The Malik Report
Updated 4x at 1:52 PM: Drew Miller skated with the Red Wings today, and the Free Press's Helene St. James checked in with Miller after the Wings' morning skate:
Drew Miller figures Christmas dinner will have enough options for him to get in a good meal. The Detroit Red Wings forward does have to be careful, though, as he was today, when he made it onto the ice for a brief skate at Joe Louis Arena. He is still dealing with the effects of a crushing hit Dec. 3, when the Arizona Coyotes' Klas Dahlbeck drove his right shoulder into Miller's head. A game official grabbed Miller to keep him upright until team personnel could help him.
Miller wasn't well enough to be around the arena for a good week after the incident.
"It was a weird feeling," he said. "To come back and be around for games and supporting the guys here in the locker room, it was nice to be here for that."
Today was Miller's second time on the ice. The former Michigan State star does not have a return date circled but is hopeful that the recovery is at the shorter end of the 4-to-6-week prognosis. He said he thinks he will go on the team's post-Christmas trip but isn't certain.
"It's hard to say," he said. "You have to just kind of go day-by-day and see how the jaw progresses. And then I've got to get my conditioning back."
St. James continues, and discusses Miller's Christmas dinner options as his broken jaw remains a little sore...
Update: MLive's Ansar Khan posted a video of Miller speaking with the media:
Updated 6x at 2:09 PM: The Red Wings held an optional morning skate ahead of tonight's game against tne New Jersey Devils (7:30 PM on FSD Plus/MSG Plus/97.1 FM), and it revealed that Jimmy Howard will start opposite Corey Schneider--as well as the fact that the Wings are going with Kronwall-DeKeyser, Smith-Green and Kindl-Marchneko on defense against the Patrik Elias-less Devils.
The Free Press's Helene St. James was first out of the chute with a morning skate article...
Updated 4x at 11:46 AM: The Red Wings hope to go into the Christmas break on a good note as they host the New Jersey Devils this evening (7:30 PM on FSD Plus/MSG Plus/97.1 FM).
The Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just after 10:30 AM for the morning skate, per MLive's Ansar Khan...
Optional morning skate for #RedWings. Howard is in the starter's net.
Howard confirms he's starting.
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...
It's an optional morning skate for the #RedWings. Looks like Jimmy Howard is tonight's starter based on him defending west net.
The Red Wings...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
They play only two games this week as the NHL takes a three-day Christmas break from Wednesday to Friday.
Here are five things to watch this week:
- Power (play) outage
The Red Wings have gone 0 for 8 on the power play in the past three games. It matches their longest drought of the season (on two other occasions).
Their inability to get pucks on net is biggest issue. They have recorded only nine shots on goal during their past eight power plays.
- Dealing with Weber, Preds again
Following the break, the Red Wings will fly to Nashville Saturday morning to play the Predators the same night. Detroit has won three in a row against Nashville and is 6-2-0 in the past eight meetings.
The Red Wings won the first matchup on Dec. 5, 5-4 in overtime on Gustav Nyquist's goal. Shea Weber notched a hat trick for Nashville -- with all three goals coming on the power play. The Predators are 6-8-3 in their past 17 games.
The Detroit Red Wings face the New Jersey Devils this evening (7:30 PM on FSD Plus/MSG Plus/97.1 FM) hoping for a little revenge given New Jersey's 3-2 OT win over the Wings some ten days ago.
The Devils' third-period comeback stung particularly heavily, and the Wings will want to build upon Sunday's efficient win over Calgary as the team goes into the Christmas Break knowing a stretch of 5 games in 8 nights awaits them on December 26th.
Our friends from New Jersey are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday, and the Devils are 0-2-and-1 over their past three games. The big Devils story on Monday involved the fact that Patrik Elias didn't play in Sunday's game, as the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti noted:
Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority today approved nearly $52 million in construction contracts for the $627 million Detroit Red Wings arena that will open in 2017.
The DDA, which will own the facility, said it has now awarded more than $257 million in contracts for the project.
The announcement was made by Olympia Development of Michigan, the real estate arm of team owner Mike and Marian Ilitch’s business operations.
Of the $52 million awarded today, more than $27 million is to Detroit-based or -headquartered businesses, Olympia said.
The project’s goal was to have at least 30 percent of arena contracts go to local companies, and the total is currently at 65 percent, Olympia said.
The Sudbury Star's Bruce Heidman spoke with Tyler Bertuzzi about his adjustment to pro hockey as a member of the Grand Rapids Griffins, and Bertuzzi explained why so very often, you hear coaches say that the transition from major junior to the AHL is an even bigger jump than the one from the AHL to the NHL...
After a stellar late-season run with the Grand Rapids Griffins last spring, Sudbury's Tyler Bertuzzi already had a good idea of what to expect on the ice when he began his first season as a professional hockey player this fall. It was all the other stuff that caught him unawares.
"It's a lot different than the OHL," said Bertuzzi, who played his fourth and final season for the Guelph Storm last year. "You have to pay bills and have an apartment and take care of all your own stuff for hockey and sometimes you're on the road for weeks at a time. There's lots of different things and it's a big adjustment. There's a lot of things that come up quick coming out of the OHL and having to transition to pro, and they are all things I never had to deal with before, and it's an eye-opener. But I really like it."
Bertuzzi says that he's getting help from a familiar face:
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Jeff Blashill gets a lot of information sent to him being an NHL coach, but one piece last summer stood out.
In relation to faceoffs, Blashill was left shaking his head with this advice.
“I had one analytics guy tell me you should be at 49.5 percent,” Blashill said. “You should be at 49.5 percent in order to maximize. You should lose more than you should win. If you’re 49.5 you’re perfect, if you’re 50.5 you’re not as good, so I’m not sure.”
The Red Wings have won a lot more faceoffs than they’ve lost the last two games. They won 40-of-62 (65 percent) Friday against Vancouver, and Sunday against Calgary the Red Wings dominated winning 39-of-55 (71 percent).
“Certainly having the puck, we’re a team that wants the puck,” Blashill said. “We don’t want to give the puck up, so starting with the puck I believe helps out.
“That (analytics) guy didn’t.”
There are two areas, in Blashill’s mind, that faceoffs are especially critical.
added 5:11pm, Ansar Khan of Mlive with a faceoff article too....
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who missed Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames with an upper-body injury, is doubtful for Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils, according to coach Jeff Blashill.
“Today was not much better,” said Ericsson, who said that if there were a game tonight, he wouldn’t have played.
Ericsson said he suffered the injury midway through the third period of the 4-3 shoot-out loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday....
Blashill also is considering changes among the defensive pairings, including putting Danny DeKeyser with Niklas Kronwall. He switched things up in Sunday’s game.
“We wanted to see what the look was,” Blashill said. “We ended the game with DK and Kronner together. We’ll evaluate it. We taped our practice and see how we thought it went.
“I thought, halfway through the game, we just didn’t feel that we’d play good enough. We had talked about DK and Kronner together. Kronner’s spent lots of his career here matching up against the other team’s best players. DK, night in and night out, certainly one of our best defenders.”
added 2:55pm, Khan with his wrap below...
Via RedWingsFeed, Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith gave Fox Sports Detroit advice for Christmas and/or holiday shoppers, and Smith believes that the "buddy system" is the way to go and the way to avoid "scramble mode":
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