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Red Wings-Avs quick take: ugly counts

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...

Cleary's jam...

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;

Giveaways 5-5;

Takeaways 7-3 Detroit.

Update: Here's a full slate of highlights:


Update #2: The Wings' website posted clips of Justin Abdelkader...

Johan Franzen...


And coach Mike Babcock speaking with the press:


Videos come via RedWingsFeed.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


Figaro's avatar

I don’t know if I’d lavish praise on Mule after this game.  He got one of his assists after Abby put home a rebound.  For a large chunk of his ice time he was standing straight up and coasting.  Two points does not a hero make.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/01/13 at 09:16 PM ET

OnlyWings's avatar

The ONLY thing I am happy about is the 2 points.  Defence was brutal and we lost most of the puck battles and were out worked by a last place team, or close to the bottom.

Better fix the fancy floating around and passes to the wrong team!

Playoffs? Sure doesn’t look like a playoff team in the last 3 games.

Posted by OnlyWings on 04/01/13 at 09:16 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

I don’t have much in fingernails left to bite now. I don’t feel any different about this than January. If they get in, it will be playing inconsistently and by the skin of their teeth. This is the same team that beat Anaheim twice and Vancouver on the road recently. Get in as an lower seed if they can, but I just don’t want to see any deals like the Bouwmeester deal—a first rounder, 2 prospects, maybe another pick and over 6-1/2 million salary?! No thanks. I want a deal, but I hope they’re not THAT desperate.

Posted by Bugsy on 04/01/13 at 09:29 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Two points makes someone who contributed to it useful. He’s no hero but Mule’s become part of the machine again and that’s better than merely skating in circles.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/01/13 at 09:31 PM ET


Hard to choose between White, Kindl & Smith who had the most giveaways, but White is the most experienced of the three & he plays like he is afraid of getting yelled at by Babcock.  He was brutal tonight—Kindl seems to have lost confidence & Smith was erratic.  Bring back Huskins.  I doubt if Terry Sawchuk in his prime could win many games with a defense like this. Colorado outworked them badly in the zone.  Against any of the better teams, with play like this—either no April in the D or if they make the playoffs, one series will be it.

Posted by howie young on 04/01/13 at 09:39 PM ET


It’s good that they were just that much better than the Avs to pull this one out, but it’s still going to be a slog with this roster. Injuries really have screwed everything up this year. I’m disappointed I won’t ever get to see my dream lines because the best players we have aren’t all going to be healthy at one time.

I don’t know if I’m content with Franzen being more of a playmaker. Not when he has the ability to do more. It’s always frustrated me to see defense of Franzen’s lackadaisacal play because he still puts up points - that doesn’t change the fact that his lazy passes, non-existent physical play, and general ineptitude hurt the team.

Z has already turned into more of a playmaker despite having the tools to pot at least 30 goals a year. Filppula probably won’t ever put the puck in the net with authority. We need more goals.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/01/13 at 09:43 PM ET


the win belongs to Howard and Nyquist, Anderson, Brunner.  Not Franzen or the D

Posted by akwingsfan on 04/01/13 at 10:12 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

I saw Franzen forecheck hard once tonight.  He was doing well until he ran out of either energy or motivation 5 seconds into it.  It’s a shame the Colorado player behind the net didn’t just give him the puck.

Posted by gt500x on 04/01/13 at 11:17 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Kindl and Smith are rookies. It is better for them to make rookie mistakes now than in the playoffs. However, when you throw them with new defensive partners. Particularly in the case of Kindl with White (and his issues of not being able to hit the tape of the stick, throwing wild passes, or being able to run mild interference so Kindl doesn’t take the forecheck with his back to the checker) problems will ensue.

Did anyone else see White try to pirouette on hockey skates and run into 2 of his own players in the defensive zone?

Smith made a jr hockey mistake. Slam it for icing or go up the boards. Colaiacovo looked solid but made mistakes with 2 line passes that ended up as turnovers.

The turnover machines they were also are a result of the forwards getting used to them being able to take the puck out of the zone with skating and passing. They have begun to cheat up a little more and now those passes and lanes aren’t there. A good coach will see this and adjust the breakout—guessing when I go to the game on Friday it won’t be an issue.

Posted by d ca on 04/02/13 at 12:36 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Kindl a rookie ??

What drugs are you on ??

Gimme some !!

They gotta be real good if you think Kindl is a rookie.

They played just as bad tonight as they did Sunday.  Only difference is they weren’t playing Chicago a 2nd time.  Towards the end of the game I could see how disgusted Datsyuk thinks this team is.  He’s so relaxed and casual out there making his moves and passes and stealing pucks away left & right ... then he skates back to the bench like its no big deal ... he’s a man amongst boys ... his talent is going to waste with this current roster. Maybe he requested to have Abby on his line because Abby is the only one that gives a shit and puts forth any effort to play half-way decent on a consistent basis.

Holland thinks he’s going to get an offer of significant impact by Wednesday’s trade deadline ??  Fat chance.  H’es going to have to be creative and make up something on his own and then make it work.

Here’s one to make Calgary worse since they already have 2 from our team .... send them Fil & Franzen ... we’ll take Tanguay and Wideman.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/02/13 at 01:30 AM ET

d ca's avatar

sorry, didn’t express that clear enough for you

Kindl and Smith are rookies when it comes to NHL PLAYOFF hockey. Better to have them make the mistakes now than in the playoffs—you know the whole point I was speaking to…lol

Posted by d ca on 04/02/13 at 02:25 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

no ... you expressed it just fine ... and you’re wrong ... Kindl was a Black Ace for 2 playoff runs while he was still eligible to play in G.R. and he’s been trying to make his mark with the Red Wings for 3 years now.  He’s very aware what goes on when it comes to the playoffs. That’s why he’s still here .... the team and its management has a lot of time & money invested in him.  He’s 27. Time to show up and play hockey ... playoffs or not.

Smith on the other hand is making rookie mistakes left & right because he IS a rookie. He’ll probably be making mistakes next season too because it takes defencemen more time to figure things out ... and its really gotta be grating on his nerves that his offencive game has completely disappeared.

Smith has excuses for his mistakes, Kindl doesn’t ... nor does Fil or Franzen or any of the other veterans that decided not to show up this season.

To date, their effort as a team (besides datsyuk and zetterberg and howard) has been pitiful, disgraceful, and flat out disrespectful ... especially their performance on Gordie Howe’s birthday.

They all deserve to be traded for that steaming pile.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/02/13 at 04:40 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Fact: Kindl
NHL Playoffs 0 GP

Fact: Smith
NHL Playoffs 0 GP

Can’t argue facts. 0 games played. No experience. None. Zilch. Nada.Never done it.

Maybe in your mind a guy with 0 games played is a 3 year playoff veteran because he practiced with other AHL and injured players, but in my mind and in every technical definition 0 playoff games played = playoff rookie.

LOL…...Practicing as a black ace is equivalent to NHL Playoff game experience….omg that is too funny. Oh, and did you bother to look at how many scrimmages vs morning skates these Black Aces actually ran in the years of 2010-2012? LOL.

Perhaps you want to add all the AHL playoff games since 2008. All 10 of them that he played in 2009 too. I can personally vouch that the intensity isn’t the same since I was at a couple of these Griffins games way back then—but I’d hate to stray from the simple facts of 0 games played at the NHL playoff level.

But I do have a rhetoric question: is the Indy Racing Experience Driving Program the equivalent experience as driving in the Indy 500 in your mind too?

Give me a break….you’re wrong and you know it.

All you other points are worth about the same as your last two words from above.

Posted by d ca on 04/02/13 at 05:58 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

The worst part of the game last night was not the defense, which WAS atrocious.

The worst part was watching #58 pound our guys and nobody hit him back
The Wings really need to develop a belligerent attitude and kick some @ss. 
No penalties for more than 2 games?  They should be ashamed of that stat, as Mike Emrick alluded. 

The only guy who has fire in his belly is little Jordan Tootoo. 

Jimmie Howard is the only reason the Wings are not dead last in the standings.


Posted by w2j2 on 04/02/13 at 06:02 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by w2j2 on 04/02/13 at 07:02 AM ET

I agree. This team has been soft for a couple years and next year we’ll be in trouble if they don’t address that. This team also lacks drive, heart and grit. Reminds me of the early 90’s minus, of course, the talent. But that is Holland’s MO, IMO. He likes players who are really nice sick

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/02/13 at 07:00 AM ET


I know that Tootoo isnt the most talented player in the world, but he has heart & reminds me a little of Dennis Polonich—not big, but willing to stick up for his team mates—& another tough guy is Datsyuk—he might not fight, but he will plough through anything that is in his way or finesse around it—if we dont improve significantly next year, why should he stick around? He has his money & cups, - might be easier to go home—& I think Franzen needs some more talent around him to succeed, that might motivate him - because right now, he plays like he has a golf league that starts in April & he doesnt want to miss opening day—he should never be carrying the puck down the ice—anyone can take it from him with little effort—trade White to anyone who will take him

Posted by howie young on 04/02/13 at 07:21 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Also, when a team gets younger what I’ve experienced is said team makes mistakes and doesn’t have the talent quite yet BUT is usually full of heart and piss n vinegar. Ya know, because guys are trying to impress the brass and the vets. This team hasn’t shown much of that, if any.
And why the hell is our D letting everyone pound them without dishing out their own?
Damn I’m frustrated!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/02/13 at 07:40 AM ET

creasemonkey's avatar

It is my duty as a Red Wings fan to run around flailing my arms & screaming as if my hair were on fire; I intend to keep doing just that.

Posted by creasemonkey from sweet home san diego on 04/02/13 at 07:41 AM ET


Smith has excuses for his mistakes, Kindl doesn’t ...

Kindl absolutely has excuses.  He’s been a 7th d-man for two years and this is the first time he’s been given any kind of consistent minutes and responsibility.  He may not be a rookie by definition but he’s far closer to being a rookie than he is to bing a veteran.

Posted by Garth on 04/02/13 at 08:03 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by d ca on 04/02/13 at 06:58 AM ET

Smith and Kindl are undoubtedly rookies.  I see the point you’re trying to make Hockeytown Wax, but cameos do not a season make.  Kindl still has a lot of time to put in before he’s a seasoned veteran.. and so far he’s proven that he is worth the patience he’s been given.

I also want to speak about Tootoo.  I’ve seen a few comments digging on him in the past few days.  I think you have to be out of your mind to be unhappy with him.  Besides the tried and true players on the roster (Z, Dats, Jimmy) he’s the only player who comes to the game determined to win night in and night out.  I give him an A+, he’s done exactly what he was brought on for an he has done it well.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/02/13 at 08:11 AM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Posted by Garth on 04/02/13 at 09:03 AM ET

Hey look, something I can agree with Garth about… wink

Smith and Kindl are undoubtedly rookies.  I see the point you’re trying to make Hockeytown Wax, but cameos do not a season make.  Kindl still has a lot of time to put in before he’s a seasoned veteran.. and so far he’s proven that he is worth the patience he’s been given.

I see the same with Lashoff, and people are WAY too hard on the kid. He could be a nice, stay-at-home, 3rd-pairing guy with the upshot of being a #5 (position, not Lidstrom), but people seem to think he should be playing up to Stuart’s standards; while he may have the same basic skillset as Stuart, he’ll likely not reach that level.

I also want to speak about Tootoo.  I’ve seen a few comments digging on him in the past few days.  I think you have to be out of your mind to be unhappy with him.  Besides the tried and true players on the roster (Z, Dats, Jimmy) he’s the only player who comes to the game determined to win night in and night out.  I give him an A+, he’s done exactly what he was brought on for an he has done it well.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/02/13 at 09:11 AM ET


Posted by RedMenace from Fuck Cancer on 04/02/13 at 08:39 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

. But that is Holland’s MO, IMO. He likes players who are really nice

it’s easier to LIKE them

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/02/13 at 09:17 AM ET

Tony Perkis's avatar

Tootoo is the only player I know that has actually knocked someone down with a check more than once this year. Hockey is not all about hitting, but Jesus H. the Wings need more players who like to stand up for themselves.

Aside from ONE of Kronwall’s Kronwall this year, Smith is really the only d-men who doesn’t shy away from contact. How many “puck-moving” d-men who we need? We have enough now and all they on the PP is pass to Kronwall anyway.

You think guys like Lucic, or any forward for that matter, think one of our d-men would step up and deliver a hit? Nope. You don’t even need to skate with your head up, and they know it too, because you aren’t getting hit.

But maybe I’m wrong and guys like Kindl have other forwards shaking in their boots…

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 04/02/13 at 09:27 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Exactly! I want to pull out what is left of my hair every time Big E skates shoulder to shoulder with a guy into a corner or behind the net and doesn’t even touch him.  At least try to sorta, maybe lean a little into the guy… that might slow him down a bit. Or…you know…check the guy!!!!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/02/13 at 09:59 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Holy Nike, that third goal for the Wings.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 04/02/13 at 11:40 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.


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