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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Blue Jackets quick take: now is the time of Wings fans’ discontent

The Detroit Red Wings now sit at 0-3-and-2 since their rope-a-dope win over the Los Angeles Kings way back on February 18th, thanks to a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

The game-winning goal was a microcosm of the season thus far: with time ticking down, the Wings pressed deep, and instead of shooting, Damien Brunner tried to pass the puck to the slot, despite the fact that both Henrik Zetterberg and the goal-scoring-but otherwise-nonexistent Valtteri Filppula were covered. James Wisniewski picks the pass off, skates it up ice, gives it to Derek Dorsett, and as Ian White and Brian Lashoff don't play together, but were the #2 defensive pairing thanks to Kyle Quincey's injury, Dorsett's lateral pass to Wisniewski from the left faceoff dot wasn't so much as sneezed at....

Ditto for Wisniewski's reverse to a completely uncovered Vinny Prospal, who slithered between the Wings' clueless defenders and chipped a backhand behind Jimmy Howard, completing the third straight negation of a Wings 3-0 lead.

24 seconds from at least a point, the Wings, who were basically brutally beaten along the boards in front of the net by a Blue Jackets team that was given carte blanche to do whatever the *#$%@& they wanted to Detroit after Anisimov went down, pulled defeat from the jaws of victory.

Or perhaps fiction. Again. And the Wings lost Kyle Quincey in the process, with Quincey probably having sprained his knee in the Anisimov collision, and the Wings nearly lost Danny Cleary and Justin Abdelakder to various hacks and whacks from Adrian Aucoin.

In the end, what doomed the Wings? The penalty Jordin Tootoo took a minute and a half after Valtteri Filppula's 2-0 goal, which gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 foothold via PPG and some confidence that they could chip away at the Wings and cause an error-prone and confidence-absent team to make enough mistakes to yield two points. Which is exactly what happened.

Detroit's power play is awful, the penalty-kill is awful, the refereeing was terrible tonight and the Wings never adapted to the standard of officiating nor capitalized on their chances, because most of them were one-and-done.

Too many passes, too much cute stuff when grit and jam was called for, and the Wings face absolute must-wins against Nashville on Saturday and Vancouver on Sunday.

Against Columbus of all teams, the Wings now find themselves having given away whatever gains the first third of the season had given them, and are in their hour of need, with no personnel left to call up from Grand Rapids. This team, as it is, must sink or swim.

Statistics:

Shots 30-24 Detroit overall. Detroit was was out-shot 8-7 in the 1st, out-shot Columbus 11-7 in the 2nd and out-shot Columbus 12-9 in the 3rd.

The Blue Jackets' power play went 1-for-3 in 3:28; the Wings' power play went 0-for-4 in 6:53 of PP time, including 9 seconds of 5 on 3 time.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 of 30; Jimmy Howard stopped 21 of 24.

The three stars were picked by the Detroit News's John Niyo, and they were Derek Dorsett (3), Pavel Datsyuk (2) AND Vaclav Prospal (1).

The Wings' goals: Brunner (8), unassisted;

Filppula (4) from Lashoff (2) and Zetterberg (17).

Faceoffs 27-22 Detroit (Detroit won 55%);

Blocked shots 13-9 Detroit;

Missed shots 10-7 Columbus (total attempts 47-45 Columbus);

Hits 25-21 Columbus;

Giveaways 7-2 Detroit;

Takeaways 2-1 Columbus.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk finished 10-and-8 (56%); Zetterberg finished 10-and-4 (71%); Emmerton finished 4-and-5 (44%); Andersson finished 0-and-3; Filppula finished 2-and-1 (67%); Mursak finished 1-and-1 (50%).

Shots: Cleary led the team with 5 shots; Zetterberg and Brunner had 4; Datsyuk and Lashoff had 3; White, Tatar, Filppula and Kronwall had 2; Abdelkader, Emmerton and Quincey had 1.

Blocked attempts: Abdelkader had 2 attempts blocked by Columbus players; Datsyuk, White, Tatar, Lashoff, Brunner, Zetterberg and Ericsson had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Cleary missed the net 2 times; Abdelkader, White, Lashoff, Brunner and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Huskins led the team with 4 hits; Abdelkader and Tootoo had 3; Miller and Ericsson had 2; Cleary, White, Lashoff, Brunner, Emmerton, Kronwall and Andersson had 1.

Giveaways: Cleary and Zetterberg had 2 giveaways; Abdelkader, Quincey and Mursak had 1.

Takeaways: Datsyuk had the Wings' only takeaway.

Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall blocked 4 shots; Huskins and Miller blocked 2; Cleary, Datsyuk, White and Tatar blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Tootoo took 3 penalties totaling 17 minutes; Cleary, Mursak and Ericsson took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished even collectively. White finished at -2; Huskins finished at -1; Lashoff finished at +1; Quincey finished at +2.

Points: Brunner and Filppula had goals; Lashoff and Zetterberg had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall played 28:19; Ericsson played 25:30; White played 25:22;

Datsyuk played 22:30; Zetterberg played 22:03; Lashoff played 19:07;

Cleary played 18:32; Filppula played 17:31; Abdelkader played 16:50;

Brunner played 15:52; Huskins played 13:45; Miller played 13:26;

Emmerton played 12:10; Andersson played 10:11; Tatar played 10:03;

Mursak played 8:43; Tootoo played 7:53; Quincey played 6:12.

Babcock told 97.1 FM's Jeff Riger that Kyle Quincey "rolled his ankle." Team will find out more on Friday.

Update # whatever: At least this was nice (it's Damien Brunner's goal)...

 

And MLive's Ansar Khan, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, the Associated Press and the Free Press have already posted early recaps.

Update #2 whatever: The Wings' website hasn't posted a highlight clip yet, but here's Henrik Zetterberg speaking to the media...

 

Here's Niklas Kronwall...

 


And here's coach Mike Babcock's post-game presser:

 


This is also amusing...

Update # whatever 3: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff also posted a video of Kronwall's comments...

 

And We All Bleed Red posted a clip of Tootoo's fight:

Update # whatever 4: Here're the game's highlights:

 

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Comments

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gowings's avatar

That would be sink

Posted by gowings from MTL on 02/21/13 at 11:24 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Panic mode commencing in 3, 2, 1,....

Posted by Bugsy on 02/21/13 at 11:28 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Has the feel of a season-ending loss.

Wings will likely need to win at the very least 20 of their last 40 games in a road-heavy schedule where they haven’t scored yet on the powerplay.

I don’t see them being able to come back emotionally from the last few games.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 02/21/13 at 11:29 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Uhhh….yeah my math is a little off there…

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 02/21/13 at 11:30 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Make that 15 of their last 30.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 02/21/13 at 11:31 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Uhhh….yeah my math is a little off there…

Does it really matter at this point?

Posted by calquake on 02/21/13 at 11:39 PM ET

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The only good thing about this year is hopefully done off the guys from Grand Rapids will get some nhl experience.

Posted by teldar on 02/21/13 at 11:41 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

time to start dumping salary and get some draft picks in return. 20 game gauge is approaching tick-tock.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 02/21/13 at 11:51 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

and we are sellers at this point, if nothing changes. Might as well get something in return for all the FA’s.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 02/21/13 at 11:52 PM ET

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Alright, so this is now a losing streak that encompasses nearly 10% of the season.

Time to do something.

Posted by Garth on 02/21/13 at 11:54 PM ET

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who would take the salaries?  with the exception of Pav they all look like high schoolers right now.  downer

Posted by akwingsfan on 02/21/13 at 11:57 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

We like our team.

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/21/13 at 11:58 PM ET

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I want what KH is taking

Posted by akwingsfan on 02/21/13 at 11:59 PM ET

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Posted by akwingsfan on 02/21/13 at 10:57 PM ET

Seriously, what does Zetterberg have to do to get an ounce of respect?

Posted by Garth on 02/22/13 at 12:05 AM ET

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not what led to 2nd goal.

Posted by akwingsfan on 02/22/13 at 12:07 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Holland has to be willing to drop a bomb on this team at the deadline and over the summer. Wings need a major personnel change.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 02/22/13 at 12:07 AM ET

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he’s looking tired/injured right now, like he did last year.  He started the season playing out of this world.

Posted by akwingsfan on 02/22/13 at 12:08 AM ET

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Posted by akwingsfan on 02/21/13 at 11:07 PM ET

You’re right.  I guess being one of the best players on the team so far this season and being in the top five in points in the league stands for nothing because of one play.

Posted by Garth on 02/22/13 at 12:10 AM ET

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Wings need a major personnel change.

No they don’t.  They need to be healthy, drop some dead weight *cough*Cleary*cough* to make room for some Griffins and they need to address their losses on defense.

Posted by Garth on 02/22/13 at 12:11 AM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

Alright, so this is now a losing streak that encompasses nearly 10% of the season.

5 game losing streak in a 48 game season is (very slightly more than) 10%. If they lose the next two games, and I don’t really see how they can win them playing like they are, it’ll be nearly 15% of the season (then they go back on the road where they haven’t fared well and then host the still undefeated-in-regulation Blackhawks, so it could very well reach nearly 21% unless they turn things around in a hurry). I’ll make the bold prediction that against all odds, they will not lose all of the next 5 games.

Posted by bleep bloop on 02/22/13 at 01:03 AM ET

Chet's avatar

i haven’t read a single comment in this thread yet, but the GWG was, again, brunner’s. first he gives up the puck deep with a poorly timed shot/pass (who knows), then does the right thing and hustles up ice.

what next? he literally tries to pick up two blue jackets, causing confusion on coverage that leads lashoff to back off into defensive irrelevance.

the GTG was mostly Z’s with just a terrible zone giveaway.

this isn’t about perseverance or toughness as much as: when are these guys going to WAKE THE *#$%@& UP!?

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/22/13 at 02:12 AM ET

Chet's avatar

another thought without reading the comments yet: a real pattern has been this team can play pretty dominant, bend-but-don’t-break, puck possession hockey for about 56 minutes, but are masters of losing games in the other 4 minutes. that’s on the coaches and management as much as the players.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/22/13 at 02:15 AM ET

Chet's avatar

oh, also on the coaches: special teams are a punchline at this point.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/22/13 at 02:16 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

In the end, what doomed the Wings? The penalty Jordin Tootoo took a minute and a half after Valtteri Filppula’s 2-0 goal, which gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 foothold via PPG and some confidence that they could chip away at the Wings and cause an error-prone and confidence-absent team to make enough mistakes to yield two points. Which is exactly what happened.

Tootoo was trying to keep Ericsson from going off for 5 minutes when he’s our best d-man.  He was taking the bullet for the team.  I know you hate fighting but you shouldn’t let that let you place the blame at Tootoo’s feet for tonights loss.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/22/13 at 02:55 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I like Tootoo and I actually like fighting. I appreciated the hell out of what he did, but Dorsett scored the game-tying goal and assisted on the game-winner as a result, and in the wrap-up I’m writing, I can tell you for a fact that Dorsett felt that Tootoo’s decision to step in fired up the Blue Jackets.

It was the right thing to do, but it was at the wrong time.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/22/13 at 03:03 AM ET

Chet's avatar

I can tell you for a fact that Dorsett felt that Tootoo’s decision to step in fired up the Blue Jackets.

so what? the jackets didn’t win this game nearly so much as the wings gave it away. that’s the story here, and it’s all too common. there’s something creeping into this team from the top down: in a nutshell, “it’s OK to be mediocre and give games away, over and over again.” all the way back, in my mind, to 2009, game 7 SCF.

utterly disgusted right now.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/22/13 at 03:20 AM ET

Chet's avatar

and need i add: this was the *#$%@& BLUE JACKETS, not vancouver, not chicago, not anaheim, not even san jose who are usually up when they play detroit.

this loss has “personnel changes’ written all over it.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/22/13 at 03:22 AM ET

Chet's avatar

(btw not necessarily talking about players, either.)

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/22/13 at 03:25 AM ET

Chet's avatar

then again, replacing babcock….stupid. lindy ruff? no way.

my knee jerk reaction is probably off. this team won’t make major changes unless it’s to axe holland or some sort of a trade that’s likely not even that wise.

this one just sticks in my craw, more so than most any other over the past 4 years. this was just a disgrace.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/22/13 at 03:27 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

As soon as Columbus scored their first goal you could sense that it was simply a matter of time before they tied it up. And as soon as Brunner turned the puck over creating a 3-on-2 you knew that it was going to end up in the back of our net.  It was one of those weird games that you could feel in the air we were going to find a way to lose it.  I’m actually less grumpy about this loss because I somehow knew we were going to lose in the end. 

Now, let’s get a good night’s rest and drop the puck on the rest of the season (which we’ll all hope is better) on Saturday.  If Kenny wants to make a move before that…great.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 02/22/13 at 04:20 AM ET

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every time I read about a wings loss, it makes me regret less the decision I made to ax center ice. frankly, the defense was never addressed this summer and I believe that management made the decision to roll the dice once suter and parise were out of the mix. I think they figure that there will be plenty of high end/ high priced players that will be available after this year due to buyouts and they figured better to wait than to spend unnecessarily. They figured the offense might carry them through, but, that’s proving to be a poor strategy. at least we may get a decent pick out of this. feel sorry for howard back there. just my opinion, but if you put an unfinished product on the ice, don’t be surprised when it doesn’t perform, or when fans don’t tune in.

Posted by tbuhg on 02/22/13 at 04:45 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

with the case that it is this, no matter what tick tock does, he cant wait to be the last person to try some changes. everything is picked over at that point. be aggressive for once, dumping some salary and taking some back as well as draft picks can even payoff for next year. cleary and fil should be let go, pull in the less salaried griffin guys that are hungry, give them the rest of the season to get game experience under their belts. It’ll payoff in spades. several griffins are over ripe, wtf are you waiting on?

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 02/22/13 at 05:13 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

another note, Z does indeed need a 2 game healthy scratch. I love the guy, but he needs some rest, and he will be right back in form. The work horse is tired. 2 game break and he comes back a energized guy just like at the start this year.

Another thing I noticed, Mursak was flyin out there. Why is there no rolling forecheck, we have players that CAN do it not named Helm.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 02/22/13 at 05:19 AM ET

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Seriously, what does Zetterberg have to do to get an ounce of respect?

If we’re talking about overpaid/overrated players in Detroit, Z’s got to be on the list based on his past 4 full seasons here… especially considering his contract.  If we apply the ‘Franzen Rule’ where it’s not his cap he has to play to but his dollar value, is Z really playing like a 7.75 million dollar player?  No way.

He scored 60% of his goals and almost a quarter of his points this year in one huge game.  He hasn’t had a goal in 10 games.  He’s a -5 in that span.  He’s a flat 52% in the circle, which is mediocre.

And he’s been in a measurable statistical decline for 4+ seasons now.  It is completely possible to respect Zetterberg while also being realistic about him as a player.

Holland has to be willing to drop a bomb on this team at the deadline and over the summer. Wings need a major personnel change.

Yes and no.  It can’t be said enough that the degree of the Wings injuries make it really, really hard to accurately place the real state of the team… and that the nature of this wacky short season make that kind of analysis even harder.  However, there are a number of guys who have been healthy for most of the year who also have more than just this year to judge them on.

As far as any kind of major roster shifts go, Detroit has 6 forwards expiring and they want to keep 4 while 5 D are expiring and they want to keep at least 3 if not 4.  And then Howard’s up as well.  Detroit’s likely to have 4-6 new faces on the team next year, but that’s about the standard amount of turnover year to year post cap anyway.

It was the right thing to do, but it was at the wrong time.

Here’s the thing with Tootoo.  He plays a fun style that’s far more enjoyable for fans to watch than it is effective in actually winning a bleeping game.  It was really fun as a fan to watch Kocur and Probert maul people half to death every game, but when those guys are on the ice in those roles the team would get killed on the scoreboard.

Same deal here.  Tootoo jumping in as he did cost the Wings momentum, put them on their crappy PK, and was completely idiotic to do up 2-0.  If all a team has to do to get a PP is to tussle Ericsson, well, that’s just great.  I think the idea that a guy who is literally the biggest dman on the roster has to be physically protected to the point that the Wings need to roll their 25th in the league PK out there is laughably absurd.

the jackets didn’t win this game nearly so much as the wings gave it away. that’s the story here, and it’s all too common.

I disagree.  The story here is that the Jackets straight up legitimately beat the Wings, face to face.  Detroit got the two quick goals but Columbus played better for 40+ minutes of that game.  There wasn’t any real robbery or giving away of things, Detroit got plain old fashioned beat by a team that’s had a lot of experience playing from behind and isn’t going to be worried about a 1 or 2 goal deficit 3 minutes into any game.

And, really, it shouldn’t be a surprise.  Roster to roster last night there isn’t all that much difference between the two teams right now, and Columbus got the significantly better goaltending performance.

frankly, the defense was never addressed this summer and I believe that management made the decision to roll the dice once suter and parise were out of the mix.

And given the uncertainty around the cap that was the right call IMO.  The problem here is that it’s simply impossible to adequately replace the sheer tonnage of competence the Wings have shed the past three years on the blueline.  It cannot be done.  Rafalski was a top 20-25 dman when he left.  Lidstrom was a top 20 dman when he left.  Stuart wasn’t, but he was a minute sponge.  The team still hasn’t ever replaced what Draper and Maltby did for them on the PK, and they have a huge hole on the PP where Homer’s ass used to be.

And not for nothing, but the Wings haven’t exactly replaced Osgood’s late-career clutch playoff goaltending either.

There are holes and talent downgrades all over the place on this team that it’s completely unfair to have expected Holland to fill.  This is how a capped league works.  It bleeds out the better teams until they all end up right around room temperature.  You’ll occasionally get a hot year like what we’re seeing from Chicago, but very little that can be sustained over time.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/22/13 at 05:48 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

There are holes and talent downgrades all over the place on this team that it’s completely unfair to have expected Holland to fill.  This is how a capped league works.  It bleeds out the better teams until they all end up right around room temperature.  You’ll occasionally get a hot year like what we’re seeing from Chicago, but very little that can be sustained over time.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/22/13 at 04:48 AM ET

I agree with this completely.
Fans can call Holland and Babcock idiots on the internet, but NOBODY can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.  This is not a very good team, and that is by Bettman’s design.  This has been coming down the road for years, (hidden by Lidstrom) and it will take time to fix it.

As for Zetterberg, I disagree.  This guy is the energizer bunny for this team, and without him they would be toast. 

Look at last night’s TOI:
Datsyuk played 22:30; Zetterberg played 22:03.

These 2 little guys are carrying this team, and they are rapidly getting tired.
  If they keep playing this much, they will be very susceptible to injury.  Then what?
Zetterberg would never have made that turnover last night if he was not completely exhausted.

cool mad

Posted by w2j2 on 02/22/13 at 08:47 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Has the feel of a season-ending loss.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 02/21/13 at 10:29 PM ET

That’s exactly how I felt after the game last night. For the first time, I feel this team simply does not have what it takes to make the post-season.

And then to hear Paul Woods on the radio talk about all the good things the Wings did, and to hear Babs talk about the team playing some good hockey, and it’s like the people surrounding this organization are in a state of denial.  I know Babs can’t go all Eyore as head coach, that won’t accomplish much, but how about a little anger? A little fire? As for someone like Paul Woods, yeah I know he is paid by the Wings, but so what, tell it like it is. He sugarcoats shit so much it’s laughable. Listen to the Hawks radio color guy and hear what it sounds like to speak the truth in good and bad times.

At least Micky and Ken are not trying too hard to hide their frustration and disappointment.

A five-game losing streak in this season is about equivalent to a ten-game streak in a normal season; either way you slice it, that spells disaster.

It’s about time to focus on what we have in GR, and unload some of our vets. I love Fil, but let’s get something for him before it’s too late.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 02/22/13 at 10:27 AM ET

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5 game losing streak in a 48 game season is (very slightly more than) 10%.

You’re absolutely right.  Why did I think we’d lost four straight instead of five?  Jesus…

No way.

You and ThePuckStopsHere should get together some night have a Let’s Not Watch Hockey party.

And he’s been in a measurable statistical decline for 4+ seasons now.

Has he?  Because his stats this year put him on pace for 62 points in a 48-game season.  What a crazy decline that is, huh?

There are holes and talent downgrades all over the place on this team that it’s completely unfair to have expected Holland to fill.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA, so he was right not to fill ANY of the holes, right?  You’re incredible.

This guy is the energizer bunny for this team, and without him they would be toast.

Absolutely, and anyone who argues against that is either not watching or being willfully ignorant.

Posted by Garth on 02/22/13 at 10:33 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

Babcock knew before this season started what he had, and decided to take and maintain a positive attitude with his young and not very good team.
That is what he is doing.
cool hmm

Posted by w2j2 on 02/22/13 at 10:34 AM ET

Bradley97's avatar

and they have a huge hole on the PP where Homer’s ass used to be.

Then change the system to something that doesn’t require Homer’s ass!

The fact is a great power play can carry a mediocre team and win games, and a terrible power play can kill a team, like it is right now. So change the system. Do something that works with what is there. And what is there can be a devastating power play if used correctly.

Looking at the Wings vs. successful power plays, the players on the good ones are in constant motion along with the puck. The Wings simply stand around in their spots on the ice and try to execute a power play that has not been consistent since last decade and fell apart last season completely!

The five players on the ice should be Pav, Z, Brunner, all down low, and Kronwall with White up high. Z has shown success controlling the play behind the net, so go with a triangle overload. Brunner gives them a right hand shot that can pass and shoot, and Pav is the magician. Krownall and White keep the puck in and sneak in for the pinch play when the timing is right. Completely different than what the Wings are doing, and quite frankly this is what they are built for, not the old system that no longer works.

But someone will say they need a player to stand in front of the net. The Russian Five didn’t have someone planted, they all danced around with the puck until a hole opened up (created by their movement) and slipped the puck in the net. I’m not saying this group is that good. I’m saying use the system that works with the players available, not the system that used to work with the players no longer around to make it happen!

Posted by Bradley97 on 02/22/13 at 11:49 AM ET

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Has he?  Because his stats this year put him on pace for 62 points in a 48-game season.  What a crazy decline that is, huh?

Yeah, and that ‘pace’ is totally out of whack because it includes one absurdly productive 3 goal 2 assist 5 point game that Z’s had maybe 10 of in his whole career within it’s terribly small (relatively) 17 game population.

If you don’t include that one huge game Z would have 2 goals, 15 assists, and he’d be a -2 on the season.  On ‘pace’ for 10 goals and 72 assists over a full 82 game season, which would be his fifth straight year of goals per game decline

You’re letting one huge game you’ll see maybe once a year from Z trick you into thinking he’s having a very productive year.  He’s not.

so he was right not to fill ANY of the holes, right?

Don’t be completely absurd, Garth.  It appears you think a GM should be able to lose two top 20 dmen and then a third competent dman in two or three years and be able to replace them if not immediately, then within a season.

That’s a misconception you’re just going to have to live with, I guess.  You don’t seem very interested in being talked away from it.  When you lose elite players you tend to just be out of luck.  Holland made offers to Suter and Parise that were even a bit too aggressive, IMO.  Still, he made them but the players chose to go elsewhere.  Que sa’ra.

Absolutely, and anyone who argues against that is either not watching or being willfully ignorant.

Eyeroll.

Z is still a very good hockey player, Garth.  You seem to be one of those guys who can’t countenance anything but lavish praise for the dude.

My concern with Z is that he’s been in a fairly steady statistical decline for 4 years now, he’s 32, and he’s under contract for 8 more years.  His goals per game has gone down every year for the past 4.  His faceoff percentage has dropped noticeably from it’s pre-2009 levels.  His shooting percentage has dropped off from his pre-2009 levels.  His PP goalscoring has been wayyyyyyy lower post 2009.

See, part of the problem with the Wings is that they still depend on Z to produce like the pre-2009 Z produced.  To a certain extent your position is correct.  It’s also a reason why the Wings have taken a step back.  Z is a guy the team really depends on to be productive… and every year he gets less so.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/22/13 at 03:54 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.