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

My suggestion would be to watch a ton of other teams play hockey.  Pretty much every team in the NHL runs a PP that focuses on generating a bunch of net traffic.

Why?

A)Because goalies today are so good if you don’t screen them your odds of success are pretty much zero.  In 1990 you could have a guy take an unscreened shot from 15-22 feet and if it was a quality scorer you’d have a non-insignificant chance to score.  Not any more.  Heck, just watch a warmup or a practice when the team fans out and shoots in succession at a goalie.  Even at the freaking college level a goalie will let in maybe 1 or 2 per 30 shots if he’s faced up with the shooter.

B)Because teams don’t have 6 skilled forwards or 4 skilled dmen to load up two great powerplay lines because of the cap.  So, teams have to implement systems that take the best advantage of what talent they do have, and that usually means parking a biggish guy in front of the net to make a mess of the crease and hopefully give the skilled guys an opportunity to bang in a rebound or something.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/22/13 at 04:05 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.