The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/16/13 at 12:15 AM ET
Amongst Sunday's Red Wings prospect-related news...
Uh, it could be worse? Whlie Anthony Mantha and the Canadian World Junior team head to Sweden, the Grand Rapids Griffins keep winning and even the Toledo Walleye have won two straight, the Red Wings are 2-for-December (2-4-and-2)...
But they're not AIK Stockholm? During the last game played before the SHL goes on Christmas break (and the last game before AIK forward and Wings prospect Mattias Janmark skates for Sweden in the Channel One Cup from the 19th-22nd in Moscow), and the good news is that Mattias Janmark finished at all of a -1 in 15:00 of ice time as AIK dropped an 8-1 decision to Brynas IF at home.
Expressen's Jens Dahlqvist and Jenny Rydberg report that AIK coach Rikard Franzen publicly apologized to AIK fans after the loss, and AIK now sits in 11th place in the 12-team SEL after 32 games played.
Back over on this side of the pond, in the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs defeated Phillipe Hudon's Victoriaville Tigres 7-5, and Hudon didn't fare in the scoring;
In the OHL, Zach Nastasiuk had hoped to take part in the World Juniors for Canada, but the Owen Sound Attack captain went scoreless in his team's 3-2 win over Windsor instead;
Tyler Bertuzzi sat out the Guelph Storm's 5-0 win over Erie due to an "upper-body injury";
In the WHL, Mitchell Wheaton had an assist and finished at -1 in the Kelowna Rockets' 5-3 win over Prince Albert (Wheaton, a defenseman, is up to a goal and an assist for 9 points in 17 games, mostly registering points after he returned from a broken nose last week);
Marc McNulty finished at +1 in the Prince George Cougars' 3-1 win over Vancouver;
And in the BCHL, David Pope scored a goal in the West Kelowna Warriors' 4-1 win over Powell River. The young sniper's registered 8 goals and 7 assists for 15 points over the course of 19 games played.
Update: Jake Paterson had a bit to say about Team Canada's gold-less drought prior to Team Canada leaving Toronto for Malmo, Sweden to prepare for the World Juniors, as the Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan noted...
No gold medal since 2009.
But did the Canadians depart North America on Sunday night with the expectation they will win gold on Jan. 5, the final day of the 2014 world junior in Malmo, Sweden?
“Our goals are ... to be quite honest, I don’t even have to answer that question,” coach Brent Sutter said. “We all know what our goals are. And yet those aren’t accomplished unless you take care of the little things, the day-to-day things.
“We will worry about the final outcome as it gets there. Right now, we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Said goalie Jake Paterson: “The biggest thing is just how tough a tournament it is to win with the one-game elimination once you get into the medal round. That’s what I took (out of being the third-string goalie on the team that was fourth last winter). Hopefully, it comes together for us.”
And Paterson told the Postmedia News's Daniel Nugent-Hopkins that he and co-goaltender Zach Fucale are on the same page, ready to both embrace the pressure of playing for Team Canada and to cheer each other on, even if that means not playing:
“Being a goaltender there’s going to be pressure no matter what the circumstances,” Jake Paterson said. “What’s happened in the past is out of our control. So we’re just looking to have good exhibition games here and take it day by day.”
Paterson, a member of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit and a Detroit Red Wings prospect, makes up one half of this year’s tandem.
Zach Fucale, who backstops the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL and was a second-round pick by Montreal in the 2013 NHL draft, is the other netminder. Regardless of who mans the pipes, the objective doesn’t change.
“Me and Jake both have the same goal in mind. That’s winning games for the team and being our best for the team every night,” said Fucale, Paterson’s roommate. “There’s nothing else to it for us. If it’s me starting or him starting, we’re going to be playing for the team and winning.”
This, I did not know:
Paterson played centre until atom hockey. That’s when he filled in for a teammate who missed a game while attending a wedding. He liked the equipment and developed to the point where he was the third-stringer last year.
Paterson didn’t play in Ufa, Russia. That’s bound to change in Malmo, Sweden.
“Having the extra year in the league, I’ve kind of learned a couple things,” the 19-year-old said. “I think my game’s come a long way from last year.”
Paterson Tweeted a picture of his gear, too:
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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.