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The Malik Report

Grand Rapids Griffins captain Jeff Hoggan earns AHL’s sportsmanship/dedication award

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The American Hockey League on Monday announced that Grand Rapids Griffins captain Jeff Hoggan has been named the 2014-15 winner of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

A native of Hope, B.C., Hoggan has continuously proven himself to be a leader both on and off the ice. In his third season with the Griffins and 13th as a professional despite being undrafted out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, the 37-year-old Hoggan has banked 29 points (14-15—29), 39 PIM and a plus-22 rating this season. On Saturday, he scored the game-tying goal at San Antonio with just 49 seconds remaining, enabling an eventual overtime victory and preserving Grand Rapids’ one-point lead atop the Midwest Division.

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Red Wings bring back ‘Octopi Hockeytown’ campaign

Free advertising (and I like the idea, I'm glad they're sticking with it)...

... Several New Elements, Including Downloadable Playoff Emojis and a Meme Generator, Join List of Returning Fan Favorites in ‘Octopi Hockeytown’ Campaign …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings announced today the return of the ‘Octopi Hockeytown’ playoff campaign to encourage fans to connect and cheer on the Red Wings as the team embarks on its historic 24th straight playoff run.

Building off the success of last year’s ‘Octopi Hockeytown’ campaign, which garnered more than 20 million impressions through Red Wings social media, the multi-platform campaign returns to Detroit for the third year with a revamped look and even more ways for fans to “Join the Movement” and interact with each other and the team.

During Detroit’s journey through the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Red Wings fans can join the ‘Octopi Hockeytown’ movement by logging on to http://www.OctopiHockeytown.com power,ed by MotorCity Casino Hotel. The website serves as the online hub for fans to show their support for the team and partake in numerous digital campaigns and contests.

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Post-practice articles: Mrazek starts, Marchenko and Ferraro are ‘in,’ Abdelkader questionable

Updated 11x at 4:15 PM: The Red Wings' practice revealed that Petr Mrazek's starting in Game 1 of the Wings-Bolts series and that Justin Abdelkader is perhaps a "maybe" for a lineup that will include Alexey Marchenko and Landon Ferraro, but not Brendan Smith.

Outside Southeastern Michigan, the Red Wings' playoff viability remains in doubt, as suggested by ESPN's Scott Burnside's final set of power rankings for the season...

14. Detroit [record] 43-25-14 Last Week: 16 The Red Wings drifted into the playoffs for the 24th straight year. The feeling is that with no clear-cut starter in net and the durability of stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in question, they will drift out just as seamlessly.

But the Wings (and their fans) don't really give a crap about the latest rounds of doubters or forced conformity. Instead, it's the substantive news from Monday's practice that matters, as summarized by MLive's Ansar Khan...

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It’s Petr: Mrazek starts for Detroit against Tampa Bay

Updated 3x at 1:15 PM: I'm still posting post-practice Tweets, but you should not be surprised to read this:


Update #2:

Update #3:

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Gave: Lightning don’t want Wings fans buying tickets, wearing Wings stuff in their luxury lounge

The ticket resale market may very well make the Tampa Bay Lightning's, "No tickets unless your credit card has a Florida address" attempt to keep opposing teams' fans out of their rink come playoff time nothing more and nothing less than a moot point (never mind the fact that so many "snowbirds" have come down to the Gulf Coast from Michigan), but this little note from Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave...Well it's just silly:

Yzerman's Lightning are taking this silly business to extremes. Fans attending the games wearing Red Wings gear will not be allowed in the Chase Club -- Tampa Bay's equivalent of the Olympia Club at Joe Louis Arena.

"Chase Club and Lexus Lounge ticket holders -- please note that for all 2015 NHL playoff games at Amalie Arena, only Tampa Bay Lightning team logos will be permitted in these areas. Fans wearing visiting team logos will be asked to remove them while in the Chase Club and Lexus Lounge areas."

The playoffs are under way. Let the foolishness begin.

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Practice Tweets and catch-up articles: Datsyuk, Abdelkader skating, Helm absent, Mrazek starting?

Updated 14x at 1:05 PM: The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena on what will end up being a stormy day, and they apparently took their time getting on the ice on Al Sobotka pre-playoff barbecue day.

However, when the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reported for duty, the Wings started skating...

Jonas Gustavsson the only skater on the ice so far at Joe Louis Arena.


Weiss, Cleary, Kindl and Smith on the ice as the first skaters. All pointing to them sitting out Game 1 Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Tampa Bay, per the Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith:

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Prospect news: Holmstrom, Bertuzzi lose key playoff games; Paterson earns first pro win

Red Wings prospects took part in two playoff games and one regular-season affair on Sunday:

In the SHL's championship series opener, Axel Holmstrom took 3 shots and played 18:26 but finished at -2 in Skelleftea AIK's 2-1 loss to the Vaxjo Lakers;

And in the OHL, Tyler Bertuzzi scored a goal but his Guelph Storm are in a boatload of trouble. The defending OHL champions dropped a 6-1 decision to Sault Ste. Marie, and they trail their second-round series 3 games to 0.

In regular season play, in the ECHL, Jake Paterson stopped 32 of 34 shots for his first pro win and Richard Nedomlel took 14 penalty minutes in the Toledo Walleye's 8-2 win over Kalamazoo. As the Walleye's website notes, this win clinched the ECHL's regular-season title for Toledo:

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Khan: When Luke Glendening dispenses goal-scoring advice, Landon Ferraro listened

Landon Ferraro's first NHL goal was a gorgeous wraparound marker scored last night against the Carolina Hurricanes...

And MLive's Ansar Khan reports that Ferraro scored in no small part due to advice from noted goal-scorer...Luke Glendening?

"He kept telling me to go to my backhand as much as possible," Ferraro said. "It's been working for him, so I had to give it a try and it went in."

Ferraro scored his first NHL goal in his seventh career game with the Detroit Red Wings in Saturday's 2-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. He converted a nifty wraparound with a backhand shot 48 seconds into the game. It turned out to be the game-winner.

"I don't think I've scored on a wraparound in like three years," Ferraro said. "For me, especially since it's my third game this year, I just wanted to get it to the net, get a rebound chance. Then I saw it against the back (of the net) and I got a little excited after that."

Khan continues, video of Ferraro's comments included, and the question is out there now: does Ferarro "go" on the fourth line come Thursday?

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Summarizing Wings-Bolts series previews (thus far)

In the series preview category, thus far:

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Alexy Marchenko In, Brendan Smith Out?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Babcock said Marchenko will be in the lineup for the Red Wings' playoff opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. The series is expected to start on Thursday.

Marchenko has impressed the Red Wings with his safe, steady style of play and ability to move the puck. They also like his right-handed shot.

Babcock said Marchenko had a "particularly strong game" Saturday in the season finale, a 2-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

"He's big and smart and makes good plays," Babcock said.  "He doesn't make tons of mistakes."...

"Every time you hit the ice in the NHL you get something from the game. They speed up the game; you try to adjust to it. I try to be better every game, help the team, learn how to communicate with your partner."

Brendan Smith appears to be the odd-man out. He was healthy scratch on Saturday, when Babcock made it clear he wasn't happy with Smith's gaffe during Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens.


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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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