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‘Three Things’: On blown leads, Vili Saarijarvi and Tweets of note

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Steve Ott regarding the Red Wings' precarious position thanks to a set of third-period setbacks in which the Wings have blown tied games and emerged without points:

“It stings obviously,” Ott said. “Those are the points you need to build towards the playoffs and is scares you when you’re missing those opportune moments. For us we have to find a way to correct that ship already. We’ve given those up and we’re not going to get them back.”

A hard practice Monday was designed to help remedy those maladies and ensure that the Wings can find ways to hang on to such valuable commodities as every point is in the raging battle for one of the eight Eastern Conference playoff spots.

“The parity in the league is so close,” Ott said. “We’re trying to score. They’re trying to score. It’s the first person obviously to crack in situations is who usually ends up on the wrong side. And what I mean by crack, it’s sticking with the details of our game and continue to stay strong. When you’re details stay strong to the end of the game you have a chance to at least get a point and you try to win again or you find that big goal in the last five minutes. Having that extra confidence to score a big goal is something we need to find right now.”

Duff continues...

2. In the prospect department, the Mississauga News's Ian Colpits reports that Vili Saarijarvi will make his Mississauga Steelheads debut on Friday vs. Sault Ste. Marie, three months after Saarijarvi had wrist surgery:

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Articles from practice: On a ‘shot mentality,’ Brendan Smith’s return and 3rd-period goals against

Updated at 7:35 PM: The Red Wings engaged in a fairly-well-attended practice (Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Mike Green and Frans Nielsen took "maintenance days") on Monday afternoon, and after practice, the team addressed its need to shoot more pucks on goal, as DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji noted:

"I don't think there's any doubt, we got to have more of a shot mentality," [coach Jeff] Blashill said. "I don't think we're doing a good enough job, I think we're passing up shots when we have opportunities to shoot and just create chaos off that. With that said, we got to do a better job of driving to the middle and getting to the net. Those are areas that are easy to help create offense. That's an area we got to do a better job at."

In the Wings' two best performances, a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators Oct. 21 and a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks Oct. 22, the Wings had 43 and 32 shots, respectively. Since then, they've only surpassed 30 shots three times, 36 in a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers Oct. 30, 33 in a 5-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Nov. 4 and 35 in their 3-2 shootout win at Philadelphia Nov. 8.

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Practice Tweets: The 19 (players taking part in practice)

Updated at 4:25 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before 3 PM, taking part in a mid-afternoon practice as they hoped to work their way out of a 4-game losing streak.

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji reported in...

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Detroit News, Free Press: Pistons to officially announce move downtown on Tuesday at 3 PM

Edit/update: This is official:

Updates coming tomorrow on downtown discussions with the Pistons. Watch live Tues. November 22nd at 3:00 p.m. on --> https://t.co/rT44oYBfrb

/end edit]

Following today's earlier speculation regarding the Detroit Pistons' move downtown, the Detroit News's Ian Thibodeau reports that the team will make their move official tomorrow at 3 PM:

The Pistons will announce Tuesday at 3 p.m. that they will move to Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit starting with the 2017-18 season, a source told The Detroit News on Monday.

The source requested anonymity because an official announcement has not yet taken place.

The announcement will follow a 2:30 p.m. meeting of the city’s Downtown Development Authority board at Detroit Cass Tech High School. The meeting is open to the public.

The DDA votes on whether to support private investments and business growth within Detroit’s central business district with loans, sponsorships and grants, infrastructure improvements and other programs that increase economic activity.

In 2015, the DDA signed off on zoning changes that allowed for construction to start on Little Caesars Arena, which will be the new home ice of the Red Wings — and where the Pistons are expected to move to if a deal is reached. The rezoning allowed for vertical construction at the arena site and the razing of a historic building.

The Free Press's Vince Ellis also confirms:

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Griffins’ Matt Lorito named AHL Player of the Week

From the AHL:


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Grand Rapids Griffins forward Matt Lorito has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 20, 2016.

Lorito played two games and totaled two goals and four assists for six points, climbing towards the top of the AHL’s scoring leaderboard.

Lorito had a goal and two assists on Wednesday night as Grand Rapids doubled up Texas, 6-3, then matched that effort in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Stars. Five of Lorito’s six points during the week came on the power play, as the Griffins went 5-for-13 with the man advantage in the two games.

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Red Wings, Maple Leafs reveal Centennial Classic jerseys


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NHL announces details of Epix ‘Road to the NHL Outdoor Classics’ series

From the Red Wings:


Ross Greenburg to Return as Producer of Docuseries Chronicling Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs for 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™ and Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues for 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®

Four-Episode Limited Series Premieres December 16 at 10 PM ET/PT, 9C on EPIX

NEW YORK (Nov. 21, 2016) – Premium TV network EPIX® and the NHL®, partnering for a third season, today announced that EPIX Presents Road To the NHL Outdoor Classics will make its U.S. Television Premiere on Friday, Dec. 16 at 10pm ET/PT, 9C on EPIX with four weekly episodes. This season, the series tells the stories of athletes and coaches from four teams and their journey to two games played on outdoor rinks. In commemoration of the League’s Centennial Celebration, the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will compete in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™ on New Year’s Day in Toronto, Canada. The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues meet in the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® on January 2, in St. Louis. In addition to its airing on EPIX, U.S. hockey fans will be able to stream each episode of EPIX Presents Road To the NHL Outdoor Classics™ as a simulcast on EPIX.com, NHL.com and the websites for the four teams participating in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™ and the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.                                                               

Produced by 53-time Emmy® award winner Ross Greenburg, narrated by Bill Camp (Jason Bourne, Birdman, 12 Years A Slave) and presented in partnership with NHL Original Productions, EPIX Presents Road To the NHL Outdoor Classics will provide viewers with a sports tech-driven, intimate look at these athletes in their professional and personal settings, capturing all the action, drama, heartaches and triumphs as they unfold.x

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Could the Pistons announce move to Detroit on Tuesday?

From the Free Press's Vince Ellis, via RedWingsFeed:

After years of speculation, the Detroit Pistons are on the verge of announcing their return to downtown Detroit.

Talks between Pistons owner Tom Gores and his representatives and the Detroit Red Wings, the Ilitch family and Olympia Entertainment have progressed to the point that an official announcement could come as early as Tuesday, a person with firsthand knowledge of the situation told the Free Press this morning.

The Free Press reported late last month that the sides were close to an agreement in which the Pistons would move into the still-being-built Little Caesars Arena next season, sharing the new building with the Red Wings.

Gores later confirmed that the sides “were close” to a deal.

The source told the Free Press that last-minute negotiations center around the arena modifications needed to accommodate an NBA team.


Update: Here's more from Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea:

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AHL on the Beat profiles Matt Lorito

From "AHL on the Beat's" Jason Pearson:

For second-year professional Matt Lorito, the adjustment to the Grand Rapids Griffins has been nothing short of smooth and efficient. Off the ice, he avoided any potential hassles by moving in to his new downtown place before opening night. On the ice, he has proven his worth as a top-six forward for the Griffins by displaying not just his refined scoring touch but also his adaptability, enabled by both his keen hockey sense and innate skating ability.

After leading the Albany Devils – who, by the way, posted the third-best record in the AHL – in points and assists during his rookie campaign in 2015-16, Lorito landed with the Detroit Red Wings organization via the free agent market this past summer.

In many instances, joining a new organization, let alone jumping from rookie to sophomore season and being asked to play more center than in the preceding year, can contribute to a delay in immediate production. Not in Lorito’s case.

The 5-foot-9, 171-pound centerman started his Griffins career on a four-game assist streak, and his six points through the season’s first five games were the most by a player to begin his Grand Rapids career since 2011-12.

So where can these stat lines be attributed?


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St. James: Red Wings lose Marchenko for ‘a couple of weeks’

From the Free Press's Helene St. James:


Update #2: Here's Khan in text form:

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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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