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Red Wings-Islanders morning skate Tweets: No line-up changes for Detroit or NYI

Updated with lineup news at 12:48 PM: The Red Wings play their last game before the All-Star break as they face the New York Islanders this evening (7 PM EST start on FSD/MSG Plus/Sportsnet Ontario and Pacific/97.1 FM), and the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Wings will take a 6-day break after tonight's game:

Petr Mrazek is back in goal, in what will be his last game in a fantastic month. He has gone 6-1-1, with a 1.24 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in January.

After the Islanders, the Wings don't have anything on their agenda until practice Feb. 1. Where some teams don't go on break until after playing Wednesday, a favorable schedule means Wings players have been told that they are allowed to scatter for sunny shores straight from New York.

The Islanders took to the ice around 10:20 AM for their morning skate...

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Dylan Larkin eligible for fan vote into All-Star Skills Comp’s ‘Breakaway Challenge’

From the NHL's All-Star skills competition release:

Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™

Fans will have two opportunities to exercise their vote in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™. While five spots will be determined by team captains, one guaranteed spot in this event will be determined by the fans, who will vote on Twitter as part of the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™ Fan Vote campaign.

The eligible candidates are forwards Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fans can vote via Twitter for their favorite eligible player by including his hashtag – #NHLBreakawayDuchene, #NHLBreakawayLarkin or#NHLBreakawaySaad. Voting will open on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 12 p.m. ET and close on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. ET.

Each team will provide one goalie to participate in this challenge. Each shooter will attempt two shots, and teams will alternate after each shot. Style, creativity, and flair are encouraged. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply.

As soon as the last competitor completes his routine, fans in-arena and watching on television in the U.S. and Canada will get another opportunity to make their case on Twitter by casting their vote using the hashtag that corresponds to the player of their choice. The shooter with the highest fan vote will be crowned the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™ winner and score one point for his team.

Points Available: 1 – The shooter with the highest percentage of fan votes scores one point.

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Charitable news: ‘Great Skate’ raises $25K; ‘Shocks and Saves’ game this Saturday

From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner (with an embedded photo gallery):

Fans and skaters got to join the Grand Rapids Griffins on the ice over the weekend in the Griffins' 14th annual Great Skate at Rosa Parks Circle.

The 34-hour event, with 24 hours of at least one Griffins player on the ice beginning late Saturday night through 10 p.m. Sunday, raised about $25,000 for the Griffins Youth Foundation.

About 350 kids play in the foundation's first-through-12th grade and girls hockey programs. It also supports the Grand Rapids Sled Wings sled hockey team. The foundation provides all equipment, staffing and ice time, with expenses exceeding $500 per child per year.

And if you're interested in attending a Wings alumni game during the All-Star break, the Saginaw News's Hugh Berenreuter reports that the Saginaw Spirit will host their annual "Shocks and Saves" game this upcoming Saturday:

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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

- Mrazek on a roll

Petr Mrazek has secured the No. 1 goaltending job with a spectacular month. He has gone 6-1-1 with a 1.24 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and two shutouts. He has won six in a row on the road and it is safe to assume he will start Monday.

Mrazek's .932 save percentage for the season is first in the NHL among goalies with at least 30 appearances. He is third in the league in GAA (2.03) among goalies with 30 or more games.

- Scoring slumps

Three of the Red Wings' top four goal-scorers from last season are mired in slumps, the main reason why the team is 22nd in goals per game (2.44).

Gustav Nyquist has one goal and five points in 15 games. Tomas Tatar has three goals and six points in 17 games. Justin Abdelkader has one goal and two points in 10 games.

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Islanders set-up

The Detroit Red Wings face the New York Islanders this evening (7 PM EST start on FSD/MSG Plus/Sportsnet Ontario/Sportsnet Pacific/97.1 FM) facing a somehwat similar situation to their game against the Ducks, home-ice advantage in New York's corner excluded.

The Islanders have won 3 of their past 4 games and are 4-3-and-1 in January, having most recently defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2 this past Friday. They were supposed to play the Flyers on Saturday, but that game was postponed, so the Islanders, who are 15-7-and-3 at home, held an optional practice on Sunday.

Newsday's Arthur Staple summarized the key points of the Islanders' strong roll of late:

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Prospect news: Walleye defeat Grizzlies; Turgeon, Hicketts score, Saarijarvi adds a helper

Of prospect-related note:

In the ECHL, Zach Nastasiuk had a goal and an assist and Jeff Lerg stopped 18 of 20 shots as the Toledo Walleye wrapped up their 3-in-3 series against Utah with a 5-3 win over the Grizzlies. The Walleye's website posted a recap:

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Jensen and Tangradi’s recall = ‘extra bodies in case players can’t play’

Okay, let's get this out of the way. Why did the Red Wings recall Nick Jensen and Eric Tangradi from Grand Rapids, sending Joakim Andersson to the AHL ahead of tomorrow's game against the New York Islanders?

The Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Wings have some "banged-up" players, and that the Wings are going to need some insurance:

"We are bringing in the extra bodies in case players can't play," general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press Sunday afternoon. The Wings didn't practice, which is common after back-to-back games, but an unidentified forward and defenseman are questionable. We won't know until tomorrow morning," Holland said, "and can't risk trying to get them to New York City tomorrow."

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Wings Recall Eric Tangradi And Nick Jensen, Joakim Andersson Sent To Grand Rapids

 

Press release is below...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Ducks wrap-up—the unfriendly confines of home

The Red Wings' 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks was an exercise in disappointment, from the Ducks' tying goal 7-and-a-half minutes into the 1st period onward, and the frustrating loss dropped the Wings to 1-5-and-2 in the Wings' past 8 games at Joe Louis Arena.

At 11-10-and-5 at home, the Red Wings have some serious concerns going forward, but that would be true of the team even if it had a solid home record.

The Wings' power play is shaky, it's not getting enough scoring from the blueline, or secondary scoring from its forwards, its back-up goaltender looks painfully uncomfortable in his role, and aside from that lovely little 5-for-6 stretch on the road, the Wings can't seem to string enough wins together to truly generate separation from the rest of the pack in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

With an 8-day All-Star Break on tap after Monday's game against the Islanders, the Wings look like a team that needs to take a vacation and then come back and sort out its personnel and all their respective issues over the remainder of the regular season.

On Saturday, the Ducks, whose playoff fate is even less certain, looked like a team for whom things are coming together, and that's certainly true in terms of their post-game comments to AnaheimDucks.com's Kyle Shohara:

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Prospect news: Griffins, Walleye lose; Svechnikov, Turgeon have 3-point games

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins fired 42 shots on Rochester Americans goaltender Nathan Lieuwen, but they lost 2-0 to the Amerks, dropping the home-and-still-at-home series against Rochester. The Griffins' website posted a recap...

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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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