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Prospect news: Sambrook’s Otters shell the Sea Dogs at the Memorial Cup

Of prospect-related note:

At the Memorial Cup, Jordan Sambrook had an assist on the Erie Otters' first goal...as Erie scored TWELVE TIMES to defeat the Saint John Sea Dogs 12-5. You can watch highlights from the game here.

Erie will play the Windsor Spitfires on Wednesday, and the team that wins Wednesday's game will advance directly to the Memorial Cup Final.

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A historical note and the stuff of playoff legend

There's a wee bit of irony in this note from NHL.com's John Kreiser, because what happened during and after this game is the stuff of playoff and hockey (urban) legend:

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: May 22

2009: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom sets an NHL record by playing in his 228th consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff game, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final at United Center.

Lidstrom's second-period goal starts Detroit's comeback from down three goals. Lidstrom breaks the record set by Larry Robinson from 1973-92. He finishes his NHL career with 263 postseason games played, second all-time to former teammate Chris Chelios (266), and plays on four Stanley Cup-winning teams before retiring in 2012.

Lidstrom didn't play a 229th consecutive playoff game because he was accidentally speared in the groin by Jonathan Toews, and he required surgery to rectify the issue. There are Wings fans who insist that Lidstrom lost a testicle thanks to the spear, and there's no doubt that Lidstrom played through pain in the Stanley Cup Final rematch with Pittsburgh.

The NHL also posted a short video reflecting upon the cheerier part of Lidstrom's 228th consecutive playoff appearance:

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District Detroit posts two pictures of the Wings’ practice rink

Via Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples, the District Detroit posted a picture of construction at the Wings' underground practice arena today...

And the District Detroit posted a second picture on its Instagram account:

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St. James on the Griffins’ offensive contributors

As the Western Conference Final series between the Grand Rapids Griffins and San Jose Barracuda shifts to Western Michigan for Games 3, 4 and 5, the Free Press's Helene St. James examines the offensive contributions made by the Griffins' top youngsters, focusing on Tyler Bertuzzi's play:

The Griffins are 8-2 in the playoffs and 4-0 at home. Several Wings prospects are playing big roles: Forward Tomas Nosek scored his fifth goal of the playoffs during Sunday’s 4-2 loss in Game 2 (the Griffins won 3-1 on Saturday to earn home-ice advantage). Goaltender Jared Coreau ended up stopping 36 of 39 shots faced, 20 of which came in the first period.

Tyler Bertuzzi and Martin Frk each had an assist Sunday – for Bertuzzi, that puts him at 11 points in 10 games this spring. His playoff numbers really are impressive: 31 points in 33 career AHL playoff games; his last year of juniors, he had 17 points in 18 playoff games for Guelph.

Bertuzzi, 22, has produced in all but two games this spring, and he has three multi-point games. He is all but guaranteeing himself a spot on the Red Wings next season, as they could use a smart, grinder-type player like him.

Nosek is another guy making noise, and he showed during a stint with the Wings the last month of the regular season that he will go to the net (and shoot the puck).

St. James continues, and as Nosek is no longer waiver-exempt next season, I'd expect the Wings to give the big Czech a shot at full-time duty before giving the big pest a regular shift.

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On Jonathan Ericsson’s ‘numbers’ from the 16-17 season

Every Monday, the Red Wings are examining a player's 2016-17 season "By the Numbers," and today, DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji looks at Jonathan Ericsson's significant figures:

51 - Ericsson was limited to 51 games this season due to injury. On Feb. 9 at Washington, fellow Swede Nicklas Backstrom hit Ericsson behind the net at 15:51 of the first period. Backstrom was called for boarding and Ericsson had to undergo surgery for a broken wrist. It was the fewest games Ericsson played since the 2013-14 season when he had three separate injuries (shoulder subluxation, broken ribs, torn finger ligaments) and only played 48 games.

9 - In part because of the injury, Ericsson only had one goal among nine points this past season. Ericsson generally scored in the 10-12 point range per year. The last time he had fewer than 10 points was in 2008-09 when he had one goal and three assists in 19 games.

63 - Despite playing in just 51 games, Ericsson led the team with 63 penalty minutes. Some of that was from his three fighting majors, the most Ericsson has had in a season since the 2010-11 season when he had three fights in 74 games. He fought Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat in the first game of the season Oct. 13, fought Ottawa's Dion Phaneuf four days later in the home opener and took on Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds on Nov. 8. Ericsson has 13 regular-season NHL fights in his career.

Wakiji continues...

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Wallner: PK problems plague the Griffins in Game 2 vs. San Jose

The Grand Rapids Griffins dropped Game 2 of their Western Conference Final series with the San Jose Barracuda last night, losing 4-2.

The Griffins struggled on special teams, surrendering 3 power play goals on 5 penalties taken, and Griffins coach Todd Nelson spoke with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner about the Griffins' struggles on the PK:

The need to stay out of the box was stressed by Griffins coach Todd Nelson after Saturday's game, but it didn't happen as Evgeny Svechnikov's hooking call at 1:54 and Tyler Bertuzzi's roughing at 10:29 each led to Barracuda goals and a quick 2-0 deficit.

Disappointed?

"Yes," Nelson said. "It's hard to explain, isn't it? That's pretty much the story of the game. They came out and scored three power play goals and, even though we played better after (the first period) that was the difference. You know, penalties are going to happen in a game. But you have unnecessary ones that are going to cost you and it costs us tonight."

The series now shifts to Grand Rapids for Games 3 (Wednesday), 4 (Friday) and 5 (Saturday at Van Andel Arena), and Matthew Ford told Wallner that the Griffins hope to swipe home-ice advantage from the Barracuda as the 2-3-2 series shifts back to Western Michigan:

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Prospect news: Grand Rapids Griffins lose 4-2 to San Jose in Game 2 of Western Conference Final

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL's Western Conference Final, the Grand Rapids Griffins suffered a setback in San Jose, losing 4-2 to the San Jose Barracuda.

Grand Rapids received 36 saves from Jared Coreau, but San Jose was able to go 3-for-5 on the power play; Julius Bergman and Ryan Carpenter scored power play goals in the 1st period to stake out a 2-0 lead, and while Grand Rapids rallied via a 1st-period marker from Tomas Nosek and a power play goal from Matt Ford...

But the Barracuda scored the eventual game-winner 50 seconds after Ford's goal, with Joakim Ryan scoring on Coreau, and the Shark...I mean Barracuda played trap and "left wing lock" hockey the rest of the way, shutting Grand Rapids down while playing some pretty boring hockey.

The Griffins will return to Van Andel Arena for Games 3 (Wednesday, May 24), 4 (Friday, May 26) and 5 (Saturday, May 27), and if this series needs more, it will shift back to San Jose for Games 6 and 7.

Update #1: Here's the AHL's recap...

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Toledo Walleye to hold Fan ‘Thank You’ on Monday at the Huntington Center

The Toledo Walleye are holding a "Fan Thank You" event Monday night at the Huntington Center:

What an unforgettable season of Toledo Walleye hockey! Records were crushed, new leaders were crowned and our fan support could be heard across the league.

Share in those moments on Monday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. during a special FREE “Thank you, Toledo Walleye” event as the team takes to the ice for one final appearance together.

  • Huntington Center doors will open at 6 p.m. (Enter through Jefferson Street and the parking garage).
  • Event runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Coaches and players will address the fans from the ice.

Join us for one final salute.

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Here’s the Griffins’ Game-Day Preview ahead of Game 2 vs. San Jose

Ahead of tonight's game between the Grand Rapids Griffins and San Jose Barracuda (8 PM EDT on ESPN 96.1 FM and the AHL Live), the Griffins have posted a four-and-a-half-minute Game Day Preview video:

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St. James discusses Jared Coreau’s performance for the Griffins

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan and the Free Press's Helene St. James took note of the Grand Rapids Griffins' 3-1 win over the San Jose Barracuda last night, and St. James chose to focus on Jared Coreau's playoff performances:

[Jared] Coreau stopped 26 of 27 shots Saturday to help the Grand Rapid Griffins win Game 1 of their AHL Western Conference final against the San Jose Barracuda, 3-1. Coreau made 10 straight saves to start the third period, and 16 total in the final 20 minutes, keeping the Barracuda off the scoreboard during six power plays.

Coreau’s strong play improved the Griffins to an 8-1 playoff start, best in franchise history. It's a good sign for the Wings, who could be depending on Coreau as a backup in Detroit next season. Coreau, 6 feet 6 and 220 pounds, spent three months with the team starting in mid-December, after Jimmy Howard suffered a knee injury when he was knocked over during a game in Tampa Bay. Coreau won his second NHL start, in a shoot-out at Florida, won his next start as well, and ended up getting chosen to start the Jan. 1 outdoor game at Toronto over Petr Mrazek.

St. James continues:

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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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