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All about Zach Nastasiuk

The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe penned a profile of Red Wings prospect and Toledo Walleye forward Zach Nastasiuk:

A key component in the Walleye’s rise to the top of the ECHL, young forward Zach Nastasiuk is learning the ropes from Toledo’s talented cast of veterans.

At 21, Nastasiuk is the youngest member of a Toledo team that is rolling toward the postseason. The Walleye (41-13-3) became the first ECHL team to clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup playoffs last weekend and Toledo sits atop the overall league standings with 85 points.

Nastasiuk is a highly regarded prospect in the Red Wings organization. Detroit drafted the right winger in the second round in 2013 with the 48th overall pick.

“It’s just exciting coming down the final stretch and getting into the playoffs,” Nastasiuk said. “The leadership group on this team is really good. They really help the young guys like me learn what it takes — the work ethic and accountability it takes to make the playoffs.”

Nastasiuk, who is in his second season with Toledo, has nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points in 38 games for the Walleye.

Monroe continues at length...

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Pre-game Twitter Blash

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill spoke with the media for 2-and-a-half minutes on Wednesday afternoon, speaking about Jimmy Howard's recall, Jared Coreau's time with the Wings, and he talked about tonight's opponent ever-so-briefly:

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Red Wings recall Jimmy Howard

From the Red Wings:

HOWARD RETURNS TO DETROIT
… Howard Posted 21-Save Shutout Last Night to Improve to 3-1 in AHL This Season …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Jimmy Howard from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

Howard won both of his starts since joining the Griffins on March 4 to improve to 3-1 in the AHL this season. He stopped 31-of-33 shots in a 5-2 win on Saturday at Texas before steering aside all 21 shots he saw in a 3-0 win at San Antonio last night. Seeing his first AHL action since 2008-09, Howard posted a 2.11 goals-against average and a 0.920 save percentage in four games. The 32-year-old netminder has been limited to 17 games for the Red Wings this season due to injury, sporting a 5-7-1 record. Among goalies with a minimum of 15 games played, Howard leads the NHL with a 0.934 save percentage and is second with a 1.96 goals-against average. Howard, who has not played for Detroit since Dec. 20 in Tampa Bay, has totaled 392 games with the Red Wings since 2005-06 and has a 194-120-54 record, 2.43 goals-against average, 0.915 save percentage and 23 shutouts.

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Weekes on the Wings (and Bruins)

NHL.com's Kevin Weekes weighs in on the "pluses and minuses" for the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins ahead of tonight's NBCSN telecast of the Red Wings-Bruins game (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM):

Red Wings

Pluses: Henrik Zetterberg has been really good for them. It's been a nice bounce-back year. Zetterberg has been battling injuries for the past few seasons, but he's been their best point producer this season with 14 goals and 53 points after finishing with 50 points in 82 games last season.

I think it's a good thing that they are struggling because it provides a better window into who players are. If you're general manager Ken Holland, it helps you better evaluate who you want to have going forward.

Overall, the goaltending has been pretty good with Petr Mrazek and Jared Coreau. It's been even better when Jimmy Howard has played. Howard, who is rehabbing from a knee injury, had a shutout with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Tuesday and is close to rejoining the team.

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Hockey Hall of Fame to unveil a new Gordie Howe statue on Friday

From, well, my mail inbox: the Hockey Hall of Fame will unveil a permanent statue of Gordie Howe as part of the unveiling of its Centennial Exhibit on Friday, March 10th, and Mark and Marty Howe will be present at its unveiling...

And according to the Hockey Hall of Fame's Instagram account, the statue will be 8 feet, 9 inches tall:

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Red Wings’ March 15th game against Colorado rescheduled for 9:30 PM

FYI:

The game was originally scheduled to start at 10 PM EDT.

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Red Wings-Bruins morning skate Tweets and articles: game set-ups + a Russo interview

Updated 6x at 1:35 PM: The Red Wings face the Boston Bruins this evening (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM). The Wings aren't holding a morning skate after last night's 3-2 loss to Toronto, so NHL.com's John Kreiser offers a set of reasons to watch tonight's game (not including self-torture)...

Desperate Bruins: Boston has failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past two seasons. To find the last time they missed the postseason three years running, you have to go back to the end of the Original Six era, when Boston failed to qualify for eight consecutive seasons, from 1959-60 to 1966-67.

...

The Bruins are third in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of Toronto. But they're also just four points behind the Ottawa Senators and 10 behind the Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins play 10 of their final 16 games at home.

...

Henrik Zetterberg: Detroit's captain typifies the kind of player that made the Red Wings an elite team for so many years: Smart, talented, unselfish - and a leader. He's the team scoring leader with 53 points (14 goals, 39 assists), and as one of the few remaining players from Detroit's glory days, he's counted on to set an example for a very young team. At 36, he's 11 points away from 900 in his NHL career and is on target to play his 1,000th NHL game on the final day of the regular season, which would also be the final game played at Joe Louis Arena.

Kreiser continues, and BostonBruins.com's Chris Weyant filed a game preview:

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Little Caesars Arena’s ice rink to be installed today

Crain's Detroit Business's Tyler Clifford reports that Little Caesars Arena will reach a memorable construction milestone shortly:

Construction crews at the Little Caesars arena are set to begin installing the ice rink on Wednesday, Olympia Development of Michigan announced Tuesday.

A fleet of pump and concrete delivery trucks will work all day to create one continuous pour and level the concrete for the ice rink.

Toronto-based Cimco Refrigeration was hired to construct the rink. It will be almost 40 feet below street level.

In the upcoming weeks crews will begin to install the arena bowl seats.

Construction work can be watched online 24-hours a day here.

Clifford continues...

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Paying tribute to ‘the Joe’ from Chicago

Ahead of Friday night's game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc penned an "ode to the Joe"...

Once inside [Joe Louis Arena], forget about checking out the view. There are exactly three porthole-sized windows in the concrete bunker that is Joe Louis Arena, and they are located on separate entry/exit doors. None of those tiny windows provides a glimpse of anything but sidewalk, unless one halts foot traffic out of the building and cranks his or her head to the side to catch sight of a sliver of water.

The lack of windows, deteriorating seats, an ever-present smell that has defied accurate description, wooden boards that send pucks careening as if bounced off rubber, spaghetti-like bundles of wires hanging from the ceiling, broken-down out-of-town scoreboards concealed by advertising banners, cramped dressing rooms, an antiquated press box and walls seemingly held together by duct tape and a prayer — these are just some of the charms of the venerable arena.

There is no way around it: The building nicknamed "The Joe" is a dump. But it is a glorious, iconic dump of a building that will be missed by anyone who has ever stepped foot inside — players and fans alike. Joe Louis Arena is in the final throes of its existence, set to be demolished and replaced by the slick, new Little Caesars Arena, located a mile north as part of The District Detroit development linking midtown and downtown.

Kuc continues, and he did ask the Red Wings' players and coach about the Joe's first playoff-less spring (or at least the incredibly high likelihood thereof) in 25 years:

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A One Line Team

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

"This team has shown lots of character all year in terms of staying with it and continuing to grind but we need more out of more people," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We need a little more out of more people. That's as simple as it comes.

"Just production and competitiveness. I said this the other night, it's not just our young guys. It was more than that for sure. Zetterberg's line was our best line tonight. We need other lines to step up and be the best line. We just need to individually pick our games up a little bit and be a little bit better.

"We're not looking for guys that can give us some points. We're looking for guys that are gonna help us win. We need just a little more from everybody, just a little more from everybody. Not tons, a little bit more."

Considering the loss to Toronto marked the Red Wings' 21st loss by one goal - that leads the NHL - Blashill is dead on in his assessment.

Give the Red Wings a bit more production from secondary sources and there's no telling where they might be in the standings.

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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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