Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Abdelkader plays reliable hockey in Team USA’s exhibition win

Team USA defeated Team Canada 4-2 in World Cup of Hockey exhibition action, and Justin Abdelkader played a defensive role, registering 3 hits, a takeaway and 14:12 played, hitting hard, hitting the goalpost with Canada's net empty in the 3rd period, and earning lots of ice time as the game wound down with the Americans holding their lead.

There aren't going to be many highlights of Abdelkader during the World Cup of Hockey--he played on a checking line with Ryan Kesler and then David Backes--but if he can play trustworthy, solid defensive hockey with a physical edge, that will benefit the Wings in the long run.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Nielsen weighs in on Team Europe’s schooling by Team North America

Team Europe players Frans Nielsen (also a Red Wing), Mats Zuccarello, Christian Ehrhoff and Team Europe coach Ralph Kruger spoke with NHL.com's Sean Farrell about the...let's say lessons learned from Thursday night's 4-0 loss to Team North America:

Team Europe forward Frans Nielsen gave some perspective on what it was like facing a talented young team that featured the past five No. 1 picks in the NHL Draft: forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), forward Nathan MacKinnon (2013), defenseman Aaron Ekblad (2014), center Connor McDavid (2015) and center Auston Matthews (2016).

"The level was almost a playoff game, I think, in September, so for sure that's the fastest preseason game I've ever been in," Nielsen said. "But it's fun. You might as well get right into it and I think it's going to be good for all of us with the pace it was [Thursday] night and get the legs going, so I think it was a good experience for both teams."


Team Europe did not practice but held meetings to prepare for its second pretournament game, which is also against Team North America at Bell Centre on Sunday (6:00 p.m. ET; ESPN3, SN, TVA Sports).

"We know we're a good team and I think we learned a lot," Nielsen said. "We kind of played a European kind of big-ice hockey on a small rink and I think we learned we've got to just get back to the North American kind of hockey and simplify the game. I think they were for sure good, but a lot of it was from us trying too much and we've got to simplify, and that's something we talked about."

Farrell continues, and my thoughts regarding Team Europe's schooling were and are simple: Team Europe's trying to mesh together very different styles of play and disciplines of hockey, while Team North America's built from American and Canadian kids who've grown up playing incredibly similar schools of very, very structured hockey.

Team Europe probably has the hardest road to go in terms of attempting to build a competitive team on the fly, and Nielsen, Tomas Tatar and Thomas Vanek are going to learn a lot about the game of hockey over the next three weeks.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Evening tidbits: Vahatalo registers assist; prospect tourney rosters revealed, etc.

Of brief Red Wings-related note:

1. In game action, Julius Vahatalo had an assist, 2 shot sand finished at +1 in TPS Turku's 6-0 Champions Hockey League win over Lorenskog IK;

2. The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau posted the roster of the St. Louis Blues' prospect tournament team, and with that, every team but Columbus has submitted its roster for next week's tournament: Dallas, Detroit, Chicago, Carolina, Minnesota and the New York Rangers' rosters are available;

3. Tomorrow is the "Hockeytown 5K," and it appears that Joe Louis Arena is ready to host the event...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Chris Osgood On Riley Sheahan’s Potential

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“I think Riley Sheahan -- and I love Riley Sheahan, so I'm not saying that he had a bad year, but I know his potential,” Osgood told the Free Press this week, as part of his induction into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. “Riley is a strong center. I think we saw it the last month of the season; he played real solid.

“To me, he has a nice offensive ability, he's responsible defensively, he's really strong. I think if you put him in the right spot, he'll flourish. He'll become one of the best third-line centers in the NHL. And he's getting to be that age now where he's a little more mature. He's played a lot.”


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Can Petr Mrazek deliver a stand-out performance for the Czechs?

The Canadian Press examines "intriguing talents to watch" at the World Cup of Hockey, and if yesterday's 4-3 loss to Russia was any indication, Petr Mrazek and/or Michal Neuvirth will have to play absolutely heroic hockey to ensure that the Czechs aren't fed to the wolves:

Petr Mrazek, Czech Republic: Save for the Flyers' Jakub Voracek, the Czech roster is lacking in excitable talent. Mrazek, the Red Wings No. 1 netminder, has the skills to change that. The 24-year-old was maybe the top goalie in the world over the first half of last season, compiling three shutouts and a .932 save percentage before stumbling in the second half. Goaltenders can drastically alter short tournaments like the World Cup, with a single elimination semifinal, and Mrazek is just the type who could propel his country to unexpected heights.

The CP continues, and the obvious question is whether Mrazek can channel other-worldly hockey skill to keep the Czechs in games until their scoring takes over...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

It appears that Dylan Larkin will rejoin Team North America’s lineup for Sunday’s game vs. Europe

From Team North America's practice in Montreal today:

Update: FYI:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Non-Wings story: Braden Holtby’s mask pays tribute to the Tragically Hip

Occasionally I'll post non-Wings stories in my blog, and today, Sportsnet's Chris Johnston hit a chord (no pun intended) in explaining why Team Canada goaltender Braden Holtby is wearing a Tragically Hip-themed mask during the World Cup of Hockey:

“Everyone knows the story in Canada,” Holtby told Sportsnet in an interview. “It’s one of those things that has turned a positive from a negative. It’s pretty amazing kind of what Canadians do. I grew up and I can have vivid memories of listening to my first Hip songs. We even had a class in school, a little part of it that was based on (the song) ‘Wheat Kings’ – I mean you just remember it. It’s Canadian, it’s the Hip, and with me being a huge music lover (it made sense).

“This being the biggest stage for hockey and a lot of Gord’s songs have hockey in them, I mean it ties the two in and I think it’ll be very good.”

The plan, ultimately, is to auction the mask off for charity. Word has already been passed along to the band and Holtby hopes the Hip will determine where the money ends up.

He’s never met Downie or other members of the band, but has long been a fan.

Johnston continues, and the mask looks awesome:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Morning news: Profiling Dan Renouf; tidbits and World Cup goaltending discussion

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. MLive's Brendan Savage penned a profile of Wings prospect and defenseman Dan Renouf:

In 38 games last season, Renouf led Maine defensemen in scoring while finishing fifth on the team with six goals and nine assists. He also had 36 penalty minutes and a minus-5 rating.

In three seasons with the Black Bears, he had 10 goals, 28 assists, 72 PIM and a plus-14 rating in 111 games.

"I take care of my own end, a two-way player," Renouf said. "I do like to get up in the rush but I think the best part of my game is the D zone and shutting down players, using my size and speed, mobility. I think that's my strengths. I definitely feel comfortable in the offensive zone, too."

Savage continues...

2. Victoria, BC's Chek News posted a video profile of Joe Hicketts as the young defenseman prepares to turn pro with the Red Wings;

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Nielsen, Tatar solid in Team Europe exhibition loss

In World Cup of Hockey exhibition action, Team North America defeated Team Europe 4-0...

The game was a little disappointing from a Wings participation standpoint as Dylan Larkin sat out for "TNA" and Thomas Vanek sat for Team Europe.

As the Europeans tried to find a cohesive style of play against Americans and Canadians who've been playing similar systemic hockey since they were kids, Frans Nielsen looked like a relatively strong all-round player skating on the second line with Tomas Tatar and first Marian Hossa and then Jannik Hansen, while Tatar surrendered several attempts to shoot in order to pass.

Nielsen finished with 2 shots, a hit, a takeaway and going 50% in the faceoff circle in 17:42 of ice time; Tatar took a shot, had 5 hits (he did not shy from contact), blocked a shot, had 2 giveaways and a takeaway in 16:40 played.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Evening news: Osgood the hall-of-famer, TC alumni game news and a geography lesson

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Chris Osgood, Brendan Shanahan and Mike Modano will be inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on Friday night, and Osgood spoke with the Free Press's Helene St. James regarding his induction class peers...

“Mike was here at the end of his career but he’s actually born in Michigan, played a lot of his minor hockey here,” Osgood said. “Shanny was here for 10 years in the prime of his career and was a big part of a lot of winning with the Red Wings. This is a big deal for us.”

As well as Osgood's Hockey Hall of Fame eligibility...

Though he amassed 401 NHL victories during a career that began and ended with the Wings — with stops at the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues — Osgood, 43, has not received a call from the Hockey Hall of Fame since becoming eligible three years after he retired in 2011.

“I was a little disappointed last year,” Osgood said. “I thought I had an opportunity better than the other years.”

2. In addition to posting the Dallas Stars' prospect tournament roster, the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau posted the roster for the ever-popular "Celebrity and Alumni Game" at Centre Ice Arena:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

« Previous       ‹ First  < 370 371 372 373 374 >  Last ›      Next »

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.


Most Recent Blog Posts