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Kulfan speaks with Ken Holland regarding the Wings’ struggles

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the team's struggles, and Holland was blunt regarding the Wings' loss to Arizona on Tuesday:

“Certainly it was a disappointing loss,” said Holland of the 4-1 embarrassing defeat to the struggling Arizona Coyotes, one of the weaker teams in the NHL “It wasn’t good enough. We expected a lot better start. We know we have to be better. I expect us to be better (Thursday against Los Angeles). It wasn’t good enough.”

Overall, Holland expects the team to rebound, or is at least hoping that they will...

“We know we have to get playing,” Holland said. “With 30 points in 30 games, it’s not where we had hoped or expected to be. We know the importance of these next 20 games, or so, in the schedule. You want to play into a position where you’re (in the playoff chase)….These are important games.”

And in terms of possible trades? Well, Kulfan offers this:

Trades have been few and far between in the NHL this season, as most teams are handcuffed by the salary cap and contracts.

Teams are looking for top prospects or draft picks, in return, something Holland doesn’t want to deal. Though the trade deadline still two months away, Holland has been in contract with other GM’s.

“You’re always thinking about how to upgrade or change your team for the better,” Holland said. “I’ve had conversations with other managers. A lot of teams are strapped by salary cap. As the weeks get closer to the trade deadline, you’ll see more people working the phones.”

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Red Wings visit Children’s Hospital

The Red Wings visited Children's Hospital today...

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Wings Need To Find Their Game In A Hurry

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Thirty games into the season, in the midst of a long home stand, the Wings are floundering. They aren't scoring, so they aren't winning. In their last game, they looked like they weren’t even trying for the first 14 minutes. Their captain called it embarrassing. They have one point and two goals to show for the last three games. Now comes a revelation game Thursday, when they host the Los Angeles Kings (7:30, FSD). If the Wings don’t play well start to finish, if they don’t execute, it will be indefensible.

“We know the clocks are ticking,” forward Tomas Tatar said after today's practice. “You can't let any more games slip away. We just have to calm down. We know how to play.

“Our fans deserve better.”

Forward Frans Nielsen, one of the most introspective voices in the room, admitted to frustration because “we feel we are creating enough chances to score more goals. We’ve just talked enough about it now. Now it’s time to go out and do it. Just find a way.”

read on

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Who’s My Linemate Today?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar said it's not easy when lines are being shuffled this much but it's needed when players aren't producing.

"We have to change something," Tatar said. "We played together for a few games and didn't change, but when you score two or three goals the last few games it's just not enough, so we had to change something to try and generate some more offense."...

As much as Blashill and players want the lines to remain together to form chemistry, they feel changes are needed when the combinations aren't clicking. The Red Wings have scored just two goals in the past three games and rank 27th in the NHL at 2.23 goals per game.

"There's definitely a fine line (between keeping them together and shuffling)," Blashill said. "We've kept a decent amount of guys together ... at times in pairs. Tats and Z have played a number of games together. Nielsen, Larks and Glenny have played a number of games together. Nyquist and Vanek have played a number of games together.

"But when you don't get the results ... it's hard because from a chances standpoint, we are getting some chances, but as it goes and goes and we're not scoring, you got to say, 'Is there a better combination to score a little more without giving much more up?' That's what we're looking for."

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Practice Tweets: Lines tweaked as Wings search for answers

Updated 3x with a Blashill video at 2:29 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena subsequent to their 4-1 loss to Arizona on Tuesday, per the Free Press's Helene St. James...

MLive's Ansar Khan...

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Red Wings to honor law enforcement officers on Thursday

From WOOD TV "24 hour News 8":

More than 1,100 police officers and their families are expected to fill Joe Louis Arena Thursday as the Detroit Red Wings pay tribute to their service and sacrifice.

The game’s opening ceremony will be dedicated to honoring five Michigan officers killed in the line of duty this year, including Wayne State University sergeant and Kalamazoo County native Collin Rose, who was fatally shot last month. The team will also honor Berrien County Sheriff’s Department court security officers Ronald Kienzle and Joe Zangaro, who were killed in a courthouse shooting on July 11.

The Red Wings coaching staff will wear special law enforcement lapel pins during Thursday’s game. Proceeds from the matchup will benefit the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C., which is slated to open in 2018.

The Red Wings will face off against the Los Angeles Kings beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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Wallner: Griffins experiencing no problems putting pucks on net

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that the Grand Rapids Griffins aren't having the kinds of issues that the Red Wings are in terms of scoring goals:

The Griffins (14-7-1-2) with coach Todd Nelson have placed heavy emphasis on shooting as well, finding success in part with fewer penalties and an effective power play. That playbook has them second in the Central Division with the third-best record in the Western Conference.

Of course, different team, different league, different personnel. But it is the same organization.

"They're in good hands there; their coaching staff is very, very good," said Nelson, who said he speaks frequently with Wings staff. "What it comes down to is formulating your game plan and having your players executive it."

...
Nelson also discourages being too cute or too generous and favors volume. The Griffins have posted 40 or more shots seven times in 24 games and lead the league in shots (34.54).

The Griffins, in limiting their penalties (8.71 calls a game, the lowest by 1.7), have then capitalized with the fifth most power-play opportunities (109) and the second-best conversion rate (25.7 percent).

Overall, they are eighth in goals scored (3.21).

Wallner continues...

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The Cobo Roof will be closed on December 15th (Kings) and 17th (Ducks)

FYI from the Red Wings:

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All about Shane Berschbach

From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:

Christmastime is the season for sharing, but Walleye forward Shane Berschbach is always in the giving mood.

Berschbach, Toledo’s third-year playmaker, became the franchise’s all-time leader in assists on Sunday. In a 5-4 comeback win at Alaska, Berschbach picked up his 109th helper. He surpassed Walleye hall of famer Kyle Rogers’ record of 108.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” Berschbach said. “It’s an honor and it’s humbling. But I could not have done it without the players I’ve had around me. I have to give credit to them.”

Going back to his four-year college career at Western Michigan, Berschbach has always had nearly double the number of assists than goals.

“It’s just the way I’ve always played the game,” Berschbach said. “I was always taught not to be selfish. I’ve always been the setup guy, and I take pride in that. I started making plays at a young age. I see the ice well and I like to make plays.”

Monroe continues, noting that the Walleye have been absolutely dominant this season...

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Need To Be Better Becoming A Repetitive Theme For The Wings

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"We all know we're a better team than this," Detroit's Niklas Kronwall said. "It's one thing to lose if you've been playing well. It's another thing to lose when you really haven't been giving your best effort for 60 minutes."...

Zetterberg pins the blame on "the guys in here," not the coaching.

"We have to get together in here and come up with a better effort than that," he said. "We know where we are in the standings. We had a good opportunity to play good at home for five games. I thought we played decent maybe half of those three games. But it's got to be better if we want to be in this race."...

Now what?

"Same thing I said on Day 1 and continue to say: Let's learn from this game, let's get better tomorrow and let's go win a hockey game on Thursday (vs. Los Angeles)," Blashill said.

"The sense of urgency is going to continue to be real high. Is it frustrating? Sure. But we better put the frustration behind us because it doesn't do anybody any good."

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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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