The Malik Report
Of brief Red Wings-related note:
1. In game action, Julius Vahatalo had an assist, 2 shot sand finished at +1 in TPS Turku's 6-0 Champions Hockey League win over Lorenskog IK;
2. The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau posted the roster of the St. Louis Blues' prospect tournament team, and with that, every team but Columbus has submitted its roster for next week's tournament: Dallas, Detroit, Chicago, Carolina, Minnesota and the New York Rangers' rosters are available;
3. Tomorrow is the "Hockeytown 5K," and it appears that Joe Louis Arena is ready to host the event...
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
“I think Riley Sheahan -- and I love Riley Sheahan, so I'm not saying that he had a bad year, but I know his potential,” Osgood told the Free Press this week, as part of his induction into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. “Riley is a strong center. I think we saw it the last month of the season; he played real solid.
“To me, he has a nice offensive ability, he's responsible defensively, he's really strong. I think if you put him in the right spot, he'll flourish. He'll become one of the best third-line centers in the NHL. And he's getting to be that age now where he's a little more mature. He's played a lot.”
The Canadian Press examines "intriguing talents to watch" at the World Cup of Hockey, and if yesterday's 4-3 loss to Russia was any indication, Petr Mrazek and/or Michal Neuvirth will have to play absolutely heroic hockey to ensure that the Czechs aren't fed to the wolves:
Petr Mrazek, Czech Republic: Save for the Flyers' Jakub Voracek, the Czech roster is lacking in excitable talent. Mrazek, the Red Wings No. 1 netminder, has the skills to change that. The 24-year-old was maybe the top goalie in the world over the first half of last season, compiling three shutouts and a .932 save percentage before stumbling in the second half. Goaltenders can drastically alter short tournaments like the World Cup, with a single elimination semifinal, and Mrazek is just the type who could propel his country to unexpected heights.
The CP continues, and the obvious question is whether Mrazek can channel other-worldly hockey skill to keep the Czechs in games until their scoring takes over...
From Team North America's practice in Montreal today:
Occasionally I'll post non-Wings stories in my blog, and today, Sportsnet's Chris Johnston hit a chord (no pun intended) in explaining why Team Canada goaltender Braden Holtby is wearing a Tragically Hip-themed mask during the World Cup of Hockey:
“Everyone knows the story in Canada,” Holtby told Sportsnet in an interview. “It’s one of those things that has turned a positive from a negative. It’s pretty amazing kind of what Canadians do. I grew up and I can have vivid memories of listening to my first Hip songs. We even had a class in school, a little part of it that was based on (the song) ‘Wheat Kings’ – I mean you just remember it. It’s Canadian, it’s the Hip, and with me being a huge music lover (it made sense).
“This being the biggest stage for hockey and a lot of Gord’s songs have hockey in them, I mean it ties the two in and I think it’ll be very good.”
The plan, ultimately, is to auction the mask off for charity. Word has already been passed along to the band and Holtby hopes the Hip will determine where the money ends up.
He’s never met Downie or other members of the band, but has long been a fan.
Johnston continues, and the mask looks awesome:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. MLive's Brendan Savage penned a profile of Wings prospect and defenseman Dan Renouf:
In 38 games last season, Renouf led Maine defensemen in scoring while finishing fifth on the team with six goals and nine assists. He also had 36 penalty minutes and a minus-5 rating.
In three seasons with the Black Bears, he had 10 goals, 28 assists, 72 PIM and a plus-14 rating in 111 games.
"I take care of my own end, a two-way player," Renouf said. "I do like to get up in the rush but I think the best part of my game is the D zone and shutting down players, using my size and speed, mobility. I think that's my strengths. I definitely feel comfortable in the offensive zone, too."
2. Victoria, BC's Chek News posted a video profile of Joe Hicketts as the young defenseman prepares to turn pro with the Red Wings;
In World Cup of Hockey exhibition action, Team North America defeated Team Europe 4-0...
The game was a little disappointing from a Wings participation standpoint as Dylan Larkin sat out for "TNA" and Thomas Vanek sat for Team Europe.
As the Europeans tried to find a cohesive style of play against Americans and Canadians who've been playing similar systemic hockey since they were kids, Frans Nielsen looked like a relatively strong all-round player skating on the second line with Tomas Tatar and first Marian Hossa and then Jannik Hansen, while Tatar surrendered several attempts to shoot in order to pass.
Nielsen finished with 2 shots, a hit, a takeaway and going 50% in the faceoff circle in 17:42 of ice time; Tatar took a shot, had 5 hits (he did not shy from contact), blocked a shot, had 2 giveaways and a takeaway in 16:40 played.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. Chris Osgood, Brendan Shanahan and Mike Modano will be inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on Friday night, and Osgood spoke with the Free Press's Helene St. James regarding his induction class peers...
“Mike was here at the end of his career but he’s actually born in Michigan, played a lot of his minor hockey here,” Osgood said. “Shanny was here for 10 years in the prime of his career and was a big part of a lot of winning with the Red Wings. This is a big deal for us.”
As well as Osgood's Hockey Hall of Fame eligibility...
Though he amassed 401 NHL victories during a career that began and ended with the Wings — with stops at the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues — Osgood, 43, has not received a call from the Hockey Hall of Fame since becoming eligible three years after he retired in 2011.
“I was a little disappointed last year,” Osgood said. “I thought I had an opportunity better than the other years.”
Team Europe will tangle with Team North America in a World Cup exhibition game tonight at 8 PM on ESPN2, Sportsnet and TVA Sports. If you'd like to comment on the game, here's an open post to suit your needs.
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan spoke with Justin Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin regarding their expectations for the World Cup of Hockey. Abdelkader's expected to take a supporting role on Team USA, and Larkin may play as a 3rd-liner on Team North America:
Abdelkader has been skating with Livonia native Ryan Kesler (Anaheim Ducks) and T.J. Oshie (Washington Capitals) on a physical, grinding line for coach John Tortorella.
“Whatever I can do, I’m going in and just looking forward to the experience of playing with the guys, building some relationships and playing whatever role they put me in," Abdelkader said.
Larkin – who has played in the last two world championships – is part of the North American team, a squad consisting of all under age-23 players from Canada and the USA who many analysts believe could be a darkhorse to win the tournament. Star young players such as Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel lead a roster that is potentially explosive offensively.
“Talking to other players that are in the tournament, they know we’re going to be pretty good,” Larkin said. “We’re just excited to get together and start playing some games. I don’t think we’re going to shock any teams. We’re definitely going to play our best. Teams know the kind of players we have. We hope to win the whole thing. It’s cool how players from Canada and the U.S. come together. It’s going to be a bit of a feeling out process, a lot of players from different teams, but it’ll go well and we’ll be an exciting team to watch.”
Kulfan continues, previewing the tournament from a Red Wings-centric perspective...
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.