The Malik Report
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Many factors are contributing to their offensive issues, but coach Jeff Blashill said it starts with getting the puck on the net.
"Probably the No. 1 thing is hitting the net. We got to hit the net way more," Blashill said Sunday, after practice at Canadian Tire Centre. "We had lots of opportunities. We had 18 misses last night (in a 3-1 loss at Boston). If I went back to the previous games, those were in the high teens as well. You can't miss the net that much and expect to produce the offense you want to produce."
The Red Wings rank 19th in the league in missed shots (187). Tampa Bay is first with 256.
"We've had tons of chances to put the puck on net where we missed the net instead," forward Gustav Nyquist said. "We don't generate enough second and third chances because of that, because there's no rebound because it's off the glass or off the boards. We just got to keep grinding here and hopefully we'll get a game where some shots will go in and we can start feeling better about our offense."
The Red Wings ranked first in the NHL in shots per game in 2008-09 (36.2). Since then they've ranked second, second, fifth, tenth, 15th and 18th last season at 29.6 shots per game.
via Bill Roose tweets,
The #RedWings are practicing under the direction of the assistant coaches this afternoon in Ottawa.
Kronwall, Smith, Zetterberg, Green not on the ice. Pulkkinen (sore), Ferraro (knee) and Richards (back) are practicing with the #RedWings.
Landon Ferraro (knee) skated with the #RedWings for first time. Says he's ahead of schedule, hopes to be well enough to return next week.
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Pulkkinen said he had a sore neck. Skated today and said he feels ready. Blashill will wait until tomorrow to decide lineup up front.
Blashill said he'll reveal his starting goalie for tomorrow's game in Ottawa in the morning.
Blashill said Smith has even sick all week and got worse last night. Didn't skate today and won't play tomorrow so no changes on defense.
Zetterberg. Kronwall and Green didn't practice today but Blashill said everyone who played last night is available tomorrow.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
They need to get on the inside more often and make life more difficult for opposing goaltenders.
"You got to try to get in front of the goalie, get a stick on a puck, get those second and third chances," Justin Abdelkader said. "They're not just going to let you go in front of the net. They're going to be boxing you out. It's those one-on-one battles that you got to dig down and win."...
Henrik Zetterberg said they need to play with a little more grit.
"You've just got to bear down even more," Zetterberg said. "Get on the inside, get pucks to the net. Do a lot of the little things right."
Said Riley Sheahan: "You've got to be willing to get cross-checked and battle in front of the net.
"I think just from the get-go we've got to get the puck deep rather than try to make cute plays through the neutral zone. We've just got to get puck in deep, cycle around, throw some pucks at the net and then make plays from there."
The Red Wings' 3-1 loss against the Boston Bruins may have been what Jeff Blashill simply described to John Keating--a case of "not being good enough"--and that seems to be the case more and more regularly as the 8-8-and-1 Wings proceed deeper into the regular season.
The Wings have become something of a mess on ice, unable to out-score their opponents even when they achieve all the possession metrics (Detroit was out-shot 31-23 but out-attempted Boston 57-49 and won the faceoff battle 28-27--but had 19 giveaways) and get all the "O-zone" time in the world, the Wings still can't dent opposing goaltenders.
On Saturday, the Wings may have out-attempted and out-chanced the Bruins, but the Wings were unable to do the old giggle-inducing line of penetrating the slot with any regularity, nor did the Wings attack the net with the same fervor that they attacked the boards they were checked into or drop-passed the puck onto a blueline they were allowed to skate back and forth upon...
The Red Wings needed to play with desperation against a Boston Bruins team determined to turn around a 1-5-and-1 home record on Saturday evening, and the Red Wings did indeed play desperate, they played with poise, and they played with determination.
None of those levels matched the Bruins' desperation, poise or determination, however, and Boston checked the snot out of the Wings while mucking, grinding and trapping their way to a 3-1 victory that simply should not have stood because the Bruins' third goal was scored on a clear, blatant penalty...
But should'ves and could'ves and sometimes, "The rules" don't really matter, and the Wings didn't use it as a rallying point, so Detroit dropped to 8-8-and-1 while displaying yet another disturbingly perimeter-laden performance.
Updated 4x at 1:53 PM: The Red Wings take on the Boston Bruins this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/NESN/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM), and the Free Press's Helene St. James issues the first report from the Red Wings' optional morning skate:
Petr Mrazek is in goal and Pavel Datsyuk is good to go for his second straight appearance of the season.
The Detroit Red Wings play the Boston Bruins at TD Garden (7 p.m., FSD). Given that the Wings played at home Friday, losing 3-2 to San Jose, Saturday's morning skate was highly optional.
Head coach Jeff Blashill told the Free Press there might be "one guy who is not ready to go" from Friday's lineup. He did confirm Datsyuk is OK to play after making his season debut Friday night (usually players get by on adrenaline for the first game back after a long layoff).
The guessing from here and Winging It in Motown is that Drew Miller might be injured as he barely played during the 3rd period last night.
The Bruins, who are 1-5-and-1 at home, don't plan on making things easy for the Red Wings...
Updated 2x at 11:52 AM: The Red Wings face a team under tremendous pressure to deliver at home in the Boston Bruins (7 PM EST start on FSD/NESN/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM). Boston's gone 1-5-and-1 at home. Bruins president Cam Neely's the latest higher-up to discuss the team's disappointing record, speaking with CSNNE's Joe Haggerty:
“It’s frustrating . . . it’s disappointing. Nobody likes our home ice record,” said Neely to CSNNE.com. “You want to be a difficult team to play at home, just like you do on the road. We’re doing a much better job of being that team on the road right now. But we have an opportunity over the next four games to make up for some of that at home.”
That’s because the Bruins are in the middle of their longest homestand of the season with the Red Wings visiting on Saturday, and then the Sharks, Wild and Maple Leafs rounding out a pivotal stretch of games in Boston.
The Red Wings are frustrated, too, as they told MLive's Brendan Savage:
The Red Wings flew to Boston for Saturday night's game against the Bruins (7 PM EST on FSD/NESN/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM) having dropped a 3-1 decision to the San Jose Sharks at Joe Louis Arena, and I can at least tell you that the Wings expressed exasperation about and frustration regarding having dropped to 8-7-and-1 thanks to Friday's loss.
There's a sense that the dam's about to break offensively for Detroit, but Jeff Blashill also readily admitted to the press that the Wings got "too cute" during the latter portion of Friday night's game. Despite out-shooting San Jose 28-14 and out-attempting the Sharks 53-27, the coach and players agreed that they didn't work hard enough to make the game hard on goaltender Martin Jones or the Sharks.
Things aren't going to get any easier in Boston. The Bruins have lost 6 of 7 at home and have dropped 4 of their 5 November games, so they're in a foul mood coming into a game that Jonas Gustavsson may very well start due to Tuukka Rask's middling play of late.
Regarding Friday night's game, the Sharks, who'd dropped 8 of their past 11, were absolutely delighted to score some "earned bounce" goals and then check the snot out of the Wings, as they told the Mercury News's Curtis Pashelka:
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