Articles (and Tweets) from an optional practice: Wings gear up for Bruins while looking for goals

Updated 2x at 3:56 PM: The Red Wings held an optional practice ahead of tomorrow’s match-up with the slightly banged-up Boston Bruins (see: no Charlie McAvoy, Patrice Bergeron or Tuukka Rask).

Articles from said practice were quite late-breaking, so I’m going to squeeze a couple of Krupa Tweets into this entry:

The Wings posted a couple Twitter videos of comments from Anthony Mantha (discussing goal-scoring on the power play), Luke Witkowski (discussing his fight) and coach Blashill (discussing the Bruins):

Update: Krupa posted a short video of Blashill’s remarks, too:

Update:’s Dana Wakiji spoke with Anthony Mantha regarding his attempts to generate consistent offense:

Mantha, 23, leads the team in goals with 21 and would like to have more, especially when the team is going through an offensive slump.

“Obviously, you want to score more,” Mantha said. “You always want to help the team more. From that aspect it’s been good. I think it could be even better. This season’s not over for sure, but obviously you want to score more goals to help the team win.”

The Wings have scored 170 goals. In the Eastern Conference, only the Montreal Canadiens (167) and Buffalo Sabres (154) have scored fewer. In the Western Conference, only the Arizona Coyotes with 155 have scored fewer goals.

The Wings did make some line changes in Minnesota to try to provide a spark. Mantha moved onto a line with Dylan Larkin and Justin Abdelkader; Tyler Bertuzzi moved back up to be with captain Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist; Andreas Athanasiou is now with Frans Nielsen and Darren Helm.

“One thing on the road, you obviously don’t get your matches as much so having Abby, Helm and Nielsen together got where we just couldn’t get that match, so we spread out the net presence a little bit,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Larks has had a good year but I also wanted to see if we can get a little more out of that line in the last little bit. I think Zetterberg’s been our best line over the last 10 games, so maybe by spreading it out can we get two lines really humming offensively and then give Nielsen Double-A, now can you get three lines humming offensively. We’re just trying to look for different ways to get a little bit more offense.”

Mantha did play with Larkin earlier this season.

“He’s fun to play with,” Mantha said. “He’s quick, he makes great plays. Me and Abby, it’s the first time ever we’ve played together. Yesterday was, decent, pretty good, started strong, so let’s hope we can build off of that and be a better line tomorrow night.”

Wakiji continues

Update #2: Here’s Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff on the Witkowski-Seeler fight and Wiktowski’s impact upon the team:

“Witter is somebody who when we signed him, one of the things I was attracted to was his versatility,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “He can play both forward and D. Obviously when you’re tight against the cap, it helps to have guys with versatility.”

Mostly, though it was because of the edge he brought to their lineup.

“I think toughness matters all the time,” Blashill said. “When a guy fights for you and bleeds for you, you want to play real hard for him. Witter brings an element to the team that other people don’t bring.”

Witkowski just wishes he got to deliver his payload on a more regular basis, wherever and whenever. Sunday’s appearance was only his 24th game of the season and just his second action since Feb. 20.

“I just want to be in the lineup,” Witkowski said. “If it’s at D or forward, I don’t really care. I did it last year. Some games I’d play both, and I’ve done that this year, so I’m pretty used to it by now.

“I thought yesterday for myself personally, it was one of my best games at forward. I’m just kind of in and out of the lineup, forward, D. I’m just trying to stay in the lineup. Whatever I can do to help this team, I’ll do it.”

Update #3: Krupa posted a clip of Witkowski as well:


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

2 thoughts on “Articles (and Tweets) from an optional practice: Wings gear up for Bruins while looking for goals”

  1. Out-work.
    And now a new one…out-transition. C’mon boys, let’s out-transition these Bruins tonight!!

    Hopefully one day we’ll try something like…


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