The Malik Report
Updated 4x at 5:51 PM: St. James reports that Franzen will be OK: After Justin Abdelkader registered an assist in Team USA’s 3-2 OT win over Belarus, and Valtteri Filppula’s Finns imploded, dropping a 3-1 lead and losing 5-3 to Canada, I thought I’d take in a star-studded match-up between Sweden and Russia…
And instead, what I watched left me angry as angry can be. Sweden did indeed surrender a 3-1 lead and lose 7-3 to Russia in no small part because Johan Franzen, who scored a goal, got on the short end of the discipline department—after being speared after Zetterberg scored—first getting baited into pushing and shoving against Alexei Emelin, who dove like a soccer player after hacking Franzen and getting hacked back, and then getting 4 minutes for first going after Dmitri Kalinin and then slugging Evgeni Malkin (who registered a hat trick)...
While 12 members of the Red Wings’ organization participate in the World Championships, with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg facing off this afternoon (at present, Zetterberg’s power play goal has given Sweden a 2-1 lead over Russia after 1 period), the Detroit Free Press does its best to make Wings fans remember what was—and what could be next spring—by re-posting an article Mitch Albom wrote ten years ago today, regarding Steve Yzerman practicing and playing through a mangled knee as the Wings advanced through the playoffs on their way toward their third Stanley Cup of the modern era—and Pavel Datsyuk’s first as a Wing:
Steve Yzerman is in his car, driving to practice. He doesn’t really do much on the practice ice these days. For one thing, his bad knee can’t take it. And, anyhow, at this point in the season, he and the other veterans don’t exactly need work.
But he goes. He goes because “you’re supposed to be there, ” he says. “If we have an 11 a.m. practice, it’s not like I can show up at 11:15 and say, ‘Hey, Scotty, how you doin’?’
“You can’t take advantage of your status. Other guys won’t say anything, because they don’t want to rock the boat, but they start wondering why they should be doing it if you’re not. It creates dissension.”
Updated 3x at 3:31 PM: Finland imploded!: As mentioned earlier this morning, the Red Wings’ participants at the World Championships are participating in a very busy day of games in Helsinki and Stockholm. Two games remain on that schedule, with Valtteri Filppula and Finland tangling with Kyle Quincey and Canada at 1:15 PM, and Pavel Datsyuk’s Russians playing in a huge game against Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall and Calle Jarnkrok (and Jonathan Ericsson, who won’t play but hasn’t been ruled out of the tournament) an hour later…
1:15 p.m. – Finland vs. Canada; [2:15 PM] – Russia vs. Sweden
And in the game that’s already in the books, Justin Abdelkader registered an assist and played a strong, hard-skating and sometimes vicious game, hacking, whacking and goalie-crashing his way to a promotion from the checking line to a more scoring-oriented trio of Abdelkader, Kyle Okposo and Craig Smith, but the Jimmy Howard-less Americans—Howard sat out this one as he’d played on Thursday—had a rough game against Kazakhstan, rope-a-doping their way to a 3-2 overtime win.
Pretty cool news for Red Wings fans, via NHL.com: Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk has made the top eight in EA Sports’ NHL 13 Cover Vote, and Datsyuk will tangle with Islanders forward John Tavares between May 18 and 23 at http://covervote.nhl.com in an attempt to reach the fan-voted top four, per NHL.com:
[Philadelphia Flyers f]orwards Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell are among the eight quarterfinalists announced Friday by EA Sports and the National Hockey League. They are joined by Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers, John Tavares of the Islanders and Anze Kopitar of Los Angeles.
The quarterfinal voting, which begins Friday, will be split into two voting periods. Giroux faces Kopitar in one Bracket A battle, while Hartnell faces Malkin in a Battle of Pennsylvania showdown in the other half of Bracket A. In Bracket B, it is Datsyuk vs. Tavares and an all-goalie battle between Lundqvist and Rinne.
Bracket A voting runs from Friday to May 17. Bracket B voting begins May 18 and closes May 23. The semifinalists will be announced May 24, when the next round of voting begins. The EA Sports Cover Vote Finals takes place from May 29 to June 4.
Red Wings overnight report: Wings at the Worlds, day 7; Babcock has a chat; Tomas Jurco, QMJHL champ
Updated 4x at 9:33 AM: The Detroit Red Wings’ players participating in the World Championships had excellent outings on Thursday—Justin Abdelakder scored a goal and added an assist and Jimmy Howard stopped 23 shots as the U.S. defeated Belarus 5-2, Valtteri Filppula had 3 assists as Finland defeated France 7-1, and while he didn’t fare in the scoring, Pavel Datsyuk had an excellent outing in Russia’s 3-1 win over Denmark.
With most teams having played 4 or 5 of their preliminary round games, and round robin standings taking on more and more importance, things get particularly interesting today, per the schedule post and MLive’s Brendan Savage:
May 11: 9:15 a.m. – USA vs. Kazakhstan [on the NBC Sports Network]; 1:15 p.m. – Finland vs. Canada; [2:15 PM] – Russia vs. Sweden
Updated 7x at 3:56 PM: Valtteri Filppula registered 3 assists for Finland and Pavel Datsyuk had a strong but scoreless game for Russia: Team USA displayed less than dominant form for the vast majority of their 5-3 victory over Belarus, but the Red Wings’ American representatives at the World Championships played very, very well for the U.S.
Like remarkably, awesomely “well,” with Justin Abdelakder and Jimmy Howard starring in a 5-2 win against a Belarussian team which rallied from a 2-0 deficit and absolutely dominated play against the U.S. rope-a-dope in the 1st and 2nd periods, where Howard more or less held the Americans in the game until they finally found their footing in the 3rd.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun spoke to Red Wings GM Ken Holland about the same subject that the Free Press’s Helene St. James broached in asking about a timeline for Nicklas Lidstrom’s decision as to whether he’ll continue playing, and LeBrun also asked Holland about Brad Stuart’s future in his “rumblings” column:
“I don’t really need to know until the middle of June,’’ Red Wings GM Ken Holland told ESPN.com Thursday.
“I saw him on the weekend,” added Holland. “But we didn’t really touch on it. I’m letting him go through whatever process he needs to go through to make a decision.”
Updated with injury news of a different kind at 7:33 AM: The most difficult part of being a Red Wings blogger during the “summer” is that you never know when a particularly intriguing story will hit the interweb, and especially when your team has a dozen players committing semi-blasphemy in some fans’ eyes, and back over on this side of the Atlantic, Danny Cleary just had knee surgery, and we’re all sitting on our hands, waiting to hear what Nicklas Lidstrom plans on doing (and whether that might affect the Wings’ free agency strategy)...
And the Free Press’s Helene St. James delivers something of a middle-of-the-night bombshell in speaking to Wings GM Ken Holland about the aforementioned Lidstrom, scouting the Wings’ players, prospects and potential targets at the Worlds, and, oh yeah, the team’s whole free agency and potential trade strategy thing (what the Chief is calling, “The Summer of Ken,” 2012 version):
The Detroit Red Wings’ participants at the World Championships that played on Wednesday—Kyle Quincey, Tomas Tatar, Johan Franzen, Calle Jarnkrok, Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg—all won their games, and that’s becoming particularly important as we reach the one-week mark.
The top four finishers in the Helsinki and Stockholm-based groups will advance to the quarterfinals a week from today, and with most teams having played either 3 or 4 of their 7 round-robin games, here’s how the standings shake down:
Red Wings alumnus Shawn Burr recently found a bone marrow donor match who will help him battle acute myeloid leukemia, and on Wednesday night, WDIV posted a profile of Burr while announcing that it’s partnering with the Shawn Burr Foundation to help add people to a national bone marrow registry today at five LaFontaine Automotive dealerships.
Here’s the cheek swab’s worth of important parts from Dr. Frank McGeorge’s report which chronicles Burr’s battle and his charitable foundation’s ongoing goal of raising awareness of the necessity of bone marrow donation:
Burr is lucky. He found a match and he will get the transplant soon. But he wasn’t about to stop. His generous nature would guide his mission as the honorary chair in collaboration between the Michigan Dental Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“What we’re gonna do is called, ‘Take a Bite Out of Cancer,’” he said.
The goal is to get people on the bone marrow registry through kits available in dental offices across the state of Michigan.
“You can actually do a swab, get put on the registry. There is absolutely no cost,” he said. “A swab is just a stick in the mouth, and for a hockey player to be involved with that, it makes sense, you know?” he joked.
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.