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The Malik Report

The Best Player On The Ice Last Night Was Darren Helm

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"Haven't been successful on the scoresheet, but I knew things were coming," Helm said. "Hopefully, this will give me a little bit more confidence and keep things rolling personally and help the team win."

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill called Helm the best player on the ice, saying he was great from the drop of the puck. He opened the scoring at 11:18 of the second period and had several quality scoring chances.

"He's got such get up and go and he was impactful the whole night," Blashill said. "He's played real well here in the last 8-9 games. He's been real good overall. It's good for him to get rewarded with some goals. It always feels good to score. It looks like he's really coming."


Watch the extended highlights package below of the win over Montreal...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Canadiens wrap-up and Wings-Devils set-up

The Detroit Red Wings snapped a 7-game winless streak against the Montreal Canadiens in rousing fashion, rallying from a 2-1 deficit thanks to a pair of 3rd period goals, defeating the Canadiens 3-2. Detroit is now 4 points behind the Canadiens in the Atlantic Division standings, with a game in hand, and Detroit's built a 12-game points streak (8-0-and-4).

Darren Helm scored the game-winning goal, and he and Abdelkader co-led the Wings with 5 shots apiece:

Now 16-8-and-5 Detroit hopes to extend its points streak in tonight's "Star Wars Night" game against the 14-10-and-4 New Jersey Devils (7 PM EST on FSD/MSG Plus/97.1 FM), swooping in on the back half of a back-to-back slate against a Devils team that's without Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique.

In terms of Thursday night's game, the Canadiens sounded more than a little depressed--at least speaking in French--about dropping their 4th game in a row for the first time this season, as noted by La Presse's Richard Labbe (what follows is roughly translated)...

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Prospect news: Vahatalo takes a regular role with TPS Turku; Hicketts talked up at Canada’s WJC camp

Of prospect-related note:

In the Finnish Liiga, Julius Vahatalo went 50% on faceoffs in 15:02 of ice time as TPS Turku defeated "Sport" 4-2;

In the SHL, Axel Holmstrom took 2 shots, finished at +1, won 66% of his faceoffs and played 12:10 in Skelleftea AIK's 2-0 win over Linkopings HC;

Christoffer Ehn sat on the bench as the 13th forward in the Frolunda Indians' 5-0 win over Vaxjo;

In the USHL, Chase Pearson didn't play in the Youngstown Phantoms' 5-4 OT loss to Chicago;

Pat Holway took 3 shots in the Dubuque Fighting Saints' 3-2 OT win over the Madison Capitols;

And in our first bit of World Junior Championship news, Joe Hicketts got "talked up" by the National Post's Michael Traikos as a returning defenseman on Team Canada's World Junior Championship team:

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Red Wings-Canadiens quick take: Wings get ‘depth scoring,’ strong goaltending, win rope-a-dope game

The Detroit Red Wings had a prime opportunity to take a bite out of the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. The Habs were without Carey Price, mired in a 3-game losing streak and coming to Detroit on the back half of a back-to-back slate, having played the grinding Bruins on Wednesday...

But the Red Wings also possessed a 7-game losing streak against the Canadiens, and as the Wings kicked off a back-to-back slate of their own, tonight's game felt like walking into a trap.

Detroit was far from perfect, blowing a 2-1 lead and going 1-for-6 on the power play, but Detroit played hard when it counted, played fast when it counted, received some spectacular goaltending, some clutch defense when the Canadiens were given breakaway after breakaway in the 2nd period, and Detroit's heart-and-soul players, Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader, delivered clutch goals en route to a 3-2 win over Montreal.

Detroit has now earned a point in 12 games (8-0-and-4), Detroit is now 4 points behind Montreal with a game in hand, Detroit snapped a 7-game winless streak vs. Montreal, and despite having played very, very thoroughly mediocrely for so much of Thursday night's game, Detroit goes into New Jersey for "Star Wars Night" prepared to play the spoiler.

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Evening news: Pre-game videos, praise for Larkin, and Abdelkader, hall-of-famer

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Here's the Red Wings' game-day preview video:

2. Fox 2 also posted a game-day video in which Jeff Blashill discusses the match-up against Montreal:

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TMR afternoon line: Blashill preaches patience for Jurco

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji spoke with both Tomas Jurco and coach Jeff Blashill regarding Jurco's place on the team, and Blashill issued a particularly intriguing statement regarding his plans for the 22-year-old forward:

"I think patience for everybody involved, patience for us, patience for him, I think him and I talk lots about the mental toughness that is needed to overcome adversity and the adversity of not playing and getting the opportunities he wants," Blashill said. "He was really young when he came to play for me. A lot of his peers had played that year of junior but because of his age he had to leave junior, so we’re very aware of that. We want to have patience with him. We think there’d a lot to his package. With that said he also has to, every time he gets a chance, grab the spot and grab those opportunities and he did that the other right by scoring."

Jurco was rewarded for going to the net, which remains the plan.

"That’s what they want from me, so like I said, that’s what I’m trying to do it a little more than I used to and I’m happy it worked last game," Jurco said.

Wakiji continues...

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‘Roughly Translated’: On Dylan Larkin’s poise

Le Journal de Montreal's Jean-Francois Chaumont wrote a superb French-language article about Dylan Larkin's poise, and here's a rough translation thereof:

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A pair of interviews with Chris Chelios on TSN 690 and Ken Holland on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM

Two members of the Red Wings organization gave extended interviews on Thursday afternoon.

First, Red Wings assistant coach Chris Chelios spoke with TSN 690's Chris Nilan about the Red Wings-Canadiens match-up, the Wings' transition away from Mike Babcock, Dylan Larkin's learning curve and Chelios's role as an assistant coach:

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Red Wings-Canadiens game-day articles: Habs lineup in flux(?); Wings excited about hosting Habs

Updated 8x at 3:19 PM: The Red Wings' morning skate ahead of tonight's game against Montreal (7:30 PM on FSD/CITY/RDS/97.1 FM) revealed very little in the way of personnel surprises. Petr Mrazek will start opposite Dustin Tokarski and the Wings will make no lineup changes.

Our friends from Montreal held a very, very optional morning sate and Canadiens announcer John Bartlett summarizes its substance:

In plain old Google-translated French, La Presse's Richard Labbe confirms that the Canadiens neither held a full morning skate nor spoke with the media...

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Custance: Detroit the 3rd-best ‘Hockeytown?’

Via RedWingsFeed, ESPN's Craig Custance penned an Insider-only entry discussing "The Real Hockeytown," and according to Custance, if NHL factors are taken into consideration, Boston and Chicago rank ahead of Detroit--which is baffling given the youth participation and hockey programs that call Metro Detroit and Michigan home:

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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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