The Malik Report
Updated with more from Nyquist at 1:48 PM: The Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno delivers a different take on Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist's offensive flourishing this morning, snagging comments from Nyquist's teammates as to why #14's taken the league by storm:
"He made a splash right away: first game, two goals, when he came up, so I don't know if it's a surprise," [Daniel] Alfredsson said. "Maybe a surprise he's been able to keep up that pace. We hadn't seen him in the NHL as much. He's made a name for himself, a reputation for himself."
"It feels like he's one step ahead sometimes, knowing where the puck's going to end up, and that's how he scores a lot of goals," [Jonas] Gustavsson said on a recent trip to Toronto. "He's going to the right spots. I'm not surprised that he has been scoring a lot for us. Maybe he's scored more than I thought right now."
"Sometimes in the NHL if you're playing with great players, you're going to find a way to put that in, and he's done that," defenceman Brendan Smith said. "It's been huge for our club."
Whyno continues with more from Alfredsson, Gustavsson, Smith, and this superlative from coach Mike Babcock:
I know KK's readers may be a little annoyed with the onslaught of Red Wings posts this morning (I needed to take yesterday off, sorry), but I think that Ken Holland's interview with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness is absolutely essential reading, so I'm going to post it in a separate entry (it's already in the Wings-Canes game-day update post) because Holland delivers a one-paragraph answer as to why the Wings don't promote young players "early":
"Establish yourself as a legitimate premier minor league player and then you prove it at the next level,” the Wings’ general manager said during a phone interview Thursday. “That’s how you get to the American League from juniors, or college or Europe. When you’re an established, top notch player, we sign you to a contract to the next level.”
Updated 6x at 1:25 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will hold "Fan Appreciation Night" when they play their regular season finale at Joe Louis Arena this evening, entertaining the Carolina Hurricanes (7:30 PM EDT on FSD Plus/FS Carolnas/97.1 FM).
With the Columbus Blue Jackets wrapping up their regular season with back-to-backs in Tampa tonight and Florida tomorrow, the Wings need to take both tonight's game and Sunday's 12:30 PM EDT-starting tilt in St. Louis to finish ahead of Columbus in the Wild Card standings:
Carolina played its last home game of the 2013-2014 season on Thursday, dropping a 5-2 decision to Washington, and they've lost 3 straight games. NHL.com's John Kreiser posited a preview of tonight's action:
The Detroit Red Wings' prospects were relatively busy on Thursday, and the most significant game involved a player who didn't register a point in defenseman Ben Marshall, whose University of Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the University of North Dakota 2-1 in the NCAA's Frozen Four semifinal.
The Gophers scored a literal last-second goal, and the team will now battle Union for the NCAA Division I championship on Saturday (at 7:30 PM EDT, on ESPN). Marshall looked solid and played significant minutes for Minnesota.
In other playoff action, in the OHL, Andreas Athanasiou registered 2 assists as his Barrie Colts defeated the North Bay Battalion 7-4, tying the teams' second-round series at 2 games apiece.
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazek and defenseman Adam Almquist on Thursday were named to the 2013-14 American Hockey League Second All-Star Team.
Mrazek, 22, ranks first among AHL goaltenders with a 2.03 goals against average and a 0.927 save percentage, while owning a 22-7-1 record through 30 games. In addition, Mrazek boasts a 4-1 shootout record, a 0.750 shootout percentage, 1,711:36 minutes in net and has allowed only 58 goals on 790 shots faced. The Ostrava, Czech Republic, native has posted both an eight-game winning streak from Feb. 22-March 22 and a 10-game winning streak from Oct. 30-Feb. 1.
Updated with a Ken Holland interview at 1:19 PM: Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spoke with The Fan 590's Darren Millard, Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean yesterday afternoon, and here's the interview:
And Fox Sports Detroit's Mickey Redmond spoke for a considerably longer period of time with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Drew Lane a little later on Thursday:
from Corey Masisak of NHL.com,
To wrap up the Super 16 for the 2013-14 season, here's a look at players who surprised and disappointed, and those who proved to be the most valuable for the best teams in the League.
10. Detroit Red Wings (38-27-15) LW: 13
MVP: When the NHL took its annual holiday break, Gustav Nyquist had four goals in 14 games. He now has nine more than anyone else on the team, and has carried the offense with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk missing through injury.
Surprise: Of all the players who have contributed after starting the season in the American Hockey League, Luke Glendening is the one who has risen furthest up the organizational depth chart. Nothing about his play or his numbers really stands out, but the best coach in the NHL trusts him to play legitimate minutes in this League. For a player on an AHL-only contract last season, that's a pretty big deal.
Disappointment: Ken Holland had too many players and wasn't able to offload the ones necessary for Nyquist to spend the entire season in the NHL. If it weren't for all the injuries, there would have been some hard choices to make this season.
read on for the other teams in the Super 16...
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Jared Coreau from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.
Coreau, 22, signed with the Red Wings last summer after a three-year career with Northern Michigan University of the CCHA. In 76 games with the Wildcats from 2010-13, he compiled a 32-31-8 record, a 2.74 goals-against average, a 0.919 save percentage and two shutouts. A native of Perth, Ontario, Coreau has appeared in 19 games with Toledo as a first-year pro, posting a 1-12-5 record, a 4.10 goals-against average and a 0.873 save percentage. The 6-foot-5, 235-lb., netminder has also made five appearances for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins with an 0-4 record, a 4.39 goals-against average and a 0.873 save percentage.
from rory Boylen of The Hockey News,
The last time the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs…
• Gustav Nyquist was less than one year old. Today, he leads the Red Wings with 28 goals.
• Wayne Gretzky had just completed a 40-goal, 142-point season in his second year with the Los Angeles Kings.
• Teemu Selanne, who missed most of the season with a leg injury, had just finished scoring 12 points in 11 games with Jokerit. He would play two more seasons in Finland before coming over to play in the NHL with Winnipeg. Meanwhile, Jaromir Jagr scored 50 points in 51 games for Kladno in Czechoslovakia (yes, it was still called that) and would make his NHL debut the following season.
• Alexander Mogilny had just completed his rookie NHL season and Martin Brodeur wouldn’t be drafted by New Jersey until after the playoffs.
• The following players also made their debuts: Rob Ray, Donald Audette, Rob Blake, Andrew Cassels, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Curtis Joseph, Tie Domi, Igor Larionov and Olaf Kolzig.
This little ditty was included in the Wings-Penguins wrap-up, but the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's recap of the Wings' 4-3 shootout loss to Pittsburgh offers both new comments and one quote that bears repeating and highlighting given the Wings' lineup back on October 2nd:
“For sure, no question,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said when asked if the play of the former Grand Rapids Griffins saved their season. “We couldn’t have done it without them. They came here and took jobs, they’re not going anywhere.
“They’re real good players that keep getting better and will be part of us for a long time,” Babcock continued. “What I liked is Jimmy Nill and his staff, before Jimmy moved on, did a real good job because we have these kids. (Jeff Blashill) did a real good job in the minors with them.”
Daniel Alfredsson sounded pretty dang pumped about making the playoff cut, too:
“We’re a good group, we have fun and we know how to work for each other,” Alfredsson said. “It’s kind of contagious when you see everybody going. Everybody kind of drags along and now they pull their share as well.”
Pleiness continues at length...
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.