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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Avs quick take: it was tighter than it needed to be

Updated w/ post-game clips, videos, and stats at 10:58 PM: Grr. The Detroit Red Wings' 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche was good to see--it was a relief, frankly, given that the Wings need to take as many of the 8 games they're playing over 2 weeks, and were off to an 0-and-1 start--it was great to see Johan Franzen score on a breakaway set up by Damien Brunner, awesome to see Niklas Kronwall rip a shot wide (gasp, with Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Cleary together, even after Mike Babcock gave Tomas Tatar a few shifts with #13), and it was great to see the Wings be able to turn and burn with the Avs in the 1st and 2nd periods...

But the Wings kind of fell apart after playing, "ONLY KRONWALL CAN SHOOT" on their 5-on-3, en route to blowing 2:57 of power play time (their only power plays of the game), and the Avs roared back after the Chuck Kobasew's boarding penalty on Brendan Smith (thankfully okay) expired, ripping 16 third-period shots on Jimmy Howard.

Yet again, Howard was valiant in the 3rd, and deserved a shutout, but the team so satisfied with its defensive play nearly blew another 2-goal lead. Howard was nothing less than spectacular over the game's last 15 minutes, and as his teammates started to think about their day off tomorrow, springing forward, and whether that pretty girl they saw in the crowd was single, Howard's toes, blocker, glove and stick were just fantastic....

To some extent, Howard is more than earning himself an extension, and he had no chance on (and nearly stopped) Paul Stastny's goal scored with 1:30 left...But those damn final 15 minutes gave the Wings much more of a workout than was necessary, especially given the fact that they've got 3 more games this week (including back-to-backs this weekend) and 3 more the following week, all in Western Canada...

And now the Wings' players owe their goalie 2 shutouts in my opinion. Two consecutive shutouts. Had they not played the passy-passy game on the power play in the 3rd, the team could've buried a 3rd goal and put it on cruise control for the rest of the game, and instead, they had to scratch and claw for two points, and by game 23 of 48, I think they should have put that bad habit behind them.

That's what scares me about this one. The in-progress post-Lidstrom, new-identity-forging Wings have one enemy that they cannot seem to defeat or even rid from their games for sixty straight minutes of hockey, and that opponent is the Wings themselves.

So yes, two points, a great effort from Howard, who stopped 36 shots, a much-needed goal from the Mule [edit: and Zetterberg and Brunner play way better when Franzen is their catalyst] and an actual goal scored with Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Cleary on the ice, earned by a Lidstrom-like, back-boards bounce-shot by Niklas Kronwall, but man, it could'a been so much easier had the Wings not spared themselves from their own bad habits, and had they not let the Avs back in by a shitty power play performance in the 3rd.


Shots 37-33 Colorado overall. The Wings out-shot Colorado 12-11 in the 1st, out-shot Colorado 11-10 in the 2nd, and were out-shot 16-10 in the 3rd.

The Avs went 0-for-1 in 2:00 of PP time in what was a loosely-officiated game; the Wings went 0-for-2 in 3:57 of PP time, including 1:03 of 5 on 3 time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 36 of 37 shots; Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 31 of 33.

The 3 stars, per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, were Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall and Jimmy Howard.

The Wings' goals: Franzen (4) from Brunner (7);

Kronwall (3) from Ericsson (8) and Datsyuk (15).

Faceoffs 25-21 Colorado (Detroit won 46%);

Blocked shots 11-10 Detroit;

Missed shots 6-4 Colorado (total attempts 54-47 Colorado);

Hits 27-19 Colorado;

Giveaways an ugly 11-2 Detroit;

Takeaways 6-0 Detroit.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 9-and-11 (45%); Emmerton went 4-and-7 (36%); Zetterberg went 5-and-3 (63%); Andersson went 1-and-3 (25%); Eaves lost his only faceoff; Miller and Franzen won their only faceoffs.

Shots: Franzen led the team with 6 shots; Brunner had 4; Smith, Cleary, Tootoo and Zetterberg had 3; Abdelkader, Miller, Quincey and Kronwall had 2; Miller, Emmerton and Ericsson had 1.

Blocked attempts: Tootoo and Brunner had 2 shot attempts blocked by Avs players; Smith, Cleary, Datsyuk, Tatar, Kronwall and Andersson had single shot attempts blocked.

Missed shots: Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Ericsson and Andersson missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the team with 4 hits; Kindl, Tatar, Lashoff and Zetterberg had 2; Smith, Cleary, Miller, Tatar, Brunner and Kronwall had 1.

Giveaways: Datsyuk and Zetterberg had 2 giveaways; Smith, Kindl, Miller, Tatar, Lashoff, Ericsson and Franzen had 1.

Takeaways: Smith and Datsyuk had 2 takeaways; Tootoo and Brunner had 1.

Blocked shots: Kronwall blocked 2 shots; Smith, Kindl, Cleary, Datsyuk, Eaves, Miller, Tootoo, Emmerton and Franzen blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Zetterberg took a minor penalty.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective +5. Kindl finished at -1; Smith, Abdelkader, Brunner, Zetterberg, Ericsson and Kronwall were +1.

Points: Kronwall and Franzen scored goals; Datsyuk, Brunner and Ericsson had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 22:08 played; Ericsson played 20:47; Datsyuk played 20:38;

Kindl played 19:34; Franzen played 19:25; Smith played 19:17;

Quincey played 19:01; Zetterberg played 18:47; Cleary played 18:32;

Lashoff played 17:30; Brunner played 17:25; Abdelkader played 17:18;

Emmerton played 14:16; Miller played 13:32; Tootoo played 10:54;

Tatar played 10:26; Eaves played 9:18; Andersson played 8:52.

Tootoo had a stealth performance: 3 shots, 2 blocked attempts, a hit a takeaway and a blocked shot in 10:54 played.

Update: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted a clip of Johan Franzen speaking to the press...

Amen to this:

Amongst the early recaps, the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, MLive, the Associated Press and the Denver Post already have recaps up.

Update #2: The Wings' website posted clips of Johan Franzen...

Henrik Zetterberg...


And coach Mike Babcock speaking to the press...

And here's a slate of game highlights:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


Vladimir16's avatar

No killer instinct right now. It was unnecessarily tense. FECK!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/05/13 at 11:11 PM ET


Wouldn’t it be amazing if, ever, someone was happy with a win?

Posted by Garth on 03/05/13 at 11:11 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Wouldn’t it be amazing if, ever, someone was happy with a win?
    Posted by
      on 03/05/13 at 10:11 PM ET

Those days ae long gone, my friend.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/05/13 at 11:13 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Sorry. Yes, two points, yay! I promise I will look on this one more charitably by the time I write the wrap-up. I just got so pissed off by the last five minutes that I was on the verge of swearing. The first 45 minutes or so were great. After that…

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/05/13 at 11:16 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

I’m much more concerned with the Wings inability to score more then 2 goals.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/05/13 at 11:28 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

I’m happy with a win. My expectations are lower this season. ANY win looks pretty to me now, style points are the least of my worries now. I can wish they did a lot of things better, but starting as a fan in the middle of the “Dead Wings” era is all I need to remind myself it could be worse. (as a reminder, from 1966-67 to 1982-83, the Wings made the playoffs TWICE).

Posted by Bugsy on 03/05/13 at 11:30 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Ok, one request: No second guessing whether Jimmy Howard is worth keeping tonight. I just watched some of those saves on nhl.com. He’s faced the fifth most shots among goalies, and his save percentage fits in the middle of that top 10 group in shots against. Right now he’s probably the least of the Wings’ concerns (except how much to sign him for an extension).

Posted by Bugsy on 03/05/13 at 11:48 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

We’re always gonna hear the same horseshit about Howard not being good enough…But he’s more than good enough.

No, he’s not a goaltender who sucks up shots—he boots big rebounds out—but he controls them well most of the time (unlike Chris Osgood raspberry ) and he’s a capable workhorse goalie with superb fundamentals and a scrappy but poised mental outlook.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/06/13 at 12:02 AM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

I’m annoyed that they played worse defensively this game than against Chicago, because it means they care more about their opponents than earning the points they need. They consistently turned the puck over trying to clear the zone, or cleared it right to Avs players who brought it right back in, and for a while there tended to try to gain the offensive zone with one player (Zetterberg 2 or 3 times) trying to outskate 4 or 5 Avs when he had nowhere to go and was too well covered to pass. And then they scored and consistently screwed up their defensive coverage.

Like against Chicago, the Red Wings had clear possession a few times and failed to clear the zone, then a guy in a good scoring position who was not covered well enough scored. If it weren’t for a handful of amazing saves by Howard (and the lucky/unlucky goal by Kronwall/Giguere)…

The Red Wings climbed 5 spots in the standings and will fall back 1-3 spots before the night’s over (only an OT’s worth of points out of 12th). There’s not much to celebrate yet.

Posted by bleep bloop on 03/06/13 at 12:02 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Howard is no where near a problem on this years version of the Wings. Best scenario would have a good back up in Gustasson and Mrazek for the future. 8 goals against in 6 games is sure not a Goalie problem.

Most of the rest of team took a step back tonite.  The PP is a serious problem and if not fixed may cost a playoff berth if it already hasn’t.

The brutal 5 on 3 and then 5 on 4 opened the door for the Avs to comeback.  PP Futility gave the Avs momentum and put Wings on their heels. It is not the players on PP but what the players are doing on the PP as George has noted.  Coaches have to fix that , soon.

What would the Wings record be with just a middle of pack power play???

Oilers are faster, more skill than Avs.. Better effort needed for any points!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/06/13 at 12:17 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

An article posted under Paul’s “4 Thoughts” mentioned the NYR entertaining the thought of trading Gaborik to replace the depth it lost in the off season.

With Marc Stall out indefinitely with an eye injury, and a surplus of defensemen and depth forwards on the Wings roster…

Just throwing it out there. He’d look a hell of a lot better on the second line than Abdelkader.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 03/06/13 at 02:08 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Too much money. $7.5 mil a season.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/06/13 at 02:13 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Wow, what a difference a day makes for Franzen. See Mule, good things happen when you move your legs once in a while. smile

What made me yell at the TV during the 5-on-3 was not that our only play is pass-to-Kronner-and-watch-the-shot-get-blocked, it’s that nobody moved.  5 guys with pegs in the ground more or less spinning around like Bubble Boys.  No player movement at all, which allowed Colorado to just sit in the lanes because they didn’t have to worry about anyone sneaking around behind them. If you don’t move your legs, good things don’t happen.

All hail Jimmy.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 03/06/13 at 02:22 AM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

The Red Wings climbed 5 spots in the standings and will fall back 1-3 spots before the night’s over

For a moment, the Red Wings were sitting pretty in 4th, but now they’re in 6th. And can only fall into 7th before tomorrow’s games (it’s already Wednesday!). They must win the BJ home-and-home and if they can get 2 points on Thursday too, they’ll be in a little better shape.

Posted by bleep bloop on 03/06/13 at 02:30 AM ET

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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.