The Malik Report
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – After completing a 3-0 sweep of the division champion Milwaukee Admirals on Tuesday, the Grand Rapids Griffins will continue their quest for the Calder Cup by facing the Lake Erie Monsters in the best-of-seven Central Division Finals.
The fourth-seeded Griffins and second-seeded Monsters will stage Games 1 and 2 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Thursday, May 5 and Saturday, May 7 before the series turns to Van Andel Arena for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 10. The complete schedule is as follows:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
As Detroit Red Wings captain, Henrik Zetterberg has general manager Ken Holland's ear, to some extent.
Zetterberg's message to Holland in shaping the roster this summer is to be aggressive.
"I think there's going to be changes. I think we will probably find that out very soon," Zetterberg said. "I think now, too, you have to be aggressive if you want to be in the race. It gets harder and harder to make it to the postseason. More and more teams are equipped to do that."
Holland indicated on Monday he will be more aggressive in pursuing trades at the entry draft, June 24-25 in Buffalo.
"I just think you have to be ready if there is something out there," Zetterberg said. "I think a whole lot of teams are looking for the same players. If you want to get someone you have to get aggressive. Then it's (a question of) is it worth it or not worth it?"'
How much input does Zetterberg have in decisions?
"It all depends," Zetterberg said. "We have our exit meetings. (Holland) talks to everyone and listens to what we believe we need, but after that I don't think we have that much input."
Every once in a while, a draft pick gets away and there is absolutely nothing you can say about it but, "Hey, good on him." I barely remember Alan Quine from the Red Wings' summer development camps in 2011 and 2012--he was that inconsequential--but the New York Islanders re-drafted the young man in 2013, he rounded into shape, and the New York Times' Allan Kreda picks up the story from there:
Quine was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round of the 2011 draft. But after the Red Wings made no effort to sign him, Quine said, he hardly paid attention to the draft two years later, when the Islanders selected him in the sixth round. Grateful for a team showing interest, Quine put in three seasons with Bridgeport and even played seven games for the Islanders’ former E.C.H.L. affiliate, the Stockton (Calif.) Thunder, during his first year with the organization.
He scored in his N.H.L. debut against the Buffalo Sabres on April 9, and against Florida, he centered a line between Shane Prince and Ryan Strome, who scored the winning goal in a 5-4 victory in Game 1.
But when an underperforming Strome was benched by Islanders Coach Jack Capuano for Game 5, Quine was suddenly skating on left wing with the captain John Tavares at center and Kyle Okposo on the right. Quine’s sample size with the Islanders may be small, but Tavares — who led the Islanders with five goals and 9 points in the opening round — is impressed.
“It’s his composure, and his ability to play his game at this stage shows a lot of potential,” said Tavares, whose double-overtime winner in Game 6 set off a frenzy at Barclays Center. “It’s amazing how a guy not around all year comes up and plays so well.”
Continued, and good for Alan, not poo-pooh Ken Holland, not boo hoo he's not a Red Wing, just good for Alan.
Walleye season comes to a close with a loss
(Toledo, OH) Matt Caito scored for the Walleye but Reading took the series with a 4-1 game seven at the Huntington Center Tuesday night. The Royals win the series four games to three.
Reading’s Kevin Goumas, held without a goal in the series, started the scoring with a top shelf wrist shot at 8:06 of the first period. Toledo owned much of the play in the opening period holding a 14-6 shot advantage. The second goal of the game for Goumas came at the 6:28 mark of the second to balloon the Reading lead to 3-0. For a second straight period Toledo out shot Reading 14-6.
Toledo chipped into the Royals lead when defenseman Matt Caito fired a snap shot past the right arm of goaltender Martin Ouellette just 1:27 into the third period. The first goal of the playoffs from Caito was the lone one to beat Ouellette on the night as he picked up 37 saves on Toledo’s 38 shots. Kevin Goumas picked up the hat trick at 11:03 of the third to finish the scoring.
Updated 5x at 3:07, with some observations and pictures: Of playoff-related prospect note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Milwaukee Admirals 4-1 to sweep the teams' first-round series, taking the best-of-5 set in 3 games, and the game included two of the most bizarre goals that I've ever seen. Grand Rapids scored the game-tying and game-winning goals, by Brian Lashoff and Anthony Mantha, respectively, THROUGH the Admirals' net. Both goals had to be confirmed by video review:
The AHL's website has already posted a recap...
In a column discussing Tomas Tatar's possible use as a trade chip for the Red Wings, the Free Press's George Sipple reveals that Tatar may not be able to play in the World Championships for Slovakia due to a "chip on his shoulder":
Tatar is hoping to play for another team soon. He wants to play for Slovakia at the IIHF World Championship, which starts May 6 in Russia.
Holland said Tatar was dealing with a rotator cuff injury. Tatar wouldn’t specify what the injury was, but said he had to be cleared by team doctors in order to play.
“I had a little medical problem, so I have to do some stuff here,” Tatar said. “It kind of came from the regular season and it went all the way to the playoffs. I don’t really want to talk about it now till I will know 100% what it is.”
Evening news: Wings take in batting practice; Larkin’s optimism contrasts comments of Tatar, Nyquist
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
2. Dylan Larkin is headed to the World Championship because he wants to play more hockey, and during the Red Wings' locker room clean-out day, the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa noted that Larkin was one of the few Wings expressing enthusiasm and a little bit of defensive "pluck" about his team's need for change:
AWood40 gives us something to enjoy on this "off night" in the NHL--12 minutes of Dylan Larkin's 2015-16 season goals:
from Tom Awad of Hockey Prospectus/ESPN,
While Datsyuk was at his peak, the Red Wings were unstoppable. From 2005-06 to 2008-09, the Red Wings had both Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in their primes, and Lidstrom who, at ages 35 to 39, was still arguably the best defenseman in the NHL. During those four seasons, the Wings averaged 116 points in the standings, finishing 1st, 2nd, 1st and 3rd overall in the league, respectively.
In retrospect, it's surprising that they didn't win more than one Stanley Cup during those years. Datsyuk had already won the Stanley Cup during his rookie season with the juggernaut Wings of 2002, but he was only a third-line player, forming the "Two Kids and an Old Goat" line with Boyd Devereaux and Brett Hull. However, he was the driving force behind the post-lockout Wings. During their championship run in 2008, they looked unstoppable, losing only six games on their way to the Cup. They came within one goal of winning a second back-to-back Cup in 2009, losing Game 7 to the Penguins, 2-1....
The 21st century Wings won't be remembered as a playoff dynasty, but they may yet turn out to be the last truly dominant team the NHL ever sees, as the salary cap continues to drive parity across the league. And Datsyuk will be remembered as the Russian magician who helped make it all possible. There is no doubt that, in a few years, he should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
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Via RedWingsFeed, Kyle Quincey finds himself in a different spot and different role than Darren Helm, today's other UFA-to-be whose situation was examined by the local media, and Quincey told DetroitRedWings.com's BIll Roose that he's not necessarily looking forward to waiting to find out whether he remains a Red Wing:
“A lot of people don’t know that side of the job,” Qunicey said. “Packing up a house and not knowing where you’re gonna be. You’ve got family that need to know where they’re gonna be, and when you have no answers for them it’s kind of the (dirty) part of the job I guess.”
Quincey, who was a fourth-round pick by the Red Wings in 2003, found a niche during his second tour with the franchise. More than a year and a half ago former coach Mike Babcock paired him on the right side with Danny DeKeyser. It was only then that Quincey began to feel comfortable in his reunited role with the team.
“Babs tried to put a few guys with (DeKeyser) on the right side for the first week or two and it didn’t work out,” Quincey recalled. “Then he came to me and he goes, ‘Can you play the right side?’ which he’s never let me play – ever. And I never looked back. I haven’t played on the left side since. I can obviously play both sides comfortably and it was a challenge that I ran with and kind of really take a lot of pride in. Danny’s a great player, so it’s very easy to play with him for sure.”
“A veteran in Colorado told me ‘we’re in the business of winning,’ ” he said. “Teams that win stay together. If Kenny offers me something I’d love to come back. We love it here. But if not, July 1, and just see what happens.”
Roose continues, giving Blashill's take on the state of the defense.
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