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Post-practice articles: Datsyuk slowly getting up to speed; Richards, Green, Quincey out

Updated 4x at 2:08 PM: The Red Wings practiced this morning with Pavel Datsyuk in tow--until the contact drills, anyway--but they were without Brad Richards, Mike Green and Kyle Quincey, who are out with a back issue that Richards is having checked out in New York today, an "upper-body injury" that will sideline Green for 2-3 weeks and concussion issues for Quincey, respectively.

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa empahsized the positive in discussing Datsyuk's mini-return, mostly from a joking Datsyuk as well..

"My conditioning is unbelievable!" he said, repeating a question and exaggerating his already accelerating breathing to dramatically huff-and-puff – demonstrating the issue with which he now mostly grapples: conditioning.

But his mood was good, and Datsyuk's smile was flashing. Datsyuk's surgery to repair ruptured tendons in his right ankle -- an injury he played through, with considerable pain last season – was four months ago.

"Sometimes I feel better," Datsyuk said. "I feel better when I start to skate, but it's hard to keep pace, good pace, when the team skates fast. I feel more confident, but it's not close yet."

While the timetable is the same, Datysuk said, "Every day, it feels better and better."

He said he would continue to skate with the team, "when I have a chance." But mostly, he will continue to drill on his own.

The Free Press's George Sipple confirmed Datsyuk's comments...

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Khan, Wakiji: Green out 2-3 weeks with ‘upper-body injury,’ Quincey out with concussion

From MLive's Ansar Khan:

And DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

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Practice Tweets: Datsyuk skating with team; Green, Richards, Quincey absent

Updated 5x at 12:26 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice just prior to 11 AM this morning to practice ahead of tomorrow's game against the Carolina Hurricanes, and MLive's Ansar Khan noted that Pavel Datsyuk hit the ice first:

Wings filing onto ice for practice. Datsyuk is skating. If he stays it will be his first practice with team this season.

Le sigh:

Green, Quincey and Richards not skating.


Wings doing some east-west sprints near start of practice and Datsyuk is participating.

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa reported for duty...

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Morning news: On Larkin’s ‘slides,’ Original Stix and a charitable reminder

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

Going into their ninth game of the season, the Red Wings aren't likely to demote Dylan Larkin to the Grand Rapids Griffins before game 10 to ensure that his entry-level contract "slides" for another season, but TSN's Frank Seravalli duly notes that Larkin's among a group of rookie players whose fates are in various stages of NHL or AHL/Major Junior-bound existence:

Half of the 12 rookies still on NHL rosters who are eligible for the "slide rule" will reach their 10th game this week. Eligible players on entry-level contracts may enjoy a nine-game tryout before a 10th game tolls the first year of their contract. We know for sure Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel aren't going anywhere. The same is likely true for Dylan Larkin. What about Sam Reinhart, Nik Ehlers and Noah Hanifin? All three of those players are projected to hit 10 games on Thursday night. Buffalo sent Reinhart back to Kootenay last year after 9 games, but this would be his fifth season of junior hockey, making that choice rather unappealing. Hanifin, 18, has four points this year, but is only playing 13 minutes per night. One other game to watch: Penguins at Canucks (Nov. 4). Three players (Jake Virtanen, Jared McCann and Daniel Sprong) would all hit their 10th game that night. This is the week we could start to see players going down. GeneralFanager.com has a complete list of slide players here.

Also regarding Larkin, Jeff Blashill shifted Larkin to center to play center with Tomas Tatar and Teemu Pulkkinen, but NHL.com's Brian Compton duly notes that Larkin experienced no drop-off in play after exiting Henrik Zetterberg's line:

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Topics Of The Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

Injuries, especially on defense, raise concern

The Red Wings expect to learn more in the next day or two about the status of a trio of players injured during their Western Canada trip – defensemen Mike Green (apparent shoulder injury) and Kyle Quincey (concussion protocol) and center Brad Richards (back).

Rookie Dylan Larkin has performed splendidly on a line with Zetterberg and Abdelkader and has looked good the past two games, in Richards' absence, centering a line with Tomas Tatar and Teemu Pulkkinen.

If Green and Quincey remain out, Alexey Marchenko will continue gaining NHL experience.

Improving shots differential

They've played only eight games, so maybe it's too soon to be alarmed by their low shot totals (24.1 per game, last in the NHL) and bad shots differential (minus-9, worst in the league).

But it is disconcerting for a team that has prided itself on puck possession and it's not conducive to long-term success.

They have spent too much time chasing the puck, too much time in their own zone, where the problem starts due to their difficulty breaking out cleanly and with speed. Forwards probably need to do a better job of being in position to receive passes and get through the neutral zone with speed.

Once they're in the offensive zone, they've had too many one-and-dones, where they take a shot (which is sometimes blocked or fired wide) and they're unable to retrieve the puck and the play is going back the other way.


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Prospect news: Van Pottelberghe stops 24; Turgeon scores 2 goals, adds assist

Of prospect-related note this evening:

In the Swedish J20 SuperElit league, Joren Van Pottelberghe stopped 22 of 24 shots as Linkopings HC defeated Malmo 3-2;

In the QMJHL, Adam Marsh didn't register a point on 3 shots as his Saint John Sea Dogs dropped a 4-3 OT decision to Moncton;

In the WHL, Dominic Turgeon scored 2 goals and added an assist in the Portland Winterhawks' 5-0 win over Brandon. Turgeon was named the game's second star;

And in the BCHL, Chase Perry sat out the Wenatchee Wild's 8-0 win over Surrey.

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On a Wings team in transition

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

MLive's Ansar Khan offers the reason why I'm not worried about the Red Wings despite the team's 4-3-and-1 record--the way that this team has responded to its own hiccups adjusting to Jeff Blashill's coaching/systems, players in different roles and the usual litany of injuries. The coach put things best after Detroit's 3-2 OT win over Vancouver:

"I think the big part of becoming a real good team is growing as a hockey team," Blashill said. "I think you learn from lots of things. You certainly better learn from adversity. We talked about two things being real keys to success and that's the inner drive and perseverance, showing up to work every day and persevering through tough times. We've had a little bit of both, a tough stretch here, and I thought we showed great perseverance in the third and found a way to win."

Now they must carry over their third-period effort into Tuesday's game against Carolina at Joe Louis Arena, when Jimmy Howard starts in net. Oddly, it will be their third meeting against the Hurricanes in nine games. The teams split, but Carolina played much better overall, with a cumulative 83-39 edge in shots on goal.

"Confidence is a big thing and I think winning can breed confidence," Blashill said. "How big it was, we'll help determine that by how we play on Tuesday. It's a relentless nature in sports where you've got to continue to be at your very best. We're going to have to follow this up with a great performance on Tuesday and then continue from there. But we were staring at one point out of six going into the third period (Saturday) and we were able to get three on the trip. It's not what we wanted, but it's certainly better than one."

The Globe and Mail's James Mirtle offers the reasons why I'm worried about the Wings, despite their responses to adversity, after 8 games, offering this take on an "honorable mention" added to "six NHL teams that could be doomed by slow starts to the 2015-16 season":

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Video- Extended Highlights, Wings/Canucks

Thanks to awood40...


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Mid-day mishmash: Praise for Zetterberg, trivia, rookie power rankings and Franzen’s lucky charm

Updated at 2:07 PM: The Red Wings are returning to Metro Detroit today...

So news items are at a premium. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan took note of some of the comments delivered toward Henrik Zetterberg after last night's 3-2 OT win over Vancouver...

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The Detroit Red Wings Found Some Fire

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The way they played for much of the past 4-5 games was unlike the Red Wings.

Players said those sentiments were expressed in what apparently was a heated dressing room during the second intermission in their final stop of a three-game Western Canada trip.

The fire was lit. The Red Wings were a much better team in the third period, scoring twice to tie the game, and then defeating the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Gustav Nyquist's goal at 3:50 of overtime.

The Red Wings (4-3-1), who were outskated, outplayed and outshot badly for 40 minutes, snapped a four-game winless streak and gained three of a possible six points on the trip.

"Had a talk in here about losing four in a row," Nyquist said. "We got to go out there and win some battles, that was the biggest thing. We skated hard, we out-battled them and won more pucks and wanted it more.

"Losing four in a row shouldn't happen for this team. It's not acceptable. How we played in the last four games, it's not how we play as a team. I think in the second (intermission) we really addressed that and guys really showed up in the third. This time it worked. Most nights it probably won't work to just play real hard in one period, we got to start on time. But this will give us energy for sure coming back home."

read on

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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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