The Malik Report
Wrapping up a busy day at the World Championship: Tomas Jurco and Slovakia were shut out 5-0 by Canada on Saturday evening, and Jurco had a rough night, finishing at -2 with no shots in only 10:56 of ice time.
Here are the game's highlights:
Pavel Datsyuk and Alexey Marchenko had quietly solid games in Russia's 5-1 win over Switzerland today. They were somewhat quiet in no small part because Alex Ovechkin, Yegeni Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov were all in the lineup, bumping Datsyuk down to the team's 2nd/3rd line center's role and Marchenko and Nikita Zaitsev down to the third pair.
Datsyuk was still a defensive stalwart, and he drew two consecutive penalties in the third period (a trip and a check from behind by Grossmann), but his teammates took until the final minute to adjust to Datsyuk's pass-the-puck-immediately tendencies, when Datsyuk passed to Sergei Moyzakin, and Moyzakin made no mistake in firing home the 5-1 goal.
Datsyuk was also beating his defensemen to the puck on back-checking plays, so his wheels may not be what they used to be, but he's compensating by being in the right position at the right time, much like Nicklas Lidstrom did later in his career.
Datsyuk had an assist and finished at +1 in 17:09 of ice time, not bad given a slight demotion; Marchenko finished at +4 in 13:57 of ice time.
At the World Championship...
Gustav Nyquist scored the game's first goal in Sweden's 3-2 win over Norway. Nyquist's goal was one of four shots he took over the course of 20:56 of ice time, and Nyquist spoke with IIHF.com's Andy Potts about his goal:
From WXYZ's Brad Galli:
Gordie Howe's birthday cake stood a few feet off the ground at Joe Louis Arena in late March, surrounding by the Howe family and 20,000 people standing on their feet.
The celebration was a sign of how much had changed.
A year and a half prior, the Howe family was ready to say goodbye to Mr. Hockey.
"He had been struggling with dementia and traumatic brain injury, so a lot of things were going on. He was going downhill to the point where we said, 'This is going to be his sunset,'" Howe's son Murray told Action News this week in Toledo, where the family was launching the new Gordie Howe Initiative for stem cell treatment.
Continued, and here's the story's accompanying video:
The Grand Rapids Griffins return to action against the Lake Erie Monsters tomorrow night (7 PM on The AHL Live/ESPN 96.1) and the players will play before a full suite's worth of Red Wings executives, just as they did on Tuesday.
Ken Holland, Ryan Martin, Kris Draper, Jiri Fischer and the vast majority of the pro and amateur scouts have been watching the Griffins play as the team prepares for an organization-wide audit, and the Griffins' players are very well aware of the presence of so many influential sets of eyes in the building these days.
The Free Press's Max Bultman spoke to Anthony Mantha after Tuesday's game regarding his and Andreas Athanasiou's goal-scoring performances with the organization watching:
USA Today's Laken Litman and Kevin Allen report that Gustav Nyquist the person did indeed know of Nyquist the horse's success at the Kentucky Derby, and Gustav told USA Today that he and Niklas Kronwall have engaged in some playful discussion about J. Paul Reddam's lame duck of a horse named after #55:
Nyquist (the person) was in Moscow, which is seven hours ahead of Eastern Time, during the Derby. He was asleep when Nyquist (the horse) won.
“We had a game the next day and the race was at about 2 o’clock in the morning over here,” Nyquist said by cell phone from Russia. “But my phone started exploding and I woke up. I managed to see the replay.”
A few days later, Nyquist (the player) recorded a hat trick and an assist in Sweden’s 7-3 victory over Kazakhstan. He leads Sweden with five goals in four games at the World Championships, and has scored 72 goals over the past three seasons with the Red Wings. So Nyquist (the horse) comes from a good bloodline.
But aside from the fact that both Nyquists are talented and famous, they don’t have other things in common, the hockey player says.
“He’s way faster than me, that’s for sure,” Nyquist said, laughing. “There are no similarities. None.”
Nyquist has never met the horse, but is hoping he wins the Preakness because he plans to be back in the United States for the Belmont Stakes next month and could therefore witness his namesake clinch the Triple Crown.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the horse and meeting the owner,” Nyquist said.
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
PEPPINO'S SOUTH TO HOST GRIFFINS WATCH PARTY FOR GAME 5 ON SATURDAY
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Saturday’s watch party for Game 5 of the Central Division Finals between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Lake Erie Monsters will be held at Peppino’s South, located at 1515 Eastport Drive SE near Kalamazoo Avenue and M-6. The event was moved from Peppino’s Sports Grille in downtown Grand Rapids, site of the watch parties for Games 1 and 2, due to Saturday’s Garth Brooks concerts and the anticipated parking shortage.
With the puck dropping at 7 p.m., join fellow Griffins fans and watch the action live from Quicken Loans Arena alongside the play-by-play of Bob Kaser. For fans who do not purchase an AHLLive subscription, Peppino’s offers the only way to watch the Griffins on the road as they continue their quest for the Calder Cup.
The Griffins return to Cleveland following their dramatic 5-4 win over the Monsters at Van Andel Arena on Tuesday, when they overcame a 4-1 deficit by scoring four times in the final 21 minutes, tying the greatest playoff comeback in franchise history. Grand Rapids is trying to become the fourth team in AHL history to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 3-0.
Team USA battled a significant underdog in Hungary today, and they came out on top, winning 5-1. The third goal came from Dylan Larkin, and it was a classic Larkin marker--shot from below the goal line on the left side, purposely fired off Adam Vay's knee and into the net.
Larkin had a strong game, registering a goal, 5 shots, a +3 and 1 penalty in 16:10 of ice time. I'll post the game highlights as soon as the IIHF's YouTube channel posts them, and that should be within the hour.
Update #2: Here are the game highlights:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a "Hype Video" ahead of tomorrow night's Game 5 against the Lake Erie Monsters (7 PM EDT start on the AHL Live and ESPN 96.1 FM), and it's very slick...
2. And you don't usually get an agent discussing contract strategy as an addendum to an interview, but Petr Mrazek's agent, Rober Spalenka, spoke with Sport.cz's Marek Burkert regarding his and his client's take on where contract negotiations are going to go with the Wings (and this fits in very nicely with the pair of Czech interviews Mrazek gave yesterday). What follows is roughly translated, but it's intriguing:
From MLive's Tom Mitsos:
Last season, [Gustav] Nyquist and [Tomas] Tatar continued to show growth and improvement since being brought up to the Red Wings full time. Nyquist had 27 goals and 27 assists in 82 games, and Tomas Tatar had 29 goals and 27 assists in 82 games during the 2014-15 season.
The 2015-16 season was set up to be a breakout season for Nyquist and Tatar, especially considering Blashill helped develop both players in Grand Rapids.
However, both players regressed during Blashill's first season. Nyquist had 17 goals and 26 assists in 82 games, and Tatar had 21 goals and 24 assists in 81 games.
Their roles under Blashill were similar with Babcock, including seeing significant time on the power play. So why did both players regress?
Both players struggled on the power play.
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.