The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/01/13 at 09:09 PM ET
The Red Wings' 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche was perhaps the ugliest win the Wings have earned in a long time, with the Wings' defense giving the puck away nearly as many times (Wings listed as having five giveaways? Try fifteen or twenty...) as they did during the team's 7-1 loss to Chicago...
But the Wings need to jam as many points and regulation-or-OT wins as possible, especially with the Blue Jackets, Bouwmeester-and-Leopold-reinforced Blues and Stars, Predators, Oilers and Coyotes hot on the Wings' tails in the Western Conference standings...
And between Justin Abdelakder still scoring, Damien Brunner gettting off the schneid, Johan Franzen somewhat surprisingly turning into a superb playmaker, Nyquist dangling and dekeing, Carlo Colaiacovo looking solid and Jimmy Howard working his ass off every night, the Wings just need to give Brendan Smith a night off (he's been awful of late), mentally re-charge with what is hopefully a practice-free day tomorrow, and then get right back to work to prepare for this upcoming weekend's three-games-in-four-nights slate of games against the Coyotes, Avs and another Gord-damned matinee against the Blues.
The Wings nearly gave this one away at the end because their blueline's a mess mentally speaking (see: hope Kyle Quincey and/or Danny DeKeyser can give Smith and possibly Jakub Kindl some much-needed nights off), but trades or, more likely, no trades, there's no reason for this team to do anything less than use the next week or two to pull away from that playoff pack.
Here are the Wings' goals: Abdelkader's bunt...
And Brunner's gorgeous one-timer via a Datsyukian set of dekes, dangles and spins by Gustav Nyquist:
Update: Game-saver and then some from Howard:
Ugly counts. The Wings nearly gave this one away, but Howard was there when the Wings needed him to be there, and two points are two points.
Shots 24-20 Colorado. The Wings out-shot Colorado 10-9 in the 1st, out-shot Colorado 7-5 in the 2nd and were out-shot 9-4 in the 3rd.
The Wings went 1-for-2 in 2:22 of PP time; the Avs went 1-for-3 in 5:20 of PP time.
Jimmy Howard stopped 22 of 24; Varlamov stopped 10 of 13; Giguere stopped 7 of 7.
The 3 stars were picked by the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness with 5 minutes left in the game, and he picked Abdelkader, Howard and Franzen.
The Wings' goals: Abdelkader (7) from Franzen (12) and Kronwall (20);
Cleary (8) from Franzen (13) and Datsyuk (25), PPG;
Brunner (11) from Nyquist (2).
Faceoffs 29-25 Colorado (Detroit won 46%);
Blocked shots 7-4 Detroit;
Missed shots 13-6 Detroit (total attempts 37-37);
Hits 25-20 Colorado;
Takeaways 7-3 Detroit.
Update: Here's a full slate of highlights:
Update #2: The Wings' website posted clips of Justin Abdelkader...
And coach Mike Babcock speaking with the press:
Videos come via RedWingsFeed.
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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.