The Malik Report
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Here are five points of emphasis for the Red Wings following the All-Star break:
1. Improve the power play
It has been a season-long struggle on the power play, which has shown no signs of improvement, going 5 for 32 in the past 12 games, which is below its season average of 17.6 percent (18th in the NHL).
The Red Wings are right up against the salary cap, so they're not likely to get any help at the trade deadline to improve in this area. They have the personnel to improve from within; they just need to execute.
They have all the players back from last season's power play, which ranked second at 23.5 percent, plus significant additions in Mike Green, Brad Richards and Dylan Larkin. So there is no excuse for the power play to struggle like it has.
more points of emphasis...
The AHL held its All-Star Game on Monday, holding a set of 6 3-on-3 tournament games and a final, and Grand Rapids Griffins captain Jeff Hoggan and defenseman Xavier Ouellet helped the Central Division defeat the Atlantic Division 4-0, with Hoggan registering a goal and Ouellet registering a goal and an assist in the championship game.
Here's the AHL's press release regarding said game...
The Red Wings returned to practice on Monday afternoon, breaking in their Stadium Series gloves, helmets and pants during an hour-long skate. Afterward, the Wings placed Niklas Kronwall on the Long-Term Injured Reserve as he's going to take a full four weeks to recover from his knee surgery.
MLive's Khan spoke with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill regarding Kronwall's status:
Kronwall had arthroscopic knee surgery on Jan. 18 and was expected to miss two-to-four weeks. LTIR requires him to be out at least 10 games and 24 days. He has already missed four games, so the earliest he could return is Feb. 14 vs. Boston.
"Anytime you have surgery you don't know how quickly you're going to come back," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "He was extremely hopeful he'd be able to come back in the minimum, but the reality is lots of times it's not.
Post-practice Tweets and articles: Kronwall to LTIR; Sheahan ill, D call-up possible later this week
Updated 5x at 5:44 PM: As Paul noted, the Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena a little late this afternoon, and, per MLive's Ansar Khan...
This isn't great news, per the Free Press's Helene St. James...
Niklas Kronwall going on LTIR
Niklas Kronwall on long-term IR
Kronwall expected back for 10-game minimum (Bruins game two Sundays from now), aims to practice next week.
Blashill said the #RedWings have placed Kronwall on LTIR.
The #RedWings do not plan to recall anyone from Grand Rapids for two-game Florida trip. Griffins are currently on their AHL all-star break.
Ditto for MLive's Ansar Khan:
LTIR requires Kronwall to miss at least 10 games (six more) and 24 days. Earliest he could return is Feb. 13 vs. Boston.
Niklas Kronwall, who had knee scoped two weeks ago, still not skating for #RedWings
Updates will come as needed.
added 3:13pm, again via Khan...
Riley Sheahan only player (other than Kronwall) not skating. He's been sick for a few days.
Additions to the post are below...
Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Xavier Ouellet and forward Jeff Hoggan will take part in the AHL's All-Star Game this evening (7 PM EST on FSD Plus), and MLive's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Ouellet and Hoggan regarding their experiences thus far and anticipation for tonight's game:
While Ouellet certainly would rather be with the Red Wings, he welcomed the opportunity to do a little brain-picking of his peers in his first opportunity to skate with the league's best.
"I'm going to try and see what I can learn and have a good time," said the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Ouellet, who has two goals, 15 points and a plus-6 in 35 games. "You usually see some guys you know from international events or other places, so there's some guys I haven't seen. So you make it a fun show for the fans and enjoy the time with it."
Ouellet won't be the only Griffin in the game. Jeff Hoggan was named earlier as one of two honorary playing captains, along with Syracuse's Mike Angelidis.
"I'm representing the Griffins and I think that speaks to what we've done here the past few years," said Hoggan, a 14-year pro and team captain the past four seasons. "My first thoughts were of appreciation, and to get the opportunity to represent the Griffins and go enjoy it."
Wallner continues, explaining the AHL All-Star Game's format...
Via RedWingsFeed, Expressen's Gunnar Nordstrom had a chat with Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg recently, discussing the World Cup, Johan Franzen's injury, Zetterberg's status as a father and Zetterberg's take on the Red Wings' roster. What follows is a rough translation of Nordstrom's article:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. Among MLive's Ansar Khan's "5 Things to Watch" this week:
All-Star post-game coverage mostly focused on a certain people's champion as the kind folks who gave up the All-Star Break had to return to their respective locales post haste. However:
MLive's Brendan Savage posted both a post-game video in which Dylan Larkin addressed his All-Star Weekend experience...
And Savage asked a certain Jaromir Jagr about Larkin's potential as compared to, say, Steve Yzerman:
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