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Red Wings will send Gustavsson to GR for conditioning when he heals; whither Xavier Ouellet?

I'm scratching my bald head about this little ditty. Yesterday, Jonas Gustavsson practiced with the Wings, and he told MLive's Ansar Khan that he's more than willing to head to Grand Rapids to play with the Griffins to get his conditioning in order...

"Today I had more work than I did in the past, so it felt pretty good," Gustavsson said. "Still take it day by day, but I feel like I'm getting closer. I feel like I'm pretty strong in the shoulder, but just got to get the motion back. Then get more pucks and get back to game shape overall, too."

He'll head to the Grand Rapids Griffins for one or two games on a conditioning stint once he's cleared.

"It's not only to get the shoulder to work, it's to get my game overall back," Gustavsson said. "That's a good option, especially when they're so close to Detroit."

But even though the Free Press's Helene St. James reported that Xavier Ouellet's at least being told he'll be up with the Wings long enough to bring his dad on the Fathers' Trip, Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave had this to say about the balance of Ouellet's 2014-15 campaign:

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Babcock talks about mental illness and coaching philosophies with St. James

I'm not trying to milk this issue until it's blood-from-a-stone dry, but in addition to Mike Babcock's radio interviews yesterday, he spoke with the Free Press's Helene St. James about Bell Let's Talk day and mental illness...

"You say to yourself, maybe there is something I can do," Babcock said of his involvement. "To me, it's one of those things that, it's a scary, scary thing when you think of people going through it. If you're sitting at home, suffering in silence because you've got no one to talk to ... talk to someone who cares about you.

"I've never asked anyone for help in my whole life, where they didn't want to help."

For every text message, wireless and long-distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Alliant customers and for every tweet using #bellletstalk today, Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental programs.

Asked about trying to eliminate -- or at least reduce -- the stigma surrounding depression and mental illness, Babcock said, "I don't know why there's a stigma. We all got something with us that's a little screwed up, let's be honest. That's what makes you human. The essence of people are good. They want to help you. I believe that 100%."

And this video from St. James will...Well, Babcock's 5:51 worth of talking about his philosophies, admitting that he really does care about his players, his discussion about mental illnesses versus "character issues"...It's *#$%@& moving. As somebody who deals with severe depression and an anxiety disorder, this nearly got the room "dusty":

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On Wednesday, Mike Babcock placed his full support behind Bell Let’s Talk, giving 3 interviews

Better late than never: Red Wings coach Mike Babcock stepped up in a big way to promote Bell Let's Talk day yesterday; after speaking with TSN about his belief that mental illness does not equal personal weakness during the All-Star Break, Babcock appeared on three TSN radio stations to help promote mental health awareness on Wednesday--and in total, he spoke for about 45 minutes in the hopes of reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.

He started with TSN 690's Chris Nilan and Connor McKenna...

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Red Wings-Lightning game-day articles: Jurco’s in, Ouellet’s staying, Wings and Bolts talk respect

Updated 6x at 4:18 PM: The Detroit Red Wings tangle with the Tampa Bay Lightning in a "four-point game" (7:30 PM on FSD/FS Florida/97.1 FM), and as Paul noted, there were some "gray jersey" issues with the Wings' players this morning, but MLive's Ansar Khan reports that Tomas Jurco's returning from his back injury, and this is pretty cool:

Khan spoke with Tomas Jurco about his return--and other than the Jurco-in-Cleary-out swap (i.e. Jurco with Joakim Andersson and Drew Miller), the team's lineup will remain the same as it was on Tuesday:

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Red Wings announce that dedicated WiFi service will be available at the Joe

Any Red Wings fan who's been to the Joe knows that the WiFi system is spotty at best--even if someone happens to sneak the press box password to you--but today, the Red Wings announced that they're going to make significant improvements to their WiFi network:

OLYMPIA ENTERTAINMENT AND DETROIT RED WINGS ANNOUNCE FREE PUBLIC WI-FI NOW AVAILABLE FOR FANS AT JOE LOUIS ARENA
... Wi-Fi System to Enhance Fan Engagement, Provide Faster Uploads to Social Media, Allow Fans Easy Access to Red Wings Official App …

DETROIT – Olympia Entertainment and the Detroit Red Wings today announced the launch of free high-speed public Wi-Fi at Joe Louis Arena to improve reliability when sending and receiving phone calls and text messages, provide faster uploads to social media and enhance fan engagement when attending Red Wings games and Olympia Entertainment sporting and entertainment events at The Joe.

In partnership with SignalShare, the leading provider of mobile engagement solutions for mass audiences, and Extreme Networks, Inc., a leader in high performance networking, the Red Wings will officially unveil the new Wi-Fi system for fans at Joe Louis Arena when the team returns home from a two-game road trip on Saturday, Jan. 31 to face the New York Islanders.

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They Are Good, No They Are Good

from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,

The Lightning enter tonight's showdown with the Red Wings trailing by just one point atop the Atlantic Division.

But coach Jon Cooper made the pecking order pretty clear.

"People can say what they want, we're playing the best team in the league, the Eastern Conference right here," Cooper said. "I think everything goes through them. They're the real deal. This is a game to see where your'e at. That's how good I think these guys are."

But Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was pretty complimentary on Tampa Bay, too.

"Elite, elite skill," Babcock said. "They've built up a ton of young kids. They have a real special group. They have a real opportunity for a long run here it looks like."

While the Red Wings have a much richer history, having made the playoffs 23 straight seasons, Cooper said the organizations "mirror" each other more recently in terms of how they've been built, as well as their styles. Their minor league teams each won the Calder Cup in back-to-back years, with several of the players in the game tonight.

continued

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It’s A Gray Day At The Wings’ Skate In Tampa

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Sheahan wearing gray non-contact jersey as Wings file onto ice for skate. Not sure why. We'll see after the skate.

Helm also wearing gray jersey.

More news as it becomes available.

added 11:40am,

 

added 11:41am, via Khan tweet,

Lines:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader
Tatar-Datsyuk-Helm
Weiss-Sheahan-Glendening
Miller-Andersson-Jurco
Cleary rotating in.

added 11:44am, Khan tweet,

Defense is the same:
Ericsson-Kronwall
Quincey-DeKeyser
Smith-Ouellet
Lashoff/Kindl healthy scratches.

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Rivalry In The Making With The Tampa Bay Lightning

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings' move to the Eastern Conference in 2013 rekindled historic rivalries with Toronto, Montreal and Boston.

The Red Wings share no history with the Tampa Bay Lightning, who've been around for only 22 seasons. But this matchup has the potential to develop into good rivalry.

Tampa Bay is a talented, young team that appears well-positioned to be good for many years. The Red Wings believe they have enough young talent to help them remain competitive for the foreseeable future....

"I think once you start playing them in the playoffs, that's when the rivalry starts," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "When you go six or seven games against them, that's when you really start playing against them tough. That's when you get the anger. It gets a little more heated."

In one sense, these teams have met in the playoffs - in the 2013 Calder Cup final, when the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's AHL affiliate, defeated the Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay's top farm club.

read on with comments from both Jon Copper and Mike Babcock...

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Wings Need To Tighten Up Defensively

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

... the Detroit Red Wings continue to find ways to win, even when they're not operating at peak efficiency, which has been the case the past three games, victories over Buffalo (6-4), Minnesota (5-4 in a shootout) and Florida (5-4), clubs not currently in a playoff position.

That's too loose defensively for coach Mike Babcock's liking. The Red Wings face a much greater challenge Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

"Not enough details to my liking," Babcock said following practice Wednesday at Amalie Arena. "We got to improve our penalty kill, get on our toes. We got to shoot the puck more. We're going to have a real challenge tomorrow, no question about it, just the skill level and talent (on Tampa Bay).

"The other thing I like is Riley Sheahan is really becoming a player. That's important for us. I think we're getting better as a team; we have to continue to get better. We got to be much more mistake-free and tighter defensively and with our execution than we have been in this last little bit."

read on with more Detroit tidbits...

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Wings Skating In Tampa

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Lines:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader
Tatar-Datsyuk-Helm
Weiss-Sheahan-Glendening
Miller-Andersson-Jurco
Cleary rotating in

No changes on defense:
Ericsson-Kronwall
Quincey-DeKeyser
Smith-Ouellet
Lashoff-Kindl (IR)

Khan also noted earlier all four goalies were on the ice earlier.

added 2:10pm, via Khan,

Gustavsson looks close to returning. When he's cleared he'll go to Grand Rapids for a game or two of conditioning.

added 2:53pm, via Helene St. James tweet,

Babcock said Jurco ready to play Thursday, Kindl too but Babcock sticking with Ouellet on back end

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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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