The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings ran into some inevitabiilty in the form of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, and the slightly under-manned and physically tired Red Wings dropped a 5-2 decision to Columbus to drop the championship game of the prospect tournament.
The Red Wings didn't play poorly by any stretch of the imagination, but the stacked Blue Jackets had dropped a "meaningless" game the night before, while the Wings had almost emptied their tanks rallying against the Dallas Stars, and the lack of physical and emotional energy caught up with a Wings team that trailed from all of 1:16 into the 1st, when Nick Moutrey scored a fluky goal that went in off Jake Paterson's back, onward, and by the time the Wings were down 4-1 in the 2nd period, it felt like there just wasn't anything left for the Wings to give.
The team's moral victory came in not surrendering a sixth goal while pulling Jake Paterson for the vast majority of the final five minutes of play, but the Wings were also unable to solve goaltender Joonas Korpisalo despite one and at times two-man advantages, so the Wings fell short of their ultimate goal.
The players will have a day off tomorrow, regroup for a prospects' practice on Thursday and take part in the main training camp on Friday.
Okay, let's get this going. The Red Wings' European prospects are hard at work, and DRW Prospects on Twitter is tracking them.
In the Swedish Allsvenskan, Christoffer Ehn finished at -1 with 15:26 played in BIK Karlskoga's 6-3 win over Asploven HC;
In the Finnish Liiga, Julius Vahatalo played 9:06 in TPS Turku's 4-3 loss to Karpat Oulu, and I believe this is the second or third game for TPS Turku;
And in the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin played 5:43 in SKA St. Petersburg's 4-2 loss to Dynamo Minsk. The KHL has been playing hockey for three weeks now.
From NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale:
The host Detroit Red Wings and defending champion Columbus Blue Jackets will play in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament championship game for the right to raise the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup on Tuesday at Centre Ice Arena (7 p.m. ET).
Each team has been led offensively by its top lines. The Red Wings' trio of Dylan Larkin (selected with the 15th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft) centering left wing Andreas Athanasiou (2012, No. 110) and right wing Anthony Mantha (2013, No. 20) has totaled five goals and 12 points.
Columbus has been led by right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (2013, No. 89) alongside center TJ Tynan (2011, No. 66) and left wing Kerby Rychel (2013, No. 19). They have combined for six goals and 14 points. Bjorkstrand leads all tournament scorers with three goals and four assists.
The game will also feature two unbeaten goaltenders. Detroit's Jake Paterson (2012, No. 80) is 3-0-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo (2012, No. 62) is 2-0-0 with a 3.50 GAA and .865 save percentage.
"The message is to go out there and compete as we have this entire tournament," Detroit prospects coach Todd Nelson said. "We've put ourselves in a good position, so let's finish it off right."
Morreale continues with projected lineups...
Updated 3x at 5:06 PM: from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Petr Mrazek said his approach hasn’t changed as he enters Detroit Red Wings training camp knowing that he’ll definitely be on the roster. He’ll battle veteran Jimmy Howard to be the team’s No. 1 goaltender.
“Every year, you start in training camp to be ready and do your best,” Mrazek said after the Wings held their final informal skate today at Joe Louis Arena. They’ll head to Traverse City for training camp Wednesday.
Mrazek, 23, played in 29 regular-season games for the Red Wings last season and had a 2.38 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He also was the starting goaltender in playoffs, with a 2.11 GAA and a .925 save percentage in seven games.
“That was great that I had chance to start last year, but this is over,” Mrazek said. “It happened. Now it’s a new time to show coaches and the staff that I’m ready for a full job here and play as many games as I can.”
continued including additional Detroit topics...
Update: Sipple posted a video of Mrazek speaking with the media as well:
Updated 2x at 3:50 PM: from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Johan Franzen actually was almost the last to find out he’d been cleared to participate in training camp.
“I read about it, so you knew it before I did,” said Franzen of the news late last week he’d gotten the OK to begin preparing for the upcoming season.
Franzen, out with a concussion since Jan. 6, has been skating with teammates during informal skates at Joe Louis Arena the past few weeks.
But he’s anxious to test himself in physical intrasquad scrimmages in Traverse City — which begin Friday — and mostly, exhibition games.
“I missed it, I missed it big time,” Franzen said. “It’s going to be great. It’s going to be fun to start training camp and play a few games.
“It’s a little early. I don’t know how I’ll feel. I think I feel good. I hope I feel good. I’m excited.”
By getting the clearance from doctors, Franzen said, “I’m cleared to go full out and get bumped around, do everything, and then go from there.”
added 2:22pm, from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Red Wings' role players and scratches--defensemen Jalen Chatfield and Jarrett Meyer, forwards Nick Betz, Jerome Verrier, Kurt Etchegary, Connor McGlynn, Evan Polei, Nick Betz, and goaltenders Connor Ingram and Matt Mancina--worked on give-and-go drills under the guidance of Griffins assistant coaches Ben Simon, Mike Knuble and Bruce Ramsay while the vast majority of the Wings' teammates either worked out or watched from the end boards.
The practice drills were surprisingly complicated for an "optional optional"...
The Red Wings' prospects held a very, very optional skate ahead of tonight's game against Columbus (7 PM at Centre ICE Arena), with defensemen Jalen Chatfield and Jarrett Meyer, forwards Nick Betz, Jerome Verrier, Kurt Etchegary, Connor McGlynn, Evan Polei, Nick Betz, and goaltenders Connor Ingram and Matt Mancina taking part in a practice run by Griffins assistant coaches Mike Knuble, Bruce Ramsay and Ben Simon.
After practice, I was able to speak with Tyler Bertuzzi regarding the importance of tonight's game, his play at the tournament thus far (he hasn't found his scoring touch yet, but he's been a dynamo on skates, checking and grinding and defending incredibly well, so we discussed those aspects of his game, mananaging expectations for both the championship and training camp to come, how he prepared in the summer for this season and his goals for a turning-pro year:
George is waiting for them too.
If any news comes out of the skate, I will add to this post.
Via RedWingsFeed, Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford discusses this year's Aaron Rome, a.k.a. a pair of fists invited to the Red Wings' main training camp in Joel Rechlicz:
Bit of a curious move in advance of Detroit’s training camp — the club announced that Joel Rechlicz, aka “The Wrecker,” has been signed to a professional tryout.
Rechlicz, 28, was with the Wild organization last year and has pent most of his professional career duking it out in the American League, appearing in a handful of games for the Islanders and Caps between 2008-12.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder fought a combined 55 times for Bridgeport and Hershey during that span, including this tilt with Isles tough guy Brett Gallant:
The Red Wings are overflowing with skilled players both up front and on the blueline, so I don't see Rechlicz earning a spot with the big club, but he could be needed in Grand Rapids or Toledo.
From the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau:
If you see me today, I will likely have tears welling in my eyes. If there’s one thing I have learned these past few years is that you have to figure out a way to ride the emotional waves. Today I expect the waves to be high and sometimes I am not the best surfer.
The first ever Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup will be awarded and there will be reason to celebrate the eventual champion whether it is Detroit or Columbus, but I’ll look to the sky and think of my friend Matt as I have done throughout this tournament. Though he never came to Traverse City, he was very much a part of this tournament even before I knew what I was doing. He and I spent late nights posting photos, transcribing box scores and editing stories for Red Wings Central (RWC) before mainstream media started coming. As much I have been a physical presence at this tournament since 1998, Matt was the force behind me guiding me especially in the early years when I had no idea what I was doing. Over the years I have gained credibility as an analyst and free-lance journalist and I have Matt to thank for much of that.
We both spent vacation time from day jobs to provide annual coverage of a sport and a team we loved. He often reminded me that we were “the good guys” because we were doing stories that no one else did and filling a gap Red Wings fans were hungry for. Neither of us made a cent from the work we produced as it was more about finding the news story that was being missed and discovering young talent before anyone else.
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.