The Malik Report
The Red Wings' players taking part in the World Championships experienced thoroughly mixed results on Friday.
Tomas Tatar had an assist, a shot and played 17:21 in Slovakia's 3-2 OT loss to Jakub Kindl and the Czech Republic. Tatar looked superb in all situations, including the penalty-kill, but the Slovaks fell victim to poor goaltending as Jaromir Jagr tied the game with just over 3 minutes in regulation, and Jan Laco gave up an absolute stinker in overtime.
According to the Free Press's Helene St. James, TSN's Darren Dreger's Tweet suggesting that Tom Renney is in fact a hot coaching commodity may be true, and instead of the, "Babcock must want to make a change by leaving Detroit" line holding water, perhaps Jeff Blashill might rejoin Babcock to add a "new voice" instead. Why?
Well, here's St. James bit of news:
The Detroit Red Wings have granted permission for NHL clubs to talk to assistant coaches Tom Renney and Bill Peters.
General manager Ken Holland said Friday he's received "a couple of calls" from colleagues looking to hire head coaches, but would not name the teams. NHL clubs with head coaching vacancies number Carolina, Florida, Vancouver and Washington.
Renney has a year left on his associate coach contract with the Wings, while Peters, an assistant, has two months left on his contract.
St. James continues, and I wouldn't be totally surprised if both Renney and Peters exit.
Per the Free Press's George Sipple, the Canadian Hockey League, the umbrella organization which governs the QMJHL, OHL and WHL, announced its three-league-wide finalists for CHL awards today. The winners will be named on Saturday, May 24th at the Memorial Cup in London, Ontario, and Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha was nominated for two awards--Top Scorer and Player of the Year:
Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs hope to break a 2-games-to-2 tie with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar when the QMJHL's championship series resumes in Baie-Comeau tonight at 7, and Mantha's stellar regular-season stats (57 goals, 63 assists and 120 points in 57 games played) have been backed up by a superb playoff performance (22 goals, 10 assists and 32 points in 21 games played).
The Red Wings' other prospect still playing Major Junior Hockey, Guelph Storm forward Tyler Bertuzzi, may lift the OHL's Robertson Cup this evening as Guelph leads the North Bay Battlion 3-games-to-1, with Game 5 scheduled to take place in Guelph at 7:30 this evening.
The Red Wings' non-Datsyukian players continue to make hay in TSN's Play of the Year showdown. Tomas Tatar, Jonas Gustavsson and Gustav Nyquist have all made appearances, and now things get serious as the quarterfinals begin:
Now fans may vote as to whether this utterly remarkable goal by Nyquist, a breakaway-and-then-second-effort against the Tampa Bay Lightning...
Is more aesthetically pleasing than San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl's between-the-legs goal against Martin Biron--Hertl's 4th goal of that particular evening:
The Red Wings' World Championship journeys kick off today in Minsk, Belarus, with Team USA captain Justin Abdelkader and defenseman Danny DeKeyser battling Belarus at 1:45 PM EDT (on NBCSN; as Paul noted, NBCSN will air all of Team USA's round robin games) and Tomas Tatar's Slovaks battling Jakub Kindl's Czechs at the same time (viewable by...alternate means; Gustav Nyquist's Swedes begin their Worlds schedule at 9:45 AM on Saturday, vs. Denmark), and Tatar...
For better or worse, Tomas has never feared making bombastic statements, and he's going to have to work very hard to back up what he said to MLive's Ansar Khan about the evolution of his game over the past NHL season:
“I was hoping to get to this point by a certain point in my season,” Tatar said. “I am on the team, but I would like to be better, so I will have to work and prove myself every year. I want to be at a level where Z (Henrik Zetterberg) and those guys are. I would like to see my role grow in this locker room. It would be nice to be one of those guys.”
Tatar, 23, had 19 goals and 39 points in 73 games. He flashed good one-on-one moves in open ice. More importantly, he showed good hands from in tight, not hesitant to get on the inside despite his size (5-11, 186).
Khan continues, noting that Tatar isn't exactly a defensive dynamo, as does Tatar:
This story popped up on Thursday's newscasts, and it's a little difficult to fathom, but it's worth your time (via RedWingsFeed), as the Red Wings explain:
On Wednesday May 7th, 2014, Kelly Rothe, made it know about her surgery she was about to undertake, the following day the Detroit Red Wings organization brought Kelly and her family down to The Joe for a special private dinner. There she was surprised by local Detroit band, Kaleido, who gave her a private acoustic set. Then they took her to the Red Wings locker room where her favorite player was there waiting to surprise her.
Update: here's more from DetroitRedWings.com's Joshua Berenter:
Via RedWingsFeed, I wasn't kidding when I suggested that the World Championships are "going young" this year. Ahead of Team USA's World Championship-opening game against Belarus today (1:45 PM EDT on NBCSN; Tomas Tatar's Slovaks and Jakub Kindl's Czechs also battle at 1:45). USA Hockey's named Justin Abdelkader team captain...
Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon, Mich./Detroit Red Wings/Michigan State Univ.) was named captain of the 2014 U.S. Men’s National Team here today. Team USA begins the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship tonight (May 9) against Belarus, the host nation, at Minsk Arena.
Additionally, Craig Smith (Madison, Wis./Nashville Predators/Univ. of Wisconsin) will serve as an alternate captain. The second alternate captain role will be shared by Colin McDonald (Wethersfield, Conn./New York Islanders/Providence College) and Tim Stapleton (La Grange, Ill./AK Bars Kazan/Univ. of Minnesota Duluth). McDonald will wear an ‘A’ when the U.S. wears its white jerseys, while Stapleton will don an ‘A’ when the U.S. wears its blue jerseys.
Red Wings overnight report: the ‘most unique’ World Championships; on Renney and Babcock; Sproul too
The World Championships begin today with a pair of games that might interest Red Wings fans--Danny DeKeyser and Justin Abdelkader's Americans will battle the host Belarussians at 1:45 PM EDT on NBCSN, and Tomas Tatar's Slovaks face Jakub Kindl's Slovaks at the same time--but this story isn't necessarily Red Wings-related.
If you've read any of the IIHF's profiles of the teams participating in the Worlds thus far, however, be it the Americans, Czechs, Slovaks, etc., you will find that the teams are very young. Thanks to a combination of a bit of Olympic fatigue for the usual participants, injuries, certain large contributors teams' still taking part in the playoffs (Anaheim and New York), and other factors (see: baby duty for Niklas Kronwall, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Jimmy Howard), the teams' NHL participants are at a bare minimum as compared to the normal amount of NHL-heavy rosters (though the Canadians are the tournament's only all-NHL-player-participant team)
Both the Grand Rapids Griffins and Texas Stars enjoyed five-plus day breaks after making quick work of their first-round series, and the general rule for those kinds of breaks is that the first game between said teams involves a stinker of a performance from one "too-well-rested" team.
On Thursday, the Griffins regrettably played that role, dropping a 5-2 decision to the Texas Stars in the first game of the teams' second-round series, and the scary part for the Griffins is this: Texas built its 5-2 lead in only 30 minutes and 2 seconds' worth of time.
It could've been worse, far worse, had Texas not let off the gas--though I'm sure the Griffins would argue that the team stepped up on defense, if only belatedly, and that its' second-half-of-the-game performance gave the team a solid foundation to build upon when the series resumes on Saturday in Austin.
The Grand Rapids Griffins begin their second-round series against the Texas Stars tonight at 8 PM EDT. If you want to weigh in on the action, here's an open post to suit your needs.
You can follow along via the Grand Rapids Griffins' Twitter and game-day Twitter accounts, the Texas Stars' Twitter account, or a box score that will be posted on AHL.com shortly; you can listen to the game on WOOD Radio, AHLLive.com (for a fee) will broadcast the game, and I'm sure there are...Other...means of keeping up with the action (which you may post in the comments section below).
The Griffins posted an infographic regarding the teams...
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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.