The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/18/17 at 03:43 PM ET
The Red Wings hoped to build upon their win over Arizona as they hosted the Colorado Avalanche in a Saturday matinee game. The recollections of Wings-Avs games past were certainly on the media's minds, but the Red Wings themselves could only focus on today's game.
The Wings and Avs had a mediocre 40 minutes, but the Red Wings pulled away in the 3rd, scoring 4 goals en route to a 5-1 win over the Avs, and it FELT GOOD for the Wings to win for old time's and old times' sake against an Avalanche team that will forever be a rival.
It counts, it matters, it was fun, that's wonderful at this time of year.
The 1st period was preceded by warm-up in which the Wings' lineups were determined:
The Red Wings started Justin Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou at forward opposite Sven Andrighetto, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen;
Detroit started Danny DeKeyser and Nick Jensen at defense against Mark Barberio and Erik Johnson
And the Wings started Jimmy Howard in goal opposite Calvin Pickard.
- 1st period observations: The puck was dropped between Larkin and MacKinnon, and MacKinnon won the faceoff, but the Wings slowed the Avs through center ice and chipped and chased on Pickard, who played the puck to Barberio and he chipped the puck down the ice into the Wings zone.
The Wings regrouped and Larkin blazed in on goal, and as Abdelkader chased the rebound down, he was high-sticked by Mark Barberio at 35 seconds.
- The Wings' PP started with a faceoff win and jam play to the front of the net, where Nielsen, Nyquist and Abdelkader all jammed at Pickard, who held his footing.
- Nyquist, Nielsen, Abdelkader, Zetterberg and Kronwall worked up the gut and cycled to Nyquist, who chipped the puck back to Zetterberg, he got the puck to Kronwall, and the Wings tried to go back-door to Zetterberg pinching from the point, but it didn't work;
- Tatar, Sheahan, Larkin, Athanasiou and Green set up on the second unit, and Tatar tipped a shot wide;
- Athanasiou walked into the slot, the puck was dropped to Tatar, and he was stopped by Pickard from 40 feet out.
- The first unit returned for a short period of time but didn't get a shot, and Nyquist, Zetterberg and Abdelkader played as a line at even strength, with Kronwall and Green on defense, and they let the Avs enter the Wings' zone and set up, with Howard making a fine stop on Colborne.
- The Wings honestly started really slowly, and Howard had to stop three shots in quick succession after the PP expired.
- Helm, Nielsen and Mantha took a shift together, with DeKeyser and Jensen on defense;
- Abdelkader, Larkin and Athanasiou worked together with OUellet and Russo;
- There were also 3+ icings early on;
- Jensen got ran by Rantanen, Colborne punched Zetterberg, Athanasiou was picked off, Zetterberg had to come back to bail out Ouellet and Russo, and then Nielsen hopped off the bench and got a chance on Pickard.
- 6:15 into the 1st, Detroit out-shot Colorado 4-3, but had been out-attempted 6-5; Detroit was 2-and-7 (22%) on faceoffs.
- The TV timeout = Beauchemin sent a puck through the camera hole, and it injured a fan who took a puck in the mouth.
- Detroit resumed play with Zetterberg and Tatar finding Green for a one-timer that the Avs cleared out of trouble, and Larkin's line hopped over the boards and found itself on the run, with DeKeyser and Jensen having to play the puck out of trouble.
- Glendening, Miller and Sheahan got their first even-strength shift at the 8-minute mark, and they did a nice job of generating some forechecking pressure.
- Pickard was gobbling up both shots and shot attempts that got near his crease, happily taking faceoffs as the Avs were dominant at the dot.
- The Avs got a stellar chance in front of the net as Tyson Barrie pinched and jabbed the puck at Howard, but Howard made a strong stop;
- Howard made a nice stop as Rantanen, MacKinnon and Andrighetto got a good chance;
- At 11:10 of the 1st period, Detroit was being out-shot 6-5 and out-attempted 9-8; Detroit was 4-and-10 (29%) on faceoffs.
- Howard interfered with by Colborne, "incidental contact" called by Pollock. Colborne was on a tear but the refs had a plane to catch, or a show, or something, because they weren't callin' shit.
- Tatar, Zetterberg and Nyquist remained the Wings' best line, and they got a good cycle going down low just over 12 minutes into the 1s, working the puck to Jensen and DeKeyser, who blasted a heavy slapper in on Pickard, who made a smart stop. The gents continued to cycle around the perimeter, and the Avs eventually cleared the puck, but some old time Red Wings hockey was still alive and well from time to time.
- Barberio blasted a shot wide of Howard on the regroup, and
Luke Glendening took a penalty for tripping @ 13:21, yielding an Avs power play.
- Abdelkader, Nielsen, DeKeyser and Green worked on the first PK unit, and they didn't get much time after clearing the puck;
- The Avs iced the puck against Larkin and Miller, working with Ouellet and Russo, and the Wings surrendered a deep defensive zone faceoff but cleared the puck smartly, and when the Avs re-entered the zone, Abdelkader, Jensen, Dekeyser and Nielsen did a good job of mucking and grinding in the orners and below the goal line, blocking shots and nearly springing Glendening as he got out of the penalty box.
- At 15:47 of the 1st, Detroit was out-shot 7-6 and out-attempted 12-11; Detroit was 8-and-12 (40%) in the faceoff circle.
- Nyquist broke out of trouble, got the puck to Zetterberg at the right circle and he reversed to Tomas Tatar, who got a good scoring chance on Pickard.
- Helm, Nielsen and Mantha got a rare shift 17 minutes in, and instead of charging up against the Avs, they surrendered a big chance to MacKinnon's Avs, and Howard made a strong stop;
- Beauchemin clanged a puck off the back boards for Duchene in the slot, but the Wings did a good job of keeping the slot clear, and the Wings did a good job of shutting down the Avs during the ensuing rush as well.
- Miller was sprung by Sheahan, but Miller didn't and doesn't have the speed to make anything come from the rush. That's why Miller isn't going to be a Red Wing next year--foot speed;
- Lindholm raced toward the net against Ouellet and Russo, and Howard made a strong stop.
- Colorado really took control of the game over the final 3-4 minutes of the 1st period, and Detroit had to bite down defensvely.
- Mike Green coughed up the puck to Blake Comeau in front of the net, but Comeau deferred the shot for a back-door pass, and the Wings got lucky there.
- The 1st period in summary: Just like Wednesday's game, the Avs sort of surged forward over the last couple of minutes of a period the Wings otherwise dominated, and the results of the period were not good as a result, shots-wise or momentum-wise. Detroit did a lot of building through hard work throughout a clutchy-grabby, sleepy kind of period, but the Avs sort of snuck away with the period.
Detroit was out-shot 11-6 in the 1st and out-attempted 19-12; Detroit was out-drawn 13-11 (46%).
The 2nd period began with Athanasiou, Larkin and Abdelkader together at center for the opening faceoff, which was won by the Wings and cycled down low by Athanasiou and Larkin.
The Avs ultimately came up with the puck on a 3-on-2 against, but DeKeyser blocked the puck out of play as MacKinnon rushed in on Howard.
- 2nd period observations: Kronwall got away with hacking an Av down to the ice in front of Howard, who had to make a stop on Rene Bourque right in front of the net as Green and Kronwall got lost in space again--Zetterberg was the one grinding out the puck down low.
- Beauchemin blasted a puck toward the net and Nieto tried to hammer the rebound home, but the Wings stifled the chance as Ouellet and Russo worked with Mantha, Nielsen and Helm.
- Mantha got an OK chance going the other way, moving his feet for the second or third shift of the game, and Mantha wasn't perfect by any means, but his level of engagement was improving.
- Larkin found Abdelkader and Athanasiou in the slot and AA clanged a puck just wide of Pickard and the goalpost as he got behind the Avs' defense;
- Zetterberg steal = Tatar blast stopped by an Av's stick, Avs go the other way, Landeskog and Duchene got going on the cycle, Barberio into a crowd, Wings clear;
- Mantha got a nice wrister in on Pickard and Russo sent the rebound wide;
Erik Johnson then hit Darren Helm away from the puck, and Helm got up slowly and walked off the ice to the locker room with Piet Van Zant.
- The fourth line then got hemmed in, with Ouellet and Russo having to work the puck free for Miller, Sheahan and Glendening. The 4th line's play was uninspiring.
- Jensen sent a superb pass to Abdelkader in the slot, but Abdelkader got picked off by Landeskog sans puck, and again, there was no call;
- Larkin got picked away from the puck on the next play;
- The crowd got a, "Let's Go Red Wings" chant going some 8 minutes into the 2nd, and Nyquist, Zetterberg and Tatar had a good shift together, but Mantha, Nielsen and Athanasiou iced the puck. The Avs got some cycle time in the Wings' end.
- At the first TV timeout @ 9:53, Detroit and Colorado were tied 3-3 in shots in the 2nd and 14-9 COL overall; attempts 29-25 Colorado; faceoffs 16-14 Colorado (47%).
- Sheahan nearly scored off a chip shot that bounced off Pickard's blocker from about 30 feet out, but the Avs went the other way, and Howard had to make a big stop on Andrighetto as MacKinnon set him up;
- 11:30 into the 2nd, Mike Green made a nice play to Athanasiou, but the Avs blocked the passing lane, and went the other way, with Matt Duchene chipping a shot wide on a prime scoring chance set up by Landeskog.
- At the second TV timeout @ 12:04, shots in the 2nd 4-4, 15-10 Avs overall, attempts 30-26 Colorado, faceoffs 18-14 Colorado (44%).
- Tatar really got flying going up the left wing, and he generated a scoring chance that was stifled by Pickard. Tatar and Nyquist looked well-engaged all game long.
- Nielsen and Mantha were joined by Athanasiou for one shift, Glendening for another...Let's just say it was obvious that Helm would not return.
- Ranatanen, MacKinnon and Andrighetto pounced off a bad turnover by Athanasiou at the blueline, but Howard was able to stop Andrighetto;
- Abdelkader set up Jensen for a fine scoring chance that went wide of the net, and Jensen came back to help stop the Avs in the Wings' zone;
- It was just an ugly game, frankly, a game in which the first goal would probably win and would probably be an ugly goal.
Fedor Tyutin got nabbed for holding Tatar at 16:25, yielding the Wings' second power play. Darren Helm also tried to return during the TV timeout, but he went back to the locker room.
And on the first PP shift, Zetterberg, Abdelkader and Nyquist entered the zone together, Abdelkader put a slot shot off Erik Johnson's skate and scored to make it 1-0 @ 16:43 of the 2nd.
Abdelkader form Zetterberg and Kronwall @ 16:43, 1-0 Detroit. Kronwall registered assist #300 on the play.
- Zetterberg was soon on the ice again with Tatar and Nyquist, and the gents got hemmed in by the Avs with DeKeyser and Jensen checking Duchene and Landeskog, with the Wings coming out on top;
- Abdelkader worked with Nielsen and Mantha for a shift, and the gents rimmed the puck around the back boards and worked the puck deep, where Glendening, who had replaced Nielsen, couldn't make much of it.
- Instead, Soderberg nearly scored off a bad turnover by Jensen;
- And that was the 2nd period. Glendening won a late faceoff deep in the Wings' zone and that was that.
- The 2nd period in summary: The Wings sort of mucked and ground their way toward an ugly goal that was very necessary during an ugly game--another power play goal, so duly note that the power play is back from the dead--and the Wings weren't playing particularly well, but they were better than the Avs.
Detroit out-shot Colorado 6-5 in the 2nd but had been out-shot 16-12 and out-attempted 36-30; Detroit went 14-and-25 (36%) in the faceoff circle.
The 3rd period was preceded by a predictable announcement:
- 3rd period observations: A very small octopus hit the ice before the 3rd period, and Athanasiou, Larkin and Abdelkader started, they worked the puck back to Jensen and DeKeyser, could not enter the zone, and Howard made a big stop at one end, with Larkin jamming the puck into Pickard at the other end of the ice.
- Zetterberg found Green for a slot shot that Pickard somehow stopped with a sit-on-it save;
- To his credit, Green was doing a nice job of getting up in the rush and generating scoring chances, and he's been doing that for the latter half of this season;
- Nieto got hooked in the slot racing in vs. the Nielsen line, but Russo got away with the hook, and Ouellet got some help from Nielsen on another Avs rush;
- Athanasiou + Larkin via a Kronwall check = no dice, but Athanasiou was skating hard and looking for chances to score;
- Rantanen tried to wrap around the goal but was stopped by Howard...
And the puck got back to Tyson Barrie, who blasted a shot off Nathan MacKinnon's toe and into the net as MacKinnon was being held by Kronwall, yielding the 1-1 goal @ 3:44.
MacKinnon made it 1-1 @ 3:44 of the 3rd.
- The Avs continued to cycle in the Wings' zone after their goal, pressing Detroit quite heavily despite some good work from first Zetterberg's line and then Nielsen...
But Glendening hopped over the boards working with Nielsen and Tatar, Glendening was able to hack the puck past Andrighetto and Johnson, and he slid the puck over to Tatar, who had an empty net to score into.
Tatar made it 2-1 @ 5:20 of the 3rd.
The Avs pressed down on the Wings again, but Detroit raced up ice, Dylan Larkin made a slick behind-the-back play to Nyquist, he found Tatar skating up the wing, and Tatar chipped the puck through Pickard to make it 3-1 @ 6:54 of the 3rd.
Tatar scored 1:36 after his first to make it 3-1 @ 6:54.
And on the bump-up shift, Danny DeKeyser took an interferenc epenalty at 7:16, so Colorado headed to the power play.
- Glendening, Larkin, Kronwall and Jensen worked togetheron the first PP unit, and they gave up a scoring chance against, so they changed quickly.
- Nielsen, Abdelkader, Ouellet and Russo = better work stifling the Avs, especially with Howard making a wise poke check on Rantanen, and a toe save on Barberio + Jensen and Athanasiou diving to block the shot + another big stop by Howard = great PK.
- 10 minutes into the 3rd, the first TV timeout hit.
- At 10:03 of the 3rd, Detroit had been out-shot 7-3 in the period and 23-15 on the night; attempts 47-34 Colorado; faceoffs 27-22 Colorado (45%).
Glendening got really angry as he and Comeau yielded a dehelmeting, and by the time the play progressed down the ice, Glendening wanted to fight Comeau, but the LINESMEN came in and broke up the fight.
Comeau got 2+2 at 11:07 and Glendening got 2 minutes at 11:07, so Detroit headed to the power play.
- Nielsen, Nyquist, Abdelkader, Zetterberg and Kronwall worked the perimeter well and Abdelkader pushed the puck back to Nyquist in the slot, but he was stopped by Pickard.
- Athanasiou, Larkin, Tatar, Sheahan and Green worked together on the 2nd unit, and after an Avs clear, they set up...
Green blasted a shot at the net, it was bounced off Pickard and pulled through by Sheahan and Tatar, and Larkin walked into a slap shot that blasted behind Pickard to make it 4-1.
Larkin made it 4-1 @ 12:44. Sheahan and Tatar got assists.
- 14 minutes into the 3rd, Detroit was beginning to roll over the Avs. The Wings' play wasn't pretty, but Detroit was crashing, banging, generating "grind time" in the Avs' zone and generating shots and chances.
- At the 2nd TV timeout @ 14:38, Detroit was out-shooting Colorado 8-7 and was out-shot 23-20 on the night; attempts were 47-39 Colorado; faceoffs 28-28 (50%).
- Nielsen, Abdelkader and Larkin (ahem) got a bit of a cycle going, and then Larkin, Athanasiou and Sheahan worked together to get the puck into the Avs' zone, where Athanasiou got a great shot off on Pickard that was stopped.
Mike Green then carried the puck up ice to Zetterberg down low, Zetterberg backhanded the puck into the slot and Nyquist jabbed home the 5-1 goal @ 16:18 of the 3rd.
Nyquist made it 5-1 @ 16:18, from Zetterberg and Green.
- The Avs got pretty angry after the goals against, and they were hacking and whacking, but Detroit wasn't buying, and the Avs had more or less given up on the game, so Detroit was able to cruise to a fine win.
- The 3rd period in summary: The Red Wings finally delivered the kind of period that the Wings' fans so desperately wanted, scoring 4 goals to pull away from Colorado. This doesn't help "the tank," but this win was very necessary for bragging rights and history's sake, so they got it.
Detroit out-shot Colorado 11-8 in the 3rd and shots were 24-23 Avs on the night; attempts 48-44 Colorado; faceoffs 30-30 (50%).
Here's the Game Summary...
And the Event Summary:
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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.