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Ken Kal previews the Wings-Sabres game

The Red Wings posted a game-day preview video, teeing up tonight's game against the Buffalo Sabres (7:30 PM EST on FSD/MSG B/97.1 FM):

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Prospect catch-up news: Hicketts named to Canadian WJC selection camp; Walleye rally in K-zoo

The mom's out of the hospital and doing OK, and the aunt and I are recovering from a very different kind of "eventful Thanksgiving weekend." While I was out, in the prospect department:

In World Junior Championship news, Joe Hicketts was officially named to Team Canada's World Junior selection camp;

In the ECHL, Marek Tvrdon scored a goal in the Toledo Walleye's 4-3 shootout win over Kalamazoo. The Walleye's website posited a recap:

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WDIV: Red Wings visit Chlidren’s Hospital

The Red Wings often make their biggest and most meaningful impacts off the ice, and yesterday, the team visited Chlidren's Hospital in Detroit. WDIV was there:

Update: WXYZ posted a video of the visit as well:

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Big Game Against Buffalo Tonight

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

So, the fact Dylan Larkin (10 goals, eight assists, plus-14) and Jack Eichel (eight goals, four assists, minus-6) are buddies, beginning even in days before they spent a lot of time together through a few years in Ann Arbor at the National Team Development Program of USA Hockey, is more for the fans and the media, perhaps.

“The first thing that I think, though, when I hear that is: We’ve got a big game against Buffalo,” Blashill said.

A team must play. A coach must coach.

“Lots of people want this to be Eichel versus Larkin, but it’s not,” he said. “It’s the Detroit Red Wings versus the Buffalo Sabres and, to me, that’s what’s the most important thing.”...

“We think we’ve got lots of other really good players in the room that are going to have to be great tonight, and I’m sure they do as well,” Blashill said, emphasizing the importance of the game over the presence of two up-and-coming stars.

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Dylan Larkin Named Rookie Of The Month In The NHL

NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2015) – Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin, who led all rookies with seven goals in 13 games (7-3—10), has been named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November.

Larkin edged Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (5-8—13 in 13 GP), New York Rangers center Oscar Lindberg (4-5—9 in 14 GP), Arizona Coyotes left wingMax Domi (3-6—9 in 12 GP), Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett (4-4—8 in 12 GP) and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (4-4—8 in 13 GP) for the honor.

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It’s An Optional Skate At The Joe

 

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Jack Eichel On Dylan Larkin

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

On Tuesday, Larkin and Eichel will go head-to-head for the first time as professionals when the Red Wings face the Sabres at Joe Louis Arena...

It hasn't surprised Eichel that Larkin has been able to impress in his first NHL season.

"I knew he was going to play in the League this year and knew he would do terrific," Eichel said. "He's a good friend of mine. Ever since that second year when we were [at the NTDP] that was his coming-out party. He was one of our best players every night. And if you've seen him play, he stands out right away just because of how great a skater he is. He always seems like he's moving. He's like the energizer bunny."

Last season Larkin ranked second at the University of Michigan in goals (15) and points (47), and was tied for first with 32 assists. His 47 points were second among NCAA freshmen behind Hobey Baker Award-winner Eichel at Boston University.

"I don't know how that guy does it but he buzzes around as fast as he can, and as fast as he can is really fast. So he's super-skilled and understands the game," Eichel said. "He has an unbelievable release too. So I'm not surprised at all that he's doing so well."

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The 4th Line Speaks

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"They'd be the first to tell you they want to be the line that's trusted at the end of games, that goes out and shuts the door," coach Jeff Blashill said. "It hasn't necessarily been their fault every single time, but it's been too many times they've been on the ice and they got scored on late.

"They certainly want that reserved. When they get more opportunities they got to make sure they don't give up any goals."

"It's been frustrating," Glendening said. "I think it's been my line the last four games or five games here, so we have to find a way to hold on.

"Maybe we're taking our foot off the gas a bit, I don't know. I don't think it's a work-ethic thing or anything like that. But we have to capitalize on our chances and minimize theirs."...

"A couple minuses here the last couple of games, those happen," Miller said. "I don't think it's because of our play. I think our line has been playing pretty well and generating chances. For some reason it's just tough to score goals right now."

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Losing The Lead On The Minds Of The Wings

from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,

The Red Wings extended their point streak to seven games (4-0-3) on Sunday, however, six of those contests were decided in overtime after the team failed to protect leads late in the third periods.

The latest collapse occurred in Sunday’s 2-1 overtime loss, which was made possible when Florida forward Reilly Smith scored with 5:22 left in regulation.

“For most of the games we’ve played pretty well in,” defenseman Danny DeKeyser said. “I thought a lot of the second periods is when we brought most of our energy and had the most chances, but then we can’t score enough goals or can’t get that one extra goal that gives us a little more breathing room. It’s then a tighter one-goal game and one mistake and it’s in our net, then it’s a tie game and that’s what’s been going on lately.”

Four other times this season, the opposition has scored with less than 2 ½ minutes left in regulation to force three-on-three overtime.

“We’ve talked about it, but I don’t know,” fourth-line center Luke Glendening said. “It’s been frustrating. I think it’s been my line the last four games or five games here, so we have to figure that one, I mean, find a way to hold on.”

continued

added 5:13pm, The Wings made their annual visit to the Children's Hospital of Michigan today, Dana Wakiji has the story...

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The Detroit Red Wings Focused On The Power Play Today Plus Some Line Juggling

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Power plays made up the bulk of today's practice for the Detroit Red Wings, who have come up short in that area for three straight games.

They take a seven-game point streak up against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena, but it's not as weighty a streak as possible because of a recent trend of surrendering leads. Sunday was the latest example; the Wings ended up losing in overtime, which probably could have been avoided had they converted on either of their two third-period power plays.

"It hasn't been good enough here for a while," Jeff Blashill said. "We want to get back to the basics a little bit on our power play, and hopefully it has a positive impact come tomorrow night,"

The Wings are at 15.8% overall on power plays, one of the worst conversion rates in the NHL.

continued

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

added 2:47pm, Khan added below too...

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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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