The Malik Report
The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Lake Erie Monsters 6-1 last night despite the absence of Eric Tangradi due to an upper-body injury. Evgeny Svechnikov stepped into Tangradi's place and played superbly, registering an assist, and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Griffins coach Todd Nelson and Svechnikov himself about #29's pro debut:
"I kept my eye on him and I liked what I saw," Nelson said of Svechnikov, inserted as a replacement for the injured Eric Tangradi (upper body). "In the first period I thought there was a bit of nerves. But as the game went on, I thought he got better and better and played a really strong third period for us."
Svechnikov, the 19th overall pick in last year's NHL draft, was told Thursday of the decision so he had time to prepare. That didn't lessen the nerves, he said.
"It was exciting; first game as a pro and good win for the team and I thought personally I played well," said Svechnikov, who was on Tomas Nosek's line with Mitch Callahan and saw time on the power play. "It took a couple periods as I got more time with the puck to get comfortable."
Grand Rapids Griffins broadcaster Bob Kaser hinted at it, and the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline explains why, should the Griffins defeat the Lake Erie Monsters at Van Andel Arena on Monday, the teams might, just might, play a 7th game in Columbus and not Cleveland:
The Lake Erie Monsters hope this never comes to pass. But if their second-round American Hockey League series against Grand Rapids goes the distance, Game 7 could be played in Nationwide Arena due to scheduling conflicts at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.
News leaked via social media on Wednesday when a computer-generated message appeared on Nationwide Arena’s Facebook page, announcing a Ticketmaster event – Lake Erie vs. Grand Rapids – scheduled for May 18.
A Blue Jackets spokesman confirmed that there have been discussions between the two clubs, that the game -- if it is necessary -- could be staged in Nationwide.
As it stands, Game 7 between the Monsters and Griffins is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17. The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, however, now have an Eastern Conference game scheduled for that day, no matter who they play.
If the Toronto – Miami series ends in six games – the Raptors lead that series 3-2, heading into Friday’s Game 6 – the Cavs would play Game 2 on May 17. If Miami stays alive on Friday and forces a seventh game, Game 1 of the ECF would be played on May 17.
Why not play Game 7 between the Monsters and Griffins on May 18 in Cleveland? Carrie Underwood has a concert in the Q that evening.
Update: It's official:
Updated 7x at 11:54 PM: The Grand Rapids Griffins faced an uphill battle in Game 5 against the Lake Erie Monsters in terms of both the team's 3-games-to-1 deficit and the absence of Eric Tangradi, who suffered an "upper-body injury" in Game 4.
Evgeni Svechnikov replaced Tangradi in the lineup, Jared Coreau started in the Griffins' net on Saturday, and Grand Rapids was out-shot but not out-scored, defeating the Lake Erie Monsters 6-1 and forcing a 6th game in Grand Rapids this Monday (7 PM EDT start).
Grand Rapids rallied from a 1-0 deficit with consecutive 2nd period goals by Andy Miele, Tyler Bertuzzi and Andreas Athanasiou (on a breakaway), and in the third period, Athanasiou got another breakaway that was stopped by Joonas Korpisalo, but Tyler Bertuzzi was able to tuck it home for a 4-1 lead;
In the 3rd period, Nathan Paetsch made it 5-0 on a late power play--a goal that gave Evgeny Svechnikov his first pro point in the form of an assist--and Bertuzzi salted things away coming out of the penalty box, scoring from Mantha and Nosek for a hat trick marker.
Andreas Athanasiou's 3-1 breakaway goal in the Grand Rapids current 5-1-leading game over the Lake Erie Monsters was a thing of beauty:
Datsyuk apparently lost a tooth thanks to a hit from Swiss defenseman Robin Grossmann that went unpenalized, and the Russians were quite upset about the "dirty play" of the Swiss in Russia's 5-1 win over Switzerland today.
R-Sport's Alexander Rogulev reports that there wasn't any clarification as to whether Datsyuk lost the same tooth that Victor Hedman chipped out of Datsyuk's mouth in the series against Tampa Bay.
The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a game-day preview video ahead of tonight's Game 5 against Lake Erie (7 PM EDT on The AHL Live/ESPN 96.1 FM), and Griffins announcer Bob Kaser sets up the game in today's game-day preview video. According to Griffins coach Todd Nelson, Jared Coreau will start this evening:
Here are the AHL's game notes:
Wrapping up a busy day at the World Championship: Tomas Jurco and Slovakia were shut out 5-0 by Canada on Saturday evening, and Jurco had a rough night, finishing at -2 with no shots in only 10:56 of ice time.
Here are the game's highlights:
Pavel Datsyuk and Alexey Marchenko had quietly solid games in Russia's 5-1 win over Switzerland today. They were somewhat quiet in no small part because Alex Ovechkin, Yegeni Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov were all in the lineup, bumping Datsyuk down to the team's 2nd/3rd line center's role and Marchenko and Nikita Zaitsev down to the third pair.
Datsyuk was still a defensive stalwart, and he drew two consecutive penalties in the third period (a trip and a check from behind by Grossmann), but his teammates took until the final minute to adjust to Datsyuk's pass-the-puck-immediately tendencies, when Datsyuk passed to Sergei Moyzakin, and Moyzakin made no mistake in firing home the 5-1 goal.
Datsyuk was also beating his defensemen to the puck on back-checking plays, so his wheels may not be what they used to be, but he's compensating by being in the right position at the right time, much like Nicklas Lidstrom did later in his career.
Datsyuk had an assist and finished at +1 in 17:09 of ice time, not bad given a slight demotion; Marchenko finished at +4 in 13:57 of ice time.
At the World Championship...
Gustav Nyquist scored the game's first goal in Sweden's 3-2 win over Norway. Nyquist's goal was one of four shots he took over the course of 20:56 of ice time, and Nyquist spoke with IIHF.com's Andy Potts about his goal:
From WXYZ's Brad Galli:
Gordie Howe's birthday cake stood a few feet off the ground at Joe Louis Arena in late March, surrounding by the Howe family and 20,000 people standing on their feet.
The celebration was a sign of how much had changed.
A year and a half prior, the Howe family was ready to say goodbye to Mr. Hockey.
"He had been struggling with dementia and traumatic brain injury, so a lot of things were going on. He was going downhill to the point where we said, 'This is going to be his sunset,'" Howe's son Murray told Action News this week in Toledo, where the family was launching the new Gordie Howe Initiative for stem cell treatment.
Continued, and here's the story's accompanying video:
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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.