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The Malik Report

The overnight report: Red Wings-Avalanche set-up; more rink talk

The Red Wings face the Colorado Avalanche this evening (7:30 PM EST start on FSD/Altitude/TVA Sports/97.1 FM) hoping to extend their home-ice winning streak to four games. They'll do so against an Avalanche team that's in the middle of a pack of Pacific Division teams that hover between Division and Wild Card spots.

The Avalanche are coming off a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, and their victory snapped a 4-game winless (0-3-and-1) streak; Jarome Iginla scored 2 goals and Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 saves for the Avs, who built up a 3-0 lead and, well, I'll let the Denver Post's Terry Frei tell the tale:

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Mrazek for Vezina?

From Fox Sports' Tommy Chalk, who discusses Petr Mrazek's candidacy for the Vezina Trophy:

How great has Mrazek been? Just take a look at his last 13 starts. He's recorded a 10-2-1 record, with a .952 save percentage and a 1.31 goals against average. Those numbers have catapulted Mrazek to the very top of the NHL, where he now leads the NHL in goals against average and save percentage, with .934 and 1.94, respectively. Those totals make Mrazek, well, the best goaltender in the NHL.

"It's so hard to beat him," Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou said following Detroit's win over the Ottawa Senators. "He's a wall back there. It's an unbelievable thing to have. It's like having a third defenseman back there as well with his ability to play the puck. He's an elite goalie."

And if we look at Mrazek's numbers in comparison to Holtby, Crawford and Luongo, who are rightfully considered elite goaltenders this season, Mrazek's numbers stack right up against theirs in all aspects of the game.

At even-strength 5-v-5, Mrazek is well ahead of the three goaltenders in major goaltender statistical categories. If we look at save percentage, adjusted save percentage (adjusted for the volume of shots goaltenders face from different level of danger areas) and save percentage from shots taken in high-danger areas (click that previous link to see where "high-danger" areas are on the ice), there's a clear-cut winner in the categories.

Chalk continues...

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It’s a Stadium Series ‘rendering’

The NHL released a 7,200 pixel-wide rendering of the Stadium Series game between the Avalanche and Red Wings. You can click on the image and make it your wallpaper if you wish:


NEW YORK (February 11, 2016) – The National Hockey League® today unveiled an architectural rendering of the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game in Colorado, the outdoor match-up between the Colorado Avalanche® and Detroit Red Wings® at Coors Field on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/6 p.m. MT. The event will be broadcast live in primetime in the U.S. on NBC and on Hockey Night In Canada and TVA Sports in Canada.

Photo credit: NHL. 

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A trip to ‘Larkinville’

The Red Wings posted a 5:41 video chronicling Dylan Larkin's trip to Nashville to attend the All-Star Game:

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Working The Phones Soon

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he expects to be working the phones as the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaches. But whether a deal happens depends on several factors.

"Before we do anything we got to get close to the trade deadline and see where we're at in the standings," Holland said on Thursday.

The Red Wings have eight games remaining before the trade deadline. If they're still in the playoff hunt, which seems likely, then Holland will see if he can upgrade the roster.

"For us to explore the trade deadline it has to be a player we think is a dramatic upgrade on one of our players," Holland said. "Then we have to get creative with the cap."


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Larkin engages in a Q and A with Sportsnet

From Sportsnet Magazine's Kristina Rutherford's Q and A with Dylan Larkin:

What’s been the biggest surprise for you this season? How close the league is. Every team, no matter where they are in the standings, is a good team. It’s so tight. It’s crazy, you know, you play college and there’re some teams where you know you’re gonna win that game. Here, every game’s a battle.

When you have questions, who do you go to? I live with Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan. They’re pretty young guys but they’ve been around for a few years, so they’re a good help. We share a house; it’s nice. They have two dogs, so it’s a full house.

What have they been teaching you? Are you cooking, doing laundry? Cooking a little bit, yes. They’re pretty good cooks. We do our own laundry. It’s been good to learn from them, things like paying rent, and we had to do the bills—the electrical bill and all that stuff. That’s one thing I’ve learned.

Rutherford continues, and if you missed it, Sportsnet posted a profile of Larkin last night, via Hockey Webcast:

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Jeff Blashill appears on The Fan 590’s HockeyCentral at Noon show

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill appeared on Sportsnet's HockeyCentral at Noon, speaking with Doug MacLean, Gord Stellick and Nick Kypreos for 12 minutes, and Blashill stated that:

  • He states that Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg asked to play together last week, and so far, so good for the "Eurotwins'" synergy and execution;
  • The Red Wings "like their team," and in a league where parity is a rule and playoff spots will be earned by on-ice execution and health, he doesn't expect the Wings to add a player at the deadline. He believes that Ken Holland will explore adding to the team, but he feels that Niklas Kronwall's return in a week or so will be a big addition;
  • He lauded Petr Mrazek and Dylan Larkin as players with fantastic inner drive, hard workers who self-improve and players who must still continue to improve going forward;
  • He praises Mrazek as a "big moment" goaltender who's mentally and skillfully matured into a goaltender who's always ready for the next shot and next save;
  • He suggests that Jimmy Howard needs to be as prepared as possible for his next opportunity to start or come into the crease, and as such, his preparation is the biggest factor toward Howard rebounding and playing more strongly after some "tough luck" games;
  • He informs the gents that he's got the back-ups taking faceoff stats and more during games;
  • He's asked if there are differences between himself and Mike Babcock, and Blashill states that he feels that the Wings activate their defense a little more than they were under Babcock, utilizing the skating of their defense a little more actively in the rush, but Blashill and Babcock are similar in terms of their philosophies.

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Mid-day news: On Andersson vs. Athanasiou, DeKeyser, Datsyuk and Mrazek

Of Red Wings-related note this noon:

1. Regarding Joakim Andersson's demotion, per the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Asked if Andersson being sent down indicated Athanasiou will be sticking around, general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that, "we're day-to-day on lots of decisions and that's one of them."

2. Here's more about Danny DeKeyser's bruised knee from St. James:

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St. James delivers good news on the DeKeyser front

Excellent news from the Free Press's Helene St. James:

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Red Wings send Joakim Andersson to Grand Rapids

No news as to whether this precludes a recall or whether the Red Wings are just giving Joakim Andersson playing time as the Grand Rapids Griffins play 3 games in 3 nights this weekend:

Here's the press release:

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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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