The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/08/12 at 04:45 PM ET
Updated 2x with Datsyuk video at 5:08 PM:On an afternoon when Red Wings fans and media members alike are wondering aloud whether Ryan Suter might be swayed to join the Wings thanks to the Nashville Predators’ fiscal and personnel uncertainties, on an afternoon when Shawn Burr has found a bone marrow match...
And on an afternoon where I completely bumbled an article from Expressen, in which Tomas Holmstrom’s pal and fellow Pitea native Mattias Ohlund said that he’s got a long road back from knee surgery, not that he’s retiring (FTR: Jonathan Ericsson’s SI injury will heal with time, and it won’t bother him down the line, but might persuade him to wear back protection)...
Two Red Wings players are taking part in the World Championships, and there’s good news regarding one of ‘em.
Valtteri Filppula scored Finland’s 4-2 and and 5-2 goals on 2 shots and 17:50 of ice time, earning the “Game’s Best Player” award as Finland defeated the pesky Swiss 5-2 in front of a raucous crowd in Helsinki (Filppula scored both goals close to the net, on passes from his linemates in Jussi Jokinen and Mikko Koivu, and he won his only faceoff, too)...
And at present, Pavel Datsyuk and Russia are about to start the third period in what has become a pitched battle with Germany, who they only lead 1-0. Datsyuk didn’t fare in the scoring and he’s playing on a line with Nikolai Kulemin and Yevgeny Kuznetsov.
Regarding news on this side of the pond, now St. James, Kulfan and Khan have all weighed in on the Ryan Suter sweepstakes, and MLive’s Phillip Zaroo’s listed the ten best NHL’ers who played at 42 years of age or older not named Nicklas Lidstrom.
Update: Russia defeated Germany 2-0. Datsyuk did not fare in the scoring, but he looked much, much more comfortable on the big ice, stronger on his stick, and he registered a couple of takeaways and some Datsyukian dekes, earning more time on the PK than the PP while playing with Kulemin and Kuznetsov.
Statistically, Datsyuk went 10-and-3 in the faceoff circle, had 2 shots and played 17:04.
And here are Filppula’s comments to IIHF.com’s Risto Pakarinen:
It was Switzerland that controlled the game most of the second period, but with 3:15 remaining in the period, Immonen got another chance when he and Granlund forechecked the puck to Finland in the Swiss zone. Immonen got the puck at the bottom of the faceoff circle and lifted it quickly over Berra’s shoulder with a backhand shot.
In the shift that followed, Jesse Joensuu got a checking to the head penalty. Mark Streit quarterbacked the Swiss power play, and after a few passes between him and Roman Wick, Streit fired a slap shot from the point. Lehtonen made the initial save, but the rebound went straight to Wick, who shot it in through the Finnish goalie’s five-hole.
Valtteri Filppula scored his first of the tournament when Goran Bezina was in the penalty box. Juuso Hietanen ripped a slapshot from the point, Berra’s rebound ended up in Jussi Jokinen’s stick, but instead of just slamming it in, he made a two-meter pass to his right, and Filppula had an easy task to shoot the puck into an empty net at 9:46.
In his next shift, Filppula repeated the trick, but this time from the left. Ossi Väänänen’s shot got redirected twice on its way to the net and it came straight to Filppula who made it 5-2 with 8:04 remaining in the game.
“We got better shots today and Jussi made a great pass in my first goal. We got a lot of rebounds, and we had more traffic in front of the net. I haven’t worried about the goals since we’ve won, but of course I’ve had high expectations of myself, especially since I get to play on power play, so it was nice to get a couple,” Filppula said.
Update #2: The Detroit Free Press’s James Jahnke takes note of what the Finns’ win means:
Finland now has nine points (three wins) in the preliminary round of the tournament in Helsinki and Stockholm, good for first place in Group H. Switzerland has six points (two wins and a loss).
And Pavel Datsyuk spoke to IIHF.com about the Russians’ win:
Also: Winging it in Motown posted Griffinscentral.com’s Jason Kasiorek’s Griffins second half grades.
Update #2.5: MLive’s Brendan Savage weighs in on the Wings at the Worlds as well.
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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.