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The Malik Report

Danny DeKeyser’s Return Should Strengthen Detroit’s Defense

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

He skates and passes well, can be sound positionally and occasionally wields his stick like a rapier to pluck pucks from opponents.

But DeKeyser regressed last season.

The Red Wings handed him a task most difficult. Amid their self-proclaimed rebuild on the fly, and with Niklas Kronwall’s knees reducing his effectiveness, the Wings essentially relied on DeKeyser to be their top defenseman.

He may never be a No. 1 in the NHL, and DeKeyser did not play as well as he had in his previous three seasons.

Now, with Trevor Daley logging long minutes and defending so well he is little noticed, Kronwall more effective than last season as he adapts to his more limited mobility, and Mike Green generating significant offense from the back end, DeKeyser’s circumstances have improved.

He should no longer feel the need to do quite so much, let alone just about everything.

“I think we have even more depth this year than we did last year, and the guys have been playing really well, back there,” said DeKeyser, 27, who is signed at $5 million per season through 2022.

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Luke Witkowski Will Not Appeal His Suspension

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Tweets from practice: Wings prepare for Avs; Lashoff sent back to GR

Updated 4x at 2:30 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice at Little Caesars Arena just after noon, preparing for a big match-up against the surging 9-7-and-1 Colorado Avalanche (the Avs play in Nashville tonight) tomorrow afternoon/evening:

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Wings’ ‘Match Game’ Working Out Well

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings scored some greasy goals and grinded out a win Friday in a game that was right up Luke Glendening's alley.

Glendening, Darren Helm and Frans Nielsen, three centers, teamed up to form the match line. They did a good job containing the Buffalo Sabres' top line and collaborated on goal, too, in the Red Wings' 3-1 victory at Little Caesars Arena.

"In the time they've been together, whether it was on the road or at home, they've been excellent," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "They go out against the other team's top line, they're our match line. (Justin Abdelkader) has been involved in that as well at times and I think they've done a great job.

"When you're a match line and you're above offensive lines all the time, you create turnovers because offensive lines want space and they're not giving them any space. They buy into it big-time. Glenny has five goals. That's what happens when you play from the right side of the puck and you're above and you're frustrating and you work as hard as they do. They've been a real difference-maker line for us. They free up other guys to create more offense as well."

continued

Below, awood40 posted extended highlghts from last night's game....

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Prospect news: Griffins lose to Iowa; Borkowski powers Walleye win; Cholowski, Rasmussen score goals

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, Turner Elson and Tyler Bertuzzi scored for the Grand Rapids Griffins in a 4-2 loss to the Iowa Wild. Tom McCollum stopped 23 shots (with Matej Machovsky as his back-up) and former Griffin Landon Ferraro would score the winner for Iowa. The Grifins' website posted a recap:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Sabres wrap-up—Wings snap Sabres’ jinx

The Red Wings snapped a 3-game losing streak against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night, defeating pesky Robin Lehner and the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 as the Wings earned two much-needed points via breaking out from a 3rd period deadlock.

For the Red Wings, who've now won 6 of their past 10 games, sitting at 10-8-and-2 with two games before the American Thanksgiving playoff cut-off point helps their spirits, their playoff chances, and helps prove that the Wings can--to paraphrase the Fox Sports Detroit crew--win the kind of gritty, grinding games that eluded them far too regularly a season ago...

For the 5-10-and-4 Sabres, a desperate situation becomes all the more so concerning, as the Buffalo News's Mike Harrington noted:

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Red Wings-Sabres quick take: finally, a gritty win over Buffalo!

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to earn their first win in four tries against the Buffalo Sabres, a team that's had the Wings' number over the course of four straight wins.

Detroit broke the Sabres' streak, mucking and grinding their way through 40 minutes of admittedly boring Sabres hockey before breaking through in the 3rd period, ultimately winning 3-1 over a tremendous Robin Lehner and a plucky Buffalo team.

Dylan Larkin had a great game, as did Luke Glendening of all people, and Tomas Tatar got the gamer 8:36 into the 3rd as the Wings finally started to jam rebounds and screen the Sabres' big goalie...

And at the other end of the ice, Jimmy Howard was tremendously underrated in stopping 19 hard shots in intermittent work, earning "run support" as Howard put forth another strong performance.

The Wings needed to beat the Sabres, especially given the emotional let-down off the Flames, and Detroit's going to need to win Sunday's game against the Avs as well.

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Flames get suspended, too…Well, Matthew Tkachuk does

TSN reports that Matthew Tkachuk got suspended for one game for hacking Luke Witkowski in the back of the legs:

Update: The NHL did post videos of Tkachuk and Witkowski's suspensions after all:

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Video- Game Day Preview Wings/Sabres

from the Wings' YouTube page,

Featuring Carley Johnston, Ken Kal, Luke Witkowski, Jeff Blashill, Dylan Larkin, and Nick Jensen at Little Caesars Arena on 11/17/17.

Update: Here's the Sabres' game-day preview:

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A multi-million-dollar paper jam

From Sportsnet's Luke Fox's "Quick Shifts":

Once a restricted free agent’s arbitration hearing is complete, the arbitrator has 48 hours or less to file his ruling.

Ritch Winter, the agent for Tomas Tatar, had a gut feeling that the arbitrator who heard his client’s case with the Red Wings this summer would file an early decision.

Indeed, the arbitrator planned to send his ruling to the league an hour earlier than he did, but he decided to print out and read over his paperwork one last time. He had some printer troubles (been there — am I right?!) that delayed the filing, which arrived a mere seven minutes after Winter and the Wings signed off on a four-year, $21.2 million deal.

The ruling was for one-year and $5 million.

“So Tomas, who’s not performing quite at the level he’d like this year, is pretty thankful that happened,” Winter says.

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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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