The Malik Report
Tyler Bertuzzi has been absolutely dynamite for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL playoffs, and given that he's spent the last season being the Guelph Storm's go-to player (especially after Guelph traded Stephen Pierog) on offense, it's not surprising that he's picked up where he left off in an extremely competitive Major Junior league scoring-wise (he has 5 goals and 3 assists in 7 games playing on the Griffins' top line with Tomas Nosek and Kevin Porter or Andy Miele and Mark Zengerle), nor is it surprising that the net-front pest is driving opponents absolutely nuts.
What is surprising is the fact that Bertuzzi has been battling some sort of viral infection for the past month; he missed the first two games of the Griffins-Marlies series as a result, and as of last Saturday, he was still shaking off a "flu bug" that required Bertuzzi to, in his words, basically sleep between games and practices to play like any semblance of his usual self.
Play he did, and play well, he did, so the Free Press's Helene St. James checked in with Griffins coach Jeff Blashill regarding Bertuzzi's progress, and she received a glowing review:
Possibly the best overtime moment in recent Red Wings history (Igor Larionov's double OT winner exempted):
When someone mentions Matthew Wuest, the first thing I do is smile, because I know that, as is the case for many of us hockey internet pioneers, we didn't like each other.
Wuest and I were engaged in following the Red Wings on a near-professional level (he building a website, me sticking to hockey bulletin boards) long before most of you knew that there was a thriving Red Wings community online, and he was better at what he did than I was at what I do, a trained journalist to an English major, so he reached out to the Wings' scouts when he built RedWingsCentral in the very late 90's, and he built an amazing legacy.
I think that it's incredibly appropriate that the Wings chose to name the Prospect Tournament title after Wuest, who you know for Capgeek as well as RedWingsCentral, I'm pretty dang sure that his partner in coverage, Sarah Lindenau, ought to have the MVP trophy named after her mother, too, but that's a campaign for another day.
In any case, Wuest was the best at what he did because he wasn't afraid to ask, and Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin told the Free Press's Helene St. James that he learned of Wuest right away...
As the news stories come in from Philly and Buffalo as well as around the NHL attempting to handicap exactly what Mike Babcock and Ken Holland meant as they spoke to TSN's Darren Dreger--for, as it turns out, 24 minutes (and I pretty much transcribed the damn thing)--I've been amused as all hell get out with this, "It's a suspension-worthy hit!"-style assertions as to what Babcock is or is not thinking.
I've been equally amused by the fact that people didn't think the man's ego was big enough to speak about himself in the third person, but when you spend time with Mike Babcock (and I respect the man to no end), well I'd like to welcome you to the weird world of not being able to ask certain questions, not being able to walk in certain places and generally dealing with a man who can manage a locker room of millionaires because he has a higher opinion of himself than they do.
The Toledo Walleye did two things they're unaccustomed to as the Eastern Conference Final opened on Friday night: they held the South Carolina Stingrays to under 30 shots, and they also lost, dropping a 2-1 decision (in which Martin Frk finished at -1 with 3 shots) in the series opener.
The Walleye's website posted a recap and highlight clip:
Updated 2x at 6:58 PM with a Bob McKenzie interview added: So, as noted earlier, we learned this today...
TSN's Darren Dreger did indeed engage in an interview with Red Wings GM Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock, and the preview hinted that Babcock would be considering the opportunity to win, his family and his time in Detroit, and whether change is important to invigorate him, and he's "done enough thinking," so he feels that it's time to make a decision, and as Babcock is an "immediate gratitude guy" who likes winning, one wonders if Buffalo is that kind of team...
Here are the highlights of the main interview:
Take these for what you will:
Next Friday = May 22nd.
Niklas Kronwall spoke to Visat Sport's Linus Hugosson recently, and here's a rough translation of the interview:
A heavy loss always takes a while to digest. Athletes know this, but it's more universal than that. Right now, Niklas Kronwall's on vacation, and he's trying to lick the wounds of a bitter conclusion to the 2014-15 season.
"It was the longest two days of my life, I think," says Kronwall about the verdict from the NHL head office yielding the veteran defenseman missing Game 7 against Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup quarterfinal.
The reason for the suspension was a tough hit Niklas dealt to Nikita Kucherov in the sixth game, a patented "Kronwalled" hit that's become his trademark in the NHL. The referees didn't punish Kronwall for the hit, but the NHL's equivalent of a disciplinary committee looked differently at the situation.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings and training camp event organizers in Traverse City announced today that the trophy awarded to the champion of the NHL Prospect Tournament has been renamed the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.
Matthew Wuest (pronounced WEEST) was best known for developing the website CapGeek.com, which tracked salary cap data for all 30 NHL teams in real time. The site was widely-used by scouts, general managers, media and fans before it ceased operations in January 2015.
Along with his work on CapGeek, Wuest also developed and maintained RedWingsCentral.com (RWC) which provided rankings, scouting profiles and features focused on Detroit Red Wings prospects. Launched in 2001, RWC became widely-read by scouts and fans alike before it shut down operations in 2014.
Here's a 15-Tweet set of unsolicited advice that Don Cherry gave to Mike Babcock:
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.