The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings faced off against the New York Islanders on a President's Day matinee on Monday, and the Wings had the opportunity to sweep their season series against New York. Detroit was placing significant trust in Jimmy Howard's ability to deliver a win, and...
It's hard to say whether the Wings were rewarded by placing their trust in Howard because the Wings played so badly in front of him. Howard gave up a strange one on the first goal and a stinker on what would ultimately be the final margin of New York's victory, 4-1...
But Detroit stank in terms of its defensive coverage, Detroit's mental and physical reserves were exhausted by the 3-games-in-4-nights-including-a-weird-matinee schedule, and the Wings simply didn't execute on the ice, no matter what excuse or explanation you want to use to dissect the 4-1 loss.
Detroit simply wasn't good enough, and sure, that's from the goal on out, but I don't pin this one on Howard. I pin this one on a sleepy Wings team not playing strongly enough in all three zones, on turnovers and blown coverage in which too many Islanders players scored surrounded by Wings defenders, and I pin this one on not getting the first goal and not scoring on 4 power plays.
From the NHL:
DATSYUK, LUNDQVIST AND MARCHAND NAMED NHL ‘THREE STARS’ OF THE WEEK
NEW YORK (Feb. 15, 2016) – Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Feb. 14.
FIRST STAR – PAVEL DATSYUK, C, DETROIT RED WINGS
Datsyuk shared the League lead with five goals and tied for second overall with seven points in four games to power the Red Wings (29-18-9, 67 points) to seven out of a possible eight standings points and second place in the Atlantic Division. He scored twice, his first multi-goal game of the season, in a 3-0 victory over the division-leading Florida Panthers Feb. 8. Datsyuk then collected one assist in a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators Feb. 10 before posting one goal – and scoring in the shootout – in a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Feb. 12. He capped the week with 2-1—3, including his 900th NHL point, in a 6-5 triumph over the Boston Bruins Feb. 14. The 37-year-old Sverdlovsk, Russia, native – who has spent his entire career with the Red Wings – became the sixth player in franchise history to reach the 900-point milestone (309-593—902 in 928 GP), joining Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Alex Delvecchio, Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov. He has registered 11-22—33 in 41 outings this season.
Jeff Blashill confirmed Jimmy Howard starts today and Thomas Greiss will be in the net for the Islanders.
No other lineup changes are expected and remember, puck drops just after 1:00pm ET today.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Here are five things to watch this week:
Top line clicking just fine
Jeff Blashill's decision to reunite Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg at the start of the homestand has worked as well as anyone could have expected. The two have tremendous chemistry and Justin Abdelkader, doing the heavy lifting, is the right complement to the line.
In the past five games, Datsyuk has five goals and nine points, Zetterberg has three goals and seven points and Abdelkader has five assists – he's also provided a net presence on goals in which he didn't receive a point.
Kronwall return on the horizon?
Niklas Kronwall might return by the end of the week, or maybe not. It depends on how his knee feels after arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 18. He has skated a couple of times by himself and once with the team, briefly. He'll need a couple of practices to get some of his conditioning back.
The Red Wings have gone 6-4-1 without Kronwall. When he returns, Jakub Kindl and Xavier Ouellet likely will be sent back to Grand Rapids, but who sits out? Assuming Jonathan Ericsson (lower-body injury, day to day) is back, it won't be an easy decision. Perhaps they'll alternate Brendan Smith and Alexey Marchenko, even though both have played well.
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
Mrazek couldn't be blamed for all five of Boston's goals – the most he has allowed in 39 games this season – since he was screened on a couple of them.
But it didn't matter since Detroit's six goals were a season high.
"You know at some point he's going to have a night where he doesn't execute at a great level and tonight was that night," said coach Jeff Blashill. "Our team was able to stay with it and find a way to get the win a little bit for him. The other thing I thought with Petr, I thought at the end he made big saves.
"He came to the bench after the fourth and the fifth and he kind of looked at me and smiled. I kind of looked at him and smiled. Because I know the one thing he does have is the ability to stay with things and I thought he continued to battle right to the end.
"Petr plays the game to win. He doesn't play for stats, he doesn't play for anything pretty, he plays to win and he found a way to win."
The Oakland Press's Pat Caputo suggests that the Red Wings' 6-5 victory over the Boston Bruins, in which both Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg scored 2 goals, emphasizes the need for roster reinforcement via trade (cap sense be damned?):
They do have needs. The Red Wings need a solid, stay-at-home defenseman, preferably one with size, and a bigger forward with the grit and guile to score goals inside.
The pipe dream of many Red Wings fans is they will land Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos. A far more likely scenario has the Red Wings acquiring talent such as Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin or Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd, a tough left winger both mentally and physically, the latter slated to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Ladd, 30, can score inside. He does set up in front of the net. He is capable of helping the Red Wings get more “dirty” goals, the type which mean so much during the postseason. At this stage, the Red Wings are too dependent on skill.
And Ladd played significant roles on Stanley Cup-winning teams with Carolina and Chicago.
The Red Wings have traditionally made trades at the deadline. Yet, in recent years, they have been more tweaks than major moves. The time has come for significant deals by general manager Ken Holland. There might be no better time than now.
Caputo continues, but I've got to respectfully disagree here.
Looking at the roster in four dimensions--including time--and the Wings have to find the cap space to accommodate Justin Abdelkader's $4.25 million salary, to re-sign Danny DeKeyser, Petr Mrazek, Alexey Marchenko and Riley Sheahan as restricted free agents. Even if the team trades Jimmy Howard, it's going to have to take money and/or a back-up goaltender back in the equation...And I don't know how adding a player makes cap sense long-term, especially if you're talking about someone with a $5-6 million salary in the offing like Ladd.
I see it making even less sense in terms of the assets the Wings would have to surrender for a rental like Ladd. When you see what Mattias Janmark is doing in Dallas, and you know that the Wings would have to give up serious assets for Ladd, that makes me incredibly uncomfortable with the proposition.
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins finished a 3-games-in-3-nights weekend going 1-and-2, blowing a 2-0 lead, despite Jared Coreau stopping 32 of 36 shots, en route to a 4-2 loss to the Rockford IceHogs. The Griffins' website posted a recap:
Detroit sits a point above the Bruins in the Atlantic Division and only 3 behind the Florida Panthers with tomorrow's road matinee (it's President's Day) against the Islanders to go (1 PM EST start on FSD/MSG Plus/NHL Network/97.1 FM), wrapping up their 3-games-in-4-nights stretch....
And the Wings went 4-0-and-1 on their 5-game home stand, earning 9 of a possible 10 points over the past 9 afternoons and evenings. Detroit's digging its heels into an Atlantic Division playoff spot, and there was good news after the game regarding Pavel "901 points" Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist:
AWood40 posted a clip of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Darren Helm's goals, including the 1st Datsyuk goal, which was his 900th NHL point:
Datsyuk addressed his milestone while speaking with the Free Press's George Sipple...
The Red Wings were up a creek against the Boston Bruins, having lost 6 straight and 11 of 12 games total against a Bruins team that hadn't loss to the Wings since Game 2 of the 2014 playoffs, and Detroit faced a Tuuka Rask-and-company Bruins roster that boasted a 6-game road winning streak coming into today's game.
In theory, this game looked like another predictable Boston win, even without Patrice Bergeron; in practice...
Hell, I'm writing this just after the Wings won 6-5, and I don't have an answer for you as to what I just witnessed. The Red Wings received sub-standard goaltending from Petr Mrazek, they received amazing performances from Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk (2 goals and an assist apiece), Darren Helm (2 goals), Alexey Marchenko, Danny DeKeyser and Brad Richards (2 assists), somehow, Dylan Larkin finished at -2, Gustav Nyquist eked his way through the game after getting kneed by Matt Beleskey, and Datsyuk scooted at the end of the game, sending shudders through the fan base...
As the Wings surrendered and then rallied from multiple-goal deficits, blew a 5-4 lead and managed to rally to chase Tuukka Rask and hold onto a 6-5 lead for 13 long third period minutes.
This was ugly, baffling, frustrating, confusing and difficult to endure, but it was a huge win against the Bruins, too, and that's what matters.
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.