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Prospect news: Griffins at the halfway point; Machovsky impresses; Smith the Ranger; Maine recap

Of prospect-related note this morning:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins have reached the halfway point of their 2017-18 campaign, and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner filed a mid-season assessment:

WHERE THEY'RE AT: The Griffins are 17-16-1-4 and sixth in the seven-team Central Division, a place they’ve been since mid-November. In the search for one of eight playoff spots, they are 14th out of 15 in the conference and just the second team in the league to reach the 38-game mark.

The good news for them is the pack is rather bunched. The Griffins are just one point from third in the division and three wins out of a top eight playoff spot (determined by win percentage).

Still, the Griffins haven’t endured a first half like this since 2011-12 when they started 15-16-4-3 and did not make the playoffs. It was also the last time Grand Rapids didn’t make the postseason.

Wallner continues...

In the ECHL, the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe reports that the Toledo Walleye's back-up goaltender has become a "Macho Man":

Rookie rises: With a 3-0 shutout over Manchester on Saturday, rookie G Matej Machovsky now ranks fourth among all ECHL goaltenders in goals-against average (2.28).

While Machovsky has just a 5-6-1 record, he also has a .921 save percentage, which is just outside the top five in the league.

Machovsky, who is alternating starts with veteran goalie Pat Nagle, stopped all 33 shots he faced on Saturday.

“Obviously it's a good feeling,” he said after the game. “The boys played great.”

Watson said Machovsky, who is highly regarded by the Red Wings, has lacked goal support from his Walleye teammates.

Nicknamed “Macho Man,” the native of the Czech Republic had to overcome a lower-body injury at the start of the season.

“He deserves a better record and better fate,” Watson said. “He's stood tall for us.”

Monroe also continues...

In the OHL, the Kitchener Rangers' website posted a 2:54 interview in which Givani Smith is asked about being traded from the Guelph Storm to their arch-rival Kitchener Rangers. Smith admits that it's pretty weird to be joining a team he's pestered for a long time;

And in NCAA hockey, I'll readily admit that it's been difficult to follow the Red Wings' prospects on a daily basis because there are so many prospects spread out all over the world, so I ended up missing the University of Maine Black Bears' 4-4 tie with Brown on Monday night. Chase Pearson had 2 goals and an assist, finishing at +2 with 5 shots and an 8-for-15 faceoff record; Patrick Holway took 3 shots but finished at -2 in the 4-4 tie.

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PierreC's avatar

should we start to worry ? Our two best prospects aren’t doing much…

14   Evgeny Svechnikov RW GR 33 5 6 11 -6  

17   Joe Hicketts     D GR 37 1 6 7 -9

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 01/10/18 at 02:30 AM ET

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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.