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Steve Ott reflects on his tenure as a Wing

From the Montreal Canadiens' Matt Cudzinowski, Steve Ott addressed his short tenure with the Red Wings while speaking with the media this morning, and Ott stated that his physical game will be on full display when the puck hits the ice tonight:

"Going back to Dallas or Buffalo or St. Louis, you play against your friends. They expect you to be you. That's the thing, I can be friends with them after the game, or still later on in life, but when the puck drops they expect you to play how you play the game," said Ott, who has one assist in six appearances with the Canadiens. "They would expect that, and I hope they would do the same thing."

Growing up in Windsor, ON just across the river from Detroit, Ott's childhood hockey heros were Hall-of-Famer Steve Yzerman and tough guy Bob Probert, so his connection to the Red Wings runs deep. Seeing the club struggle and be on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1989-90 is particularly tough for him.

"I know those guys over there are really taking it hard. It almost feels like you're letting down the city or the jersey or the players before you. They take a lot of onus on that. There's a proud dressing room over there with some great leaders with [Niklas] Kronwall and [Henrik] Zetterberg and Abby [Justin Abdelkader], and there's a lot of guys who've been there for a long time like Darren Helm and Jimmy Howard," said Ott, in reference to the Red Wings' remarkable run of 25 straight postseason appearances likely coming to an end soon. "When you have guys like that, that put a lot of pride into that streak, it's extremely disappointing and I know they feel it's a tough situation all around."

Cudzinowski continues, noting that Claude Julien appreciates Ott, and the Canadiens' website posted a clip of Ott's morning skate remarks:

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Filip Hronek named Saginaw Spirit’s MVP

From the Saginaw News's Hugh Bernreuter:

Detroit Red Wings prospect Filip Hronek took home several pieces of hardware Monday as the Saginaw Spirit named their award-winners from the 2016-17 Ontario Hockey League season.

Hronek was named the team's Most Valuable Player after finishing as the No. 4 scoring defenseman in the Ontario Hockey League. He also was named the team's best defenseman after finishing the season as the team's leading scorer and top-scoring defenseman.

In voting by the OHL Western Conference coaches, Hronek finished third as the top offensive defenseman.

Hronek finished the 2016-17 season with 14 goals, 47 assists and 61 points in 59 games played.

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Tom Anastos Steps Down As MSU Hockey Coach

from Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News,

Tom Anastos is stepping down as hockey coach at Michigan State, the university announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, athletic director Mark Hollis said the move is effective immediately and longtime assistant coach Tom Newton would serve as interim head coach while a national search is conducted.

“I want to thank Tom Anastos for the guidance he’s provided Spartan hockey over the last six seasons,” Hollis said in the statement. “He would be the first to admit that he wished there were more on-ice victories, but he built a program that was a great value to our community. His student-athletes were successful in the classroom and were great representatives of the athletic department and the university as a whole with their commitment to community outreach.”

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Red Wings-Canadiens game-day articles: Montoya vs. Howard; on Street’s call-up; Ott on Detroit

The Red Wings face the Montreal Canadiens this evening (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/Sportsnet East/RDS/97.1 FM), and the Habs' morning skate revealed that Al Montoya will start against Jimmy Howard, with Steve Ott skating against his former team.

The Wings didn't hold a morning skate, and their lineup won't be determined until warm-ups, adding a little intrigue to Ben Street's call-up from Grand Rapids on an emergency basis, but it's assumed that Frans Nielsen, who blocked a shot with his ankle last night, may not be able "to go" this evening.

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. Here's MLive's Brendan Savage's game-day update:

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The Red Wings honored their 2008 Stanley Cup Championship on Monday night

The Red Wings commemorated their 2008 Stanley Cup Championship last night, via a video, ceremonial puck drop and poster giveaway:

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On disappointment and a ‘rebuild on the fly’

Sportsnet's "Down Goes Brown"/Sean McIndoe penned a list of the NHL's "Most Disappointing Teams," and the :d Wings are in the middle of his list:

#7: Detroit Red Wings

The expectations: They'd be in a real battle to continue their playoff streak after squeaking in for 2015–16, and losing Pavel Datsyuk was going to hurt. A few pre-season predictions still had them making the playoffs, maybe out of force of habit as much as anything, but the consensus seemed to be that they'd fall just short.

But then: They didn't really come all that close, and will finish closer to 29th overall than to a wild card. If you're a Red Wings fan, is that worse? Would it have been better to see the streak end on the final weekend, or do you prefer to just rip off the band-aid as soon as possible and move on? It's hard to say, which is why the Red Wings wind up right around the middle of the pack.

Maybe next year: This is where it gets tricky. The Wings have started lurching towards rebuild mode, but with a so-so prospect pipeline and plenty of long-term contracts clogging up the cap, Ken Holland has his work cut out for him. Next year brings a new arena; it might also bring a new post-season streak, this time featuring consecutive misses.

I wouldn't call the prospect pipeline "so-so," but I'm biased there, and I believe that much depends on what the Wings do with this upcoming draft. With the Wings heading to a new arena, there's a ton of pressure on KH to make the kind of moves on defense and up front (with defense being particularly important) that ensure the Wings only engage in a one-year absence from the playoffs.

You don't want to start a team's tenure in a new, more expensive-to-sit-in stadium with another Season of Suck, and that's going to be incredibly difficult for Holland to avoid, but he probably has to do so.

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Red Wings-Canadiens morning skate Tweets and articles: Montoya vs. Howard(?); Ott in for Habs

Updated 3x at 12:34 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face the Montreal Canadiens this evening (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/Sportsnet East/RDS/97.1 FM) with the Red Wings hoping to rebound from a difficult loss to Buffalo, and the Canadiens eying a 3-game win sreak and a 10th win over a stretch of 12 games.

Detroit didn't hold a morning skate, but the Canadiens did hold a morning skate, so that's what this entry focuses upon.

The Montreal Gazette's Pat Hickey set up tonight's game with "Five Things You Should Know" about tonight's game. Among them:

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St. James: Red Wings recall Ben Street from Grand Rapids

Per the Free Press's Helene St. James, the Wings are banged-up, so they've recalled one of the Grand Rapids Griffins' better players:

The Red Wings confirm:

Here's the press release:

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Red Wings sign ‘landmark partnership’ with Labatt Blue

The Red Wings have signed Labatt Blue as a "Landmark Partner" at Little Caesars Arena:

LABATT BLUE SIGNS ON AS OLYMPIA ENTERTAINMENT, DETROIT RED WINGS LANDMARK PARTNER FOR FIVE YEARS AT LITTLE CAESARS ARENA

Labatt Blue becomes official and exclusive Canadian import beer of the Detroit Red Wings

Partnership includes naming rights in bars and clubs in Little Caesars Arena

Celebration of partnership to kick off with fan event on Friday, March 24 at Joe Louis Arena

DETROIT – Olympia Entertainment today announced that Labatt Blue, a pilsner beer imported from Canada, has signed on as a Landmark-level partner and will become the official and exclusive Canadian import beer of the Detroit Red Wings. As a Landmark partner at Little Caesars Arena, Labatt will have a branded Labatt Blue Zone bar on the main concourse, as well as sponsorship rights to the Labatt Blue Club located in the north end of Little Caesars Arena. Labatt Blue began its partnership this season and is currently the official Canadian beer of the Detroit Red Wings.

To celebrate the multiyear partnership, the Detroit Red Wings will host a Labatt Blue Night at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night, March 24 when the team takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning. This fan event will include:

  • A giveaway for first 7,500 fans 21 years old and over-- a 4x6 magnet replica of the Detroit Red Wings/Labatt Blue wall mural painted earlier this year by world renowned sports artist David Arrigo.
  • A visit from The Labatt Bear, who will take pictures with fans, do a t-shirt toss and offer a chance for fans 21 and over to win some additional Labatt Blue prizes.
  • One lucky fan attending the game will have a chance to upgrade their tickets to the lower bowl, courtesy of Labatt Blue. Keep an eye on the Detroit Red Wings Twitter account for details.

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Sabres wrap-up and Red Wings-Canadiens set-up

The Detroit Red Wings struggled at times and dominated at others during the course of a 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night, and Detroit had to take its frustrations with them as they packed up their gear and headed to Montreal for a battle against the Canadiens (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/Sportsnet East/RDS/97.1 FM), a team the Wings never win against in Montreal.

It kind of bugs me that the Sabres and Red Wings so precisely knew what happened to their respective teams, too, with Buffalo capitalizing on a slow Red Wings start and dominating the special teams battle (2-for-2 on the power play, 4-for-4 on the penalty-kill), as the Sabres told BuffaloSabres.com's Chris Ryndak:

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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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