The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/05/13 at 10:07 PM ET
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:
Update #2: The Wings' website posted clips of Johan Franzen...
And coach Mike Babcock speaking to the press...
And here's a slate of game highlights:
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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.