The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/05/12 at 06:08 AM ET
Update: Marie Hallman reports that Ericsson will sit out today’s game, with Jonas Brodin taking his place, but will return shortly (Ericsson was apparently hit with a puck in his lower back, just above the rear, where tons of muscles and ligaments attach to, well, one’s rear and spine), and Expressen’s Callum Bloodworth and Louis Holmberg report that Ericsson will play on Monday against Denmark: As this might interest you the most, let’s begin at the beginning: via the schedule post and MLive’s Brendan Savage, here’s the corrected version of the Red Wings players’ World Championship schedule for today:
May 5: 9:15 a.m. – Latvia vs. Russia; [12 PM EDT—USA vs. Canada (will air at 7:30 PM EDT on NBC Sports Network)]; 1:15 p.m.—Sweden vs. Czech Republic
On Friday, Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots in Team USA’s 7-2 win over France, Tomas Tatar scored a goal in Slovakia’s 3-1 loss to Canada, Valtteri Filppula led all Finnish forwards in ice time in his team’s 1-0 win over Latvia and Henrik Zetterberg and Calle Jarnkrok registered assists in Sweden’s 3-1 victory over Norway, which Zetterberg told IIHF.com’s Lukas Aykroyd was a…chippy affair:
The teams delivered a high tempo from the get-go, and although the Norwegians got some decent early chances, the style would wind up favoring the bigger, better-conditioned Swedes.
A big scrum broke out late in the penalty-filled first period when Norwegian defenceman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen bodychecked an onrushing Henrik Zetterberg full-tilt into the Norwegian goalie, knocking Haugen’s helmet off.
“There were a lot of penalties,” said Zetterberg. “I think in a game like this they should just let us play and I don’t think they did. In the second and third, they let things go a little bit, and it turned out to be a better game.”
Of course the main story went over with Wings fans the same way Canal Plus’s decision to allow fans to superimpose “real people’s faces” went over with Finns, who kinda sorta accidentally posted the faces of a few very scary people on the life-sized image at Hartwall Arena.
Wings fans were worried about what caused Jonathan Ericsson to leave the first period of the Sweden-Norway game, reported bleeding from his…rear end muscle. According to SVT’s Ingmar Johansson, the news is much worse for fourth-liner Fredrik Pettersson, who suffered a broken wrist.
Ericsson? She reports that he simply got hit in the rear end with a puck, which TV4’s Emil Andersson confirms (I should note that TV4 is attempting to recreate some HBO magic by producing a program called Inside the Tre Kronor while the Worlds are going on), but, to put it bluntly?
Nobody seems to know whether Ericsson’s injury was severe enough to sideline him for the entire tournament, or whether he’s just gotten a boo boo on his backside, and might miss no time at all. Aftonbladet’s Emil Karlsson and Patrik Sjogren captured a picture of Ericsson leaving the rink in his suit, so he didn’t exactly have to go to the hospital, and team doctor and Ericsson were…Predictably less than forthcoming with information:
Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson, a defenseman, left the Globen Arena in the middle of his World Championship debut.
“Sorry, I can’t comment,” said the 28-year-old to Sportbladet.
Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson had to leave the opening game against Norway, even before a full period was played.
“Jonathan Ericsson has a bleeding (buttock) muscle. I hope he’s all right by tomorrow. It was most certainly unfortunate for him. I think he can play tomorrow,” saidteam doctor Bjorn Waldeback.
Ericsson left the Globen during the game in the company of physiotherapist Thomas Carlsson.
“Sorry, I can’t comment,” said the defenseman to Sportbladet.
Will you be able to continue playing at the World Championship?
“I hope so.”
Now Brynas’s Mattias Ekholm can replace Ericsson.
Later in the evening, Waldeback spoke to Expressen’s Mattias Ek about Ericsson’s injury:
“He got hit hard and had to leave. It was mostly not to risk anything with him. It was possible that he could still play, but it’s the beginning of the tournament. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow, but I think he can still play,” said team doctor Bjorn Waldeback.
Don’t ask me what this means exactly…It’s a medical term that my dictionary fails to explain to me:
“It could be seen when warmed up. He’ll need a few hours to assess it. I think he can play, but we need to know what warming looks like.”
For the Swedish press, the biggest story involved the fact that the Globen was only half full for the Sweden-Norway game, and less than that for the rest of the games as prices are silly expensive, but I don’t need to tell you what the word “publikfiaskot” translates into when you separte it into “publicity” and “fiasco.” Zetterberg told Hockeysverige.se’s Uffe Bodin that the team believes that they’ll see more than somewhere around 6,000 fans when they play the Czechs today, though he did make sure to tell Aftonbladet’s Tomas Ros that it’s ticket prices are too expensive for a family to afford attending games.
Johan Franzen, on the other hand, suggested to Expressen’s Mattias Ek that the prices of 390 to 1,300 SEK for an opening game ($45-$193 USD, approximately) weren’t “very smart.”
• Zetterberg was pissed off when he was tossed into Norway goalie Lars Haugen by Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, but Expressen’s Louis Holmberg noted that Zetterberg was ticked off by the ticky-tack penalties as well, telling TV4 that he wondered whether they were playing basketball on the ice…
• But overall, as Sportal.se’s Mikael Bohman notes, Zetterberg felt that the team had a good start, telling Pitea-Tidningen’s Goran Sundberg that he was getting used to the bigger ice—and it should be noted that coach Par Marts told Sundberg that he hasn’t seen many players better than Zetterberg—with the, “We’ll get better and better” translating pretty damn well from wigns-speak to Swedish.
• Prior to the game, Franzen told Corren’s Marcus Nyenger that he was fully motivated to play, but worried about not playing for over a week;
• ST.nu’s Maria Nordstrom managed to get Zetterberg to admit that if there is a long lockout, he will head home to play for Timra IK—Zetterberg’s the second Wing to bring up a potential lockout in two days, with Datsyuk mentioning it on Friday;
• I might not need to tell you that Staffan Kronwall told Marie Hallman that he’s thrilled to be playing alongside his brother.
• And even as I’m compiling this entry, the Swedish press has moved on. Expressen’s Henrik Sjoberg noted that Czech forward Ales Hemsky’s wary of Niklas Kronwall’s butt-first checks (which he says are clean) today…
The Russians will open their Worlds against Latvia today, and I can confirm two things:
1. Per Sport-Express’s Mikhail Zislis and Andrei Kuznetsov, Datsyuk will center a line of Andrey Kuznetsov and Sergei Shirokov, if Friday’s practice lines are to be believed…
2. And neither Datsyuk nor Evegeni Malkin will captain the team: instead, Sovetsky Sport’s Ilya Molokanov says that the Russians have chosen KHL’ers to lead the team, with Ilya Nikulin captaining the squad and Dmitri Kalinin and Alexander Tereshenko.
I couldn’t find anything from the Finnish press regarding Filppula as he didn’t play a major role, skating aside, in his team’s win, and the during-the-day posts covered what little reaction there was to Jimmy Howard’s performance in Team USA’s win…
In terms of the Slovak press, let’s just say that Tomas Tatar sounds very much so all of 21 when offering the following comment to the Slovak news agency SITA (and this is very, very roughly translated):
Tomas Tatar (forward, Slovak Republic): “We believed that we could play an even duel with Canada. As a junior, I played against many of them, and they aren’t much better than us. If we play with heart, we can play with them and play good hockey.”
Tatar also spoke to Pravda.sk’s Pavel Komar about the game, mostly saying that he had a great time playing against Canada despite the fact that they lost, and that his goal-scoring celebration was copied from Cristiano Ronalod’s, and he made sure to say that he adjusted to the big ice easily because the trainers made sure he was well-hydrated.
In the multimedia department, I’d like to save space for sharing those semi-legal streams in the comments, but please do share your haul. We may be geo-blocked from the IIHF’s stuff, but thanks to We All Bleed Red on YouTube, here’s Tomas Tatar’s goal (and yes, TSN has it right: it’s “TAH-tr,” not “Ta-TAR”)...
And a slate of Jimmy Howard saves:
And in the Czech press, starting goalie Jakub Stepanek told Hockej.cz’s Vaclav Jachim that he’s thrilled to be rooming with his pal, 3rd goaltender and Wings prospect Petr Mrazek, saying that he’ll get tips from Mrazek on the Wings’ Swedes and that he’s going to start today, with Jakub Kovar starting on Sunday…
So Mrazek really is relegated to being the team’s third goalie and apparently driving Stepanek nuts by beating him playing FIFA 2012. Mrazek’s a Chelsea fan, for those of you who might want to know those kinds of things.
Back on this side of the pond, Red Wings prospect Tomas Jurco scored his team’s second goal and assisted on the OT winner as his Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Rimouski Oceanic 3-2 in double overtime to open the QMJHL championship series on a superb note.
The Sea Dogs took a 2-0 lead but surrendered it and didn’t break their tie until the 10:18 mark of double OT, according to the CP’s recap. The Sea Dogs’ website also provides a recap and a slate of YouTube highlights:
The teams will have to recover fast because they play again today at 7 PM local time!
Also of Red Wings-related note this morning: The Peterborough Examiner’s Mike Davies reports that Wings prospect Alan Quine took home a trophy for leading the Peterborough Petes with 40 assists (and 30 goals for a total of 70 points scored over 60 games played);
• According to the Northwest Indiana Times’ Mike Nieto, Chris Chelios was honorarily inducted into the Mount Carmel High School sports hall of fame. Chelios was inducted in absentia as he’s in the Caribbean, taking part in a Kid Rock-themed cruise (seriously, check the previous overnight report);
• The Calgary Herald reports the following:
Alzheimer’s disease has been described as the iceberg of health care meaning what lies beneath the surface is much larger than is visible to the eye. Cases of Alzheimer’s has been on the increase in Alberta with an estimated 38,000 cases in 2008-or 1.1 per cent of all Albertans. By 2038, it is predicted to reach 100,000 cases. And your faithful social scribe knows all too well of the devastation this disease can cause as I lost my beloved mother, grandmother and aunt to the disease.
Yet there is hope. Witness the phenomenal success of the recent Calgary Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer’s which raised more than $1.4 million for the Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s. Readers will recall that Mr. Hockey is battling dementia and that he lost his wife to the disease three years ago.
The multiday tournament saw record participation from corporate Calgary and NHL alumni. But for many, the highlight of the events was the Gordie Howe and Friends Luncheon held at the Westin.
• If you missed it, Kris Draper will be sighing bike helmets given out at a charitable event on Tuesday:
Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and Kohl’s invite the community to celebrate Safety Day, 2-5 PM, Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at the new Kohl’s store in Livonia (29580 Seven Mile Road), featuring Kris Draper, former Red Wings player and special assistant to the general manager, free bike helmets, children’s activities, music, snacks and local public safety officials.
Kohl’s will also present a $553,964 check to Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation to support the Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program (KIPP) at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
“We are grateful for the continued support of Kohl’s and the Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program,” said Cameron Hosner, president and executive director for Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. “Kohl’s is a valuable asset to our region, and their commitment to safety is essential to keeping children of all ages protected and injury free.”
Kohl’s leadership will present the donation at 3:45 PM to Hosner and Herman B. Gray, M.D., president of DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Meanwhile, the community is invited to free bike helmets and fittings, activities, music and snacks. Draper will sign the first 75 helmets given to children 14 years and under, at Kohl’s Safety Day. The event is sponsored by Garden Fresh Salsa, Domino’s Pizza Livonia, 96.3 WDVD, Perry’s Tents and Events, and Joe Cornell Entertainment.
• One of the Red Wings’ prospect camp invitees, Western Michigan University graduate Derek Roehl, has “turned pro” with the CHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, and they lead the President’s Cup Final 3 games to none over the Wichita Thunder. The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette’s Justin A. Cohn reports that Roehl hasn’t scored a playoff goal as of yet, but it’s pretty neat to know that one of the first interviews I had might win a a professional hockey championship only a few weeks removed from wrapping up his collegiate career;
• And finally, speaking of talkative people, this blogger who probably needs to start a blog about blogging to spare you personal details wants you to know that I’m going to do my best to cover the Worlds, but between the press overload and the fact that I’m running on Eastern Daylight Time insomnia, I’m probably not going to go full-tilt until I adjust my body clock for the quarterfinals on May 17th. I’m doing my best to give you as much information as possible right now despite some continuing health difficulties and a weird anniversary this Sunday, so I hope it’s enough.
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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.