The Malik Report
DETROIT – Olympia Entertainment and the Detroit Red Wings invite fans to be part of Detroit history by donating or loaning items that are part of Detroit hockey, music and entertainment heritage, which will be displayed at Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Red Wings.
Little Caesars Arena – in the heart of The District Detroit – will be a major point of convergence for community, sports, music and entertainment events. Little Caesars Arena will also be a destination in itself as it will be filled with engaging spaces that display the proud heritage of the Detroit Red Wings and the incomparable history of music and entertainment in the city of Detroit.
Today at the World Championship, Tomas Jurco was bloodied by a high stick but returned to Slovakia's game against Belarus with a full cage, scoring the 2-0 goal against the Belorussians (Jurco would eventually ditch the cage for a full and then half shield)...
Who took it to a Slovak team that possesses all of 4 NHL'ers, hammering Slovakia with 4 goals in the 3rd period, and Belarus emerged with a 4-2 win.
It's good to see Jurco get 1st-and-or-2nd-line minutes and gain confidence as that's all you can hope that a player will achieve at the World Championship--and Jurco and Teemu Pulkkinen rather desperately need to feel good about themselves going into next season--but the Slovakian team is mainly comprised of SHL, KHL, Czech and Slovak Extraliga players, and they're not going to do much winning, so Jurco will have to find some swagger on an individual basis at the World Championship.
Jurco had a goal, a shot, a +1 and played 14:32, playing on Slovakia's second line.
Update: The Free Press's Helene St. James adds this about Jurco:
The Grand Rapids Griffins made a goaltending change after falling into a 4-1 deficit against the Lake Erie Monsters, with Jared Coreau spelling Tom McCollum. Coach Todd Nelson stated that the change was made to spark the Griffins, and it worked in a big way as Grand Rapids rallied to tie the game 4-4 and eventually win 5-4.
Coreau told the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner that he was just doing his job...
"I was just waiting for an opportunity and it came tonight," Coreau said. "I was just thankful the guys scored three and got that fourth one."
Coreau turned momentum early in the third as he fought off a breakaway and point-blank shot by Markus Hannikainen as the puck sat precariously for a moment just outside the goal line next to the post before swept away by the defense.
"Those kind of saves are the ones that can kind of get the guys going," Coreau said. "After that we didn't give up much."
"Unbelievable," forward Daniel Cleary said of the save. "That (would have) ended the game."
And coach Nelson hinted that Coreau might start on Saturday:
"I haven't made that decision yet," he said. "But Jared showed me a lot tonight."
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Coach Jeff Blashill said he would like to add an assistant who is innovative in that regard, but also made it clear that schemes and strategy aside, it's up to the players to execute.
"I don't think there's lots of different things going on in the NHL regarding the power play," Blashill said. "I still think it comes down to execution on a nightly basis by the players. I think different ways to practice and different ways to create habits on the power play are real important, but in the end it's still going to come down to our guys that come back on the power play are going to have to execute at a real high level."...
The Red Wings are expected to talk to Todd Richards, the head coach for Team USA at the World Championship. He has more than five years of head coaching experience with the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Other potential candidates include former NHL head coaches Dave Cameron, Paul MacLean and Mike Yeo.
Blashill said experience as an NHL head coach would be ideal, but not a must.
Updated 8x at 2:33 AM: The Grand Rapids Griffins played for their playoff lives on Tuesday, and going down 4-1 to the Lake Erie Monsters looked like nothing less than a death sentence for a team down 3 games to none in the teams' second-round series...But Grand Rapids rallied to make it 4-2 before the 2nd intermission, and made it 4-3, 4-4, and on an Andreas Athanasiou goal, won the game 5-4 on Tuesday.
Grand Rapids is still down 3 games to 1, it's uncertain whether Tom McCollum or his replacement, Jared Coreau, will start on Saturday, and with the long lay-off between Games 1-4 and games 5, 6 and 7, it remains to be seen whether the Griffins can sustain their momentum while coming out stronger in a hostile barn Saturday in Cleveland.
Coreau, Robbie Russo, Ryan Sproul, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi and Xavier Ouellet were among the Red Wings prospects that had big games--with Bertuzzi's goal, assist and +3 and Mantha's goal, assist and +2 leading the way, and Athanasiou finally looking like he was getting his legs back underneath him, but I'm not sure if the comeback would have begun had Coreau not made an astonishing toe save on a Monsters forward coming in alone on a breakaway when it was 4-1.
Coreau stuck his leg out, the puck lay at the goal line for a moment and the Coreau managed to cover up, and as coach Todd Nelson shuffled his lines, Mantha got a big power play goal with 55 seconds remaining, and Grand Rapids just bulldozed Lake Erie for the vast majority of the remainder of the game.
The AHL has already posted a recap, and I'm going to post it and get to uploading my post-game audio and will fill this recap in with more news items shortly:
Among this evening's items of Red Wings-related note:
1. Among USA Today's Kevin Allen's "5 Things USA needs to do to be medal contender at World Championships" list:
5. Feed the young lions. At 18, Auston Matthews, projected to be the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft, leads the Americans with four points. Detroit Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin, 19, has looked dangerous every time he is on the ice. This is the future of America. Give them the baton, and let them run with it.
Larkin's looked like the team's best player thus far, and that's not an exaggeration by any stretch of the imagination. The U.S. plays next on Thursday against France at 9:15 AM EDT, and the game will air on NBCSN...
2. And the Grand Rapids Griffins posted a clip of Joakim Andersson trying but not succeeding in his attempts to teach his teammates Swedish:
The Red Wings hired Doug Houda as an assistant coach this afternoon, and this evening, a few more articles regarding the hiring popped up. DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose spoke with Wings coach Jeff Blashill regarding his decision and Houda's likely role with the team...
“Doug was my first call and I’m real excited and thankful to add him to our staff,” Blashill said. “I think he’s going to be a great addition, very excited that we were able to secure him.”
Houda was the Red Wings’ second-round pick in the 1984 NHL draft. He began his 15-season NHL career a year later – making his debut with the Red Wings on Oct. 10, 1985. He played for six different clubs, including the Hartford Whalers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Aside from his familiarity with the organization, Blashill said he was blown away by Houda’s coaching knowledge as it relates to the penalty kill and defensive-zone coverage.
“I thought his knowledge on penalty kill was very deep,” Blashill said. “He’s run the penalty kill for Boston for a number of years. He’s used different types of systems to success in different years, depending upon personnel. And then I also thought his work with individual defensemen was really good. Kind of the different system thoughts that he’ll bring with him from Boston. Overall he was very impressive in both his approach and in his knowledge as a coach.”
From MLive's Ansar Khan:
The Detroit Red Wings will have a new goaltending coach for the first time in nearly two decades. They might fill the vacancy from within the organization.
"I would say right now Jeff Salajko, our goaltending coach in Grand Rapids, is certainly a leading candidate," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Tuesday. "I got a number of other good candidates that have contacted me. We're going to go through the process, first with Jeff and then we'll move forward if needed."
The Red Wings opted not to renew Jim Bedard's contract. He had been with the organization since 1997.
"Jim Bedard is a great person. He's had a great run here in Detroit," Blashill said. "He was somebody who I felt helped me through my first year in Detroit. I certainly owe him a lot of thanks. I think there's times where certain moves are needed and we just felt that this was the right time."
The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a game preview video which sets up tonight's Game 4 of the Griffins-Lake Erie Monsters series:
Eric Tangradi and Bob Kaser set up the game.
Updated 2x at 2:40 PM: From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
The Red Wings like Doug Houda so much they’re bringing him back to the organization for a third time.
The former NHL defenseman is returning to Hockeytown with a wealth of coaching knowledge as an assistant in the league spanning the past 10 seasons.
The Wings’ second-round pick in the 1984 NHL draft, Houda, who received a three-year contract, fills one of three job openings on the Wings’ coaching staff this offseason.
Head coach Jeff Blashill is still seeking a second bench assistant and a goaltending coach.
Houda, who turns 50 years old on June 3, replaces outgoing assistant Tony Granato, who returned to the University of Wisconsin, his college alma mater, to take over as the Badgers’ head coach. Granato had been in charge of the Wings’ defensemen and the penalty kill.
Houda was an assistant with Boston for the past 10 seasons, joining the Bruins in 2006 when Peter Chiarelli was named general manager and Dave Lewis was brought in as head coach. A year later, when Lewis was let go, new head coach Claude Julien retained Houda.
It is unclear what Houda’s role will be with the Red Wings.
added 1:19pm, Detroit press release is below...
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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.