The Malik Report
Team North America is battling Team Finland tonight at 8 PM EDT on ESPN2 and Sportnset. Here's an open post to suit your needs.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
"I know I can still play the game and score goals. For me the biggest thing was Minnesota just wasn't a good fit," said Vanek, 32. "It is what it is. There's no rhyme or reason for it. It didn't work out. I think being back in the East is going to help me and the way Detroit plays with smaller skilled guys, I think I can get to the front of the net and go to where I'm good at.
"It's always easy to look back and I say I should have done this or that. I knew going into it that it wasn't going to be easy but I didn't care. I wanted the challenge. I wanted to see if it could work. It's a place that's close to my heart. The only championship I've ever was in my college days there and to win another one there would have been awesome. It just didn't work out."
Vanek and former Buffalo co-captain Steve Ott both signed with the Red Wings in the offseason and are living near each other in the suburbs. They will be part of plenty of ceremonies this season as the Red Wings play their final campaign in 38-year-old Joe Louis Arena.
"It's awesome. When I was in Buffalo, we played in Detroit a lot obviously and I always enjoyed it. I like old buildings," Vanek said. "They have a great atmosphere. I love the history of the league and for that part, it will be cool to play for a franchise with a history like that. We moved down in the middle of August and it reminded us of Buffalo. The neighborhoods are beautiful just like Buffalo. It felt like home really quickly."
more, mostly World Cup talk...
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. ESPN's Pierre LeBrun had this to say about Frans Nielsen's performance in Team Europe's 3-0 win over Team USA, anointing Nielsen the "first star" of the game:
1. Frans Nielsen, C, Europe. His line with Marian Gaborik and Mats Zucarello was outstanding, giving Team USA fits with its speed and creativity. The Detroit Red Wings were smart to sign Nielsen in July -- he's going to be valued there for his consistent, two-way game.
2. The Free Press's Helene St. James penned an article about Xavier Ouellet:
The Detroit Red Wings' prospects laid a bit of an egg on Saturday, dropping a 5-0 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks, and after watching the Red Wings take out the defending champion Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, it really felt like the Wings' prospects were skating into a trap--and skate into a trap, they did.
The Blackhawks out-skated, out-battled and out-executed the Wings, and between Detroit's penchant for giveaways (Dylan Coghlan's assist on Hawks forward Alexandre Fortin's 2-0 goal was just an absolute dagger to the heart), the Wings' unwillingness to clear the Jake Paterson's sight lines and the team's lack of puck possession play, Detroit simply fell flat against a speedy, plucky Blackhawks team whose attention to detail was simply superior.
As coach Todd Nelson suggested, the Wings were out-systemed as much as they were out-played, and when a puck possession team decides to both chase the puck, ugly things happen:
Team Europe defeated Team USA 3-0 in the World Cup's opening game, and several Red Wings took part in the proceedings:
For Team Europe, Frans Nielsen had an assist on Marian Gaborik's 1-0 goal, 3 shots, a hit, a 31% rating in the faceoff circle and 16:48 in ice time;
Tomas Tatar took 2 shots and had 2 hits, a giveaway and a takeaway in 18:25 of ice time;
Thomas Vanek took a shot and had a giveaway in 11:43;
And for Team USA, Justin Abdelkader finished at -1 with 3 shots, 2 hits and a takeaway in 11:52 played.
Here's the Gaborik goal:
The Wings will not be practicing on Sunday from 10:45-11:30, so if you show up for practice, you're likely to be sorely disappointed...
Almost as disappointed as the players were with their outing in a game in which the Red Wings were simply out-skated, out-system-performed and out-lucked as well as a couple of bad bounces helped the Hawks build an insurmountable lead.
Detroit will attempt to start fresh on Monday and prepare for a must-win game against the St. Louis Blues.
After the game, myself, Hooked on Hockey Magazine's Kevin Sporka and DetroitRedWings.com's Joshua Berenter spoke with Jordan Sambrook, who addressed the loss, the bad bounces that went the Hawks' way, and his and the team's respective performances thus far at the tournament:
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. DetroitRedWings.com's Joshua Berenter penned a "morning after" recap of the Red Wings prospects' 6-4 win over Columbus in last night's prospect tournament opener:
The Red Wings got off to a blazing start in the 2016 NHL Prospect Tournament, scoring two goals in the first 69 seconds and defeating the two-time defending tournament champion Columbus Blue Jackets 6-4 on Friday night at Centre Ice Arena.
Center Kyle Criscuolo, a free-agent invite who recently signed with the Red Wings’ minor league affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins, opened the scoring just 43 seconds into the game.
Columbus didn’t take long to counter, though, tying the score at 1-1 just 13 seconds later.
But the Wings didn’t let the quick response faze them. Center Mike Borkowski, another free-agent invite and recent Griffins signee, scored 13 seconds after Columbus’ tying goal to re-take the lead and make it a 2-1 game only 1:09 into the first period.
“That was crazy,” Criscuolo said about the frantic start. “I think there was three goals in the first minute or so which we weren’t expecting. But it’s good for us. A lot of guys stepped up in a lot of ways and played pretty well.”
2. The Detroit News's Tony Paul spoke with Chris Osgood regarding the Red Wings' upcoming campaign...
An open post for the game will go live at 3:10pm ET in the KK Hockey section if you feel like discussing the game.
As stated in the audio post, the Red Wings' prospects took an optional morning skate ahead of today's matinee game (4 PM EDT start on Fox Sports Go and DetroitRedWings.com) against the Chicago Blackhawks, and that meant that the vast majority of the Wings' roster was held off the ice to prepare for the team's second game in 21 hours.
Luke Kirwan, Adam Marsh, Justin Brazeau, Alex Globke, Matthew Caito and goaltenders Stephen Dhillon and Connor Hicks worked with Griffins assistant coaches Bruce Ramsay and Ben Simon. Jeff Salajko's understudy goaltending coach gave Dhillon and Hicks a workout; the 4 forwards and defenseman (Caito) worked on four drills under Ramsay and Simon's guidance, all encompassing defensemen playing the puck up the ice.
The Red Wings' prospects took an optional skate ahead of today's game against the Chicago Blackhawks (4 PM on Fox Sports Go and DetroitRedWings.com), so only Luke Kirwan, Adam Marsh, Justin Brazeau, Alex Globke, Mathew Caito and goaltenders Stephen Dhillon and Connor Hicks worked with Griffins coaches Ben Simon, Bruce Ramsay, and goaltender Jeff Salajko's understudy.
After practice, myself, NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale and DetroitRedWings.com's Joshua Berenter spoke with players who skipped the optional (the rest of the roster).
Joe Hicketts addressed the Wings' slightly sloppy first period and ultimate 6-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, Hicketts discussed his role on the team as a #1 defenseman playing nearly seamlessly alongside Robbie Russo, he addressed his attempts to add an extra step, and Hicketts duly noted that he, like every player, hopes that they will make the Wings' roster, even though Hicketts said that he "has an idea about where he'll end up":
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.