Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings playoff prospect news: Bertuzzi, Mantha help their teams take 2-1 leads

Updated 5x at 12:51 AM: You can watch Mike Babcock speak with the French media regarding Anthony Mantha, for 3-and-a-half minutes, here.

When more's available, I'll post the highlights and news I can find, but for the present moment:

In the OHL, Tyler Bertuzzi scored the first of three Guelph Storm goals which rallied the team from three one-goal deficits en route to a 4-3 OT win over the North Bay Battalion, giving Guelph a 2 games-to-1 lead in the OHL's Robertson Cup final (Bertuzzi now has 9 goals, 6 assists and 15 points in 16 playoff games played);

And in the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha had an assist on the game-tying goal, scored the game-winning goal and then an insurance goal as the Val-d'Or Foreurs rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 5-2, giving Val-d'Or a 2-games-to-1 lead in the QMJHL's President's Cup final (Mantha, named the game's first star, has 20 goals, 10 assists and 30 points in 20 playoff games played).

The teams will battle each other in the 4th games of their respective series on Wednesday.

Update: The OHL's website posted a highlight clip from the Storm-Battalion game, and Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager penned a recap...

The wall that is Jake Smith came tumbling down faster than you could say "overtime coming up" as the Guelph Storm snatched Game 3 and muted 4,249 North Bay Battalion fanatics. Now the underdogs have to recover almost as quickly.

With seventy-five seconds, it momentarily appeared North Bay had sealed the win when Nick Paul hit the empty Storm net, but the play was offside. Sixteen seconds later, Nick Ebert threw a big bodycheck to keep the puck in the Battalion zone and whipped a point shot that Zack Mitchell tipped in to tie the game for the third time. Then the Jason Dickinson-Brock McGinn-Scott Kosmachuk line that had been stymied in the first two games pounced, with McGinn roofing a rebound with 10.5 seconds left for a 4-3 win and 2-1 series lead in the OHL final.

"I don't think I have seen a game shift like that," Ebert said. "It was pretty wild. It shows the character of our team, the never-die attitude and it paid off tonight. I almost jumped right off the bench."

The Storm's 1-2 punch epitomized how it found a gear that had been absent during the first two games at the Sleeman Centre. Regardless of the result, it would have been Guelph's best effort of the series, as it outshot North Bay 44-26.

"After we scored, we were pushing for the other goal because sometimes there's an emotional drain on the team that had the lead," coach Scott Walker said.

The Battalion had pulled out all the stops to get the lead, with Smith standing on his head and Dylan Blujus' point shots leading directly to their 2-1 and 3-2 goals. It also gave up a third-period tying goal in Game 1 and regrouped, but couldn't do so this time.

"We've got a real group of character players," coach Stan Butler said. "The way you lose games is sometimes harder than others but a loss is a loss. We don't have a lot of time to dwell on it. We basically kind of got to have 'Altheimer's' and not have a very good memory. Go from there."

The Guelph Storm's website also posted a recap.

On the QMJHL side of the equation, all I could find was an English-language Canadian Press recap, via RedWingsFeed:

Anthony Mantha had two goals and an assist and Antoine Bibeau stopped 30 shots as the Val-d'Or Foreurs toppled the visiting Baie-Comeau Drakkar 5-2 on Tuesday in Game 3 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final.

Anthony Richard had a goal and an assist for the Foreurs, who lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Maxime Gravel and Pierre-Maxime Poudrier tacked on a goal apiece.

Felix Girard and Maxime St-Cyr supplied the scoring for the Drakkar, who led 2-1 midway through the second period before giving up four unanswered goals.

Baie-Comeau's Philippe Cadorette turned away 24-of-28 shots in a losing cause.

Val-d'Or went 2 for 3 on the power play while the Drakkar failed to score on five chances with the man advantage.

The Foreurs host Game 4 on Wednesday.

Update #2: Hockey's Future named Anthony Mantha one of its "honorable mentions" for prospect of the year, which went to Teuvo Teravainen:

Anthony Mantha, W, Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

Heading into the 2013-14 season, there was no questioning Anthony Mantha's potential. Standing at 6'5 and around 200 pounds, Mantha possesses a rare blend of size, skill, and speed. He was also the only player in the QMJHL to manage 50 goals during 2012-13 regular season. Still, many pundits felt he was capable of more, that with his size and strength, he should be dominating other junior age players.

Mantha did just that and more over the 2013-14 season, as he led the QMJHL with 57 goals and 120 points, and was recognized as the league MVP. He was remarkably consistent as well, held pointless on only six occasions and never more than two games in a row. He was selected to the QMJHL's First All-Star Team and recognized as the QMJHL First star of the Month in September and October. Mantha has been strong during the Foreurs' post-season run as well, and currently has 18 goals and nine assists through 20 games.

The 19-year-old was also a standout for the Canadian WJC team, where he managed five goals and six assists through seven games.

Mantha has little left to prove at the junior level. He is expected to join the Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, for the 2014-15 season.

Update #3: Yahoo Sports' Cam Charron named Mantha his second star of the night:

No. 2 Star - Anthony Mantha, Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

The Foreurs broke their tie as the series shifted West for Game 3 of the QMJHL series. Despite the 5-2 scoreline, as Val-d'Or take a 2-1 series lead, the game was in doubt through to the third period. Baie-Comeau took a 2-1 lead late in the second period, but Maxime Gravel tied the game just 1:11 later, with Anthony Mantha drawing the assist.As he's done all year, the Detroit prospect Mantha paced the Foreurs offence by scoring twice in the third period (with Anthony Richard scoring the empty net goal to boot). It was a good time for Mantha to record his first goal of the series (he'd been held to just two assists in the first two games) and he now has 20 on the Foreurs playoff run. Val-d'Or are now two games away from returning to their first MasterCard Memorial Cup since 2001.

Update #4: RDS posted a recap in French with a highlight clip involved...

Update #4.5: From the Abitibi Express's Valerie Maltais, translated:

A spectator was very attentive to the prowess of the number 8 in the evening. Mike Babcock, head coach of the Detroit Red Wings was on hand to see the evolution of the first-round pick (20th) for his club in 2013.

"I tried not to put pressure on me with that, but it was extra motivation because I wanted to show him what I could as well play defensively ," said Mantha .

Update #5: Regarding the Babcock-on-Mantha video:

Three things:

1. Babcock describing Major Junior as "Kids' hockey" minus pro pace;

2. Babcock also saying he keeps in contact with scouts: "We haven't had many kids ever step into our lineup, I don't know that he can, he probably ends up in Grand Rapids like most kids do, but good for him even if he's in the equation."

3. "You know, we've never had anybody with that kind of size that scores like that, does that make his track quicker? I don't know the answer to that question. It's just a matter of time, so we'll see what happens."

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

Thanks for the update, George!  I had a quick question for you though. So with Babs traveling to Val-d’Or for this game, obviously to watch Mantha dominate his peers, do you think that lends credence to the theory that Kenny and Babs think he is closer to the Wings than others think? When was the last time Babcock traveled to watch a Junior game?

I will be devastated if they don’t buy out Franzen. Mantha is our next Franzen, but hopefully with more work ethic. We have so many prospects knocking on the door, it would be wise to get rid of that stupid contract. I honestly will lose significant faith in Holland if he can’t wrap his head around the concept of a depreciating asset.

Also, what do you think about Pulkkinen? Teemu had a great first year in NA, and his shot is special. Do you think he’ll make the team next year?

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 05/06/14 at 09:49 PM ET

SK77's avatar

I will be devastated if they don’t buy out Franzen.

Prepare to be devastated.

Mantha is our next Franzen, but hopefully with more work ethic.

Shut. Your. Whore. Mouth.

I honestly will lose significant faith in Holland if he can’t wrap his head around the concept of a depreciating asset.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 05/06/14 at 10:49 PM ET

........  rolleyes

Posted by SK77 on 05/06/14 at 09:57 PM ET

Avatar

I will be devastated if they don’t buy out Franzen.

Luckily you have a month and a half or so to get used to the idea because it ain’t going to happen.

Posted by Garth on 05/06/14 at 09:57 PM ET

Avatar

I will be devastated if they don’t buy out Franzen

Really? We’re going to have ~20 million to spend and a lot of rookies, his contract isn’t hamstringing us anymore. And stop talking about a deprecating asset. The moment the contract is signed the player starts becoming a “deprecating asset”. Jesus, Franzen is still a proven goal scorer in the NHL for 4 million a year. Give it up.

Posted by weswolverine on 05/06/14 at 10:02 PM ET

Avatar

I honestly will lose significant faith in Holland if he can’t wrap his head around the concept of a depreciating asset.

Also, it depends on your definition of “depreciating”.  From a raw production point of view this season was one of his best as far as points per game goes.

Posted by Garth on 05/06/14 at 10:04 PM ET

Avatar

@ Garth

Perhaps I should have expounded on my statement. What I mean by depreciating asset is that (a) Franzen has zero incentive to work hard ever again based upon his guaranteed, lifetime contract; (b) his health is diminishing exponentially; and (c) the guy is already emotionally unstable evidenced by the fact that he rarely speaks with the media. He will likely go on crazy droughts in the future, not work hard, and further slip into the abyss of instability and insecurity like already does.

All in all, it would be wise to get rid of him. The guy has zero work ethic. He was called out by both Babcock and the media this year. The list goes on. Take a look at our current roster and our prospects, and that’s all you need to consider. Get rid of him so we can look to our very bright future.

In a few years that’s a roster spot that we’ll need. Please for the love of god, Kenny, use our last compliance buyout wisely.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 05/06/14 at 10:33 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Ken Holland has stated that he’s not going to buy out Franzen. He tends to behave consistently in regards to the statements he makes.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/06/14 at 10:37 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Franzen has zero incentive to work hard ever again based upon his guaranteed, lifetime contract;

Then the same applies for a lot of other players in the same situation.

the guy is already emotionally unstable evidenced by the fact that he rarely speaks with the media.

Whoa there dude, Franzen is not a spotlight seeker.  In fact he avoids it because he is very introverted.  Doesn’t make him a bad person or emotionally unstable.  Careful when casting aspersions lest some might think you a big Richard.

Posted by calquake on 05/06/14 at 11:20 PM ET

Avatar

What I mean by depreciating asset is that (a) Franzen has zero incentive to work hard ever again based upon his guaranteed, lifetime contract; (b) his health is diminishing exponentially; and (c) the guy is already emotionally unstable evidenced by the fact that he rarely speaks with the media.

All right, in order:

a) With zero incentive to work hard, I’ll repeat that he had one of the best seasons of his career as far as points per game go.
b) Evidence please?  This year he missed a few games due to what is listed as “illness” and then a quarter of the season due to a concussion.  Last year he missed time due to a back injury.  In 2011-12 he missed five games and in 2010-11 he missed six.  To recap, since his knee surgery in October 2009, he missed a grand total of 18 games over the course of three years before he got concussed this season.  His knee doesn’t appear to be bothering him since his surgery and it’s been over a year since he missed time due to his back.  Seems like his main issue heart, lol. [/sarcasm]  I wondered about your definition of “depreciating” and now I’m forced to ask your definition of “exponentially”.
c) He’s not a guy who seeks the spotlight or is comfortable speaking in public.  So what?  That makes him emotionally unstable?  Perish the thought that someone should live in 2014 and not be constantly preening for the camera and actively seeking a reality show, right?  Must be mentally unstable.

I don’t necessarily like the idea of his contract, but buying out a $4M cap hit that is good for 20-25 goals a year is ridiculous without even entertaining the idea that he could be traded.  Looking at the 20 cap hit comparables that capgeek provided, six of them had demonstrably better seasons than Franzen.  Just because he’s become complacent in Detroit doesn’t mean he has no value.  No, 29 teams wouldn’t be knocking down Ken Holland’s door if Franzen were put on the block, but you can be he would attract some suitors, so to pay him to play against Detroit would be just plain nuts.

Posted by Garth on 05/06/14 at 11:55 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

It would be silly to buy out a player with trade value.  I wouldn’t put it past Holland, except that he said “we’re not buying out Franzen.”

Having said that, Franzen’s 41 points in 54 games sounds great, except that all 41 points came in 25 of those games.  And of course there’s the 2 points he put up in the playoffs.  He needs to go if we can get any kind of value for him.

Posted by Hootinani on 05/07/14 at 08:18 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

That’s the one wrinkle people have floated that’s intriguing…If a team’s willing to bite on the cap recapture, Franzen does have some sort of marginal trade value, especially in exchange for a defenseman. I don’t think it’s gonna happen, but it’s food for thought.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/07/14 at 08:27 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

While we’re at it, please take the time to scroll up and look at the updates…Babs had some interesting things to say about Mantha’s potential.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/07/14 at 08:28 AM ET

gowings's avatar

That was a great interview by RDS. It’s refreshing to see reporters ask intelligent questions LOL..you could see him more engaged (I know, hard to see behind that cold statue and stare LOL)

Posted by gowings from MTL on 05/07/14 at 08:32 AM ET

Avatar

Having said that, Franzen’s 41 points in 54 games sounds great, except that all 41 points came in 25 of those games.

Absolutely.  His inconsistency is frustrating as hell, but the fact that he’s a 60-point per 82 game player simply means there is no way you buy him out.

If a team’s willing to bite on the cap recapture, Franzen does have some sort of marginal trade value

The cap recapture would barely affect any team other than the Wings.  If Detroit traded him this off-season and he retired in three years, ‘Team X’ would only be on the hook for $500k per year.  That’s pretty negligible in the face of a cap that could be up to $80M by then.

Posted by Garth on 05/07/14 at 08:40 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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.