The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/07/12 at 04:10 PM ET
Updated 8x with Franzen gabba and a cool Nicklas Lidstrom picture at 7:15 PM: Team USA lost 4-2 to Slovakia; Sweden defeated Denmark 6-4: “Getting it wrong” stinks when you’re in the business of not doing so whenever possible, so it is with annoyance that I must state that while the U.S. and Slovakia started playing at 1:15 PM, as advertised, Stockholm time and Helsinki time are an hour apart, so the Swedes actually face off against Denmark at 2:15 PM EDT (minus Jonathan Ericsson; both games were listed as starting at 20:15, but that translates into 1:15 PM in Helsinki’s EET and 2:15 PM CET). I’m doing my best to try to get this stuff right, so I’m sorry about the error.
In terms of the in-progress U.S.-Slovakia game (airing on the NBC Sports Network), DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose is keeping track of its score and personnel as such news applies to Jimmy Howard, Justin Abdelkader (both playing for the U.S.) and Tomas Tatar (Slovakia)—and as I’m writing this, Howard’s been left out to dry while facing 15 shots in the 1st period, with the 2nd period underway with Mike Babcock in attendance:
#RedWings G Jimmy Howard is in starting lineup for @USAHockey vs. SVK. Abdelkader on third line w/ #Bluejackets Atkinson & #Ducks Palmieri.
The turnover that led to Granak’s goal was made by #Canadiens’ forward Max Pacioretty. Now four-minutes gone and SVK leads #USAHockey, 1-0.
SVK goes up 2-0 when Branko Radivojevic beats #RedWings G Jimmy Howard with a wrister over the goalie’s glove.
It’s back to a one-goal game when 37-seconds later #Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk scores for #USAHockey. SVK leads 2-1 in 1st period.
SVK’s Sekera buries a rebound on #RedWings G Jimmy Howard to take a 3-1 lead over @USAHockey with 6.3 seconds left in first period.
And while I ended up watching Russian and French feeds of the game which already wrapped up earlier this morning, Roose caught TSN’s feed of Canada’s 7-2 victory over France.
The Canadian Press, the IIHF’s website and the Edmonton Sun’s Terry Jones all provide recaps, if you live in Canada, you can watch the game on demand on TSN’s website, and TSN has already posted a 5:38 highlight clip of the game…
But for you and me, the story of the game involves Kyle Quincey, who played alongside Columbus’s Marc Methot his first Worlds game (Quincey is wearing #22), playing a total of 13:26 and finishing at +1 with 2 shots. Roose caught Quincey’s interview with TSN after the second intermission…
“I got the phone call on Friday and was on a plane Saturday,” the Red Wings’ defenseman told TSN during the second intermission of Canada’s 7-2 win over France on Monday. “I’m glad to be here and just thankful for getting the chance.”
The Quinceys – Debbie, her husband Marty, Kyle and his brother Kevin – have made a habit of playing golf on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. But the invitation to represent his country for the first time was just too much to decline, even if it means blowing off a family tradition, he said.
“I won’t be doing that; if she wants to fly over, I don’t know,” said Quincey, when asked how he got out of his family obligation. “I’m just so happy to be here and putting the Canadian sweater on is such a great thing for me.”
Quincey made his official international play debut on Monday against France. He dressed for two exhibition games ahead of the 2005 World Junior Championship. Quincey, along with Columbus defenseman Marc Methot made up Canada’s third defensive pairing for coach Brent Sutter, who scrapped the team’s man-to-man defense for a zone scheme.
“The end zone coverage is just take care of your own area and these guys are working hard and buzzing so it’s a good challenge,” said Quincey, who had two shots on goal with a plus-1 rating in 13:26 of ice-time.
And Roose took note of the fact that the Red Wings’ coach, who’s kind-of-sort-of scouting for Canada and kind-of-sort-of scouting for the Red Wings, attended the game and made an on-ice appearance:
Wings coach Mike Babcock was on hand Monday morning at Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena to present Team Canada’s player of the game – Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp – with a silver watch. Sharp, who led the Blackhawks with 33 goals last season, had a goal and four assists for a tournament-best five points in Canada’s win on Monday.
I’ll try to keep you appraised of both games which remain this afternoon via Twitter before updating this entry, and don’t be surprised if links to streams pop up in the comments as well…
Also: the Czechs did defeat Norway 4-3 in a shootout, but Petr Mrazek did not play for the Czech Republic. He’s still all but a glorified goalie caddy save practices.
Also of Red Wings-related note this afternoon: As Paul noted, Washington Capitals forward Mike Knuble, who wouldn’t look bad wrapping up his career in Detroit after a long playoff run with the Capitals (he happens to be a native of East Kentwood, a Grand Rapids suburb, too), has no intention of being known as a player who “coasted” to two Stanley Cups with the Wings while speaking to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
Somewhere in a safety deposit box in Michigan sit Mike Knuble’s two Stanley Cup rings. He gets them out to show the kids at his summer hockey camp every year. And his own kids, now ages 7, 10 and 11, like to try them on occasionally, feel their heft and marvel at the diamonds.
But there’s a reason these rings do not feature more prominently in Knuble’s life and the answer is both simple and reflective of the nature of the man: he doesn’t feel he has earned them. At the time, in 1997 and 1998, Knuble was a member of the Detroit Red Wings. He did not play in the 1997 playoffs and in 1998 played just three postseason games but the Ilitch family, owners of the Wings, bestowed on Knuble and other players rings marking the back-to-back championships regardless. His name appears on the Cup for the 1998 win but for Knuble, “you’ve got a mental asterisk” when it comes to thinking about those championships, he said. If anything, the experience of being at least peripherally involved in those championship runs has instilled a burning desire to return to that level again and this time make a difference.
“That’s Mike. That’s who he is,” explained his wife, Megan.
Any player who has ever doubted himself, wondered if it was all worthwhile or had second thoughts about whether he had the will to make himself better should examine Knuble’s career track. Through his first six full NHL seasons, Knuble bounced from Detroit to New York and then to Boston, never topping the 15-goal mark. Many nights Knuble was a healthy scratch. When he was in the lineup, he often played just a few minutes.
“When I look back, those were stressful years,” Megan Knuble recalled.
As much as Quincey is one who “got away” during the 2008-2009 season, I certainly felt that Knuble, who went to the Rangers for the pick the team used to Draft Tomas Kopecky and Greg Johnson, who became a superb defensive forward after the Wings traded him to the Penguins for Tomas Sandstrom in 1997, were players that “got away” from Jimmy D, Scotty Bowman and Ken Holland in the late 90’s…
Anyway, the rest of the story about the 39-year-old is worth your time...
What reality show will the Red Wings be on next season?
A) “24/7: Road to the Winter Classic.”
B) “Extreme Makeover: Big House Edition.”
C) “Real Housewives of the Neutral Zone.”
E) “Ice Loves Sobotka.”
• I’m sure that this is an awful translation because it’s Finnish, but here’s what Valtteri Filppula had to say to Ilta Sanomat’s Thomas Nyholm while taking a “quiz” of his own…
Question: Who’s the best roommate you’ve had in your career?
Filppula: “Sami Lepisto.”
Question: Who’s the biggest *#$%@& in terms of your opponents?Who is the best roommate career?
Filppula: “Chris Pronger. He’s a cruel guy.”
Question: Teemu [Selanne] or Jari [Kurri]?
Filppula: “Right now, that’s an impossible question to answer. (thinks for a long time)...Okay, if you got statistically, Jiri, but Selanne’s still able to play at a high level at an older age, so in that sense, Teemu. I think it really is an impossible choice. But if we give more Stanley Cups a small advantage, if you’re forced to choose, then I say Jari.”
Question: What would be the hardest game-day routine to give up?
Filppula: “Taking a nap.”
Question: How often do you change your skates?
Filppula: “Maybe three times a year, but I rotate my blades every two to three weeks.”
Question: “Why on earth?”
Filppula: “I have an edge that’s slightly higher than normal. It’s better in transition and seems more appropriate for me anyway.”
Question: Raimo Summanen—threat or opportunity?
Filppula: “Erm…uh…Both, perhaps.”
Question: Who’s Detroit’s best-dressed player? You can nominate yourself.
Filppula: “Certainly I try to look as best as I can, but if I were to say someone else, Henrik Zetterberg.”
Question: Which arena in the NHL has the best ice?
Question: What’s the worst trick that was played on you?
Filppula: Nothing awfully bad has been done to me, but I had a rough time once: Sometimes we practice in such a way that we put sticks on top of the bench and go do our drills. When I checked out a pair of sticks, they were both sawed off in such a way that they broke when I got my first passes. I remember that I had to borrow a stick from Niklas Kronwall during the final drills.”
• And finally, from the Wings:
Update #1: Via Tomas Kaszczuk on Twitter, the Goalie Guild’s Justin Hoffman posted a very long and very involved profile of Wings prospect and Team Czech Republic goalie Petr Mrazek, and it’s AWESOME:
I worry because I don’t want young goalies to become drab athletes, with blank-eye stares in the face of adversity and pressure. I don’t want goalies to lose a certain type of natural athleticism or competitive instinct, and I certainly don’t want goalies to rely solely on the economy of movement.
Fortunately, Petr Mrazek is none of the things I really worry about.
When searching for the perfect prospect, I want one that is truly balanced. I want them to display both reflex-based and positionally-based save selections. I want one that knows when to challenge a shooter, and when to stay a little deeper. I want one that can move well on his skates and on his knees, and one that can stop pucks in a myriad of ways, without second-guessing their decisions, or having to default to one specific method.
Ultimately, I want a shape-shifter; a goalie that can adapt on the fly to the game around them. For the more tools a prospect has at their disposal, the more likely they are to build a stronger foundation for a more successful future.
Yet I talk to many goalie coaches today, and I walk away thinking that over-reacting, or relying too much on reflexes is some kind of mortal sin, a hellacious act of true horror. Some goalies even become paralyzed by this concern of erroneous movement, and they over-think their game way too much. They inevitably start to lock up, they hesitate far too often, and they never look fully comfortable over the course of a game.
When I watch Mrazek play, however, I notice he not only exists outside of this robotic planet, he lives in a completely different universe. But here he is and there he goes, as one of the world’s most talented 20-year-old junior goalies.
JG: What is your spirit animal? If I had to guess, I would say…the Wolf. Am I right?
PM: “The Tiger for sure. Tigers are my favorite animal, they are beautiful. I absolutely love them. Wolf was close, but I like the Tiger more.”
JG: What did you take away from your 2012 World Junior Championships experience?
PM: “It opened my eyes for pro hockey. It showed me I was capable of playing with great players and higher expectations.”
JG: I ask every goalie I interview this same question – how would you define Mental Toughness?
PM: “Every goalie needs to be mentally tough. You have to be ready every game to be strong, to face the shots, and stop the pucks. If you let in a soft goal, or bad deflection, you have to forget about it right away. If you’re always thinking about that bad goal throughout the rest of the game you won’t be able to focus on the next shots thrown at you. You have to remain confident and strong in yourself and be able to forget and move on fast.”
Update #2: Team USA lost to Slovakia 4-2 thanks to a slow start, goalposts galore and a spate of badly-timed penalties, despite a valliant effort from Jimmy Howard.
Howard stopped 28 of 31 shots for the U.S. in the loss—and only had a chance on the 1st goal as Radivojevic went top shelf on the 2nd one and Bobby Ryan tipped Andrej Sekera’s goal between Howard’s legs—and Abdelkader played 14:41 and went 10-and-2 in the faceoff circle, finishing with 2 shots and a -1.
The Wings’ Swedes are having a better time; They lead Denmark 6-2 after 2 periods, with Franzen registering 3 assists, Zetterberg dazzling and dangling and Calle Jarnkrok delivering a great performance while playing alongside Jakob Silfverberg and Daniel Alfredsson.
Update #3: The Oakland Press’s Pat Caputo says that the Wings weren’t a bad team…they just underachieved during the 2011-2012 season and playoffs:
The Kings have a tremendous goalie in Jonathan Quick, a world-class defenseman, who had not lived up to his growing after reputation after the 2010 Olympics, though, until these playoffs in Drew Doughty, and a Henrik- Zetterberg-like forward in Anze Kopitar. Otherwise, they have a little grit in Dustin Brown, and not much else. The Coyotes best player is Ray Whitney. Yeah. That Ray Whitney. the former Red Wing, who has been around since time started. And Phoenix goalie Mike Smith is the definition of journeyman.
The Blues and Preds don’t have fire power. Vancouver has an excellent team, but the Canucks’ issues with being Canada’s great hope, and goalie Roberto Luongo having worn out his welcome, led to subpar performance.
This should have opened the door to the Stanley Cup finals for the Red Wings. Instead, we’re reading about the exploits of their players at The World Hockey Championships.
Now they are scoring goals. Now Jimmy Howard is coming up big.
It couldn’t be be more meaningless if they just remained home and were shooting par on one of the local golf courses.
There is little doubt the Red Wings need to re-tool their roster this summer. But the Kings vs. Coyotes in the Western Conference finals? The Red Wings are still better than both those teams.
It’s an indictment on their shaky performance in the Nashville series they are not around to prove it
Update #4: The rout turned into hanging on.
Calle Jarnkrok—which I’ve been told is pronounced “Yairn-croohk” (with a “yair” like air, a softer R sound, and an “ooo” sound like “ooze”)—ended up playing on a line with Brynas IF teammate Jakob Silfverberg and Daniel Alfredsson and had a very, very strong game; Zetterberg registered 1 assist and Franzen had 3, but the Swedes defeated Denmark 6-4 because they got into penalty trouble and let off the gas a bit.
Statistically…Zetterberg had an assist, took 2 penalty minutes, went 10-and-5 (67%) in the faceoff circle, took 4 shots and finished at +1 in a stunning 22:20 of ice time;
Franzen finished with 3 assists, a faceoff win, 6 shots and was even in 21:37 of ice time;
Kronwall was held off the scoresheet but had 2 shots and played 20:35;
Jarnkrok went 6-and-3 (67%) in the faceoff circle, didn’t take a shot and played 11:45.
From USA Today’s Kevin Allen, we get something of a Wings-centric game narrative:
After scoring two goals in its first two games, Slovakia outshot USA 31-20. Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard made some big stops to give the USA a chance to tie the game in the third period.
Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny scored for the Americans on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity with 1:13 left in the second period to make it a 3-2 game
In the third period, Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader, Columbus’ Cam Atkinson and Stastny all hit the post in their efforts to beat Slovakia goalie Jan Laco.
• And in the “non-WC” category, the Livonia Observer wants to remind us that Kris Draper will be signing bike helmets for kids at Kohl’s in Livonia from 2-5 PM tomorrow.
Update #7: The Niles Star‘s Aly Gibson also notes the following:
Cassopolis Dental is urging community members to help save a life by registering to donate bone marrow from noon to 2 p.m. May 15 at the Cassopolis Dental office, 408 E. State St., Cassopolis.
The Michigan Dental Association partnered with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to bring awareness to how important bone marrow donations are. By a simple swab of a patient’s inner cheek, matches for possible bone marrow transfusions will go into an international registry and help save the lives of people suffering from different types of blood cancers. Former Detroit Red Wing Shawn Burr has also joined the campaign, currently awaiting his own bone marrow match. The campaign is being conducted statewide and Cassopolis Dental’s Dr. John Hayman said he wanted to help.
“Dr. Hayman is a member of the Michigan Dental Society and proud fan of the Detroit Red Wings,” Kelly Collins, the office’s financial and treatment coordinator, said. “He is excited to be a part of this mission.”
While the drive is scheduled for two hours next Tuesday, Cassopolis Dental is conducting the campaign for the entire month of May. According to Collins, this will be the first bone marrow drive the office has conducted.
• And Wings director of pro scouting Mark Howe had a chat with the Wilkes=Barre Times-leader’s Paul Sokolinski yesterday:
“You used to be able to defend yourself years ago when somebody was coming to hit you,” said Gordie’s son Mark Howe. “When someone was coming to take a run at you, you tried to put a stick through his head, or whatever you could do to slow him down.
“But there are no slow players anyomore,” Mark continued. “They’re all big, all strong.”
“That’s why I quit,” Gordie said.
There is no quit in either of them.
Mark Howe, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame himself last year and had his No. 2 jersey retired by the Philadelphia Flyers in March, is now the director of pro scouting for the Detroit Red Wings.
He’s helping to watch over his aging dad, and brought Gordie along for the ride Sunday to watch the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins play the St. John’s IceCaps at half-filled Mohegan Sun Arena.
“I’ve been coming here since the building opened,” Mark Howe said, “scouting and watching Wilkes-Barre play. I think Wilkes-Barre generally has had a pretty strong team, pretty well every year. The only thing that’s changed, you couldn’t find a seat in this building years ago. I’m surprised there’s not as many people.”
But there were enough to create the kind of excitement that typically surrounds a hockey playoff series.
It almost made a legendary great want to go right out and skate.
Update #7: MLive’s Brendan Savage likes irony:
Jimmy Howard and Justin Abdelkader have seen this act before.
Not long ago, in fact.An offensive power outage against the Nashville Predators last month helped send Howard, Abdelkader and the Detroit Red Wings packing after the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The same thing happened Monday to the Red Wings’ duo and their United States teammates in a World Championships preliminary-round game against Slovakia. Slovakia handed the Team USA its first loss of the tournament by a 4-2 count in a game that saw the Americans get outshot 32-20.
Slovakia jumped in front less than a minute into the game when Dominik Granak of Dynamo Moscow beat Howard at the 47-second mark and Team USA found itself trailing 3-1 after 20 minutes.
The Americans never recovered in losing for the first time in three games at the World Championships.
“Their goalie was phenomenal, and their defense played a good game,” said USA forward Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks. “Hopefully this was a wakeup call for us, for the rest of the tournament.”
And I forgot to mention this:
Red Wings’ farmhand Tomas Tatar, who played for the Grand Rapids Griffins last season, had two shots for Slovakia and lost his only faceoff in 12:19 of ice time.
Update #8: Okey dokey then. The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan feels like fighting fire with napalm where Johan Franzen is concerned, offering these quips from locker room clean-out day:
“We didn’t have a good ending to the season,” Franzen said. “You have to come into the playoffs with confidence, otherwise it’s so tight. We played the first four games, we took it to them, but when we made some mistakes and they scored as soon as we gave them one chance. It’s demoralizing when you have the pressure much the whole game and you make one mistake and they put it in the net. But we still should have found a way to win more games.”
Franzen, who scored one goal in the five games, was one of many Wings who didn’t have a good playoff series.
“(I) couldn’t really get anything going,” Franzen said. “That’s the way it was. I don’t really know why, (I) just couldn’t get it in the net. t’s always frustrating when you lose, that’s the most frustrating thing.”
• Also: the Ted Lindsay foundation’s Twitter account, which is promoting a motorcycle rally in Algonac on May 19th to raise funds for autism research, posted a remarkable picture of Lindsay speaking to Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who brought his Norris Trophies to what was probably a photo or video shoot.
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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.