The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings' prospects defeated the St. Louis Blues' prospects 2-1 on Monday night, advancing to the championship game of the prospect tournament. Detroit will practice at 11 AM and play the Carolina Hurricanes for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup on Tuesday at 7 PM EDT (on Fox Sports Go and DetroitRedWings.com).
Filip Hronek and Tyler Bertuzzi scored the Red Wings' goals against St. Louis, and Jake Paterson stopped 17 of 18 shots, looking especially sharp in the game's final period.
Team Europe defeated the Czech Republic 3-2 in overtime on Monday afternoon, all but ending the Czechs' World Cup run, and Petr Mrazek did his best to help the Czechs, but he surrendered 3 goals on 41 Team Europe shots...
For Team Europe: Tomas Tatar took 2 shots and levied 2 hits in 14:36, finishing at -1;
Thomas Vanek had an assist on Zdeno Chara's 1-0 goal, registering 4 shots and finishing at +1 in 15:41;
And Frans Nielsen had a giveaway, a takeaway and a 53% faceoff percentage in 17:56 played, finishing even.
Ahead of tonight's game between the Red Wings' prospects and the St. Louis Blues' prospects (7 PM EDT on Fox Sports Go and DetroitRedWings.com), the Red Wings' Twitter account posted a slick one-minute video in which Joe Hicketts, Kyle Criscuolo and coach Todd Nelson weigh in on the incredibly important game:
Justin Abdelkader will be playing alongside Patrick Kane and Derek Stepan when the U.S. battles Canada on Tuesday, and the news has pundits in a tizzy. Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski spoke with John Tortorella and Abdelkader regarding #89's promotion...
The thought is that Abdelkader, who scored 19 goals in 82 games for the Detroit Red Wings last season, has earned the lofty spot in the lineup, skating with Kane and Derek Stepan.
“I just think Abby needs to be moved up in our lineup. Where he was in a third- or fourth-line role, I think he’s going to get a little more ice time,” said Tortorella. “I just think Abby has given us some forechecking. As held onto the puck more than some other guys. He just deserves to play more.”
Lest anyone think that using a “fourth liner” like Abdelkader on a skill line will hinder the skill of someone like Kane, The Red Wings forward is quick to mention that he’s lined up with skills players throughout his tenure in Detroit.
“I’ve played with some good players in Detroit and it’s similar to him. You want the puck on his stick. But you can’t just think you’re going to throw pucks all the time at him. It’s the right opportunities. I think we’re a better team when Patrick Kane has the puck on his stick, that’s for sure,” he said. “Wherever [Tortorella] uses me, wherever he puts me, I’ll be ready. I’m not going to change anything with my game. That’s how I play. I feel like my game I can play anywhere in the lineup and contribute. I’ll be ready for whatever comes.”
Within a minute of play, Petr Mrazek went from heroic to pedestrian and back, via @myregularface on Twitter:
Updated 2x at 5:15 PM: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan spoke with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill regarding several training camp-related topics, including the fact that the Wings aren't going to be at full strength due to the World Cup of Hockey (see: Justin Abdelkader, Alexey Marchenko, Petr Mrazek, Tomas Tatar, Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek) and injuries (Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen)...
“We knew we’d be missing a significant number of players,” said Blashill with the Red Wings having seven players in Toronto and another four with injuries. “That part doesn’t change. We have a few extra injuries to deal with, but we had already set the structure to be a little bit different.”
Updated 2x at 5:20 PM: As noted earlier this afternoon, the Free Press's Helene St. James and the Wings' beat writers spoke with Niklas Kronwall regarding his troublesome left knee, and St. James offered a text update as well...
Niklas Kronwall milled about in the Detroit Red Wings’ locker room today, unable to partake in an informal skate because of lingering pain in his left knee that has become a part of his daily life.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be pain-free, but hopefully, I’ll be able to be out there in a position where it doesn't bite as much,” Kronwall said. Similar to what he said at the end of last season, there's no real surgical option.
“The surgery that was talked about was something that probably wouldn't be the best idea if I wanted to play again,” he said.
Kronwall doesn't know when he might be ready to practice, much less play. All the coaching staff can do is wait for his signal.
“I think once he pulled out of the World Cup, our goal wasn't necessarily to have him ready for Day One of training camp,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “It was have him Nik Kronwall ready to play and be a big impact in our first game. It takes build-up to get there.”
St. James continues, and she posted a video of Kronwall's comments...
The Red Wings' prospects took part in a spirited practice ahead of tonight's game against the St. Louis Blues (7 PM EDT on Fox Sports Go and DetroitRedWings.com), mostly focusing on breakouts and the power play two days after being shut out by the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Wings hit the ice at 11:30, and the likely scratches lingered on the ice until almost 1 PM, working on shooting drills and plain old enjoying themselves, which was good to see.
Coach Todd Nelson's drills were to-the-point today, emphasizing quickness and better structure, and the players were very receptive to the instruction they received from Nelson and Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coaches Bruce Ramsay, Ben Simon and Mike Knuble.
From the Free Press's Helene St. James:
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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.