Mihalik, Vladimir

NHL Game Night 4/9: Capitals at Lightning

Game outing by the young defense.

WSH-4
TB-2

Karri Ramo allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the loss in his final start of the season.

First Period
00:36 TB Stamkos (22), (Konopka, St. Louis)
09:19 WSH Laich (21), (Backstrom, Green)(PP)

Second Period
05:37 WSH Laich (22), (Green, Nylander)
06:08 WSH Steckel (8), (Bradley, Aucoin)

Third Period
12:53 TB Pettinger (7), (Szczechura, Mihalik)
19:55 WSH Green (31), (unassisted)(EN)

Noah Welch had 3 hits and 3 blocked shots in 21:52. He's improved lately. I can't deny it.

Zenon Konopka had an assist and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 12:54. He was also 100% on draws. He had a strong first period, but got shuffled down to the lower lines later in the game.

David Koci had 2 penalty minutes in 6:30.

Paul Szczechura had 1 assist, 2 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 16:31. He was also 50% on draws. He's really putting a stamp on the end of this season to make his case to be on the team next year. He's been flying the past couple of games.

Martins Karsums was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 11:30. Karsums was the antithesis of Szczechura tonight, making the case why he belongs in Norfolk next season. He didn't get back in time on Washington's winning goal.

Kevin Quick had 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 11:54. My gosh can he skate and my gosh does he have no fear with the puck on offense. Offensively, Kevin Quick's balls are so big their gravity effects the tides. I still say he needs to prove he can be a dominant player at the AHL season next year before he makes the jump in 2010-2011. However, he sure does remind you of Dan Boyle.

Vladimir Mihalik had 1 assist and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 13:14. He made a couple of nice plays, including a good pass that resulted in the Stamkos goal. He was in better position tonight, so his skating looked less awful. You could still time the release of his shot with a sun dial, though.

Geoff Kinrade was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 17:32. Sullivan even used him at the end of the game when the extra attacker was out. I was fairly impressed. He skates really well. Not Kevin Quick well, but well enough that you notice it. Contract?

The Panthers missed the playoffs again. Haaaa haaaa!

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 4/7: Penguins at Lightning

This team could be incredible if Lawton could find some defense without blowing up some other part of the team.

PIT-6
TB-4

Karri Ramo allowed 5 goals on 30 shots for the loss. Despite allowing 5 goals, he actually didn't play all that badly. Two of Pittsburgh's goals came on breakaways and a third came on an uncovered player allowed to move in on Ramo all alone down the slot. The game winning goal was a case where Ramo was clearly interfered with after stopping the initial shot on the breakaway. Another goal came on a feed that went through the box on the PP down low to give Sid Crosby a clean look on Ramo moving laterally. Other than Cooke's goal to start the third period, which wasn't a bad goal so much as an untimely one, there's nothing I would fault Karri with. The decision is the 41st of Ramo's career, graduating him from prospect status here at BP.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
05:00 PIT Fedotenko (16), (Staal, Kennedy)
10:08 PIT Crosby (31), (Malkin, Kunitz)(PP)
11:12 PIT Crosby (32), (Kunitz, Malkin)(PP)

Third Period
01:08 PIT Cooke (12), (Staal, Letang)
04:31 TB Halpern (6), (Szczechura)(SH)
08:59 TB St. Louis (30), (Stamkos, Krajicek)
09:43 TB Szczechura (4), (unassisted)
11:43 PIT Sykora (25), (Fedotenko)
19:19 TB Halpern (7), (Karsums, Bochenski)
19:47 PIT Staal (22), (unassisted)(EN)

I give credit to the coaches and the players that no one laid down in the third period. It would've been damned easy to quit, but the Lightning came back and really gave the Pens a run for their money. They were one missed goaltender interference call away from getting to overtime. So, the heart is there, and for the most part the offensive potential is there. What's really lacking right now is two things: defense and penalty killing. The defense will get better by virtue of a healthy Andrej Meszaros and Paul Ranger. The penalty killing can't possibly get any worse. I don't know the stats, but the PK has been absolutely rancid the second half of this season.

Ryan Malone broke his hand blocking a shot in this game, making him the fifth key Lightning player to be shelved with a serious injury. He had already proven that last year wasn't a flash in the pan by potting his 26th goal. I give him credit. He's won me over. The injury may open up an opportunity for someone from Norfolk to get a two game cup of coffee. Blair Jones? Justin Keller? Juraj Simek?

Lets go Avs.

Noah Welch had 4 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:13 against the organization who drafted him.

Zenon Konopka was -1 with 2 hits in 9:58 and was 60% on draws. 9:58? Seemed like a lot more, in a good way. There are games where Konopka is nothing more than a circus clown, and then there are games like tonight where he plays hockey and he's a difference maker. He was a split second away from landing a shoulder-to-chin hit on Matt Cooke that would've made him a hero in Tampa Bay forever, and he about chewed the ends off the boards on the forecheck. Very well done.

Matt Smaby was +1 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 22:56. Tonight was Smaby's 41st game of the season, meaning he joins Ramo as a freshly minted Bolt Prospects Alumni.

David Koci had 3 hits and 17 penalty minutes in 6:00 of ice time. His fight against Eric Godard seemed like the emotional tipping point of this game. Again, very well done.

Paul Szczechura had 1 goal, 1 assist, and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes, and 4 shots in 16:00. He also was 33% on draws. I don't know what it is about Pittsburgh, but when Szczechura sees that jersey he seems to duck into the nearest phone booth and turn into Superman. I still don't think Szczechura is in his best shape, but he was flying tonight. That's the best game he's played in months, and the kind of game he needs to get on tape if he wants to make the team next season.

Martins Karsums had 1 assist, 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:23. He was fairly invisible, despite the impressive stat line.

Matt Lashoff was -1 with 1 hit in 17:23. I don't know if he got hurt or if the coaching staff was sending a message.

Vladimir Mihalik had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 19:41. Mobility is obviously an issue with Vladdy, but his lack of decisiveness remains a bigger concern to me.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 4/4: Lightning at Islanders

2-1/2 hours of my life I'll never get back.

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NYI-3

Mike McKenna allowed 3 goals on 21 shots for the loss. That might've been his worst game as a member of the Lightning. Each of the Islanders' first two goals are ones Mike probably would like back and he made another big puck handling error that he managed to get away with. He's got one more start scheduled this season, and that's probably a good thing. You'd hate to go out like that after a pretty successful year.

First Period
00:23 NYI Park (14), (Joensuu)

Second Period
14:52 NYI Martinek (5), (Gervais, Joensuu)(PP)
16:38 TB Pettinger (6), (Karsums)(PP)

Third Period
09:14 NYI Bailey (7), (Comeau, Gervais)(PP)

The Lightning waited 35 minutes tonight to start playing. Watching grass grow would've been more exciting.

Noah Welch had 3 hits and 3 blocked shots in 19:04. He's been decent the past two games, which is shocking considering how poorly he'd previously played.

Zenon Konopka had a fight, 1 shot, 1 hit, and was 67% on draws in 7:42. He earned his game check.

Matt Smaby was beastly with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 7 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 22:22. He's been so much better since taking a game off to nurse his foot injury. Graduation Tuesday. Bring your digital cap and gown.

David Koci had 15 penalty minutes in 6:34. Former Lightning farm hand Mitch Fritz threw him around like a rag doll.

Paul Szczechura was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 15:33. He was also 38% on draws.

Martins Karsums had 1 assist and was -1 with 6 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 12:02. Like Welch, he's playing better in these past two games.

Matt Lashoff was -1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 27:17. He lost a couple of physical battles that resulted in one puck going in the net and one being rung off the post. He didn't do his younger pairing partner any favors.

Vladimir Mihalik was -1 with 1 shot in 13:05 paired primarily with Lashoff. I thought this was his best NHL game thus far, but that may not be saying much. He looked more confident, but he's still a little slow to react to the play. The guy's a mountain and he had 0 hits. That's still a problem. I was, admittedly, surprised he got the call over Ty Wishart or Kevin Quick.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Vladimir Mihalik

Basics

Type: 
Out of Organization
Position: 
Defense
Shoots/Catches: 
Left
Height: 
6.08
Weight: 
246
Born: 
01/29/1987
Age: 
26
Hometown: 
Presov, SVK
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 1 (#30) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Norfolk (AHL)
Projects As: 
Top 2 Defenseman

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2005
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
1
Pick No.: 
30
Draft Team: 
Presov (SVK-2)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Signed
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Eligible
Signing Date: 
07/29/2010
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
1 year
Cap Number: 
$600 000
Contract Start Year: 
2010
Contract End Year: 
2011
Contract End Status: 
UFA
Salary: 
$600 000

Bio

History: 

Junior Career

Mihalik began his junior career in the Presov organization at age 16 with the club's J-18 team scoring 13 points in 44 games in his first season in 2003-2004. He split the 2004-2005 season between the J-18, J-20 and 1.liga (Slovakian Second Tier) after dominating both junior leagues. In just six games with the J-18 team, Mihalik had 4 goals and 8 points and a +18 rating. J-20 proved little test for Mihalik as well as the defenseman potted 6 goals and 16 points in 23 games with a +17 rating. With the senior team, Mihalik had 3 goals, 4 points and was -5 in 32 games. Mihalik, who was a fixture on Slovakia's junior tournament teams, continued his meteoric rise in being named to the Slovkian national team for the U18 World Junior Championships where he played well with a respectable +2 rating in 6 games in the tournament. The Tampa Bay Lightning were impressed enough to select Mihalik in the 1st round of the 2005 Entry Draft. The Lightning's decision was aided by Brent Sutter and the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL's decision to draft Mihalik in the 1st round, 36th overall of the 2005 CHL Import Draft. Vladimir accepted the Rebels' overtures and moved to North America to begin the 2005-2006 junior season. In December he was named to Team Slovakia for the U20 World Junior Championships where he played well with 3 assists in 6 games. Prior to the season he attended his first Traverse City tournament and Lightning training camp. At Traverse City, the defenseman had just 1 assist in 4 games. Over the summer Mihalik was traded from Red Deer to WHL club Prince George. In 2006-2007, after scoring 1 assist for the Lightning prospect team at the Traverse City tournament, he showed great improvement with the Cougars scoring 7 goals and 26 points in 53 games with 91 penalty minutes. In the playoffs, Mihalik contributed 1 goal and 3 points in 15 games with 17 penalty minutes.

Professional Career

The Lightning signed Mihalik to a 3-year standard contract on April 6, 2007. The defenseman again participated at the Traverse City prospect tournament where he tied for third in the tournament for scoring among defensemen with 1 goal and 4 points. Despite his impressive offensive numbers, Mihalik was chastized for not showing up to camp in the proper shape and for suffering a groin injury during the tournament. As punishment, Mihalik lost an opportunity to participate in Lightning camp and was sent directly to Norfolk Admirals camp instead. The defenseman spent the entire 2007-2008 season with Norfolk, improving greatly over the course of the season and becoming one of Coach Steve Stirling's most trusted blueliners, earning around 20 minutes a night of ice time. Mihalik finished his rookie season of professional hockey with 1 goal and 16 points with 68 penalty minutes and a +9 rating in 68 games.

Scouting Report

Strengths: 

Mihalik has incredible size. Upon arriving in Red Deer in his first year of junior hockey, the Rebels discovered he had grown closer to 6’9” and weighed nearly 260 pounds. Mihalik is agile for a big man and has good mobility. He is adept at using his long reach, and is very good at blocking shots. The defenseman has surprising instincts for jumping into the play offensively at even strength and posseses a cannon for a shot. Mihalik has also shown to be very easy to coach as he is quick to learn from his mistakes.

Weaknesses: 

Mihalik has a tendency to rely on his reach in situations where taking an opposing player out with the body is the better option. He doesn't know his own strength and, as such, isn't as comfortable with the physical game as one would want a player his size to be. Steve Stirling originally planned to use Mihalik on the power play as a rookie with Norfolk in the AHL in 2007-2008, but the defenseman struggled with his decision making with the man advantage. The pieces are there for Mihalik to be more of a contributor offensively, but that side of his game still remains largely undeveloped.

Projection: 

Mihalik looks like he may be a late bloomer potentially capable of exceeding earlier projections by becoming a top pairing NHL defenseman. The comparisons to countryman Zdeno Chara are inevitable because of his size, and perhaps the Lightning and Mihalik should embrace those comparisons because Mihalik might have that kind of upside.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2003-2004 HC Presov U18Slovakia U1844 2 1113 66|        
 2004-2005 HC Presov U20Slovakia U2023 6 1016 44|        
  HC PresovSlovakia232 3 14 24|Playoffs6 0 11
  Slovakia U18WJC-186 0 00 10|        
 2005-2006 Red Deer RebelsWHL62 3 912 86|        
  Slovakia U20WJC-206 0 33 8|        
 2006-2007 Prince George CougarsWHL53 7 1926 91|Playoffs15 1 23 17 
  Slovakia U20WJC-206 1 01 4|        
 2007-2008 Norfolk AdmiralsAHL68 1 1516 68|        
 2008-2009 Tampa Bay LightningNHL11 0 33 6|        
  Norfolk AdmiralsAHL61 2 1315 58|        
 2009-2010 Tampa Bay LightningNHL4 0 00 2|        
  Norfolk AdmiralsAHL75 2 1618 67|        
  SlovakiaWC6 1 01 4|        
  Slovakia (all)International10 1 01 -|        
 2010-2011 Norfolk AdmiralsAHL66 1 89 107|Playoffs6 0 22
 2011-2012 Lev PopradKHL37 1 45 37|        
  Timrå IKSHL13 0 33 14|Kvalserien SHL9 1 12
  Slovakia Deutschland Cup3 0 00 4|        
  Slovakia (all)International12 0 22 -|        
 2012-2013 HC Slovan BratislavaKHL15 2 02 16|Playoffs4 1 01
  HC Slovan BratislavaET8 0 00 0|Playoffs1 0 00
  SlovakiaWC8 0 11 4|        
  Slovakia (all)International15 1 12 10|        
 2013-2014 HC Slovan BratislavaKHL38 2 35 20|        
  HC Slovan BratislavaET4 0 00 0|        
  HC Slovan BratislavaNadezhda Cup2 0 00 2|        
  SlovakiaWC2 0 00 0|        
  Slovakia (all)International6 0 11 2|        
 2014-2015 HC Slovan BratislavaKHL33 2 13 28|        
 2015-2016 HC Slovan BratislavaKHL49 1 34 53|Playoffs4 0 00
 2016-2017 HC Banska BystricaSlovakia52 2 911 22|Playoffs14 0 00
 2017-2018 HC Banska BystricaSlovakia47 4 913 20|Playoffs16 0 11 20 
  HC Banska BystricaChampions HL6 0 33 4|        
 2018-2019 HC Banska BystricaSlovakia29 2 46 22|        
  HC Banska BystricaChampions HL5 0 00 4|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com
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