The Malik Report
from the Detroit Red Wings website,
“He's taken over the Quebec League,” said Jiri Fischer, Detroit’s director of player development. “In Val d'Or, they have a fantastic power play. In the Subway Series, he played for Team Quebec. He was on the bubble for the Canadian World Junior team, even though he led the Quebec League in scoring by 25 percent more than the next guy at the time.
“I saw him play in the Subway Series. In the first game, he had a goal and an assist. The next game, he scored another goal on the power play. Then he makes the World Junior roster and he leads Team Canada in scoring in the tournament.”...
“He's just a big, strong, 6-foot-4 guy who holds on to the puck under pressure in the offensive zone,” Fischer said. “Month after month, week after week, he just keeps proving that he is a dominant offensive power forward. I'm really excited about him turning pro next year.”
more about Mantha...
The Red Wings' prospects and scouts are most definitely busy bees at present. Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs won't have much time to celebrate their QMJHL championship as they'll haul tail to London, Ontario to open the Memorial Cup with a game against the London Knights on Thursday (Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm will play the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday);
The Grand Rapids Griffins hope to build upon last night's win over Texas as they host a back-to-back affair tonight at Van Andel Arena;
Over on the other side of the Atlantic, at the World Championships, Jakub Kindl's Czechs play Italy at 9:45 AM EDT, and Tomas Tatar's Slovaks hope to bounce back from Monday's 5-3 loss to France (and Tuesday's tumble) when they battle Norway at 1:45 PM EDT...
Updated 5x at 1:08 AM with oodles of content:
In the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha scored the series-winning goal and had 2 assists as the Val-d'Or Foreurs staked out a 3-0 lead, surrendered it and won the QMJHL champinship via a 4-3 decision over Baie-Comeau in Game 7 of the QMJHL's President's Cup series, with Mantha scoring with 52 seconds left in the 3rd period.
And in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Texas Stars 5-2 thanks to a Tomas Jurco hat trick, 3 assists from Cory Emmerton, a 3-point performance from Teemu Pulkkinen and a 35-save performance from Petr Mrazek. The Griffins now trail Texas 2 games to 1 in their second-round series, with Game 4 scheduled to take place tomorrow night.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday announced a landmark three-year television broadcast agreement with Michigan Entertainment Sports (MES).
MES will televise a minimum of 40 Griffins games – including a minimum of 10 home games – during each of the next three seasons. All games will be shown live in HD and will be available through an expanding network in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
The Red Wings' scouts will be watching two very important games this evening: Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs will battle the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the seventh and deciding game of the QMJHL championship tonight at 7 PM. If Mantha and Val-d'Or win, they'll head to the Memorial Cup in London, where Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm will be waiting. If not, we'll get to that in a minute.
Closer to home, the Grand Rapids Griffins rather desperately need to rally from a 2-games-to-none deficit against the Texas Stars when the team hosts second-round games tonight, tomorrow and Friday at Van Andel Arena.
The AHL's website posted a Griffins-Stars game preview in its "AHL Morning Skate"...
Ahead of tomorrow's game between Slovakia and Norway (Gustav Nyquist's Swedes will take on Norway today at 1:45 PM EDT, but tomorrow's slate includes Czech-Italy at 9:45 AM and Slovakia-Norway at 1:45 PM), the Slovakian World Championship team's still stinging from yesterday's 5-3 loss to France, and Tomas Tatar's criticized both himself and his team's inability to put forth a sixty-minute effort while speaking with the Slovak press...
But today, Tatar accidentally lightened the mood, per The Hockey House's Steven Ellis:
Tatar told Hokejportal.sk that he's okay, but he said that he felt bad for the team trainer as he wasn't wearing any equipment.
Update: Per TSN:
The NHL Play of the Year showdown's second round resumes today with two creative ways to shake a defender.
Today's Round of 16 match-up features Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza taking on Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar.
This play from Tatar...
Is facing off against this play from Spezza:
The Red Wings' front office has probably wrapped up its exit meetings with the Wings' players by now, and as the Under-18 World Championships wrapped up, the amateur scouts may have a finalized their list of draft picks...
But the Wings' scouts are still very busy. Some of the European scouts are doubtlessly in Minsk, Belarus, watching Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Danny DeKeyser, Justin Abdelkader, Jakub Kindl and possibly the next Damien Brunner-style free agent at the World Championships;
Tonight, at least one or two of the team's amateur scouts will be in Baie-Comeau, Quebec to watch Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs play in Game 7 of the QMJHL's President's Cup Final, and then said scouts will head to London, Ontario to watch Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm and prospects from the Edmonton Oil Kings, London Knights and whoever wins tonight's Drakkar-Foreurs match-up play for the Memorial Cup;
While doing my scoreboard-catching-up on Monday morning, I was too busy reading Anthony Mantha's assist in the Val-d'Or Foreurs' game-7-forcing 6-3 win over Baie-Comeau (Game 7 takes place on Tuesday evening) to note that he also got in a fight in the last 5 minutes of the game, and was tossed as a result. Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager reports that the QMJHL's championship series has had a fair bit of controversy in the coaches' comments department, too:
Fans of the Val-d’Or Foreurs, led by Martin Briault, raised $875 before Game 6 of their President’s Cup final series against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in support of their head coach Mario Durocher.
It sounds like they may have to pass the hat around again, as the Val-d’Or bench boss continued to have the league’s officiating crew in his crosshairs.
Durocher had been fined $1,000 for criticizing the officiating after Game 4 of the series, a game Val-d’Or lost 4-3 in overtime. The $875 came from fans who felt the criticism of the officiating from the team’s coach was justified.
Baie-Comeau went 2-for-6 on the man advantage in Game 4, while Val-d’Or went 0-for-5.
“It’s up to the league to pull up its pants,” Durocher said after the fourth game, followed by a French swear.
Durocher was touched by the move.
“It’s a nice gesture by our fans and I appreciated it,” he said. “The referees are part of the game and all I want is that it’s [called] fair and even.”
Sager continues, and I hate to say this, but this dinky little clip will probably get stuck in your head...
Very interesting, from the Grand Rapids Griffins' PR department:
GRIFFINS TO ANNOUNCE MAJOR TELEVISION AGREEMENT ON TUESDAY
WHAT: The Grand Rapids Griffins will host a media availability to announce the most extensive television broadcast package in franchise history.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 13, beginning promptly at 4:30 p.m.
WHO: Griffins senior vice president of business operations Tim Gortsema, Griffins vice president of community relations and broadcasting Bob Kaser, and the president of the television network will provide brief comments and be available for interviews.
Amongst this evening's crop of Red Wings-related stories:
The Grand Rapids Griffins' playoff slogan is Defend the Cup--a slogan which the NHL's players may or may not want to take to heart--but at present, the Griffins' status as having dropped both of this past weekend's games in Texas means that it's more like, "Holy crap, we need to avoid elimination."
As the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner notes, the Griffins have given up 9 goals in 2 games, and that had coach Jeff Blashill sounding downright Babcockian regarding his team's play on Monday:
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