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Video- Edmonton Oilers Coach Todd Nelson On Facing The Wings

Nelson says he is familar with some of the Wings...



added 3:02pm, Chris Wescott of the Oiler website looks at the tonight's game...

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Optional Skate For The Wings In Edmonton

via Ansar Khan tweet,

Optional skate today at Rexall Place. Zetterberg. Quincey and Kronwall not on  the ice. Babcock greeting people in stands.

I will update this post as needed.

added 2:27pm,


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You Knew It Was Coming

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Well, I think the reason the Leafs didn't fire Carlyle last summer was because they didn't feel a bona fide replacement was available, no offense to Bylsma. Whether that screams "Mike Babcock" or not, the Detroit Red Wings head coach's contract expiring after the season, you can decide for yourself. Babcock could still re-sign with the Wings, or might not, but either way it's clear he wants to push that gigantic decision to the offseason. Know this: The fact the Maple Leafs have a coaching opening just upped Babcock's next salary, regardless of where he ends up.

To me, the decision for the Leafs is simple: Do they go after DeBoer now or wait until after the season to go after Babcock if indeed he becomes available? That's how I would approach it. 

Scott Burnside of ESPN,

OK, let's talk Babcock and the rest of the season. If, as many believe, Horachek and Steve Spott man the helm for the balance of the season, what does that do to the Babcock rumors? Whether Babcock or Red Wings GM Ken Holland like it or not, if the Leafs don't hire a full-time coach in the coming days (I'd hire Dan Bylsma in a heartbeat, but that’s just me), that shadow is going to be cast across the Red Wings the rest of the season unless Holland and Babcock agree to an extension sooner than later. It sounds like you don't think this will change the Wings' plans for their coaching situation and that sets up one wild and wacky offseason in terms of who ends up behind the Leaf bench to start the 2015-16 season.

more on the Randy Carlye firing...

added 11:44am, from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

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Detroit’s Best Defensive Pair

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"I think the best pair we have on the team right now is DeKeyser and Quincey, the steadiest pair each and every day, the two guys playing the best," coach Mike Babcock said. "I just think they're been really solid, the two of them. They seem to play well together."...

Quincey's play improved dramatically midway through last season. Following a mistake-prone first half in which he posted a minus-14 rating, he settled down after being paired with DeKeyser and put up a plus-9 rating the rest of the way.

"Q's a defender who really competes hard, good penalty killer, plays hard and is heavy, and is making simple plays," Babcock said. "Dan DeKeyser is a guy who's grown into his game, I think a real elite skater, elite hockey sense, moves the puck well. His puck skills haven't transferred into the offensive zone, yet he's on his way, making real good progress, real important player for us."


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Wings Skating In Vancouver

The Wings are skating at the Univ. of B.C. before flying off to Edmonton later today.

via Bill Roose tweet,

Everyone is here and accounted for at the #RedWings practice this morning at the University of BC.

Updates to this post during practice if need be.

added 3:47pm,


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What To Do With Xavier Ouellet?

from Ansar Khan of Milve,

Here are five things to watch this week:...

Will Ouellet stay or go back?

Defenseman Xavier Ouellet impresses the team each time he's called up and inserted into the lineup.

Will he be sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins when Jakub Kindl (sprained elbow) comes off injured reserve? Or will the Red Wings make a move to clear a roster spot and keep Ouellet permanently?

The team is hesitant to place anyone on waivers and risk losing another player for nothing (Andrej Nestrasil was claimed by the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 21). That leaves only one option - deal somebody for a draft pick.

Defenseman Brian Lashoff would be the mostly likely candidate for such a move, having appeared in only 11 games.

Kindl has been practicing and is eligible to come off IR anytime.


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St. James talks about Tatar’s trade value…

I'm sticking to a quick take one final time as my physical resources are on the rebound from a dreadful December's worth of health this and health that, but I've got to make mention of this comment from the Free Press's Helene St. James, made while discussing Tomas Tatar's blossoming into a consistent point-producer (16 goals, 10 assists and 26 points in 36 games played):

Tatar had 19 goals last season, and is well on his way to topping 20 this season. To essentially be a two-time 20-goal scorer at age 24 makes Tatar intriguing as a trade asset. The Wings are eager to add a top-four defenseman who shoots right, and to get someone of quality - like Buffalo's Tyler Myers - it would take a young hotshot. Maybe the Wings can sway the Sabres with Tatar and defenseman Jakub Kindl (who doesn't seem to have a future in Detroit), along with a second-round draft pick. It helps tremendously that another prospect is banging on the door, as Teemu Pulkkinen is having a standout season with Grand Rapids. He's already delivered an AHL-leading 19th goal of the season, and he shoots right, with NHL-caliber delivery.

Tatar has helped make the Wings a viable playoff team again this season, and his value could end up strengthening them as a Stanley Cup contender.

She continues, and...

I don't see how we get from the Sabres asking for Anthony Mantha or Dylan Larkin AND the Wings' 1st-round pick AND an NHL defenseman to Tomas Tatar and an NHl defenseman.

I've seen the Sabres prospects, and they're all pretty damn good, but outside of Girgensons and the Rasmus Ristolainen who makes Myers expendable, the team's still got a pretty significant chunk of in-progress players.

Tim Murray seems to either want players who've established themselves at the NHL level and/or players whose NHL debuts aren't imminent, and a Tatar-and-Kindl type deal doesn't just seem like "not enough" for Myers--it also seems like the "wrong kind" of deal.

Is Tomas Tatar tradeable? Yeah, but the team's also looked to develop Tatar as Jiri Hudler, But A Better Skater for a while now, and Tatar's becoming that player.

I don't think that Tatar and Kindl are the players Murray's looking for, however, and in addition to Kindl probably not being "enough" on defense [edit: Smith is the kind of player I would see Buffalo wanting /end edit], I don't think that Murray wants anything less than at least one of the jewels in the Wings' prospect crown. Pulkkinen is one of those players, Sproul is one of those players, Larkin and Mantha are definitely those kinds of players. Tatar's (sans Capgeek) someone who's going to be due for a raise soon, and that's not what Buffalo needs.

[edit #2: And again, "what Buffalo needs" is a whole lot more complicated because Detroit and Buffalo are in the same division, and in theory, these teams will be seeing each other in the playoffs in the not-too-distant future, which makes any trade between the two teams that much more unlikely /end second edit]

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Quick take, Red Wings vs. Canucks: Clotheslined

SoDakWingNut captured the "spirit of the thing":

The Detroit Red Wings lost a 4-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night, and while the Wings surrendered 2 empty-netters after Tomas Tatar made things 2-1, the 4-1 tally may have been more accurate a description of the disparity in play, execution, attention to detail and grit by the two teams.

Ryan Miller also stopped 29 of 30 shots, but I thought the Wings did a fine job of doing what they are too apt to do on the road--make an opposing goalie look better than he already is--and the Wings weren't able to execute against a team that made life very hard on Detroit's goaltender, who was far from culpable in a "team loss" where getting too cute and, to some extent, playing too honestly hurt the WIngs against a team that exploited every opportunity to muck, grind, mash, crash and clothesline the Wings to their advantage...

On both the scoresheet, with the officials and in terms of the team's ability to win puck battles and earn a hard-fought victory.

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Red Wings-Canucks game-day post: Canucks promise bounce-back game as Wings embrace road mentality

Updated 4x at 5:24 PM: The Red Wings begin their first 6-game road trip of the season (the team engages in a second 6-game trip in February) by kicking off a jaunt through Western Canada tonight in Vancouver (10 PM EST on FSD/CBC/97.1 FM). As the Canucks "took an optional" and the Wings simply reverted back to the lines they've been employing for the past three or four games, the most revelatory portion of the morning skate involved...This:

In the text-and-video department:

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Red Wings-Canucks morning skate Tweets: Canucks ‘took an optional’; Wings return to ‘usual’ lines

The Red Wings kick off a 3-game Western Canadian road swing and a 6-game road trip against the Vancouver Canucks this evening (10 PM EST on FSD/CBC/97.1 FM) needing to match a more desperate opponent's urgency.

Vancouver's coming off a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles, but possesses a 3-1-and-1 record over its past 4 games; prior to that little stretch, however, Vancouver lost 5 straight, and they sit in a 3-place tie for 3rd in the Pacific Division.

As Paul noted, the Canucks already posted a game-day video, but the morning skate did not produce scintillating news, as noted by the Vancouver Sun's Elliott Pap...

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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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