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Red Wings prospect news: Mantha, Val-d’Or prevail; Griffins will open playoffs against Abbotsford

Saturday delivered mixed results for the Red Wings' prospects, including a difficult journey ahead (literally) for the Grand Rapids Griffins.

In playoff hockey, in the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha had an assist as his Val-d'Or Foreurs defeated the Halifax Mooseheads 4-2, taking a 2-games-to-none lead in the QMJHL semifinal.

Mantha now has 11 goals, 7 assists and 18 points in 12 playoff games played.

In the WHL, things did not go so well for the Kelowna Rockets. Mitchell Wheaton was held off the scoresheet and Marek Tvrdon registered an assist en route to the Rockets dropping a 5-3 decision to the Portland Winterhawks. The WHL's Western Conference Final is now tied at 1 game apiece.

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Red Wings early overnight report and Wings-Bruins Game 2 set-up: skate, evade, avoid B’s dumb-down

Updated significantly at 3:38 AM, and holy hell, Cam Neely and the Bruins' beat writers are in on the "Not So Subtle Interference" kick:

Moving on from the Milan Lucic silliness, Danny DeKeyser's reaction and Saturday's practice news, the vast majority of the Red Wings and Bruins' beat writers have already filed stories in advance of tomorrow's Game 2 (3 PM EDT on NBC, TSN and 97.1 FM), so...

Oh hell with it, we're not quite done with the Loosick stuff yet (I was waiting to hear Don Cherry defend Loosick after returning from a cheery pre-Easter grocery shopping run [bleh], and instead, he just skipped the incident entirely), while Loosick started singing Asia's Heat of the Moment, DeKeyser kept his composure and channeled a little Nicklas Lidstrom, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted:

DeKeyser made a clean body check on the Bruins’ 6-foot-3, 235-pound forward in the defensive zone. But as the play shifted up ice, Lucic, who was trailing the play, swung his stick upwards like a pitchfork between DeKeyser’s legs.

“I didn’t really know what happened, I was just kind of skating back to the bench and to be honest right after the play I didn’t even know who did it,” DeKeyser said. “I’m fine. Just something that happens during the game. Just deal with it.”

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A difference of opinion: did the Red Wings offer Tatar and Nyquist for Iginla? I don’t buy it.

The Vancouver Province's Ed Willes insisted that the Red Wings were offering up two of Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and I believe either Riley Sheahan or Brendan Smith in a package for Alex Edler last summer (which supposedly included a 1st round pick and a "fourth piece" that the Wings wouldn't bite upon)--which seems a little outlandish, but may very well be what the Canucks were asking for Edler...

And while I do not doubt the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' temerity, his as-usual-superb Sunday notebook includes a could'a would'a trade suggestion that I simply believe was not the selling price but instead, the asking price:

As if they didn't have enough to complain about, imagine what Calgary Flames fans feel knowing they could have had Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar in a deal last year for Jarome Iginla. But general manager of the day, Jay Feaster, was insistent on a first-round draft pick being included in any deal for Iginla. In the end, the Flames may have little to show for Iginla and the Red Wings are flourishing with Nyquist's scoring and Tatar's speed.

I respect the hell out of Simmons, who continues at length and includes a variety of sports topics, but even the GM who traded Calle Jarnkrok, a 2nd round pick and Patrick Eaves to Nashville for David Legwand wouldn't bite on that kind of deal.

Nyquist has been in the, "Who comes after Pav and Z" succession pipeline for a while now, and this sounds more like the kind of rumor that would've made the rounds after Tomas Tatar admittedly considered asking for a trade, and, in the process, helped fire up the Slovak rumor mill (remember last summer, when he was talking about the Wings allowing him to play for a KHL team until they traded his rights?).

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

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Red Wings-Bruins Saturday practice post: no changes for DET; Bruins call in cavalry, Julien cops out

Updated 4x at 3:38 PM: The Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins practiced ahead of Sunday's Easter matinee-ish game (3 PM EDT on NBC and TSN) today, with the Red Wings hoping to build upon last night's 1-0 win in Game 1, and the Bruins' beat writers, including the Patriot-Ledger's Mike Loftus, reported that the Bruins' injured cavalry (Daniel Paille, Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid) skated prior to the B's main skate:

Not sure yet what #NHLBruins are doing, but Paille, Seidenberg, McQuaid on ice now w/conditioning coach J. Whitesides

Pavel Datsyuk did "have a funny" regarding last night's physicality...

And you may take this from the Boston Globe's Amalie Benjamin, regarding one Milan Lucic and his attempt to give Danny DeKeyser a higher voice, as you will:

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Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser: classy. Ballsy.

There's a Bruins Way and a Red Wings Way.

Meanwhile in the Boston locker room, per the Boston Globe's Amalie Benjamin...

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Red Wings prospect Mitch Callahan skating with the Grand Rapids Griffins again(!)

I kind of stuffed this into the Wings-Bruins wrap-up, but this deserves a post of its own: Red Wings prospect Mitch Callahan has resumed practicing some two-and-change weeks after suffering a gruesome injury and having surgery to repair a broken jaw, but Callahan was back at practice with the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday, and he spoke to WZZM 13 about his status (be warned: the gruesome "selfie" is shown twice):

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Kypreos: NHL will fine Milan Lucic for his spear on Red Wings’ Danny DeKeyser, but won’t suspend him

Updated 4x at 2:09 PM:

Updated with some...odd...commentary from Lucic at 1:18 PM: Per Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos:

The Boston Globe's Amalie Benjamin described the jab as follows...

There was an ugly moment for the Bruins at the end of the second period. It appeared that Milan Lucic speared Danny DeKeyser from behind. Lucic was not available postgame

Again, @myregularface posted a .gif of the spear (please note: posting the image does not equal endorsement thereof, so please stop harassing her on Twitter, Steph's good people), and it's worth noting (as pointed out last night) that TSN's Bob McKenzie may feel that "You Can't Do That," but he did note that there's no precedent for policing such incidents--especially where Lucic is concerned--this year:

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The Bruins Struggled In Game One

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

The Bruins’ best players weren’t their best players. The first line combined for four shots on goal. No. 2 right wing Reilly Smith didn’t put a single puck on net. The third line, which had a favorable matchup against Detroit’s No. 3 pairing of Brian Lashoff and Jakub Kindl, didn’t become unglued until the third. It’s never a good sign when Thornton is one of the most dangerous offensive players. But that’s what happens when you’re chasing the game....

The Bruins were the better team when they ragged the puck below the dots in the offensive zone, in the corners, and along the walls. Their beef, smarts, and straight-line skating made them a handful. The Wings’ defensemen are smaller, mobile puck movers. They’re not big. They got in trouble when the Bruins chewed them up in the danger areas.

But the Bruins didn’t jam the puck into those areas enough. They made the game too easy for the Wings.

When the Bruins’ top two lines are rolling, they use the neutral zone as a launching pad. The forwards rev up their wheels and gain momentum as they enter the offensive zone.

If they carry the puck over the blue line, opponents can’t slow them down. If they chip the puck behind the defensemen and into the corners, they have enough speed to retrieve it and start their cycle.

But Detroit turned the neutral zone into quicksand.

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Red Wings-Bruins Game 1 wrap-up and overnight report: Yippee ki-yay, Pavel Datsyuk!

The Detroit Red WIngs persevered despite some ugly moments and significant nerves to capture a clutch 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins, with Pavel Datsyuk's goal receiving far more rave reviews than the Lucic spear (or Zdeno Chara's boarding of Brendan Smith, though Tomas Jurco gave as good as Smith got) received finger-wagging, deserved or perhaps somewhat ficticiously.

As for the task I'm facing in trying to "wrap this up"...I would be up until the Wings practice at 12:30 PM today if I was to give the THIRTY-FOUR tabs I've got open their due attention. I really don't know how even the most dedicated Bruins fans follow their team, because it's a frickin' job.

You will not be surprised, however, to hear that Boston.com's Jeff Pini reported that the Bruins felt that the game was indeed "close"...

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A…different…take on the Lucic-DeKeyser incident

Despite my protestations to the contrary, I was pretty dang happy with the Red Wings' 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday, and I was also pretty dang happy with the fact that the Wings did not react to the Bruins' "truculence," including this gem from Milan Lucic:


As Mike Babcock told Fox Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson when asked whether the play should be reviewed: "That's what the league does."

The rest of the league takes notice, however, and Boston.com's Bruins Blog's Jerard Fagerberg has become a figure of some reknown for suggesting that Lucic's play was simply part of "playoff hockey":

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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.

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