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The Malik Report

Evening news: A Dylan Larkin interview, Howard highlights and expansion draft talk

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Via the Red Wings' Twitter account, Dylan Larkin engaged in a 9-minute phone interview with the NHL Network, speaking from the World Championship in Cologne, Germany. Larkin addresses both Team USA's performance at the Worlds thus far, and he reflects upon his 2016-17 NHL campaign:

2. AWood40 posted a 7-minute clip of highlights from Jimmy Howard's 2016-17 season:

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Griffins coach Todd Nelson’s wary of the Wolves

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson regarding the currently paused series between the Griffins and Chicago Wolves, and Wallner found that Nelson's cautioning his charges against overconfidence, despite his team's 3-games-to-1 advantage over Chicago:

"I'm not kidding," he said. "I can't stress enough that we'd be arrogant and foolish to think it's going to be easy."

Nelson wanted to guard against over-confidence ahead of Saturday's Game 5 of the Central Division Finals at Chicago. The Griffins, who have controlled the past two games, can clinch with a win. Otherwise, Game 6 is Monday at Van Andel Arena with a Game 7 back in Chicago on Tuesday, if necessary.

Nelson may have also wanted to prevent idle minds from slipping into complacency. The teams, after playing four times in six days, have five days between games. The Griffins took Tuesday off, worked out off the ice Wednesday and held an hour-long practice Thursday. They will practice Friday morning before busing to Chicago.

"The players know how good Chicago is, and I addressed it with them," Nelson said. "We know we're going to be their best game, and we want to get this done as quickly as we can."

Wallner continues, and he updates Brian Lashoff's status for Saturday's game...

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Answers To Questions Presented To Helene St. James

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answered a few questions today from fans.

I don't think I need to include the questions....

HSJ: The Wings are looking to upgrade on defense (ditto many other NHL teams) and will have to decide what price they are willing to pay – up to a high-end prospect/young player. We saw what Edmonton gave up (former no. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall) to acquire Adam Larsson, a defenseman who has produced less than 20 points the past two seasons. Are they willing to trade Dylan Larkin/Anthony Mantha/Andreas Athanasiou/Evgeny Svechnikov?

I wouldn’t personally....

HSJ: The Wings had gone a long ways down the road to re-sign defenseman Brendan Smith before trading him at the deadline to the New York Rangers. I would expect the Rangers to try to re-sign him (they gave up a second- and third-round pick for him, after all) but if he hits July 1, the Wings will pursue him because this is a sparse, sparse summer for UFA defensemen (and bear in mind things could change if the Wings pull off a trade for a defenseman).

Some of the other D who could be on the market are Andrei Markov and Kevin Shattenkirk. Among forwards, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Steve Ott back in a Wings uniform, either...

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About Daniel Cleary’s upbringing

From MacLean's Shanda Deziel:

"You don’t think about what you’re going to do or how you’re going to feel when you win the Stanley Cup,” explains former Detroit Red Wing Daniel Cleary. “You don’t want to think prematurely.”

Cleary was one of the six Red Wings on the ice when Detroit beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2008 Stanley Cup final. As he took his victory lap with the Cup, Cleary couldn’t help but think of home and, in particular, his minor-league hockey coach Dick Power.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever had this . . . where something great happens and your brain starts thinking of people you want to thank,” Cleary says. “Dick Power was one of the first ones I thought of.”

When a TV reporter pulled Cleary aside to talk about the fact that he was the first Newfoundlander to win the Cup, Cleary instinctively replied: “I’d like to thank Dick Power—my dad and mom and Dick.” Amid all the excitement, an NHL hero’s childhood coach got not one, but two mentions.

Deizel continues, and she reports that Cleary will officially retire from hockey this June. My best guess is that he'll earn a spot in the Wings' player development corps, working alongside Jiri Fischer and Shawn Horcoff, because that's basically what he does right now.

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AHL’s divisional revisions = three new match-ups for Grand Rapids Griffins

From the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL has revised its divisions for the 2017-18 season, and as part of the revision, the Griffins will play against new teams during 17-18:

GRIFFINS' 2017-18 SCHEDULE FORMAT FEATURES THREE NEW FOES

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday announced their schedule format for the 2017-18 season, which is highlighted by games against the Hershey Bears, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Tucson Roadrunners.

The full schedule with dates and times for the American Hockey League’s 82nd season will be released this summer.

The Griffins and the Atlantic Division’s Bears will stage a home-and-home set, matching up for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign. Grand Rapids is 6-0 all-time against Hershey, a franchise that began play in the AHL in 1938-39, has won 11 Calder Cups and is affiliated with the Washington Capitals. Former Griffin (2004-06) and AHL Hall of Famer Bryan Helmer serves as the Bears’ vice president of hockey operations.

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Red Wings at the Worlds: Mrazek sits as Pavel Francouz pitches 9-save shutout vs. Norway

At the World Championship in Paris, France:

Petr Mrazek sat on the bench as Pavel Francouz had to stop exactly 9 shots as his Czech Republic team defeated Norway 1-0 in overtime.

The Czechs will play Slovakia tomorrow at 10:15 AM EDT in Paris; Jimmy Howard, Danny DeKeyser and Dylan Larkin will play Latvia at 6:15 AM EDT on on Saturday in Cologne.

Update: Here are highlights if you're interested:

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Prospect news: Sambrook’s Otters take 3-1 lead in OHL Championship

Of prospect-related note:

In the Ontario Hockey League, Jordan Sambrook's Erie Otters took a 3-games-to-1 stranglehold on the OHL Final, winning 5-2 over Vili Saarijarvi's Mississauga Steelheads. Sambrook finished even with 1 shot; in "good news-bad-news" stats, Vili Saarijarvi was used in key situations, but that meant that Saarijarvi finished at -3 with 2 shots and a penalty. You can watch highlights of the game here.

Erie can wrap up a trip to the Memorial Cup in Windsor with a victory on Friday.

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Wings fans ‘Paint the Joe’

The Detroit Red Wings had fans "Paint the Joe" on Wednesday evening, as noted by WXYZ's Brad Galli...

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Griffins must use rest as a weapon; Callahan discusses his hat trick

The Grand Rapids Griffins are in the middle of a 5-day wait to play Game 5 of their second-round series against the Chicago Wolves, and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with the team about the fact that AHL building availability = a big break between games 1-4 and 5-7:

"If we didn't play the four games so tight then I'd like to play again," coach Todd Nelson said after Monday's win. "... The rest is needed. I think you could tell from tonight's game. From Saturday to tonight, the tempo was down from both teams. I think the tempo will be a lot higher Saturday."

The Griffins topped the Wolves 6-3 on Monday to continue a torrid postseason. They have won six of seven overall - the best record among all postseason teams - and are averaging 4.14 goals a game. Five of the league's top eight playoff scorers are Griffins (Tyler Bertuzzi, Mitch Callahan, Ben Street, Eric Tangradi and Evgeny Svechnikov).

But there are reasons to welcome the rest, and that's to heal. Defenseman Brian Lashoff, out the past two games after smashing into the boards, has missed the past two games, while forward Colin Campbell, a strong special teams player, has missed two of three including the last game.

"I think some guys need to rest their bodies - some older guys but even the younger guys, too," Bertuzzi said. "Well do that this week and go Saturday and try and get a win."

Wallner continues, and the Griffins posted a video of Mitch Callahan discussing his hat trick during Monday's big win over the Wolves:

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Walleye waiting for Colorado Eagles

The ECHL's Toledo Walleye will be playing Games 1 and 2 of their Conference Final series against the Colorado Eagles on Friday and Saturday, as noted by the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe...

Toledo will take on the Colorado Eagles in a best-of-seven series that starts this weekend. The series will follow a 2-3-2 format with games at the Huntington Center on Friday and Saturday, and would wrap up there May 22 and 24, if necessary.

The Eagles beat Allen 4-3 in Game 6 of the Mountain Division final tonight to win the series 4-2. Colorado trailed 3-2 going into the third period, but Matt Register’s fifth goal of the playoffs with 1:09 left helped the Eagles beat the two-time defending Kelly Cup champions.

The Walleye, who have home-ice advantage throughout the Kelly Cup playoffs thanks to a 106-point regular season, did not face the Eagles during the campaign. Colorado finished second second in the Mountain Division and third overall in the Western Conference with 99 points. Toledo led the ECHL in goals for (4.19 per game) and goals against (2.65) this season, while Colorado ranked fifth in scoring (3.68) and placed fourth in team defense (2.86).

And Monroe penned an article about the Walleye's significant home-ice advantage:

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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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