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Articles from practice: on Athanasiou’s benching and Centennial Classic preparations

Updated 7x at 5:07 PM: The Red Wings practiced outdoors on Friday in preparation for Sunday's Centennial Classic, and after their practice, the Wings spoke with the media.

A few Tweets rolled in a little late after practice, as posted by the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley...

#Wings coach Jeff Blashill on outdoor games: "They're kind of like a wedding. Everything isn't always going to go well." #Leafs

And DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

#RedWings Blashill: I know Helmer will not be available, I know Abdelkader will not be available.

...

#RedWings Blashill: Marchy’s getting close. I don’t think he’ll be available for (Sunday), hasn’t really practiced enough.

...

#RedWings Blashill: Sheahan, I don’t have an answer on yet today.

As well as the Wings:

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Practice Tweets, outdoor version: Coreau appears likely to start Sunday’s game

The Red Wings took to the ice at BMO Field, I mean Exhibition Stadium, for an outdoor practice ahead of Sunday's Centennial Classic, as noted by the Free Press's Helene St. James...

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

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Regarding Athanasiou’s benching

As MLive's Ansar Khan noted, a fan favorite was benched last night:

Andreas Athanasiou logged 5:13 for the entire game and didn't get off the bench in the third period after being on the ice for Ottawa goals in each of the first two periods.

Said Blashill: "It's a coach's decision. I'll just leave it at that."

Athanasiou has had defensive issues. He failed to stay above Evander Kane in the third period Tuesday, on the play in which Kane scored the winning goal for Buffalo.

I believe in Athanasiou and his potential, so it's disappointing for me "as a fan" to witness Athanasiou not earn a chance to play more regularly...But his defensive mistakes have been glaring of late, and for better or worse, the coach who calls "Double-A" a dynamic player also seems to believe that the way to get through Athanasiou's healthily massive ego is to take away ice time.

My biggest hope is that Athanasiou comes out on Sunday and plays dynamic hockey, because the Red Wings need the line of Athanasiou, Larkin (who's having a sophomore slump, big time) and Glendening to step up in a big way.

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Morning news: On Coreau, Mantha and post-game videos

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. MLive's Ansar Khan took note of Jared Coreau's performance against the Ottawa Senators--a 26-save outing--as Khan penned a late-breaking recap:

Coreau was raised in Perth, Ontario, about 40 miles west of Ottawa. He grew up watching the Senators and Daniel Alfredsson, who had his No. 11 raised to the rafters during a pregame ceremony.

This was one of the few times Coreau's buddies and kin weren't cheering for the Senators. He was asked what this win means for him.

"I think just looking back, kind of all the hard work that's gone into getting to this point," Coreau said. "Every one of them said, 'Hey, the real work starts now.' That's something I'll keep in mind. just winning in front of them, and my best friend is here. It was just a really good feeling."

...

Coreau (2-1) was called up after Jimmy Howard's latest injury (sprained MCL on Dec. 20). He started due to Petr Mrazek's struggles. Coreau might have earned the start for Sunday's Centennial Classic outdoor game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Exhibition Stadium.

"I thought it was the best game that he's played for us of the three," coach Jeff Blashill said. "I thought he looked the most calm, I thought he looked the most compact. He made big saves in the first (period) when they were pushing."

Khan continues...

2. WDIV's David Barkowiak Jr. pointed out that Anthony Mantha's been heating up of late:

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If you are attending the Centennial Classic, the NHL has a few ‘reminders’ for you

From the NHL:

FAN REMINDERS FOR THE 2017 SCOTIABANK NHL CENTENNIAL CLASSIC™ &
2017 ROGERS NHL CENTENNIAL CLASSIC™ ALUMNI GAME

TORONTO (Dec. 30, 2016) – The National Hockey League would like to remind fans attending Saturday’s 2017 Rogers NHL Centennial Classic™ Alumni Game and Sunday’s 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™ about some traffic, parking and security matters:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Senators wrap-up—Mantha, Coreau deliver big OT win

The Red Wings took a 3-2 OT decision from the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night, with Anthony Mantha's OT winner delivering a well-deserved win for Jared Coreau in front of his family and friends (see the "grandma Coreau" video below).

The Red Wings earned their win despite a consistently...difficult...power play (0-for-5 on the night), and the Wings earned their win thanks in no small part to an excellent, excellent penalty-killing unit, including a trio of successful clearing attempts from Luke Glendening while the Wings were down 5-on-3.

Mostly, the Wings out-hustled, out-worked and out-hustled the Senators, and despite having to rally from a 2-1 deficit, the Wings "stuck with it" through a kind of gummy third period, getting saves when they needed 'em from Jared Coreau and eventually prevailing in overtime.

It was the kind of gritty win that the Red Wings will want to build upon as they head to Toronto and continue their 7-game road trip.

Our friends in Ottawa were less than thrilled with the guests spoiling the host's party, as they told the Canadian Press...

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Prospect news: Hronek scores for Czechs at WJC; Finns on the ropes

Of prospect-related note:

At the World Junior Championship, Vili Saarijarvi took 3 shots, finishing at -1 in 21:45 of ice time as Finland lost 3-1 to Sweden. The Finns have to hope that Denmark beats Switzerland to advance to the playoff round;

Filip Hronek scored a goal on 4 shots in 25:36 of ice time as the Czechs lost 3-2 in OT to Denmark. TSN posted a Twitter video of Hronek's goal:

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Red Wings-Senators quick take: OT, Man-tha!

The Red Wings attempted to spoil the Ottawa Senators' party on Thursday night, playing against the Senators on Daniel Alfredsson jersey retirement night. The Red Wings were happy to take in the ceremony, but they also hoped to steal two points from their hosts.

The Wings scored the game's first goal, sagged as the 1st period went on, surrendered a pair of goals, and rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie the game halfway through the 2nd...And they played through a muck-and-grind-fest of a 3rd period to earn a point, and, despite going 0-for-5 on the power play, a combination of good play from Coreau, better fundamentals from the skaters and a clutch game-winning goal from Anthony Mantha all added up to a huge 3-2 OT win over the Sens.

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St. James updates the statuses of Helm, Abdelkader and Green

The Free Press's Helene St. James updates the Wings' injury situations, reporting that Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Mike Green remain sidelined with their respective injuries (as is Jimmy Howard, who will be back in mid-January):

Expectations that Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm might return soon have been scaled back, especially in Helm’s case. General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press Thursday that Helm will be out at least a couple more weeks, because doctors are being very conservative. Helm suffered a dislocated left shoulder Nov. 15. Should he come back too soon and re-aggravate the injury, the recovery process would take at least another 6-to-8 weeks, longer in case of surgery. Helm’s line with Thomas Vanek and Gustav Nyquist showed great chemistry before Vanek got hurt in late October.

Abdelkader, out since spraining a knee at the start of December, may be back during next week’s California trip, though he needs a handful of practices first, and practices are hard to come by given the hectic schedule. The Wings miss Abdelkader – he’s one of their few physical players, using his big body to create room.

Mike Green was lost to an upper body injury Dec. 17, and Holland said he did not “have a time frame” for Green’s return, adding “it might be a week or two, might be longer.”

St. James continues, and she adds this from Holland regarding the Wings' present circumstances:

“We understand if we don’t put something together, games are clicking by and we’re treading water or losing ground,” Holland said. “Everybody understands the urgency.”

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Evening news: A Game-Day Preview video; Centennial Classic stuff; on Coreau and Alfredsson

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Here's the Wings' Game-Day Preview video:

2. In Centennial Classic news, NHL.com posted a "diary" entry from Luke Glendening:

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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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