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The Malik Report

The overnight report: Red Wings-Panthers wrap-up

The Red Wings' 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers was a horrible effort by an undisciplined and un-focused Wings team that's lost two straight games after sustaining a 6-game winning streak. The Red Wings plain old played poorly--possibly worse than they did on Saturday against Boston--and they'll get Monday off before regrouping on Tuesday for a tilt against the Flyers on Wednesday (and the Wings haven't won a regular-season game in Philadelphia since 1997).

For the Wings, Sunday's game was an embarrassment; for the Panthers, the game was a fitting effort for a team that had lost 3 straight games and needed to rebound from a 3-0 loss to Buffalo on Saturday, as the Panthers told the Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov:

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Prospect news: Hronek registers 2 assists

Of prospect-related note:

In the Swedish J20 league, Filip Larsson stopped 31 of 35 shots in Djurgardens IF's 5-1 loss to Leksands IF;

Alfons Malmstrom's Orebro HK won 3-0 over Frolunda;

In the QMJHL, Adam Marsh's Val-d'Or Foreurs lost 3-1 to Rouyn-Noranda;

In the OHL, Givani Smith had 2 shots and 6 PIM in the Guelph Storm's 5-2 loss to Sault Ste. Marie;

Filip Hronek had 2 assists in the Saginaw Spirit's 6-5 OT loss to Kitchener;

And Vili Saarijarvi's Mississauga Steelheads lost 3-2 to Oshawa in OT.

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Red Wings-Panthers quick take: that was terrible, horrible, no-good very bad

The Detroit Red Wings hoped to restrict their losing streak to 1 game as they battled the Florida Panthers in an early-evening affair. Both teams were playing the second half of back-to-back games, and the Panthers started James Reimer opposite Petr Mrazek.

Mrazek didn't finish the night, giving up 4 goals on 10 shots as the Wings surrendered a hat trick to Colton Sceviour and a 5-2 decision to the Florida Panthers, giving Detroit a 2-game losing streak.

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Krupa: 5 Nations tournament to be held in Plymouth this week

From the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:

The 2017 NHL Entry Draft class receives an infusion of new members before the picks are made in June as elite 17 year-olds from North America and Europe become eligible, if they turn 18 before September 15.

About five dozen of them from the United States, the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, who have already drawn the interest of the NHL, will play from Tuesday through Saturday in the Under-18 Five Nations tournament at the USA Hockey Arena. More than five dozen general managers, their assistants and scouts for all 30 NHL franchises will likely attend.

“Every team’s going to be represented,” said Kris Draper, the special assistant general manager of the Red Wings. “Probably all of the head amateur scouts will be there. I know we have Tyler Wright (director of amateur scouting) and Jeff Finley (chief scout) definitely coming in. I’ll be over there.”

The relatively short trip for the Wings to the new center for USA Hockey, in the former Compuware Arena site on Beck Road, also allows GM Ken Holland and his assistant Ryan Martin to attend and see up close and in person 17-year-old prospects the club scouts in Europe.

Other GMs will attend. But the location puts the Red Wings in an ideal position for a thorough review of a pool of potential talent that includes just about everyone, except the Canadians and the Russians.


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Blashill pre-game: Vanek out ‘week to week’; Ouellet in for Sproul today

Updated 2x at 4:38 PM: MLive's Ansar Khan reports Jeff Blashill's pre-game news about Thomas Vanek...

"I don't expect him back this week," Blashill said before Sunday's against the Florida Panthers. "I don't know the exact number of days, but it's longer than shorter right now."

It's a blow to the team's offense. Vanek had gotten off to a good start with four goals and eight points, both tied for the team lead.

"He came in, did a real good job. He's had a good impact early on our team," Blashill said. "He's a guy that can score easy, and I don't mean he can score with one shot. Some guys need lots of volume to score; he doesn't need it. He's a right shot on the power play."

The Red Wings have 12 healthy forwards, so Blashill said they won't recall anybody. They would need to do some maneuvering with long-term injured reserve to fit anyone in under the salary cap.

"Right now, we like the group we have," Blashill said.

And Blashill explained his decision to substitute Xavier Ouellet for Ryan Sproul to the Free Press's George Sipple:

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Pre-Game Talk

Ugh, I posted all the pre-game information in KK Hockey instead of here.

Read all about it, sorry.

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Steve Ott Fined for Spearing

NEW YORK (Oct. 30, 2016) – Detroit Red Wings forward Steve Ott has been fined $2,222.22, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for spearing Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara during NHL Game No. 115 in Detroit on Saturday, Oct. 29, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.


Update: Jeff Blashill had this to say about the fine to the Free Press's George Sipple:

“We want to have discipline,” Red Wings coach Blashill said this afternoon at Joe Louis Arena before the game against the Florida Panthers (5 p.m., FS-plus). “If we’re taking undisciplined penalties, that’s something we work to correct.”

Asked about Ott’s fine, Blashill said: “Really no comment on it.”

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Wings’ start ‘surprises’

Among TSN's Scott Cullen's "Top 10 Storylines of the Week":

Among the biggest surprises in the early going, the Detroit Red Wings have won six straight games, allowing a total of eight goals against in those six games.

Naturally, then, credit the goaltending of Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard, who have combined to post a .939 save percentage, and the offence has been led by some unlikely sources. Thomas Vanek and Darren Helm lead the way with four goals, while Gustav Nyquist (not as surprising) and defenceman Mike Green have three.

Dylan Larkin, Tomas Tatar and Henrik Zetterberg have combined for three goals between them.

The downside, however, is that the Wings are riding that hot goaltending and are getting outshot too consistently to like their long-term outlook. However, if this hot start and the points in the bank gives them a little time to sort it out, maybe they can keep their playoff streak alive.


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‘Two Things’: On Tatar’s scoring and Doug Houda

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Tomas Tatar and Jeff Blashill regarding Tatar's struggle to score goals...

After nine games, Tatar leads the Wings with  28 shots. Dylan Larkin, who is next at 25 shots, went six games without scoring, then had two goals in one period. It’s likely to play out similarly with Tatar.

“Yeah, exactly,” he said. “You need that goal that gets you going. You start feeling better. You need that one greasy goal, for sure.”

Encouragingly for the Wings, Tatar is looking like a forward committed to playing well in his own zone, too. That, combined with creating chances, is what Jeff Blashill likes to see.

“I think Tats has played really well, both defensively and offensively,” he said. “If you can keep playing at that level, production always follows good process.”

And Blashill made a surprising admission to St. James regarding Tatar and Gustav Nyquist's ice time:

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Low Compete Level Cost The Wings Against Boston

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings did not resemble a team that was riding a six-game winning streak on Saturday.

The Red Wings were outshot and out-chanced. They committed far too many turnovers. They chased the puck much of the night. They were dominated in the faceoff circle. Their power play posed no threat and they generated few quality scoring chances.

Goaltender Jimmy Howard, with 35 saves, was the only reason the Red Wings were in the game until the final horn, but their lack of attack resulted in a 1-0 loss to the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena.

"They were hungrier than us all over the ice, outside of (Henrik) Zetterberg's line," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I thought Zetterberg's line (with Tomas Tatar and Justin Abdelkader) had lots of compete in them; as a result, they were the only ones to have any zone time. Maybe a player here and a player there, but as a group they out-competed us. We should have known better than that. In the end, it wasn't good enough."


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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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