Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Just move your feet, Red Wings, because the Sharks, and refs, aren’t going to change

Throughout the off-day news and talk of snow showers on Jimmy Howard, two themes come to the fore in the Red Wings-Sharks series.

The first is that they’re up against some serious-ass odds, especially given that the supporting cast has left Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Howard without support, as spelled out by NHL.com’s Brian Hedger:

Detroit is just 5-21 all-time when losing the first two games of a playoff series and only 2-6 when facing the same situation during the team’s remarkable 20-year run of postseason appearances. Also, after dropping the first three games against the Sharks in the same round last season, Detroit lost that series in five games. When you include the 2010-11 regular season, the Red Wings have lost 10 of the previous 12 meetings against San Jose and appear to be completely flummoxed. Also working against them is a middling record at Joe Louis Arena during the regular season, even being booed off the ice a couple of times.

Hedger points out that the Wings rallied from 2-0 deficits against the Vancouver Canucks in 2002 and a 3-1 deficit to the Minnesota Wild

North Stars in 1992, and some constants from those series literally remain on the Wings’ roster:

The Red Wings still have four players on the roster from that team, led by captain Nicklas Lidstrom. The other three are star center Pavel Datsyuk, power forward Tomas Holmstrom and gritty “Grind Line” original Kris Draper.

If the Red Wings claw their way out of a 2-0 hole this time, each of them will have to play a big role—whether it’s physically doing it on the ice or convincing younger teammates off the ice that it can be done.

When all Niklas Kronwall can do is block shots after a fantastic first-round performance, when Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, and to some extent, Danny Cleary, Todd Bertuzzi, Johan Franzen (nobody seems to point out that his new visor might be impeding his ability to make plays as much, if not more, than his ankle is) and Brian Rafalski have all disappeared, Brad Stuart, Jonathan Ericsson and Ruslan Salei have begun to chase puck carriers around the ice, and perhaps only Tomas Holmstrom and Jiri Hudler of all people are willing to do the dirty work around the net, there’s something wrong.

You could go with Hedger’s argument…

On the surface, the Sharks, coached by former Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan, simply appear to be the better team. They’ve won six of the last seven playoff games between the two and only allowed one goal in each of the first two games this season, both at HP Pavilion in San Jose. However, all six of those playoff wins were decided by a slim one-goal margin. The lone game that wasn’t was Detroit’s 7-1 rout of the Sharks in Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena last spring to make it a 3-1 series headed back to San Jose.

Or maybe you could argue that the leaders are leading as best as they possibly can, and that instead of heralding a new Sharks’ Dynasty, as the Mercury News’s Tim Kawakami does, or suggesting that the Wings need to tear down and rebuild—and you’re gonna be disappointed if the Sharks do win this series, Wings fans, because Babcock’s not going anywhere, McCrimmon’s not going anywhere, and it’s more likely than not at this point that the only guaranteed subtraction is Mike Modano and the only guaranteed addition is Jan Musak, because Kenny Holland didn’t tear down the Wings after last year’s ouster, and he doesn’t have much reason to do so given the Wings’ ability to handle the injury bug much better during this past regular season than they did the previous time around—the Wings aren’t just struggling for some reason that we can’t pinpoint against the Sharks.

Maybe they’re indecisive because they’re getting shafted. Even the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch is confused about the referees’ decisions when it comes to allowing the Sharks to scrum up the Wings and scrape ice in front of Jimmy Howard:

The battle between the San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings has turned vicious. Hard checks. Scrums after the whistle. Even tactics by the Sharks in front Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard that would make Reggie Dunlop and the gang from the old Slap Shot movie proud.
And both teams are going to hear about it from league officials.
...
Officials could take care of the issue by calling an unsportsmanlike penalty against San Jose. The league would like to put a stop to it and, with a two-day break before Game 3 Wednesday in Detroit, it is expected the issue will be discussed. The rule regarding unsportsmanlike behaviour has a broad definition but was retooled when New York’s Sean Avery was waving his stick in front of New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur in the 2008 playoffs. The Sharks’ tactics this year could be considered similar.

The Wings, who trail 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinal, won’t resort to similar tactics on Sharks goalie Antti Niemi.

“We have to create more traffic first of all,” Detroit defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We have to be (at the net). He’s seeing the shots we’re taking and we just have to create more traffic in front of him and be harder.”

But while Garrioch’s worried about the following…

The NHL doesn’t want this series to turn into a joke. What’s happening now could be perceived that way.

Todd McLellan and Joe Pavelski issued a simple set of statements to the Mercury News’s Mark Emmons before departing for Detroit—that it’s Jimmy Howard’s own damn fault (you can watch McLellan’s comments, as well as those of Ian White and Ryane Clowe, via Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area):

McLellan agreed a penalty could be called, but that there’s no reason for one because the Sharks are not acting in an unsportsmanlike manner.

“We’re going to the net any time there’s a loose puck there, and we’re stopping in the blue paint,” McLellan said. “It’s as simple as that.”

One of those showers by Pavelski in Game 1 resulted in a shoving match with Howard, which earned both of them roughing penalties. But Pavelski said there is no intent.

“It’s not like we’re coming from long distances when the puck’s not there,” Pavelski said. “He’s bobbling pucks and we’re going hard. If the puck’s just laying there and he’s taking a while to cover it up, you go. You have to do it because if you swing away and the puck is just laying there for a tap-in, that would stay with you for a few weeks.”

So if you put on the Wings fans’ patented tinfoil hat for a moment, you might suggest that the referees’ decision to simply stare when the Sharks commit infractions and call penalties when the Wings do the same, given the fact that neither team is playing squeaky clean hockey or keeping their sticks at a less than parallel angle to the ice at all times, is a little spurious.

Two seasons in a row, somehow, one of the league’s most disciplined teams gets called when it commits penalties, while the Shane Doans and Taylor Pyatts of the world are allowed to blind-side Wings players, the Sharks’ hacks, whacks, and snow showers on Howard are ignored, and when Wings fans suggest that there’s something fishy going on, they’re laughed at, as usual, by a media corps that insists that not only are fans crazy for daring to question officials, but also that Red Wings fans deserve a disparate amount of criticism because, clearly, the Wings get all sorts of breaks all the time.

It’s as if the Tomas Holmstrom rules—the concept that because Holmstrom screens goalies, he’s allowed to be hacked, whacked, tripped, hooked, held, facewashed, mugged, and given everything but a prostate exam because that somehow comes with the territory, but should he ever retaliate, or goad an opponent into taking a penalty, Holmstrom has to go to the box with that opponent, because otherwise it “wouldn’t be fair,” or the concept that the standard of officiating for what constitutes “incidental contact” or “goaltender interference” can change based upon whether Tomas Holmstrom’s perceived to be interfering with a goaltender, regardless of whether he is or is not doing so—have been extended to the entire team.

So what can the Wings do?

First and foremost, they have to win battles for the puck via winger support to help generate and sustain possession and control of the puck in the offensive zone, because this series really will be determined by the Sharks or Wings possessing the puck and cycling it down low against their opponent more than their opponent does, and the Wings told MLive’s Ansar Khan that they may have to “chip and chase” to get into the offensive zone and then keep the puck there…

“We got to execute on them and be harder on the puck in their zone,” Babcock said. “The more of those 50-50 pucks you win, the more you’re going to have the puck.”
...
“They spend too much time in our zone tiring us out instead of us doing the opposite,” Brad Stuart said. “I don’t think we made it hard enough on their team. We just need to shoot more, get pucks in behind them a little better and that’ll help us.”

Said goaltender Jimmy Howard: “They’re playing well in their own end. They’re really making us work. We just got to keep throwing pucks at the net and keep pushing it. Continue to do things that make us successful. That’s spending as little time in our own zone and spending the majority of our shifts in theirs.”

And, as Khan suggests, that includes a much better effort during the second period, where the Wings have been out-shot 37-18 over the first two games, yielding penalties because they’re the ones chasing the Sharks’ cycling players and being ground down:

“Got to keep (their cycle) short. The longer it goes on the harder it is to stop,” Franzen said. “Need to have good effort to cut them off right away and try to get the puck out right away.”

Just how tiring is it to be caught on the ice when the Sharks cycle and grind the puck?

“Of course it is, if you’re stuck in there,” Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski said. “You always try to do that in the second period because you have easier change with the forwards. You got to try to limit those. That’s where your depth comes in. You got to give those guys a chance to rest.”

So what’s the solution? Or what are the solutions?

There are several, including better utilization of positional defense instead of chasing puck carriers (that usually results in penalties), crisper, sharper and faster puck movement through the neutral zone, and responding in kind to the Sharks’ treatment of Howard by making Niemi’s life miserable, even if it results in a “Holmstrom rule” penalty called against the Wings for bumping or snowing Niemi…

But it comes down to moving your feet. If the refereeing isn’t going to change, and over the course of the Wings’ past four playoff series, the bullseyes clearly remain affixed to Detroit’s jerseys as to the team the league seems to want to make an example of to show the rest of the league what playoff teams can and cannot do, all you can do is skate harder, skate faster, keep those feet moving and those sticks down, trying to gain body position and trying to get on the inside of puck battles instead of trying to use your stick to reach around your opponents.

You’ve gotta grind. You’ve gotta skate. You’ve gotta out-work, out-hustle, and out-grind your opponent, and you can’t let the fear of being called for whatever the other team is getting away with keep you from playing demonstrative, confident and sometimes a little arrogant, even if you’ve gotta fake it to make your opponent believe that you cannot be intimidated, and that they have neither “solved” you nor “own” you.

I don’t expect the refs to do anything differently. I don’t expect the Sharks to do anything differently, because they’re getting rewarded for the stuff that we see the Wings going to the penalty box for, the hooks, holds, slashes, grabs, moving picks, cheap stuff and scrums and snow showers after the whistle. They’re the ones scoring power play goals.

The Wings’ leaders need some back-up—Khan suggests as much, and suggests that the Wings might need to turn to a few veterans for some much-needed spark…

[T]he Red Wings’ high-powered offense hasn’t delivered, limited to one goal in each game. Part of that is because of Antti Niemi’s strong play (he’s stopped 57-of-59 shots for a .966 save percentage), but much of it also is because of Detroit’s forwards not being hard enough on San Jose’s defense. The balanced attack in the first-round sweep of Phoenix has been shut down, with the exception of Pavel Datsyuk. He has been dazzling, setting up both goals with great passes, but he can’t do it all himself.

Other forwards must deliver for the Red Wings to get back in this series. The onus is on their big, stocky wingers—Johan Franzen, Danny Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi—to spend more time grinding the puck in the offensive zone and being physical, making the Sharks’ defense work harder. That will create more traffic around Niemi and force him to work harder. Franzen clearly is not back to speed after missing Game 4 against the Coyotes with an ankle injury. He had no shots in Game 1 against the Sharks, but was more engaged in Game 2.

Bertuzzi has just two shots on goal in two games. He can’t get thrown off his game by the agitating Ben Eager. The pair, along with Cleary, have been held without a point in two games. All have another gear. So do Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula. Zetterberg, out three weeks with a sprained knee, skated much better in Game 2.

A lineup change is possible, if for no other reason than to shake things up. Kris Draper or Mike Modano might be inserted, perhaps in place of Jiri Hudler, who played well the first game, not so much the second game. Draper gives them another grinder, penalty killer and good faceoff man. But with the offense struggling, they might turn to Modano, who can play the point on the second power-play unit. Both can bring speed and fresh legs.

But the bottom line is that every Wings skater needs to move his feet, to play harder and more aggressively. That includes Howard, who needs to get out to the top of his crease more and make the Sharks understand that he’s going to push the referees himself by claiming more than blue paint as his inviolable territory.

There is no response for aggression in hockey but aggression in kind, for doing unto others before they do it to you, getting in on the forecheck and banging bodies, and working harder, working more efficiently, with more focus, hustle, drive, grit, determination, urgency, a higher competitive level, you name it…

But it all starts with moving your feet. And that’s what the Wings have to do to get back in this series, all while skating uphill.

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Comments

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Shorter George Malik post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqolWUgxz7E

Posted by RoneFace on 05/02/11 at 11:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I like that. It’s funny.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/02/11 at 11:14 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

And the irony is that in a way, that’s what I’m trying to say. Get your stuff together and work. There’s not going to be sympathy.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/02/11 at 11:17 PM ET

PuckRules's avatar

Two seasons in a row, somehow, one of the league’s most disciplined teams gets called when it commits penalties, while the Shane Doans and Taylor Pyatts of the world are allowed to blind-side Wings players, the Sharks’ hacks, whacks, and snow showers on Howard are ignored, and when Wings fans suggest that there’s something fishy going on, they’re laughed at, as usual, by a media corps that insists that not only are fans crazy for daring to question officials, but also that Red Wings fans deserve a disparate amount of criticism because, clearly, the Wings get all sorts of breaks all the time.

So Brian Rafalski should be given a break when he shoots the puck over the glass? Or when Justin Abdelkader clearly high sticks someone. Because those are unfair penalties right. Fyi the Wings had more PP time than the Sharks in game 2.

Posted by PuckRules on 05/02/11 at 11:57 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

So Brian Rafalski should be given a break when he shoots the puck over the glass? Or when Justin Abdelkader clearly high sticks someone. Because those are unfair penalties right.

No, we’re not that stupid.  Those are penalties and no one has problems with that.  What we don’t like is when Abdelkader gets run from behind head first into the boards with no call, then later in the same game Bertuzzi hits Pavelski, who is already against the boards and then throws his head back even though his head never touched anything and gets a call.

Or how about when Ben Eager cross-checks Bertuzzi after the whistle, and is given a 10 minute misconduct instead of a 2 minute minor which would result in a PP.  A 10 minute misconduct to a scrub who would only play 5-10 minutes at the most is not a penalty at all, and everyone knows it.

Fact is Wings have played their D games against the Sharks A game the first 2 games at SJ and it has led to the Sharks eeking out 2 1 goal wins.  If the Wings continue with their D game, they’re done.  If they bring their B game, it’s Wings all the way.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/03/11 at 12:17 AM ET

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No, the unfortunate situation for the wings, in my opinion, is that the refs just seem to be making “the calls you have to make” which would be high-sticking, delay of game, boarding, too many men, and things like that, and the wings have been having some bad luck with the accidental high sticking, and delay of game.  The refs don’t seem to be calling the “calls you don’t necessarily have to make” like the roughing after the whistle, cross checks, interference, etc.., and the wings are trying so hard to stay out of penalty trouble that the Sharks keep getting away with that crap, while the wings don’t dare try it.

Posted by herschel c. wollmack on 05/03/11 at 12:21 AM ET

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It also seems that when the sharks (or ducks, or etc..) are hackin and whackin, if they called all of that, they wouldn’t be “letting em play”, because they play that style. If a wing cross-checks or whacks someone, it probably sticks out like a sore thumb to the refs, because it isn’t their style of play.

Posted by herschel c. wollmack on 05/03/11 at 12:33 AM ET

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The refs don’t seem to be calling the “calls you don’t necessarily have to make” like the roughing after the whistle, cross checks, interference, etc.., and the wings are trying so hard to stay out of penalty trouble that the Sharks keep getting away with that crap, while the wings don’t dare try it.

I hate to rain on your little pity party but the Wings do all that roughing and stick crap that you think only the opponents do.  The refs call the things are that are egregious not the things that are borderline.  Don’t blame the refs because the Wings are going over that line more than the Sharks are.

It also seems that when the sharks (or ducks, or etc..) are hackin and whackin, if they called all of that, they wouldn’t be “letting em play”, because they play that style. If a wing cross-checks or whacks someone, it probably sticks out like a sore thumb to the refs, because it isn’t their style of play.

Right.  The Wings are so angelic that any tarnishing of the halo is so shocking the refs can’t help but make a call.  Angels.  The team with Todd Bertuzzi.  That makes sense.

Posted by RoneFace on 05/03/11 at 12:42 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

Don’t blame the refs because the Wings are going over that line more than the Sharks are.

The Wings are getting “caught” more than the Sharks.  There’s a difference.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/03/11 at 12:46 AM ET

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The Wings are getting “caught” more than the Sharks.  There’s a difference.

There is a difference… in your head.

Posted by RoneFace on 05/03/11 at 12:54 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Don’t feed the troll, I guess.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/03/11 at 12:58 AM ET

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Don’t feed the troll, I guess.

Yeah, why let reality ruin a good persecution complex.

Posted by RoneFace on 05/03/11 at 12:59 AM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

Rone Face . Have you been a Richard your whole life? Is it really necessary to try and belittle George because your team is up by 2 games?You must have some kind of inferiority complex that evolved from elementry school bullying on the playground. You start off yesterday talking respectful analysis of a game and now you become antagonistic anytime anyone has a differing opinion from yours, Y ou come up with some teal glassed logic that only makes sense to you. You almost sound like a Lindas1st clone. You are 1 pompous trool. Looking foward to tying this series up and hearing crickets chirp on your end. Happens all the time to your ilk here. I’ll read your slant tomorrow.  Later Richie

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 05/03/11 at 01:15 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Happens all the time to your ilk here

Very true. Trolls get extreeeemely quiet once the tide starts to turn.  I look forward to not hearing from these guys around game 5 or so. Trolls are such fickle creatures.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 05/03/11 at 01:30 AM ET

Chet's avatar

if you’re a true wings fan, you’re embarrassing yourself if you complain about officiating.

the wings are straight up losing because the sharks have thus far been the better team. accept it, and hope they start playing well enough to win.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 05/03/11 at 01:32 AM ET

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You start off yesterday talking respectful analysis of a game and now you become antagonistic anytime anyone has a differing opinion from yours, Y ou come up with some teal glassed logic that only makes sense to you.

I’m happy to have a respectful analysis of the game, and that’s actually what I’d prefer.  I don’t think I’m wearing teal colored glasses just because I’m not falling in line with this whole concept that the refs are turning this series and out to get the Red Wings and everyone in the media hates the Wings and Bettman hates the Wings and it’s all just so unfair.  If the Sharks were down 2-0 I wouldn’t be blaming the officiating, I’d be blaming Niemi for being a sieve or Heatley for making $7 million and having no impact or Wallin for being a pylon or whatever the real, actual problem was.  Rather than talk about what the Wings aren’t doing, or can’t do, George and others want to blame the officiating and the effort when realistically those are non-issues. 

Look, it’s one thing to say that the Sharks are significantly better than the Wings because they are 4-3 against them in their last 7 after winning a 1 goal game.  It’s quite another to say that the Sharks are significantly better after they go 10-2 in a little over a year regardless of the margin of victory.  That’s what’s going on right now, and it’s not about officiating or media bias or effort or mental toughness any of those crutches fans use when their team isn’t playing well; it’s about size and depth.  If you compare each team’s lineup 1-20, and you’re being honest with yourself, the Wings run out of check marks in a hurry. 

Now it’s hockey, and one of the great things about hockey is that will can beat skill sometimes, so certainly the Wings aren’t out of it yet but they aren’t the better team on paper and the’ve been the better team on the ice just twice in the last year.  Look at Vancouver-Nashville series as an example of will over skill: Vancouver has more talent but Nashville has the better goalie and has played much harder and thus they went home with a split.  But I will say, based on health and depth and size and the way the Wings are built to play I think it’s going to be tough for the Wings to out-will the Sharks in this series, especially starting in a 2-0 hole.

Posted by RoneFace on 05/03/11 at 01:36 AM ET

cvd1's avatar

Non-calls and snowshowers? Please tell me you’ve got something more, Lieutenant. Please tell me there’s an ace up your sleeve. The Wings are playing for their lives. Please tell me their blogger hasn’t pinned their hopes to a lame-brain Bruce Garrioch opinion column…..

Posted by cvd1 from San Diego, CA on 05/03/11 at 01:56 AM ET

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Non-calls and snowshowers? Please tell me you’ve got something more, Lieutenant. Please tell me there’s an ace up your sleeve. The Wings are playing for their lives. Please tell me their blogger hasn’t pinned their hopes to a lame-brain Bruce Garrioch opinion column…..

That’s just outstanding, though given the avatar I can’t say I’m surprised.  Someone was watching Buster Olney tweeting A Few Good Men lines all day.

Posted by RoneFace on 05/03/11 at 01:58 AM ET

cvd1's avatar

You don’t need a winged-wheel on your chest to have honor.

I missed the Olney tweets.

Posted by cvd1 from San Diego, CA on 05/03/11 at 02:04 AM ET

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I missed the Olney tweets.

He was tweeting lines all day, totally got me in the mood to watch it.  Though I must confess, it doesn’t take much to get me to want to watch Jack in that movie.  Nothing against Gene Hackman or Unforgiven but it’s pretty criminal that Jack didn’t win the Oscar that year. 

“I eat breakfast 300 yards from 4000 Cubans who are trained to kill me.”
“We follow orders, son. We follow orders or people die. It’s that simple.”

Dude nailed it.

(And yes, those about the only 2 lines he has in the movie that I can actually quote here.)

Posted by RoneFace on 05/03/11 at 02:10 AM ET

cvd1's avatar

I wish that there’s a Nicholson quote that said that the Red Wings were clearly outplayed in games 1 and 2 and that bringing up non-calls and snowshowers is just window-dressing over actual problems.

Posted by cvd1 from San Diego, CA on 05/03/11 at 02:17 AM ET

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I wish that there’s a Nicholson quote that said that the Red Wings were clearly outplayed in games 1 and 2 and that bringing up non-calls and snowshowers is just window-dressing over actual problems.

He may have something to say about this Laker’s game that just ended but you’ll have to adapt it.

Posted by RoneFace on 05/03/11 at 02:18 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Did you read the entry after Garrioch? Anything?

It’s one thing to have a dissenting opinion. It’s one thing to disagree. It’s another to either selectively read and roll your eyes, and it’s quite another to not simply engage in discussion regarding disagreements, but also to bait people into arguing when “The team with Todd Bertuzzi” is used as evidence to back up a point.

Really? Are we all twelve again? The, “No one’s allowed to have any sort of bias, and I’ll be holier than thou about someone daring to suggest otherwise” craze is catching on, and I don’t understand what the point is.

I have to move on to the next thing. As far as I’m concerned, yes, your points are valid, your opinion is recognized and I wish to agree to disagree, but that does not mean that I do not respect your point of view. Whatever else you have to say is not my business to dispute, because if you don’t like what you’re reading here, you don’t have to read it.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/03/11 at 03:22 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

4 words: Just Get It Done!

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 05/03/11 at 04:32 AM ET

cvd1's avatar

Sorry GM.  I was having some fun. Truth be told, I hold you in higher esteem than misguided writers like Kawakami and Garrioch.
I re-read your entire post thinking I missed something.  I pretty much got the gist the first time.  I still read mention of refereeing and/or snowshowers in nearly every paragraph with the final summation which I grasped as the wings need to battle harder and keep their skates moving to overcome these forces.
Maybe there will be better ice at the Joe so there won’t be so much snow accumulated in front of the crease. 
It’s not really your fault that Detroit fans grate on pretty much every other NHL fan. But this post doesn’t help much.
Best of luck.

Posted by cvd1 from San Diego, CA on 05/03/11 at 04:36 AM ET

Avatar

“Commander Galloway, why don’t you get yourself a cup of coffee.”
“Thank you, sir, I’m fine.”
“Commander, I’d like you to leave the room so we can talk about you behind your back.”

Sorry, couldn’t resist.  It’s just so quotable.

Posted by RoneFace on 05/03/11 at 04:54 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If the Sharks were down 2-0 I wouldn’t be blaming the officiating, I’d be blaming Niemi for being a sieve or Heatley for making $7 million and having no impact or Wallin for being a pylon or whatever the real, actual problem was.  Rather than talk about what the Wings aren’t doing, or can’t do, George and others want to blame the officiating and the effort when realistically those are non-issues.

I want to make sure I understand that last sentence.  Effort is a non-issue?

As far as the rest of the paragraph, it’s just weird to me that you seem to know what’s going on around here and know that Malik posts more than anybody, so when one of his posts that covers this particular topic pops up, you suddenly forget about every single piece of the commentary that talks about splitting up Datsyuk and Zetterberg, what’s the matter with Franzen, How the Sharks are out-hustling the Wings,  How Detroit should stop taking stupid penalties (such as high-sticking or putting the puck over the glass), how good Niemi has been (and how the Wings need to challenge him more) and all of the other things not related to the concept of judgment calls.

This is one post that deals with this issue, but don’t pretend like we’re not talking about those other things that you think we should be discussing.

You seem like a smart enough guy, but saying shit like the officials is all we’re discussing is pretty fuching stupid.

We do it too much for your liking though?  Tough titties, princess.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 10:07 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Don’t feed the troll, I guess.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/02/11 at 11:58 PM ET

My sentiments exactly. 

And the best point you made was this: 

You’ve gotta grind. You’ve gotta skate. You’ve gotta out-work, out-hustle, and out-grind your opponent, and you can’t let the fear of being called for whatever the other team is getting away with keep you from playing demonstrative, confident and sometimes a little arrogant, even if you’ve gotta fake it to make your opponent believe that you cannot be intimidated, and that they have neither “solved” you nor “own” you.

That is precisely what the Wings need to do.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 05/03/11 at 10:28 AM ET

D-line's avatar

The way the calls are being made in this series has made the wings players “apprehensive” to say the least.  D-men chasing for fear of playing the body on a bigger forward, which is necessary to neutralize the forecheck.  Forecheckers not being aggressive because they arent sure if their hits are going to be deemed “interference”.  SJ is not fearing any calls so they are afforded more liberties.  I think the fact that Detroit fans notice this and choose to discuss it, baffles other fanbases who do not recognize this so-called “tilting of the ice”.  Combine this with some good play and luck bounces on SJ side, plus stupid penalties on some of our players and you end up with games like we’ve had.  But to call a call a fanbase “whiners” because we are apt to notice more than the average fan, and be very vocal about it is bs.

And what may i ask, in all your infinite wisdom, makes you such an expert Rone?  Do you watch a lot of hockey?  got yourself some season tickets do ya?  troll the internet looking for opposing teams blogsites?   
    Well I’m no expert but i can back up whatever theories, whether right or wrong with this bit of expertise.  I’m 41 and i still PLAY hockey, i ref hockey for Mite/Bantams, Most of my friends play hockey, most of relatives play hockey, my dad was a goalie….. just a little insight on the game.  I watch ALL hockey, not just whatever series Detroit is in, ALL series.  That means i watched your team last round,  did you watch ours?  I even have a canadien satellite plus my dish network just so i can get TSN
  So what does that have to do with anything you ask?  Well, do me a favor, do a search for ice arenas in whatever area it is you live in…. go ahead i’ll wait.  Having trouble? try arenamaps.com   Hell i did it for ya….6.  6 ice arenas in SanJose,  Detroit?  65   What does it all mean?  It means there’s a hell of a lot more people in this area growing up PLAYING hockey, means we know our game son.  Now I’ll admit we have our share of idiot bandwagoners just like every other fanbase.  But dont you for one second question where most of the people around here get their hockey knowledge….  Most people you sit down and talk hockey with KNOW exactly whats happening with our team.

Posted by D-line on 05/03/11 at 11:21 AM ET

Avatar

the wings are straight up losing because the sharks have thus far been the better team. accept it, and hope they start playing well enough to win.

That’s right, Chet, and it deserves to be said again.  These people that bash the officials need to wake up and realize the Wings aren’t good enough to win this series unless Niemi starts playing like Bryzgalov.

Posted by jkm2011 on 05/03/11 at 01:09 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

Wow, these guys sure or cocky for winning two games by a butt hair. Must feel good. I bet if the only thing we had to hang our heads on was winning presidents trophies I would have the same sad things to say. Ignorance is bliss.

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from Evanston,IL on 05/03/11 at 01:55 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’ll leave you Kings of Red Wings fans to shout decrees on the masses about what it means to be a “true” Red Wings fan.

I’ll be here bitching about whatever the shit I feel like bitching about and feeling zero shame for it.

If being a “true” Red Wings fan means I have to act a certain way to appease a couple of dicktouchers like you retards, I’m happy to remain one of the mudbloods.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 02:38 PM ET

D-line's avatar

I’m not saying in any way, shape,or form who is…or isn’t the better team.  I am trying to say is that the way the calls can or cant be viewed….no matter who is right it doesn’t give another fanbase or fanbases the right to call our fanbase a bunch of “whiners”.  How i see the calls may be different from how anybody else sees the calls.  But i have demonstrated how i have obtained my knowledge of the game and how these said “opinions” are formulated.  Now some of the opinions of others I’m supposed to just “accept” when i have no idea how they “know” hockey…  prove to me you can watch this sport objectively, then we’ll talk, i cant say the same for everyone on this blog….but i think i personally “know” hockey and watch enough all around to be able to comment on what I’ve seen as a fan of the game.  I can call a spade a spade….if you don’t see it doesn’t mean its not happening my friend.  It just means your biased for your personal team is all.  I’m not even saying the officiating is the only reason they are losing…just trying to point out that right now, after two games the ice has been slightly tilted in San Jose’s favor.  That doesn’t mean it cant change.  It hopefully will….the ice being tilted in a teams favor has been apart of hockey for a long time.  I can “accept” that right now its not in Detroit’s favor, the real question will be how if for some reason it begins to tilt in our favor how your fanbase will handle it?  And if you complain can we call you whiners?  The point is….we are allowed to discuss OUR team on OUR teams’ blog site anyway we see fit….

Posted by D-line on 05/03/11 at 02:39 PM ET

D-line's avatar

Wow   dicktoucher?  retard?

Posted by D-line on 05/03/11 at 04:18 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Wow   dicktoucher?  retard?

Posted by D-line on 05/03/11 at 03:18 PM ET

Those weren’t aimed at you.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 04:34 PM ET

calquake's avatar

If being a “true” Red Wings fan means I have to act a certain way to appease a couple of dicktouchers like you retards, I’m happy to remain one of the mudbloods.
Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 01:38 PM ET

D-line, I don’t believe JJ was referring to you with that statement.

Posted by calquake on 05/03/11 at 04:36 PM ET

D-line's avatar

oh…was confused for a minute there…sorry was reading from my blackberry and well, you get the idea

Posted by D-line on 05/03/11 at 04:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

oh…was confused for a minute there…sorry was reading from my blackberry and well, you get the idea

Posted by D-line on 05/03/11 at 03:39 PM ET

No worries.  I usually do a better job of quoting the people I’m bitching at.  Sorry for the confusion.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 04:41 PM ET

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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.