The Malik Report
Last night, Anthony Mantha and the Val-d'Or Foreurs were eliminated from the Memorial Cup via a 4-3 triple OT loss to the Edmnton Oil Kings, and I did my best to offer some impressions of Mantha's play. This morning, I'm going to do an informal recap just prior to taking in Sweden's World Championship Semifinal against Russia.
In terms of raw stats, the 4-3 3OT loss left Mantha with middling Memorial Cup stats: 1 goal and 3 assists in 4 games, as well as a plus-minus rating of -2. The tournament probably involved heavier checking and a brighter spotlight than Mantha's ever faced during his Major Junior career, however, so Mantha's comment to the Blackburn News's Ryan Brandt's a superb summary of his tournament:
“I’m always going to remember what we did this year.” The Detroit Red Wings prospect said about his team that did what he called the unthinkable. “At the beginning of the year nobody would have imagined we would be here.”
Mantha scored over 80 goals this season.
According to the L'Echo Abitibien's Alex Drouin, the Foreurs will finally hold their QMJHL championship parade on Monday at 3 PM, and while the Foreurs didn't win a second title, the Canadian Press's Donna Spencer reports that they did earn their opponents' respect:
For those of you who are up at what us night owls call "bedtime":
Gustav Nyquist and Sweden will battle Russia in the World Championships' Quarterfinals today at 7:45 AM EDT. NBCSN's Live Extra website will stream the game in the U.S., and TSN will air the game in Canada;
And Jakub Kindl's Czechs will battle Finland in the other Quarterfinal at 11:45 AM EDT.
That game will air on NBCSN and TSN. Edit/update: that game will air on tape delay at 1 PM on NBCSN, but will be shown live on TSN.
The winners of today's games will face off against each other in the Gold Medal game on Sunday (2 PM EDT start on NBCSN and TSN); the teams who are unable to prevail today will battle each other in the Bronze Medal game on Sunday (9:30 AM EDT start on NBCSN's Live Extra website and TSN2).
I'm assuming that the IIHF will also announce Justin Abdelkader's suspension today; his hit on Vladimir Sobotka will probably yield at least 2 or 3 games' worth of sitting on the bench should Team USA pick him to play in another international tournament. iSport.cz's Zdenek Janda at least has good news about Sobotka's condition:
The Val-d'Or Foreurs tried to pull a rabbit out of the hat for the umpteenth time on Friday night, and if you continue to go to that kind of well, you eventually run out of rabbits.
The Foreurs allowed the Edmonton Oil Kings to rally from a 1-0 deficit to take a 3-1 lead halfway through the game, and between a preponderance of penalties, Anthony Mantha not quite being able to dent the back of the net despite a boatload of power play, late-game and OT chances (he played for the game's last 2-and-a-half minutes, assisting on the game-tying goal, and played 2+-minute shifts in OT) and just a very evident lack of physical and mental energy on the Foreurs' part...
The Oil Kings were able to prove that "chasing hockey is losing hockey," prevailing and advancing to Sunday's Memorial Cup final vs. Guelph via a 4-3 TRIPLE overtime decision.
With no NHL game on the schedule for this evening, I'm guessing that more Red Wings fans than not will tune in to watch Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs battle the Edmonton Oil Kings at the Memorial Cup (7 PM EDT on Sportsnet in Canada, TVA Sports in Quebec, the NHL Network in the U.S., and for people like me, who receive "none of the above" on our cable systems will find it via...other means...).
The winner of tonight's game will advance to battle Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm in Sunday's final (4 PM on the aforementioned networks), and as noted today, Bertuzzi did not practice today, but he's expected to rebound from the knee-on-knee hit he absorbed in Wednesday's game against London and play in Sunday's game.
If you wish to discuss tonight's affair, here's an "open post" to provide for your needs.
Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha will be in the spotlight tonight as the Val-d'Or Foreurs' Memorial Cup semifinal game against the Edmonton Oil Kings (at 7 PM EDT, on Sportsnet and the NHL Network) is the only hockey game taking place this evening.
Val-d’Or’s biggest offensive weapon is slumping, by his standards. Five of the eight times he was held without a goal in back-to-back games this season, he bounced back with a multi-goal game. He will need a hat trick to return to his goal per game pace after two goalless games.
“If I get a hat trick, the chances that we win could be great,” he said Thursday.
Emmerton, who appeared in 139 games over four years with Detroit, has reportedly signed on with Sochinskiye Leopardy — one of the new KHL expansion clubs that will begin play this season in the Winter Olympic host city of Sochi (see here and here for reports of Emmerton’s deal).
The 41st overall pick at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Emmerton has his best campaign with the Wings in 2011-12, appearing in 71 games while scoring a career-high six goals and 10 points. Just 23 at the time, Emmerton looked as though he’d be a regular contributor for the Wings — especially after he played in all 48 games during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — but slowly lost his grip on regular minutes last year and spent most of this season with AHL Grand Rapids (where he played well, scoring 46 points in 53 games).
The Red Wings can retain Emmerton's rights by tendering him a qualifying offer, but if they decline to do so, they can simply allow Emmerton to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
Update: MLive's Ansar Khan weighs in:
In terms of what's become a daily Red Wings programming update: on Thursday, Jakub Kindl's Czechs punched a ticket to Saturday's World Championship Quarterfinal vs. Finland at 11:45 AM EDT on Saturday, Jusitn Abdelkader checked his way into a suspension from international play thanks to a boneheaded hit, and Gustav Nyquist's Swedes booked a showdown vs. the Russians in a World Championship Quarterfinal that will take place on Saturday at 7:45 AM.
Tonight, there are no NHL games on the schedule, so the NHL Network, Sportsnet and TVA Sports will air one game: the Memorial Cup semifinal between the Edmonton Oil Kings and Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs, tonight at 7 PM EDT. The winner of tonight's semifinal will battle Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm for the Memorial Cup on Sunday at 4 PM, which will coincide with the second period of the World Championship's Gold Medal game (that game starts at 2 PM EDT).
Red Wings prospect Mitch Callahan posted a rather infamous "selfie" after taking a puck to the mouth some six weeks ago, suffering a broken jaw and losing eight teeth after taking a Ryan Sproul slap shot to the face. I'm posting the Tweet minus piture here, and you have been warned as to its graphic nature--lots of blood and guts follow, and it's gross.
Callahan had to have surgery to repair his jaw, and he did return to the Grand Rapids Griffins' lineup for their playoff run while wearing a full shield and between dental appointments. His mom came to Michigan to help him deal with the wires in his jaw and the soft-food (and probably liquid painkillers, which taste just dreadful) diet:
Team Sweden managed to rally from a 2-1 deficit and defeat the pesky Belarussians (despite 2 goals from Belarus "native" Geoff Platt and superb goaltending from Kevin Lalonde), winning 3-2 against the team that defeated Sweden so infamously during the 2002 Olympics, and advancing to Saturday's Semifinal vs. Russia (at 7:45 AM EDT; Jakub Kindl's Czechs will battle Finland at 11:45)...
And while Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist was named Sweden's Best Player (Sergei Kostitsyn was named Belarus's Best Player, so the BP-picker may have been drinking some Belarusian beer, but hey, Nyquist gets a nice atch), he may have been Sweden's best defensive forward, not its best offensive player. Nyquist was dangerous offensively, playing his give-and-go game to perfection, and he backchecked like nobody's business...
In short Red Wings-related form:
- Justin Abdelkader's boneheaded major penalty did indeed play a large role in Team USA's 4-3 loss to Jakub Kindl's Czechs at the World Championship's quarterfinals. Kindl's Czechs will play the winner of today's Canada-Finland game in Saturday's semifinal 1;
- At present, Gustav Nyquist's Swedes are tied 1-1 with Belarus in the second period (cough stream cough), and whoever wins that game will battle Russia in semifinal 2;
- DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted that SportsBusiness Journal named the Winter Classic its "Event of the Year," and SBJ also naed the NHL its sports league of the year and Gary Bettman its sports executive of the year. I thought the NHL got some spiffy awards...
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.