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About ‘The Russian Five’

The Hockey Writers' Tony Wolak spoke with Joshua Riehl, the director of an upcoming film about the Russian Five, regarding his project:

Tony Wolak: You’ve interviewed a number of great hockey minds and NHL Hall of Famers. Were there any stories that came out – perhaps some that were previously unknown to the general public – that made you think, “Wow, that’s incredible…”?

Joshua Riehl: Before we started sitting these guys down and interviewing them, I had done some pretty extensive background research. Having Keith Gave, who was the beat writer for Detroit Free Press during this era of Red Wings hockey, as a producer really helped. I read everything I could get my hands on and wanted to be fully prepared so that I could dig around for those kinds of stories that the average fan might not know about. That said, there were a couple of stories that I had either never heard before or only had partial or unconfirmed details. Some of those stories are going to be pivotal plot points and scenes in the documentary and, I hope, help finally deconstruct some of the misconceptions about the Russian Five.

Wolak continues...

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Olympia Entertainment, Red Wings ink Huntington Bank as ‘landmark partner’ at LCA

A PR FYI from the Red Wings:

OLYMPIA ENTERTAINMENT, DETROIT RED WINGS ADD HUNTINGTON BANK AS LANDMARK PARTNER AT LITTLE CAESARS ARENA

Partnership includes designation as Detroit Red Wings consumer bank, Legends Club branding, northwest entrance signage naming rights and Huntington Bank Red Patrol

DETROIT – Olympia Entertainment today announced that Huntington Bank has signed on to a multi-year agreement as a Landmark-level partner at Little Caesars Arena. As part of the sponsorship, Huntington becomes the official consumer banking partner of the Detroit Red Wings, and assumes naming rights for the northwest entrance.

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Red Wings-Sabres morning skate Tweets and articles: It appears that Helm is out tonight

The Red Wings host the Buffalo Sabres this evening (7:30 PM EDT on NBCSN/FSD/97.1 FM), with the Wings hoping to win their third straight game. MLive's Ansar Khan noted that the Sabres have been very good against the Wings of late:

The Red Wings host Buffalo Monday and visit Montreal Tuesday (both games 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit).

The Sabres, also out of playoff contention, have won two in a row against the Red Wings for the first time since March 6, 1994 and Nov. 1, 1995. In between, Detroit went 31-3-1-2 (W-L-T-OTL) against Buffalo. The Sabres, 3-8-2 in their past 13, are led by Evander Kane's 25 goals and Jack Eichel's 49 points.

Our friends from Buffalo are coming off a 2-1 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks; Buffalo has split its past 4 games, and they've recalled two players from the AHL, Casey Nelson and Matt Austin, due to multiple injuries on their blueline.

The Red Wings are coming off a 5-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, and the Wings recalled Tomas Nosek on Sunday as several Wings are touch-and-go for tonight's game, including Darren Helm (leg), Mitch Callahan (upper-body injury) and Luke Glendening (lower-body injury); the Wings also moved Ryan Sproul to the IR on Sunday.

MLive's Brendan Savage penned a Wings-Sabres preview:

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Chris Osgood on ‘the Joe’

MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Chris Osgood regarding his memories of Joe Louis Arena:

Former Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood likened Joe Louis Arena to the most famous drinking establishment in television history.

"It's like Cheers," Osgood said. "It's like a corner establishment in your neighborhood, you know everybody's name, everybody knows each other by face recognition. Everybody's friends. Just the closeness of the whole building, from the people behind the scenes that keep this rink up and running to the ushers to everybody that works in the suites upstairs. Real friendly atmosphere and a great place to be.

"Then the game starts and, Wow! It's one of the best places to watch a game and be involved in it. You're not going to get that a lot any more in these newer arenas. From what I hear, Little Caesars Arena will be like that, as close as you can get. It's hard to copy what you got here at Joe Louis."

Osgood racked up more wins at the Joe than anyone else during his 17-year NHL career which included 14 seasons with Detroit. His memories of the building, which is closing this season, are plentiful.

Khan and Osgood continue...

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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

Mantha in a funk

Being a healthy scratch for two games last week hasn't sparked Anthony Mantha, who has no points and three shots in three games since returning to the lineup. He has gone five games without a point, playing mainly on a line with Frans Nielsen and Helm.

Mantha flourished on Henrik Zetterberg's wing for much of the season, but Jeff Blashill isn't likely to put the 22-year-old forward back on the first line as long as Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist are producing with Zetterberg.

Tatar's value increasing?

Tatar has eight goals in his past 13 games to become the team's first - and possibly only - 20-goal scorer.

Tatar will be a restricted free agent on July 1 and likely seek a deal similar to or slightly higher than the four-year, $19 million pact Nyquist signed a couple of years ago.

If the Red Wings are able to swing a trade for a top-two or three defenseman in the off-season, they probably would need to include Tatar or Nyquist in the deal. Tatar, especially after this late-season surge, appears to have more trade value.

more

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Here Comes Nosek Again

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Now The Power Play Is Working

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

 It's taken more than three-quarter of the season but the Detroit Red Wings are finally starting to see some results from their power play.

Better late than never?

Not really considering the Red Wings are playing for little more than professional pride these days.

Barring a miraculous finish - something along the lines of 14 straight wins to end the season - the Red Wings are destined to see their playoff streak end at 25 seasons.

But at least they can take some satisfaction in knowing the power play is no longer dead last in the NHL even if they're still on pace to finish with the fewest power-play goals in team history.

continued

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Red Wings-Avalanche wrap-up—the kind of game the Wings need(ed) to play

The Red Wings were admittedly rallied to some extent over the course of their 5-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche by this little video recalling the Brawl in Hockeytown, as Dylan Larkin told the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

“It was awesome,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “The video they played was real cool. It got the fans fired up. I wish they’d played it a little bit earlier in the game, maybe the first period. I definitely got chills watching it. There were a lot of smiles (on the bench).”

Larkin appreciates, even now, playing against the Avalanche.

“To be part of that rivalry is pretty cool,” Larkin said. “To play here, and their last game at The Joe. Obviously it’s a great rivalry.”

And it took until the 3rd period, but the Red Wings warmed to the task of battling the Avs, scoring 4 goals on 8 shots.

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TMR afternoon line: Tatar would trade 20 goals for the playoffs

Tomas Tatar scored goals #19 and #20 against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, keying the Wings' 5-1 victory...

But Tatar told MLive's Ansar Khan that his goals aren't as important as they could have been...

"It's a nice mark, but I would trade the goals for being a lot closer to the playoffs, for sure," Tatar said. "So, it's a stat. I would always go team first before this."

And Tatar issued something of a "bottom line" as to the team's state:

"I feel like this is what we needed through the season," Tatar said. "When we get the lead, we need always that extra one that calms the whole team. You're playing with more confidence, and then we scored another goal so that's big. Obviously, I was fortunate to find the net."

Khan continues...

Update: The Free Press's Helene St. James also spoke with Tatar:

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Scotty on ‘the Joe’

Scotty Bowman shared some of his memories of Joe Louis Arena with BSN Denver's Adrian Dater:

Joe Louis Arena will undergo demolition after this NHL season closes, which for the Red Wings will be immediately following Game No. 82 on the schedule. For the first time in 25 seasons, the Wings will miss the playoffs.

Bowman won three Stanley Cups as coach of the Red Wings (1997, 1998 and 2002), winning a Cup in his final game as a head coach, at “The Joe”, in ’02 against the Carolina Hurricanes. So, there were lots of other great memories here.

“We had a lot of success as a team, but what I’ll probably remember as much from my time working there was how it was a real family atmosphere in the building among all the people who worked there. It wasn’t just the players and coaches, but the whole staff who worked at the arena. I got to really know many of them. They felt like they were part of the team too, not just hired hands,” Bowman said. “It was a good place to work. The parking lot was right next to the office. You’d just park, walk in the door and make a quick left and you were sitting down.

Dater continues...

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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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