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Mantha < Athanasiou? Not necessarily so

1. Yes, a prospect catch-up post is coming. Last week was an adventure.

2. This is one of those articles that makes me make a scrunchy face.

You may or may not know this,but Andreas Athanasiou is absolutely blossoming like a cherry tree in May while playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins, and "Darren Helm with hands" has most certainly earned the gushy praise of his coach, Jeff Blashill, and the respect of teammates and opponents alike as the Griffins' #1 center.

He's been nothing less than fantastic, the "straw that stirs the drink" and the team's hardest worker (which is a helluva thing to say given how many hard workers the Griffins have).

I do not, however, agree with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner's suggestion that Athanasiou's superior performance (11 goals + 13 assists = 24 points in 33 games; Athanasiou missed time with a broken jaw) + Anthony Mantha's struggles as a professional rookie = Athanasiou has leapfrogged Mantha on the depth chart:

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Red Wings-Ducks game-day updates: HSJ: Zetterberg ‘doubtful,’ Pulkkinen game-time decision

Updated 13x at 3:18 PM: Via TSN, USA Today's Kevin Allen discussed the Red Wings' trade deadline options, and you know this...

Detroit Red Wings: They are looking at veterans defensemen but have made it clear they won't deal prospects Dylan Larkin or Anthony Mantha or their first-round pick. They would consider trading for the Edmonton Oilers' Jeff Petry or the Phoenix Coyotes' Zbynek Michalek at the right price. Petry has played well enough of late to increase his value.

As for tonight's game between the Red Wings and Ducks (10:30 10:00 PM on FSD/FS West/Sportsnet/NHL Network/97.1 FM), the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Wings will not hold a morning skate, and as such, she's hedging her bets regarding Henrik Zetterberg (head) and Teemu Pulkkinen's (leg) respective availabilities:

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Late-night post practice update: Pulkkinen, Zetterberg ‘questionable’ for Wings-Ducks affair

My apologies for the lateness of this update; nobody "pretends" to have frostbite.

In any case, ahead of this week's "Games You May or May Not Watch" (a.k.a. Monday night's tilt with the Ducks @ 10:30 PM EST, Tuesday's game in Los Angeles @ 10:30 PM EST, Thursday's game in San Jose @ 10:30 PM EST and Saturday's game in Nashville @ 8 PM EST), the Wings did indeed practice witout both Teemu Pulkkinen and Henrik Zetterberg on Sunday afternoon.

MLive's Ansar Khan covered Pulkkinen's status...

Rookie right wing Teemu Pulkkinen also didn't practice Sunday. He said his status will be determined on Monday as well. Pulkkinen injured his leg on a hit from Jordie Benn (Jamie's brother) with 4:42 to play in the first period. He returned at the start of the second period and finished the game.

"One guy hit me and it hurt just a little bit in my leg, so we'll see here how it feels tomorrow," Pulkkinen said.

And the Free Press's Helene St. James updated Zetterberg's status (Jamie Benn played in Sunday's Wild-Stars game after punching Zetterberg in the face repeatedly, but at least Dallas gave up 6 third-period goals to Minnesota and lost 6-2)...

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An Early Afternoon Skate In Anaheim

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Zetterberg not practicing today. Ken Holland had no update on his condition an hour ago. Quincey also not skating.

Pulkkinen also not skating today but he is here. He appeared to hurt his leg in the first period last night but finished the game.

Updates to this post as needed.

added 4:12pm, via Khan,


added 4:20pm, Khan again...

No changes to D pairs:

added 4:40pm, Khan...

First power play unit is Datsyuk, Nyquist, Tatar. Abdelkader (net front) and Kronwall.

Kindl back on 2nd power play unit in place of DeKeyser. He joins Sheahan, Jurco, Weiss and Helm (net front).

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Khan’s Mailbag

Ansar Khan of Mlive answered some questions from readers...

Q: With all the trade talks, why is Monster (Jonas Gustavsson) never mentioned? With (Petr Mrazek's) emergence and Jimmy Howard back I can't understand why the Wings don't try to move him. There has to be some team in need of a goalie to make a playoff push and I would think Monster would jump at the chance to showcase himself for this summer's free-agent market. A prospect or draft pick should do the trick.

A: I don't think they would get anything more than a sixth- or seventh-round pick for a backup goalie who hasn't started an NHL game since Nov. 5.

If that's the case, why not keep Gustavsson for insurance, in case Howard is injured during or right before the playoffs and Mrazek falters? I'd rather have Mrazek playing regularly in Grand Rapids and getting some more valuable playoff experience there than watching games from Detroit's bench.

Q: I was wondering if Johan Franzen has to retire due to concussion issues, does his salary still count against the salary cap for the entire duration of his contract or would it not count if he retires? If it does count against the cap, could they just keep him on LTIR indefinitely instead of formally retiring so that they could save some cap space?

A: If Franzen retires, the Red Wings would face a cap recapture penalty based on his salary for each of the remaining five years. The exact figure would depend on when he retires, but I believe it would be in the range of $1.5 million per season, according to the cap recapture calculator on capgeek.com, before the site closed down.

If they kept him on long-term IR for the duration of the contract they would get cap relief, much like the Flyers are doing with Chris Pronger and Boston with Marc Savard.

But it's far too soon to speculate about his career possibly being over.

more Q & A....

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Videos- Babcock, Kindl And Kronwall Post-Game Reaction

Mike Babcock post-game said the Wings/Stars game reminded him of a game from the 1980's.



Below watch Jacub Kindl and Nick Kronwall after the game...

added 10:13am, Watch Lindy Ruff post-game below...

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Quick take, Red Wings vs. Stars: Cheaters win

The Detroit Red Wings' 7-6 win over the Dallas Stars was wild, woolly, insanely bipolar and completely, totally unnecessary should the Wings have even marginally showed up mentally.

[Edit: FYI:

/end edit]

In a game where the winning goalie pitches a 2-save shutout, Jakub Kindl has 2 goals, Detroit goes down 10, 4-2, and 6-4 but wins--despite three incidents in which Dallas scored goals with Stars players impeding Jimmy Howard, and Detroit ties the game with Justin Abdelkader shoving Kari Lehtonen...

This game was baffling, infuriating, a 4-point effort for Pavel Datsyuk, a ridiculous farce by the officiating crew, an astonishing display of the Stars' courage, and in terms of the recap, I wrote most of the 3rd period stuff while the Wings were down, but I'm not editing a word or taking any of it back, because it's how I felt, it's how crazily the game went, and it speaks to what an insane experience this was.

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St. James, Khan, Kulfan: Red Wings lose Henrik Zetterberg to ‘upper-body injury’

During a game in which the Dallas Stars have mashed, crashed and otherwise impeded the Red Wings' goaltender, the Red Wings have also lost their captain, most likely to the punches and shoves of Jamie Benn:

Update: Rut roh:

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Wings More Interested In An Upgrade Than Depth As The Trade Deadline Approaches

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Pro scouts for the Detroit Red Wings are putting in the last few days worth of evaluations as the NHL trade deadline approaches. But unlike two of their Atlantic Division rivals, there's no desperation around the Wings.

The team begins a five-game road trip with a date tonight against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center, fresh off having beaten, for the second time this season, the Chicago Blackhawks, a favorite to win the Stanley Cup. The Wings have solid footing as a playoff-bound team, and that's why general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that if he does anything before March 2, it'll be an upgrade. He doesn't need depth.


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Video- Ken Kal’s Game Day Preview

via the Detroit Red Wings YouTube page,

Featuring - Ken Kal, Coach Babcock, Brendan Smith, Tomas Tatar, and Jakub Kindl.


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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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