The Malik Report
Red Wings overnight report: Tuesday’s activities, Nyquist’s Worlds goals, ‘Red Army’ and roster talk
by George Malik on 05/20/14 at 02:37 AM ET
The Red Wings' players and prospects taking part in hockey tournaments will be relatively busy today:
At the World Championships, 4 of 5 Wings are taking part in games today, and for one, his tournament ends after today's game.
Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser and Team USA will battle Germany at 5:45 AM EDT (on NBCSN). Team USA's going to make Thursday's quarterfinals;
Tomas Tatar and Slovakia play Denmark at 9:45 AM, but the game will mark the Slovaks' last of the tournament as France swiped the Slovaks' quarterfinal spot;
And Jakub Kindl's Czechs, who could lose their quarterfinal spot if they lose and Denmark defeats Canada, need to win their game against France at 1:45 PM EDT.
At the Memorial Cup, Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs must rally from last night's 6-3 loss to Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm--who punched a ticket to Sunday's final via Monday evening's shut-down effort on Mantha and his teammates--as the Foreurs face off against the Edmonton Oil Kings (at 7 PM on Sportsnet and the NHL Network U.S.) this evening.
If Val-d'Or loses, they'll have to play in Thursday's tie-breaking game; if Val-d'Or wins, they earn a "bye" to Friday's semifinal instead.
The 4-team tournament is a bit odd, so I'll explain *this tournament's* scenarios as best I can: in this Memorial Cup, because no other team that played 2 games had won 2 games, the first team to win twice would earn a "bye" to Sunday's final.
Because Guelph's 2-and-0, Val-d'Or and Edmonton are 1-and-1 and London's 0-and-2--with 1 game remaining for every team--Guelph's already won the most round-robin games any team can possibly win in this particular tournament, and because they got to 2 wins first, they automatically make the final.
Because London hasn't won a game, the only way they can make the final is by winning a mandatory "last-chance" tie-breaking game on Thursday, and whoever loses tonight's Val-d'Or-Edmonton game will face London on Thursday, regardless of whether London wins or goes 0-and-3 (they play Bertuzzi and Guelph on Wednesday).
If 2 teams go 2-and-0 or 1 team goes 3-and-0, the "tiebreaking" game becomes unnecessary, but those scenarios didn't take place this time around.
On Monday, at the World Championships, Gustav Nyquist scored 2 goals as Sweden earned a quarterfinal berth via a 4-1 win over Italy, and Nyquist's 3-1 power-play goal is shown at the 20-second mark of this IIHF "Best Assists" video...
And you can see both Nyquist's 1-0 breakaway goal (at the 50-second mark) and his 3-1 PPG marker (at the 1:43 mark) in the IIHF's "Daily Recap":
Nyquist wasn't exactly enamored with his own performance after the game--he issued typically team-first remarks, as IIHF.com's Lukas Aykroyd's recap notes:
Gustav Nyquist scored twice, and Mattias Ekholm and Nicklas Danielsson contributed a single and an assist apiece for Sweden. Jimmie Ericsson also tallied, while Linus Klasen added four assists.
The Swedish power play was hot, clicking four times on the night.
"It's important that the power play is rolling, and I thought our penalty kill did a nice job as well," said Nyquist.
The Italians didn’t roll over and die right away. Just past the halfway mark of the first, they made it 1-1 off the rush on a broken play. Daniel Tudin centered it to Luca Felicetti, who lost the puck but it bounced off Swedish defenceman Mattias Sjogren’s skate, enabling Gander to fire it into the open side past a surprised Eriksson.
Nyquist got another breakaway with the teams playing four a side, but he fired wide on the forehand.
In the second period, the Swedes frequently hemmed Italy in with a savvy forecheck. Things were going Tre Kronor’s way. Shots on goal would favor them 15-1 in the middle frame.
Nyquist gave Sweden a three-goal lead with the man advantage at 14:24. Klasen stepped off the side boards and fed the puck in the middle to Nicklas Danielsson, who deftly relayed it to Nyquist, cruising in with perfect timing to bury it past Bellissimo’s right skate.
MLive's Brendan Savage took note of Nyquist's performance...
Nyquist and teammate Calle Jarnkrok, a former Red Wings' prospects, both had a game-high six shots on goal. Nyquist also had a plus-1 rating in 17:37 of ice time.
Nyquist, who scored one of Sweden's four power-play goals, could have had a hat trick but fired wide on a breakaway.
In seven games at the World Championship, Nyquist has four goals, two assists and a plus-4 rating. Two of his goals were on the power play.
Sweden went 6-0-1 in the preliminary round and is first in Group A. Canada can tie the Swedes for the top spot in Group A by beating Norway Tuesday but both teams are headed to the playoffs regardless.
As did the Free Press's Helene St. James...
Nyquist has four goals and two assists for six points after seven games at the tournament, which runs through Sunday in Minsk, Belarus.
Sweden has advanced to the quarterfinals along with fellow Group A members France, Canada and the Czech Republic. Russia leads Group B into the quarterfinals, with the U.S. also among those advancing. The U.S., captained by Wings forward Justin Abdelkader and with Danny DeKeyser among the defense corps, finishes up preliminary round play Tuesday against Germany.
Host Belarus advanced after beating Latvia Monday evening. The Latvians will advance if they beat Switzerland; otherwise the remaining quarterfinal spot goes to the Finns.
Nyquist's contributions gave Sweden 18 points, three more than Canada, but the Canadians could still claim the group title by beating Norway as round-robin play finishes up Tuesday. Winning the group would mean avoiding Russia through the semifinals. Quarterfinals will be contested Thursday.
Who also noted that Tatar's Worlds journey ends today:
Wings forward Tomas Tatar, meanwhile, continues a disappointing 2014 with the Slovakian National Team, as the Slovaks now have failed to advance past the round-robin stage both at the World Championship and at the Sochi Olympics.
Tatar's played well, though he looks both frustrated by the Slovaks' performance (to his detriment, Tatar remains a player whose performance can soar or slump based upon his emotions) and a bit tired (which happens).
He's up for a TSN Play of the Year semifinal, but Tatar's likely to head back to North America to pack up his stuff and prepare to take a few weeks off (he loves going to the Sunny Beach resort in Bulgaria, seriously) before training in Trencin, Slovakia.
Remaining on the European side of the Atlantic, as noted on Monday, Slava Fetisov's position as the star of the Soviet hockey documentary Red Army is a bit strange given that Fetisov's benefitted so greatly from Putin's Russia, but Time's Mary Corliss is the latest to give the Cannes Film Festival darling a rave review:
More than any form of filmmaking, the documentary demands star quality — a charismatic force at its center to drive home the political or human message. [Gabe] Polsky, director of Red Army, found his star in Slava Fetisov, part of the legendary Green Line of the U.S.S.R. ice hockey team. During his 13 seasons, the Red Army squad won seven World Championships (out of a possible 10) and two Olympic gold medals, losing only in 1980 to the U.S. team in the “Miracle on Ice” semifinal game. Defying the Soviet hierarchy, he left Russia for North American to play for the National Hockey League, spurring an exodus of other Soviet and European stars to the NHL. Many of his fellow Russians joined him on the Detroit Red Wings, which in 1997 and 1998 won the Stanley Cup.
Those are just Fetisov’s statistics. The man is even more impressive: a dominant presence off the ice and in front of Polsky’s camera, whether declaring his political independence, misting up at the memory of his first coach or, when the mood strikes him, giving his director a middle-finger salute. At the evening screening of Red Army, Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux praised Fetisov as “this incredible actor, this character, this champion!” He is all of that in this exuberant, affecting film portrait, which could escape the niche of documentaries and become a popular attraction on the order of Searching for Sugar Man. The film has similar heart, humor and unbelievable-but-true narrative twists.
In the NHL, star players often skate freely toward the goal, a one-man show. In Soviet hockey, “The man with the puck is the servant of the other skaters.” Their coaches stressed teamwork, as developed in a decade of junior-league training, until the intricate weaving of the Green Line skaters approached the choreography of the Bolshoi Ballet or the chess mastery of Garry Kasparov. (One NHL announcer calls them “the Soviet Symphony.”) The long years of excruciating practice forged a comradeship, in the best sense, of Fetisov and his mates. Surviving the 1980 Lake Placid humiliation, and weathering disagreements that seemed like betrayals, the Green Liners were a band of brothers. Some of them reunited with Fetisov in the NHL years later, after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Fetisov, who speaks excellent English from his decade in North America, is still a Russian at heart. He returned there, at the urging of Vladimir Putin served as Minister of Sport from 2002 to 2008. Fetisov deflects some of Polsky’s questions by saying, “I’m a politician now.” As a Soviet skater, he was also a political and social force: he and his team lifted the U.S.S.R. at a time when the West was the best at everything but hockey. As one Russian commentator notes, “The story of hockey is the story of our country.”
Ice hockey is not America’s story, and at the moment Russia is not the most popular foreign power. But this playful, poignant film presents a human story that transcends decades, borders and ideologies
Here's the trailer--again:
Back over on this side of the pond, I wasn't surprised that this popped up on TSN--it certainly did via the rumor mill--but the answer to TSN's Ryan Horne is the answer to all of you as to whether Ryan Miller will end up playing for the Detroit Red Wings: No. The end.
It's possible Miller would like to play in his home state of Michigan with the Detroit Red Wings, but with Jimmy Howard manning the net, another move would need to be made to accommodate the Michigan State product.
And that's not going to happen. Miller will play somewhere else.
In terms of realistic additions, Michigan Hockey tasked the Windsor Star's Dave Waddell to weigh in on the Wings' possible targets to assist the reluctantly-embraced youth movement (cue, for reference, Capgeek.com's Wings page displays the team's restricted free agents-to-be, their unrestricted free agents-to-be and their projected cap space, and here are their lists of unrestricted free agent defensemen and forwards):
On the backend, Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen and San Jose’s Dan Boyle seem the prime catches. However, the 27-year-old Niskanen looks like he’ll be ridiculously over-priced in a thin market. Boyle, though 37, is still a quality puck mover and offensive threat. If the veteran can be had on a two-year deal, the Wings might be interested.
Among the other defensemen also scheduled to become available are Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik, Los Angeles’s Willie Mitchell, Montreal’s Andrei Markov and Carolina’s Joni Pitkanen.
The oft-injured Pitkanen isn’t a favorite of Wings’ management and Markov isn’t leaving Montreal anytime soon furthering narrowing the Wings’ free-agency options.
The Wings might be more successful in adding some decent help up front. Marian Gaborik, Matt Moulson, Thomas Vanek, Paul Stastny, Mike Cammalleri, Jarome Iginla, Ales Hemsky, Milan Michalek and Ryan Callahan headline the offensive stars available.
Free agency and the farm team isn’t the only route Holland will need to explore. The trade market has become increasingly active leading into the NHL’s draft day in June and the rumblings are there are several teams looking to explore significant changes.
It’s been a long time since the Wings were involved in a blockbuster trade. However, with the farm system restocked and a veteran like Johan Franzen perhaps in play, the Wings are at least in a position to make a move.
Such a trade may be the best route to land that offensive-oriented defenseman, such as Alex Edler or Christian Erhoff, the Wings clearly need.
I don't think that anyone wants Franzen at this point, but what do I know....
In the charitable news department, this is cool:
And Twitter in Red Wings land has been intriguing, too...
Cue all of two Tweets and a post-game update:
Recap. Belated, but spent 2.5 hours on it, another 100 minutes on this. Quotes, highlights, discussion. Enjoy.
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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.