The Malik Report
by George Malik on 10/15/13 at 09:52 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings were not particularly sharp in terms of defensive details during Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team gave up far too many scoring chances for any fan's liking, never mind the coach's.
The Wings continue to be out-shot by a wide margin on an every-game basis, and the stats were pretty bloody ugly overall: Columbus out-shot Detroit 18-7 in the 1st and 37-32 overall, and many of Columbus' scoring opportunities were of the grade-A variety...
But it turns out that the Red Wings have a capable back-up behind James Tiberius Howard this season, and his name is...Jonas Gustavsson?
Gustavsson stopped all 18 shots he faced in the 1st, 7 of 8 in the 2nd and all 11 in the 3rd, and while the defensemen and forwards in front of him looked somewhat gassed both mentally and physically against a team that absolutely adores playing Detroit--as was very evident by their physical gusto--the Wings wrapped up a series of 3 games in 4 nights and 4 in 6 by, as Todd Bertuzzi told Fox Sports Detroit's Justin White, getting the lead and holding on.
5:05 into the 1st period, just after the expiration of a power play (the first and second period were refereed like "crackdown" games, and the third was a rodeo), Daniel Alfredsson scored his first goal as a Wing...
And after that, the Wings basically limped their way to the locker room. I believe that Chris Osgood stated that the Wings gave up somethig like 14 of the 18 shots they surrendered after scoring that goal, and Gustavsson kept the Wings up by one.
In the second period, the red sea sort of parted for Cam Atkinson, and he scored a power play goal thanks to lax coverage all over the ice (Glendening, Miller, DeKeyser and Quincey were on the ice), yielding a 1-1 tie 7:48 into the 2nd...
But the Wings responded relatively quickly, with Todd Bertuzzi scoring a goal right after being slew-footed by Fedor Tyutin, tipping in a Henrik Zetterberg shot at the 11:44 mark...
And after that, it wasn't pretty, but Gustavsson held the fort, Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi were dominant, the first defensive pair of Kronwall and Ericsson were excellent, the Alfredsson-Andersson-Cleary line was spunky, Miller, Glendening and Tootoo had their ups and downs, but were supremely physical and hard on the puck, eventually even Franzen showed some enthusiasm as Weiss kept grindin' and Abdelkader kept muckin,' and the rest of the defense played poorly enough that Brendan Smith must have been smiling knowing that either Brian Lashoff or a very sophomore-slump-y Danny DeKeyser may be the next "message-sending" casualties in his stead.
Overall, the Wings played JUST well enough to hold on, but given their mental and physical fatigue, and given the fact that Gustavsson played so very well...
Sometimes you take two ugly points and run.
The Wings will face two difficult opponents in the Avalanche on Thursday and the Coyotes on Saturday. I sure as hell hope that Babcock gives the team a break, because they were gassed tonight, and having a goalie who gives the team the luxury of resting Jimmy Howard until his hand fully heals makes up for the growing pains the team's suffering in terms of shots and scoring chances against early on in this 2013-14 campaign.
Quickie update: Gustavsson earned the 2 points on this save alone:
Quickie update 2: We All Bleed Red posted Alfredsson's first intermission interview:
Shots 37-32 Columbus overall. Detroit was out-shot 18-7 in the 1st, out-shot Columbus 8-13 in the 2nd and out-shot Columbus 12-11 in the 3rd.
Detroit went 1-for-4 in 6:11 of PP time; Columbus went 1-for-3 in 4:20 of PP time.
Jonas Gustavsson stopped 36 of 37 shots; Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 of 32.
MLive's Brendan Savage picked the 3 stars, and he picked Sergei Bobrovsky, Henrik Zetterberg and Jonas Gustavsson.
The Wings' goals: Alfredsson (1) from Datsyuk (5) and Zetterberg (3);
Bertuzzi (2) from Zetterberg (4) and Kronwall (5), PPG.
Faceoffs 34-32 Detroit (Detroit won 52%);
Blocked shots 11-10 Columbus;
Missed shots 13-5 Detroit (total attempts 56-52 Detroit, with Detroit firing 32 shots ON Bobrovsky and 24 wide or blocked);
Hits 24-19 Columbus;
Giveaways 9-6 Detroit;
Takeaways 9-4 Detroit.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Weiss went 15-and-11 (58%); Andersson went 10-and-5 (67%); Datsyuk went 6-and-9 (40%); Glendening went 2-and-7 (22%); Zetterberg won his only faceoff.
Shots: Kronwall led the team with 5 shots; Abdelkader and Zetterberg had 4; Datsyuk had 3; Kindl, Alfredsson, Miller, Quincey and Bertuzzi had 2; Andersson, Tootoo, Glendening, Ericsson, Cleary and Weiss had 1.
Blocked attempts: Alfredsson and Lashoff hit Blue Jackets players 2 times; Kindl, Datsyuk, Tootoo, Zetterberg Ericsson, DeKeyser and Kindl had single attempts blocked.
Missed shots: Kindl, Datsyuk and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Alfredsson, Andersson, Tootoo, Lashoff, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Tootoo led the Wings with 5 hits; Alfredsson and Bertuzzi had 3; Miller had 2; Kindl, Lashoff, Zetterberg, Glendening, Ericsson and Weiss had 1.
Giveaways: Ericsson and 3 giveaways, all during the 1st period; Quincey had 2; Kindl, Andersson, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 1.
Takeaways: Datsyuk and Zetterberg had 2 takeaways; Kindl, Alfredsson, Miller, Lashoff and Cleary had 1.
Blocked opponent shots: Ericsson and Kronwall blocked 2 shots apiece; Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Quincey, Glendening, DeKeyser and Franzen blocked 1 shot.
Penalties taken: Lashoff, Kronwall and Franzen were tagged for minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at +5. Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Kronwall finished at +1.
Points: Zetterberg had 2 assists; Alfredsson and Bertuzzi had goals; Datsyuk and Kronwall had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 22:32 played; Kindl played 20:18; Ericsson played 18:58;
DeKeyser played 18:41; Quincey played 18:17; Abdelkader played 17:55;
Zetterberg played 17:46; Weiss played 17:42; Franzen played 17:39;
Datsyuk played 17:18; Alfredsson played 16:45; Bertuzzi played 16:31;
Lashoff played 16:30; Andersson played 16:09; Cleary played 14:57;
Miller played 10:40; Glendening played 8:53; Tootoo played 7:22;
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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.