The Malik Report
From an Insider-only column penned by ESPN's Craig Custance:
We know how the Detroit Red Wings operate. We know that the young players have to wait their turn, that the tie in every roster battle is going to go to the veteran.
Then you see a performance like the one turned in by Dylan Larkin on Thursday night -- his first two goals scored in Joe Louis Arena as a pro -- and it becomes natural to wonder if he’s different. Factor in how well Larkin is thought of by scouts and executives around the league, and it’s a fair question whether he’s the Red Wings prospect who forces the hand of the organization and grabs an NHL spot as a teenager. Well, let’s put it this way, one game won’t change years of organizational philosophy.
“It’s preseason. You have to factor in the competition. There’s no [Sidney] Crosby. There’s no [Phil] Kessel,” said Red Wings GM Ken Holland on Friday morning. “We’re not playing NHL rosters.”
Larkin is the Red Wings' top prospect and one of the better prospects in the NHL now. He also happens to play for a team that had 100 points last season and Stanley Cup aspirations this season.
His path at center is jammed up, and with a player like Larkin, Holland said the priority is playing time. Not just any kind of playing time, but playing time that includes being on the ice in the most important situations, being a major contributor on the team, whether that’s in the AHL or the NHL.
Updated 10x at 12:45 PM: The Red Wings battle the Boston Bruins in Beantown this evening (7 PM, no TV or radio,but DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that Ken Kal will web-call the game) with Tuukka Rask scheduled to start against the Wings' younger "B Team" roster.
The Bruins took to the ice before 10 AM...
And the first group practicing is the roster the Bruins will utilize this evening:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
No matter how efficient Marchenko is in the preseason he's destined to start the season in Grand Rapids, unless there is an injury to one of the club's seven veteran defensemen.
"My job is to be a professional and to do my job every day," Marchenko said. "The coaches are watching so we'll see how it goes.
"They are going to decide, so I have to show my best."
How disappointed will he be if he is sent down?
"Depends on how I play," Marchenko said. "I think everyone would be disappointed if you play good and you have to go down."
Marchenko likely would be the first defenseman recalled and is certain to play some games in Detroit.
"Like Blash always said, 'Keep working, keep working, keep working and it's going to come,'" Marchenko said.
The Red Wings will battle the Boston Bruins and Tuukka Rask on Monday night (7 PM EDT, no TV or radio, boo!), and the Wings are making a concerted effort to produce more offense from their blueline--with a caveat, as the Windsor Star's Bob Duff notes:
“We’d like to get more offensive production from our D-men,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill acknowledged. “We think we have the ability to, but the reverse of that is you don’t want to give up more chances. So what we try to do is try to increase our reward without taking any added risk. That’s a learned process that we’re going to continue to work on. But we look at that as an area we could potentially get more production from.”
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
GRIFFINS BEGIN TRAINING CAMP MONDAY
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins will kick off training camp on Monday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids in advance of the franchise’s 20th anniversary season.
The Detroit Red Wings on Saturday assigned forwards Martin Frk and Marek Tvrdon, defenseman Richard Nedomlel and goaltender Jake Paterson to Grand Rapids. They also released forward Jeff Hoggan and defenseman Nathan Paetsch from their tryouts, returning them to the Griffins in time for training camp.
This group will be joined by 16 others – forwards Kurt Etchegary, Alden Hirschfeld, Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Evan Rankin, Joel Rechlicz, Josh Shalla, Tyler Sikura, Austin Wuthrich and Dominic Zombo; defensemen Matt Corrente, Derek Docken, Ralfs Freibergs, Jared Nightingale, Andrew Prochno and Steve Spinell; and goaltender Neil Conway – on the Griffins' roster.
The schedule of practices is as follows (subject to change):
From MLive's Ansar Khan's Sunday notebook:
The Detroit Red Wings rarely fight, but they spent too much time in the penalty box last season.
The Red Wings were shorthanded 288 times, third-most in the NHL behind Winnipeg (308) and Columbus (303).
If the preseason is any indication, that lack of discipline has carried over. The Red Wings have been shorthanded 22 times in four exhibition games, including eight times in Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins.
"One thing we haven't talked a lot about yet but we're going to address is taking too many penalties," coach Jeff Blashill said. "This team took too many penalties last year and you can't take this many penalties. So that's something we're going to address and we got to make sure we're near the lowest and not near the highest penalized teams."
The Red Wings had the fourth-most minor penalties in the league (324) in 2014-15, averaging a shade over four per game.
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
The Wings chose to take Sunday off as the team's been practicing or playing games since September 18th, but the beat writers still weighed in regarding Johan Franzen's decision to play a "little dirty" last night, with the Free Press's George Sipple discussing Franzen's experiment in scrappy play...
“This is his second game now, so I think it’s just a process to get back by to a point where he feels great,” said Wings coach Jeff Blashill. “Two good steps in the right direction.”
Franzen said his first game back was just more about feeling things out.
“Took the next step,” in Saturday’s game, he said. “Tried to be a little more physical and get in there, get a little dirtier and see how that felt,” Franzen said.
And how did that feel?
“A lot of fun,” Franzen said.
As did MLive's Ansar Khan:
The Wings have a complete off day today and will play in Boston tomorrow night.
If you want to review last night's OT loss, watch below and note no audio.
Of prospect-related note:
In Europe, in Sweden's SHL, Axel Holmstrom took 3 shots and finished at -2 in 15:22 of ice time as Skelleftea AIK defeated Lulea 3-2;
And in the Swedish J20 Superelit league, Joren Van Pottelberghe stopped 32 of 33 shots as Linkopings HC defeated Karlskrona HC 2-1;
On this side of the Atlantic, in the OHL, Vili Saarijarvi registered an assist and 4 penalty minutes in the Flint Firebirds' 3-2 shootout win over Saginaw;
In the USHL, Pat Holway finished at +1 in the Dubuque Fighting Saints' 6-5 win over Madison;
The Red Wings got into penalty trouble early and often over the course of their 4-3 OT loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, but the Wings did rally from 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to force overtime, only to take a too-many men penalty and yield the OT winner to Torey Krug.
The game didn't appear on TV or radio stations in Detroit or Boston, but there are some highlights below, and the AP's recap is...brief:
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.