The Malik Report
The Red Wings' 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks was an exercise in disappointment, from the Ducks' tying goal 7-and-a-half minutes into the 1st period onward, and the frustrating loss dropped the Wings to 1-5-and-2 in the Wings' past 8 games at Joe Louis Arena.
At 11-10-and-5 at home, the Red Wings have some serious concerns going forward, but that would be true of the team even if it had a solid home record.
The Wings' power play is shaky, it's not getting enough scoring from the blueline, or secondary scoring from its forwards, its back-up goaltender looks painfully uncomfortable in his role, and aside from that lovely little 5-for-6 stretch on the road, the Wings can't seem to string enough wins together to truly generate separation from the rest of the pack in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.
With an 8-day All-Star Break on tap after Monday's game against the Islanders, the Wings look like a team that needs to take a vacation and then come back and sort out its personnel and all their respective issues over the remainder of the regular season.
On Saturday, the Ducks, whose playoff fate is even less certain, looked like a team for whom things are coming together, and that's certainly true in terms of their post-game comments to AnaheimDucks.com's Kyle Shohara:
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins fired 42 shots on Rochester Americans goaltender Nathan Lieuwen, but they lost 2-0 to the Amerks, dropping the home-and-still-at-home series against Rochester. The Griffins' website posted a recap...
The Red Wings battled the Anaheim Ducks on the back half of a back-to-back set of games, having defeated the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, but mental or physical fatigue from hard travel is no excuse when you've come all the way home from Buffalo.
With an ugly 11-9-and-5 home record, the Wings needed to make hay in their final home game until February, while the Ducks hoped to build upon a 3-game winning streak at the Joe.
Despite scoring the game's first goal, and despite some fine goaltending from Howard--last goal against excluded--the Red Wings laid an absolute egg at home, working their asses off to be beaten 4-3 by the Ducks.
On a night when the referees were atrocious on both sides and both sides created atrocious offenses, the Wings did rally late to give the fans some hope, but the mistakes the Wings made so very regularly were shocking at times, Howard did give up some squeakers, and Detroit's lost 2 of 3 now and have lost 5 straight at the Joe.
That's completely unacceptable, and who knows whether the Wings will end up getting to Brooklyn to play the Islanders on Monday.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. Here's the Wings' Game-Day Preview video ahead of tonight's game against Anaheim:
2. MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill about his decision to start Jimmy Howard this evening:
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Top rookie Dylan Larkin remains in the Calder Trophy discussion after scoring his 15th goal of the season against Buffalo. Larkin’s 32 points are second among first-year players to Chicago’s Artemi Panarin, who has 45.
"He’s a really good young player," Boudreau said. "There’s no doubt about it. He’s extremely quick. [Our defense has] faced quick players before. Whether he needs it or not, he won’t get too much special attention.
"But that line is their best line. We wil make sure that we try to get our best defensive line out against them."
more on the Wings and Ducks plus Stephens says Howard is starting for Detroit...
FYI: If you go to tonight's Red Wings-Ducks game, the Wings are accepting non-perishable food items and cash donations to benefit Gleaners Food Bank:
Updated 4x at 2:32 PM:
The Red Wings face the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena this evening (7 PM EST start on FSD/FS SD/Prime/City TV/97.1 FM), and the Wings didn't hold a morning skate due to the back-to-back game slate.
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose "dropped some knowledge"...
On this day in 1944, the #RedWings beat the @NYRangers, 15-0, which remains the most-lopsided game in @NHL history.
Last night's 3-0 win at First Niagara Center was the first time the #RedWings claimed a shutout victory in Buffalo in 63 all-time games.
And the Free Press's Helene St. James filed a game-day preview:
From Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman:
And the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Ditto for MLive's Ansar Khan...
Here are a few "morning after" videos subsequent to the Red Wings' 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night:
1. AWood40 posted a set of annotated highlights:
2. Via RedWingsFeed, the Red Wings posted clips of post-game comments from Dylan Larkin...
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
The Red Wings had 18 of their 45 shots in the third period, when Larkin snapped a scoreless tie less than five minutes after getting whacked in the face by the stick of Buffalo's Marcus Foligno.
Detroit couldn't score on the four-minute power play but Larkin finally connected for his 15th goal of the season – and as it turned out, team-leading fifth game winner – with 7:59 to play.
But he made an even better play to set up the insurance goal, threading a pass between three Buffalo defenders to captain Henrik Zetterberg, who was crashing the net on the other side of the ice.
Zetterberg made it 2-0 with 2:51 left before Luke Glendening's empty netter ended the scoring.
"I think everyone in the rink saw it but the five Sabres guys on the ice," Larkin said. "I saw him coming back. It was a great play. It wouldn't be a great play if the finish wasn't there so it was great patience by him."
Mrazek made 19 saves while recording his eighth career shutout as the Red Wings' snapped a two-game losing streak after being held to one goal in both of those losses.
"I thought Petr was real good," coach Jeff Blashill told DetroitRedWings.com. "The one thing with the lack of scoring is we really can't afford any mistakes and a game like that where I thought we were carrying large parts of the play, if a goalie makes a mistake, then the momentum switches big time.
Watch the extended game highlights below...
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.