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Evening news: On defensive chemistry, Andersson the penalty-killer and Wings-Yotes stuff

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

MLive's Ansar Khan asked Wings coach Jeff Blashill about his decisions in terms of defensive pairings, and Blashill answered as follows, speaking first about Mike Green and Brendan Smith:

"I look for the right chemistry on pairings," Blashill said. "I've never been somebody who's felt you need a stay-at-home with an offensive guy. In fact, sometimes that can be to the detriment.

"Guys that want to have the puck (playing) together, especially when there's a lefty and righty, you can really control play by moving together. So you have two guys that I would say are really good passers, where sometimes you get a defensive guy and they don't pass the puck as well or don't think on the same offensive wavelength.

"They've jumped in the play well. We want to be on the attack with our D-men. So I really like the chemistry, I think they've played very well together."

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Red Wings Alums to raise funds for Clark Park hockey on Jan. 30

From the C & G Newspapers' Jason Carmel Davis:

A team of employees and executives from Sterling Heights-based Stahls’ International will take on a squad of former Detroit Red Wings in a game that will benefit the Clark Park Coalition at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Detroit’s Clark Park, and they’re taking the game seriously.

“We don’t want to get embarrassed,” said Paul Sabatini, sports marketing coordinator for Stahls’. The Stahls’ team features 17 players, all of whom have extensive experience on the ice.

“Within our offices, we have a lot of people who have played hockey, but we’ve never played together,” Sabatini said.

The game is being played as part of the Frozen Fish Fiasco — an annual set of outdoor hockey games played at the Clark Park Ice Rink — the only full-size outdoor rink in the city. The event is slated for Jan. 30-31.

The highlight of this year’s event is the matchup between the Stahls’ team and Red Wings alumni. The cost to attend the game is $5. There is no cost to attend the rest of the weekend’s games. One hundred percent of the funds raised from the event will benefit the Clark Park Coalition, according to Erica Swoish, of the Detroit-based Franco Public Relations Group.

According to the Clark Park website, funds raised from the event will go to the nonprofit Clark Park Coalition to help keep the park, located at 1130 Clark Ave., open and thriving for the neighborhood kids and to help make Detroit a better place to live.


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Red Wings-Coyotes game day articles: Arizona hopes to win 5th straight game; Helm wants to produce

Updated 3x at 4:02 PM: The Red Wings face the Arizona Coyotes this evening (9 PM EST on FSD Plus/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), and the morning skate revealed very little in the way of scoops.

The Coyotes are hoping to win their 5th straight game this evening, as ArizonaCoyotes.com's Dave Vest noted:

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Red Wings-Coyotes morning skate Tweets: Domingue starts for AZ; Wings stick to their lines

The Red Wings face a difficult task in battling the surging Arizona Coyotes and goaltender Louis Domingue tonight (9 PM EST on FSD Plus/FS Arizona/97.1 FM).

The Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan covered the Coyotes' skate...

Optional skate for #Coyotes this morning. Connauton has arrived and is on the ice.


Players who took maintenance days yesterday (Doan, OEL, Hanzal and Michalek) also on the ice. So is Elliott.


Connauton won't play tonight, Tippett said. "We'll let him watch tonight for a game and then see where he's at for the next game."


Domingue first off the ice for #Coyotes. Set to make his seventh straight start.
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DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reported for duty...

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Prospect news: van Pottelberghe to make the jump to pro hockey next season with HC Davos

Interesting news via the Hockey House's Steven Ellis: SwissHockeyNews.ch is reporting that Red Wings prospect Joren van Pottelberghe will make the jump from the Swedish J20 league to the Swiss NLA league next season as van Pottelberghe's signed a contract with HC Davos:

As Blick journalist Dino Kessler reveals, HC Davos and Linköping HC's 18-year-old Swiss netminder Joren Van Pottelberghe have agreed on a three-year contract, valid as of the upcoming 2016-17 season.

Prior to the U20-World Championship in Helsinki in December, the youngster already confirmed to the Südostschweiz that there is mutual interest between him and HC Davos, and that the club has already made him a contract offer. Now it seems like the Swiss U20-international has finally made a decision.

The native of Zug is a product of EV Zug's organisation but decided to join SHL's Linköping HC in 2013. This season, the fourth round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings has appeared in 16 games for their U20 team, posting a 0.866 SV%. (rlu)

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Five Wings prospects make ESPN’s Proman’s ‘Top 50 Prospects’ list

ESPN's Corey Pronman listed his "Top 50 Prospects at the Midseason Point," and several Red Wings prospects made his Insider-only entry's list:

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Dylan Larkin to drop the puck at NTDP game on Friday

From USA Hockey:

NTDP Alumnus and NHL All-Star, Dylan Larkin, to Make Appearance at Friday, Jan. 15 USA Hockey Game
Red Wings Rookie to Drop Ceremonial First Puck

PLYMOUTH, Mich. - USA Hockey's National Team Development Program will welcome former forward, Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./2012-14), to USA Hockey Arena on Friday, Jan. 15, when the U.S. National Under-17 Team hosts in-state rival Muskegon. The Detroit Red Wings all-star will drop the ceremonial first puck prior to the game. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. ET.

Fans in attendance will receive a commemorative Dylan Larkin poster. In addition to the giveaway, five fans will be randomly selected for an exclusive meet-and-greet session with Larkin during the game. Game ticket stubs will be used as contest entries.

Larkin skated with the NTDP from 2012-14 registering 84 points (44-40) in 115 games with the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams. While with Team USA, Larkin helped lead the U.S. to a gold medal at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s Under-18 World Championship in Lappeenranta, Finland.

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‘Three Things’ (plus one): On Ericsson, Max Domi, Kharlamov and Datsyuk

Of Red Wings-related note in the "these articles don't translate fantastically to blog format" vein:

1. Winging It in Motown's Prashanth Iyer did a fantastic job of explaining why, statistcally speaking, Jonathan Ericsson's been less than impressive for the past couple of seasons;

2. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji penned a feature story about Max Domi;

3. NHL.com's Vassili Ossipov penned a story about the NHL's Russian players' appreciation for Valeri Kharlamov:

"Everybody in Russia knows who Kharlamov is and lot of young players want to be like him," Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk said. "He wasn't big, but he skated very well. He was very feisty and led by example. Everybody wanted to follow him."

4. And Today's Slapshot's Craig Morgan penned an article discussing Datsyuk from the perspectives of Arizona Coyotes forward Viktor Tikhonov and former NHL'er Ray Whitney:

“He does stuff on the ice that’s inexplicable,” Tikhonov said. “He has unbelievable vision. His nickname is well deserved.”

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Focus On Detroit’s Power Play And Penalty Kill

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings rank 22nd in the NHL on the penalty kill and 25th on the power play, for a combined special teams ranking of 47.

Only four teams are worse – Ottawa (50), Philadelphia (53), Winnipeg (54) and Calgary (60). What is an ideal combined ranking? Former coach Scotty Bowman often said if a team's combined power play and penalty kill ranking is 10 or less, that's the mark of great special teams.

The Red Wings have a long way to go. But coach Jeff Blashill said improving on those two areas is a priority the second half of the season.

"When we look at the next half of the season we need to be in a better spot than we are right now if we want to be the team we want to be, so specialty teams have to improve," Blashill said. "Sometimes that's making changes within your personnel or sometimes it's just staying with what you're doing and getting better. Right now on the power play we're choosing to stay with what we have and continue to get better at it.

"We've looked at chances for per 10 minutes on the power play and it's ebbed and flowed a little, but the last little bit hasn't been any worse, in fact it's been better than different parts of the year."


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Krupa: As soon as there were goalies, there was controversy in Detroit

From the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:

Beating the Maple Leafs in the playoffs was the problem for the otherwise victorious Red Wings teams immediately after World War II.

Goalie Harry Lumley dispatched the deficiency with a transcendent performance in the playoffs, which was essential to the Wings winning their fourth Stanley Cup on April 23, 1950. Less than three months later, they dumped Lumley.

Only seven games into his career, Terry Sawchuk went between the pipes. The Red Wings disappointingly did not repeat as champions, but Sawchuk proved indispensable to three cup victories in the following four seasons.

Sawchuk lifted the third on April 14, 1955. Six weeks later, the Wings dumped him.

Minding the net draws attention. All goalies are scrutinized in ways that defensemen, despite their difficult, intricate jobs, and high-scoring forwards, with all their allure and flair, escape.

It is particularly so in Detroit.

Krupa continues, and if Mike Vernon still feels upset about being "dumped" by the Wings in the summer of 1997...he's got some competition in the sympathy department.

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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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