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Articles from practice: Nielsen, Kronwall on IR as Wings prepare for a difficult week

After this morning's Red Wings practice, the Wings placed two players on the IR, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan...

The Detroit Red Wings have placed center Frans Nielsen on short-term injured reserve and activated forward Steve Ott.

Nielsen must sit out at least the next two games. He is eligible to return for Saturday's game in Columbus.

Nielsen injured his shoulder during the second period of Friday's 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders, when he was checked into the boards by Jason Chimera.

Ott has been out since Jan. 14 due to a shoulder injury.

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall did not practice today. He is listed as day to day but is doubtful for Tuesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

And the Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with the Wings regarding their particularly difficult schedule this week--the Wings face Columbus twice and the Washington Capitals and Minnesota Wild, playing 4 games over the course of 6 nights:

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On Bob Kaser’s time with the Wings

From the Grand Rapids Griffins' Mark Newman:

During his 38 years as a broadcaster, including 17 with the Griffins organization, Bob Kaser has watched countless players get the call to play in the National Hockey League.
              
In early November, it was his turn.
              
Kaser got a phone call from Todd Beam, the Red Wings’ director of communications, telling him that the organization might need him to fill in for Detroit’s radio play-by-play man Ken Kal, who was ill and might have to miss a game or two.
              
“When I got the call, it didn’t really sink in until about an hour later. That’s when it really hit me,” Kaser recalled. “After all these years, I was probably going to get to work my first National Hockey League game. The first thing I did was call my sons.”
              
His sons Charlie and Sam – not to mention his wife Rosalie and a multitude of Griffins fans – had long been convinced that he was good enough to work in the NHL. Kaser, who won his seventh broadcast excellence award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters last year, wasn’t as sure, but was overjoyed at the prospect.

Continued

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Howard, Miller practice with Griffins

While the Red Wings practiced at Joe Louis Arena, Drew Miller and Jimmy Howard practiced with the Grand Rapids Griffins today:

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Detroit’s Morning Practice

Ansar Khan tweets,

RedWings on ice for practice. Petr Mrazek, of course, in starter's net.

Nielsen (shoulder) and Kronwall (knee) not practicing today

power-play units:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Mantha, Abdelkader (net front), Smith
&
Tatar-Larkin-Vanek, Helm (net front), Green

 

 

added 11:47am, Khan with the line rushes...

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Detroit Goalies On Their New Pants

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

"It worked out well," said the 6-foot-2 Mrazek, who wasn't bothered by having to make the switch at midseason. "I feel pretty good. Nothing would bother me there so I was really happy for that.

"It's a little tighter but maybe a little better movement. I don't think it's a big difference or big adjustment. You have to get used to it and do what you have to do."

Unlike Mrazek, who didn't even test out the new pants in practice, Coreau has been wearing them all season.

He got a surprise when he made the switch.

"Honestly I thought mine turned out to be bigger than my old ones," Coreau said. "So I just switched right away. I like them better actually. More comfortable.

"I had one thing pictured in my head and it turned out to be this. It's good."

more

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TPH - NHL 100

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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Ott's return requires move

Steve Ott, out since Jan. 14 with a shoulder injury, is close to returning, possibly ready Tuesday.

The Red Wings will need to clear a roster spot. If Frans Nielsen (shoulder, day-to-day) isn't going to be available for at least the next two games, he can be placed on short-term injured reserve.

Otherwise, they'll need to waive a player. Ott would seem the most logical choice, since he's unrestricted after the season. Tomas Jurco is another possibility, since he has no points in 14 games and hasn't established himself the past three seasons. But Jurco is young (24) and still under club control after the season as a restricted free agent.

No changes on defense?

With Brendan Smith's return to the lineup Saturday, the Red Wings have a decision to make - who sits out on defense (other than Ryan Sproul)? Niklas Kronwall was scratched Saturday because it was a back-to-back situation and he's dealing with a knee issue.

Coach Jeff Blashill probably won't change a winning lineup, but if Kronwall is healthy, will he continue to sit? Young Xavier Ouellet and Nick Jensen, ordinarily candidates to be scratched, are playing well enough to remain in the lineup.

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A Two-Game Winning Streak

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

A two-game winning streak has the Detroit Red Wings within five points of third place in the Atlantic Division.

They took Sunday off, common practice after playing twice in two nights, with the Columbus Blue Jackets looming on Tuesday. It’s a safe bet Petr Mrazek will get the start after his “Petr the Great” performance Saturday in Nashville, where 42 saves earned a 1-0 victory.

As encouraging as it is for the Wings to see Mrazek play like that, another big positive to take away both from that game and Friday's 5-4 victory over the Islanders is how the Wings started. Sure, they got scored on first Friday, but they had jump from the get-go. And Saturday, they had another good first period, despite tired legs.

continued

Below, the Atlantic Division standings...

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We Interrupt This Sunday Morning To Congratulate George On Being A Year Older

Happy Birthday George, enjoy the cake, ice cream and party hats!

Hopefully George is using this Sunday to relax a bit but I am sure he will see all of your birthday wishes too.

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Petr Mrazek Comes Up Big

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

During the first six weeks of 2016, Petr Mrazek was arguably the best goaltender in the NHL.

In his first 13 appearances of 2016, Mrazek had a 10-2-1 record, 1.31 goals-against average and .951 save percentage - vaulting to the top of the NHL in the latter two categories.

Saturday night in Nashville, he showed that same form in recording his first shutout of the season, making 42 saves during a 1-0 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Coach Jeff Blashill started him on back-to-back nights with the hope that Mrazek might catch fire as the Red Wings desperately try to keep their 25-season playoff streak alive and Mrazek came through.

"Belief," Blashill said when asked why he came back with Mrazek after he backstopped Friday's 5-4 victory over the Islanders. "I got belief that - I've said this before - we need to go on a run and in order to go on a run we need a goalie to get hot and I know Petr can get hot.

"I've seen it in the American League, I've seen in the NHL. Last year in January he was probably the best goalie in the league. So I guess belief would be the word why I went back with him."

continued

Below, watch the extended game highlights from awood40...

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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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