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Grand Rapids Griffins defeat Oklahoma City 5-4, advance to Calder Cup Final

Updated 7x at 12:43 AM: The Grand Rapids Griffins won a wild and wacky Game 7 of their Western Conference Final series against the Oklahoma City Barons, defeating OKC 5-4, and as such, the Griffins advance to the AHL's Calder Cup Final.

They'll battle the Syracuse Crunch, the Tampa Bay Lightning's AHL affiliate, and the series will begin on Saturday, with Games 1 and 2 to take place in Syracuse, NY and Games 3, 4 and 5 to take place in Grand Rapids.

Update #2: Via We All Bleed Red on YouTube, Tomas Jurco scored the game-winner:

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Red Wings evening gnus: on Brunner, Gustavsson and Franzen

Very briefly given that I'm assuming most of you are watching the Bruins-Penguins game or still arguing about Franzen:


  • Pro Hockey Talk's James O'Brien read the headline and went, "OooooOOOOoo"--understandably so--but  we already heard Damien Brunner offer a very European take on not knowing his place of employment in June (see: "Um...I think I'll be back? Uh...You guys know that training camps in Switzerland open in July, right?" And yes, it's going to take about $3 million to re-sign the unrestricted free agent-to-be), and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reiterated Brunner's remarks...

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Red Wings mid-day news: On Griffins facing Game 7, Helm, the draft and UFA strategies

After a spirited discussion of Johan Franzen's worth or the lack thereof in the overnight report's comments section, here are a few more tidbits to chew upon as Michigan Hockey and the rest of us start fingernail-chewing (well, maybe you...I just clip mine) in anticipation of Game 7 between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Oklahoma City Barons tonight (7 PM EDT at Van Andel Arena), which will determine the Syracuse Crunch's opponent in the Calder Cup Final...

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner took note of the comments the Griffins' players and coach made after the team dropped Game 6 last night:

Coach Jeff Blashill: “We need to make sure that we don’t give up any easy chances. They’re going to earn enough chances; we have to make sure we don’t give up easy ones. We have to get a lot of chances, too."

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Red Wings overnight report: on Swedes in GR, Datsyuk, Filppula, cap recapturing and rule changes

I've seen this happen, and it isn't pretty, but it's done without much fanfare:

The ice at Joe Louis Arena ends up going down the storm drains next to the Joe and, most likely, into the Detroit River, so it goes back to where it comes from (given that ye olde City of Detroit water is what's used to make it).

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Grand Rapids Griffins fall to Oklahoma City, face Game 7 of Western Conference Final on Wednesday

Updated, and beware, an auto-play highlight clip lurks within: Just found out about this, recap coming: the Grand Rapids Griffins surrendered 3 3rd-period goals and dropped a 4-3 decision to the Oklahoma City Barons in Game 6 of the AHL's Western Conference Final on Tuesday night.

As such, the teams will play for the right to face the Syracuse Crunch in the Calder Cup Final in a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday night. The game will take place at 7 PM EDT at Van Andel Arena in GR.

Update: Oh, boy. This one was a heartbreaker for the ages. Two goals and 1:33 of playing time in the 3rd period separated the Griffins from the Calder Cup Final...But things went wrong in a hurry with under 4 minutes left to play, as the Griffins website's recap notes:

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Red Wings overnight report: on free agent forwards, Holland’s trip to Toronto and Babcock on WJR

In theory, this exhausted blogger (still, go figure) has a light morning.

The Detroit Free Press (via photos) and Michigan Hockey (text, video, photos) looked back at the top moments of the Red Wings' 2013 season, USA Today posited a list of the top unrestricted free agents-to-be, and Valtteri Filppula's picture includes a ridiculously astute comment from Matt Kartozian as to why he's going to earn $5 million somewhere that isn't Detroit:

7. Center Valtteri Filppula (Detroit Red Wings): The Red Wings hope they can re-sign him, although teams around the NHL seem to think he will test the marketplace. He has had one noteworthy statistical season, when he had 23 goals and 66 points in 2011-12. But there is a leaguewide romance with his skill set, especially with a shortage of centers with offensive potential.

There is a ridiculous level of romance with Filppula's skill set, and while USA Today's list notes that the kinds of players the Wings need to go to the front of the net, stay there and hack and whack at rebounds--like Nathan Horton, Bryan Bickell, David Clarkson, Ryane Clowe and even Viktor Stalberg--exist on the pre-cap-complaince buy-out UFA market--there's nobody who can replace Filppula's speed (even if he uses that speed to gain territory in the offensive zone before peeling off and trying to back-pass all the God-damned time).

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A little late but worth a listen: Red Wings GM Ken Holland ‘recaps’ 2013 season on Huge Show

This interview was posted a wee bit late, and it's a classic, "GM speaking from car, on phone, occasionally ear-dialing" interview, but this past Friday, Ken Holland spoke to WBBL's Huge Show's Bill Simonson, and he offered both reflections upon the regular season and playoff run that was, as well as the shape of the roster to come--stating that the Wings fully plan on having Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist, Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff on the roster next year--and that the Wings will attempt to add some "secondary" players through free agency or possibly through trades.

Holland speaks to Simonson for a total of 12 minutes:

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Red Wings officially assign Danny DeKeyser to Grand Rapids

Per the Grand Rapids Griffins' PR department, the Red Wings have officially assigned Danny DeKeyser to the Griffins, which probably means that he's healthy enough to play for them as his broken right thumb has healed though his right thumb hasn't quite healed yet:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Monday assigned defenseman Danny DeKeyser (de-KAI-zuhr) to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

A native of Detroit, DeKeyser signed with the Red Wings on March 30 after completing his junior season at Western Michigan University, where he was named an NCAA Second Team All-American and the CCHA’s Best Defensive Defenseman for the second straight season. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound blueliner picked up 49 points (12-37—49) and 107 penalty minutes in 118 games with the Broncos over three seasons.

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Red Wings afternoon news: on Andersson bolstering GR’s playoff run, Bickell, Helm and Tweets of note

Updated 2x at 1:49 PM with Ian White lamenting his status: Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related news stories:


  • Second, the Grand Rapids Griffins haven't rolled along as much as they have "roared" along since the Red Wings sent Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Anderson down to bolster the Griffins' scoring. Andersson registered a goal on Saturday (assisted by Nyquist) and two assists on Sunday, whens the Griffins took a 3-games-to-2 lead over the Oklahoma City Barons in the AHL's Western Conference Final, and, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose notes, the Griffins' power play has shifted out of neutarl:

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Red Wings overnight report: a backhanded comment, ticket gnus, Sunday sports show talk and Babs

First and foremost, beware: auto-play videos lurk within!

Five days after the Red Wings' season-ending loss to Chicago and two after the team's locker room clean-out day, I'll admit it: I'm still pissed off. I'm still pissed off about the way the series unraveled and I'm still pissed off about the fact that the even-up refereeing gods as well as the outside-of-Detroit-press's insistence that the "hockey gods" both intervened in determining the outcome of Games 6 and 7.

I'm not thrilled with the fact that the lack of any sort of standard of officiating, and the complete and total absence thereof after whistles, are turning "scrums" from discipline-defining exchanges to sidehows. But that's beside the point.

The Blackhawks are still standing, and, according to the Chicago Sun-Times' Adam L. Jahns, the Blackhawks have raced out to a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Kings because they're not letting the Kings frustrate them the way the Wings did:

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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.



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