The Malik Report
from Paul Harris at NHL.com.,
Here are three X-factors that will help determine whether Detroit can make the postseason and go on a run:
Mike Green's impact: The Red Wings have lacked an offensive defenseman with a right-handed shot the past few seasons.
They got one in Green, 30 on July 1, when they signed him to a three-year contract reportedly worth $18 million.
"He's got elite skill," Blashill said. "It's one thing to be an offensive defenseman and have good offensive skill, he's got elite offensive skill. The right shot has been talked about lots over the years. I think more importantly than the right shot is the skill set he brings. It's going to be fun to watch."...
Pavel Datsyuk's return: Datsyuk can begin skating in early October, general manager Ken Holland said, after surgery on ruptured tendons in his right ankle on June 26.
Datsyuk met with his surgeon last week and was optimistic about the update he received.
"Great News! Had a good doctor visit," Datsyuk wrote on his verified Twitter account. "... See you soon back in Detroit."
The Red Wings expect the 37-year-old center to play by mid-November.
Though Datsyuk has been plagued by injuries as he has gotten older and doesn't generate quite as many highlight-reel plays as he once did, he remains one of the NHL's elite performers. He had 26 goals, 39 assists and a plus-12 rating in 63 games in 2014-15....
New coach: Though this is Blashill's first season as an NHL coach, he isn't completely new to the League. He was an assistant on Mike Babcock's coaching staff with Detroit in 2011-12....
more on each of the three factors...
The Red Wings defeated the Boston Bruins 3-1 on Monday evening, receiving strong performances from Jimmy Howard (31 saves), Xavier Ouellet (+3 in a team-leading 22:14) and Tomas Jurco (a goal and an assist) to assuage for a 4-3 OT loss to the same Bruins this past Saturday.
For the Bruins, Monday's affair was about ironing out kinks in the team's game and in Tuukka Rask's performance--as Rask made his first appearance--and BostonBruins.com's Caryn Switaj reveals that, had this been a regular season game, the 3-0 goal would have yielded a coach's challenge...
Very briefly: The Detroit Red Wings skated into Boston and, thanks to strong performances from Jimmy Howard, Xavier Ouellet and Drew Miller, the Wings assuaged a very middling loss on Saturday via a 3-0 win against the B's on Monday night.
The Wings opened the scoring 7:11 into the 2nd, when Drew Miller found the top shelf on Tuukka Rask (from Daniel Cleary and Joakim Andersson)...
3 minutes and 21 seconds later, Tomas Jurco gave the Wings some breathing room with a gorgeous deke-and-dangle at 10:34 (from Callahan and Ouellet, who was superb)...
The Red Wings battle the Boston Bruins this evening (7 PM EDT start), and while the back half of the home-and-home series isn't on TV or the radio in either market, http://www.DetroitRedWings.com will have Ken Kal doing a play-by-play of the game starting around 7 PM. According to NESN, the game will be streamed on http://www.BostonBruins.com as well, but only for fans in the "Boston market."
The Wings are dressing the following lineup, per MLive's Ansar Khan...
MLive's Peter Wallner penned a report from the first day of the Grand Rapids Griffins' training camp, speaking with coach Todd Nelson to glean the new coach's take on his tasks at hand:
Many on the roster were part of the developmental camp in Traverse City as well as early camp invitees of the Red Wings. Nelson said he will put in more of the system throughout the week, with the challenge to tweak it and adjust as players come down from Detroit and other head out to Toledo of the ECHL.
"We'll coach the same system as Detroit, at least to start off, and then see what personnel we have and what fits best," Nelson said. "They have different personnel then we have here. So something that might worth there might not work here and vice versa."
His goal, he added, is to "create a culture here that's conducive to success but also where you work hard and have fun with each other. I think you saw that out there and there were some tempers out there with some battle drills but you like to see that, too, with enthusiasm."
Updated 3x at 3:39 PM: The Red Wings are going with a youthful roster when they face the Boston Bruins this evening (7 PM; no TV, radio webcast on DetroitRedWings.com), utilizing Dylan Larkin as the team's first-line center against a relatively experienced Bruins team.
After practice, the media focused on Xavier Ouellet, who told the Free Press's Helene St. James that being reliable defensively may be the key to finally making the big club...
From an Insider-only column penned by ESPN's Craig Custance:
We know how the Detroit Red Wings operate. We know that the young players have to wait their turn, that the tie in every roster battle is going to go to the veteran.
Then you see a performance like the one turned in by Dylan Larkin on Thursday night -- his first two goals scored in Joe Louis Arena as a pro -- and it becomes natural to wonder if he’s different. Factor in how well Larkin is thought of by scouts and executives around the league, and it’s a fair question whether he’s the Red Wings prospect who forces the hand of the organization and grabs an NHL spot as a teenager. Well, let’s put it this way, one game won’t change years of organizational philosophy.
“It’s preseason. You have to factor in the competition. There’s no [Sidney] Crosby. There’s no [Phil] Kessel,” said Red Wings GM Ken Holland on Friday morning. “We’re not playing NHL rosters.”
Larkin is the Red Wings' top prospect and one of the better prospects in the NHL now. He also happens to play for a team that had 100 points last season and Stanley Cup aspirations this season.
His path at center is jammed up, and with a player like Larkin, Holland said the priority is playing time. Not just any kind of playing time, but playing time that includes being on the ice in the most important situations, being a major contributor on the team, whether that’s in the AHL or the NHL.
Updated 10x at 12:45 PM: The Red Wings battle the Boston Bruins in Beantown this evening (7 PM, no TV or radio,but DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that Ken Kal will web-call the game) with Tuukka Rask scheduled to start against the Wings' younger "B Team" roster.
The Bruins took to the ice before 10 AM...
And the first group practicing is the roster the Bruins will utilize this evening:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
No matter how efficient Marchenko is in the preseason he's destined to start the season in Grand Rapids, unless there is an injury to one of the club's seven veteran defensemen.
"My job is to be a professional and to do my job every day," Marchenko said. "The coaches are watching so we'll see how it goes.
"They are going to decide, so I have to show my best."
How disappointed will he be if he is sent down?
"Depends on how I play," Marchenko said. "I think everyone would be disappointed if you play good and you have to go down."
Marchenko likely would be the first defenseman recalled and is certain to play some games in Detroit.
"Like Blash always said, 'Keep working, keep working, keep working and it's going to come,'" Marchenko said.
The Red Wings will battle the Boston Bruins and Tuukka Rask on Monday night (7 PM EDT, no TV or radio, boo!), and the Wings are making a concerted effort to produce more offense from their blueline--with a caveat, as the Windsor Star's Bob Duff notes:
“We’d like to get more offensive production from our D-men,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill acknowledged. “We think we have the ability to, but the reverse of that is you don’t want to give up more chances. So what we try to do is try to increase our reward without taking any added risk. That’s a learned process that we’re going to continue to work on. But we look at that as an area we could potentially get more production from.”
About The Malik Report
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