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The Malik Report

Savage is talkin’ about the Red Wings’ road ahead

The Detroit Red Wings will play seven of their next eight and eight of their next nine games away from Joe Louis Arena, with a March 20th game against Minnesota and a March 31st affair against Chicago marking the team's only remaining home games until April.

This week's three-game road swing through Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver seems mild and moderate compared to the seven-or-eight-day and four-game road trip that includes a pair of "on the road and still on the road" games against Anaheim and then road tilts in Phoenix and San Jose in the last week of March, and the Wings' schedule is equally split between 7 home games and 7 road games (including two more "western swings") in April, so Detroit needs to figure out how to win on the road in a hurry.

MLive's Brendan Savage separated the injury news and/or Nyquist recall/Tatar demotion stories from an article very specifically discussing the Wings' road trip, and the Wings were blunt when speaking with Savage about the importance of turning their 3-5-and-2 road record around in a hurry:

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Red Wings Tuesday practice post: Nyquist up, Tatar down, Fil close, Helm better, it’s sink or swim

Updated 2x at 4:56 PM: The Red Wings chose to hold one final practice at Joe Louis Arena before embarking on their Western Canadian road swing through Calgary (on Wednesday), Edmonton (on Friday) and Vancouver (on Saturday), and perhaps from a Wings fan's perspective, it's "good news, bad news."

The bad news is that the Wings chose to send Tomas Tatar back to Grand Rapids, swapping him out for Gustav Nyquist. The good news is that the team did so to make room for Valtteri Filppula's return at some point during the road trip, as MLive's Brendan Savage reports...

"I think Filppula is back in so suddenly there's no power-play time for Tatar," coach Mike Babcock said. "You got to give Tats a ton of credit. He came up for one game ... and he earned himself 17 games. We'll give Gus an opportunity and see what he can earn himself. I thought (Tatar) played really good. I thought he did good things. The only thing is suddenly if you're not on the power play, where's he getting his touches? Because Filppula is going to do that. We don't perceive him ahead of Fil. Any way you look at it, that's less ice time for him and less opportunity. So we made that flip. (Nyquist) is getting an opportunity. We have an extra forward now. We need to take an extra forward on the trip. We'll see what happens."

Filppula told Savage that he's almost ready to return, though Savage notes that Filppula has yet to receive medical clearance to play after injuring his left shoulder over two weeks ago...

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Nyquist Up, Tatar Down

added 11:56am,

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday recalled right wing Gustav Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins and assigned left wing Tomas Tatar to the Griffins.

A native of Halmstad, Sweden, Nyquist has a three-point lead in the AHL scoring race with 60 points (23-37—60) in 57 games. The second-year pro saw a six-game point streak come to an end on Friday versus Hamilton, but the 23-year-old has racked up 15 points (6-9—15) over his last nine games, including four three-point outings. In 121 career games with the Griffins, Nyquist has recorded 122 points (46-76—122) and 52 penalty minutes.

A member of the 2012 AHL All-Rookie Team and a two-time AHL All-Star, Nyquist leads the Griffins in goals and assists, topping the 58 points (22-36—58) he registered in 2011-12.

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Shaky Wings and broken laptops

Greetings, dear readers...I've been absent for the past three days and am just calming down at 6 AM for a reason that I'll get to in a minute...

But I was asked to weigh in on this past weekend's games to ground this entry in hockey observations, and all I can say is this: if the Wings miss the playoffs, we'll look at the Wings' bombs against Columbus as the reason--just as much because the Blue Jackets have provided a blueprint for opponents to defeat the Wings via mild annoyance as opposed to St. Louis Blues-style mashing and grinding into pulp.

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What Would You Pay Jimmy Howard?

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal notes...

The Detroit Red Wings will have to buck up for Jimmy Howard this summer when he’s an unrestricted free agent. Is he worth Kari Lehtonen’s $5.9 million, which starts next season? That’s an overpay by the Dallas Stars. But I’d say Howard should go from $2.25 million to $5 million. They don’t have a backup. He’s their guy. You have to temper Detroit’s excellent first half because they have 14 road games left in their final 22 games.

read on for more hockey topics...

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Let’s Look At The Games This Week

Paul here while George continues to deal with a new laptop issue.

Instead of recapping the OT loss to Columbus today, I thought we could look at what's in the near future.

If unsure, let me tell you:

Wednesday In Calgary

Friday in Edmonton

Saturday in Vancouver

3 games in 4 nights on a tour of western Canada.

The way the Wings are playing right now, this trip could turn into the trip to hell and back or they could perform a compete turnaround and come back home with at least 4 points.

Sit tight folks, the next three games could be the make or break part of the season.

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0-for-36 Should Say Enough

Detroit fans probably have that number embedded in their brains by now...

from Anshar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings play 14 of their final 23 games on the road and need to win a fair share of them to get into the playoffs.

They're going to need a contribution from their power play. They haven't gotten it yet.

Following Saturday's 3-0 loss at Columbus, the Red Wings are 0-for-36 on the power play in 10 road games. They are the only club that hasn't converted on the man-advantage away from home.

They have the personnel. They've shown that at home, where they rank ninth in the NHL at 22.6 percent (14-of-62).


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Wings/Blue Jackets Recap

George picked a good day to deal with a computer issue with his new laptop so you have me with this recap.

I am going to make like Mike Babcock during his first period timeout and say nothing.

That's it, I have nothing to say about this game but on the other hand you may have a lot to talk about, so the floor is yours.

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Red Wings to hold ‘Fan Day at the Joe’ on April 6th

From the Red Wings' PR department:


… Fun-Filled Event Presented in Partnership with Meijer and Coca-Cola;

Free Tickets to be Given Away at Upcoming Events at Various Meijer Locations…

Detroit, MI…The Detroit Red Wings, Coca-Cola and Meijer have teamed up to present the 2013 edition of Fan Day at Joe Louis Arena from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 6. This year’s Fan Day at The Joe will feature photo opportunities with Al Sobotka’s famed zamboni, autographs and a Q&A session with former Red Wing Tomas Holmstrom, autographs from members of the Red Wings Alumni Association, multiple interactive hockey zones, an open skate (bring your own skates) and a wide variety of prizes and promotions for fans of all ages.

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Red Wings-Blue Jackets set-up and overnight report: second half begins; Griffins win ‘Purple Game’

The Detroit Red Wings begin the second half of their 48-games-in-99-nights demolition derby with a pair of games against the Columbus Blue Jackets today (2 PM EST, FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM) and tomorrow (5 PM EDT--yeah, spring forward, bleh--FSD/FS Ohio/AM 1270), and the Wings spent Friday's post-practice media availability suggesting that, all things considered, they're happy with the way the 2013 season's gone thus far.

Heading into game 25, the Wings possess a 12-8-and-4 record--essentially, they're at .500--and their 28 points are good for 4th in the Western Conference, likely the highest spot they can possibly finish given the Chicago Blackhawks' first-half record.

For all the Wings' dominant play of late, Thursday's 3-0 win over Edmonton and Tuesday's 2-1 win over Colorado included, the Wings flew to Columbus separated from the 15th-place Blue Jackets by all of 8 points, and the 9th and 10th-place Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators have 25 points.

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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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