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Red Wings-Oilers quick take: time to worry?

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to snap a four-game winless streak against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday afternoon, with the Wings hoping to capitalize upon a combination of Oilers fatigue and injuries, with Jimmy Howard coming in to stablize the Wings' crease and Niklas Kronwall stepping back in to aid the Wings' blueline.

The Red Wings plain old played the wrong way for a team that was 0-3-and-1 going into the game, displaying less and less pluck, determination and drive as the game went on, and a bad break yielded a 2-1 goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins that Edmonton had no problem defending because Jonas Gustavsson only had to stop 4 shots in the 3rd period and 11 of 23 after the 1st period.

Detroit directed another 17 shots into Oilers players' bodies and fired 7 wide of the net--Green had 4 shots blocked alone, so at least he was trying, and trying mightily--but too many of his teammates seemed content to play out the string, and that's disconcerting.

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Numbers and the eyeball test suggest that the Red Wings need to improve significantly

CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield penned an article discussing the Red Wings' terrible team Corsi stat, but the stat that provides the most "pop" comes in the form of verbal statements from Red Wings director of amateur scouting Mark Howe:

“From what I’ve seen so far, I would say we’re not playing well enough right now to get in the playoffs,” said Howe, prior to Detroit’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, their fourth straight defeat. “Our goaltending has absolutely been excellent, but our team play – and it’s not just our defense – our team play has not been consistent enough.

“And when you don’t play consistent you’ll end up, like right now, in a three-game losing streak. One game we couldn’t score, one game we were tired and we let the last game get away. If you want to make the playoffs you can’t afford to lose those kind of points."

And you can’t afford to play the way the Wings have so far.

Only two playoff teams in the past five years – an 80-team sample – have posted a five-on-five Corsi lower than the Wings’ current mark of 44.7 percent. Both of them, Toronto (2012-13) and Calgary (2014-15), lost in the first round.

At this rate, it’d be a shock to see the Wings get that far. Thankfully they have 71 games to turn it around.

Burtchfield continues...

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Red Wings-Oilers pre-game coaches’ comments: Kronwall, Glendening, Howard in for DET

The Red Wings and Oilers battle this afternoon a 5 PM EDT (on Fox Sports Detroit, Sportsnet West and 97.1 FM), and the Oilers will be coming to town hoping to build upon a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders on Saturday, while the Red Wings hope to snap a 4-game losing streak with Jimmy Howard in the net.

The Oilers, who are starting Jonas Gustavsson opposite Howard, may play without as many as 8 roster players, while the Red Wings are hoping to get Niklas Kronwall back in the lineup.

Here's the Red Wngs' Game-Day Preview video...

Here's the Oilers' game-day preview video...

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Red Wings Productions shares fans’ Gordie Howe memories

Red Wings Productions posted a lovely video in which fans share their memories of Gordie Howe:

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Fans aren’t the only ones ‘popping the question’ at the Joe

Excuse me for saying, "Awwwwwww..."

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Today’s Opponent Dealing With Injuries

via Bob Stauffer tweets,

The Oilers could have as many as 9 players out vs. Detroit: Russell (LBI), Davidson (UB), Fayne (LBI), Puljujarvi (LBI), Kassian (LBI)...

...Caggiula (Hip), Hendricks (LBI), Pakarinen (LBI), Ference (HIP/LTIR)...and  Khaira (F), Reinhart (D), Oesterle (D) out for Bakersfield

Expected starters in Detroit:
Edm: Jonas Gustavsson-10 mins played this season
Det: Jimmy Howard: 13-1-2, 1.96 GAA, .926 vs Oilers

The visiting Oilers defeated the NYI yesterday 4-3 in a shootout.

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Talking Detroit’s Defense

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings have been looking and talking to other teams since last season, but because the Wings need someone good, prices are prohibitive. Friday saw the Wings host the Winnipeg Jets, home of restricted free agent Jacob Trouba, who has requested a trade. The Jets don’t have to indulge him – but they do have to make a decision by Dec. 1, because if Trouba isn't signed by then, he’s ineligible to play this season.

Trouba, 22, is attractive for many reasons: He’s 6-foot-3, he shoots right, and he’s a local product from Rochester who was drafted ninth overall in 2012. Signing him would require somewhere in the $5.5-6 million annually range.

The Jets are looking for a  defenseman of similar caliber in return. The closest the Wings have is Danny DeKeyser, but he alone would not get it done, and if the Jets want a higher-end draft pick, or a good prospect, that’s a hefty price for a guy who scouts say is a no. 2, not a no. 1, defenseman. And if the Jets do decide to trade Trouba, there will be plenty of suitors, as teams such as Boston and New Jersey also need help on defense....

When this season began, there was an emphasis inside the locker room on playing better as a team, on better cohesiveness. That’s slipped over the past stretch, replaced instead with inconsistency and turnovers. The back end has looked especially vulnerable: Jonathan Ericsson had a very good October but has made some costly mistakes over the past week, and DeKeyser can be better than he’s been so far. At  his best he skates, moves the puck and defends, but with Kronwall out, DeKeyser has been slotted too high. Alexey Marchenko hasn't been as steady as he was last season. Mike Green and Brendan Smith are creative, especially Green, and with that comes some high-risk plays that can lead to turnovers. Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul have looked good at times, and look like they can play at this level.


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Martin Frk’s Return In Grand Rapids

from Brandon Folsom at the Detroit Free Press,

The 23-year-old made his season debut for Grand Rapids during its 4-1 win against the Iowa Wild on Friday at Van Andel Arena.

"I was really excited when I found out I'm getting back to Detroit, so I was happy to see all the guys I played with for awhile," Frk said. "The fans are great here, and all of the stuff is perfect. I'm very excited to come back, and we got the win, so that's the most important thing."

Frk assisted on Grand Rapids' second goal, a Robbie Russo score just 49 seconds into the second period.

He also spent two minutes in the penalty box for interference.

"I think he added energy to our hockey team," Griffins coach Todd Nelson said. "I thought he had a good game."

read on

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Lapses Of Attention Costing The Wings

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

The more one hears the Wings talk about it, the more one gets the sense it is a matter of concentration, a mental issue as opposed to fatigue or a lack of talent. “Cleaning it up” could well be a matter of keeping heads in the games for all 60 minutes of regulation.

“Attention to detail every single day, and that, to me, is the biggest single thing,” Jeff Blashill said Saturday, after running his team in practice through a number of line rushes at different manpower that emphasized deployment along the blue line and in the defensive zone, as well as forwards getting back.

“We try to focus on attention to detail in practice and on doing everything right every day, and we’ve got to continue to make sure we do a great job of it.

“Our attention to detail has to be perfect. If it’s perfect, we’re a really good hockey team.”

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The Detroit Red Wings Turn To Jimmy Howard To Snap Losing Streak

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings need to reverse their four-game slide and are hoping Jimmy Howard can be that slump-buster.

Howard will make his fourth start of the season Sunday when the Red Wings host the Edmonton Oilers at Joe Louis Arena (5 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

The Red Wings (6-5-1) are winless in four (0-3-1) and have lost three in a row at home. Howard's most recent start was a 1-0 loss to Boston on Oct. 29. He relieved Petr Mrazek in the second period the following night in a 5-2 loss to Florida.

Howard is a 2-1-0, with a 0.86 goals-against average and .973 save percentage.

"Just go out there and do your job," Howard said. "Make some saves. Don't let a couple in that you're not supposed to and give your guys a chance to win."...

"They're extremely fast and they transition really well from defense to offense," Howard said. "They get through that neutral zone and they get on top of you. We're just going to have to take away their time and space. They've got a lot of talented players up front and they can make plays."


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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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