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The Malik Report

Rooting for failure won’t spurn a rebuild

I only got to see part of the third period of the Red Wings' 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and that was partly due to a funeral, so I'm not full of the usual amount of Red Wings fan and/or fan-pretending-to-be-professional-blogger's worth of righteous indignation regarding the Wings' incredibly tenuous playoff hopes.

What I am is someone who is a realist, and while I realistically understand that the Wings are in deep shit right now...

I do not suggest that those of you who believe that rooting for a non-playoff finish continue on that path, because you will not be vindicated.

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Quick Recap Wings/Blue Jackets

Wings lose 5-3 in a game they needed badly.

I could rant about their play but this is not the time to do so but I will only say the game is 60 minutes, not 17.

This post is now yours.

Goals are below.

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Jared Coreau Continues To Win

from Jason Pearson of TheAHL.

In his first professional season, Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Jared Coreau had just a single win. That’s total, over a span of 25 games between the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye and the Griffins.

Year two witnessed a 20-game spike in the ‘W’ column leading to 21 victories, again while splitting time between Toledo and Grand Rapids.

Now, in his third pro season, Coreau has already logged 27 wins with no signs of slowing down. His resume also shows an AHL goaltender of the month award for December (2015), an 11-game winning streak (Nov. 18-Dec. 26), a top-five ranking in every prominent AHL goaltending category, and a brief call up to the Detroit Red Wings.

Winning has become a way of life for Coreau, evidenced not just on the ice but also mentally. But it wasn't always this way.

Mired in a nightmarish dawning to his professional career, the 6-foot-6 goaltender knew he needed to adapt both his staminal physique and his mindset if he was to continue playing the game that's been a staple in his life since the age of seven.

continued

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Points Needed

from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,

Blashill has approached the entire season in five-game segments.

"We start a new segment, these five games starting tonight," Blashill said. "We want to be a playoff team this segment we got to earn a couple points back. We’re three behind this season, in our estimation, of what it takes to be a playoff team. We need points, we need to go out tonight and play great hockey and find a way to get point."

The Wings all say they are paying attention to the scoreboard and the standings at this time of year.

"I keep track for sure," Danny DeKeyser said. "The last 15 games are always usually pretty tight. It's really close like it is every year. We'd like to separate ourselves a little bit so it would be nice to start with a win tonight."

Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella would rather be in the Wings' shoes, with a chance to make the playoffs, but he said it's always telling to see what happens at this time of year.

"It's the pressure of having to do it. They're in a dogfight," Tortorella said. "They're going to find out about their people. I hope they don't make any ground tonight. It's fun for me to watch because you find about about athletes, how they handle those type of situations."

The Wings have several young players like rookies Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou getting their first taste of this kind of stress, plus many veterans who know what it takes.

It can also help that the Wings have two games left against the Flyers, next Tuesday in Philadelphia and the last home game of the season April 6.

"Listen, it's all in your own hands," Niklas Kronwall said. "We dictate where we go from here. It's just about finding a way to win and get points every night. That's really what it comes down to."

more on the Wings...

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Slight service interruption

I try not to do personal updates as much any more, but this is going to affect the blog, so:

One of my family's matriarchs recently passed away, and the mom and I are going to be going to both a memorial service on Tuesday and a funeral on Wednesday some 100 miles away from home.

It is highly unlikely that I will be able to do a quick take and/or regular recap of Tuesday's Blue Jackets game, and I will be absent for Wednesday's practice news cycle as well.

Paul will fill in capably as necessary, but TMR is not going to be running at full speed for the next couple of days.

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Red Wings-Blue Jackets morning skate Tweets and articles: Beat Philly! (Datsyuk skates as well)

Updated 3x at 12:28 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to snap a two-game losing streak when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM). Given that the Philadelphia Flyers now sit only 2 points behind the Wings in the Wild Card race, tonight's game isn't a must-win, but it's close.

The Blue Jackets didn't hold a morning skate; John Tortorella spoke with the media for over 10 minutes instead, with this as the biggets news out of his presser:

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji took note of some of Tortorella's comments as well:

#CBJ Tortorella on #RedWings: "Great management, great coaching, great drafting. It's a culture."

On the Wings' side of the ice, the Free Press's Helene St. James penned a game preview highlighting the Wings' precarious playoff position:

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The Wings This Week

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Red Wings have been fluctuating between the first and second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Their main objective is to stay ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers, who are within two points.

Here are five things to watch this week:

1. Mrazek must bounce back

The team needs Petr Mrazek to show the resiliency he did last season, when he bounced back strong every time after being pulled for a poor performance (four times).

Mrazek was cruising along, on a tremendous run in January. Now, suddenly, he is facing some adversity, having gone 3-3-1 in his past seven appearances, with a 3.81 goals-against average and .868 save percentage.

Jimmy Howard, particularly strong in his previous two starts, gets the call for Tuesday's game at Columbus. If Mrazek doesn't play Thursday vs. Winnipeg, he is certainly to get one of the starts on the weekend – either Saturday against the New York Rangers or Sunday vs. Toronto.

read on

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Early overnight report: Red Wings-Blue Jackets set-up

The Red Wings face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday evening, hoping to snap a two-game winless streak (7 PM EST on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM) but it's not going to be easy.

While the Blue Jackets are highly, highly unlikely to climb back into the playoff hunt, they're coming off a 6-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, and they've won 3 of 5 games since the Wings' 2-1 shootout win over Columbus back on February 23rd.

Columbus practiced on Monday minus Brandon Saad, and Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella spoke with the Columbus Dispatch's Tom Jones about recovering from Saturday's loss:

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It *sounds* like the Wings are going about fixing the power play the right way

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji spoke with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill and forward Pavel Datsyuk about the team's power play woes, and after addressing the power play during Monday's practice, Blashill and Datsyuk said all the things you hope to hear from a team whose entries suck and a team that can't penetrate the front of the net to get shots through:

"I thought we had entries yesterday where we should have been in the zone and didn’t have good enough support, so we want to make sure we have proper support," Blashill said. "And two, doing a good job in terms of pressure, being able to retrieve pucks and not just retrieve them and maintain possession but attack off of that. So those were the two areas we focused on. There’s been nights it’s been good, there’s been nights it hasn’t been as good. I always look at the process of it but in the end we have to get more results off it."

Datsyuk said the game has changed because more teams and played are focused on blocking shots than when he first came into the league.

"It's shocking when they show team blocked shots and they say after almost 60 games, we have 1,000 blocked shots," Datsyuk said. "It's not like hockey anymore, it's like volleyball with blocked shots or something. We'll see where it goes. Maybe not (for) fans not exciting, looking to block shots. Looking to score or something."

Last season, the Wings were second to the Washington Capitals with a 23.8 percentage.

"Last year be more on the same page, which is shooting, follow puck and rebound," Datsyuk said. "Lots of confidence. Where does the puck go, we know exactly. Now with the change, we need to come back to our style, shoot, delivery of puck. Of course we need to be fast around net, follow rebound. Sometimes we no have second chance. But it's now every goalie's big, we need second chance."

Wakiji continues...

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Articles from practice: Howard preaches an even keel; Wings work on the PP; Datsyuk feeling better

The Red Wings had both of their goaltending coaches in attendance for Monday's practice in Columbus, with Jim Bedard and Jeff Salajko working with Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard before coach Jeff Blashill announced that Howard will start on Tuesday against Columbus.

After practice, Blashill spoke with MLive's Ansar Khan regarding his decision...

"I have unbelievable belief in Petr. I think he's an elite goalie in this league," coach Jeff Blashill said. "I also think Jimmy's proven through numerous different occasions in his career that he is an elite goalie in this league. I think we have the luxury of having two guys that I tons of confidence in.

"I think you're going to go through times in the year where you're playing great and you're going to go through times where the puck's going in. Sometimes it's your fault, sometimes it's situational. Jimmy has played very well. We're going to put him in and hopefully get a win tomorrow night against Columbus. In terms of Petr, I think he's going to be a big factor for us moving forward the rest of the year."

And Howard spoke with Khan about his status as an interim back-up turned interim starter:

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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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