Red Wings-Flyers morning skate Tweets and articles: game previews galore + looks like Howard vs. Mrazek

The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to snap their 10-game winless streak when they host the Philadelphia Flyers this evening (7:30 PM EDT on NBCSN/NBCS Philly/97.1 FM).

Ahead of today’s morning skate, the Wings and Flyers’ press posted articles setting up tonight’s game, starting with MLive’s Ansar Khan:

The Red Wings (26-35-11) are experiencing their worst stretch in nearly three decades. This is their longest winless streak since a 12-game drought in 1989-90 (0-9-3, W-L-T) and their longest losing skid since 1981-82, when they dropped 14 in a row.

If the Red Wings lose tonight, in any fashion, they will be officially eliminated from the playoffs. Even if they win, they will be out if New Jersey defeats San Jose.

The Red Wings are 28th overall and would improve their chances of winning the draft lottery, or at least moving into the top three, by falling another notch or two. But that is of no concern to coach Jeff Blashill and players, who are trying to win.

“We got to find a way to keep fighting here,” Blashill told following Sunday’s 5-1 loss at Colorado. “I think our guys have done an excellent job of staying with it. Our competitiveness has been great. We got to make sure we’re fighting through that frustration at the end of the game, we can’t have that, but we got to keep playing the right way and focusing on 60 minutes of playing the right way.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Donnellon also penned a game preview…

THINGS TO KNOW: After the Red Wings winless streak extended to 10 games with a 5-1 loss to Colorado Sunday, Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill channeled his inner Philadelphia Eagle:. “Understanding how to fight through adversity. Nick Foles talked about it after they won the Super Bowl, how much adversity he’s had to fight through. You hope to come out stronger on the other side and that’s what life’s about. This isn’t supposed to be easy. This is the National Hockey League. Sports isn’t supposed to be easy. That’s why it feels so good when you win.’’ … Knowledgeable Red Wings fans may be pulling for the orange and black and their old goalie tonight. Here’s why: If the Flyers make the playoffs, the 2018 conditional fourth-round pick the Wings received for trading goalie Petr Mrazek a week before the deadline becomes a third-round pick. Should the Flyers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and Mrazek win six playoff games, that pick jumps to a second round pick.

HEAD TO HEAD: Swept in four games in the Stanley Cup Finals of 1997 (their only playoff matchup), the Flyers are still 66-55-21 all-time against the Red Wings. However that includes a 23-39-10 record in Detroit. The Flyers have won bothe meetings this season: A 3-2 overtime game in Detroit on Jan. 23 and a 4-3 regulation win at the Wells Fargo Center on Dec.20. This is their last meeting this season.

Hockeybuzz’s Bill Meltzer penned an exhaustive game preview

The Flyers enter this game in virtually the same situation they faced entering a weekend back-to-back set in Raleigh on Saturday and at home on Sunday against the Washington Capitals. Philly is in third place in the Metropolitan Division, tied in points with the Columbus Blue Jackets but ahead by the narrowest of tiebreaking margins (35-34 ROW advantage).

However, after stepping up in the third period to earn a comeback 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes and then outplaying the Capitals for much of the game in a 6-3 victory the next evening, the Flyers were able to put their 1-6-1 start to the month of March — and their stretch of having scored no more than two goals in seven of their previous nine games — into the rearview mirror. Unfortunately, the stretch of seeing winnable points slip away three times in third periods still has the Flyers in a playoff dogfight rather than the cusp of first place with some breathing room from the chase of their pursuers.

Nevertheless, the Flyers remain fully in control of their own fate in terms of staying ahead of Columbus and New Jersey (three points behind Philly with one game in hand but a 35-32 ROW disadvantage). As long as the Flyers keep winning and maintaining at least a 1 ROW edge, there is nothing the Blue Jackets and Devils can do but keep up the pressure.

And the Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac offered three “things to watch“:

1. Mrazek’s return: It was reported that the Detroit Red Wings weren’t even going to give Petr Mrazek a qualifying offer this summer (which will cost $4.15 million) so they at least got a draft pick, maybe two, for him by trading him to the Flyers. Tuesday will mark his return and it clearly means something to him.

“It’s gonna be nice to be back but when the game starts, it doesn’t matter who is on the other side,” Mrazek said. “We are going there to get some good result and we have to go from there. It’s gonna be nice to be back in the town where I spent my first five or six NHL years.”

2. A weight off for Lindblom: In his 14th game, Oskar Lindblom scored a goal. There have certainly been longer droughts to start an NHL career, but he had played well enough to have gotten a couple well before that.

3. Goalie matchup: Petr Mrazek is expected to get the start against his former team, the first time he will have faced them. Since joining the Flyers he has a 5-5-1 record with a 3.14 goals-against average and .888 save percentage.

Jimmy Howard is likely in net for Detroit. In nine career games against the Flyers he has a 4-4-1 record, 2.97 goals-against average and .906 save percentage.

The Flyers’ website posted a list of “5 Things to Watch” as well:

1. RACE HEATS UP; The Flyers play their fourth game in a span of six days tonight and are looking for three straight wins after earning back-to-back wins on the weekend… In those two wins, the Flyers have outscored their opponent 10-5 with all 10 of their goals coming at even strength (two empty-net goals)… The Flyers penalty kill has been perfect in the last three games, going 7-for-7… The Flyers have moved within two points of the Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division… Tonight sees nearly every team in the race for the Metro and wild card play each other (except Washington)… PIT vs. NYI; CBJ vs. NYR; NJD, vs. SJS; and FLA vs. OTT… Should the Penguins lose in regulation, the Flyers could forge a points tie for second in the Metro with a win. Same goes for the Blue Jackets, who also sit at 85 points.

2. PIZZA, PIZZA: The Flyers wrap up their season series against the Red Wings in Detroit after earning wins in the first two games, including a 3-2 OT win in their first contest at Little Caesars Arena on Jan. 23… The Flyers will look to sweep the season series (of two games or more) against Detroit for just the third time ever and first since the 1982-83 season when they went 3-0-0… The Flyers have gone unbeaten in regulation against the Red Wings in their last five games (4-0-1) and are 7-1-1 in their last nine against Detroit… Five of the last eight games have been decided in either overtime or a shootout, including four of the last five meetings.

Also of Red Wings-related note this morning:

The Wings hit the ice at LCA for their morning skate just before 10:30 AM, but not before a little visit with their old friend:’s Dana Wakiji said, “Hello”…

As did the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi…

After the Red Wings’ morning skate, you’d usually expect a spate of Red Wings quotes, but things went dead quiet.

It appears that everyone hung around for the Flyers’ morning skate, per the Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac…’s Wakiji…

Here’s an ironic Tweet…

Etc. etc.:


Also FYI:

Published by

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.