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Double A will stick to the basics

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji spoke with Andreas Athanasiou regarding his performance during the preseason and his status as skating uphill in his attempt to crack the Wings' deep forward lineup:

"I think I've done well," Athanasiou said. "I'm just going to keep playing my game, do what I do. I know what my game is. I'm not going to try to stray away from it and do something that I'm not used to."

Mantha has size and Athanasiou has speed. Both are also very good friends.

"We've been playing together for years now," Athanasiou said. "We hang out so much. You never want to see anything like that happen but that's how the game is. He's going to do everything he can to make the team and I'm going to do everything I can to make the team. It would be unbelievable if both of us could but you never know what's going to happen."

The fact is both Mantha and Athanasiou could be sent down as they are still waiver-exempt. Blashill has the two starting with Riley Sheahan at center.

Athanasiou is keeping a good attitude about the situation.

"There's a lot of players here and a lot of good players," Athanasiou said. "You can't really look at that, let that effect your game. I think everyone sees how many players are here. What you have to do is put that aside and go play your game and the rest will take care of itself."

Wakiji continues...

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Zetterberg itching to return

Henrik Zetterberg is returning to the Red Wings' lineup tonight, and he spoke with DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji about his return:

"This game tonight's going to be huge for just to be back playing games," Zetterberg said. "You can only do that much in practice but you need to be out there and play games. So we're happy I was able to come back here and play tonight and it will help me for Thursday."

At least initially, Zetterberg will be on a line with Frans Nielsen and Tomas Tatar. Zetterberg will start on the wing.

"Even though I've been a center before, I've been playing wing too so it's not a big difference for me," Zetterberg said. "Even when I've been playing with Pavel (Datsyuk), and if he's been center, we've kind f been switching on and off and it will probably be a little similar when me and Frans play."

Having said that, even though Zetterberg and Nielsen have been friends for many years, they have never played together so it might take some time to get used to each other.

"He's been at the World Cup and I've been injured so we haven't gotten that many practices with each other," Zetterberg said. "We get tonight and all next week and should be ready to go for Tampa."


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Headed To Grand Rapids


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Jeff Blashill With The “Best Chance To Win” Statement Regarding The Detroit Lineup

Updated 2x at 3:07 PM: from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings have to trim their roster to 23 by 5 p.m. Tuesday, and Blashill has said the team will carry eight defensemen, leaving 13 spots open for forwards. It doesn't make sense for young guys Mantha or Athanasiou to be in Detroit if they are not going to play. Today's game is to be the fifth exhibition appearance for both.

“The guys that we feel are going to give us our best chance to win in Tampa are going to play in Tampa,” Blashill said when asked about his regular-season lineup. “We’ll see where everything shakes out.”

Athanasiou impressed with his speed and ability to create offense last season and admitted it would be disappointing if he has to start the season in the minors.

“There are a lot of players here, a lot of good players,” he said. “You have to put that aside and go play your game, and the rest will take care of itself.

“It would be unfortunate, but I’m going to do the best I can to try to make it not happen.”...

“I would say the minute distribution would be more even than it was last year and I would also include the fourth line on that,” Blashill said. “I think we are going to have to be a four-line team. We are going to need to have depth of scoring. And then we’ve got to be real good about being merit-based.


Update: MLive's Brendan Savage believes that Martin Frk may be claimed:

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Red Wings waive Lashoff, Tangradi, Frk, Jensen, Callahan

From TVA Sports' Renaud Lavoie:

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Griffins send six to Toledo, release eight from try-outs

From the Grand Rapids Griffins, via RedWingsFeed:


The Detroit Red Wings on Saturday reassigned forward Zach Nastasiuk to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye from the Grand Rapids Griffins. In addition, the Griffins have assigned forwards Jack Barre, Carter Sandlak, Mathew Santos and Alex Globke and goaltender Cal Heeter to Toledo while releasing forwards Dane Walters, Erik Bradford, Shawn Szydlowski and A.J. Jenks and defensemen Will Weber, Simon Denis, Jacob MacDonald and Gabriel Beaupre from their training camp tryouts.

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Ben Street update

Wings forward Ben Street suffered a skate cut to the neck last night and had to spend the night in a Hamilton hospital, but Wings coach Jeff Blashill reported that Street was OK this morning, as noted by the Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby...

Wings coach Jeff Blashill credits Leaf doctors for treating Ben Street. No serious damage from skate to the face Friday.

And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:

blashill: ben streets will be OK. thanks toronto docs. says sheets terrifically composed.


addendum on ben street. blashill said nothing major was cut, along neck.

Update: Via RedWingsFeed, the Free Press's Helene St. James posted a clip of Blashill talking about Ben Street:

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Red Wings-Maple Leafs preseason morning skate Tweets: Leafs skip skate; Wings to dress Zetterberg

Updated 3x at 12:04 PM: The Detroit Red Wings take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in both teams' final preseason game this evening (7 PM EDT on FSD/TSN 4). The Wings held a morning skate as they prepared for their 4th game in 5 nights, but TorontoMapleLeafs.com's Paul Hendrick reported that the Leafs didn't hold a skate of their own:

4 games in 5 nights tonight for the Leafs in Detroit. No morning skate, veteran lineups for both teams. 48 players still in camp. #TMLtalk


I'd expect younger players like Matthews, Marner, Nylander to join older group tonite. Might Gauthier be in the mix too ?? #TMLtalk


Training camp observations after 2 weeks : Kasperi Kapanen and Andrew Nielsen have looked very good. Frederik Gauthier is quicker. #TMLtalk

Babcock had this to say about the Leafs' prospective lineup last night, per TSN's Kristen Shilton:

Babcock on Saturday's roster: "At the start of the day, I was going to have a complete lineup. Now I need a couple guys." Injury-based.

The Leafs press showed up at Joe Louis Arena for the final preseason tilt...

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‘Three Things’: on Athanasiou’s breakout potential, the battle on ‘D’ and tix for tonight’s game

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Among Sportsnet's Dmitri Fillipovic's "four underrated forwards set to break out in 2016-17":

ANDREAS ATHANASIOU, DETROIT: Every defenceman has a plan for defending Athanasiou until they find themselves on their heels when he bears down on them in full flight.

What could make Athanasiou special is that unlike most players who possess the speed he does (think: Carl Hagelin or Michael Grabner), he also seems to have a competent finishing ability. His 1.40 goals per hour at five-on-five paced the league for players with at least 250 minutes of ice-time, just slightly ahead of someone named Alex Ovechkin.

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NHL.com Previews The Detroit Red Wings

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Why they should make the Stanley Cup Playoffs

They always do. No matter who has left, no matter what has happened, they have found a way. Nielsen should strengthen the power play and shootout. He scored four shootout goals last season; no player on the Red Wings scored more than two. The Red Wings were in a battle all season for a playoff spot in 2015-16, and in another tight race this season, a shootout goal or two could make the difference.

Why they could miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs

They're long overdue to miss. No other team has made it every season since the salary-cap era began in 2005-06, let alone every season since 1990-91. But they've had to scratch and claw in recent seasons. They edged the Boston Bruins last season because of a tiebreaker, finishing with the same number of points (93) but one more regulation/overtime win (39-38). With little margin for error, if they slip at all, for any number of reasons, the streak could end.

Breakout candidate

Athanasiou. He drops jaws with his moves. As a rookie last season he had nine goals and five assists in 37 games while averaging 9:01 of ice time, giving him 1.62 goals and 2.52 points per 60 minutes, Red Wings bests in those categories. 


Cotsonika also answers five questions regarding the Wings...

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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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