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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Blackhawks Game 2 quick take: no handshake line as Wings assert selves

Updated 3x at 4:50 PM: The Detroit Red Wings just turned the table on the Chicago Blackhawks, who were supposed to absolutely steamroll the Wings, delivering a puck possession clinic of their own in a 4-1 victory that evens the series 1-1 and at least ensures a fifth game.

From start to finish...Well, save the first shift of every period...The Wings played at least solid hockey, and after the inevitable Brendan Smith gaffe yielding a Chicago goal, the Wings rebounded with hard work, effort, attention to detail, silky smooth tranistion game passes from defensemen to forwards skating with speed through the neutral zone, and instead of trading chances with the Hawks, the Wings slowly but surely abandoned the one-and-surrender-one tendencies to begin to absolutely pound the snot out of the Hawks in terms of possession, control, "zone time," slot penetration and anything else you'd like to describe as a metric of a strong team and individual game.

Yes, yes, it was Brendan Smith again, with a doofy gaffe that yielded a Patrick Kane goal 14:05 in, negating a strong and stronger start, and the Wings were unable to cash in on double minors to David Bolland (in fact, the Wings have yet to dent the Hawks' 4 penalties), but one could also argue that Smith was rather deftly tripped by Patrick Sharp, and Kyle Quincey's block of Michal Handzus' shot placed the puck on Patrick Kane's stick.

So, after the first, we were all thinking, "Hoo boy, Wings out-shot Chicago 12-8 and out-chanced them, but here comes more of the same..."

Which was true until Detroit's resident x-factor line tied the game 2:40 into the 2nd. Joakim Andersson strongly won a faceoff in the Hawks' zone, he pulled the puck back to Jakub Kindl, and Kindl downright elegantly walked the blueline laterally before sending a hard shot on net that Damien Brunner tipped in--and the Wings' defenders starting pulling the Lidstrom lateral-blueline-walk when they finally figured out that Crawford gives up Jonas Hiller-like rebounds when you change the angle of attack...

 


And as the Wings simply out-skated and out-worked the Blackhawks, with their defensemen sending one-touch passes to forwards skating through the neutral zone with speed, with the forwards coming back to help their defensemen, with the team skating its ass off in all three zones to ensure that they kept the puck off Chicago's sticks, kept themselves from being mashed onto the side boards and ensured that they "penetrated the slot" and got pucks and bodies in ront of Corey Crawford...

The momentum built and built until a certain Brendan Smith made an absolutely lovely pinch, seeing Henrik Zetterberg and Danny Cleary elegantly teaming up for an odd-man rush, and Smith assuaged himself (though he's at a -1 in terms of giving up vs. scoring goals)...

 

 


And all of a sudden, "Bench Smith, play Ian White" chants stopped cold. Smith scored at 16:08 of the 2nd, and the Wings were FINALLY ahead of the Hawks.

The Wings continued to out-play the Hawks in the second period, but Jimmy Howard was superb when necessary, and sometimes he had to be as Smith, Colaiacovo, Kindl and Quincey kept making mistakes and the Hawks' star power occasionally even backed Zetterberg and Datsyuk back into their own end, though the fact that Drew Miller came back into the lineup seemed to shift the fourth line from something of an ineffective millstone into an incredibly effective machien, especially when the team had to weather that second-period penalty thanks to Datsyuk putting the puck over the glass.

In the 3rd, the Wings really came out flying, and of all people, Johan Franzen scored a gritty but pretty goal off an amazing side-to-side and then stretch pass by Jonathan Ericsson, which was nearly a three-line affair...

 


And by gosh, by golly, as the Wings laid the body on the Hawks, ruffling up Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Toews and especially the Hawks' defensemen and third and fourth-liners (Quenneville did indeed "shorten his bench" as the game went on), Valtteri Filppula converted another remarkable individual play by Henrik Zetterberg--who lost a faceoff, chose to win it back, push it up ice, and then give the puck to Filppula while Daniel Cleary drove to the net--and the Wings were up by 3:

 

 

Yes, Smith ended up giving up two more giveaways that resulted in superb toe and blocker saves by Howard, and the Hawks' 10-7 shot disparity in the 3rd period and 30-20 shot disparity overall was a little tighter in terms of the quality of their scoring chances, but Detroit's defense finally chose to not lift its collective foot off the gas pedal down the stretch, and the Wings' players deftly avoided head-hunting hits as they wound the game down and skated off a VERY VERY QUIET United Center ice surface.

1-1. Now it's all about making this one count by winning on Monday, which is going to be very hard, but for today, the Wings deserve to celebrate this one, and then they need to ensure that today's efficient puck-movement and strong puck possession game serves as a blueprint for the way this team must play for the rest of the series, engaged mentally, physically, emotionally, in terms of their attention span, attention to detail, competitiveness and plain old blood, spit and pee.

The Wings can't get fancy-pants on Monday--they've got to grind Chicago down, lest they be ground instead--but I believe this team can do it.

Can they do so to the tune of 3 more wins before 3 more losses? I have no frickin' clue. But it's sure fun to be a member of the winning side's fan base today.

Update: Via RedWingsFeed:

Hawks were called for 4, Wings for 3...

cheeky


Statistics:

Shots 30-20 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Chicago 12-8 in the 1st, 8-5 in the 2nd and 10-7 in the 3rd.

Chicago went 0-for-2 in 4:00 of PP time; the Wings went 0-for-4 in 7:22 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 19 of 20 shots; Corey Crawford stopped 26 of 30.

The 3 stars were picked by the Chicago media, and they picked Kronwall, Zetterberg and Brunner.

The Wings' goals: Brunner (4) from Kindl (3) and Andersson (3);

Smith (2) from Zetterberg (6) and Cleary (4);

Franzen (4) from Ericsson (3) and Kronwall (2);

Filppula (2) from Zetterberg (7).

Faceoffs 31-25 Detroit (Detroit won 55%);

Blocked shots 15-11 Detroit;

Missed shots 14-6 Detroit (Shot attempts 45-41 Detroit, with Detroit firing 30 shots ON Crawford and 25 wide or into Hawks players);

Hits 36-26 Chicago;

Giveaways 7-6 Chicago;

Takeaways 9-6 Chicago.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs:
Datsyuk went 11-and-6 (55%); Zetterberg went 6-and-8 (43%); Andersson went 6-and-6 (50%); Emmerton went 2-and-2 (50%); Brunner went 1-and-2 (33%); Miller went 0-and-1.

Shots: Abdelkader and Zetterberg co-led the team with 4 shots apiece; Smith, Cleary and Datsyuk had 3; Kindl, Filppula and Kronwall had 2; Nyquist, Miller, Brunner, Emmerton, Quincey, Colaiacovo and Franzen had 1.

Blocked attempts: Kindl hit Blackhawks players 3 times; Datsyuk and Colaiacovo had 2 attempts blocked; Smith, Cleary, Eaves and Franzen hit Hawks players 1 time.

Missed shots: Abdelkader missed the net 3 times; Eaves, Brunner and Kronwall missed the net 2 times; Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Filppula, Andersson and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the Wings with 5 hits; Ericsson had 4; Kindl, Cleary, Datsyuk, Miller and Emmerton had 2; Smith, Eaves, Brunner, Quincey, Colaiacovo, Filppula and Franzen had 1.

Giveaways: Franzen had 2 giveaways; Nyquist, Ericsson, Andersson and Howard had 1.

Takeaways: Kronwall had 2 takeaways; Datsyuk, Filppula, Andersson and Franzen had 1.

Blocked opponent shots: Smith, Colaiacovo and Andersson blocked 2 shots; Abdelkader, Clear, Nyquist, Miller, Brunner, Quincey, Ericsson, Kronwall and Franzen blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Smith, Kindl and Datsyuk took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective +15. Ericsson and Kronwall finished at +2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Cleary, Datsyuk, Nyquist, Brunner, Colaiacovo, Zetterberg, Filppula, Andersson and Franzen finished at +1.

Points: Zetterberg had 2 assists; Smith, Filppula and Franzen scored goals; Kindl, Cleary, Ericsson, Kronwall and Andersson had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 25:52 played; Ericsson played 23:38; Zetterberg played 19:38;

Datsyuk played 19:06; Quincey played 18:27; Filppula played 18:05;

Kindl played 17:50; Franzen played 17:40; Cleary played 16:17;

Smith played 16:03; Colaiacovo played 15:55; Brunner played 15:27;

Abdelkader played 14:51; Nyquist played 13:57; Andersson played 13:12;

Miller played 12:07; Emmerton played 9:18; Eaves played 8:37.

Update: this is pretty cool, per Sportsline's Adam Gretz...

Here's NHL.com's highlight clip...

 


Here's Joel Quenneville's post-game presser...

Here's Mike Babcock's post-game presser...

 

Here's Brendan Smith speaking to the NHL Network via the Cisco Arena Cam...

 

And here are Jimmy Howard...

 

And Henrik Zetterberg speaking with the media:

Update #2: The NHL also posted clips of Jonathan Ericsson...

And Carlo Colaiacovo speaking to the media:

Update #3: And from the Blackhawks, here are Brent Seabrook...

Corey Crawford...

Bryan Bickell...

And a certain Jonathan Toews speaking to the media:

We All Bleed Red posted a clip of Brendan Smith's post-game interview with the CBC, too:

 

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I feel like this right now

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/18/13 at 04:03 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

These teams aren’t that far apart.  They aren’t going to get it for free and they figured that out today.  Played a VERY honest game, 5 man game most of the game.

Where’s that Shi-town journalist that was writing our obituary, claiming the new dynasty throne after 3 good years and 1 cup, 1 finals appearance.  Keep writing brother, seems to work for pissing off the Wings.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/18/13 at 04:03 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Mark Lazerus @MarkLazerus

Toews unhappy with the officiating. Says if the #RedWings can get away with the physical stuff, #Blackhawks have to respond in kind.

Holy fuch.  This is their team captain spitting this shit out???

FAIL.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/18/13 at 04:06 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Okay, how would you draw up an effort to even up the series?
1. Have Wings derided in the last month or so, let alone the last week score goals:
a. Brunner, who only had 2 goals the last 2 months, and had the awful turnover against the Ducks (and now has 4 goals in the playoffs).
b. Brendan Smith, who was blamed for the Detroit loss, the bankruptcy of Detroit, etc. in the past week (although as George noted, the defense scares me still)
c. Johan Franzen, who’s been traded by the fans in the regular season in the last few years more than any other Wings (and now has 4 goals)
d. Valtteri Filppula, who had his own turnover extrordinaire, last week, and took his turn as most concerning Wing on the ice.

and have the Captain lead the way (now with 10 points) and give credit where credit is due:
“He looks good,” Zetterberg said of Howard. “He’s been great all year for us, he’s been our MVP. He’s playing well [and giving us] a chance to win games.”

Top that with quotes like: (quoting George’s entry):

http://kuklaskorner.com/tmr/comments/chicago-tribunes-mcneil-expects-hawks-to-hammer-the-wings

The Chicago Tribune’s Dan McNeil may subscribe to the “Blackhawks in square root of two!” theory:

  “So this is the dreamy, second-round match up that was to titillate the senses? The type of grudge match that was to rekindle all the deep-seeded ill feelings Chicagoans and Detroiters had for each other in the days of the old Norris Division?

  Or not.

  The hammer and the nail have no rivalry. The nail may not like the hammer, but it’s disdain for it does not constitute a rivalry because the hammer barely acknowledges the nail’s existence.

  Right now the Blackhawks are the hammer and the Red Wings are the nail. That will not change during the duration of these Western Conference semifinals.”

He continues at length and concludes with the following:

  “Meantime, enjoy these not-so-spicy Wings, who are nothing more than an annoying impediment that won’t take long to remove.”

Any wish to take that back, Mr. McNeil?

(and over on NHL.com, I love Bob Cole calling the highlights since I can’t get CBC where I’m at)

I guess a little rest helps.  They even one by more than 1 goal for once over the Hawks. Better yet, they were able to score all at even strength., and actually WIN the third period.  As noted before, I still think Chicago’s the better team, but any win is still gravy. The fact that the only team in recent memory to win the President’s Trophy winner and Cup is the Wings also is another reason I have hope—why not stop be the team to protect that record? I still think the Wings will only go as far as their team defense will carry them, though, and Game 3 you figure the Hawks are going to come back harder (as noted by the tweet of Toews’ remark above). Howard is good enough, and the offense I think/hope can squeeze out enough goals.

Mission accomplished, no?

Posted by Bugsy on 05/18/13 at 04:07 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I feel like this right now

I have a chubby as well.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 05/18/13 at 04:14 PM ET

Avatar

So Toews thinks the Wings are getting away with physical play, but has no problem with his team getting away with so much obstruction.  I actually like Toews….sac up man.  You’re better than that.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 05/18/13 at 04:17 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

I guess he’s just trying to motivate his team…  But complaining about refereeing is so… I dont know… Ducky? Sharky? Take your pick
I expected more from him.. Specially after Hossa getting 2 ridiculous dives called in his favor, so far

Posted by Zqto on 05/18/13 at 04:22 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I GUARANTEE YOU Douchebag Keith will come out with flying elbows Monday, GUARANTEE.  He’s the dirtiest piece of shit, I actually hate him more than Raffi Torres.  I hate him more than Matt Cooke to be honest, at least Cooke doesn’t pretend to be a golden boy.

Wings better watch their heads Monday cause, with Toews leading the charge like he did, I know these dirty Cawks will come out with intent to injure.  Watch your hands too.  Especially yours hands around Toews.

Be ready to counter that shit.  STand up to it and make them pay for it.  Don’t give it to’em for free, little bastards better packa lunch.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/18/13 at 04:22 PM ET

Avatar

Specially after Hossa getting 2 ridiculous dives called in his favor, so far

Marian Hossaguchi

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 05/18/13 at 04:24 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

But complaining about refereeing is so…


Ovie.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 05/18/13 at 04:24 PM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

The Toews comment…very poor sportsmanship. Didn’t expect that from him. Just admit when you’ve been outplayed and move on.

Posted by SandysWingingit on 05/18/13 at 04:25 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Great points on Hossa’s diving and Valek I’m with you, I actually liked Toews a lot.  Liked.  Evidently you’re only immune from Shi-town douchebaggery for so long.  It hit Kane strong and hard, but then again he’s from Buffalo so it wasn’t a long ride.  Keith had to have been descent at one time since he played for Sparty, but he’s King Douchery now.  Hossa’s little temper tantrums for no reason in game 1 and all his diving today, his douchery has come back after his baptism in the Winged Wheel…. Now add Mr. “it’s not our fault they cheated and the refs sucked” Toews, the aptain, to the list.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/18/13 at 04:26 PM ET

Avatar

I GUARANTEE YOU Douchebag Keith will come out with flying elbows Monday,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-SMjhK0YMU

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 05/18/13 at 04:26 PM ET

SYF's avatar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-SMjhK0YMU

Posted by Valek on 05/18/13 at 04:26 PM ET

The comments under that are glorious.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/18/13 at 04:34 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Exactly Valek, and that wasn’t the first or last time.  It disgusts me that this guy owns a Norris trophy.  How bout his elbow on Daniel Sedin?

If you can count on one thing, it’s for Duncan Keith to play dirty.

Did you see, on that Bolland penalty sequence? Bolland and Flip knock eachother down and Keith falls in head first, elbow out, into Filpulla’s head.  He didn’t get a good piece of him but he tried like hell, and he tried to hide it in falling down.  He always elbows to the head, he’s a dirty piece of shit. 

I LOVE the punishment Abby’s been putting on him, I hope he keeps it up.  Don’t let him get away with being the piece of shit he is.  Make him pay for it with pain.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/18/13 at 04:35 PM ET

SYF's avatar

The Toews comment…very poor sportsmanship. Didn’t expect that from him. Just admit when you’ve been outplayed and move on.

Posted by SandysWingingit on 05/18/13 at 04:25 PM ET

That’s our job as fans to whine ‘bout the refs.  That’s three aptains that act like petulant brats now.  And they’re the faces of the league???  FAIL.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/18/13 at 04:36 PM ET

Avatar

I’ve always felt Keith was a dirty player.  Unfortunately he has talent so people tend to ignore the dirty stuff.  I just keep hoping he Pronger’s himself somehow when someone ducks one of his hits.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 05/18/13 at 04:41 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Yay, CBC rebroadcast is up now, watching it now:
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockeynightincanada/fullgames/video/#id=2386012730

Posted by Bugsy on 05/18/13 at 04:47 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Duncan Keith also sounds like someone’s grumpy grandpa, or at least he has after losing so many teeth in 2010. Sometimes I expect him to start whistling through his gums.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/18/13 at 04:54 PM ET

SYF's avatar

When Cola’s fully functionally healthy, that guy can muscle people out of Dong’s crease.  I know I said that in the LB, but jeebus, I’m impressed with how strong is that sunovabitch.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/18/13 at 04:57 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

I realize some of you can get CBC, but watching the rebroadcast, at about 1:47 (2nd intermission), P.J. Stock commented over the Drew Miller slew foot of Toews, then the cross check/neck blow? of Z on Toews, and then showed Toews losing his cool, yelling on the bench. They basically said Toews needed to regroup and get his team back on track, and that Z was the much better captain today.
Watched the Toews death stare towards the Wings at the end of the game. Things fit together better now to me.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/18/13 at 05:52 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

Posted by Bugsy

Interesting…  NBC Broadcast didnt show anything of this, at all

Posted by Zqto on 05/18/13 at 05:54 PM ET

Avatar

Overall, a very strong defensive game by our guys today. They don’t whine publicly, like these one Cup winners. Keep talking like that JT and I will really start to dislike you. Get out there and make something happen if you don’t like what is going on.

The Wings have had to put with crap officiating and opponents diving(hello, Marion) for years and years. Also, if anybody was doing interfering, it was mostly the Hawks. Why the officials don’t call it anymore is a mystery to me when they can call these phantom hooks from divers.

Posted by NewfieWing on 05/18/13 at 06:02 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Interesting…  NBC Broadcast didnt show anything of this, at all

Zqto, now you know why I miss watching hockey on CBC.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/18/13 at 06:03 PM ET

SYF's avatar

The Wings have had to put with crap officiating and opponents diving(hello, Marion) for years and years. Also, if anybody was doing interfering, it was mostly the Hawks. Why the officials don’t call it anymore is a mystery to me when they can call these phantom hooks from divers.

Posted by NewfieWing on 05/18/13 at 06:02 PM ET

And not one word from our club about any of it.  Just show up the next game and play.  It’s the Wings way.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/18/13 at 06:04 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

And not one word from our club about any of it.  Just show up the next game and play.  It’s the Wings way.

That starts with the captains, leading the team, going back to Yzerman.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/18/13 at 06:08 PM ET

Avatar

These teams aren’t that far apart.

They’re a loooong ways apart, and have been all season long.  The difference is that at this precise moment in time Detroit played an absolutely incredible game and won one.

Chicago’s a young team that’s had very little playoff success the past two years.  After just steamrolling Detroit in game 1 it shouldn’t be surprising that a team like that took their foot off the gas.  This current version of Chicago hasn’t been what I would call a clutch team.

Detroit has a legit chance to win the series.  I said going in that if they got .930 or more from Howard they’d have a solid shot, he’s at .934, and they’re tied 1-1 with a solid shot.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/18/13 at 06:32 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Jesse Rogers, ESPN Chicago:
http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/blackhawks/post/_/id/4674358/time-for-blackhawks-to-get-serious

“No one move will make the difference; it’s a cumulative effect. But now that the Wings have proved they can play with the Hawks, it’s time for the favorite to get serious. Speed and chaos—as seen in Game 1—is called for, and the Hawks have been able to accomplish that at Joe Louis Arena lately as much as any team in the league. But Detroit has been decent enough in Chicago over the years too. They were again Saturday.

“They had the puck a lot tonight,” Kane said. “Took a page out of our game. I felt like we were chasing the puck all the time.”

That was Detroit’s game before it was the Hawks’. The Wings never stopped playing that way; they simply haven’t been as good at it over the past few years. Saturday showed they can still bring it, if their seven-game series win over the Ducks didn’t. (emphasis mine)

“They have the momentum right now. We need to get it back somehow,” Kane said.

Series. On.”

Posted by Bugsy on 05/18/13 at 07:41 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

I know George will eventually post these, but I wanted to throw these out there while I was reading them:
Adam Gretz, at CBS Sports didn’t even comment on Z, focused all on Datsyuk and his line, for what it’s worth, using shot stats while they were on the ice:

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/blog/eye-on-hockey/22265688/pavel-datsyuk-helps-red-wings-shut-down-blackhawks-in-game-2

“That’s nearly a 70-30 split when it comes to which end of the ice the game was being played in when those guys were on the ice, and they were usually going up against Chicago’s best players, including Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa. That’s about as dominant as a line can be while only scoring one goal (Franzen’s).

The best way to shut down a team like the Blackhawks is to make sure they’re the ones defending.

On Saturday the Red Wings did just that, and no line did it better than Datsyuk’s”

Brian Cazeneuve at SI focused on other things including a Wings “signature play”:

http://nhl.si.com/2013/05/18/nhl-playoffs-red-wings-trip-up-blackhawks-4-1-western-conference-semifinals-tied-at-one/

“• The Wings used a play that has become a signature entry for them to extend the lead to 3-1: the stretch and tip. On the play, Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson took the puck at his own blue line, but actually backed up to allow for Johan Franzen to circle through center ice. At just the right moment, Ericsson flung the long pass up ice to the Hawks’ blue line where Franzen picked it up, sped into the zone and beat Crawford over his left shoulder. In the time Ericsson hesitated in making the pass, Hjalmarsson turned to his right towards the boards when he should have looked left, to the middle of the ice, where Franzen managed to slide free.”

Posted by Bugsy on 05/18/13 at 07:59 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Smith scored a goal. So what? Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.  The guy is a defensive disaster. Bench him.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/18/13 at 09:57 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Smith scored a goal. So what? Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.  The guy is a defensive disaster. Bench him.

I’m asking this as a sincere question, since I’m not thrilled with Smith on defense, either. Who goes in for Smith? The only defenseman with the team otherwise right now is White. The rest are with the Griffins. Who would you pick? They sent down Lashoff a week ago.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/18/13 at 10:20 PM ET

Avatar

I just want to say great game by the Wings…

but the entire league had better watch out…the Wings have NOT had a good season, and in most senses (to me < 82 games experiece) the Wings are playing with 5 FIVE!! rookies (they’d play with six if Dekeyser didn’t break his thumb).  They are also without IMO the best bottom 6 fwd in the league, Helm.  Not only that, but they were among the most injured teams in the league.

These guys are getting better every game.  Ericsson has turned into a top pr Dman, and Dekeyser isn’t much behind…

The Wings continue to find Diamonds in the rough (Brunner, DeKeyser, etc…) and I’m sure they won’t be the last.

The farm team is stocked and ahem, the 09 draft picks have all panned out….when does that EVER happen?

Not only that, but the Wings are moving East, getting easier travel, and plenty of new teams to pick on…

But as anyone who has played the game knows, confidence can be contagious…just ask the defending champions LA Kings.

Til next time…Adieu.

Posted by zombietroy on 05/19/13 at 01:23 AM ET

Avatar

And AGAIN, the Wings have had TWO tragedies in the last 16 years that basically forced two of the top Dmen in the league to immediately retire.  (In Konstantinov and Fischer.)

Imagine if the Leafs lost Phaneuf a couple years ago, or the Kings lost Doughty, or the Sharks lost Boyle, or the Caps lost Green….

LGRW 4 Life.

Posted by zombietroy on 05/19/13 at 01:27 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.