The Malik Report
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spoke with Fox 17's Steve Amorose prior to tonight's Grand Rapids Griffins game (Babcock, Ken Holland and one Sergei Fedorov were in attendance), and he touched upon some very familiar topics. This is an auto-play clip (and you have to pause it afterward or it cycles on to the next video), so it's behind the jump:
Updated with recaps, highlights etc. at 12:36 AM: Because more than a few of you are up watching NHL playoff games this evening, I'm going to post a bit of Red Wings prospect news and update it with recap-py stuff later:
In the OHL, Tyler Bertuzzi was held off the scoresheet as his Guelph Storm dropped a 3-2 OT decision to the North Bay Battalion. The OHL's championship series is now tied at 1 game apiece;
In the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha was also held scoreless as his Val-d'Or Foreurs were shut out 3-0 by the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, who took the first game of the QMJHL championship series;
And in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins eliminated the Abbotsford Heat and advanced to the second round via a 5-3 win on Friday evening, taking the best-of-5 first-round series in 4 games. Jeff Hoggan had 2 goals and an assist; Teemu Pulkkinen and Landon Ferraro had a goal and an assist apiece, and Mattias Backman had 2 assists.
Updated 4x with Tatar talk and Howard stuff at 4:42 PM:
Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related news stories:
In the prospect department, in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins are dealing with a strange playoff dynamic: their loss to the Abbotsford Heat on Wednesday still afforded Grand Rapids a 2-games-to-1 lead, but the AHL's first-round series are best-of-five-games affairs. If the Heat win this evening, the Griffins will face a winner-take-all Game 5 on Saturday night.
The Griffins' website posited a game-day preview...
Yesterday afternoon, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery that he's not planning on leaving the Detroit Red Wings, and this morning, he reiterated his points of emphasis to one of the biggest, "Babcock's going to leave Detroit" theorists in the Fan 590's Greg Brady (and co-host Andrew Walker)--though it takes the coach and hosts until the 5:15 mark of the 8-minute interview to get to the heart of his message:
Don't expect this to stop the Babs-is-going-to-scoot rumor mill, but Babcock remains "on message," and it's interesting to hear Babcock state that he's heading to the QMJHL to watch Anthony Mantha play in the Q final after this weekend's Griffins games.
Edit/update: Kirk Maltby also spoke with WJR's Paul W. Smith on Wednesday, discussing the Wings' playoff ouster in a 6-minute interview:
Thursday's biggest Red Wings story involved the coach dismissing media speculation that he's leaving after next season--which was more or less tossed aside as "PC talk" by those who believe that what Mike Babcock suggests about grass not being greener elsewhere is just a little gunk in the rumor mill's greasy wheels--more locker room clean-out-day talk and prospect news.
This morning's Wings reflections run the gamut of the "sympathy meter," and we'll start our survey with the Free Press's Helene St. James' conversation with one Todd Bertuzzi.
Bertuzzi, like Daniel Cleary, Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo and Cory Emmerton, lost his job to the Wings' "kids," but Bertuzzi wants to continue playing, and Bertuzzi's words to St. James reflect those of a player whose tenure with the Wings was one of professionalism and surprising mentorship to the "kids" that will leave him looking for employment elsewhere:
I'm not going to pretend that I've followed Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm with incredible thoroughness over the past season, but his Guelph Storm are battling for the Ontario Hockey League championship against the North Bay Battalion--a team captained by Barclay Goodrow, who turned down an AHL deal from the Wings in order to strike it richer with the San Jose Sharks...
And Bertuzzi didn't fare in the scoring, but his Storm rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits to take a 3-2 OT win over Goodrow's Battalion on Thursday, taking a 1-games-to-none lead in the chase for the Robertson Cup. The OHL's website posted a highlight clip from the game, and Buzzing the Net's Neate Sager posited a recap:
This is...different...The NHL apparently had several players wearing microphones during the Red Wings-Bruins series, and they've posted an after-the-fact six-minute clip recounting the series' main events from player perspectives, Zdeno Chara's taunting of Brendan Smith included:
It's painful to watch the Wings' individual mistakes lead to so many goals against. Players just standing around, watching the opposing team score...again and again and again.
Today, the Red Wings' coach dismissed speculation that he's intrigued by doing anything else other than restoring the Winged Wheel's luster, we found out that the Red Wings have no desire to let Jeff Blashill walk, either, and as TMR readers continue to weigh in on the Wings' locker room clean-out-day comments and the subsequent day's worth of stories...
Michigan Hockey points our focus westward. The Grand Rapids Griffins dropped a 2-1 decision to the Abbotsford Heat last night, so the fine performance of the Griffins' "new top line" went for naught (FYI: Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs open their QMJHL championship series against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar this evening, and Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm open their OHL championship series against the North Bay Battalion tonight).
It took a while, but the Griffins posted a highlight clip and set of post-game interviews...
TSN.ca's NHL Play of the Year showdown continues today with two great acts of deception.
The 14th match-up of the Round of 32 sees the Sedin twins team-up to take on Detroit Red Wings winger Tomas Tatar.
Streaking over the blue line, Tatar feels a pair of Dallas defenders closing in on him. As Brenden Dillon moves in for the big hit, Tatar hesitates and the Stars d-man catches teammate Cameron Gaunce square on, sending both players flying.
Tatar resumes his drive and finishes with a nifty backhand shovel that goes off Kari Lehtonen and in.
Here's Tatar's goal...
Updated 2x with annotations at 3:17 PM: Mike Babcock joined Matt Dery of Detroit Sports 105.1 and touched on numerous topics such as his contract, team needs, Anthony Mantha and Petr Mrazek.
Gregg Krupa tweeted while the interview was going on so check his recent timeline and/or listen to the interview below...
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.