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All about Grand Rapids Griffins rookie Kyle Criscuolo

Grand Rapids Griffins rookie Kyle Criscuolo scored a goal that made ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays recently...

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Dylan Larkin, Zach Werenski meet as NHL peers Friday at the Joe

According to the Columbus Dispatch's Tom Reed, Dylan Larkin and Zach Werenski have more than an abundance of hockey skills in common. They're good friends who have taken similar development paths:

“I know he’s really pumped,” said Larkin, a 20-year-old Detroit forward.  “I think he’s going to play well and I’m excited to see him.”

Few people outside Werenski’s immediate family know the rookie defenseman better than Larkin. They were teammates in youth ranks, classmates at the national hockey development program and roommates at Michigan.

Born a year apart, they began playing together for an elite suburban Detroit team when the elder Larkin was 11 years old. He recalls how composed and skilled Werenski was for his age. Little has changed, Larkin said.

Werenski has emerged as a leading candidate for the Calder Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s top rookie, with six goals and 11 assists in 24 games. The 19-year-old quarterbacks the league’s top-rated power play.

“To see the success he’s having isn’t surprising,” Larkin said. “At every level, with every step he’s taken, his play has improved. He’s become more poised, better defensively and more physical.”

Reed continues...

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Red Wings, kids from Jack Adams Arena hockey program give and receive holiday gifts

The Red Wings' players shopped with kids from Jack Adams Arena to provide gifts for the Wings' Children's Hospital visit...And the kids were also given the opportunity to pick out their own Christmas gifts, which included some donated hockey eqiupment from Warrior.

WXYZ's Brad Galli was there...

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Articles from practice II: on roster decisions and post-practice videos

As noted in today's practice article post, the Red Wings expect to have Andreas Athanasiou and Jimmy Howard back in the lineup tomorrow against Columbus, and Alexey Marchenko may return to the lineup as soon as Sunday. Their returns will yield some difficult lineup deisions, as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted:

“We’d like to have more hard decisions; the more hard decisions means you have more good players around,” Blashill said. “Now sometimes, you can go in reverse and you have easy decisions by people playing great, and that’s one way to ensure yourself a spot in the lineup, by playing great.

“The question I get (from players) is, ‘What did I do to come out?’ My question back is, ‘What did you do to stay in?’

“You have to make sure, as a player, your job is to play as great as possible to make your case, and my job is to make those hard decisions. We’d like to make as many hard ones as possible by everyone ultimately playing great.”

The Red Wings posted Twitter videos of Howard, Athanasiou and Marchenko discussing their respective statuses...

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Prayers Go Out To The Ken Daniels Family On The Sudden Passing Of His Son Jamie

via a release from the Detroit Red Wings,

The Detroit Red Wings and FOX Sports Detroit are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamie Daniels, son of television play-by-play broadcaster Ken Daniels. Jamie passed away in his sleep on Wednesday morning at the age of 23. Both the Red Wings organization and FOX Sports Detroit would like to offer their heartfelt condolences to the Daniels family during this most difficult time.

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Any Interest In Patrik Nemeth?

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News answered questions from the fans...

Question: Play GM: Give us a trade scenario that would immediately make the Stars better.

Heika: Here's a weird one. Patrik Nemeth to Detroit for one of their prospects. The Wings needs some physicality on defense and Nemeth would be a perfect fit with the Swedish history of that team. I personally think a player like Joren Van Pottelberghe would be interesting for Dallas because he is a big project goalie who they could develop in Europe and then possibly move him over next season or the season after. But Jim Nill knows that system, so let him work his magic.

continued from the Dallas side and more Q & A...

NHL.com player page on Patrik Nemeth.

Hockey'sFuture page on Pottelberghe.

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Articles from practice: Athanasiou, Howard to return as Wings kick off 5-game home stand

Updated 3x at 5:10 PM: The Red Wings' practice on Thursday revealed good news regarding Andreas Athanasiou (knee), Alexey Marchenko (AC joint) and Jimmy Howard's (groin) respective injury situations. All three players expect to return sometime this weekend.

Howard will back up Petr Mrazek tomorrow evening, and MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James reporting that Athanasiou has been cleared to play tomorrow.

Khan penned an article regarding Athanasiou's imminent return:

Athanasiou has missed 12 games with a sprained left knee suffered on Nov. 10 on a hit from Vancouver's Nikita Tryamkin.

"I feel good today. It's feeling strong," Athanasiou said. "I think we did a real good job of rehabbing it and I feel back up to speed. Worked on some battle drills two days ago. It feels solid, so everything feels back to normal."

Athanasiou has four goals and an assist in 13 games.

"He certainly adds an element of speed that's obviously important in the league," coach Jeff Blashill said. "And he can self-create. It's hard to self-create in this league. So, he brings another guy in our lineup that can do a good job. That said, I think the guys that have been in the lineup have done a good job as well. When Andreas comes back he needs to make sure he's ready to be an impact player."

Khan continues, and he also posted videos of Howard and Athanasiou discussing their situations:

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With Coreau back in Grand Rapids, Griffins send Heeter to Walleye

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday assigned goaltender Cal Heeter to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

A first-year Griffin, Heeter has won each of his two starts with the team this season and posts a 2.95 goals against average and a 0.920 save percentage.

The 28-year-old is a perfect 8-0 between the pipes for the Walleye, the only unbeaten among qualified goaltenders in the ECHL. The 6-foot-4 netminder ties for 16th in GAA (2.67), ties for 18th in save percentage (0.912) and has one shutout as he has helped the Walleye post the best record in the league at 16-3.

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Practice Tweets and articles: Marchenko, Athanasiou make progress + catch-up articles

The Red Wings hit the ice for practice at Joe Louis Arena just before 11 AM, preparing for Friday's tilt vs. a surprisingly competitive Columbus Blue Jackets team. MLive's Ansar Khan reported in from practice...

#RedWings working power play entries:
Tatar-Zetterberg-Mantha, Sheahan (net front), Kronwall
Nyquist-Nielsen-Larkin, Vanek (net), Green.


Based on line rushes, looks like Lashoff will remain in lineup in place of Sproul. #RedWings

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Prospect news: Nosek leads Griffins to OT win; Sambrook, Saarijarvi, Smith contribute in OHL

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, Tomas Nosek scored 2 goals and added an assist, Joe Hicketts scored 2 goals, Matt Ford had 2 assists and Cal Heeter stopped 36 shots as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Chicago Wolves 6-5 in overtime. The Griffins' website filed a recap:

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About The Malik Report

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.



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