The Malik Report
The Red Wings' scouts will be watching two very important games this evening: Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs will battle the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the seventh and deciding game of the QMJHL championship tonight at 7 PM. If Mantha and Val-d'Or win, they'll head to the Memorial Cup in London, where Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm will be waiting. If not, we'll get to that in a minute.
Closer to home, the Grand Rapids Griffins rather desperately need to rally from a 2-games-to-none deficit against the Texas Stars when the team hosts second-round games tonight, tomorrow and Friday at Van Andel Arena.
The AHL's website posted a Griffins-Stars game preview in its "AHL Morning Skate"...
Ahead of tomorrow's game between Slovakia and Norway (Gustav Nyquist's Swedes will take on Norway today at 1:45 PM EDT, but tomorrow's slate includes Czech-Italy at 9:45 AM and Slovakia-Norway at 1:45 PM), the Slovakian World Championship team's still stinging from yesterday's 5-3 loss to France, and Tomas Tatar's criticized both himself and his team's inability to put forth a sixty-minute effort while speaking with the Slovak press...
But today, Tatar accidentally lightened the mood, per The Hockey House's Steven Ellis:
Tatar told Hokejportal.sk that he's okay, but he said that he felt bad for the team trainer as he wasn't wearing any equipment.
Update: Per TSN:
The NHL Play of the Year showdown's second round resumes today with two creative ways to shake a defender.
Today's Round of 16 match-up features Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza taking on Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar.
This play from Tatar...
Is facing off against this play from Spezza:
The Red Wings' front office has probably wrapped up its exit meetings with the Wings' players by now, and as the Under-18 World Championships wrapped up, the amateur scouts may have a finalized their list of draft picks...
But the Wings' scouts are still very busy. Some of the European scouts are doubtlessly in Minsk, Belarus, watching Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Danny DeKeyser, Justin Abdelkader, Jakub Kindl and possibly the next Damien Brunner-style free agent at the World Championships;
Tonight, at least one or two of the team's amateur scouts will be in Baie-Comeau, Quebec to watch Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs play in Game 7 of the QMJHL's President's Cup Final, and then said scouts will head to London, Ontario to watch Tyler Bertuzzi's Guelph Storm and prospects from the Edmonton Oil Kings, London Knights and whoever wins tonight's Drakkar-Foreurs match-up play for the Memorial Cup;
While doing my scoreboard-catching-up on Monday morning, I was too busy reading Anthony Mantha's assist in the Val-d'Or Foreurs' game-7-forcing 6-3 win over Baie-Comeau (Game 7 takes place on Tuesday evening) to note that he also got in a fight in the last 5 minutes of the game, and was tossed as a result. Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager reports that the QMJHL's championship series has had a fair bit of controversy in the coaches' comments department, too:
Fans of the Val-d’Or Foreurs, led by Martin Briault, raised $875 before Game 6 of their President’s Cup final series against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in support of their head coach Mario Durocher.
It sounds like they may have to pass the hat around again, as the Val-d’Or bench boss continued to have the league’s officiating crew in his crosshairs.
Durocher had been fined $1,000 for criticizing the officiating after Game 4 of the series, a game Val-d’Or lost 4-3 in overtime. The $875 came from fans who felt the criticism of the officiating from the team’s coach was justified.
Baie-Comeau went 2-for-6 on the man advantage in Game 4, while Val-d’Or went 0-for-5.
“It’s up to the league to pull up its pants,” Durocher said after the fourth game, followed by a French swear.
Durocher was touched by the move.
“It’s a nice gesture by our fans and I appreciated it,” he said. “The referees are part of the game and all I want is that it’s [called] fair and even.”
Sager continues, and I hate to say this, but this dinky little clip will probably get stuck in your head...
Very interesting, from the Grand Rapids Griffins' PR department:
GRIFFINS TO ANNOUNCE MAJOR TELEVISION AGREEMENT ON TUESDAY
WHAT: The Grand Rapids Griffins will host a media availability to announce the most extensive television broadcast package in franchise history.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 13, beginning promptly at 4:30 p.m.
WHO: Griffins senior vice president of business operations Tim Gortsema, Griffins vice president of community relations and broadcasting Bob Kaser, and the president of the television network will provide brief comments and be available for interviews.
Amongst this evening's crop of Red Wings-related stories:
The Grand Rapids Griffins' playoff slogan is Defend the Cup--a slogan which the NHL's players may or may not want to take to heart--but at present, the Griffins' status as having dropped both of this past weekend's games in Texas means that it's more like, "Holy crap, we need to avoid elimination."
As the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner notes, the Griffins have given up 9 goals in 2 games, and that had coach Jeff Blashill sounding downright Babcockian regarding his team's play on Monday:
On Sunday, the Detroit Free Press's John Gallagher penned an article about Ilitch Holdings' need to fill at least 51% of the construction jobs for the follow-on rink and its surrounding economic development with Detroit residents, with discussions of job-training and recruiting programs necessary as the skilled trades don't employ young people these days, and then I saw this and went, "Huh, oughta post this," because it's rare to basically see a want ad for a $650 million construction project:
The Red Wings' players taking part in the World Championships had a case of the Mondays.
Before I shut down due to thunderstorms and lightning booming causing my internet to get herky-jerky, I watched part of Slovakia's 5-3 loss to France. It'd be charitable to say that the Slovaks played down to the level of their opponent--in all honesty, the Slovaks looked like they were mailing it in at best, and Tomas Tatar's -1 in 15:54 of ice time, with 4 shots taken, reflects a lone bright spot for a team that just got out-worked.
France has now beaten both Canada and Slovakia...
Via RedWingsFeed, this is definitely...Different. The Red Wings posted a "Day in the Life" video chronicling Justin Abdelkader, and it's a few months old (and sponsored by Nutrilite), but it offers a slightly more casual 24/7-style look into a player's daily routine:
I'm guessing that this video was posted today as Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser and Team USA will face off against Russia at 1:45 PM EDT on NBCSN. Abdelkader is Team USA's captain, of course, as Mr. Smith reminded us a little earlier on Twitter:
Four Red Wings players will be taking part in World Championship action today:
At 9:45 AM EDT, Tomas Tatar's Slovaks will battle France;
And at 1:45 PM, Jakub Kindl's Czechs will tangle with Canada.
This morning's crop of Red Wings news focuses on the Wings' prospects, however, and as noted a little bit earlier, those who are still playing include Anthony Mantha, whose Val-d'Or Foreurs will play in a winner-take-all Game 7 of the QMJHL's President's Cup championship tomorrow, and the Grand Rapids Griffins, who open a set of back-to-back games tomorrow night against a Texas Stars team who they trail 2 games to none.
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.