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‘Three Things’: Wings-Lightning previews and Vegas odds

As tonight's game between the Red Wings and Lightning is an "NBCSN Rivalry Night" game, NHL.com posted several articles about the Wings and Bolts, including John Kreiser's examination of the "four players helping their team make the Coors Light climb"...

Petr Mrazek, G, Red Wings -- Mrazek has taken away the starting job from veteran Jimmy Howard. He won his final two games before the break, is 3-1-1 in his past five starts and has allowed seven goals in that span. Mrazek's 2.03 goals-against average is third in the NHL, and his .932 save percentage is second.

Dylan Larkin, F, Red Wings -- The 19-year-old had an All-Star Weekend to remember, including a race to remember when he broke Mike Gartner's 20-year-old record for best time in the fastest skater competition during the skills competition. Larkin earned his way into the All-Star Game by scoring a team-high 15 goals in Detroit's first 49 games; he shares the Red Wings lead in points (33) with captain Henrik Zetterberg.

And Kevin Weekes listed "pluses and minuses" for both teams:

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Video- Tomas Tatar Has Some Moves

via the NHLPA's YouTube Channel,

Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar uses tricks he learned playing street hockey to take on some stickhandling drills.


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Tight Games, Goals And Turnovers Are The Morning Topics For The Wings

from Paul Harris at NHL.com,

One-goal games have become a way of life for the Detroit Red Wings this season.

Only one team, the Vancouver Canucks, has been in more one-goal games than Detroit's 31. The Red Wings lead the NHL with 18 wins in games decided by one goal. Their record in those games is 18-5-8.

"We don't mind one-goal games, as long as we're winning," defenseman Brendan Smith said. "When you have one-goal games that are low-scoring, you know you're playing well defensively. We'd like to get that extra goal to take some of the pressure off. But as long as we win, it's OK."

Detroit is 24th in the NHL with 121 non-shootout goals and ninth in non-shootout goals allowed with 121. That's not the kind of goal differential normally associated with a team that brings a 25-16-8 record and a tie for second in the Atlantic Division into this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry Game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVA Sports).

"Goal differential is an output," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "We want to win hockey games, whether it's 2-1 or 7-1." 


from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Lightning set-up; on the Moms’ Trip

The Red Wings face the Tampa Bay Lightning in an "NBCSN Rivalry Night" game this evening (8 PM EST start on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and the Red Wings' "Moms' Trip" presents immense challenges for the Red Wings in terms of gaining ground on their Atlantic Division rivals:

The 27-18-and-4 Lightning have gone 8-and-1 in their past 9 games, and sit tied in points with the 25-16-and-8 Red Wings; Thursday's opponent, the 30-15-and-5 Florida Panthers, sit at 65 points, and have won 4 straight.

Detroit defeated Tampa Bay 3-1 on October 13th and 2-1 on November 3rd, and tonight's game reprsents the first of 2 meetings at the Amalie Arena; Tampa is most recently coming off of a 1-0 win over Toronto; the Wing went into the All-Star Break with a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders, and it's expected that Petr Mrazek will oppose Ben Bishop in the nets tonight.

The Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith duly noted that the Wings and Lightning are in similar straits as the stretch drive begins:

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Former Wings prospect Phillipe Hudon talks about his battle with OCD

This story hits close to home, and in the wake of Bell's Let's Talk day in Canada, I'd ask you to give the story of a former Wings prospect a read. From Concordia University's "The Link's" Saifa Ahmad:

Like many Canadians, Philippe Hudon has been playing hockey since the moment he learned to walk. Unlike most children, however, Hudon was very neat and organized.

“His room was always impeccable. I was never complaining [about] that actually,” said his mother, Ann-Julie Lebeuf.

Little did she know that this fascination with cleanliness and the need for order would spiral out into an experience that would change his life. Hudon was only 17-years-old when he realized he had “tics” and “obsessive-compulsive habits.”

“It was a force much stronger than myself,” Hudon said. “I consider myself a very mentally strong person, [but] it was something I couldn’t really bear. There were voices I had to succumb to.”

In December of 2010, the Stingers assistant captain was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD. This disorder is characterized by a desire to relieve distress by performing anxiety-reducing acts to appease subjective stressors. Because the individual feels less anxious after performing the act, the behaviour becomes reinforced and is eventually performed reflexively. OCD encompasses a variety of obsessions and behaviours. For instance, some people have an urge to compulsively wash their hands to reduce their anxiety over germs.

For Hudon, perfectionism was the focal point of his disorder.


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Articles from practice: Mrazek starts vs. TBL; Wings hope to score more, turn fewer pucks over

Updated 3x at 4:31 PM: The Red Wings' practice prior to tomorrow's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was particularly intriguing.

The beat writers reported that:

  • Detroit will go into tomorrow's game with their current six defensemen, but the team may recall a defenseman from Grand Rapids tomorrow;
  • Coach Jeff Blashill won't announce any sort of starting goaltender's rotation any more, naming the starting goalie on a game-by-game basis. Petr Mrazek starts Wednesday against Tampa Bay, but who starts against the Panthers on Thursday? We'll find out on Thursday;
  • Riley Sheahan is iffy for tomorrow as he's recovering from an illness, and that may yield Luke Glendening centering Nyquist and Tatar;
  • And "the moms" made their debut ahead of tomorrow and Thursday's back-to-back games against the Lightning and Panthers, which will constitute the "Moms' Trip."

The Lightning, who've won 8 of their past 9 games and 8 of 10 in January, are waiting for the Wings, too:

I know that the Twitter crowd was most interested in DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's picture Tweets of the moms:

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Griffins ‘first half awards’ and the weekly press release

Updated with SHL scores at 3:58 PM: Of Grand Rapids Griffins-related note:

MLive's Peter J. Wallner issued a list of Griffins awards at the AHL's All-Star Break, praising Robbie Russo, Anthony Mantha, Martin Frk and Jared Coreau;

And the Griffins filed their weekly press release, via RedWingsFeed:

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Practice Tweets: Sheahan returns to practice; moms debut

Updated 4x at 12:33 PM: Mrazek starts vs. Tampa Bay.

The Red Wings begin their post-All-Star Break schedule against a pair of particularly difficult opponents. On Wednesday, the Wings play the Tampa Bay Lightning, who've won 8 of their past 10 games, and on Thursday, the Wings battle the Florida Panthers, who've gone 8-3-and-1 over their past 12.

The Wings hit the ice for practice just before 11 AM, per MLive's Ansar Khan...

#RedWings file onto ice for practice. Sheahan skating after being sick for a few days.


#RedWings lines at practice:


Looks like they might be unsure of Sheahan's status for Wednesday's game, so they have Glendening on that third line for now.


Power-play units:
Tatar-Datsyuk-Helm (net front), Richards-Green
Larkin-Zetterberg-Nyquist, Abdelkader (net front), DeKeyser


Jurco (net front) and Pulkkinen got a couple reps on the Zetterberg power play unit.


No changes on defense:

The Free Press's Helene St. James...

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Jake Paterson named ECHL Goaltender of the Week

Via the Toledo Walleye and the ECHL:

Paterson named CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week

Jake Paterson of the Toledo Walleye is the CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week for Jan. 25-31.

The 21-year-old was 2-0-0 with one shutout, a 0.99 goals-against average and a save percentage of .966 in two appearances last week.

Paterson recorded his first career professional shutout on Friday, making 28 saves in a 4-0 win against Brampton and then turned aside 27 shots in a 3-2 victory over Quad City on Sunday.

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The Detroit Red Wings Need To Improve Their Power Play

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five points of emphasis for the Red Wings following the All-Star break:

1. Improve the power play

It has been a season-long struggle on the power play, which has shown no signs of improvement, going 5 for 32 in the past 12 games, which is below its season average of 17.6 percent (18th in the NHL).

The Red Wings are right up against the salary cap, so they're not likely to get any help at the trade deadline to improve in this area. They have the personnel to improve from within; they just need to execute.

They have all the players back from last season's power play, which ranked second at 23.5 percent, plus significant additions in Mike Green, Brad Richards and Dylan Larkin. So there is no excuse for the power play to struggle like it has.

more points of emphasis...

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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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