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Meanwhile in Toledo, the Walleye get bag-skated for an hour after losing 7-0

Updated 3x at 2:48 AM on Thursday: In Detroit, all went well for the Red Wings, who defeated Boston 61, but the Wings' ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, were absolutely routed as well, dropping a 7-0 decision to the South Carolina Stingrays..

In which Jared Coreau gave up 4 goals on 21 shots and Hannu Toivonen gave up 3 on 10, Martin Frk finished at -3, Trevor Parkes finished at -2 despite taking 5 of the Walleye's 30 shots, Louis-Marc Aubry finished at -2 with 4 shots, Nick Jensen finished at -2 with 2 shots, and Max Nicastro and Marek Tvrdon finished at -1 with 1 shot apiece...

And the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe reports that Walleye coach Nick Vitucci chose to send one hell of a message after the game (and the Walleye host South Carolina on Friday as well). Please note the timestamp on Monroe's Tweets:

Update: Here's the Walleye's website's recap...

South Carolina used a four goal third period to pull away from Toledo 7-0 Wednesday night at the Huntington Center.  Toledo has an overall record of 5-7-2-0 and is 3-3-0-0 at home this season.

The Stingrays would collect a 1-0 lead at 3:03 of the first period when Andrew Cherniwchan beat Jared Coreau with a wrist shot.

“We were awful, just awful tonight,” said Head Coach Nick Vitucci. “I didn’t like our effort at all; we had no energy and were just lifeless.”

South Carolina would score an early goal in the second period as well at 1:59 when Jeremy Price tucked a in a rebound. South Carolina would lead 3-0 after 40 minutes when Jordan Owens scored on a breakaway with 23 seconds left.

Toledo would trail 5-0 after two goals were scored in the first 2:06 of the third period. Following the fourth goal by South Carolina, goaltender Hannu Toivonen came on to replace the starter Jared Coreau.

Walleye Notes:  Goaltender Jared Coreau made 17 saves on 21 shots in net for Toledo. Coreau has a record of 1-4-2-0 on the season. Toivonen stopped 7 of the 10 shots he faced in the game.

And the Walleye did post a slate of lowlights, as it were:

Update #2: Here's more from the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:

After the two hour and 15 minute game, Vitucci was blunt about the assessment of his club and then immediately put his own skates on to drill his team in three, 20-minute sessions.

“There was no effort,” Vitucci said. “We have to look long and hard at this hockey club right now. They failed to play tonight any part of 60 minutes so we're going back out there right now.”

In a move reminiscent of gruff coach Teddy Garvin and the days of the Goaldiggers, Vitucci had his players skate from end to end of the rink, in telling silence.

“I've never had to do this,” Vitucci said. “Any one of a dozen people we could pull out of this lineup after tonight's game and not even have to think hard about it. The challenge is to figure out which ones to pull out because half of them were terrible.”


The only bright spot was a late fight between Toledo's Stephon Thorne (6-0 and 180) and Anthony Collins (6-4, 215) with 7:02 left. Thorne fought a player much bigger than himself for the second straight game.

“You still have your handful of guys who keep grinding led by Stephon Thorne,” Vitucci said. “Here's a guy that I have as a 10th forward many nights because of the talent that may be in this locker room. It's embarrassing to have to ask him to take a shift off because I'm playing other guys and that's the effort we get out of them.”

Update #3: Ouch:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


Primis's avatar

They maybe need to fire Vitucci.  If he can’t get it done with this group of guys, I don’t know who he will ever get it done with.  If he hasn’t already lost the room (or ever actually had it in the first place), he probably has lost it after tonight.

He’s also not a very good “recruiter”.  You basically recruit as a minor pro coach at that level.  He rarely seems to be able to sign guys that are difference-makers.

Posted by Primis on 11/27/13 at 11:58 PM ET


Wait, Hannu Toivonen? Hannu Toivonen plays for the Walleye?

Okay, granted, he was a lousy NHL goaltender, but he actually did manage to stick around and play like a season’s worth of NHL games in backup gigs with Boston and St. Louis. And he’s playing in the ECHL now? And now that I’m checking, he’s not even 30 yet? Wow.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 11/28/13 at 12:39 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 11/27/13 at 11:39 PM ET

You really have to remember that there’s only 2 roster spots for goalies per NHL club, and then 2 or sometimes 3 if you’re lucky in the AHL.

There are some very good goalies in the ECHL.  There are some good ones in the Central Hockey League even.  And there are even some good ones in the SPHL.  I remember back when it was around, in the IHL 2.0 (what the UHL became for a few years) teams would off and on bring in goalies with NHL experience.  Muskegon and Flint did it off and on, I believe Port Huron may have as well.  Kalamazoo had Tom Askey (who played in Buffalo) for a while.  If those guys still want to play in North America to stay visible to NHL and AHL, they gotta’ go to these lower leagues.

In the ECHL its tough.  You want those NHL-contracted goalies coming through, but…. you also need either a dependable, talented guy NOT on NHL contract that you can’t easily lose to call-up OR… you need one or two other NHL-contracted goalies as well to hedge our bets.  Given that Grand Rapids/Detroit could easily call up Coreau at any moment, having an experienced guy like Toivonen on board is a big help usually.  Toivonen was in ECHL Orlando last year.

Remember:  ECHL teams can’t just sit guys easily.  Either you’re on the roster playing, you’re hurt on IR, or you’re released.  There is just no room for reserves given league roster rules.

Posted by Primis on 11/28/13 at 01:24 AM ET


I thought this league is for development of players who aren’t ready for the AHL or NHL but are prospects of the affiliate. But the coach also recruits players?

Posted by griffinsfan on 11/28/13 at 05:01 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

This is a league where both not-quite-AHL-ready players and minor pros make their living, and if the coach feels that his team played so poorly that he’s going to skate them after the game, that’s the coach’s call. Vittuci isn’t a hardass for being a hardass’s sake—he’s a teaching coach in his own way and he works with both the Wings and Hawks to develop their prospects while trying to deliver a winning product in Toledo as the Griffins and IceHogs pull and tug at his personnel.

That’s a helluva balancing act.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/28/13 at 08:49 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I thought this league is for development of players who aren’t ready for the AHL or NHL but are prospects of the affiliate. But the coach also recruits players?

Posted by griffinsfan on 11/28/13 at 04:01 AM ET

It’s is developmental, but NHL teams don’t have the contracts to fill ECHL teams.  They only get 50 contracts to split between NHL, AHL, and ECHL teams.  I wish they’d increase that 50 to 53 contract or something thereabouts, it’d help the ECHL immensely as it would keep a handful of good players in North America that otherwise go overseas for more money, and still slightly boost the level of play leaguewide.

Most ECHL teams have anywhere from 1 - 4 NHL-contracted players on roster if they’re affiliated with one NHL teams, though as you see in Toledo now it can get bigger (Toledo and Kalamazoo are both affiliated with 2 NHL teams each though).  The remainder of players are either sent down from an AHL team while under AHL contract only, or are contracted to ECHL team itself.

There are a couple unaffiliated ECHL teams, who only have players under ECHL contract.  I believe Fort Wayne is trying it this season.  It’s not going very well.  It generally doesn’t. when teams try it at that level.

The difference-making forwards and defensemen tend to be under ECHL or AHL contract to be honest, unless they’re only in the ECHL due to roster crunch or rehab.  The better goalies tend to be under NHL contract.  However, the guys the coach recruits essentially are the ones that’ll likely stay for the entire season unless they get signed to a PTO in the AHL or NHL.  So they’re arguably even ore-important.  If you don’t recruit the right guys, the team can’t succeed, regardless of who your affiliates send down.

Posted by Primis on 11/28/13 at 11:17 AM ET

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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.