30 pm Site Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
Records Penguins 41-23-8, 90 pts., Red Wings 38-30-4, 80 pts.
On the air TV: Versus; Radio: WXDX-FM (105.9); WMBA-AM (1460); WBVP-AM (1230)
What to watch This is the Penguins’ second and final meeting with Detroit. Though Detroit is 11-3-1 against Eastern Conference teams, the Penguins beat the Red Wings 4-1 at the CEC on Jan. 18. ... The Red Wings are 4-1 in their last five and 5-3-2 in their last 10 after Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Nashville. ... At 8.9 minutes per game, the Red Wings are the NHL’s least-penalized team. ... Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) is questionble while Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom are probable. ... Detroit’s power play ranks 4th (21.5 percent) while its penalty kill is 12th (83.1).
As did the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari, who both acknowledges that Cooke should sit out tonight’s game with some sort of suspension, and claims that the Penguins’ players were very angry with their teammate in the off-the-record department:
* Matchup: Penguins at Detroit Red Wings, 7:38 p.m. today, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit.
* Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury for Penguins. Jimmy Howard for Red Wings.
* Penguins: Are 10-4-3 vs. Western Conference. ... Are 10-3-2 in second of back-to-back games. ... Jordan Staal has 10 goals, 23 points with Sidney Crosby out of the lineup.
* Red Wings: Are 4-1 in past five games. ... Are 11-3-1 vs. Eastern Conference. ... Are least penalized team, 6.9 minutes a game.
* Hidden stat: The Penguins need one road win to reach 20 for the fifth consecutive season.
As the Detroit Free Press notes, the Penguins’ win over Detroit earlier this season technically comes with an asterisk:
The Red Wings will face the Pittsburgh Penguins for only the second time this season (7:30, Versus). On Jan. 18, the Penguins beat the Wings, 4-1. But the Red Wings were without goalies Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood, forwards Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary, and defenseman Brad Stuart. All are back except Datsyuk, who has lower-body soreness.
PittsburghPenguins.com’s Michelle Crechiolo, who used to work for the Wings, penned an extremely comprehensive game preview, offering a full Wings scouting report before getting down to the nitty-gritty in terms of the Penguins’ keys to the game...
Shut Down Their Top Players: When they’re playing at home, Wings coach Mike Babcock likes to put Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on separate lines since he has the last change in order to spread their offensive depth. While Datsyuk is questionable for Monday’s game, the Wings still have plenty of dangerous offensive threats up top and the Penguins will need to play shutdown defense to keep them all contained – especially Zetterberg. Zetterberg tends to elevate his game when playing against Eastern Conference teams, as evidenced by his two-goal outburst in a 3-2 win over the Capitals on March 17 and by his 10 points (6G-4A) in nine career regular-season games against Pittsburgh.
Play Disciplined: Detroit is the NHL’s least-penalized team (tied) with an average of 8.9 minutes in the box per game. The Penguins will need to stay out the box against a team that doesn’t take many penalties, but tends to capitalize when their opponents do. The Wings are fourth in the league with a 21.5-percent success rate on the man-advantage, with Nicklas Lidstrom earning 34 of his 54 points while quarterbacking Detroit’s power play.
She also offers a full list of the Penguins’ numerous injured players…
F Arron Asham, concussion (day-to-day)
F Mike Comrie, hip (IR)
F Sidney Crosby, concussion (IR)
F Nick Johnson, concussion (IR)
F Evgeni Malkin, torn ACL and torn MCL (will miss the remainder of the season)
D Brooks Orpik, hand (1 week)
F Eric Tangradi, concussion (IR)
Before recounting the Penguins’ earlier-this-season win…
This is the second of two meetings in a home-and-home series between the teams, with the Penguins winning the first game at CONSOL Energy Center by a score of 4-1 on Jan. 18. Jordan Staal, Chris Conner, Chris Kunitz and Matt Cooke all scored for Pittsburgh, with Johan Franzen netting the lone Detroit tally.
And offering a few stats which merit note:
* Detroit’s four centers all have posted success rates of over 50 percent in the faceoff dot. Pavel Datsyuk leads with a 55.8-percent success rate, Darren Helm is second with a 52.8-percent success rate, Henrik Zetterberg has won 52 percent of his draws while Valtteri Filppula has won 51.2 percent of his faceoffs.
* Two players who have posted impressive numbers against Detroit in the regular season are Matt Cooke and Chris Kunitz. Cooke has 17 points (8G-9A) in 37 games played against the Wings, while Kunitz has 10 points (5G-5A) in 18 games played.
NHL.com’s Dave Kalan penned NHL.com’s preview:
Last 10—Pittsburgh 5-3-2; Detroit 5-3-2.
Season series—Pittsburgh took the only meeting earlier this season between the two-time Finals opponents, winning 4-1 at the Consol Energy Center on Jan. 18.
Big story—With the postseason approaching, neither Pittsburgh nor Detroit seems in danger of missing out, but much is still left to be decided in terms of seeding in both the Eastern and Western Conference. In addition to the obvious ramifications in the standings, Pittsburgh and Detroit are just 21 months removed from their second consecutive meeting in the Stanley Cup Final. The Pens and Wings split their two championship tilts, but plenty of memories remain on both sides.
Who’s hot—No player can fill the vacuum left by Crosby or Malkin, but Jordan Staal is certainly trying. The pivot has seven points in his last six games ... Henrik Zetterberg is doing what he can to keep the beat up Wings afloat with three points in his last three games.
Stat pack— In his second full season, Jimmy Howard has continued to look like a strong goaltender for the forseeable future, and his recent play should only reaffirm that notion. Howard has won three of his last four starts, compiling a 1.98 GAA and a .934 save percentage in that stretch.
Puck drop—More will be at stake Monday night for Pittsburgh than Detroit, but there is no love lost between these two, who have about as big a rivalry as teams in opposing conferences can have. With this the last time they’re scheduled to meet this season, expect the Pens and Wings to get their last punches in—unless they meet yet again in June.
That’s the theory, but for the Red Wings, the biggest story going into tonight’s game involves their decision to sit a line’s worth of scoring forwards, Datsyuk included, as MLive’s Ansar Khan notes:
The Detroit Red Wings aren’t taking any chances with nagging injuries, especially this close to the playoffs. So forwards Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Johan Franzen (groin) and Jiri Hudler (upper body) all likely are out for Monday’s game against Pittsburgh at Joe Louis Arena, general manager Ken Holland said Sunday afternoon.
“We’re anticipating Hudler, Franzen and Datsyuk all out tomorrow,’’ Holland said. “They’re all day to day. We’ll see as we go.’‘
Defenseman Ruslan Salei will return to the lineup after being away for a week to be with his wife, who had their third child. The Red Wings will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen. They have no other alternative. They can’t recall a player from the Grand Rapids Griffins because they don’t have the salary cap space, Holland said.
Holland reiterated his points of emphasis to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:
“We don’t want to take any chances with 10 games left,” Holland said. “We’ve found in the past when guys have tender groins and we’ve pushed them it can get worse. We’re going to be cautious. (Franzen’s) had no tests. He feels better every day. We’re going to err on the side of caution.”
“Again, we’re going to be careful,” Holland said. “We don’t want to take any risks.”
“There’s no reason to think we’ll use long-term IR,” Holland said. “Right now it’s all day-to-day, nothing significant. But we don’t really know. When you got guys not 100 percent, why run the risk of putting them out there now?”
Holland also very elegantly framed tonight’s game in terms of its late-season importance:
“The playoffs are underway,” Holland said. “Pittsburgh is fighting for position. If we can beat Vancouver, maybe we can take a run at them. Toronto is in there (playoff race). We’ve got seven out of 10 at home, we’ve put ourselves in good position[.] We’ve done a lot of traveling the last two months, the guys are excited to hang up their clothes in their closets for two weeks.”
With how the standings look in both the Western and Eastern Conference all 10 of the Wings’ final regular season games will have playoff implications.
“We’re trying to hang onto the division,” said Holland, whose team is 10 points up on Chicago and Nashville in the race for the Central Division title. “We’re up on Chicago by 10 points but we play them three times. We’re trying to hang onto the No. 2 seed. There’s a lot to play for. We’ve banked 94 points. It’s a great opportunity to finish strong.”
The Wings hope to keep the “big red machine” rolling by continuing to dominate on special teams, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James points out...
The Wings have maintained second place in the West, aided lately by their penalty kill, which is 32-for-35 since March 1. Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Nashville was the first time in four games the Wings allowed a power-play goal. The 91.4% success rate over the past nine games has raised the Wings’ overall penalty kill to 83.1%.
“I think it’s just structure,” Drew Miller said. “You hear 5-on-5 structure, 4-on-4 structure, 5-on-4 structure—it all comes down to our system and our structure. I think when we play the system really well, and the structure is tight and everyone is playing as a group of four, it’s going to work.”
The power play has been 20.6% efficient in March, with goals in four straight games and seven of nine. The overall rate of 21.5% ranks fourth in the NHL. There have been some cold stretches throughout the season—like early February when the Wings went 0-for-16 during a four-game stretch—but also hot stretches, like the 5-for-14 four-game run in late February.
It helped once Mike Modano returned Feb. 26. He gives the Wings a great shot and an excellent passing presence as one of the point men. When the Wings have been successful with the man advantage, they’ve moved the puck quickly and shot it profusely.
“I think there needs to be constant change to it, because I think teams just eventually pick up on it. They watch film after film, so they know what we’re doing,” Modano said. “I think you have to tweak things here and there to just get a little different thought process in the penalty killers’ minds.”
Modano also spoke to the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan about the importance of getting some momentum going by finally getting on a roll at home—and as Kulfan notes, the Wings’ 19-11-and-4 record at home makes reestablishing Joe Louis Arena as a difficult place for opposing teams to play all but essential:
“It’s been an up-and-down place all year long, but it would be nice to get some momentum going at home,” forward Mike Modano said. “It’ll be a good challenge and it would be nice to get some wins.”
There won’t be many breathers in this group: The Wings open against Pittsburgh. The luster isn’t the same without Penguins stars Sidney Crosby (concussion) and Evgeni Malkin (knee), but the Penguins have somehow managed to stay a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference. And, for fans, the back-to-back Stanley Cup battles between the Red Wings and Penguins remain very fresh.
Vancouver comes into Joe Louis Arena Wednesday, owners of the best record in the NHL (47-17-9, 103 points). Toronto arrives Saturday for its only regular-season appearance. The red-hot Maple Leafs playing a Saturday night at JLA will have downtown buzzing like few times this season. The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks arrives at JLA March 28 in what could be a first-round playoff preview. And the home stand concludes March 30 against St. Louis, the weakest of the teams standings-wise, but with talented goalie Jaroslav Halak. The Wings are looking forward to this stretch.
“It’s always nice to be at home, be with your family and sleep in your own bed,” forward Patrick Eaves said. “It’ll be a good to ramp up for the playoff.”
As coach Mike Babcock suggested, however, the biggest part of the Wings’ equation for playoff success remains quite literally absent:
Said coach Mike Babcock: “The big thing is we’d like to get healthy, get people back, and get rolling and feel good about ourselves.”
Per the NHL’s media website, Chris Lee and Kevin Pollock will referee tonight’s game, with Scott Driscoll and Kevin Gibbs working the lines.
Edit/update 8:35 AM: MLive’s Ansar Khan also spoke to Holland about the Wings’ need to make hay while the sun shines...
“We’ve put ourselves in good position,’’ Holland said. “We’ve done a lot of traveling the last two months. The guys are excited to hang up their clothes in their closets for two weeks.’’
“We’re trying to hang onto the division. We’re trying to hang onto the No. 2 seed. If we can beat Vancouver, maybe we can take a run at them,’’ Holland said. “There’s lots to play for.’’
And he spoke to Babcock, Modano and Howard about this week’s schedule as well:
“The big thing is we’d like to get healthy, get people back, and then you want to get rolling and feeling good about yourself,’’ coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re playing good teams, too, which is real important for us. We’ll be excited to play Pittsburgh and Vancouver. We got Toronto (on Saturday), so that’s exciting as well.’’
The Red Wings want to establish dominance at home. They won their past two at the Joe but were 7-10-2 in their previous 19 games there. Their 19-11-4 record at home ranks in the middle of the pack in the NHL.
“It’s been an up and down place for us all year long,’’ center Mike Modano said. “It would be nice to kind of get some momentum going at home.’’
Said goaltender Jimmy Howard: “We need to bank some points, use home-ice advantage to our advantage. Go out there and make it tough on teams.’’
Also of Red Wings-related note: Perhaps most importantly, the Red Wings have officially announced that the team will make playoff tickets available to the general public on March 26th;
This one slipped under the radar screen on Sunday, so I’d highly suggest that you give the Wings’ takes on the head-shot debate, via MLive’s Ansar Khan, a second look;
• In the prospect department, the NCAA revealed its Division I playoff picks on Sunday, and both University of Notre Dame forward Riley Sheahan and Boston College defenseman Max Nicastro’s teams made the NCAA cut. The tournament will take place from March 26-28, and here are the match-ups, per NHL.com:
East: Bridgeport (Hosted by Yale/Fairfield)
1. Yale vs. 16. Air Force
8. Union vs. 9. Minnesota-Duluth
Northeast: Manchester, NH (hosted by University of New Hampshire)
4. Miami vs. 13. New Hampshire
6. Merrimack vs. 11. Notre Dame
West: St. Louis (Hosted by Central Collegiate Hockey Association)
3. Boston College vs. 14. Colorado College
5. Michigan vs. 12. Nebraska-Omaha
Midwest: Green Bay (Hosted by Michigan Tech.)
2. North Dakota vs. 15. Rensselaer
7. Denver vs. 10. Western Michigan
• In the WHL, two Red Wings prospects will participate in the playoffs as Landon Ferraro’s Everett Silvertips and Mitchell Callahan’s Kelowna Rockets made the WHL’s playoff cut (via WHL.ca). The Silvertips will face off against the Portland WinterHawks on March 26th, and the Rockets will tangle with the Prince George Cougars beginning on March 25th.
Rockets broadcaster Regan Bartel reports that Callahan was named the team’s best defensive forward;
• Red Wings prospect Petr Mrazek will also take part in the OHL playoffs, with his Ottawa 67’s facing off against the Sudbury Wolves starting on Saturday, March 26th;
• And in the QMJHL, PEI Rocket forward Andrej Nestrasil, Rimouski Oceanic defenseman Gleason Fournier and Montreal Juniors forwards Louis-Marc Aubry and Trevor Parkes are all playoff-bound. PEI will play against Moncton, Montreal will face Val-d’Or, and Rimouski…well, they’re in a 5-team division, so I’m not quite sure who they’ll play;
• The Grand Rapids Griffins solidified their grip on a playoff spot by defeating the Rockford IceHogs 5-3 on Sunday. The Griffins’ website’s recap offers a summary of what the Griffins’ ability to win 2 games over the course of 3 nights at Van Andel Arena means for their playoff hopes:
Two quick goals in the second period and a pair of third period tallies from Tomas Tatar vaulted Grand Rapids into third place in the North Division and the final guaranteed playoff position, as the Griffins earned a 5-3 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Sunday evening at Van Andel Arena.
With the win, Grand Rapids stand just two points behind first-place Manitoba and Lake Erie with 80 points. In addition, Griffins’ netminder Jordan Pearce earned his ninth win in his last 11 outings with the 31 save performance.
The Griffins (35-26-2-8) will conclude their five-game homestand Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the Toronto Marlies, after which they’ll play seven of their final eight regular season games on the road.
• In the ECHL, Thomas McCollum’s 17-save shutout propelled the Toledo Walleye to a 1-0 win over the Trenton Titans. The Walleye’s website and the Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe provide recaps, with Monroe reporting that the Walleye are 4 points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference;
• In the alumni department, per Yahoo Sports’ Sean Leahy, there’s a sidebar story regarding Dominik Hasek’s desire to play for at least one more year in the KHL, and it involves the most controversial player involved in the Wings’ run of three Stanley Cups between 1997 and 2002:
In other former NHL great news, Sergei Fedorov’s Metalurg Magnitogorsk forced a Game 7 in the KHL’s Eastern Conference semifinals against Jaromir Jagr’s Avangard Omsk with a 2-1 win yesterday. The deciding game will be on Monday and could spell the end a career for either Fedorov or Jagr, whose contracts both end this season.
Sergei recently told the Russian press that he’s feeling just fine, and given his financial difficulties, he quite literally has to keep playing if he wants to pay the bills, even at 41 years of age. I expect him to continue playing as he’s quite happy in Magnitogorsk, even though his brother, Fedor, now plays for Atlant Mytishchi, which pulled off a playoff stunner by knocking SKA St. Petersburg out of the playoffs;
• Spiffy news, part 1: CTV reports that the Scotiabank Pro-Am in Calgary, which attempted to raise funds for the Gordie and Colleen Howe Foundation for Alzheimer’s research, raised $167,000 over this past weekend;
• Spiffy news, part 2: According to the Hockey News’s Edward Fraser, if there was no “loser point,” the Red Wings would still be in second place in the Western Conference;
• Spiffy news, part 3: The Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema reports that Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek became an American citizen recently;
• Two reminders for this week: on March 24th, the City of Novi will officially re-name the street which leads to Novi Ice Arena for Nicklas Lidstrom, and on Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings’ Alumni Association will play a charity game in Port Huron;
• And in the “duh” department, from Bloomberg News, the most loyal fans in the NHL are Detroit Red Wings fans.
Update 9:51 AM: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Seth Rorabaugh posted a game preview which includes at least the Penguins’ probable lines...
Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins’ primary lines and defensive pairings against the Rangers yesterday were:
James Neal - Dustin Jeffrey - Alex Kovalev
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Maxime Talbot - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Chris Conner
Zbynek Michalek - Paul Martin
Kris Letang - Ben Lovejoy
Deryk Engelland - Matt Niskanen
Also of note:
-Holmstrom has 499 career points.
-Zetterberg has 547 career points.
-Filppula has 96 career assists.
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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.