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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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The overnight report: Red Wings-Coyotes set-up—this time the Wings hope to play spoiler

The Detroit Red Wings wrap up their 6-game road trip against the Arizona Coyotes this evening (9 PM EST on FSD Plus/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), with the Wings hoping to rebound from Monday's loss to LA while going 5-for-6 on the longest road trip of the season.

Detroit will have a particularly stiff task in the surprising Coyotes. Arizona has won 4 straight games and 8 of their past 11 games, with their most victory coming in the form of a Max Domi hat trick-powered 4-3 OT win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Phoenix will be starting a bit of a surprise opposite Petr Mrazek in Louis Domingue, who took over for an injured Mike Smith last month and posted a 7-2-and-2 record, 2.14 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.

As NHL.com's Jerry Brown notes, the Coyotes' youth movement is doing a bang-up job...

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Prospect news: Griffins lose in Charlotte; Vahatalo, Turgeon score goals

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins didn't make Jake Paterson's first start an easy one. Despite building Paterson a 3-0 lead on goals from Anthony Mantha, Martin Frk and Louis-Marc Aubry, the Griffins surrendered the next 4, with Paterson stopping 38 of 42 shots--18 in the 2nd period alone--en route to a 4-3 defeat to the Charlotte Checkers.

The Griffins' website's recap reveals that the collapse came quickly:

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St. James and Blashill talk about the ‘o-zone’

From the Free Press's Helene St. James, this is very interesting stuff (I love it when coach Blashill talks about coaching philosophy, and this is that kind of article):

“I think we’ve got to spend some time in the offensive zone,” forward Justin Abdelkader said after Wednesday’s practice at the Ice Den. “We got caught the last handful of games kind of playing up and down hockey, not spending quality time in the offensive zone for us, so we’ve got to do a better job cycling.”

Coach Jeff Blashill echoed that thought, saying: “We haven’t had as many stretches of real O-zone time as we did from the 15-game-ago mark to the 10-game-ago mark. We had tons of O-zone time. We talked about it today: We’ve got to do a better job spending more time in the other team’s zone. When you do that, you tend to accumulate more shots.”

The power play is another area, as it has been unable to convert in five of the last six games. Some encouragement comes from getting four shots on net during one power play in Monday’s 4-2 loss at Los Angeles.

“Power play is a real important thing to judge it on the process,” Blashill said. “Because if you just judge it on pure results, in terms of goals, you can make mistakes. You can actually make it worse by making changes when you don’t need to. If you are getting the shots we got the other night, if you are getting the zone time, the entry level we had, you are going to score over time.”

St. James continues, and she posted a video of Blashill's comments

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Surgery For Drew Miller

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Practice articles: On Marchenko, Smith, an off-day and ‘closing the Joe’

The Red Wings will have their hands full with tomorrow night's opponent, the Arizona Coyotes, as the Yotes have won 4 straight games and 8 of their last 11.

The Wings practiced in Scottsdale on Wednesday, and after practice Jeff Blashill told the media that Petr Mrazek would start for the Wings, who've won 4 of their past 5 games, and that Alexey Marchenko had unfortunately drawn the short straw on defense.

MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with coach Jeff Blashill regarding his decision:

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Griffins’ Great Skate to take place on Jan 23rd; NTDP to hold Star Wars Night on Jan 30

The Grand Rapids Griffins are announcing via video that their annual Great Skate will take place on January 23rd and 24th at the Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids, taking place for 24 hours subsequent to the Griffins-Rochester Americans game that Saturday night. The team's players and coaches skate with fans for an hour or two in shifts:

Meanwhile, at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, on January 30th:

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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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