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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Blues quick take: Wings answer the bell against St. Louis Bullies

Updated 3x at 2:25 AM with Brad Stuart talking on NBC: The Detroit Red Wings didn’t come out ready to play against the St. Louis Blues, but they finished the game like a team that understood what it was up against—a viciously physical team that was going to make a statement by beating up and beating on Detroit—defeating St. Louis 3-1.

It was a fitting result against a team that, and I mean this with all the deftness and delicacy of someone who’s spent the day hacking, coughing and feverish, plays chicken [expletive] hockey. The Blues are most definitely an incredibly talented and gritty team which merits respect, but they also play like any Hitchcockian team: they don’t want the puck. The Blues will very happily allow its opponent to possess the puck and skate int o the wall of bodies they amass at center ice, and more importantly, not having the puck means you have the opportunity to dole out “punishing” checks on your opponents.

The Blues wanted to run the Wings into the end boards every time a player had the puck, and after Wings players passed it, there was no, “Count to three and you should no longer hit the player who passed the puck”—ther was no count to five or count to ten in the Blues’ case, as is typical. They’ve worked their way to within a point of the Wings, and sometimes a point or two above them, by out-working, out-hustling and out-grinding their opponents, playing playoff hockey in December and January, pouncing and counter-punching like the predatorial team they were built to be long before Hitchcock happily joined the fray.

They came out playing playoff hockey, ready to hit and hit to hurt, ready to take the Wings out by roaring in on the forecheck, smashing whichever Wing had the puck off of it, and grinding the puck out front to jam pucks past Jimmy Howard—and the Wings weren’t ready for it. The Wings were coming off three straight shootout wins and getting away with just out-playing the Coyotes and Blue Jackets of all teams, and the Blues almost ran away with the game early because of it.

The Wings coughed up pucks, stood around far too regularly, cheated toward offense and mostly got pushed and pushed around. After the teams traded long shots and the Blues started to pressure the Wings to the point that they started making mistakes with the puck, Niklas Kronwall fired a puck toward center, missed the forward he was aiming for and witnessed a worst-case scenario happen as his defensive partner, Jonathan Ericsson, and the Wings’ forwards piled off the ice, and when faced with a three-on-one, Kronwall had to play the shooter. As such, Chris Porter chipped the turnover to B.J. Crombeen, he roared in on Kronwall and Jimmy Howard, Porter charged the net and Scott Nichol made himself available to deposit Crombeen’s cross-slot pass past Howard.

The Wings slowly but surely steadied themselves afterward, starting to skate harder and starting to at least avoid the Blues’ while standing their ground, and after attempting to nurse the game to the first intermission, Brad Stuart very cleanly hammered Alex Pietrangelo at the Wings’ blueline, and Chris Stewart skated off the Blues’ bench and made a beeline for Stuart, instigating a fight and bloodying and dumping Stuart before the Wings’ defenseman came back at him.

Stewart received an instigator penalty for his efforts, and while the Wings couldn’t capitalize on the first 21 seconds of their power play, the Wings were able to regroup in the first intermission, probably getting chewed out by Mike Babcock in the process, and the Wings came out in the second period ready to play.

Fifty-one seconds into the second period, Henrik Zetterberg mucked the puck around to Datsyuk, Datsyuk passed the puck back to Nicklas Lidstrom and made himself available for a return pass, and with Tomas Holmstrom in front, Datsyuk deked past Piterangelo, went to his backhand and roofed the puck past Halak [edit/update: that’s why players who use heel curves love ‘em: the flat toe means you can really roof a backhand shot!]. A minute into the second, it was 1-1 and the game was on.

 

 

The Wings plain old out-skated and out-hustled the Blues for most of the first half of the second period, with the Miller-Helm-Cleary line and Emmerton-Abdelkader-Emmerton lines doing yeoman’s work of getting the puck in deep and allowing the Blues to take it on occasion so that they could establish a physical forecheck of their own, mucking and grinding the puck down low and starting to push the Blues’ defensemen off the toes of their skates by absorbing hacks, whacks and cross-checks to carve out territory in the opposing team’s end.

A little under nine minutes into a second period all but devoid of penalties (and the usual mid-season fade in terms of enforcing obstruction, horizontal stick fouls excluded, helped the Wings’ opponent), Todd Bertuzzi worked the puck back to Jonathan Ericsson and he fired a point shot which landed pretty darn close to Johan Franzen, who dumped a Blues defenseman himself and deposited a backhander past Halak’s left toe.

The Wings couldn’t capitalize on the penalty resulting from Jamie Langenbrunner’s attempt to give Ian White’s stick to a fan as a souvenir by hacking it out of White’s hands, and the Blues came back at Howard and the Wings with a vengeance at times, utilizing their speed, skill and Backes, Oshie, Perron and their strong forwards’ skill to press the Wings’ defense and force Howard to make some brilliant saves—just as Jaroslav Halak did on an unlikely aggressor in Mike Commodore—but he wouldn’t bend and the Wings refused to break as their push-back lasted throughout the second period.

In the third, the Blues continued their attack on Howard and their physical assault upon the Wings’ puck-possessors, pushing, shoving and grinding their way into the Wings’ end and capitalizing on the Wings’ inability to clear the zone, testing Howard and pushing very hard to tie the game, but whether Todd Bertuzzi was attempting a little instigating of his own between plays, Johan Franzen was smartly taking faceoffs for Datsyuk for both leverage’s sake and because Datsyuk may or may not have been hacked on the wrist early in the game, the Zetterberg line overcame Jiri Hudler’s bad stick bounces all night long thanks to superb skating and hit-taking play from Valtteri Filppula, and when the Wings were pressured in their own zone, Mike Commodore was very, very solid, gaffe aside, Ericsson played very well, allowing the Wings to use some size of their own to counteract the Blues’ heavies, and Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart were equal parts physical and brilliant in pinching smartly to aid the Wings’ offense, Ian White skated strongly and Nicklas Lidstrom’s stick and positioning generally ruled the day in battles for puck possession.

The Wings started to surge in the second half of the third and really started to bang bodies with as much gusto as the Blues did, and Barret Jackman and Carlo Colaiacovo in particular didn’t take kindly to Holmstrom, Helm, Abdelkader and Miller’s bumps and bristles. After David Backes took an ill-timed roughing penalty, Colaiacovo grabbed Darren Helm and wouldn’t let go after the two had tangled in the corner, and the Wings nearly scored because Colaiacovo didn’t realize that the play was still underway until the Wings had pulled Howard for an extra attacker.

On the resulting power play, with 39-year-old birthday boy Tomas Holmstrom parked in front of a superb Jaroslav Halak, Lidstrom gave the puck to Kronwall and he blasted a shot through Tomas Holmstrom’s legs and over Halak’s shoulder.

That goal barely fazed the Blues’ forwards, and as such Jimmy Howard faced some spectacular scoring chances against in the game’s final minutes, but the Wings stood firm, and when Pietrangelo, Backes (who fell past Howard in the second period to avoid a collision, with the Blues reacting predictably by piling into attempt to stir s*** with the Wings for a hit that didn’t happen) and Berglund crashed Howard at the same time, and when Pietrangelo punched Howard as he held a rebound, Howard did what Howard does—he came up swinging. 

Update: Here’s Howard doing his job:

 

He, Backes and Pietrangelo all took roughing penalties, and with 2 seconds left in the game, the Wings took preventative measures on the final play, icing a line of Bertuzzi between Helm and Cleary and Commodore and Ericsson rode shotgun on defense. Nothing happened and the Wings celebrated their 17th straight home win and a 3-point lead on the Blues in what truly was a playoff game in January.

Sometimes you’ve gotta stand up against a bullying team that can’t take what it gives, and the Wings did a fine job of refusing to allow St. Louis to make a statement that the Wings aren’t tough enough to weather a heavy assault by bigger, stronger and meaner teams. Instead, the Wings let the rest of the NHL know that even if it takes a while for them to adjust, they can and do hold their own when called upon to “answer the bell.”

The Wings only have one game to go to wrap up their 11-games-in-19-nights slate, and it’s on Wednesday in Montreal. Here’s hoping that the Wings end their pre-All-Star break schedule on another winning note. wink

Here’s a slate of game highlights:

 

I don’t know if I’m gonna be well enough to do a wrap-up overnight, but I will do my best to at least post some links in the morning. Fatigue and bugs brought back home by the mom from the nursing home where she works (thank goodness she’s working less, because I don’t get sick as often) took their toll, and when you’re too sick to frickin’ blog, that tells you something.

Update: Here’s Niklas Kronwall talking to NHL Tonight:

 

Update #2: Here are post-game comments from Howard and the Wings:

 

Update #2.5: I don’t necessarily agree with Billy Jaffe too often, but he’s right about the Wings’ push-back:

 

Update #3: Brad Stuart’s interview with Pierre McGuire didn’t make the highlight reels but it’s here:

 

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Here’s Niklas Kronwall speaking to the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell, too:

 

Statistics:

Shots 28-22 Detroit overall. The Red Wings and Blues tied 8-8 in the 1st period; the Wings out-shot St. Louis 10-7 in both the 2nd and 3rd periods.

The Wings’ power play went 2 for 5 in 5:46 of PP time; the Blues went 0 for 1 in 2:00 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 21 of 22 shots he faced; Jaroslav Halak stopped 25 of 28.

The 3 stars, per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, were Jimmy Howard, Jaroslav Halak and Pavel Datsyuk.

The Wings’ goals: Datsyuk (14) from Lidstrom (17) and Zetterberg (26), PPG;

Franzen (19) from Ericsson (8) and Bertuzzi (15);

Kronwall (11) from Lidstrom (18) and Datsyuk (39), PPG.

Faceoffs 26-15 Detroit (the Wings won 63%);

Blocked shots 13-10 St. Louis;

Missed shots 13-9 Detroit (total attempts 54-41 Detroit);

Hits 31-29 St. Louis;

Giveaways 7-2 Detroit;

Takeaways 8-1 Detroit.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

SYF's avatar

I have never EVER seen a Babcock-coached Wings team resort to the pitiful shit done by the B’Lose in the 7-1 loss to the Caps nor in the 5-1 loss to the Isles.

If anything, I think it awakens the slumber out of the Wings collective boots.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 01/24/12 at 12:44 AM ET

Primis's avatar

This game was a reminder to STL that the late season and playoffs are a whole different universe and gear, and that all the mid-season accolades in the world can’t give them any postseason hope.

Blues don’t have the will, the character, or the gonads.  Plain and simple.  You hit the Blues back, and they fold…

Drew Miller was brilliant again tonight.  Still the most underrated guy on the team.  He ain’t a big guy, and he played like one tonight…

It’s nice to see the Wings have this in them.  Maybe they’re just saving it for the springtime…

Posted by Primis on 01/24/12 at 12:56 AM ET

bobinnocal's avatar

and the usual mid-season fade in terms of enforcing obstruction
I’ve noticed the same thing in so many games recently, and not just the Wings games.  Why oh why do they keep doing this?  IMHO this leads to frustration and more violence in games.  The players don’t know how they are going to call obstruction anymore so many take liberties with other questionable tactics.  How often have you ever seen a St Louis player called for charging?  Another rule grossly overlooked.

Posted by bobinnocal on 01/24/12 at 12:58 AM ET

Wings_Fan_In_KC's avatar

Blows are gutless chickenshits.  I was really hoping Bert would just forget the face off and just level whoever had the misfortune of standing across from him.

Alas, it was not to be since the Blows shit themselves after seeing 64, 44 and 52 out there ready.

Posted by Wings_Fan_In_KC from ...somewhere southwest of The Motor City... on 01/24/12 at 12:59 AM ET

Wings_Fan_In_KC's avatar

Oops!  Not 64….....22.

LOL

Posted by Wings_Fan_In_KC from ...somewhere southwest of The Motor City... on 01/24/12 at 01:00 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

George, I need video of Jimmy’s I’m having none of it speech.  Its pure gold.  Help me out!

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/24/12 at 01:02 AM ET

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Rest, George, rest. This was plenty for now. We’ll celebrate while you sleep. I can’t wait to see how they fare against the Flyers and Rangers later, Canucks sooner, because it looks like the Wings have as good of a chance as any team now. If they keep this up, there will be less pressure to get someone at the trade deadline (not that the Wings couldn’t upgrade).

Posted by Bugsy on 01/24/12 at 01:11 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I found Jimmy’s post-game comments. When NBC Sports posts his interview with McGuire, I will post it, or I will have Paul post it.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/24/12 at 01:19 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

And if the Wings attempted to contest every Blues hard, clean, and/or borderline “enthusiastic” hit as Chris Stewart did on Brad Stuart, there would have been no game. It would have been a succession of fights.

Sometimes I wish the Wings did that kind of thing more often, but I really prefer watching hockey and watching high-skill plays. I’m glad that the Wings play harder between the whistles than they do after ‘em.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/24/12 at 01:21 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Thanks George.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/24/12 at 01:29 AM ET

bobinnocal's avatar

Sometimes I wish the Wings did that kind of thing more often, but I really prefer watching hockey and watching high-skill plays

I grew up in Detroit until I was 10 then moved West.  Watched a series of games on ESPN in mid-80’s between Russian players and NHL All-Stars.  I feel in love with the high skill play of the Russians.  I then started watching all Detroit games on ESPN at that time.  With CI I can now watch all the Wings games and I, like you George and many others, prefer watching hockey with this type of play.  I know others enjoy a more brutal style of play and that’s their choice.

. I’m glad that the Wings play harder between the whistles than they do after ‘em.

Exactly what Babcock has said and wishes also.  Even Milbury made a post-game comment tonight to that effect.

I’m lucky to be a Red Wings fan!!!

Posted by bobinnocal on 01/24/12 at 01:58 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’ve learned that while a good scrap or five gets ‘em in the stands, the kind of stuff the Wings do on a nightly basis keeps ‘em there and keeps you watching away games.

I can imagine that the Blues are fun to watch if you’re a Blues fan, but that trap-trap-trap hockey makes the left wing lock look incredibly aggressive. The Wings can crank up their game to a point that even the Blues can’t match their intensity, and there’s something to be said for that. We just need to see it a little more consistently.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/24/12 at 04:31 AM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

Sometimes I wish the Wings did that kind of thing more often, but I really prefer watching hockey and watching high-skill plays. I’m glad that the Wings play harder between the whistles than they do after ‘em.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/23/12 at 11:21 PM ET

^ This

I don’t think fighting has to be banned, but I turn on the TV to watch hockey, not boxing. 

If the Wings ever figure out how to “start on time” the rest league is in trouble. 

Also, if anyone finds video of Babcock smiling on the bench please post it!

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/24/12 at 11:57 AM ET

Avatar

If the Wings ever figure out how to “start on time” the rest league is in trouble. 

I predict this will happen some time around April 7th or 8th…

Posted by Garth on 01/24/12 at 01:14 PM ET

bdos's avatar

It was a great game to watch last night, and a great recap like always from George. Keep it up!

Posted by bdos from Columbus, OH on 01/24/12 at 01:55 PM ET

SYF's avatar

April 4th is the last meeting between the Wings and the B’Lose.  Fingers crossed that the Wings are healthy and will have wrapped up the Central by then and getting ready for the playoffs.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 01/24/12 at 03:56 PM ET

Avatar

The top contenders with the most favorable schedules left as of this moment:
            Home/Road games played so far
Detroit         23/26
Rangers       22/25
Flyers           23/25
Vancouver     22/26
(Penguins     23/26)

The other top teams as of now have an even split or more home games played.

Posted by Bugsy on 01/25/12 at 12:43 AM ET

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While George is healing, anyone want to collect links in the meantime? It’s almost impossible for one person to do what George does. I’ll start with this link, talking about how the Vancouver Canucks are trying to get away from the “culture of distraction” according to Mark Spector (Sportsnet), and become more like,.... Detroit:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2012/01/25/spec_confidence/

“Then we spoke to captain Henrik Sedin about the culture of distraction - the diving, the chirping, the biting - that had hitched itself to the Canucks ride last year. And he, too, told us something we never expected to hear.

“I think it needs to (change),” Henrik said, for the first time in our recollection, anyhow. “I think we’ve grown as a team, and it needs to change. If I would be a referee, and I would see guys do that kind of stuff…

“I get back to Detroit,” Henrik concluded. “They’re a good team, they’re always there, and they don’t need to have players doing that kind of stuff.”“

Posted by Bugsy on 01/25/12 at 08:22 PM ET

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Wee sensitive Wings fan ranting to Pierre LeBrun at ESPN about the R word (even if the fan doesn’t actually say the word “respect”):

http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/13999/rant-answers-shanahan-wings-and-more

bjams: What’s irking me is how you and Burnside can continually ignore the rise of the Red Winged Wheel to the top of the NHL standings. They have the most points, and have been one of the stingiest defenses in the NHL and have a goaltender who has been standing on his head and still ... STILL you give them no love. Seriously? Two or three teams ahead of them in this week’s power rankings?? Then they pick up the rough play to make the Blues go away rather quietly in a 3-1 win and continue to hold on to the top and have one of the longest home win streaks in the history of the NHL…SERIOUSLY??? Give them some LOVE already!!!

My take: We’ve been on the Wings forever for being the model franchise in this league. There are few GMs I talk to more than Ken Holland—whom I consider the best in the business. I can go on and on ... take your fan glasses off for a second and smell the roses!

Posted by Bugsy on 01/25/12 at 08:27 PM ET

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The Canadian Press article from BIll Beacon about Nicklas Lidstrom, including his deserved rest from the All Star Game:

http://www.globaltoronto.com/sports/babcock+says+wings+captain+lidstrom+has+earned+right+to+skip+all-star+game/6442567047/story.html

Mike Babcock:
“At 41 years of age and with seven Norris trophies and going to the all-star game every year, I think if (Lidstrom) needs four days off, the National Hockey League respects that,” Babcock said Wednesday as the Red Wings prepared to face the Montreal Canadiens in the only game scheduled on the final night before the break.

“There was no fooling around. It was done up front. He deserves the time off.”

snip

Datsyuk, along with Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, was named to the team and said he’s looking forward to it, even if the 33-year-old admits that, as a rule “it’s better to have a vacation a few days and not play. We have a lot of travel.”

snip

The Red Wings’ concern is to convince him to continue playing beyond this season.

General manager Ken Holland said recently he wouldn’t hesitate to sign him to a two or three year contract, but after talking over his future with his family the last two summers Lidstrom has signed only one-year deals, each at the bargain price of US$6.2 million.

Babcock is optimistic he will play again in 2012-13.

“I would think (he will) if he’s good and the team’s good,” said Babcock. “Nick’s not going to play on a bad team and why would he?

“If his game falls off I don’t think he’ll play either. But he likes it, he enjoys the day in, day out routine of the league. He seems to be having lots of fun. If he plays well and we play well I think he’ll be back.”

Centre Henrik Zetterberg said the whole team holds it’s breath each summer waiting for Lidstrom to announce he will return.

“We hope he can play for many more years,” said Zetterberg. “This summer was a nervous time for all of us.

“He waited a long time before he made his decision to play again. Hopefully he’ll make a quicker decision this summer and decide to come back and play another year. It all comes down to him and his family and how he feels and how his body feels and whether he’s healthy enough to play another year. He works hard off the ice and that’s one reason he can still play at the top level.”

snip

“It’s going to be different for sure when he leaves,” said Zetterberg. “We would have to pick it up and players would have to step in, but it’s tough for one player to do that. All the guys have to chip in when he leaves and try to fill his spot.

“It is amazing the way he still plays at 41. I think Gordie (Howe) played until he was 50. Hopefully he can go like that.”

Pro Hockey Talk helps in finding some of the above, including the Detroit Free Press link that Lidstrom’s out tonight with tflu-like symptoms—get well/get rest, Nick

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/25/babcock-on-lidstrom-skipping-all-star-game-there-was-no-fooling-around-it-was-done-up-front/

http://www.freep.com/article/20120125/SPORTS05/120125031/Wings-Lidstrom-flu-game-time-decision-vs-Habs

Posted by Bugsy on 01/25/12 at 08:36 PM ET

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One more: Adrian Dater’s Power Rankings for Sports Illustrated, with the Wings up top:

http://www.cnnsi.com/2012/writers/adrian_dater/01/24/power.rankings/index.html

“Get those Motor City references warmed up. We have a new team at the top of our latest Power Rankings. It’s certainly one that’s familiar with being No. 1. The Detroit Red Wings, what a story they are, when you think about it. Really, they’ve been excellent for nearly 20 straight years, and they’re a lock to get 100 points for an incredible 12th straight season—which would extend their own NHL record. There are some skeptics who doubt these Wings are any better than the team that has bowed out in the second round of the playoffs against San Jose the last two years. For now, Detroit is the best in the league again. We’ll see what happens this spring.”

snip

“NHL Power Rankings
1   Detroit Red Wings
Last Week: 2
 
Detroit Red Wings (33-15-1)
I knew these guys would eventually top these rankings again. You did too. Admit it. They outclassed the Blues on Monday, making it 17 straight home wins and three in a row overall against St. Louis. About the only thing Wings haters can look to for solace right now is their road record (13-13-0). Otherwise, it’s just business as usual in Hockeytown—which means lots of winning. Last week: 4-0-0”


and Ted Kulfan’s quotebag last night previewing going into the special city of Montreal:

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120124/SPORTS0103/201240424/Red-Wings-expect-passionate-atmosphere-Montreal

Jiri Hudler spent a portion of last summer in Montreal, getting in some conditioning work.

That time gave Hudler an opportunity to see the passion Canadiens fans have for their team — and hockey.

Even during the dog days of summer.

“Everyone was talking hockey,” Hudler said. “There’s a lot of attention to hockey there. It’s in the newspapers, on the television, pretty much everybody you meet there is a Canadiens fan.”

snip

“I love to go there,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who played college hockey at McGill University in Montreal. “I have a lot of friends there. I enjoyed living there. It’s a great, great city.

“We’d like to go into the break on a positive note. Playing in a great environment, an Original Six city, there’s going to be a lot of energy in the building.”

Justin Abdelkader remembers when Detroit played a September exhibition in Montreal last season.

It was then he realized the Montreal market was different from others around the NHL.

“We’re playing a preseason game and it had a little bit of playoff atmosphere to it,” Abdelkader said. “The arena was packed. It’s always a fun place as a player to go and play. The crowd is always into it.”

That, however, might not be as big a case this season.

Montreal is 11th in the Eastern Conference with 45 points (18-21-9), eight points from the final playoff spot.

snip

“It’s a special place,” Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “Montreal is awesome, one of the best places to play no doubt. What a great building to play in.

“You can almost touch (the history).”

Posted by Bugsy on 01/25/12 at 08:41 PM ET

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One last snippet, just because I want to repost it, re: George’s link to the player poll and the other categories with Wings in it that he was probably too tired to put in:

http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/01/22/qmi-agency-nhl-player-poll

• And finally, I’ll leave you with a snippet from the QMI News Agency’s NHL player poll, via the Ottawa Sun’s Tim Baines, as I prepare to collapse after almost 30 hours going on about 3 hours of sleep:

  BEST PUCKHANDLER

  1. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit

  2. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

  3. Patrick Kane, Chicago

  Honourable mention: Jordan Eberle, Edmonton; Claude Giroux, Philadelphia

  “Pavel Datsyuk is so dynamic that you could put him with anybody and he’s going to make something happen. I think he would be a 100-point guy on any other team. On (the Red Wings), he passes the puck and does other things. His defensive play is just as good as his offensive play. He’s incredible. If he were told to just go play offence, he’d have 150 points.” - Eastern Conference player

  BEST PASSER

  1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

  2. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver

  3. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit

  Honourable mention: Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit, Joe Thornton, San Jose
  ...
  NICEST GUY

  1. Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit

Other Red Wings in the player poll:
The player poll had Jimmy Howard as an honorable mention for goalies:

BEST GOALIE

1. Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers.

2. Tim Thomas, Boston.

3. Pekka Rinne, Nashville.

Honourable mention: Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh; Jimmy Howard, Detroit; Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary


and Niklas Kronwall for hardest hitter:

HARDEST HITTER

1. Cal Clutterbuck, Minnesota.

2. Dion Phaneuf, Toronto.

3. Milan Lucic, Boston; Doug Murray, San Jose (tie).

Honourable mention: Nicklas Kronwall (Detroit)


and Darren Helm for best skater:

BEST SKATER

1. Marian Gaborik, NY Rangers.

2. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh.

3. Michael Grabner, NY Isles.

Honourable mention: Darren Helm, Detroit; Jay Bouwmeester, Calgary


and Datsyuk for #3 in player to build around:

PLAYER TO BUILD AROUND

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh.

2. Jonathan Toews, Chicago.

3. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit.

Honourable mention: (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton; Taylor Hall, Edmonton; John Tavares, NY Islanders; Steven Stamkos, Tampa)

No honorable mentions for best jersey, and Detroit didn’t finish in the top 3 (nor Abdelkader in best fighter—kidding).

Thanks, George

Posted by Bugsy on 01/25/12 at 09:06 PM ET

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Sat, Oct 22     @  Washington   7-1
Tue, Oct 25     @  Columbus     4-1
Fri, Oct 28     vs   San Jose     4-2
Sat, Oct 29     @  Minnesota     1-0
Tue, Nov 1     vs   Minnesota     2-1 OT
Thu, Nov 3     vs   Calgary         4-1
Tue, Nov 15     @  St. Louis       2-1
Thu, Nov 17     @  San Jose       5-2
Sun, Dec 4     @  Colorado       4-2
Tue, Dec 6     @  St. Louis       3-2
Thu, Dec 15     @  Nashville       4-3
Wed, Dec 21     @  Vancouver     4-2
Fri, Dec 30     @  Chicago       3-2
Sat, Jan 7     @  Toronto         4-3
Tue, Jan 10     @  NY Islanders   5-1
Wed, Jan 25   @  Montreal       7-2

Two 7 goal stinkers, 2 five goal losses. Only twice did the Wings score more than 2 and lose (Nashville, Toronto both 4-3).  The losses that hurt: Montreal, Columbus, Islanders. 2 losses so far to San Jose, Minnesota, and St. Louis.

Posted by Bugsy on 01/26/12 at 12:18 AM ET

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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.