The Malik Report
Boring game, boring game. Tomas Tatar played fancy-pants, deke-himself-into-dust hockey (playing on a line with Marian Gaborik) and Tomas Jurco was a very mediocre third-line winger in Slovakia's 3-0 loss to Finland, but they had a lot of company in the, "Not playing that well" department as Slovakia and Finland played a dreadfully dull affair, with the Finnish Trap in full effect and the Slovaks perhaps a little guilty looking ahead to tomorrow's game against Russia.
The game was tied zip-zip going into the 3rd and included an empty-netter for Finland, so the snooze-fest was on for most of the game.
Tatar finished with 1 shot in 16:51 of play and Jurco took a shot and finished at -1 in 13:39 of ice time.
Tomorrow, Dylan Larkin and Team USA play Slovenia at 10:15 AM EDT (no TV) and Slovakia battles Russia at 2:15 PM EDT.
From the Red Wings:
RED WINGS INK DOMINIC TURGEON TO ENTRY-LEVEL DEAL
… Center Was Detroit's Third-Round Pick in 2014 NHL Entry Draft …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today signed center Dominic Turgeon to a three-year entry-level contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.
Turgeon, 19, skated in 67 games for the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks in 2014-15, setting new career bests with 43 points (18-25-43) in 67 games, along with a plus-14 rating and 36 penalty minutes. He ranked sixth on the club in scoring, while his 18 goals stood as fifth-best. Turgeon also added nine points (8-1-9) in 17 postseason games, sitting third on the team in goals and helping the Winterhawks reach the WHL's conference finals for the fifth consecutive season. The 6-foot-2, 190-lb., center has skated in 187 career games for Portland, totaling 82 points (31-51-82), a plus-30 rating and 69 penalty minutes. He has also notched 17 points (10-7-17) in 43 playoff games, earning a WHL championship in 2013.
A native of Cherry Hills, Colo., Turgeon was selected by Detroit in the third round (63rd overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He represented his country a the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, helping the United States capture a bronze medal with three points (0-3-3) in six games.
Over the next 10-12 days, the wine-loving Mike Babcock's going to make a circuit of the best restaurants in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic, as somewhere between six and twelve teams attempt to sell Babcock on leaving the Red Wings...
And at this point, I'm just *#$%@& relieved that this exasperating situation is finally coming to some sort of resolution, and I'm more tired of what's become a 13-month "Babcock watch" than anything else.
Covering the situation has been exhausting and borderline ludicrous to read a 52-year-old described with all the lustfulness of a Carl's Jr. commercial, and after over a year's worth of rumors, finding out that Babcock hadn't in fact done much of anything other than turning down several offers from the Wings in order to "play the market" was all but giggle-inducing.
The Grand Rapids Griffins had a bumpy start in surrendering the game's first goal and emerging from the 1st with a 1-1 tie against a Rockford IceHogs team that seemed to have the Griffins on the run, but Tom McCollum kept the Griffins in it, Anthony Mantha scored the game-winning goal halfway through the game, and the 3rd period was all Griffins--and "truculence"--as Grand Rapids emerged with a 5-1 win and some bumps and bruises along the way to a 2-games-to-zip lead in the teams' second-round series.
The Griffins' website posited a recap...
I hate to report this, but sometimes you have to be a bit of a muckraker to do your job.
After the Grand Rapids Griffins' 5-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday, a win that gave the Griffins a 2-games-to-none lead in their second-round series and featured two more beautiful goals by Teemu Pulkkinen (and a lovely marker by Anthony Mantha)...
Yes, Jeff Blashill was asked about Mike Babcock's situation, and Blashill stated: "To be honest, I really don't have a comment in that my singular focus is trying to win our playoff series here with the Grand Rapids Griffins, and that's all I've thought about." I'm glad I wasn't the one who had to ask him, but the question had to be asked, so it was on the tip of my tongue when another gentleman asked it.
You may most certainly enjoy Blashill's post-game press conference as he discussed many of the reasons that the Griffins have a 2-0 lead and he discusses how the Griffins were able to overcome a 1-0 deficit and a significant amount of "truculence" to handily defeat the IceHogs before three games in Rockford--which don't begin until Wednesday the 13th. You'll get to the Babcock part at the 5-minute mark of his 5:40 presser:
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa believes that Babcock's going to bolt [edit: so does the Detroit News's John Niyo /end edit] the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke with Ken Holland on Friday evening, but of this evening's crop of Wings stuff, the most interesting comes from the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, who offers Babcock's take on his own situation:
“As soon as people heard that that first thing they think is ‘He’s long gone,’” Babcock said. “That’s so far from the truth it’s not funny.
“I’m going to gather information. I’m going to the world championships, I’m going to watch Dylan Larkin. I’m just going about what I normally do. They’ve given me the opportunity to talk to other teams, I’m going to take advantage of it.
"To be honest with you, my family wants to stay here, my wife and kids.”
Update: MLive's Ansar Khan also snagged quite the quote from Babcock:
"Life is about making good decisions," Babcock said. "Sometimes the most comfortable time is when you have no decision. I'm walking through a sequence of events to make a decision. I'll talk to teams that asked for permission and we'll see what happens from there."
Both the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson spoke with Ken Holland regarding what has become the Mike Babcock sweepstakes, and Holland at least allowed teams the discretion to pursue Babcock in private if they wish...
"You can ask whatever you want, but I’m not going to talk teams,” said Holland, who wants Babcock back but is prepared to let him spread his wings to see if there’s somewhere else he’d like to be.
And just as Paul noted in positing ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's take on the situation (and Ted Kulfan's handicapping the field, too), Matheson wondered aloud whether--if money is no object, anyway--Babcock can really "get ahead" of his present situation elsewhere:
I was driving to Grand Rapids this afternoon, so I wasn't able to watch the second or third periods of Team USA's 1-0 win over Denmark, but Dylan Larkin was absolutely dominant in the first period, and Larkin ended up with 16:47 in ice time and 3 shots, though he didn't fare in the scoring.
I've been incredibly impressed with his poise and apparent readiness to play at the World Championship level thus far; Ken Holland and Mike Babcock are going to like what they see in person next week.
Strange timing for this one, but the Free Press's George Sipple chose Friday afternoon to pen an "emptying the notebook" article about one Jonas Gustavsson and the incredibly likely end of his tenure with the Red Wings:
"My shoulder injury kept me out of long time," Gustavsson said. "I didn't know if I was going to come back or if I needed surgery. I did pretty much everything I could rehab-wise to try and come back. I managed to get back and play a few games, then I got the concussion. Obviously, I never got in a rhythm. Then at the end of the season, we had two other goalies. Mrazek came up and played great. It wasn't much room for me, and I understood that.
"Tried to work on my game in the shadows, tried to keep pushing myself. Tried to be a good teammate. Hopefully that's going to help me in the future."
Gustavsson said he enjoyed playing for the Wings over the past three seasons.
"In one way I'm happy with my health this year, although it sound funny," he said. "My groin has felt good from the start. I haven't felt anything whatsoever. Actually health-wise, I think I'm in better shape than ever. Obviously the shoulder injury and then the concussion kind of prevented me from showing that."
Sipple continues, and the 30-year-old Gustavsson believes that he still has a future in the NHL...
Updated 7x at 3:11 PM: One more time, I guess: TSN has reported that the Red Wings are going to give Mike Babcock a window to speak with other teams to gauge their interest and bring offers back to Ken Holland to match--assuming that Babcock doesn't just skidaddle--and the media is going absolutely apeshit right now.
I'm not going to cover every Toronto, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Buffalo, etc. report about how their team is supposedly the best option for Babcock; I will tell you this much, however:
1. I do think that this is a "good idea" in that Ken Holland's allowing Babcock to play the market while Babs is still under contract, yielding at least a 3rd-round draft pick if Babcock chooses to leave;
2. It makes far more sense for Babcock to gauge his market value and the parameters of possible employment elsewhere (ex. say in personnel decisions) now and to bring these competitive offers back to Holland;
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