The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/21/12 at 02:05 PM ET
The day after Russia captured the World Championship title, and Slovakia snagged silver, team Russia was given a hero’s welcome in Moscow (and congratulations from Vladimir Putin, of course), and the Slovaks partied harder and engaged in the kind of silliness that might live in some infamy for Tomas Tatar’s Slovaks in Bratislava…
And MLive’s Brendan Savage provides a statistical summary of the Wings participants’ contributions:
[Henrik] Zetterberg, who had three goals and 12 assists, was one of five players with Red Wings’ ties who played for Sweden.
Johan Franzen had four goals and five assists in seven games for Sweden while defensemen Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson each had a goal in eight games. Calle Jarnkrok, a Red Wings’ draft pick who is expected to sign with Detroit before next season, had one assist in eight games.
Valtteri Filppula of Finland, the 2011 champion, had four goals and six assists in 10 games. He helped Finland reach the bronze-medal game before losing 3-2 to the Czech Republic.
Pavel Datsyuk had three goals, four assists and a plus-7 rating for gold-medal winner Russia. He had a goal and two assists Sunday in the Russians’ 6-2 victory over Slovakia in the championship game.
Justin Abdelkader had a goal and three assists in eight games for the United States, whose No. 1 goaltender was Jimmy Howard. In seven games, Howard had a 5-2 record with one shutout, a 2.42 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.
Defenseman Kyle Quincey had no points but was plus-3 in six games for Canada. He was a late addition for the Canadians, joining them after their opening game.
Tomas Tatar, who played briefly for the Red Wings two years ago but spent last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, had two goals and three assists in 10 games for runner-up Slovakia.
Goaltender Petr Mrazek, another Red Wings’ draft pick, appeared in one game for the Czech Republic. He stopped both shots he faced in 9:12 of action.
This is an incredibly rough translation, but here’s what Tatar had to say to Hokej.sk’s Jan Ivanck, too:
“It’s kind of nice to play in the finals. It’s a great experience for my career. I’m very happy and appreciate that I could earn this experience already at my age . I hope that someday I can help the team, when I’m older I will be able to give teammates advice about how to behave on and off the ice,” said the Silver medalist fresh from Helsinki.
The beautiful line of victories ended in the final. However, humbly and honestly put, such success wasn’t likely before the championship, only few knowledgeable guesses. Finally, Russia is the best choice for the championship, and proved it in every game.
“To me, it feels like we took a knife in the neck in this game. We gave all our strength. The Russians skated very well and were difficult to defend. When we gave up three goals, our strategy fell apart, and we weren’t able to catch up,” says the promising player in the Slovakian uniform, Tomas Tatar.
Shifting gears, the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell posted a slate of player grades on Michigan Hockey Now’s website;
• And the Wings’ website posted a video looking back at their school assembly program during the 2011-2012 season:
I’m still exhausted from yesterday…I’m heading back to bed.
Update: And here’s a press release from the Griffins:
Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Tomas Tatar earned a silver medal at the 2012 IIHF World Championship, hockey’s premier annual international event that concluded Sunday in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
Tatar, a native of Ilava, Slovakia, helped his country capture its first medal since 2003 and its fourth since it began competing in the prestigious tournament in 1993. The 21-year-old forward was the youngest player on Slovakia’s roster, but he tied for sixth in team scoring with five points (2-3—5) in 10 contests. Slovakia bested Canada and the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, before earning a silver medal after a 6-2 loss to Russia in Sunday’s gold-medal game.
Former Griffin Tomas Kopecky (2002-06) also won silver, leading Slovakia with five goals in 10 games. The pair were the only two of the 10 former Griffins in the tournament to earn a medal, as Valtteri Filppula (2005-07) fell just short with Finland, losing 3-2 to the Czech Republic in the bronze-medal game.
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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.