Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings prospect news: Backman’s team walloped; Walleye lose, Griffins win but lose Callahan

The Red Wings' prospects had a mixed set of experiences on Wednesday evening, from Anthony Mantha winning the QMJHL's MVP award to...Well, we'll get to Mitchell Callahan's oral situation in a moment.

It wasn't a good night for anybody but the Griffins, anyway:

In Sweden, Mattias Backman and Linkopings HC are in the second round of the SHL playoffs, but Linkopings HC is in a world of hurt. They're down 2 games to 0 to Skelleftea AIK after dropping an...8-2 decision on Wednesday afternoon. Backman remarkably finished at +1 in 19:20 of ice time, but let's just say that it doesn't look good for LHC as they're tangling with the defending SHL champs.

Back over on this side of the pond, in the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye continue to limp toward the finish of an incredibly disappointing season. They dropped a 3-0 decision to the Wheeling Nailers. Jared Coreau stopped 27 of 30 shots, and Richard Nedomlel took 5 shots but finished at -2, and the Walleye's website provides a recap:

(Wheeling, WV)  For a second straight night, the Nailers held the Walleye without a goal as Toledo loses 3-0 on Wednesday night at Wheeling. Toledo has an overall record of 21-41-3-2 and is 10-20-3-1 on the road.

The Nailers would take the lead at 4:22 of the first period when Christiaan Minella would beat goaltender Jared Coreau with a wrist shot. Wheeling would make it 2-0 just 40 seconds into the second period as Tyler Fernandez slipped one past Coreau.

“We didn’t get off to the kind of start I wanted,” said Head Coach Dan Watson. “It is so hard to come from behind in this league as each and every team is so sound. You have to credit their goaltender; he made some great stops tonight.”

Wheeling would get the lone goal in the third period at 5:26. Toledo outshot the Nailers 31-30 in the game. Toledo has had 30 plus shots on goal in eleven straight games. Wheeling goaltender Mike Condon stopped 65 Toledo shots over the two games played Tuesday and Wednesday without allowing a Walleye goal.

Walleye Notes:  Goaltender Jared Coreau made 27 saves on 30 shots on goal. Coreau has a record 1-12-3-2 on the season. Coreau’s last win came November 23 against Evansville, a span of 12 games. Toledo is 3-7-0-0 against Wheeling this year.

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins had a very good game--they defeated the Iowa Wild 6-1, with Trevor Parkes scoring 2 goals, Cory Emmerton scoring a goal and adding 2 assists while finishing at +4 and Adam Almquist adding 2 assists--he now has 4 goals and 48 assists for 52 points in 67 games played--but the Griffins had a rough go on a personal and collective level after losing Callahan to a severe facial injury.

The Griffins' website provides a recap of the game...

Down 1-0 midway through the opening period, the Grand Rapids Griffins exploded for six unanswered goals to tame the Iowa Wild by a 6-1 count on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.

Cory Emmerton led the way with three points, Trevor Parkes notched the first two-goal game of his AHL career, and Petr Mrazek denied 34 shots to improve to 11-1 in his last 12 decisions and lower his league-best goals against average to an even 2.00.

Grand Rapids (44-20-2-4), which posted its third straight win overall and its sixth victory in the last seven games at home, increased its lead in the Midwest Division race to seven points over idle Chicago with six games remaining. The Griffins will complete their brief home stand by hosting the Hamilton Bulldogs for a Friday-Saturday set. Faceoff each night is 7 p.m.

Playing his first pro game since finishing his season at Colorado College, Gustav Olofsson struck first for Iowa (26-32-6-4) during a power play at 11:25 of the first. Left alone in the high slot, Olofsson took a pass on his backhand and had time to switch to his forehand before threading a shot between Mrazek’s blocker and the left post.

It took the Griffins just 2:31 to answer. Adam Almquist’s cannon from above the right circle was denied by Johan Gustafsson, but Parkes was waiting on the doorstep to quickly bang the rebound home.

The Griffins momentarily appeared to have taken the upper hand on a power play goal with 3:59 remaining – on a play that left Mitch Callahan bleeding and missing a number of teeth after taking a puck to his face while screening Gustafsson – but it was waved off due to incidental goaltender interference. Callahan skated off under his own power but did not return, as he was taken to a hospital for examination.

Undeterred, Grand Rapids scored an even-strength goal that counted less than a minute later, as Martin Frk took a pass from Andrei Nestrasil in the left circle and ripped the puck into the net at 16:43 to give the home team a 2-1 lead. 

Jordin Tootoo pushed the margin to two at the 4:36 mark of the second period, launching a routine wrist shot from the point that managed to slip through Gustafsson. That stood up as the only goal of the frame despite Iowa’s 16-5 advantage in shots.

Louis-Marc Aubry padded the Griffins’ cushion 5:51 into the third, digging the puck out of a goal-mouth scrum and popping it into the top of the net, before Parkes scored his second of the night from the slot at 7:30 to make it a 5-1 contest.

The offensive avalanche was capped off at 12:20 when Emmerton tallied his third point of the night and 15th goal of the season by beating Gustafsson, who finished the evening with 28 saves.

Three Stars: 1. GR Emmerton (goal, two assists); 2. GR Parkes (two goals); 3. GR Mrazek (W, 34 saves)

As well as a Flickr photo gallery and a set of highlights and interviews...

But Callahan lost 10 teeth--he'd already lost his two front teeth some time ago--he needed 9 stitches and had surgery for a broken jaw after the game...

And the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner's recap, which includes an embedded photo gallery, and Wallner reports that Callhan's injury--and conduct--stole the show:

Callahan, who already was missing his two front teeth, was struck in front of the net on a shot by defenseman Ryan Sproul. As he went down, Cory Emmerton scored but play had been stopped. He laid on the ice about 15 seconds before taken off with a towel covering his bloody mouth.

It appeared about four teeth were collected off the ice. After he posted the photo, he was taken to the hospital, Griffins team officials said.

"I saw him come back (and then) I saw his teeth come back with him," said right winger Trevor Parkes. "Couple of us had some shaky stomachs after that."

Coach Jeff Blashill said he heard about Callahan's tweet and was not pleased.

Asked if he approved of it, Blashill said, "No."

"Shame on me for not having a more direct statement on that," Blashill said, "but I just think we have to be real careful what we put out on social media."

Very true.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



Hey, Coach Blashill needs to lighten up.

Mitch is a character and the Wings needs that kind of character going forward. The Griffins will miss his presence right now and I sincerely hope the Wings give him a decent shot in the fall.

Posted by NewfieWing on 04/03/14 at 08:08 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.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


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.