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If The Wings Want To Get Into The Playoff Picture

from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

THE DETROIT RED WINGS…need a franchise defenseman, but…

…they are better off continuing to struggle, missing the playoffs and ending the 25-year playoff streak that has cursed them with mediocrity in recent years... The Wings have repeatedly been linked to top-end defensemen on the trade market this season, from Jacob Trouba to Cam Fowler and, most recently, Dougie Hamilton, per Elliotte Friedman. Would chasing one of those fish not just hike Detroit back up into its now-typical post-season bubble position, though? Even if GM Ken Holland somehow maneuvered around Detroit's maxed-out cap to make such a move happen, a team with no top-10 draft picks in the past 25 years could really use a down season or two to restock the farm with crops.

More on four other teams that need to make a move to get into the playoff picture...

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In case you missed it: Mrazek, Howard to wear special Christmas-themed masks

If you missed it, the Red Wings' goaltenders will be wearing the following masks for the next week, after which time the masks will be auctioned off for charitable purposes:

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NHL.com posts a clip from the Wings’ ‘Road to the Winter Classics’ story

The NHL's "Road to the Winter Classics" series premieres tonight on Epix, http://www.Epix.com and http://www.NHL.com, and the NHL has posted a video of Henrik Zetterberg holding a closed-door meeting with his teammates:

Here's the video in conventional form, via NHL.com:

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Articles from practice: On masks, Mrazek, legacies and ‘The Road to the Outdoor Classics’

Updated 4x at 3:15 PM: The Red Wings spent the majority of Friday's practice working on their power play, holding a relatively short practice ahead of a stretch of 3 games to be played over the course of 4 nights. The Wings will head out to local Kroger locations to ring bells for the Salvation Army from 4-6 PM this evening.

Then they'll get ready for Saturday's game against Anaheim, Monday's game in Carolina and Tuesday's game in Tampa Bay, with a win against Anaheim (which didn't practice after a 4-3 victory over Boston on Thursday) being of utmost importance.

If you missed it, Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard debuted their Christmas-themed goalie masks, too:

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A case for the Wings to continue on their current trajectory

I've made my case plain: I don't believe that the Red Wings losing helps the next generation of players become better NHL'ers, so I disagree with the Hockey News's Jared Clinton's suggestion that the Red Wings missing the playoffs would be a good thing per se...

But Clinton issues a strong argument as to why the youngsters might be best-served by a team that continues on its current trajectory:

As unfortunate as an end to the streak would be in Hockeytown, it could be the impetus for the franchise to change its mindset. Over the past few seasons, the streak has been something that has hung over the Red Wings. Say what you will for making the playoffs, but the interest in keeping the streak alive hasn’t done a whole lot in terms of Detroit building for their future. And when those three post-season appearances result in a grand total of five playoff wins, was keeping the streak alive really all that worth it?
An end to the streak could allow the Red Wings to go all in on a youth movement, something the team could sorely use with an aging core and several young players seemingly ready to take the next step.

Dylan Larkin, for instance, is the best hope the Red Wings have for a member of their future core. Impressive in his rookie season, the 20-year-old has taken a slight step back this season, but all the tools are there for him to continue a solid progression into a true top-line player. In Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha, Detroit has another two strong offensive talents. One, Athanasiou, embodies the speed-kills mentality that is starting to take over the game, and the other, Mantha, has already proven in his short stay in the NHL that he has a big-league shot and goal-scorers mentality.

The secondary pieces of their youth movement are there, as well. The likes of Tyler Bertuzzi, Tomas Nosek and Mitch Callahan are all candidates to slot into the bottom-six in the next one or two years, with a young, skilled forward like Evgeny Svechnikov as a potential impact player in a couple of seasons’ time.

Clinton continues...

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Practice Tweets: The morning after loss to LA, Wings regroup, work on power play

Updated 2x at 1:38 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before noon on Friday, hoping to build a foundation for success after an 0-3-and-1 home stand yielded a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday.

The Wings' goalies debuted their Christmas-themed masks, per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

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Ken Holland appears on the NHL on Sirius XM Radio with ‘Simmer and Stellick’

Red Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on Sirius XM's NHL Network Radio channel, speaking with Simmer and Stellick regarding the Wings' struggles over the course of a 15-minute interview this morning:

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‘Three Things’: A ‘Digital Post-Game,’ Griffins theme night videos and on the U.S. Women’s Team

Of disparate hockey-related note this morning:

1. Chris Osgood and John Keating weighed in on last night's Wings loss via a "Digital Post-Game" report:

2. The Grand Rapids Griffins posted videos chronicling their "Fauxback Night" game against Milwaukee and their "Red Kettle" game vs. Rockford:

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A charitable Red Wings reminder and a charitable Griffins video

Of charitable note this morning:

1. The Red Wings will be ringing bells for the Salvation Army tonight between 4 and 6 PM at local Kroger locations and Hockeytown Authentics:

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Wings Fail To Execute

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The numbers for the Detroit Red Wings were ugly on Thursday - a season-low two shots on goal in the first period, just 18 shots in the game - and continue to be unflattering for the season.

Following their 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings have scored just three goals in their past four games. They are 1 for 24 on the power play in December. They are winless in four at home (0-3-1), where they are 6-9-3 this season.

And coach Jeff Blashill seems to field the same questions after each game.

"We didn't generate throughout the game much attack, so I understand the same questions and it's the same answer," Blashill said. "It's not from a lack of want or a lack of effort. It's certainly a lack of execution."


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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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