The Malik Report
Tomas Jurco's absence didn't deter the Grand Rapids Griffins from defeating the Texas Stars on Wednesday, but that series does not resume until Friday evening. Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs won't open the Memorial Cup in London until Friday (on Sportsnet in Canada), either, and there are no NHL games today, so if you want to watch hockey, the World Championships are pretty much your only option.
As MLive's Ansar Khan notes, three Red Wings players will be taking part in the Worlds today, and two of three will appear on TV:
The U.S., with Red Wings Justin Abdelkader and Danny DeKeyser, meets Latvia Thursday at 9:45 a.m. The U.S. (2-1) is in a three-way tie for second place in Group B with six points, six behind Russia (4-0).
Sweden, with Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist, faces France Thursday at 1:45 p.m. The Swedes lead Group A with eight points.
The balance of this entry focuses upon one Anthony Mantha--if only eventually, after a lot of Memorial Cup scene-setting--but after he and Val-d'Or won the QMJHL title on Tuesday, even the Wings' website weighed in on Mantha's potential, let's allow said scene-setting to dial the superstar expectations down for just a moment here.
As far as the London Free Press's Ryan Pyette is concerned, this year's Memorial Cup field lacks any real star quality...
The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital is a special place, and as such, I'm quite happy to give this promotional advisory from the Wings some bandwidth:
There will be plenty of “Bingo Bango!” and “Here we go!” coming through the speakers this Friday afternoon when Red Wings legend Mickey Redmond joins a cavalcade of stars for WTKA’s 11-hour radio-a-thon for a great cause.
Redmond is scheduled to host a one-hour segment during the WTKA Mott Takeover at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The radio-a-thon on Sports Talk 1050 AM will dominate the local air waves from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the radio station’s annual fundraising efforts to help one of the nation’s best pediatric hospital.
In its ninth year, the WTKA Mott Takeover has helped raise more than $6 million used to help pediatric physicians perform medical miracles every day at the hospital on the University of Michigan campus.
Updated 3x at 11:43 AM: The Grand Rapids Griffins are probably playing the most offensively-talented team in left in the AHL playoffs, and they had to deal with what was deemed a "precautionary" pulling of Game 3 hat-trick-scorer Tomas Jurco from the game due to an "upper-body injury," as well as losing Jordin Tootoo to some sort of wrist injury (and Tootoo was in because Landon Ferraro was out), but the Griffins built upon last night's win and rode a 3-goal second period--and 33 saves from Petr Mrazek--to a 3-2 win over the Texas Stars on Wednesday night, tying the teams' best-of-7 series at 2 games apiece.
As AHL series have 2-3-and-2 formats, Game 5 will take place in Grand Rapids this Friday, and all eyes are on the Griffins' injury situation, as Fox 17's Steve Amorose noted (and Adam Almquist remains out with some sort of unspecified issue):
I'm rather aggravated at present, so exuse my bluntness:
Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar registered a goal and an assist as Sloakia defeated Norway 5-2 at the World Championships on Wendesday (he finished at +2 in 17:07 of ice time and was named Slovakia's best player; Jakub Kindl also played quite well for the Czechs in their 2-0 win over Italy).
It's very good to see Tatar earn huge minutes on the power play, penalty-kill and at even strength, but the Slovaks are a top-heavy team even when Marian Hossa, Zdeno Chara and Michal Handzus are on the team. While Tatar's playing the kind of go-to-the-front-of-the-net-and-stay-there game that he needs to harness in Detroit, with a thin defense and Jan Laco in the net, it's hard to believe that the Slovaks will make a dent come the quarterfinals.
Regarding the percolating talk regarding Mike Babcock's availability to Toronto, Pittsburgh, et. al., I only have one thing to say: either the coach has repeatedly and enthusiastically stated that he's quite happy in Metro Detroit for a reason, or if the scuttlebutt's true, he's repeatedly lied to Wings fans for the sake of holding his ambitions to himself, and the latter option would speak quite poorly of his character.
This is, by far, the "most interesting" version of a, "Where are they now?" article about a former Red Wing that I've read in ages. Most of the Red Wings' alums tend to fall into predictable post-hockey-career categories: if they don't become player commentators, coaches or trainers, they tend to go to business school and become player agents, certified financial planners, accountants, real estate developers, stock-brokers.
Around here, they often cash in on their celebrity cachet by working for auto parts suppliers or other local businesses who quite happily employ former professional athletes as sales representatives, because even high-profile clients don't mind rubbing shoulders with an ex-Wing.
According to the Williams Lake Tribune's Monica Lamb-Yorski, Brent Gilchrist, the player who famously played through massive, massive groin issues to help the Wings win the 1998 Stanley Cup championship, may live in golf-friendly Vernon, BC, but he's spending his time a few hundred miles north of Vernon...Mining for magnetite?
Red Wings mid-day news: on Jurco, Khan questions, a Subban offer sheet’s feasibility and more Mantha
Updated 3x at 2:17 PM: As I'm writing this, Jakub Kindl's Czechs wrapped up a 2-0 win over Italy (no points for Kindl, but he finished at +2 in 19:07 of ice time), and Tomas Tatar's Slovaks will battle Norway at 1:45 PM EDT...
And much of Red Wings fans' focus has involved the exploits of Anthony Mantha--quick update, the Val-d'Or Foreurs open the Memorial Cup on Friday against London, not Thursday, sorry about that--to the point that the Red Wings posted an article in which Jiri Fischer discussed his progress, and Michigan Hockey posted Mantha's game-and-series-winner from last night's game (so did I, FTR), the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner and Michigan Hockey's Pat Evans want us to set our sights a little closer to home.
from the Detroit Red Wings website,
“He's taken over the Quebec League,” said Jiri Fischer, Detroit’s director of player development. “In Val d'Or, they have a fantastic power play. In the Subway Series, he played for Team Quebec. He was on the bubble for the Canadian World Junior team, even though he led the Quebec League in scoring by 25 percent more than the next guy at the time.
“I saw him play in the Subway Series. In the first game, he had a goal and an assist. The next game, he scored another goal on the power play. Then he makes the World Junior roster and he leads Team Canada in scoring in the tournament.”...
“He's just a big, strong, 6-foot-4 guy who holds on to the puck under pressure in the offensive zone,” Fischer said. “Month after month, week after week, he just keeps proving that he is a dominant offensive power forward. I'm really excited about him turning pro next year.”
more about Mantha...
The Red Wings' prospects and scouts are most definitely busy bees at present. Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs won't have much time to celebrate their QMJHL championship as they'll haul tail to London, Ontario to open the Memorial Cup with a game against the London Knights on Thursday (Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm will play the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday);
The Grand Rapids Griffins hope to build upon last night's win over Texas as they host a back-to-back affair tonight at Van Andel Arena;
Over on the other side of the Atlantic, at the World Championships, Jakub Kindl's Czechs play Italy at 9:45 AM EDT, and Tomas Tatar's Slovaks hope to bounce back from Monday's 5-3 loss to France (and Tuesday's tumble) when they battle Norway at 1:45 PM EDT...
Updated 5x at 1:08 AM with oodles of content:
In the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha scored the series-winning goal and had 2 assists as the Val-d'Or Foreurs staked out a 3-0 lead, surrendered it and won the QMJHL champinship via a 4-3 decision over Baie-Comeau in Game 7 of the QMJHL's President's Cup series, with Mantha scoring with 52 seconds left in the 3rd period.
And in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Texas Stars 5-2 thanks to a Tomas Jurco hat trick, 3 assists from Cory Emmerton, a 3-point performance from Teemu Pulkkinen and a 35-save performance from Petr Mrazek. The Griffins now trail Texas 2 games to 1 in their second-round series, with Game 4 scheduled to take place tomorrow night.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday announced a landmark three-year television broadcast agreement with Michigan Entertainment Sports (MES).
MES will televise a minimum of 40 Griffins games – including a minimum of 10 home games – during each of the next three seasons. All games will be shown live in HD and will be available through an expanding network in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
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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.