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The Malik Report

Blame the benches

If we are to believe Don Cherry, Valtteri Filppula's injury had less to do with Andrew Shaw slew-footing Filppula and more with the inevitability of collisions and injuries when benches are on the same side of the ice:

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Filppula hurt during strange exchange at Red Wings’ bench

Updated 2x: The Red Wings have lost Valtteri Filppula's services thanks to a strange exchange with Andrew Shaw at the bench, after Shaw went after Henrik Zetterberg. Quoth Pierre McGuire: "Good Non Call."

Slew foot?


Update: MLive's Ansar Khan got a "no update" from Ken Holland.

Update #2: World of Isaac showed a clip of Filppula's shift, believes he was hurt beforehand:

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Two pre-game videos, one message

The Red Wings' video crew posted a video hyping Game 7 between the Blackhawks and Red Wings...

And here's what may or may not be the last Comerica Game Day Preview of the season:

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Brendan Smith compliments the Hawks’ competition level…And his own…I think…

I agree with Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji's suggestion that Wings fans need not deem Brendan Smith to be the next Jonathan "Shitbox" Ericsson (who, as it turns out, has developed into a pretty solid defenseman, even if it was three or four years later than people like you and me had hoped), but Kyle Quincey's mentee has been on the ice for...Well, the Detroit News's John Niyo says a stunning 16 goals against during the Wings' playoff run and 7 of the 12 (or 7 of 14 if you add the Hawks' penalty shot and empty-netter as goals against) that the Blackhawks have scored in this series.

Smith made some comments to the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Potash about his opponent's ability to rally from a 3-1 deficit, as well as his own ability to rebound from his defensive gaffes, that are either quite wise...Or are reminders that the Gamblin' Man still lives on his own planet from time to time. If not both.

"When their backs are against the wall, they push even harder. It's pretty impressive to see that,'' Smith said Wednesday after the Red Wings' morning skate at the United Center. ''A lot of those skill guys actually got a little chippy and try to work a little bit harder and fought battles a little bit more. It's impressive to see the competition level bump up that much more.''

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville often talks about his team's compete level. All coaches refer to it in some manner. But Smith provided an on-the-ice insight into what that really means. He knew the Hawks were competitors, but they were even more competitive than he ever thought.

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Red Wings-Blackhawks Game 7 game-day updates: Wings tweak power play as the cliche machine breaks

Updated 9x at 3:40 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face an uphill battle as they attempt to break Chicago's 2-game winning streak and purported momentum heading into Game 7 tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, post-game on FSD). The Wings headed to the United Center around 10:30 AM EDT, but didn't skate until after the Blackhawks took to the ice, and the Hawks held a "light" morning skate:

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Crawford, Howard’s playoff performances may have Olympic repercussions

In an ESPN Insider-only blog entry, Craig Custance suggests that the goaltender who wins Game 7 between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks tonight--Corey Crawford is Canadian, and Jimmy Howard's from upstate New York--will receive a significant boost to their portfolio in terms of attempting to earn a spot on their respective countries' 2014 Olympic teams. As Custance notes, it's all but certain that Wings coach Mike Babcock will reprise his role as Team Canada's coach, so he's seeing Crawford at his best...

Crawford was outstanding in Chicago's first-round series against the Wild, stopping 132 of 139 shots from Minnesota, good for a .950 save percentage. He has been solid against Detroit, registering a .924 save percentage in the conference semifinals.

Crawford's season nearly ended on an ugly note when Joakim Andersson's knuckler somehow got past him in Game 6, but he shook off the goal and kept the Blackhawks in the game the rest of the way.

With so many names in the mix for Canada, Crawford has an opportunity right now to show he can thrive in a pressure-filled Game 7 and keep the Blackhawks' season alive. If he can lead the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup this spring, it will be a huge statement that he can handle the pressure of huge expectations -- like Chicago has right now, and like Canada will have in 2014.

And Team USA executive Jim Johansson tells Custance that Howard's stock is on the rise:

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Red Wings-Blackhawks pre-Game 7 morning reading

The Detroit Red Wings will play for "all the marbles" in Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, with a post-game show airing on Fox Sports Detroit), and as many of you have told me, those of you without anxiety disorders are actually looking forward to this game.

Amongst this morning's pre-morning-skate news, with an emphasis on the morning skate being somewhat imminent...

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‘Red Wings Experience’ to serve as part of Downtown Hoedown, Detroit Grand Prix events/entertainment

From the Red Wings PR department:


… Wings Alumni McCarty and Redmond to Sign Autographs This Weekend …

Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings Experience presented by Coke Zero will appear at both the 2013 WYCD Downtown Hoedown outside of Comerica Park as well as the 2013 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix this weekend.

The DRW Experience mobile entertainment complex will be set up at the Downtown Hoedown on the corner of Elizabeth and Witherell near the Woodward Main Entrance on Friday, May 31, from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. and then 2:00 – 10:00 p.m. on both Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, of this popular country music festival.

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Red Wings-Blackhawks Game 7 set-up: players will thoroughly enjoy tonight’s game. Fans? Not so much.

The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of the teams' second-round series tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, with a post-game show on Fox Sports Detroit), and as I'm writing this, a slate of moderate-to-severe thunderstorms are lighting up the night and drenching Metro Detroit with rain.

They're rolling over Southeastern Michigan having originated in Chicago, and if we are to believe the betting odds, the experts and those who've deemed Michal Frolik's "historical" penalty shot call to be a brave and ballsy one, the mighty Blackhawks have regained their 2010 Stanley Cup Championship form, and on ice torn up by Tuesday's Rolling Stones and subject to an 83-to-85-degree day's worth of sticky, rainy weather outside the Madhouse on Madison, the Blackhawks will beat the odds and roll over the Wings like the storms are socking Southeastern Michigan, with the White Sox and Cubs in attendance, no less.

Hell, the Hawks' press had some giggles with Rolling Stones-themed questions and a hearty chuckle about the fact that the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News went with the same headline after Game 6--"Uh oh!"

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The Spur-like Red Wings?

USA Today's Kevin Allen, Sam Amick and Erik Brady gave the Red Wings a huge compliment by suggesting that their sustination of a superb level of play has a parallel in that of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, and while I'm not a basketball person, the compliment is quite sincere (and reminiscent of the Wings-New England Patriots comparison):

The Detroit Red Wings and the San Antonio Spurs play different sports in different leagues on different surfaces in different states, but make no mistake: They're the same team.

Or, more to the point, they're the same organization — gold standards of their respective leagues for a generation. The Red Wings are in the playoffs for a 22nd consecutive season, the Spurs for a 16th. Each has won four league championships over that span. And each is in contention for a fifth this postseason.

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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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