The Malik Report
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Power plays made up the bulk of today's practice for the Detroit Red Wings, who have come up short in that area for three straight games.
They take a seven-game point streak up against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena, but it's not as weighty a streak as possible because of a recent trend of surrendering leads. Sunday was the latest example; the Wings ended up losing in overtime, which probably could have been avoided had they converted on either of their two third-period power plays.
"It hasn't been good enough here for a while," Jeff Blashill said. "We want to get back to the basics a little bit on our power play, and hopefully it has a positive impact come tomorrow night,"
The Wings are at 15.8% overall on power plays, one of the worst conversion rates in the NHL.
from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,
added 2:47pm, Khan added below too...
Also from Khan,
Blashill said Pulkkinen in, Jurco and Andersson out tomorrow. Smith in, Kindl out.
More from Khan...
via Ansar Khan tweet,
#redwings power play units in practice:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader (net), Kronwall-Richards
Pulkkinen-Datsyuk-Tatar, Sheahan (net), Green
More will be added if needed.
In the meantime, George's mother is scheduled to be released from the hospital today and he should be back doing what he does sometime later today.
added 12:33pm, Khan tweete the line combos...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Here are five things to watch this week:
Options for struggling fourth line?
It has been a season-long struggle for the fourth line, which has accounted for only one goal -- by Luke Glendening, who has three points in 24 games and a team-worst minus-9 rating (tied with Niklas Kronwall). Drew Miller has just one assist and a minus-5 rating in 24 games.
Darren Helm, who's moved up and down the lineup but has played on the fourth line for the past several games, has no goals, three assists and a minus-6 rating in 20 games.
Beyond the lack of offense, they haven't as good defensively. At least one member of that line has been on the ice during the opposition's tying goal in the third period in each of the past three games.
This might prompt Jeff Blashill to make changes, but his options are limited. He can insert Joakim Andersson, but he has no points in 11 games. Teemu Pulkkinen, scratched on Sunday to make room for Tomas Jurco, isn't good enough defensively and can't kill penalties. Jurco also isn't a grinder.
Oops, this should have been posted 12 hours ago but someone (me), did not open the post...
Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com spoke with a few players after the game...
Have players talked about ways they can do a better job of preserving late-game leads?
“I don’t know if there’s much thought right now. I think everyone is frustrated with the loss. I think it seems like it’s happening more and more and I think we just have to bear down and close out the game.”
Has the coaching staff been able to point to one thing that has led to this problem lately?
“No, but I mean, it’s pretty obvious it momentum and they’re coming at us and were sitting back, and then they get the goal where it goes off a guy or they bang one in in front of the net. I think just structure and intensity when we have a one-goal lead with five minutes left.”
How difficult was it to get forwards in a rhythm with so much special teams play tonight?
“I don’t know. I think the penalty kill did a great job and the power play could have been a little better and capitalized a few times. It’s a big part of the game and I think with an early game like today you’ve got to find a way to keep the legs going and stay focused.”
continued plus more players
Below, watch Blashill, Zetterberg postgame and highlights...
The Detroit Red Wings suffered a 2-1 OT loss to the Florida Panthers in a game that really lacked any flow. A lot of corner battles and not many grade A scoring chances, but when those did happen, both Petr Mrazek and Roberto Luongo were tough to beat.
And yes, I did look at the clock around the 14 minute mark in the 3rd and silently said, "hold the lead."
Guess my thoughts were not heard.
Early in the first period, the Florida Panthers thought they had a goal...
The MSM reports Kindl in for Smith and Jurco in for Pulkkinen.
Jurco will play with Datsyuk and Richards.
Also, join me in wishing George a happy birthday today.
Also, George's mother was admitted to the hospital yesterday. She has not been feeling well lately and hopefully some testing will diagnose what is ailing her.
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
• The Red Wings are in the midst of their best stretch of the season with points in six straight games. They're 4-0-2 over that span. Five of Detroit's last six games have went to overtime with the Red Wings winning two of them. The Red Wings are 5-3 in OT this season and have yet to reach a shootout. They have a 7-3-2 record in November entering their final game of the month.
• The Red Wings' offense is averaging 3.25 goals in the last four games and 3.00 in the last six. ... Tomas Tatar has five goals and three assists in the last eight games. ... Dylan Larkin leads the Red Wings with nine goals after bagging five in his last six games. ... Henrik Zetterberg has five assists in the past four games. ... Gustav Nyquist snapped a four-game drought with a goal and assist in Friday's 4-3 overtime victory against Edmonton.
• Petr Mrazek, who will start in goal for the Red Wings today, is 1-0-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in his last three games. Mrazek has a 6-4-1 record, 2.21 GAA and .931 save percentage with one shutout in 13 appearances.
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, Tom McCollum stopped 41 of 43 shots and Mitch Callahan scored the OT winner as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2. The Griffins' website posted a recap...
The Detroit Red Wings take on the Florida Panthers in the only game on the NHL schedule this afternoon (2 PM EST on FSD/FS Florida/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM; this game is being played opposite the CFL's Grey Cup, so not everybody will be watching).
The Panthers have been something of a thorn in the Wings' side--winning 3 of 4 games from the Wings last season and 5 of their past 6 at the Joe--and as such, the Wings will have to be on their toes, especially given that the Wings have frittered away 3rd period leads 4 times over the last 6 games, including Friday's 4-3 OT win over Edmonton.
The Wings will start Petr Mrazek against (most likely) Roberto Luongo today, and Tomas Jurco and Jakub Kindl will draw back into the lineup, though we're not sure for whom they'll substitute yet.
For the Panthers, who are coming off a 3-2 shootout win over the New York Islanders on Friday, today's game represents a key opportunity to get off on the right foot as a 5-game road trip begins. The Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov spoke with the Panthers about said trip:
While the Panthers did salvage the last game of a 2-2-1 homestand and went 4-3-1 in an eight-game stretch in Florida, they're no longer satisfied with being a .500 team as they embark on a nine-day, five-game road trip beginning in Detroit Sunday afternoon.
"It's a divisional game and a team we're chasing," Luongo said of Detroit. "We can't think of the big picture right now. It's a huge road trip and we want to focus on Detroit first."
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.