Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

GDT - Game #64: Red Wings host Predators (7:30)

Panic in Detroit?  With the Wings fighting for their playoff lives Wednesday night against the Canucks, the Red Wings failed in spectacular fashion.  If you won’t take my word for it, this is what Coach Babcock had to say after that disaster: “We were poor. We were poor in goal, we were poor in the back end and we were poor upfront, we were poor in the work ethic department,” “We didn’t look like a team that’s dying to get into the playoffs in any way, shape or form.”  At Thursdays practice, he restated his sentiment: “I just, I didn’t like any of it. “I liked one line; I didn’t like any of the others. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. … I can’t explain it. It’s unacceptable. I said it last night, and it’s still unacceptable today.”

But Coach Babcock isn’t only pointing the finger at the players, he rightly recognizes his responsibility as well:  “For a long time this year we had so many injuries that we just battled to stay alive,” he said. “We don’t now. There’s no reason for us not to be a good hockey club. So will and determination, leadership and coaching, all these things, you look at them and you can’t give them a very good mark.”

The general consensus, out amongst the intertubes, has been that 94 pts is the magic number to make the playoffs in the W.C..  DET have 70 pts, and 19 games left to play.  The issue then, is whether or not the Wings can manage to win 12 of the remaining 19 games (.631 win%).  An objective look at their 63 game sample suggest it may be a very tall task.  DET are 29-22-12 and have a .556 pt % (.460 win %).  Granted, the Wings have been ridiculously shorthanded for the vast majority of the season, so the 63 game sample is skewed.  But that certainly does not explain Wednesday nights embarrassment, and general lack of work ethic. Coach Babcock is spot on - - it is unacceptable, and un-Red Wing like. 

There are games left, and the Wings have time to right the ship; but that time is right the fuch now.  Coach is juggling lines, and banishing non-performers; E-52 is in the pressbox tonight, and Howard will be looking to revert to form.  As a certain Sailor once told me, nothing is ever easy.  Every game counts, especially against teams the Wings might catch, tonight it is Bubba.  L.G.R.W.  No more excuses.

Standings:

DAL got smoked by hard-charging STL last night (6-1), and Bubba had an impressive win against LAK (4-2).

Suddenly, there are 7 teams fighting for 2 spots.

G/P, W L OTL PTS Last 10 Streak
7 Nashville 63 35 23 5 75 6-2-2 Won 3
8 Detroit 63 29 22 12 70 4-3-3 Lost 1

9 Calgary 63 30 24 9 69 4-4-2 Lost 1
10 St. Louis 64 30 25 9 69 6-3-1 Won 5
11 Dallas 63 28 23 12 68 5-4-1 Lost 2
12 Anaheim 63 30 26 7 67 6-4-0 Lost 1
13 Minnesota 62 31 27 4 66 6-4-0 Won 2

DET:  63 GP,  29-22-12, 70 pts (8 in Conf, 3 in Central), 165 GF, 172 GA, Last 10 4-3-3, Streak Lost 1

NSH:  62 GP, 34-23-5, 73 pts (7 in Conf, 2 in Central), 174 GF, 176 GA, Last 10 5-3-2, Streak Won 2

DET at home:  16-9-5 (18)
NSH on road:  17-12-3 (8)

Stats (rank):

DET:  .556 point% (13), 2.56 g/g (23), 2.60 ga/g (10),  0.88 5-5 f/a (25), 18.9 pp (10), 81.8 pk (15), 33.2 s/g (2), 30.3 sa/g (16), 51.2 fo% (8).

NSH:  .595 point% (11), 2.75 g/g (14), 2.78 ga/g (16), 1.04 5-5 f/a (12), 17.1 pp (23), 76.1 pk (27), 30.2 s/g (13), 29.1 sa/g (8), 49.2 fo% (18).

Goal Differential/Game:
DET = -0.04
NSH = -0.03

MISC:  The 2010 Red Wings rank 23rd in the NHL in goals per game and only three teams have fewer five-on-five goals.  NSH have scored four goals in each of three straight wins that straddled the Olympic break.

Curiosity got the best of me, these are the DET stats entering game # 64 last season.  The comparisons are stunning. Yes I know, DET got hammered by free agency losing Hoss, Hudler, and Sammy (about 70 goals at the game 64 mark - which is exactly the difference at this point in the season).

08-09 DET:  63 g/p 41 14 8 90 pts (2 in Conf, 1 in Central), 234 gf, 187 ga, Last 10 6-3-1, Streak Lost 1

08-09 DET:  .714 pt% (3), 3.62 g/g (1), 2.94 ga/g (21), 1.25 5-5 f/a (4), 27.4 pp (1), 77.4 pk (28), 36.0 s/g (1), 27.8 sa/g (5), 55.8 fo% (1). 


Player Stats:
DET Skaters:
POS Player GP G A PTS +/-  ATOI
C Pavel Datsyuk 61 17 35 52 12 20:30
L Henrik Zetterberg 55 17 33 50 5 20:04
D Nicklas Lidstrom 63 7 30 37 17 25:41
R Todd Bertuzzi 63 15 20 35 -8 17:03
D Brian Rafalski 59 4 26 30 13 24:30
R Dan Cleary 51 13 15 28 -5 17:49
L Tomas Holmstrom 49 16 11 27 6 15:27
C Valtteri Filppula 36 6 16 22 -7 17:37
C Kris Draper 62 7 11 18 -1 12:22
C Darren Helm 56 8 9 17 -4 15:00
R Patrick Eaves 49 9 7 16 -4 14:05
L Drew Miller 61 7 8 15 2 12:46
D Brad Stuart 63 2 11 13 -13 23:41
D Niklas Kronwall 29 5 8 13 1 21:13
D Jonathan Ericsson 48 3 8 11 -17 17:27
C Jason Williams 25 5 5 10 -7 14:24
D Brett Lebda 57 1 6 7 -3 15:12
C Johan Franzen 8 5 2 7 -2 18:42
L Kirk Maltby 52 4 2 6 1 10:06
D Derek Meech 42 2 4 6 -11 12:51
L Justin Abdelkader 50 3 3 6 -11 10:35
D Doug Janik 13 0 2 2 -3 13:28
D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen 18 0 2 2 1 9:51
L Brad May 40 0 1 1 -5 6:58
D Andreas Lilja 2 0 1 1 0 13:02
C Mattias Ritola 5 0 0 0 0 11:41
D Jakub Kindl 3 0 0 0 -2 10:49

DET Goalies:
Player GPI W L OT GAA PCT
Jimmy Howard 45, 22-14-8, 2.34, 0.925   Amazingly, Jimmah is still #5 in save%
Chris Osgood 22,  7-8-4, 2.97, 0.890


NSH Skaters:
POS Player GP G A PTS +/-  ATOI
R Martin Erat 56 19 20 39 -6 18:03
L Steve Sullivan 63 12 26 38 -4 18:19
R J Dumont 55 12 26 38 11 15:36
R Patric Hornqvist 62 23 15 38 9 15:34
C Jason Arnott 52 16 21 37 2 19:02
D Shea Weber 61 12 24 36 4 23:16
C David Legwand 63 10 23 33 0 18:57
R Joel Ward 56 12 18 30 -1 17:58
D Ryan Suter 63 2 26 28 10 23:59
C Marcel Goc 54 11 11 22 8 14:13
D Denis Grebeshkov 49 7 14 21 -15 21:39
C Dustin Boyd 60 8 11 19 5 12:14
D Dan Hamhuis 59 4 14 18 1 21:01
D Cody Franson 43 5 11 16 11 14:07
R Jordin Tootoo 33 5 8 13 4 11:00
R Jerred Smithson 50 8 4 12 4 13:49
D Kevin Klein 62 1 9 10 -12 20:13
C Cal O’Reilly 25 2 7 9 2 13:35
D Francis Bouillon 62 2 6 8 1 19:06
C Dave Scatchard 16 3 2 5 3 10:42
C Colin Wilson 16 3 2 5 -1 13:15
C Michael Santorelli 25 2 1 3 -8 10:57
C Nick Spaling 21 0 3 3 3 10:42
R Andreas Thuresson 22 1 2 3 -5 9:59
R Wade Belak 36 0 2 2 0 4:21
D Alexander Sulzer 19 0 2 2 4 13:23
R Ben Guite 6 0 0 0 -3 8:29
L Triston Grant 3 0 0 0 -1 7:14
L Peter Olvecky 1 0 0 0 0 7:53
D Teemu Laakso 7 0 0 0 -2 10:48

NSH Goalies:
Player GPI W L OT GAA PCT
Dan Ellis 27,  13-11-1,  2.59,  0.913
Pekka Rinne 42,  22-12-4,  2.79,  0.901

Injury Report:
DET:
Kirk Maltby (RW/LW) Shoulder surgery (Early April)

NSH:
Cody Franson (D) Rib injury (Mid-March)

HOT and NOT:
DET: Hot:
Nicklas Lidstrom (D) 4 pts in last 4 GP
Brian Rafalski (D) 7 pts in last 8 GP
Brad Stuart (D) 2 pts in last 3 GP
Pavel Datsyuk (C/LW) 5 pts in last 3 GP
Tomas Holmstrom (LW/RW) 3 pts in last 2 GP
Henrik Zetterberg (C/LW) 7 pts in last 6 GP
Johan Franzen (LW/RW) 5 pts in last 5 GP

DET: Not Hot:
Valtteri Filppula (C/LW) 0 pts in last 3 GP
Chris Osgood (G) 0-1-0, 4.75, .811 in last 2 GPI
Jimmy Howard (G) 1-1-0, 3.93, .867 in last 2 GPI

NSH: Hot:
Shea Weber (D) 3 pts in last 3 GP
Ryan Suter (D) 2 pts in last 2 GP
Dan Hamhuis (D) 2 pts in last 2 GP
Denis Grebeshkov (D) 2 pts in last 2 GP
Martin Erat (RW/LW) 3 pts in last 2 GP
Joel Ward (RW/LW) 2 pts in last 2 GP
Jason Arnott (C) 8 pts in last 8 GP
Steve Sullivan (LW) 2 pts in last 2 GP
Marcel Goc (C/LW) 3 pts in last 3 GP

NSH: Not Hot:
Patric Hornqvist (RW/LW) 2 pts in last 7 GP
———————————————————————————————————————————
Bert dropped to 3 line.  Lebda in tonight, paired with Pylon; E-52 watching from the pressbox, nothing personal according to Uncle Mike:

Jimmy Howard, pulled during the second period of Wednesday’s 6-3 loss to Vancouver, will start Friday against Nashville. The only change in the lineup, coach Mike Babcock said, will see Brett Lebda replace Jonathan Ericsson on defense.

“I thought Ericsson was fine last night,’’ Babcock said. “Lebda’s been a fine player and has played well with (Andreas) Lilja over the years and he’s back in with Lilja.’‘

“I liked one line (Wednesday), I didn’t like any of the others,’’ Babcock said. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow.’’ . . .

Franzen-Datsyuk-Holmstrom
Cleary-Zetterberg-Williams
Miller-Filppula-Bertuzzi
Draper-Helm-Eaves

Lidstrom-Meech (subbing for Rafalski)
Kronwall-Stuart
Lebda-Lilja
Ericsson

——————————————————————————————————————————
Helene St James, Freep.com:

“One of the things we’re trying to figure out is why we can’t be more consistent,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “Especially when we get behind, we’ve been able to battle back in some games, but in some of the games, we just haven’t had that second gear to get back on teams.” . . .

“You’re all right one night and then you’re not the next night,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Good teams are good every night. Now, every once in a while things don’t go your way, but that wasn’t the case last night. ... It was we weren’t good enough and we didn’t compete hard enough for long enough to be successful, and that includes goaltending, defense, forwards and coaching.” . . .

————————————————————————————————————————-
Dana Wakiji, Detnews.com:

Coach Mike Babcock still was angry Thursday about the way his team played in a 6-3 loss to Vancouver.

“I can’t explain it,” he said. “It’s unacceptable. Usually I’m way better when I’ve slept on something, but for a team that had 20 games left and 12 at home and a big game with a team that had played the night before, to play like that is un-Red Wing-like and it can’t happen. We’ve talked about it, addressed it and now we’ve got to do something about it.” . . .

For a guy who’s played two games in a little over a year, Lilja doesn’t seem to have missed a beat. In the two games since his return from a severe concussion, he has one assist and is plus-1.

“Lils is a real good player,” Babcock said. “We understand that and know that he’s a big body.

“The one thing about being big, you always go out there, you’re 6-4 every shift and 240 or whatever. I thought he made lots of good plays last night. You can just tell that Lils is talking to ‘em and so suddenly they’re better in their own zone, and that’s positive for us.”

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com