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Tyler Bertuzzi’s earning his praises

Both the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji took note of Tyler Bertuzzi's performance of late. Bertuzzi has fit right in with the Red Wings' top nine forward corps after being recalled permanently from Grand Rapids. Per Kulfan:

Tyler Bertuzzi is continuing to make quite an impression with the Red Wings.

The young forward had two more assists in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss against Dallas but more than the offense, also showed the tenacity and hockey sense that could serve him well for many years. Bertuzzi has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his last nine games, and is looking more confident with every shift.

“I’m just getting more used to it every game,” said Bertuzzi, who coach Jeff Blashill now has playing on a line with Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou. “Playing with Larks and Double-A, it’s pretty easy on me.”

Bertuzzi was expected to make the Red Wings out of training camp, but a wrist injury derailed those plans until December, when Luke Glendening was injured. Bertuzzi is definitely making up for lost time.

Kulfan continues, and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji picks it up from there:

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Grand Rapids Griffins to hold ‘Great Skate’ on Saturday, January 20th

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins players, the Calder Cup, sled dogs, ice sculptors, horse-drawn carriages, winter sport athletes, museums, other community partners and local celebrities will all be part of the 2018 Great Skate Winterfest, which will run for 34 consecutive hours this Saturday, Jan. 20 and Sunday, Jan. 21 at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

Everyone is invited to join this celebration of winter in our city and help the Griffins Youth Foundation provide opportunities for more than 350 deserving boys and girls – many of whom are underprivileged, underserved, at-risk or have special needs – to participate in the great sport of hockey at no cost.

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Should the Wings consider trading Jimmy Howard?

The Detroit News's John Niyo believes that the Red Wings should be as aggressive as possible ahead of the NHL's trade deadline, and Niyo suggests that the Wings' management ought to consider trading Jimmy Howard:

Why not seriously offer up Jimmy Howard? It's an idea that’s been tossed around the past couple years. But now that he's nearing the end of that long-term contract, with another year at $5.3 million all that’s left after this season, it's worth a longer look.

Howard endured a monthlong slump starting in mid-November, but rebounded with a half-dozen strong starts, including four consecutive wins and a .952 save percentage before the bye week. He took the loss Tuesday, but he had no shot at stopping the first two deflected goals — the second on a 5-on-3 power play — and couldn't be blamed for the other two, either.

There won’t be many playoff contenders searching for a No. 1 goalie. But there should be at least one, as the New York Islanders desperately try to make the postseason while also trying to convince star John Tavares to sign a long-term extension. The Isles' tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss ranks last in the NHL with a 3.62 goals-against average and .895 save percentage — a shoddy defense has plenty do with that — and GM Garth Snow has extra draft picks to offer. Chicago might be another playoff hopeful in search of a starter, what with Corey Crawford’s season in jeopardy due to vertigo-like symptoms.

Niyo continues, and I don't see the Wings moving Howard...unless they remain on the hook for some of his paycheck. I don't know who they have to replace Howard if Mrazek is on the outs, either.

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Luke Witkowski’s penalties vs. Dallas vexed the Wings

The Free Press's Helene St. James noted that the Red Wings were very upset with the penalties called on Luke Witkowski during last night's 4-2 loss to Dallas:

The Wings fell, 4-2, Tuesday at Little Caesars Arena, with two of Dallas’ goals coming during power plays. In the first period, Witkowski was called for elbowing Martin Hanzal, even as there was little, if any, contact.

In the second period, Stars defenseman Stephen Johns delivered a big, clean hit on Dominic Turgeon, sending the Wings rookie into the boards. Johns then appeared to invite Witkowski to fight; the two did – and Witkowski also was called for roughing in addition to the 5-minute majors each received, giving the Stars another power play. That rankled.

“To me, the roughing call is a made up call,” Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “Either it’s instigator or it’s nothing. I don’t know where he got the extra 2 from. To me, I think they both dropped the gloves at the same time and we’ve been in that situation before this year and it’s just been two 5s. So, that’s a tough one. The first one, too, I don’t think he even hits him. But, that happens. As a player you have a bad game sometimes, and so does the refs.”

Continued, and you can watch Witkowski and coach Blashill's comments as posted by Fox Sports Detroit:

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Red Wings-Stars stars quick take: Wings can’t out-score Stars’ grind, grit

The Red Wings started slow, shot selectively and struggled to create offense against the Dallas Stars, losing 4-2. The Wings struggled to muster shots on Ben Bishop, finishing with only 15 shots (though the Wings had 45 attempts) on the Stars' goal.

To Dallas' credit, Ken Hitchcock's team committed to an playing an opportunistic offensive game built upon a foundation of ugly, goopy, clutchy-grabby defense.  That defensive game seemed to confuse the hell out of the Red Wings, and as a result, Detroit dominated possession and control of the puck, but did not dominate possession or control of the game.

Here are the game's goals:

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Double-barreled health issues

I regret to inform you that both Paul and I are experiencing health issues that will prevent us from manning the blog for this evening. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

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An Optional Skate For Detroit

MSM report an optional morning skate for the Wings this morning.



added 10:45am, Khan tweet,

Optional morning skate for #RedWings prior to tonight’s game vs. @DallasStars at @LCArena_Detroit Howard in starter’s net.

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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

It’s a light week for the Detroit Red Wings, with just two games this week. Here are five things to watch for:

Match line depleted
The Red Wings’ checking line will be depleted for at least another game as Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm, who suffered lower-body injuries in Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh, will not play Tuesday against Dallas. The Red Wings listed them as day-to-day but won’t know the extent of their injuries until they’re further evaluated this week.

Dominic Turgeon, recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins, made his NHL debut in Sunday’s 4-0 victory at Chicago and will be in the lineup Tuesday, likely centering a line with David Booth and Luke Witkowski. The team has no spare forwards.

Power play struggling
The Red Wings are 2 for 31 on the power play in their past nine games (6.5 percent) to drop to 17th in the NHL rankings at 19 percent for the season.

Coach Jeff Blashill has said he's hesitant to change the units, wanting continuity. Justin Abdelkader's injury resulted in some adjustments, as Anthony Mantha plays the net-front role on the top unit and Tyler Bertuzzi is being used in the same capacity on the second unit.


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Videos- After Detroit’s Practice Today

First up is Martin Frk on Tyler Bertuzzi's goal yesterday.



Below, Jeff Blashill after practice.

added 3:37pm, Tyler Bertuzzi video now below too...

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Grand Rapids Griffins preparing for ‘Great Skate’ this upcoming Saturday

The Grand Rapids Griffins are holding their annual "Great Skate" this weekend at Rosa Parks Circle, after Saturday night's home game against Rockford, and the Griffins are raising funds for the Griffins' Youth Foundation as part of the event:

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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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