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Numbers On Detroit

from Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post,

It’s all going wrong for the Detroit Red Wings this season.

With a 22-25-10 record, the one-time gold standard for hockey excellence languishes at the bottom of the Eastern conference, nine points out of the final wild-card spot with seven teams ahead of them. According to Hockey-Reference.com’s playoff simulator, the Red Wings have just a 1.2 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, making it more likely than not we will see an end to the third-longest playoff streak in NHL history (25 years)....

The lack of talent has also eroded the hallmark of Hockey Town: Detroit’s relentless puck possession.

In 2007-08, the year they won their first Stanley Cup in the salary-cap era, they put a league-leading 58.5 percent of even-strength shot attempts in their favor, after adjusting for score effects. They led the league again the following season (57.5 percent) and made the Cup final. This season they are putting just 47.8 percent of shot attempts in their favor, seventh-worst in the NHL..

Perhaps as the younger players on the roster mature, Detroit will return to the upper echelons of the league, but the early results are not encouraging. Eleven skaters 25 years old or younger have played at least one game for the Red Wings this season, but only three of them — forwards Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha — have scored double-digit goals. Six of those youngsters haven’t scored at all.

But having the fifth-worst offense (2.4 goals per game) isn’t the team’s only problem — the left side of its defensive pairings is subpar. Danny DeKeyser, Brendan Smith and Niklas Kronwall all have below-average game scores, an all-in-one metric used more in baseball and basketball that gives a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game.


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from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

The last time we checked the NHL Power Rankings, the Detroit Red Wings were sinking fast.

Today, they're on the verge of being fully submerged.

The Red Wings have dropped to No. 27 for the second time this season and two media outlets - CSN Mid-Atlantic and The Hockey News - have them one spot from the bottom.

Keep in mind The Hockey News is the same publication that had the Red Wings ranked No. 11 just a few weeks ago.


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On ‘Baby Pavel’

This news is belated, but I've been quite ill, so: the Free Press's Helene St. James "delivers" good news:

Make plans for the 2035 NHL draft: There could be a Datsyuk in the mix.

Former Detroit Red Wings puck magician Pavel Datsyuk and his wife, Maria, welcomed a baby boy, Pavel Jr. , on Sunday. The news was confirmed to the Free Press by Dan Milstein, Datsyuk's agent.

It is the third child and first son for Datsyuk. He has a daughter, Elizabeth, from his first marriage, and he and Maria welcomed daughter Vasilisa in 2014.

Datsyuk, 38, returned to his native Russia last summer, after 15 seasons with the Wings that included winning the Stanley Cup as a rookie in 2002 and again in 2008. He was known as the "Magic Man" for his incredible puck-dangling skills. He won multiple Selke and Lady Byng trophies.

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‘Asking Ansar’ about Ken Holland and St. James on ‘sell mode’

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. MLive's Ansar Khan penned a column of "Ask Ansar" questions and answers, including something I've been saying for a while now:

Q: The Wings are doomed. Hopefully there'll be a new GM to make the expected resulting higher picks. Holland's made too many mistakes. Maybe with Mike (owner Ilitch) gone there'll be a change. Wonder if (senior vice president Jimmy) Devellano could step in temporarily. - Clyde.

A: Holland has one year remaining on his contract and I expect he'll fulfill it. Maybe he'll retire or take another position in the organization after next season.

(At this point, it appears that Kris Draper or Ryan Martin will replace Holland a summer from now)

You can criticize him for giving too much money and term in contracts to Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm and Danny DeKeyser, and for not starting the rebuild a couple years ago, but the playoff streak was important to the organization.

I don't blame them for trying to retool on the fly and doing what they could to keep the run going, including signing veteran free agents Mike Green, Brad Richards, Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek, and unloading Pavel Datsyuk's cap hit, in the process forgoing the opportunity to pick defenseman Jacob Chychrun 16th overall in 2016.

Now that the run has all but officially ended, it's time to rebuild in earnest.

Devellano is not stepping in.

Khan continues, and the Free Press's Helene St. James suggests that the Wings should sell, sell sell:

Continue Reading »

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Red Wings to hold ‘Farewell Fan Day at the Joe’ on March 21

From the Red Wings:

… Free, Fun-Filled Event Presented in Partnership with Coca-Cola…

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings have teamed up with Coca-Cola to present the “Farewell Fan Day” at Joe Louis Arena, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 21 from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Tickets for the free, fun-filled event are available by attending an upcoming “Red Wings Day at Meijer,” which gives fans a chance to test their skills at various interactive hockey games and take photos with player cut-outs. Current Red Wings players Riley Sheahan and Brendan Smith will also be in attendance to sign autographs at upcoming “Red Wings Days at Meijer,” presented by Coke Zero.

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Respect For Mike Ilitch

from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,

He had fame and good fortune, reflected in the gleaming lobby of his beloved Fox Theatre, where the flag-draped casket sat at the bottom of the staircase. One final time, Mike Ilitch was surrounded by evidence of an enriched life, as just outside the door, a short distance down Woodward, Little Caesars Arena continued to rise from once-desolate city blocks.

But this day was not about that. This was about family and fans, and the inextricable link between them.

Mourners filed into the Fox throughout much of Wednesday, waiting 30-45 minutes in the main theater before being ushered into the grand lobby. Red Wings players and other employees of Ilitch Holdings visited earlier in the morning, and then at noon, it was the fans.

There were women in long fancy coats and men in Red Wings jackets. There were construction workers who took off their hard hats as they paused in front of Ilitch’s casket. To the side, members of the Ilitch family — sons Christopher, Mike Jr., and Atanas, daughter Denise and all sorts of grandchildren — thanked the people for coming.


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Red Wings celebrate ‘Hockey Is For Everyone’ Month

From the Red Wings:

… Activities Include $12,000 Hockey Equipment Donation from Warrior Hockey to Michigan FAR Flyers and Hockey Is For Everyone Awareness Day at The Joe …

DETROIT – In partnership with the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association, the Detroit Red Wings will celebrate Hockey Is For Everyone Month this week with unique opportunities to support diversity and inclusion in hockey. Programming efforts support local as well as national organizations focused on diversity and inclusion, including Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) and You Can Play.

Activities will be highlighted through Hockey Is For Everyone Awareness Day at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, Feb. 18, when the Red Wings square off against the Washington Capitals at 2:00 p.m. (Fox Sports Detroit & 97.1 The Ticket). Originally scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Red Wings’ Hockey Is For Everyone Awareness Day has been postponed to Saturday, Feb. 18.

In conjunction with Hockey Is For Everyone Month, NHL Clubs have designated one player to be a You Can Play ambassador, serving as a leader in the locker room and in the community on diversity, equality and inclusion. Center Frans Nielsen will serve in this capacity for the Red Wings.

“I’m honored to continue lending my personal support to You Can Play and the Hockey Is For Everyone initiative,” said Nielsen, a 2017 NHL All-Star. “Hockey is an international sport that is truly for everyone. We’re banding together to create an atmosphere of inclusion on the ice, in the dressing room and in the stands throughout the NHL.”

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Griffins cancel Great Skate due to weather conditions

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday announced that this weekend’s 15th annual Great Skate Winterfest has been cancelled due to anticipated weather conditions.

With temperatures forecast to reach 50 degrees or more this Saturday and Sunday, the outdoor ice rink at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids is expected to be rendered unusable for most, if not all, of the event’s planned 24-hour duration, forcing the first-ever cancellation of the Great Skate Winterfest.

“As much as we all love warmer weather, this weekend’s forecast is highly disappointing as it relates to the Great Skate,” said Bob Kaser, president of the Griffins Youth Foundation and founder of the Great Skate. “The Griffins Youth Foundation is so appreciative of the support from our sponsors, fans and the community who have helped make this one of West Michigan’s premier outdoor winter activities.

Although alternative plans were considered, the Great Skate Winterfest has become a great success due in large part to the Rosa Parks Circle skating rink, Griffins players and lots of fun winter-themed outdoor activities. Without these key ingredients and the lack of the picturesque downtown Grand Rapids backdrop, it simply wouldn’t be the same Great Skate Winterfest.”


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Al Sobotka shares his memories of Mike Ilitch

Red Wings facilities director Al Sobotka spoke with WXYZ's Justin Rose regarding his memories of Mr. Ilitch:

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Videos: Red Wings pay tribute to Mr. Ilitch

The Red Wings posted two videos regarding Mr. Ilitch's passing today:

Here's the Red Wings' official video paying tribute to Mr. Ilitch...

And a video of the Wings attending the Ilitch visitation:

Sportsnet posted a video of the WIngs honoring Mr. Ilitch on the ice prior to the Wings-Blues game:

Continue Reading »

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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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