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Consistency Will Be The Key For Petr Mrazek

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: Mrazek had a strong first full season in the NHL and was probably the team MVP, along with rookie Dylan Larkin.

But it wasn't without many bumps along the road. His performance during the second half inexplicably dipped for the second year in a row. It raises questions about his consistency and ability to carry a heavy workload at this level (he appeared in 42 and 41 games, respectively, between Detroit and Grand Rapids the previous two seasons).

After losing his starting job to Jimmy Howard late in the season Mrazek regained it in Game 3 of the playoffs vs. Tampa Bay and flourished, but the team didn't score enough.

Mrazek's strengths are his athleticism and his mental toughness and confidence, which didn't appear to wane through his struggles. He also is a good puck-mover, which helps the defense....


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Duff discusses the 2017 Memorial Cup

The Windsor Spitfires are hosting the 2017 Memorial Cup, and on Thursday, they unveiled the 2017 Memorial Cup logo. The Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Spitfires players about their excitement for the tournament, which awards a guaranteed spot to the host city's CHL team:

As he stood next to the newly unveiled logo for the 2017 Memorial Cup, the event grew another touch larger in the looming mind of the Windsor Spitfires goaltender Mike DiPietro.

“You hear everything about the Memorial Cup’s coming to Windsor, but it’s things like this when it finally starts to sink in,” DiPietro said. “It gets you more excited to start the season.”

There’s a pot of gold awaiting the Spitfires at the end of the Ontario Hockey League season. As hosts of the Memorial Cup, they are guaranteed a spot in the four-team tournament.

“I know we’re already there — you want to look ahead but you don’t want to look too far ahead,” Spitfires forward Gabe Vilardi said. “We’ve got to focus on the season first. Obviously we’re already in but it’s still a take it one day at a time kind of thing.”

Continued, and Duff reports that the Memorial Cup tournament will take place from May 18th to 28th at the WFCU Centre...

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Evening news: CHL games underway; profiling Kyle Criscuolo, and praise for Blash from Andersson

Of disparate Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. In game action(!), Axel Holmstrom's Skelleftea AIK lost 3-2 to the Vienna Capitals in Champions Hockey League action. Holmstrom's still about a month away from skating as he rehabs a torn ACL;

2. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji profiled Grand Rapids Griffins forward Kyle Criscuolo:

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Abdelkader, Larkin fly with the Breitling Jet Team

Red Wings forwards Justin Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin flew with the Breitling Jet Team at Willow Run Airport on Thursday, and the pair were dazzled by the experience, as they told MLive's Ansar Khan...

"Flying in formation was amazing," Abdelkader said. "I was fortunate to be in the lead jet, so I could look over the wings and see the rest of the team on the sides. Really unique, really great. We flew about 10,000 feet. Just doing the barrel rolls and looking over and seeing planes 10 feet from each other was pretty cool."

The pair experienced typical maneuvers that the Breitling Jet Team will perform Saturday and Sunday during the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show at Willow Run Airport.

"These guys did fantastic," Kevin Walsh, event director for Thunder over Michigan, said. "Someone said, 'They're hockey players, they should be able to handle this stuff.' This is such a different experience than you've ever experienced playing hockey. They came back, had good color, a little sweaty, but that's the way you should be after doing some aerobatics in a Czechoslovakian fighter jet."

Khan continues, and adds short videos to the mix...

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Gordie Howe’s family wants to inter Gordie and Colleen’s ashes in Saskatoon

From the Canadian Press:

The family of hockey great Gordie Howe wants to return Mr. Hockey to his home. A city official says the family has requested that the cremated remains of Howe and his wife Colleen be interred at the base of a statue that honours him in Saskatoon.

Catherine Gryba says the city will have to apply to the province to have the statue at SaskTel Centre and a small portion of adjacent area declared a cemetery. Gryba says it would be a fitting tribute to someone who always remembered his roots.

Howe was born in Floral, Sask., but his family moved nine days later to Saskatoon, where he grew up before embarking on a record-setting hockey career in the United States. He died on June 10 at the age of 88.

"It's only appropriate that we do what we can to remember this great athlete, Saskatonian and Canadian," Gryba said in a release Thursday.

"We've been speaking with the Howe family and will take the appropriate steps to safeguard and respect Gordie and Colleen's ashes," she said. "They will be encased in a special concrete vessel with a commemorative plaque on top to protect them."

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An Outsider’s View On The Wings

from Tarik El-Bashir of CSNMid-Atlantic,

... So, yeah, the Red Wings were indeed busy this summer (even though Holland did not sign the top-4 defenseman the lineup so desperately needs). But it’s unclear if they took a step forward or another step toward the inevitable.

I’m going with the latter. 

Season prediction: It’s not all bad for the Winged Wheel, I guess.

The roster does boast Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist, a pair of productive forwards in their mid-20s. And there’s a trio of up-and-coming players in Dylan Larkin, Petr Mrazek and Danny Dekeyser.

Larkin, who is expected to transition to center this season, has the potential to be a big time player. When Mrazek is on his game, he sure looks like a No. 1 goalie. And Dekeyser, assuming his upward trajectory continues, should develop into a solid top-pairing D-man.

With a handful of prospects knocking on the door, as well, the Red Wings need to stop reaching for the stopgap solutions and fully commit to a youth movement. Perhaps seeing The Streak come to an end will force them to (finally) decide it’s time.


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As Johan Franzen returns to Metro Detroit, AWood40 recalls Franzen’s playoff goals

Johan Franzen is back to mischief-making on Instagram...

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Morning mishmash: A season preview, praise of a sort for DeKeyser, Samuelsson on TV and Twitter news

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. CSN Mid-Atlantic's Tarik El-Bashir penned a Red Wings season preview, and he believes that the playoff streak is a millstone around the Wings' necks...

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Grand Rapids Griffins sign Louis-Marc Aubry to AHL deal, ink Connor Allen

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins have signed forward Louis-Marc Aubry and defenseman Conor Allen to one-year contracts. 

Aubry, 24, enjoyed a breakout year with the Griffins in 2015-16 by setting career highs in points (12-17—29), goals (12), assists (17), penalty minutes (87) and games played (75). The 6-foot-4, 212-pound winger also chipped in one goal while playing in all nine Calder Cup Playoff contests.

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Wings preseason tickets go on sale Friday

From the Red Wings:

... Puck Drops for “Farewell Season at The Joe” with Preseason Slate Featuring Games Against Three Original Six Opponents and the Stanley Cup® Champion Pittsburgh Penguins …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that tickets for all 2016-17 preseason home games for the “Farewell Season at The Joe” will go on sale Friday, Aug. 19 at 10:00 a.m. Detroit’s four preseason home games feature a game against the Stanley Cup® Champion Pittsburgh Penguins (Tuesday, Sept. 27) and three games against Original Six rivals, including the Boston Bruins (Friday, Sept. 30), Chicago Blackhawks (Sunday, Oct. 2) and Toronto Maple Leafs (Saturday, Oct. 8).

Red Wings preseason tickets can be purchased at the Joe Louis Arena Box Office (313-471-7575), all Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) outlets and online at http://DetroitRedWings.com


The Red Wings’ full preseason schedule can be found below:

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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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