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Red Wings-Blackhawks quick take: gotta try to find a way

After the Wings found out that they couldn't nurse a 0-0 tie, after Niklas Kronwall chased Patrick Kane to the blueline and the kid line kind of collectively brain-farted and watched the Hawks score the 2-1 goal, after Hossa picked the low corner and made it 3-1, I got angry (and the game ended ingloriously thanks to a 4-1 shorthanded goal where Franzen got his pocket picked by Hossa and neither Kronwall nor Alfredsson were anywhere to be found).

As a Red Wings fan, as someone who desperately wants to believe that a team with ten players hurt--including Datsyuk and Zetterberg--can somehow make the playoffs, even when Kyle Quincey's tripping Brendan Smith and guys are getting hurt every game and the Wings' opponents are the ones getting healthier and stronger and keep on *#$%@& winning...

The Red Wings lost a 4-1 decision to a vastly deeper Chicago Blackhawks team, kicking off the first of 5 games played in 8 nights and 9 in 15--with two games against Toronto, two against Minnesota, one against Montreal, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Tampa looming...

And I understand that plugging away and plugging away, staying calm and just keeping at 'er is the Red Wings' way, but I sure as *#$%@& hope that someone comes out of this game angry enough to stand up.

To stand up and say something. Whether it's Kronwall, Ericsson, Alfredsson, Sheahan or frickin' Teemu "everything is nice" Pulkkinen saying not making the playoffs is, "Not very nice," it is OFFICIALLY time for the Red Wings' leadership to channel Steve Yzerman, circa being down 0-2 to Vancouver in 2002, and to try very hard to ignore that the Hulls, Robitailles and Larionovs have given way to Nyquists, Emmertons and DeKeysers.

This team has to find a reason, a rallying cry, a purpose, a point at which they choose to stab their spades into the ground and start digging themselves out of the hole they've skated themselves into, partially due to incredibly inconsistent play and partially due to a staggering amount of injuries intersecting with an in-transition team that has yet to address the absences of the net-front presence that is Tomas Holmstrom and the brain drain on defense thanks to the losses of Rafalski, Stuart and Lidstrom...

And yes, when you add it all up, the math is stacked against Detroit and stacked against Detroit severely.

But a team that kept the Hawks to within a goal for 46 minutes and a team that, despite goal #4, got a remarkable performance from its goaltender earlier on...

It can't give up, not now, not yet. This team has 15 games remaining, and while it's a half-Grand Rapids Griffins team that has to climb nearly vertically uphill...

They've got to try to find a way. And it's about time for a *#$%@& rallying cry that involves something bolder, angrier and ballsier than the Patented Kronwall Sad Face saying, "We weren't good enough."

Try harder.

Please.

Statistics:

Shots 30-20 Chicago overall. Detroit was out-shot 11-5 in the 1st period, 14-7 in the 2nd, and Detroit actually out-shot Chicago 8-5 in the 3rd period.

Special teams: Detroit went 1-for-4 in 7:47 of power play time; Chicago went 1-for-3 in 5:42.

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 26 of 30 shots for Detroit; Corey Crawford stopped 19 of 20 for Chicago.

The 3 stars were picked by NHL.com's Brian Hedger, and he picked Duncan Keith, Ben Smith and Marian Hossa.

The Red Wings' goal: Nyquist (17) from Alfredsson (24) and Kronwall (34), PPG.

Faceoffs 30-21 Chicago (Detroit won 41%);

Blocked shots 18-11 Detroit;

Missed shots 16-5 Detroit (attempts 53-47 Chicago, with Detroit firing 20 shots ON Crawford and 27 wide/blocked);

Hits 33-20 Detroit;

Giveaways 12-7 Chicago;

Takeaways 4-3 Detroit.

Individual stats:

Faceoffs: Legwand went 6-and-12 (33%); Sheahan went 3-and-9 (25%); Glendening went 6-and-4 (60%); Emmerton went 5-and-3 (63%); Franzen went 1-and-1 (50%); Abdelkader went 0-and-1.

Shots: Franzen led the Wings with 4 shots; Alfredsson Nyquist, Glendening, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 2; Smith, Legwand, Miller, Tootoo, Quincey and Ericsson had 1 shot.

Blocked attempts: Legwand hit Hawks players 3 times; Kronwall hit Hawks players 2 times; Alfredsson, Nyquist, Miller, Lashoff, Pulkkinen and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Nyquist missed the net 5 times; Smith missed the net 3 times; Tatar, Kronwall and DeKeyser missed the net 2 times; Emmerton and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Franzen led the Wings with 6 hits; Abdelkader had 5; Alfredsson had 3; Sheahan, Legwand, Tootoo and Ericsson had 2; Smith, Nyquist, Lashoff, Emmerton, Quincey, Glendening, Pulkkinen and DeKeyser had 1.

Giveaways: Quincey and Ericsson had 2 giveaways; Tatar, DeKeyser and Howard had 1.

Takeaways: Tatar had 2 takeaways; Miller and Kronwall had 1 takeaway.

Blocked opponent shots: Alfredsson and Quincey blocked 3 shots; Smith, Glendening and DeKeyser blocked 2 shots; Nyquist, Sheahan, Lashoff, Emmerton, Ericsson and Kronwall blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Sheahan, Tatar, Glendening and Pulkkinen took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at -14. Sheahan, Tatar and Kronwall finished at -2; Smith, Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Nyquist, Legwand, Quincey, Ericsson and Franzen finished at -1.

Points: Nyquist had a goal; Kronwall and Alfredsson had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall played 24:06; DeKeyser played 21:43; Ericsson played 20:59;

Franzen played 20:16; Sheahan played 18:25; Legwand played 18:12;

Tatar played 17:49; Nyquist played 17:48; Quincey played 17:19;

Alfredsson played 16:55; Glendening played 15:48; Miller played 15:06;

Abdelkader played 14:33; Smith played 14:28; Lashoff played 13:19;

Emmerton played 9:55; Pulkkinen played 8:17; Tootoo played 7:20.

In the Twitter department:

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Comments

WingedRider's avatar

No changes to poor D Men (call up a GR D man) no different results.

Just a total mess of a year. Injuries, D Men, maybe Goalie(s)

Slim chances for some short Playoff experience for kids

Mathematically hanging on

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/16/14 at 10:12 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

Another game scoring 1 or fewer goals. Another game giving up 1 or more goals in the third period, this time 3 goals in the final 21 minutes. Demonstrably a losing recipe but they aren’t improving.

Posted by bleep bloop on 03/16/14 at 10:16 PM ET

harken23's avatar

We need a year off, Z and pav in particular…

Posted by harken23 on 03/16/14 at 10:31 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Not a playoff team when you continue to throw Quincey-Smith out there.

Posted by Primis on 03/16/14 at 10:40 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Not a playoff team when you continue to throw Quincey-Smith out there.

Posted by Primis on 03/16/14 at 10:40 PM ET

Highlight of the game was those two colliding for the Hossa breakaway goal.

Posted by SK77 on 03/16/14 at 10:45 PM ET

Avatar

Collectively, the Wings simply do a great job of shooting themselves in the foot , every game, usually with less than a minute to go in a period. How many times this year have we seen this movie? Getting scored on late in a period is NEVER good and this team makes a regular habit of doing exactly that.

Now, in my mind, continuing to repeat the same gross errors is partly on the players but more importantly it is up to the coaches to get the right personnel out there to prevent this from occurring. Not happening…... and Babs is unable to figure it out. These goals have killed us in close to 20 games this year and likely led to critical losses.

That, combined with third period collapses, is why they are looking up at playoff bound teams and will not make it….I simply cannot see them overcoming these mental errors, especially with the lack of veteran talent on this team.

Posted by NewfieWing on 03/16/14 at 11:24 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

  Justin Abdelkader went limping off the ice mid way through the 3rd period and didn’t play after that. I’m preparing for an injury. #ShitLuck
  — Michelle (@Slapshotg0al) March 17, 2014

Well, it had been several hours without a Wing going down…

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 03/16/14 at 11:26 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Giveaways: Quincey and Ericsson had 2 giveaways; Tatar, DeKeyser and Howard had 1.

I don’t know who compiles those stats, but they obviously weren’t watching tonight’s game. Franzen alone had at least four giveaways. He’s absolutely horrible at handling the puck.

In general, the whole team seemed to have difficulty controlling the puck tonight. Too many guys looked dazed and confused out there. And poor Pulkkinen was at the top of that list (although being a highly skilled player on a line with Emmerton and Tootoo may have been a contributing factor).

And it’s about time for a *#$%@& rallying cry…

The truth is it’s about time to see who the #8 through #15 picks will be this June.

 

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/16/14 at 11:48 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

This is gonna sound weird, but I thought that the guys tried to force things, and in attempting to accomplish too much individually, they ended up making catastrophic mistakes as a result.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/17/14 at 12:02 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I thought that the guys tried to force things…

I would agree with that. Some of the mishandling of pucks seemed to be the result of guys trying to grab a puck and skate with it before they actually had it under control. I guess “over anxious” would be the way I’d describe their approach to a lot of those plays.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/17/14 at 12:34 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

The Wings were beaten by a better team.
I remember when Holland could have kept Marian Hossa and let Franzen go (sigh). 
confused
I accept the fact they will not make the playoffs this year.
Given that, it is fun to watch them.
Babcock has them playing hard, with structure.
Guys like Nyquist, Glendenning, Abdelkader, Tatar, DeKyser & Ericsson give hope for the future.

Posted by w2j2 on 03/17/14 at 07:04 AM ET

Avatar

Try harder? Give them some credit. They are trying hard. They are just not succeeding.

Posted by jkm2011 on 03/17/14 at 07:38 AM ET

Avatar

It was a good effort, I thought we played good defense and really did all we could against the team that is just a lot better at this point.
PP looked a little better (first unit only). And we got unlucky with Hossa coming back just in time for this game (he ended up with 3 points).
The negatives:
1) Howard was OK, but to win in Chicago he MUST stop the first goal. Yes, he was screened, but the puck did not change direction and he saw the shot. Simple basic positioning, Crawford did not allow this type of goal.
2) On a second goal Eriksson lost a battle in front of the net. AGAIN. The way he has been playing, I would try Q or even Smith with Kronwall.
3) How could Smith and Q end up together on a Hossa goal? I think we’ve had a sample of about 75 games showing those two cannot play together.
I do like the fact Babcock remains positive and continues to be a great motivator and mentor for this team in such a fragile stage.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/17/14 at 11:47 AM ET

Avatar

The longer one attempts to avoid reality, the more crushing the impact as it reasserts its presence.

This isn’t about “standing up” or about “time for a *#$%@& rallying cry” or whatever nonsense bleacher and beer-spawned drivel we fans think actually matters.

There are too many injuries.  The players left aren’t good enough.  The #1 goalie has been bad.

That’s it.  That’s the list.  Painting half your face blue and rallying the troops with cries of “freeeeeeedom!’ doesn’t matter when there aren’t any troops.  Trying to work up some kind of wackadoo theory why things haven’t gone Detroit’s way this year is pointlessly overwrought angels on the head of a pin pondering.

If Detroit had been even slightly healthy this year they’d be well into the playoff picture.  Barring that, if Detroit had gotten elite (or even close to elite) goaltending from Howard this year they’d be well into the playoff picture.

They haven’t been remotely close to either for more or less the entirety of the season, so they are where they are.  That something like this hasn’t already happened in the past 20-25 years is a source of great wonder, but it was bound to happen eventually and it has.

All over the season.

That’s why they keep having new ones, so even in the midst of shambles there’s reason to be optimistic better things are ahead.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/17/14 at 02:27 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Collectively, the Wings simply do a great job of shooting themselves in the foot , every game, usually with less than a minute to go in a period. How many times this year have we seen this movie? Getting scored on late in a period is NEVER good and this team makes a regular habit of doing exactly that.

This has been going on during the first and last minute of a period for a few seasons now, even when Lidstrom and Rafaski were here. Of course it is much worse this season. The best way to deal with this season is hold it over the commode, drop it in, and flush. You will feel much better afterward.

Posted by bigfrog on 03/17/14 at 08:22 PM 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.