Kukla's Korner

The overnight report: Red Wings-Islanders set-up—more on the line this time

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

For the second time in four games, the Red Wings and Islanders tangle today (2 PM EST start on FSD/MSG Plus/97.1 FM), with the winless-in-2 Wings hoping to repeat the success of their 4-2 win over the Islanders just prior to the All-Star Break.

The stakes are a little higher this time around as the 25-18-and-8 Wings and 26-17-and-6 Islanders have the same number of points (58), and both teams may find themselves fighting it out for one of the Wild Card spots that the Wings currently occupy due to Detroit's 2-game losing streak.

The Islanders are coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday, but they received good news after today's practice at Joe Louis Arena, as the Islanders website's Cory Wright reported--Johnny Boychuk will return to an otherwise healthy Islanders lineup today:

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A ‘BrewHaHa’ reminder

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the C&G Newspapers' Jennifer Sigouin:

Joe Louis Arena is prepping for an action-packed night on the ice — but this time, hockey won’t be the game of choice.

The Detroit Red Wings and Olympia Entertainment will host the Hockeytown BrewHaHa Frozen Fowling Fest, presented by MotorCity Casino Hotel, from 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 19 inside the Joe. This is Olympia Entertainment’s seventh installment of the Hockeytown BrewHaHa series, which was originally based on craft beer but has expanded to include much more.

“It really incorporates a lot of fun vibes,” said Sara Turnbull, private event sales account executive for Olympia Entertainment. “It’s really enjoyable for all.”

As its name suggests, the event will feature a hefty lineup of craft beer, with Founder’s Brewing Company, Bell’s Brewery, Atwater Brewery and Motor City Brewing Works among the list of breweries that will offer samples. In addition, visitors can nosh on seasonal small plates prepared by Olympia’s executive chef, John Borso. Turnbull noted that guests can expect “foods to warm you up” on a chilly evening.

While attendees enjoy their food and drinks, they can head onto the ice — which will be covered — to test their skills at a game of fowling (pronounced like “bowling”), courtesy of the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck. The sport originated in Detroit and combines football, bowling and horseshoes.


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Galli: It appears that Gordie Howe’s no longer signing trading cards

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This has been unofficial news for a while now, but WXYZ's Brad Galli found official word, as it were:

Gordie Howe has been through a lot in the last few years.

He suffered two strokes in 2014, and then his health took a surprising turn for the positive when he went through stem cell replacement in Mexico.

Throughout his career, the Hockey Hall of Famer has always been gracious to fans. Howe has consistently signed autographs in person and famously, through the mail.

But according to one trading card company, the days of collecting new Gordie Howe autographs have come to an end.

Leaf Trading Cards released its newest product, featuring autographed Howe cards. When a Twitter user asked if signature cards were a sign for possible health improvements, the company responded.

As far as I know, Howe hasn't signed for Upper Deck since his stroke, but it's been understood more than anything else.

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Articles from practice: Athanasiou’s opportunity; Sheahan’s demotion; on Smith and scoring struggles

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings brought up Andreas Athanasiou from Grand Rapids today, and practiced with Andreas Athanasiou centering Tatar and Nyquist ahead of tomorrow's matinee game with the New York Islanders. DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose Tweeted the Wings' stacked lines...

The #RedWings practiced today with the following lines: 40-13-8; 43-17-71; 21-72-14; 41-15-26.

And with Mrazek starting tomorrow, the Wings' lineup should look like this:









After practice ended, Blahsill told the Free Press's George Sipple that he planned on sticking with those lines Saturday:

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Wearing Your Team Colors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated,

Over the last four decades, American sports fans have transformed themselves from a populace that dresses almost exclusively in civilian clothing and pays to watch athletes perform in uniform, to one that dresses—in significant numbers—exactly like those athletes. This weekend’s Super Bowl will be overrun by fans in XXL Broncos and Panthers jerseys, just like last weekend’s NHL All-Star game was awash in sweaters from teams around the league. Theirs has been a multi-billion dollar metamorphosis that radically altered the appearance of stadiums and arenas across the nation. It is, anecdotally, most pervasive in the NFL and the NHL, marginally less so in Major League Baseball and the NBA (the latter at least in part because of the less utilitarian nature of the basketball top). Jersey-wearing by fans is such normative behavior in the modern sports culture that its absurdity—dressing like players? Really?—has long been snowed under by its ubiquity. “We have reached the point where if you are the one not wearing the jersey, you are the one who stands out,” says Christian End, associate professor of psychology at Xavier, who has studied fan behavior.

But how did we reach this point? And when did it all begin?


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Practice Tweets: Athanasiou joins Wings as they regroup from losses to Lightning, Panthers

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated at 3:28 PM: Mrazek starts Saturday.

The Red Wings hit the ice for a "short practice" today, attempting to rebound from losses to Tampa Bay and Florida when the New York Islanders come to town for a 2 PM matinee tomorrow.

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa reported that "short" didn't apply to the goalies:

15 minutes before start of practice, jimmy howard, petr mazek and goal tending coach jim bedard already hard at it. @DetroitRedWings

Eventually, the Wings took to the ice, per Fox 2 (and, for the record, our friends from Brooklyn dropped a 3-2 decision to Washington on Thursday evening)...

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Listing the NHL’s best Russian-born players

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

SI's Allan Muir penned a list of the 10 best Russian-born NHL'ers, and while he picks Alex Ovechkin as the #1 player, four Red Wings alums made Muir's list: Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov, and two Wings whose numbers will most likely be retired by the team:

3. Pavel Datsyuk (2002-present): He might be the most respected player in the game today, and certainly one of the most skilled. Even in his declining years, Datsyuk is still the game’s preeminent puck wizard, capable of highlight reel dekes and dangles. He’s also one of the top defensive forwards in the league, his dogged determination rewarded with three Selkes and a string of top-three finishes. A two-time Cup winner, his talent and selflessness epitomize the old-school of Russian hockey.

2. Sergei Fedorov (1991-2009): “He was the best player I’ve ever played with,” Ovechkin said of his former teammate. “He was unbelievable. You put him in every position and he was going to be the best. His hockey sense was unbelievable. His shot and vision, unbelievable."

While Ovechkin now owns the Russian goal-scoring record, Fedorov set the standard in every other noteworthy category. He collected 1,179 points during his 1,248-game NHL career, making him the highest-scoring Russian in NHL history. He scored 176 points in 183 playoff games, making him the most prolific Russian in the postseason. He captured three Stanley Cups, the most of any Russian player. He won both the Hart and Lester Pearson MVP awards in 1994 and claimed two Selke trophies on his way to becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2015.

Muir continues...

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Grand Rapids Griffins-Sled Wings game scheduled for February 9th

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Grand Rapids Griffins, via RedWingsFeed:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins and Grand Rapids Sled Wings will face off in their 11th annual sled hockey game on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 6:40 p.m. at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park (30 Coldbrook NE).

The two sled hockey teams will be comprised of players from both the Griffins and the Sled Wings Junior Team.

The doors will open at 5 p.m. Prior to the game, fans can try out a sled on the ice for a minimum $1 donation (5:15-6:25 p.m.) and get autographs from their favorite Griffins players (6-6:25 p.m.). The game will consist of two 20-minute periods with a running clock. At 7:30 p.m., following the Griffins and Sled Wings Junior Team game, the Sled Wings Adult Team will take the ice against Davenport University.

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A Q and A with Dylan Larkin

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Sportsnet Magazine's Kristina Rutherford engaged in a Q and A with Dylan Larkin at the All-Star Game:

You’re being compared to Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, and you can brush that off? It’s pretty cool but I’m just trying to play hockey, you know?

Do you like pressure? I guess I do. [Laughs.] As a hockey player you like being in that moment. When it comes from outside the rink and outside of a coach or a teammate, it’s something you kinda just listen to, and you have your own opinion about it.

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.

Rutherford continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Being Max Domi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kristina Ruterford of Sportsnet,

Max Domi skates along the boards at morning practice and flashes a grin before he stops short of the blue-line. A kid wearing glasses and a white Coyotes sweater runs over and pushes his face up against the glass. When No. 16 moves up in line for a passing drill, the kid moves with him, shuffling in his sneakers.

This is not a scene you’d expect to see in Hockeytown. In Arizona, maybe. But here in Detroit there are only five Coyotes fans in the stands watching an off-day skate, and three of them wear the sweater of the dynamic winger who’s played just half a season in the NHL. After practice, Domi signs autographs and talks with his fans. He’s the last Coyote to take his skates off.

Domi looks like a natural because he is. The 20-year-old is as prepared as one could possibly be for this life, thanks to being the son of former Toronto Maple Leafs fan favourite, Tie. But Domi is the first to admit you can never be entirely ready for your rookie year in the NHL, even if you text regularly with Mats Sundin.


Rutherford also has the same type of feature on Jack Eichel and Nikolaj Ehlers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: max+domi

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