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Post-practice articles: WIngs discuss team bonding; Bucci on Abdelkader; Wings-Oilers preview

Updated 3x at 2:13 PM: The Red Wings are flying out to Edmonton this afternoon, and their short practice  preceding a 1:40 PM flight  to Edmonton yielded special teams work and discussion of the team's ability to bond as they play a 3-game road swing in Western Canada (in Edmonton Wednesday, Calgary on Friday and Vancouver on Saturday), as the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa noted:

"I think it's a no-brainer; it's a positive anytime you get a chance to spend time as a team," said Blashill, who is launching his first trip to western Canada as coach of the Red Wings. We haven't had tons of that, obviously. It's been play, go overnight, and play."

A veteran of long flights and long trips as part of team that played for most of his career in the Western Conference, Henrik Zetterberg is now exposed to what is, this season, the least travel of any NHL franchise.

But the odd schedule also calls for back-to-back games on the first six of seven weekends of the season – seven of eight, counting the last weekend of the preseason.

Regardless, Zetterberg said, some time on the road right now is likely to benefit this team.

"It's a weekend, so we've got to go back-to-back, again," he said, with some sarcasm, and pausing for effect. "Early in the season, it's nice to go on the road like this. It's good for the team. ... Play some games and go for dinners and just kind of bond as a team. We don't play out there that often anymore, so it's fun to go out and play those games."

Krupa continues, and, via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Brendan Savage posted a clip of the Wings discussing their special teams play:

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Before The Wings Fly To Edmonton


I will add to this post as needed while George is at an appointment. He should return in a few hours.



added 12:11pm,

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Practice Tweets: special teams time and Cleary in Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Griffins' practice preceded that of the Red Wings, and, well...

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Morning news: Regarding the Wings’ netminding tandem, puck possession, Larkin vs. McDavid and more

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. ESPN's Pierre LeBrun took part in a "Morning 3-on-3" discussion regarding the best goaltending tandem in the NHL, and he offered a surprising suggestion:

But to answer your question, I think it's hard to beat the 1-2 punch for the Detroit Red Wings, no? For my money, Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek are both No. 1 goalies. Their battle will be a key one to watch, but I also think it's a healthy one for the Red Wings.

2. MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with the Red Wings about their desire to improve their puck possession...

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A horse with Nyquist’s name

From the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:

Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist may not be a horse-racing aficionado but he understands enough to realize that his namesake is a stud.

“I saw it a few weeks ago when he won some big tournament,” Nyquist said of Nyquist, the undefeated two-year-colt owned by Windsor’s Paul Reddam.

That “tournament,” as Nyquist called it, was actually the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity, which Nyquist won going away by 3 ¼ lengths.

Nyquist has won all four of his rookie starts, banking $513,600, also showing victories in the Front Runner and Best Pal Stakes, leaving both his owner and his namesake bubbling with excitement and optimism.

“Hopefully the horse keeps running fast,” said Nyquist, a hope he shares with Reddam.

“He has run four times and won every start,” Reddam said. “The real test will come in the (Oct. 31 $2 million) Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but we’re expecting big things so hopefully we’re not wrong.”


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Post-practice articles: Red Wings trying to get Tatar, Richards on track, improve shot differential

Updated 3x at 9:26 PM: The Red Wings changed their lines up during practice today and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that they did so for a specific reason:

Brad Richards and Tomas Tatar, who had good chemistry in the preseason, have yet to score a goal (each has two assists). So now, Tatar will play with Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist, a combination that worked well two years ago. Richards will center Darren Helm and Teemu Pulkkinen. There is no need to tinker with the top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin, who have eight goals and 20 points.

"I think we need to play better as a group a little bit," Blashill said. "Z's like has been productive ... but we need more out of more lines. We're just trying to find the right combination, the right chemistry, so we'll go with this and see how it goes."

The Red Wings start a three-game trip to Western Canada Wednesday in Edmonton (9:30, Fox Sports Detroit).

Tatar, who led the team with 29 goals in 2014-15, has managed only five shots.

"Our whole line, we didn't produce much," Tatar said. "The first line, they're playing really good, they're carrying us. The other lines got to get a little more involved. Just play more simple. If things don't go good for you, you have to shoot the puck more, try shooting it from the net-best position just to try to get it going."

But Tatar, who had just one point (a goal) in his first nine games last season, added: "It's a long season; it's just the start so I'm not really worried about it."

Khan continues, speaking with Richards, and the Free Press's George Sipple also spoke with Tatar and Blashill regarding the lack of offensive "pop" on lines 2-4...

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Practice Tweets: Red Wings engage in an afternoon skate

The Red Wings didn't practice until after 3 PM today, but there was a good sign before practice, per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

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‘Tip a Griffin’ to take place on October 27th

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins usually look for tips near the net, but on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 6-8 p.m., they’ll exchange their jerseys for aprons in an evening of serving appetizers, entrees and beverages to patrons at Uccello’s Ristorante, in the return of the team’s popular Tip-A-Griffin fundraiser.

Griffins players, coaches and hockey staff will visit all five Uccello’s locations in West Michigan to serve and wait tables, with donations and raffle proceeds benefiting the Griffins Youth Foundation. In its previous eight editions, Tip-A-Griffin raised nearly $77,000 for various local charities..

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The Red Wings are indeed concerned about Johan Franzen—person first, hockey player second

You and I already know this, but Sportsnet's Damien Cox has weighed in on Johan Franzen's future, and it's a murky one:

The Red Wings were leery, but hopeful, about Johan Franzen’s comeback attempt from concussion problems this season, and now there’s great concern the The Mule’s career may be over.

GM Ken Holland will only say Franzen is out “indefinitely” after feeling concussion symptoms after practice last week, and that he is primarily concerned with Franzen’s long-term health and his family moving forward.

The Wings, with a growing group of young forward prospects in the system, weren’t exactly counting on Franzen, but he would have provided a nice bridge as those young players mature.

Per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

“Right now the number one thing from my perspective is that Johan has a wife and a family,” the Wings general manager said in a phone interview. “If he gets to a place in his life where he wakes up every day and feels good about himself and feels good about facing the day … but right now he’s not there. I think that’s the most important thing before there’s even any contemplation of returning to play hockey.”

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TSN’s Kerry Fraser says the Gallagher goal shouldn’t have counted

The NHL argued that this goal was legal...

But TSN's Kerry Fraser says that the goal shouldn't have counted, and Fraser uses frame-by-frame analysis to drive home his point:

While this play was not a violation of Rule 49.2 - kicking/goals - it is a violation of Rule 69 - goalkeeper interference - (incidental contact with goalkeeper inside his crease resulting in a goal is to be disallowed.)

Gallagher's potential goal should have been disallowed by the referee or through a conference of the officials that followed for goalkeeper interference. Once that definitive call was not made on the ice, the video review process took over and was only able to render a decision with regard to a potential kicked puck. The official announcement made by the referee did not bring clarity to the ultimate video review decision but instead created confusion.

You might recall that I made reference to the inability for the referee(s) to initiate a review in my first column of the season. I felt there would be times when the officials might require a second look at a play of this nature through a replay, especially when a team had lost or used their timeout and couldn't initiate a challenge. This play is a perfect example of when a referee should be able to initiate a review of his own instead of conferencing at the time keeper's bench prior to throwing the play upstairs.

Had the referees been afforded the benefit of looking at the replay, I'm quite certain they would rightly determine (as I demonstrated above) that the puck did not enter the net in a legal fashion before contact and the goal would most likely have been disallowed.

Fraser continues...

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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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