The Malik Report
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
As such, there is often a slant toward the referees judging in favor of the goalkeeper whenever contact is made. In regard to the three goalie interference penalties that have been imposed against Tampa, my evaluation has the referees bang on the mark in two out of the three. Jason does bring forward a valuable "heads-up" for the referees that will work the balance of this series concerning the actions of Wings goalie Petr Mrazek.
Let me review the goalie interference infractions that have been identified and assessed by the referees to this point in the series. In Game 1, the first goalie interference penalty was assessed at 19:28 of first period (score 1-1) to Anton Stralman of the Lightning. Stralman was trailing a Tampa rush and received a pass in the high slot with a direct path to the net. Mrazek exited his crease to cut down the angle and challenge the shooter with an ultimate position a good three feet outside of his blue paint. Stralman took a shot from the inside faceoff circle hash mark and within close range to Mrazek. The shot was easily gobbled up by the Detroit goalkeeper.
Stralman then attempted a full stop in front of Mrazek. Fearful that his momentum would carry him into Mrazek, the Tampa player did everything humanly possible to avoid contact with the goalie, including a one-leg-Flamingo move in an effort to slip past the goalie. Contact likely would have been greatly minimized or perhaps avoided completely had Mrazek not leaned his head and body into Stralman, as opposed to holding his position or leaning away from any impending contact.
While the broadcast commentators saw it as an obvious goalie interference infraction, I saw the play completely different at the time. I regarded Mrazek's actions as a deliberate effort to draw the foul through embellishment.
Updated 10x at 6:07 PM: The Red Wings "held an optional" on Wednesday, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness took note of Mike Babcock's post-practice comments. Among them:
Q: The team was inconsistent down the stretch, how do you stop that from carrying over now?
Babcock: There’s two parts to that. Our part is we have to get prepared and ready to go and understand that Tampa is going to do their part too so the game has to be better. Each game of the series you have to get better to have success. We put ourselves in a good situation. We don’t want to give the situation back which mean our preparation has to be equal to their preparation today and tomorrow so we’re ready to go so that’s what our focus is.
Q: In the Wings’ two wins, Tampa Bay has been 0-for-13 on the power play.
Babcock: We’re on the penalty kill way too much, got to stay out of the box, that’s crazy. To give up a 5-on-3, it’s tough when you shoot it over the class or whatever we did. That 5-on-3 the posts were really kind to us. They made a real play to (Tyler) Johnson, that was tough to handle, but we have good penalty killers. We’ve had good penalty killers. We got off to a great start this year, we struggled in net for a while there, but we seem to have our penalty killing back. To test it each night with six or seven is crazy, three would be enough.
Babcock also discussed Pavel Datsyuk's contributions at length, and in the multimedia department:
Updated 10x at 1:48 PM: The Red Wings didn't hit the ice for their practice subsequent to Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning until noon, and in the interim, WDAE 620 AM held an interview that I'll most certainly post when it "hits the wires"...
NHL on NBC's Keith Jones on now. Says the Red Wings' getting back Abdelkader really caused the Bolts problems.
Jones adds that the Wings were better, and more physical. "The Lightning are going to have to regroup here in a hurry"
Jones: "Tampa's a better team. It would be a shame if they lost this series"
Among this morning's Red Wings-Bolts tailings:
MLive's Brendan Savage discussed Justin Abdelkader's literal and figurative impacts upon Game 3...
"He was huge for us," said Tomas Tatar, who assisted on Pavel Datsyuk's goal to open the scoring. "Abby is your typical guy for the playoffs. He's strong. He's good on the puck. He's finishing a check. We're really happy to have him back. Obviously, he's a good playoff guy. We need this kind of guy in our lineup. He was huge for us today. Abby is great for us. He has the big size, finishing the checks, he's good around the net. Obviously, that's a great body to have in the lineup."
As did Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus...
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
It’s a calm that’s been passed down, a poise the youngest Red Wings are absorbing. It doesn’t matter if they’re facing a Lightning team that was a popular pick to come out of the Eastern Conference, one loaded with offensive talent including one of the best pure goal scorers on the planet in Steven Stamkos.
It doesn’t matter that there’s an inexperienced goalie or that the Lightning looked like they were going to run Detroit out of the building at times at Tampa Bay.
The veterans on the Red Wings know how the postseason works. Get home. Make adjustments. Get the matchups you want and, especially when you can add an important player like Justin Abdelkader back in the lineup, things will turn.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was prescient in his Tuesday morning observation that he felt his team had more to give. On Tuesday night, we got to see what it looked like when they gave it.
Detroit’s 3-0 win in Game 3 was a near-perfect performance by the Red Wings, who capitalized on every advantage that came with the series shifting back to Detroit. Their 23-year-old goalie, Petr Mrazek, stopped all 22 shots he faced, including a Brian Boyle breakaway in the third period that would have cut a two-goal lead in half.
Among the things that didn't fit in the recap:
- First and foremost, I didn't post the press release as the game was underway, but Pavel Datsyuk did indeed earn yet another Lady Byng nomination, and he'll be battling Anze Kopitar and Jiri Hudler to take home his fifth Byng as the league's most gentlemanly player;
- On the other side of the Atlantic, Axel Holmstrom registered an assist but Skelleftea AIK lost 4-2 to the Vaxjo Lakers, and the SHL's defending champs now trail the SHL final 3 games to 2;
- Back over on this side of the pond, as the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar reported, construction began IMMEDIATELY after Detroit's City Council approved Olympia Development's proposal to tear down one historic hotel and restore another as part of the rezoning of the arena district, and WXYZ did a better job of summarizing the nuances than I could:
- And in the FYI department, from the Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson:
The start time for Game 5 may be announced on Wednesday. Though Sportsnet had as 7 p.m. start on its broadcast schedule, that is not official. Either a 3 p.m. or 8 p.m. start time is expected with the game likely being broadcast on NBC.
As I said in the quick take, I didn't think that the Red Wings were exactly dominant in authoring a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, but I thought that, perhaps for the first time in a month, the Wings played demonstratively, displaying poise, aggressiveness and perhaps a little bit of swagger while informing the Lightning and the rest of the hockey world that Detroit won't be an "easy out" this spring.
The Wings got their share of goalpost luck (exchanging them pretty evenly with the Bolts), and there were times that the Wings most certainly bowed and bent, but when they did, Petr Mrazek was there, and when you combine clutch goaltending with strong special teams play (albeit far too much time on the penalty-kill) and timely scoring, you're going to earn that all-important Game 3-in-a-tied-series win.
Just as delightfully, I can tell you that the Tampa Bay Lightning had to work very hard to contain their frustration while speaking with the Bolts' scribes, and given their ability to drive the Wings utterly batty during both the regular season and playoffs, it's nice to find the skate on the other foot.
This is most definitely different, via RedWingsFeed: NHL.com got access to the Wings' locker room to show the Red Wings betstowing the team "shovel" to their most valuable player(s) from Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning:
The Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning played for one objective on Tuesday night; they played for control of their first-round series, and given that 2/3rds of Game 3 winners in a tied series advance to the next round, the Wings and Lightning had more than enough motivation to earn a big "W."
The Red Wings didn't necessarily play dominant hockey, and while the Wings won 3-0--getting balanced goal-scoring, a remarkably stout set of penalty-killing work by the Glendenings and Millers and Anderssons and Helms, fantastic goaltending from Petr Mrazek--this really felt more like an even-up, if not an announcement that THESE Wings are finally READY for prime time, than a series-killer.
That's just fine and dandy. Series-killing games don't have to feel like they were easy. They have to feel like wins, and Detroit demonstratively showed Tampa Bay that, put simply, it ain't gonna take five games to take out this Wings team. Detroit is in charge now, and now the Wings have to work on building their lead come Thursday.
via the Detroit Red Wings,
The opening video played In-Arena for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena.
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