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Prospect news: Griffins lose to Toronto in matinee game

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins are starting to know how the Red Wings feel. The Griffins dropped their 4th straight home game on Wednesday, losing their schoolkids' matinee game to the Toronto Marlies, by a 4-0 tally. The Griffins' website filed a recap...

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Khan: Justin Abdelkader weighs in on hockey analytics

Via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Justin Abdelkader regarding his analysis of advanced hockey metrics as employed in the term paper that helped Abdelkader earn his business degree, and Abdelkader told Khan that analytics ain't everything:

"I think some of it can definitely be used," Abdelkader said. "And I think some of it is a lot of stats and just because the stats say one thing a player's performance on the ice can say different things.

"I think there's obviously parts of it that can be irrelevant. I think when push comes to shove you're going to put the player on the ice that you're comfortable with, who's playing (well). I don't think coaches are going to have a sheet of paper on the bench and say, 'This guy's analytics are this and he does this, so I'm going to put him on the ice.' It's going to be more the coach's feel.

"Maybe after the season they can look at the overall analytics of a player throughout the season to see how much time he's spent in the offensive zone, his shots against. It can vary and it can be tough at the end of a game to judge a player strictly on what his analytics say and that you're not going to put him out there when you know how he plays on the ice and you know he's an effective player."

Khan continues...

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‘Two Things’: Praise for Mrazek and an interview with Vili Saarijarvi

ESPN's Corey Pronman wrote an Insider-only blog entry awarding "Analytics All-Stars," and Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek earned a nod for the most "Quality Starts":

Category: Quality start percentage
All-Star: Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings are tied for second place in the Atlantic Division, and a lot of the credit goes to the consistent play of their new starting goalie, Mrazek.

Wins and losses are an outdated way to measure goaltending, given how they are influenced by factors outside the goalie's control, like how many shots he faces and how many goals the team scored. That's where quality starts comes in, which are awarded in any game that a goalie stops a league average rate of shots faced. In this regard, Mrazek leads the NHL (among goalies with 20 or more starts), with quality starts in 75 percent of his games.

Mrazek also has started the most games without a blown start, which occurs in any game where a goalie fails to stop at least 85 percent of the shots faced. No other goalie has started more than 15 games without blowing at least one of them.

Finally, Mrazek's .932 save percentage is superior to all eight goalies who were selected for the All-Star game and is tied with Corey Crawford for third in the NHL (with a minimum of 15 games played).

Pronman continues, and I'd argue that wins and losse still do a pretty decent job of measuring goaltending, but what do I know.

Also: "Gears and Beer's" Tom Writer and Adam Biggers conducted an inteview with Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi regarding playing with the OHL's Flint Firebirds:

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Jiri Fischer, Wings alums to take part in ‘Shocks and Saves’ game this Saturday

Jiri Fischer and a gaggle of Red Wings alumni are taking part in the annual "Shocks and Saves" game in Saginaw this Saturday to raise funds for automated external defibrillators. Fischer didn't hide his emotions about the event or its reminders of his cardiac arrest while speaking with the Saginaw News's Hugh Berenreuter:

"There are a lot of emotional things that go on right after the survivor's life-altering event," Fischer said. "There was that reality for me that I would never be able to play in the NHL again. It's been 10 years now. Something that you work for your whole life gets taken away. There are waves of frustration and disappointment and then excitement for being alive. It's a very emotional for every survivor. We try to help people out who are going through those things to help ease the pain."

Fischer expects former Red Wings Darren McCarty, Petr Klima and John Ogrodnick to join him on the ice Saturday as a team of Saginaw-area physicians skates against a team of Saginaw-area emergency personnel.

"Somehow, every year I get energized by the event," Fischer said. "People's lives are being saved. Every time you hear another person is saved, it energizes you. We'll play, but we don't want the game to turn into an alumni game. We want to keep the focus on the cardiologists and the emergency people. They're the ones saving lives."

Berenreuter continues, and the game takes place at 4 PM on Saturday at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, prior to the Saginaw Spirit's game against the Kitchener Rangers. It benefits the Pulse3 Foundation.

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All Paul Woods

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

MLive: Who was the best player you ever played against?

Woods: There were lots back then. (Wayne) Gretzky, for sure. Guy Lafleur, Bryan Trottier, Marcel Dionne. The list goes on and on. Three defensemen in Montreal, (Larry) Robinson, (Serge) Savard and (Guy) Lapointe. There were so many great players and back then it was sort of good because the checkers, the third and fourth line, would play against the other team's top line so I got a chance to play with these guys game in and game out and got a chance to play against them. You started to understand what they did. That was a good challenge and it was fun to do.

MLive: Who was the best player you ever played with in Detroit?

Woods: I'd have to say the best player was Reed Larson, the defenseman, was the best player. We had a lot of good who had good potential become better players after. Mike Foligno was a good player and didn't do much for us but went somewhere else and became a good player. A lot of our guys struggled – going back to the coaching – didn't play that well but went elsewhere and became better hockey players.


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The overnight report: Stadium Series alumni news; on Howard’s mask and significant figures

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

Regarding the Stadium Series, the Free Press's Helene St. James confirms that Steve Yzerman and Darren McCarty will take part in the Stadium Series Alumni game, and that Mickey Redmond will coach the alums, all per Wings assistant GM Kris Draper, and she has news regarding Sergei Fedorov as well:

Kris Draper, the organizer of the Wings alumni team - who'll also play - told the Free Press on Tuesday evening that Yzerman "is in." It's quite a coup, given Yzerman is general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and that weekend leads into the NHL trade deadline.

As the Free Press was the first to report Monday, Mickey Redmond will coach the team.

Draper said Darren McCarty and goaltender Ty Conklin also have been added to the list of Wings alumni. McCarty's commitment means fans will get to see the 40-something incarnation of the Grind Line, as Draper and Kirk Malty also are on the roster. So are Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom. Draper said he is still in talks with Sergei Fedorov, who is general manager of the Kontinental Hockey Team's CSKA Moscow team. "Depending on his KHL's team schedule," Draper said, "he really wants to play."

Also regarding the Stadium Series, via RedWingsFeed, goalie mask artist Ray Bishop spoke with InGoal Media's Cat Silverman regarding the themes present on Jimmy Howard's Stadium Series mask:

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Jimmy Howard’s Stadium Series mask has a baseball theme

Mask designer Ray Bishop's posted an Instagram picture of Jimmy Howard's Stadium Series mask, which pays tribute to Detroit Tigers greats given that the Wings will be playing the Avs at Coors Field:

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St. James: Wings go on their All-Star Break vacations

From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Danny DeKeyser had a flight booked straight to the Bahamas. He was among many Detroit Red Wings who maximized their All-Star break by opting to stay in New York following their last game, Monday’s 4-2 victory at the New York Islanders, and then taking off directly from there this morning.

Whereas some teams play as late as Wednesday night, the Wings have the good fortune to get a whole week off.

“We have a little bit of a longer break, so it’s nice,” DeKeyser said after scoring for the sixth time this season Monday. “I’ll be in the Bahamas for a few days, laying on a beach, soaking up some vitamin D.”

Speaking to reporters after the game, Brad Richards joked he was waylaid in getting a head start because “I’d be in the shower already if you guys weren’t here.

“The older you get, you enjoy that time off, because you have to put more work in as you get older and this team does a lot of work off the ice. It’s a good time to recharge. Rest is so huge coming down the back stretch.”

St. James continues, and she confirms that the Wings' games in Tampa Bay and Miami will constitute the Moms' Trip.

Update: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan also spoke with the Wings about their physical and mental vacation:

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Prospect news: Athanasiou feeling like himself again after knee sprain; Griffins file weekly release

Of prospect-related note:

In the SHL, Axel Holmstrom played 14:08 and won 50% of his faceoffs in Skelleftea AIK's 4-1 win over Rogle;

In the FInnish Liiga, Julius Vahatalo didn't play in TPS Turku's 4-3 win over Assat;

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Andreas Athanasiou regarding his return from a sprained knee:

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Red Wings’ latest ‘There’s More to the Story’ video profiles Dylan Larkin

The Red Wings have produced a 6-minute video profiling Dylan Larkin as part of the, "There's More to the Story" series, and the video's superb:

The Red Wings have also produced videos detailing the stories of Pavel Datsyuk...

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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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