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The Malik Report

The overnight report: Red Wings-Bruins wrap-up—the Wings have to ‘get sorted out,’ and soon

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...

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Prospect news: Griffins drop 8th game; Paterson backstops Walleye win; Svechnikov posts 3 assists

It could be worse. The Grand Rapids Griffins dropped a 5-1 decision to the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday, dropping Grand Rapids to 2-8-and-1 on the season. The Griffins' website filed a recap:

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Red Wings-Bruins quick take: Wings continue to shoot from the perimeter, and its killing them

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.

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Joakim Andersson In For A Sore Teemu Pulkkinen Tonight


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Red Wings-Bruins game-day articles: Wings’ personnel likely unchanged; Bruins want to win at home

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...

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Red Wings-Bruins morning skate Tweets: both teams take ‘optional’ morning skates

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:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Sharks wrap-up and Red Wings-Bruins set-up

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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Prospect news: Griffins lose in shootout, Walleye lose in high-scoring affair; minuses all around

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins dropped the first half of a back-to-back road slate against the Lake Erie Monsters, losing 3-2 in a shootout. The Griffins' website posited a recap...

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Red Wings-Sharks quick take: Wings lack scoring bite against check-happy Sharks

In theory, when you've got a team that's down, you pounce on them, and the Red Wings had every reason to pounce on the Sharks on Friday night. The Sharks had gone 3-and-8 over their past 11 heading into Friday night's tilt against the Wings, and getting Pavel Datsyuk in the lineup should have been all the impetus the Wings needed to take the Sharks out.

On Friday night, it was the Red Wings who were chomped upon, literally, figuratively and physically, as Detroit was out-competed over the course of a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. The Wings actually out-shot San Jose 28-14 and out-attempted San Jose 63-27, but Detroit wasn't generating quality scoring chances in the "hard areas" of the ice in the slot and near the goal crease, and the Sharks did a fantastic job of checking, trapping, tackling, clutching, grabbing and otherwise impeding the Wings in such a manner that Detroit was deterred from attacking the net directly--and as a result, the Wings were booed off their home ice.

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Red Wings-Sharks game-day articles II: more about Datsyuk, Sharks stuff and Pulkkinen’s ‘dives’

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

Among MLive's Brendan Savage's game-day article's points:

• The Red Wings have won four of their last five despite their offensive problems. They're coming off a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals, who own one of the best records in the NHL.  The Red Wings have allowed just five goals in the aforementioned four victories. The one glitch in that stretch was a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Penalty killing has been a big key to Detroit's recent surge. The Red Wings have successfully killed 15 of 17 penalties during the last five games, a success rate of 88.2 percent. In the last 11 games, the Red Wings are 22-for-24 (91.7). That has their penalty killers tied for eighth in the NHL at 83.3 percent. San Jose's power play is the worst in the NHL at 11.4 percent.

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji penned a notebook about Pavel Datsyuk's return, Riley Sheahan shifting to wing and more:

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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.


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