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Red Wings-Penguins preseason game-day updates: Nyquist vs. Crosby; ‘thoughts’ and…things

One note right at the bloody top because it's important: I have no idea whether the Red Wings are going to make cuts after tonight's game.

You would think that as the Griffins play exhibition games (against the Lake Erie Monsters) in Windsor on Friday and Indianapolis on Saturday, the Wings would make cuts; you would also think that the Wings' final two exhibition games in Toronto on Friday and Boston on Saturday will serve as "dress rehearsals," but Babcock been insistent about sticking with two groups to see if there are job-stealers among the A Team and B Team. We will have to wait and see what Babcock says today and tonight.

 

Update 2x at 11:42 AM: The Detroit Red Wings will battle the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/ROOT/NHL Network U.S. and 97.1 FM) in the team's final home exhibition game and 5th of 8 exhibition games overall. The Free Press's Helene St. James has already posted the roster for tonight's game:

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Red Wings early overnight report: on Smith, the Wings’ young defensemen, Alfredsson and Callahan

Updated with stories and well, art from SlapShotgoal...At 1:24 AM: The Red Wings play the Pittsburgh Penguins in their final home exhibition game on Wednesday night (7:30 PM, FSD/97.1 FM [edit: also ROOT and the NHL Network U.S. /end edit]), and according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Jason Mackey, we shouldn't expect to see Robert Bortuzzo, Evgeni Malkin or Olli Maata in tomorrow's game, but Sidney Crosby will play in the game after attending his grandmother's funeral in Nova Scotia.

The Penguins were in town a day early as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Minnesota Wild on Monday, and I know that Darren Dreger's report about Mike Babcock's contract negotiations received the most comments today (and yes, TSN's Dreger and ESPN's Pierre LeBrun addressed the report in the latest Insider Trading video)...

But there were some stories in the practice post in which Babcock made some telling remarks, and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted that Babcock issued significant praise in regards to Brendan Smith's performance during last night's 3-0 win over Toronto:

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Talking about (Griffins) assistant coaches

There's no polite way to say this, so I'll say it impolitely (after a day spent doing practice post stuff and prospect catch-up stuff):

Wings fans tend to find the most details about the team's assistant coaches on the days that they're hired and the days that they leave the team for other coaching opportunities. For whatever reason, while the coaches are on the job, they're more or less verboten in terms of interviews, and given both the magnitude of the changes that the Wings underwent this summer (losing both "bench assistants" and the assistant coach working video) as well as the ever-increasing importance of said coaches...

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Red Wings prospect catch-up post: on Hicketts, Nastasiuk, a pair of trades, Jensen and Nestrasil

I'm still updating the practice post--slow day for the beat writers, but the Penguins are apparently already in town ahead of tomorrow night's game (7:30 PM on FSD)--but my first day back after any illness (and this time it was the Training Camp Sinus Bug of Doom, and was it ever one of those, "The one time you don't Purell your hands after shaking hands with somebody, blammo! bugs) involves catching up with the Wings' prospects.

The Grand Rapids Griffins are actually holding training camp in Western Michigan, but their roster is very smalll because the Wings are going with two "teams" at least until tomorrow night's game, if not Friday's in Toronto.

In terms of prospect news, the biggest story obviously involved Joe Hicketts signing with the Wings a week ago Thursday, and the not-so-diminuitive blueliner spoke with the Victoria Times-Colonist's Cleeve Dheensaw about signing with the Wings:

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Dreger: Red Wings’ Holland, Babcock to talk contract turkey shortly

When I tried to make a joke about analytics at training camp, I got an, "I'm sick of talking about it; you're done" from Mike Babcock, and given his most recent comments to the press, I'm guessing that he's going to cut off questions about his contract that way quite shortly. Thankfully TSN's Darren Dreger reports that there's a reason he and Ken Holland have been quiet on the contract front--because the gents apparently plan on negotiating closer to the time period between the end of the exhibition season (Saturday night) and the start of the regular season (Thursday, October 9th):

[Edit: More Dreger: sounds like this is gonna be a get 'er done situation:

/end edit]

Update: The Hockey News's Adam Proteau's addressed Babcock's supposed "lame duck" status:

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Red Wings Tuesday practice post in progress: Nyquist progressing

Updated 13x at 5:17 PM: The Grand Rapids Griffins have actually "broke camp" with a roster of mostly AHL-contracted and ECHL-bound players, but the Red Wings won't split up the "A Team" and "B Team" exhibition game rosters until Thursday or Friday, so a pair of "teams" are still practicing at Joe Louis Arena.

MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the "A Team" includes two injured players who may play against the Boston Bruins tomorrow (7:30 PM on FSD) but excludes a third...

Gustav Nyquist (knee) on the ice as first group practices for Wings, those who didn't play last night.

...

Jonathan Ericsson not practicing for second day in row due to groin/hip flexor. Listed day to day. Helm skating again.

And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms:

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Petr Mrazek’s ‘fish story’

Last week I was sitting in the "press area" at Centre Ice Arena, and a gentleman wearing camouflage from head to toe happened to be editing pictures next to me. I asked him about his pictures and he informed me that he was actually a fishing guide for the Wings' players, and we got to talking about their fishing preferences.

He said that some of the pictures we've seen of Pavel Datsyuk or Jordin Tootoo involved catch-and-release efforts, but the Europeans preferred to eat what they caught (i.e. no "trophy fish").

Today, the Midland Daily News's Jake Vanhouten offers a fish story regarding the Wings' training camp endeavors, which were slowed but apparently not fully doused by the rainy weather at the time:

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Tomas Nosek’s hit on Stuart Percy was ill-timed, possibly ill-spaced?

During the Red Wings' 3-0 win over Toronto last night, Tomas Nosek got 5 and a game for this hit on Stuart Percy (which thankfully didn't result in an injury)...

And it instantly brought to mind this hit Teemu Pulkkinen made on Mike Kostka a year ago at this time--and Pulkkinen was suspended for the hit--making me wonder whether European players coming to the NHL assume that there's more space between the net and boards than there really is on an 85-foot-wider rink:

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Recap Of Detroit’s Win Over Toronto

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Nick Jensen was fast on his feet, and Petr Mrazek was quick with the glove.

The Detroit Red Wings prospects combined Monday to lead the team to a 3-0 preseason victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena.

Jensen, a mobile, puck-moving defenseman, scored a power-play goal and Mrazek made 27 saves for the shutout.

Riley Sheahan also scored on the man-advantage for Detroit (3-1-1), which killed seven Toronto power plays. The Red Wings haven't allowed power-play goal in the preseason (22 for 22).

"I couldn't believe all the penalties. We have to be more disciplined, I guess," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Don't know if they're trying to get their quota up during exhibition, don't know what it is exactly. I don't know if we needed that many, but obviously we got some work."

continued

Watch the game in six minutes below...

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Think Again If Using Pavel Datsyuk On Your Fantasy Team

from Sean Allen at ESPN,

To get you ready for your fantasy hockey drafts this season, we're going team by team with a look at what's changed for each team, along with a sleeper and a bust. Our first group up is the eight teams of the Atlantic Division:

Sleeper
Tomas Tatar, LW: Nyquist got all the headlines, but Tatar has been right behind him in development as a scoring-line forward in the NHL. As much as we want the Red Wings to all stay healthy and excel for the sake of fantasy owners, it's inevitable that Zetterberg, Datsyuk or Franzen will be hurt at some point. Added ice time to a dynamic player like Tatar could help him toward a breakout similar to that of Nyquist last season.

Bust
Pavel Datsyuk, C: It really is starting to feel like the injuries are adding up way too quickly with Datsyuk. He opted to rehab his knee without surgery last season, which leaves a leery feeling about potential re-injury, and as noted above, he's already sustained a serious shoulder injury. To get Datsyuk, you'll have to pass on someone like Logan Couture or Henrik Sedin in your draft. The risk is starting to feel like it's too great.

more on the Wings plust other teams in the Atlantic...

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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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