Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings prospect news: Mantha helps force Game 7; on Glendening, Mrazek and the Griffins

The Red Wings will clean out their lockers at Joe Louis Arena this morning, but Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Xavier Ouellet have already practiced with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, who hope to sweep the Abbotsford Heat out of the playoffs when the scene shifts to Grand Rapids on Wednesday.  If the Griffins were hoping to also find Anthony Mantha available for Wednesday's game, however, they're going to be sorely disappointed:

On Monday, Mantha scored what ended up being the game-winning goal as his Val-d'Or Foreurs raced out to a 4-0 lead and held on for a 7-5 victory of the QMJHL's defending champions, the Halifax Mooseheads, and as a result, Mantha (who's registered 18 goals, 7 assists and 25 points in 16 playoff games played) forced a seventh and deciding Conference Final this evening.

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George’s rant: What the hell is going on? Spearing and kneeing, ‘old time hockey?’

This would normally be a Kukla's Korner Hockey post, but I'm mad as hell and I need to have a good rant here (and I must warn you that some four-letter words follow, so this may not be "safe for work" or sensitive consitutions).

First it was Milan Lucic on Danny DeKeyser--the first of two spears (the Lucic-on-Quincey-in-Game-5 one went unnoticed)--and then Ryan Garbutt decided he was going to check Corey Perry for testicular cancer (in North America, we got Tom Green singing, "Feel Your Balls"...At least in England, Page 3 gal Rhian Sugden is the face of testicular cancer awareness), and tonight, per Yahoo Sports' Harrison Mooney (and via RedWingsFeed), Paul Stastny of all people felt the need to make sure that Cody McCormick doesn't feel any lumps.

While the press continues to run the Milan Lucic, Effective Villain and Brad Marchand, Bored storylines into the ground (Wings fans, I've spared you a significant amount of still-active rubbing it in by our the dear scribes who cover the BS, I mean B's), I'd simply be shaking my head asking, "Is this what happens when you can't concuss guys?"

But then dear Blake Comeau inadvertently kneed Joe Vitale...

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Red Wings evening news: early Worlds participants, Sheahan/Jurco in the AHL and ‘DK’s’ rookie season

Updated 2x at 7:17 PM: The Red Wings' locker room clean-out day may not in fact take place until tomorrow at noon, but Wings news has trickled in at a steady pace despite the slight delay.

Tomas Tatar's revealed that he plans on taking part in the World Championship for Slovakia, and if we are to believe the Slovak press, the Slovakian team will make a hard push to bring Tomas Jurco into the fold (not gonna happen);

Given Par Marts' comments to Aftonbladet, it apperas that Gustav Nyquist and possibly Jonas Gustavsson (depending on what Henrik Lunqvist's plans include) may head to Minsk to play for Sweden, though Per Bjurman reported that Niklas Kronwall's already given a, "Tackar, nej" due to the birth of his first child.

As Paul noted, Henrik Zetterberg's also experiencing some predictable post-surgical symptoms that will prohibit him from participating, and we know that Pavel Datsyuk won't represent Russia due to possible knee surgery to come.

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Zetterberg Will Not Play In The World Championship And Has A Nerve Problem In His Foot

from st.nu (translated),

Detroit's captain made his spectacular comeback in the playoffs, when he played two games against Boston and accounted for a goal and an assist on Saturday when Detroit became the ruling.

This just two months after the herniated disc, which forced him to leave the Olympics after opener against the Czech Republic in order to undergo surgery in New York.

- My back has felt good in the games but I have problems with the nerves in the left foot, then I have no power in it and it gives me problems in the inserts. Now I run rehab and rest part until the foot begins to function properly, says Zata.

So when Zetterberg spoke with coach Pär Mårts on Monday so there was no alternative but to say no to the World Cup games.

- We are unable to play the World Cup this year. We had a good talk and I like to play the World Cup in the future if possible.

Now waiting for rehabilitation and training, first in Detroit, then back home in Sweden.

continue (translated) for more on Team Sweden...

thanks to Puckarinen for the pointer via Twitter...

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Happy we have another day to complain and speculate day!

Updated 3x with a Chris Osgood interview and Tomas Tatar revealing that he's heading to the World Championships at 3:50 PM: I'd been assuming all along that the Red Wings would just want to get their locker room clean-out done and over with, as they have in past seasons, so I've written three very lengthy and comprehensive entries attempting to frame the next steps as Red Wings fans prepare for the longest offseason in a long time.

I tried to channel a few slow days due to a stomach virus and no sleep last night into preparing for an onslaught of Wings news from the people whose opinions tend to determine the course of April, May, June, July and August in the Red Wings coach, GM and players...

But I've been out of the media loop in terms of the particulars of said clean-out day--I will explain this to you in more detail and perhaps ask for your support in a certain initiative to change the terms of engagement, but this is not the week to engage in such an endeavor--and a kind-hearted soul informed me that the Wings will in fact meet the media for the final formal time tomorrow at Joe Loius Arena, not today.

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Red Wings prospect catchy-uppy post: Griffins take 2 from Heat; Bertuzzi to play for OHL title

Amongst the prospect stuff that transpired between Stomach Virus, Commence! and today:

On Friday, in Major Junior hockey, Tyler Bertuzzi was held off the scoresheet, but his Guelph Storm defeated Erie 5-0 and advanced to the OHL Championship in 5 games. Bertuzzi (8 goals, 6 assists and 14 points in 13 playoff games played) will battle the North Bay Battalion for the OHL title starting on Thursday, May 1st;

Also on Friday, in the WHL, Michell Wheaton and Marek Tvrdon's Kelowna Rockets dropped a 7-3 decision to the Portland Winterhawks, and they were eliminated by the Portland Winterhawks in 5 games. Portland will battle the Edmonton Oil Kings for the WHL championship, and Wheaton, a 6'5" defenseman, registered 5 assists in 14 playoff games played, and Marek Tvrdon registered 5 goals, 8 assists and 13 points in 14 playoff games played.

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A few more post-elimination Red Wings musings, assessing blame

My name is George Malik, and I regrettably have to take a sedative medication as part of my antidepressant-and-anxi-anxiety cocktail. Every once in a while, about once in every 90 days, my body informs me that the medication that usually puts me to sleep (and it's a medication whose brick-subtle tendencies I only put up with because it works quite well) informs me that it's simply not going to "take," and as a result, I don't sleep.

On top of battling that stomach bug and preparing for locker room clean-out day, not-so-subtle hints from the GM prior to his and Mike Babcock's end-of-season speeches included, I'm in just a lovely mood this morning.

So, a certain not-so-friendly voice has weighed in on the future of the Red Wings, and as this person seems to believe that the team has no viable prospects to "replace" the "aging core" players who plan on playing for a few more years at least in Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall, the blogger who shall remain nameless but you all know by name issues the following conclusion as to the team's "future"--despite making some rather cogent points along the way:

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Red Wings morning news: Holland drops a hint regarding defenseman shopping list; offseason structure

Ahead of today's locker room clean-out day, I tried to set the scene for what I believe is one of the most important days of the Red Wings' calendar year for a simple reason: love 'em or loathe 'em, the Detroit Red Wings' coach and general manager tend to be straight-shooters in the personnel department.

Mike Babcock's post-elimination comments to the media issued something of an in-house diagnosis of what the Wings can do to improve while availing themselves of the players and prospects already in the organization. As such, he talked about rest and recovery for Darren Helm, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, a resurgent 2014-2014 campaign for Johan Franzen and the possibility for improvement "on the back end" via Xavier Ouellet, Ryan Sproul, Alexei Marchenko and Mattias Backman competing for spots on the blueline as they are "ready" in his estimation.

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Griffins coach Jeff Blashill says he’ll return to GR next season

I've been reading Wings fans worry like nobody's business about the status of Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, and with the Griffins in superb shape after taking 2 straight games over the Abbotsford Heat on Friday and Saturday--the Griffins only have to win one more game to advance as the AHL's first round is a best-of-5 series--and NHL.com's Alyssa Dombrowski profiling Blashill's Griffins a couple of days ago...

Nine Griffins graduated to make their NHL debuts with Detroit this season – Callahan and Sproul included – all while Grand Rapids remained a dominant force in the AHL’s Western Conference, posting 99 points (46-23-2-5) and reaching the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs.

It’s an impressive feat that earned Jeff Blashill the 2013-14 Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach.

“We’re at a great understanding of what our job is [in Grand Rapids],” said Blashill, who served as an assistant to Mike Babcock in Detroit in 2011-12 before heading across Michigan to take over the Griffins last season. “I believe that it’s two-fold: One is to win hockey games for the Griffins and try to win a Calder Cup; 1-A is to develop our players, to maximize their potential and ultimately try to develop future Red Wings to help them win a Stanley Cup.”

Blashill delivered a reassuring message to the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner:

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Red Wings overnight report: preparing for locker room clean-out day

My apologies for the absence over the past 24 hours and change...I have sympathy for the Boston Bruins for the first and only time this year thanks to the fact that I've been battling a stomach bug over the last ten days, so in that respect, I understand why some of their players weren't at full strength.

I'll catch up over the next day or two--to the point that, should you want me to write a traditional wrap-up of Saturday's season-ending loss, I'm more than willing to put in the 5 hours of work--and the next week or so will still yield Wings articles on a daily basis, so fear not, we'll be talking about the Wings for a while yet.

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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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