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The Malik Report

‘The Brawl in Hockeytown’ 20 years later

The Free Press's Bill Dow has chronicled each and every one of the 9 fights which took place during the "Brawl in Hockeytown"--which took place 20 years ago this Sunday--and Dow penned a lengthy article describing the game:

Within the first 10 minutes, four fighting majors were called. Colorado took a 1-0 lead thanks to Valeri Kamensky, who would score a hat trick that night.

At the 18:22 mark, things escalated when Colorado’s Forsberg slammed Igor Larionov backward into the boards. Larionov, never known to fight, grabbed Forsberg around the neck and wrestled him onto the ice.

“I simply had enough. You can only take so much,” Larionov said in a recent interview.

As Forsberg and Larionov wrestled with each other without throwing punches, McCarty started looking for Lemieux. Knowing that, Foote grabbed McCarty.

“(Brendan Shanahan) knew that I wanted Lemieux,” McCarty said, “so he chopped at Foote, which sent me loose.”

Lemieux stood alone, watching Larionov and Forsberg. “When I saw that, I thought, ‘Oh-oh, this is not good,’” Lemieux said. “I probably should have had my gloves off. I didn’t want one of those crazy brawls. I just wanted the game to be over with.”

McCarty skated toward the distracted Lemieux and landed a right-gloved haymaker to Lemieux’s right temple. Lemieux fell hard on his back. He then rolled to his left, on his knees, as McCarty pounded him with lefts.

Dow continues...

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A Ted Lindsay hockey tale

CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield re-tells Ted Lindsay's take on the fall of the 1950's Red Wings, as well as Lindsay's comeback from hockey's Siberia:

The great Ted Lindsay won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings — and would have won a bunch more, he said, “if it wasn’t for stupid Jack Adams, our general manager.”

Adams, known in his day as ‘Trader Jack’ for his tendency to swing blockbuster deals, presided over the Red Wings for 36 years, including the duration of Lindsay’s first stint with the team. After Lindsay helped the Wings to their fourth Stanley Cup in six years in 1955, not to mention their seventh consecutive regular season title, Adams shook up the roster.

“One year, we won the Stanley Cup and he traded nine players away from our team. And in those days, you only had 18 players — one goaltender, five defensemen, two or three lines, and two extra players.”

The Red Wings’ streak of regular season dominance came to an end after the 1955 season. So did their penchant for winning the Cup. (They would not win another one until 1997). The Canadiens took control of the league from there, capturing the Cup in each of the next five seasons.

“When (Adams) broke up our team, I tell you, of the five Cups that Montreal won, we should have won all five of them. I’ll give them one, maybe,” said Lindsay. “He screwed us.”

Burtchfield continues...

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The return of the charitable donut

From the Red Wings:

DETROIT RED WINGS FOUNDATION and TIM HORTONS® BRING BACK ANNUAL RED WINGS DONUT with proceeds benefiting the detroit red wings foundation
... Red Wings Forward Dylan Larkin to Visit Tim Hortons® Restaurant in Troy on Saturday, March 25 to Serve Special-Edition Donut with Edible Red Wings Logo …

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings Foundation and Tim Hortons® are pleased to announce the return of the “I Love the Red Wings” Donut, a specially-themed donut decorated with an edible Red Wings logo and red and white sprinkles. The Red Wings Donut will be available in participating Michigan Tim Hortons® restaurants for $1.25 beginning Friday, March 24 through Friday, April 7. Proceeds from the sale of the special donut will benefit the Detroit Red Wings Foundation.

Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin will assist in serving the special-edition donut at the Tim Hortons® restaurant in Troy, Mich. (507 E. Big Beaver Rd.) from 9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 25. Due to time constraints, Larkin will not be signing autographs for customers.

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On Mantha’s resurgent play vs. Montreal

The Free Press's Helene St. James penned an off-day article discussing Anthony Mantha's ups and downs...

“Mo has such potential,” veteran Niklas Kronwall said. “You see glimpses and pieces of it throughout the game. Big body. Can skate. Unbelievable hands. Has a bomb of a shot. He really has all the tools.”

Mantha netted his 15th goal of the season Tuesday, when he scored in overtime to lift the Wings past Montreal, 2-1, collecting his third career goal against the Habs. The goal was Mantha’s first point since being sat mid-month, an event that came after he looked egregiously sloppy -- even in what was a sloppy game by the entire team -- on March 8 at Boston.

When Mantha returned to the lineup March 15, it was with a message received.

“It is all a learning process, in the end, and I decide to skate more, shoot more pucks, keep being good in my D-zone,” Mantha said. “I think it paid off.”

From the way Mantha, 22, talks, he seems to understand that he is being pushed hard by coach Jeff Blashill because Mantha has such a high-end skill set.

“He just wants me to bring it every night, and that is, basically, what I need to learn,” Mantha said. “We have been working on it for years now, even when I was playing in (Grand Rapids), we were talking about it. It's just something that needs to come into my mind and be an automatic instinct for me to move my feet as hard as I can and do the little details.”

St. James continues, and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan also took note of Mantha's performance as assessed by his coach:

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Khan tackles expansion draft question in this week’s ‘Ask Ansar’ column

Among MLive's Ansar Khan's "Ask Ansar" questions and answers for this week:

Q: Why not expose a couple of the albatross contracts (Danny DeKeyser, Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm) instead of younger, cheaper players such as Xavier Ouellet and Nick Jensen? Given the excessive length of all three deals, Vegas would be doing the Red Wings a favor by selecting any of them. They have all proven themselves as average players now and all have four-plus years left on their deals. DeKeyser has been especially bad this year and is paid way too much as a second-pair defenseman. Abdelkader looks lost without (Pavel) Datsyuk creating space for him and Helm is too injury-prone. – Tom

A: The front office viewed those players as key pieces in helping the team extend its playoff streak, so it overpaid in both money and term on all the deals.

Of the three you mention, I don’t think they’ll protect Helm. I think the seven forwards protected will be Anthony Mantha, Gustav Nyquist, Henrik Zetterberg, Tatar, Athanasiou, Abdelkader and Frans Nielsen, who must be protected due to his no-movement clause. Dylan Larkin is exempt. Of course, this list could change if they swing a trade before the expansion draft.

I doubt Vegas would take Helm, considering his contract (four more years at a cap hit of $3.875 million), age (30) and health concerns based on his history.

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Givani Smith And Filip Hronek Join The Grand Rapids Griffins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday reassigned forward Givani Smith (jih-VAH-nee SMIHTH) to the Grand Rapids Griffins from the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm and defenseman Filip Hronek (FIHL-ihp H’RAWN-ehk) to the American Hockey League club from the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit. 

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Red Wings Alumni to raise funds for United Cerebral Palsy on March 25th

From Fox 2 Detroit:

Some Detroit Red Wings alumni are gearing up for a charity hockey game later this month that benefits United Cerebral Palsy of Detroit. The event is a chance to see some of your favorite hockey players up close and personal while supporting a great cause.

The event features a sled hockey game with Grand Rapids Sled Wings, a silent auction and then the alumni game. Last year's event raised more than $40,000 for United Cerebral Palsy of Detroit.

The game is on Saturday, March 25 at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Ice Arena in Orchard Lake. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and the sled hockey game kicks off the day's activities at 4 p.m. Tickets are just $10 a person, or $30 for a family up to 5 members. Kids 5 and under are free.

Organizer Jay Adams joins us in studio with Mickey Redmond and Michael Ward from United Cerebral Palsy of Detroit to tell us more about Skate Without Limits. You can watch in the video player above, or visit http://www.skatewithoutlimits.org for more information.

For more information on United Cerebral Palsy of Detroit, visit http://www.ucpdetroit.org


Mickey Redmond was among the participants who spoke with Fox 2's Amy Andrews this morning:

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Pride, ‘culture’ and attention to detail drive the Wings to perform down the stretch

The Free Press's Helene St. James penned an article regarding the Red Wings' desire to do more than "play out the string" over the course of the team's remaining games, and MLive's Brendan Savage penned a similar notebook:

"You still have to be professional," said goaltender Jimmy Howard, who made 35 saves against the Canadiens. "This organization has given us all a lot. Our fans and their dedication, we owe it to both of them just to go out and play our best."

Losing on a regular basis also isn't something the Red Wings are used to, especially the veterans who have helped build that lengthy playoff streak.

Coach Jeff Blashill credits the organization's winning history and his veterans for producing unexpected victories like the one vs. the Canadiens.

"I continue to say, our culture - and this has been said by guys who have been other places and come to play for us - our culture is excellent," Blashill said. "We gotta make sure we maintain that culture so you gotta continue to compete even when times are tough and times are tough.

"I think (Henrik) Zetterberg leads the way and (Niklas) Kronwall and (Justin) Abdelkader. But I think we got character throughout the lineup. Sometimes you get kicked and you gotta get back up and keep competing and that's what we did tonight."

Savage continues...

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Henrik Zetterbeg The Grinder

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

“He’s the best grinder who has ever been around the league because he has a fierce competitive level that won’t allow him to lose individual battles on the ice,” Blashill said. “Look at what he has done for this team year after year after year."

With the sixth worst record (29-32-11) in the NHL, Zetterberg has excelled on a team that will be in the draft lottery. This might represent one of the more impressive seasons of his career.

“Any player who plays with him is scoring,” Detroit forward Dylan Larkin said. “You put your stick on the ice and he finds you.”

Larkin said Zetterberg’s backhand is among the league’s best. “And not just on his shot,” Larkin said. “It’s his backhand passes as well. He is so strong on his skates he can hold guys off until he can use that backhand.”

Zetterberg’s objective this season was to be a better start-to-finish performer than he was in 2015-16.

“My second half was terrible – I had no energy,” Zetterberg said. “I couldn’t figure out why. So I changed my approach, not just on the ice, but off the ice as well.”


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Wings Need To Avoid Bad Habits And A Letdown

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“Now might be more important than ever, doing the right things, getting the right habits down,” Kronwall said. “If you start faulting on that, then the guys that are coming up right now, they see that and they think that’s the norm.

“It doesn’t work like that. That is not how you win. Keep working on the habits every day, try and do the right things. Just setting the work ethic every day is something we are trying to focus on through the last stretch of the year.”

The Wings are using today to rest up after playing back-to-back. They return to practice Thursday and host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday (7:30 p.m., FSD). The playoffs are all but mathematically out, as the Wings sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 69 points.

“Nobody is happy with where we are at, points and standingswise,” Kronwall said. But, he added, “There is great character in the room. Guys work hard.”

For the veterans, such as captain Henrik Zetterberg leading the way with 60 points in 72 games and goalie Jimmy Howard playing the best hockey of his career, it is about maintaining culture and gratitude, no matter the standings.

“You still have to be professional,” Howard said. “This organization has given us all a lot, and our fans over the years and their dedication. We owe it to both of them to still go out there and play.”


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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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