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Evening news: On one-on-one battles, Kronwall ‘shut down’ and Holmstrom news from WiiM

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with the Red Wings regarding the emphasis on "battle drills" at today's practice...

"Every guy in this room can be a little better and it starts with one-on-one battles," Luke Glendening said. "You've got to be better than the guy across from you. It's in the offensive zone, it's in the defensive zone, it's at our net, at their net, faceoffs."

The Red Wings (8-7-1) face the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

"We talked about identity and being relentless and being fast and being competitive," Blashill said. "You can't win in this league if you're not highly competitive and I thought in Montreal we got out-competed."

Winning more puck battles will help improve two areas that have been lacking the past two games and in a few others this season – breakouts and forechecking.

"All of us take our jobs very seriously and are very professional about it," Justin Abdelkader said. "Today was a good day for us to come back and get to work and focus on some of the things that we need to get better at. It is a long season, but at the same time you don't want to be as streaky as we've been. We want to try to be a little more consistent."

As did the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:

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Wallner: Joe Hicketts fitting in on the Griffins’ blueline

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that Joe Hicketts is fitting in superbly well on the Grand Rapids Griffins' blueline:

"Since the start of the season he's grown a lot," [Griffins captain Nathan] Paetsch said. "You have to understand, he's 20 years old and there will be speed bumps. But he's getting better every night. You can tell. Plus, he's gained confidence and that's really important for a young guy."

It was the height that hurt his draft position, and will remain an obstacle to the NHL, but it not an impossibility with an interest nowadays in fast moving, offensive-minded defenseman. (See: 5-9, 185-pound MSU grad Torey Krug with Boston, 5-10, 190-pound Tyson Barrie of Colorado and 5-10, 185-pound veteran John Michael Liles, also with Boston.

"I know and recognize that I'm one of the smaller guys on the ice, but I don't pay much attention to it," said Hicketts, who checks in at 180 pounds. "I'm not scared to go into a corner with bigger guys. Obviously I know my limitations, but I try and use good hockey sense and play smart."

"He may be our shortest player but he's also our biggest hitter," Paetsch said. "There are some tall D men who can't stay on their feet. When you're that solid, the two kind of cross each other out."

Hicketts went into the corner Friday against 6-4, 224-pound Carl Dahlstrom of Rockford and emerged with the puck. He also picked up an assist and got off a team-high five shots. He went up against 6-4, 218 pound veteran defenseman Adam Pardy the next night in Milwaukee.

"Because of my size I think I can surprise a lot of guys," he said. "I'm getting more comfortable and just getting my timing down and if some of my checks can generate momentum or a scoring chance, all the better."

Wallner continues...

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Wakiji updates Thomas Vanek’s status

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji updates Thomas Vanek's status:

Thomas Vanek has been skating with the team for several days now and is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve after Friday's game.

"I feel pretty good," Vanek said. "I've skated all week. So far no setbacks. Every day I'm trying to do more and more and so far, so good."

Vanek has missed the last nine games because of a hip injury. "I felt a little something before the Carolina game already," Vanek said. "I think I just hurt it a little bit worse at the end of the game. I just tried it and it didn't feel good."

Despite missing so much time, Vanek remains the Wings' fourth leading scorer with eight points.

"Of course it was frustrating," Vanek said. "As a team and myself, I felt good about my game and how our line was going. Again, even back then I thought maybe I'll sit out a game and be back in a week. It got worse, so it was frustrating."

Wakiji continues, and as she notes, Vanek will return on Sunday vs. Calgary if all goes well...

Update: MLive's Ansar Khan also weighed in...

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Articles from practice: Kronwall to sit out for a bit; Glendening promoted

Updated 6x at 2:58 PM: The Red Wings returned to practice Monday in preparation for Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (again, Tampa Bay plays in Brooklyn this evening), and the Red Wings both switched up their lines and revealed that Niklas Kronwall will take the next three days off completely--including Thursday's game against Calgary--to rest his knees.

The Wings' lines, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan on Twitter, raised fans' eyebrows:

#RedWings lines at practice:

MLive's Khan was first out of the chute with a practice report, discussing Kronwall's status...

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Red Wings to hold Military Appreciation Night on Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay

From the Red Wings:

… Red Wings to Honor Active and Former Military Members Throughout Day and Game on Tuesday, Nov. 15 …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will host their ninth annual Military Appreciation Night, presented by Applebee’s, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, when the team takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit, NBC Sports Network and 97.1 The Ticket).

“We are excited to be a part of Military Appreciation Night with the Red Wings,” said Mark Schostak, whose family owns 66 Michigan Applebee’s locations, “and we are proud to continue to honor servicemen and servicewomen year-round with Military Monday, when veterans and active duty military will receive a 30-percent discount on their food purchases all day every Monday at Applebee’s.”

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‘Awful Announcing’: Epix to follow Wings and Leafs prior to Centennial Classic

From Awful Announcing's Ian Casselberry:

For its third year of pairing with the NHL to produce a behind-the-scenes documentary series leading up to the league’s annual Winter Classic, Epix is rebranding and undertaking a bigger endeavor. This year, instead of covering two teams, Epix Presents Road to the NHL Outdoor Classics will follow four teams for the two outdoor games that will be played in January.

As reported by Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, the series will film the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs in anticipation of their New Year’s Day matchup at Toronto’s BMO Field, along with the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues before they face off Jan. 2 at Busch Stadium.

Producer Ross Greenburg told Ourand that the idea behind following four teams in this year’s series was to create a quicker pace for the four episodes. During the 60-minute episodes, the series will focus on one game that each of the teams play that week. Additionally, the plan is to follow two individual players away from the ice in every episode.

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Practice Tweets: Kronwall takes a ‘maintenance day’ as Wings regroup with new lines

Updated 2x at 12:32 PM: Mrazek starts Tuesday, Vanek returns Sunday, Kronwall "off" Tuesday: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena at 11 AM this morning, practicing to prepare to battle the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

With the Lightning playing in Brooklyn this evening (with Andrei Vasilevskiy starting), the Wings might be able to pounce upon a tired opponent tomorrow, but that's only possible if the team manages to improve significantly from their 5-0 loss to Montreal this past Saturday.

MLive's Ansar Khan reported in from practice...

Kronwall not practicing today. Same with Athanasiou (knee). #RedWings

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NHL announces ticket sales for Wings-Leafs alumni game prior to Centennial Classic

From the NHL:


Limited Number of Tickets to Original Six™ Alumni Matchup at Exhibition Stadium Go On Sale to the Public Tomorrow, November 15

TORONTO/NEW YORK (Nov. 14, 2016) – The Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni and Detroit Red Wings Alumni will face-off outdoors in Toronto on Saturday, Dec. 31 in the 2017 Rogers NHL Centennial Classic™ Alumni Game, the NHL announced today.

The 2017 Rogers NHL Centennial Classic™ Alumni Game between fan favorites from these Original Six™ clubs will be played at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium on Dec. 31 at Noon ET, one day prior to the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™ between the current Maple Leafs and Red Wings. The Alumni Game will be broadcast live in Canada on Sportsnet and in the U.S. on NHL Network™. Rosters for both the Maple Leafs Alumni and Red Wings Alumni will be announced in the coming days.

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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch for this week:

Lineup changes looming

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill probably won't dress the same lineup Tuesday against Tampa Bay, following Saturday's 5-0 loss at Montreal.

Options are limited at forward, where Drew Miller was their lone healthy scratch the past two games. Andreas Athanasiou (sprained knee, estimated 1-2 weeks) isn't eligible to come off short-term injured reserve until Friday but might not be ready then. They should know more Monday.

The Red Wings have had trouble breaking out of their zone in many games, including the past two. That could lead to change on defense. One of Ryan Sproul, scratched the past seven games, or Xavier Ouellet, scratched the past five games, might be inserted into the lineup, possibly for Alexey Marchenko. If it's Sproul he could also help a power play that has gone 3 for 40 in the past 11 games.

Trade talk at GM meetings

The league's general managers will meet Tuesday in Toronto, following Monday's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. That always leads to increased trade talk, though not necessarily action.

The Red Wings' biggest need remains a top-three puck-moving defenseman. They have had discussions with Winnipeg regarding Jacob Trouba and Anaheim involving Cam Fowler, but reports indicate neither of those young D-men will be moved anytime soon, if at all this season....


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The overnight report: Wings ‘need to improve in all areas’ to find their form

Sixteen games into the regular season, the 8-7-and-1 Detroit Red Wings remain something of a puzzle. We've seen the Wings play absolutely dominant hockey against quality opponents, and we've seen them all but literally out-classed by both contending teams and teams just beginning to rebuild.

There are times that the Wings look like what they probably are--a playoff "bubble" team with more to give--there are times that the Wings really look like they've turned the "reload on the fly" corner, and there are times that the team looks woefully inept.

After playing 3 games in5 nights, the Wings took Sunday off.

On Monday, they'll regroup ahead of games against Tampa Bay (Tuesday) and Washington (Friday), 2 more "measuring stick" affairs, and as MLive's Ansar Khan notes, the Wings have much to improve upon:

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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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