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Prospect news: Griffins lose in Charlotte; Vahatalo, Turgeon score goals

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins didn't make Jake Paterson's first start an easy one. Despite building Paterson a 3-0 lead on goals from Anthony Mantha, Martin Frk and Louis-Marc Aubry, the Griffins surrendered the next 4, with Paterson stopping 38 of 42 shots--18 in the 2nd period alone--en route to a 4-3 defeat to the Charlotte Checkers.

The Griffins' website's recap reveals that the collapse came quickly:

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St. James and Blashill talk about the ‘o-zone’

From the Free Press's Helene St. James, this is very interesting stuff (I love it when coach Blashill talks about coaching philosophy, and this is that kind of article):

“I think we’ve got to spend some time in the offensive zone,” forward Justin Abdelkader said after Wednesday’s practice at the Ice Den. “We got caught the last handful of games kind of playing up and down hockey, not spending quality time in the offensive zone for us, so we’ve got to do a better job cycling.”

Coach Jeff Blashill echoed that thought, saying: “We haven’t had as many stretches of real O-zone time as we did from the 15-game-ago mark to the 10-game-ago mark. We had tons of O-zone time. We talked about it today: We’ve got to do a better job spending more time in the other team’s zone. When you do that, you tend to accumulate more shots.”

The power play is another area, as it has been unable to convert in five of the last six games. Some encouragement comes from getting four shots on net during one power play in Monday’s 4-2 loss at Los Angeles.

“Power play is a real important thing to judge it on the process,” Blashill said. “Because if you just judge it on pure results, in terms of goals, you can make mistakes. You can actually make it worse by making changes when you don’t need to. If you are getting the shots we got the other night, if you are getting the zone time, the entry level we had, you are going to score over time.”

St. James continues, and she posted a video of Blashill's comments

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Surgery For Drew Miller

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Practice articles: On Marchenko, Smith, an off-day and ‘closing the Joe’

The Red Wings will have their hands full with tomorrow night's opponent, the Arizona Coyotes, as the Yotes have won 4 straight games and 8 of their last 11.

The Wings practiced in Scottsdale on Wednesday, and after practice Jeff Blashill told the media that Petr Mrazek would start for the Wings, who've won 4 of their past 5 games, and that Alexey Marchenko had unfortunately drawn the short straw on defense.

MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with coach Jeff Blashill regarding his decision:

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Griffins’ Great Skate to take place on Jan 23rd; NTDP to hold Star Wars Night on Jan 30

The Grand Rapids Griffins are announcing via video that their annual Great Skate will take place on January 23rd and 24th at the Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids, taking place for 24 hours subsequent to the Griffins-Rochester Americans game that Saturday night. The team's players and coaches skate with fans for an hour or two in shifts:

Meanwhile, at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, on January 30th:

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Buccigross talks captain-to-be Larkin in his TwitterBagSkate

From ESPN's John Buccigross's "TwitterBagSkate":

Yes, I think that works out perfectly. Current captain Henrik Zetterberg is making $7.5 million this season, but he has five more years on a cap-friendly contract ($1 million per year in the final two years) that takes him to age 40. He'll retire at that point, assuming he's stayed healthy enough to make it that far. Teammates say fellow Red Wing Justin Abdelkader is captain material.

If Zetterberg finishes his contract as the captain, Abdelkader will be 34 by then. Dylan Larkin will be 25. That would be a perfect time to pass the torch, assuming it doesn't happen before then. The Wings view Larkin as their Jonathan Toews-like centerpiece for the next dozen years, as one of their elite pillars. They need to find more, though.

I wouldn't be surprised if Larkin has an "A" on his jersey in two years, if not sooner, but we'll have to see how things play out over time.

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Practice Tweets: Marchenko 7th defenseman; Paterson starts for GR

Update: Blashill tells the beat writers that Mrazek starts vs. Phoenix and that Marchenko will sit.

As Paul noted, the Red Wings took to the ice in Scottsdale, Arizona at 2 PM EST to practice ahead of tomorrow's game against Phoenix, as noted by the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa...

@DetroitRedWings on ice, practice, ice den scottsdale, arizona. blashill drawin' up first drill.

The Red Wings...

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The Wings Are Practicing In Arizona


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Caples: Red Wings, NHL, NHLPA establishing ‘Hockey Scholar’ program

From Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples:

Ever think that you would have a better chance of understanding what your teacher was saying if he or she was putting everything in hockey terms?

A few lucky kids will get that chance.

The Detroit Red Wings, the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the NHL have announced the launch of “The Hockey Scholar,” a new “hockey-themed educational course in conjunction with the NHL & NHLPA Future Goals Program™, designed to enable elementary and middle school students to develop important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills and understand the real world application of these disciplines.”

The Wings’ Niklas Kronwall and Justin Abdelkader will be on hand at one elementary school next Tuesday to introduce the new program to children. They will spend time with the students in the classroom and then hold an assembly in the gymnasium that will feature a shootout between teachers and students.

“We’re excited to continue to bring the Red Wings into the classroom for students throughout the state of Michigan to help them learn the critical skills of science, technology, engineering and math through the game of hockey,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment. “The Future Goals program provides a fun way for students to expand on what they’re learning in the classroom through a cutting-edge digital learning environment.”


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All about Riley Sheahan

MLive's Brendan Savage conducted a wide-ranging Q and A with Riley Sheahan:

MLive: What do you think is the biggest misconception fans about NHL players, life in the NHL?

Sheahan: I guess when you hear people say how easy it would be to be a professional athlete. It's a grind for 82 games mentally and physically. Obviously it's what we want to be doing and it's our dream but we gotta go through some things and sacrifice some things. You've got to be pretty disciplined. I think some people, because they see the glory on TV and things like that, think it's pretty easy but it's something you gotta work hard for.

Savage continues, mostly dicussing Sheahan's time spent at the University of Notre Dame and Sheahan's guitar-playing skills...

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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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