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No Thomas Vanek Tonight

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Custance checks in with Holland and Blashill regarding increased goal-scoring

ESPN's Craig Custance spoke with MSG analyst and former NHL goalie Steve Valiquette regarding the up-tick in goal-scoring in the NHL this season, and Custance checked in with Ken Holland and Jeff Blashill to add a GM and coach's takes on the situation. Holland believes that the proliferation of younger players in the league has something to do with the scoring splurge:

“All the youth in the league, they don’t check like veterans. They’re hockey players. They’re okay exchanging chances. It’s adding to more scoring chances,” Holland said. “When you get the coaches an opportunity here to coach and implement systems, by the end of the year, scoring is going to come down and they’re going to check better.”

Teams also tend to give their young players the early opportunity as the season opens, and if that doesn’t work out, they turn to veterans. That especially seems to be the case this season as the salary cap continued to stagnate.

The Coyotes have gone young this season, and are allowing a league-high 4.33 goals per game. Right behind them are three other teams that are breaking in talented but inexperienced young players in Toronto (4.17), Carolina (4.0) and Winnipeg (3.67).

“There’s immaturity in young guys' games at times,” Blashill said. “With guys that have been around, they know how to play, they know how to keep leads, they know how to keep the puck moving in the right direction.”

The league is also trending toward more speed. Everyone saw how successful the Pittsburgh Penguins were last season and want to keep pace. Speed, pressure and aggressive forechecking can lead to goals on both ends of the ice.

“There’s more pressure on O-zone play,” Blashill said. “It creates turnovers on offense, it also creates you putting yourself in spots where people get behind you. That creates more offense as well.”

Custance continues in his Insider-only entry, and Blashill isn't sure whether the trend of increased scoring will continue...

“Let it even out over time,” Blashill said. “I understand that’s the world we live in, we want instantaneous reports on stuff but I think the reality is this will even itself out. I try not to look at statistics early.”

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Red Wings-Blues game-day articles: Abdelkader to return for Wings; Ott to play 800th game

Updated 3x at 4:04 PM: The Red Wings and Blues held relatively uneventful morning skates ahead of tonight's game between the teams (8 PM EDT on FSD/FS Midwest/97.1 FM). Justin Abdelkader's probably going to return to the Wings' lineup, and Jori Lehtera is going to return to the Blues' lineup; Petr Mrazek will face off against Jake Allen in the goalies' respective creases.

StLouisBlues.com's Chris Pinkert posted the Blues' likely lineup...

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Red Wings-Blues morning skate Tweets and articles: Abdelkader possible; Blues tweak lineup

The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to push their winning streak to 6 games when they take on the St. Louis Blues this evening (8 PM EDT on FSD/FS Midwest/97.1 FM), and as MLive's Brendan Savage notes, it's been a while since the Wings won 6 straight:

• The Red Wings have won five straight games, their longest winning streak since they won six straight from Jan. 13-27, 2015. The last time they won seven in a row was during the 2011-12 season. They won seven straight from Nov. 19-Dec. 2, 2011 and did it again from Jan. 12-23, 2013.

The Blues are a little agitated and aggravated by their home-ice play despite a good home-ice record, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tom Timmerman notes:

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Red Wings to hold ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ night on Saturday

From the Detroit Red Wings:

Annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night
Fans encouraged to wear lavender on Saturday to support Cancer Awareness as Red Wings take on Boston Bruins at 7:00 p.m. at The Joe

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings have joined forces with the American Cancer Society to host the club's annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night on Saturday, Oct. 29, when the Red Wings square off against the Boston Bruins at 7:00 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena (FOX Sports Detroit & 97.1 The Ticket). Red Wings fans attending Saturday's game are encouraged to wear lavender to help support cancer awareness.

More than 60 cancer patients, survivors and caretakers from American Cancer Society will experience the game from the Rehmann Suite Level as guests of captain Henrik Zetterberg, defenseman Brendan Smith and the Red Wings. Additionally, all fans attending Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night at Joe Louis Arena will receive an official "I Fight For" rally towel, courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings.

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Praising the Wings’ resiliency

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeff Gordon praises the Red Wings' resiliency this morning:

Like the Chicago Cubs, the Maple Leafs went the tank-and-rebuild route to acquire young talent. That is totally within the rules, of course, but it far less noble than trying to contend every year -- as the Detroit Red Wings have done.

Against all odds, the Winged Wheeled has rolled into the playoffs 25 years in a row. Twenty-five!

And even with star center Pavel Datsyuk opting to finish his career in Russia and cornerstone defenseman Niklas Kronwall shelved with chronic knee problems, Detroit will be in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt again this season.

Blues fan will see that for themselves tonight at Scottrade Center.

How do the Red Wings do it? By finding jewels deeper in the NHL draft and landing undrafted free agents.

Gordon continues

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Prospect news: Vahatalo’s ‘on loan’

Of prospect-related note:

In the Finnish Liiga, DRW Prospects found where Julius Vahatalo is playing:

I can't even find where TUTO, TPS Turku's farm team, plays without Google, but Tuto defeated KeuPa HT 4-0;

In the Swedish Allsvenskan, Mattias Elfstrom took a penalty in IK Pantern's 3-1 win over Sodertalje SK;

In the QMJHL, Adam Marsh's Val-d'Or Foreurs lost 3-2 to Victoriaville in OT;

In the OHL, Givani Smith took 8 shots but finished at -2 in the Guelph Storm's 5-2 loss to Owen Sound.

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Blues set-up

The Detroit Red Wings hope to stretch their winning streak to 6 games when they battle the St. Louis Blues Thursday evening (8 PM EDT on FSD/FS Midwest/97.1 FM).

In theory, the Wings are picking the right time to come to St. Louis: the Blues are coming off a 4-1 loss to Calgary on Tuesday, and the Blues have lost 3 of their past 4 games. According to In the Slot's Louie Korac, however, the Blues are 2-and-1 at home, and they're very specifically planning on homing their home-ice advantage:

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Thomas Vanek Off To A Very Good Start With The Detroit Red Wings

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Vanek is a critical contributor for a Red Wings team that has outperformed expectations by winning five in a row.

It has been a reversal of fortunes for Vanek who was coming out of an unsatisfactory relationship with the Minnesota Wild. He scored 39 goals and was minus-16 over two seasons in Minnesota, and the Wild bought out his contract. They didn’t believe he was worth the $6.5 million they were spending.

“I loved Minnesota,” Vanek said. “Nothing bad to say about the organization. But it wasn’t a good fit. They had other guys who they preferred get top minutes. I could never get going. Some of it is my fault. I wasn’t very good at times.”

Vanek, who scored a career-high 43 goals for Buffalo in 2006-07, had three or four teams interested but settled on the Red Wings because they believed he is still a top scorer. Vanek also liked their history as a puck possession team. “Over the years, I’ve admired the way Detroit plays hockey,” he said.

The Red Wings particularly liked the fact that Vanek is a right-hand shot. He has made the team more dangerous from the left wing on the power play.

“The fit is right because they want me in front of the net scoring goals,” Vanek said. “I still think I’m one of the better net-front people in the league. The last two years, it seems like I wasn’t put in those situations. It’s about fit and being in the right situations in this league. But you still have to work hard.”

more plus other, under the radar players who have had a good start..

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More Pistons-to-Little Caesars Arena talk

From the Free Press's Vincent Ellis:

Leadership teams representing Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and the Ilitch family have been talking to NBA and Detroit city officials over the past few weeks about two key issues as they try to finalize a historic deal to bring professional basketball back downtown, according to a person briefed on the discussions.

The Pistons could move in time for next season, the source said. But the deal isn’t quite at the finish line.

  • The sides are researching what it would take to modify the still-under-construction Little Caesars Arena, which is being built for the Ilitch-owned Detroit Red Wings, to accommodate the requirements of an NBA team.
  • The Pistons also are considering potential downtown locations for business offices and a multimillion-dollar practice facility.

At the most senior level, Gores and Chris Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, have directed their executive teams to work on a framework agreement that would permit the move, subject to approval by the NBA and city officials, the source said.

The two sides spent most of the summer working through details. The discussions have triggered speculation that an announcement could be imminent. But the person with knowledge of the negotiations cautioned that there is still a lot of work to do. A detailed agreement -- if it can be reached -- could be weeks away, the source said.


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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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