Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Blues quick take: Wings need to get their s*** together in a hurry

Update: Crap:

Between the poop jokes when Jimmy Howard left the game with who-knows-what late in the 2nd period (the Wings are indeed suffering from a team-wide "flu bug" and some sort of stomach virus is in fact "going around" in Metro Detroit) and the number of Wings fans who hopped off the bandwagon over the course of Detroit's 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Monday, I'm wondering how many fans are actually left after this game.

Were the Red Wings any good? In, pardon what I suppose everyone thinks is a pun, spurts. But the Red Wings kept on trying to force set plays on their one 5-on-3, despite the short periods of time when the refs called everything, the Blues really manhandled the Wings physically and out-sped them to pucks all night long, and due perhaps to a lack of a net-front presence (paging Ken Holland, don't wait for the deadline, go and grab Steve Ott or someone else whose butt sticks to goalies?), the Wings' offense is awful:

Minus a possibly injured Howard, Daniel Alfredsson (back), Joakim Andersson (groin), Pavel Datsyuk (???), Cory Emmerton (messed up pinky), Jonathan Ericsson (coming back Wednesday), Johan Franzen (concussion buddies forever!), Jonas Gustavsson (groin, back soon?) and Stephen Weiss, the Wings are "undermanned" to put it mildly...

But the Wings are so far gone in terms of the Wild Card race that even a relative optimist like me will state that one should never make a habit of trying to beat the odds, because the odds, statistically speaking, tend to win.

As such, in a very weird way, despite the personnel, despite valiant goaltending from their beleaguered netminder, and despite bad puck luck (the blues scored 2 goals in 1:10 to take a 3-1 lead they'd never surrender, at 1:01 and 2:21 of the 2nd period), bizarre refereeing (as you might imagine after the Wings got a break off the netting), despite the power play woes, and despite the fact that Gustav Nyquist getting off the schneid seemed to require the rest of the team to start squeezing its sticks too hard and to stop attacking Halak altogether, this loss was and is completely unacceptable.

That's really the truth at this point--the Wings' division opponents and possible playoff-spot-grabbing opponents (Columbus? Again?) are playing far too well for the Wings to continue stumbling.

The artificially lowered cap ensured that we would be watching the Red Wings take part in a two-year rebuilding process, and we all knew that the post-Lidstrom Wings would need much more than 48 games' worth of time to establish their new identity.

Saturday's scraps with LA were supposed to galvanize a team that came out against an even more physical game than the Kings with no physical impetus save Lue Glendening's increasingly acerbic play, however, and the Wings never managed to establish the hallmarks of their game regardless of personnel issues--puck possession, lots of shot attempts and butts in front of goalies.

The last part of the equation has been the most difficult for the Wings to establish on a nightly basis, and if Ken Holland is indeed going to wait until after the Olympics to make a real move to stablize the defense and/or add more offense, it would certainly appear that the Wings may want to waive Patrick Eaves to see if they can find someone else from Grand Rapids who can provide a more urgent physical and/or offensive spark, and in the interim?

We hope that Howard's only ill as, all of a sudden, the season's on the line when the vaunted Blackhawks come to town for a real, honest-to-goodness "rivalry night" game on Wendesday.

Assuming that you haven't already jumped off the bandwagon and want to see this team fail because you're too frustrated to put up with this frustrating team and want your anger to be vindicated. And that kind of mentality, well, that shit's spreading like nobody's business.

Especially given that, as of tonight, between the standings, the injured players, and the wretchedly moribund performance of the remaining Wiffins, the shit has officially hit the fan, and it really is officially okay for fans to hit the panic button.

The Red Wings need to remember that, regardless of their personnel, the expectations remain fixed upon earning a playoff spot every year, and in all honesty, the Wings have underachieved for so very long since their late-November flourish, especially at home...

That we fans deserve better for our time, energy, money and frustration.

But it's up to them to play better, not us, and if you want to step off the bandwagon on January 20th, that's up to you. Please don't make too big of a mess as you leap as I've attempted to pad the floors and walls as best as I was able to do.

This shit isn't gonna cut it, and I don't know what the personnel answers are, but I know what the results answers are, and the Detroit Red Wings have to be better than this from here on out, plain and simple:

Including the quality of the competition, including the injuries, including the breaks, blah blah blah blah blah, it's up to the Red Wings to decide whether they can in fact make the playoffs for the 24th year and 23rd season, or whether they'll be able to earn the devotion of their remaining fans along the way.

Tonight? The Red Wings stank, and I only wish that I could say that I was healthy enough to give the Wings' struggles full TMR attention, but I'm still on the IR, too (though I am slowly getting better).

Statistics:

Shots 39-23 St. Louis overall. Detroit was out-shot 18-7 in the 1st, 12-6 in the 2nd and the Wings actually out-shot St. Louis 10-9 in the 3rd.

Special teams: the Blues went 1-for-5 in 7:37 of PP time; the Wings went 1-for-6 in 7:11 of PP time, including 0-for-1 in 1:27 of 5 on 3 time.

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 22 of 25 shots and Petr Mrazek stopped 13 of 14 shots for the Red Wings; Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 of 23 shots for the Blues.

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness picked the 3 stars, and he picked Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirkr and Alex Steen.

The Red Wings' goal: Nyquist (6) from Zetterberg (24) and Sheahan (4), PPG.

Faceoffs 39-25 Detroit (Detroit won 61%);

Blocked shots 15-13 Detroit;

Missed shots 14-10 Detroit (total attempts 64-50 St. Louis, with the Wings firing 23 shots on Halak and 27 wide/blocked);

Hits 18-17 St. Louis;

Giveaways 4-4;

Takeaways 6-5 St. Louis.

One last update: Here's the coach:

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Comments

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MsRedWinger's avatar

I’m wondering how many fans are actually left after this game.

Depends on your definition of “fan.”  Being a real fan is like being married - you know, “for better or worse,” and all that.

I don’t know how anyone can be angry at a team that has had a truly unreal number of injuries, with every game bringing more.  It’s frustrating, of course, and depressing, but I personally feel pretty good when the Wings do play a good game, like their last game against LA, with a bunch of kids holding their own against the NHL’s best players.

I was thinking earlier that there is not one player on this team who, as a Red Wing anyway, has ever had to sit out the playoffs.  EVER.  That is remarkable, unprecedented, and something to be proud of.  And if they have to sit out this year, maybe it will light a fire in their bellies, give them time to get healthy, and bode well for next season.

Meanwhile, this hopeless Red Wings addict still says: LET’S GO RED WINGS !!!!!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 01/20/14 at 10:12 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

I think the answer is to play more kids.

All joking aside, the Wings need to tread water until reinforcements arrive, both from the IR and from a trade or two. I don’t know what, in the statistical sense, treading water is as far as points needed in the next 5 games or so, but I hope they’ve got a number in mind and are breaking the season down to the next few games.

They have been a remarkably consistent team, effort-wise. They play hard, there’s no denying that. They just do not have the talent to compete with the top flight teams. They have potential in some of the kids, but the potential is not yet realized.

Usually it’s February when the shit hits the fan. This year, it’s a little sooner.

Posted by PDXWing on 01/20/14 at 10:17 PM ET

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Tonight was just that typical crap hockey we’ve seen a lot for the last year or so. Completely ineffective in all zones. The breakout attempts are unbelievably awful. Players wait until someone has a guy right on top of him to pass, they stretch things out too far, the offense dumps the puck in and sees it go right back out…

They just do so many things wrong. It’s not like…a skill issue. They’re just playing hockey in a stupid way.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 01/20/14 at 10:20 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Depends on your definition of “fan.”  Being a real fan is like being married - you know, “for better or worse,” and all that.

Exactly. And “for better or for worse,” I’m a Wings fan.

All in, baby.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/20/14 at 10:21 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

All in, baby.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/20/14 at 10:21 PM ET

Me too.

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 01/20/14 at 10:23 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Depends on your definition of “fan.”  Being a real fan is like being married - you know, “for better or worse,” and all that.

Well said!  Wings Fan for life!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/20/14 at 10:30 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I heard the wings are like 5th in man games lost to injury. How is possible that they aren’t 1st????

What teams have had more people in and out back in and out again.

Seriously, who has more injuries to to front line players??.

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/20/14 at 10:33 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

See above for relatively good news on Howard’s front.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/20/14 at 10:34 PM ET

gowings's avatar

wow…just to make things worse….Toronto is winning VS Yotes…..


It’s all a really long bad dream….right…..right?!!!!?!!!!

Posted by gowings from MTL on 01/20/14 at 10:38 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Seriously, who has more injuries to to front line players??.

1. Penguins 2.Ducks 3. Hurricanes 4.Oilers 5. BJs

http://www.mangameslost.com/nhl-man-games-lost-chip-tmitt-january-19-2014/

As of Jan 19th   Go figure???

 

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/20/14 at 10:44 PM ET

Avatar

I turned the game off. That is the first time I’ve EVER done that for a Wings game. This team isn’t making the playoffs guys. We are so bad it’s pathetic. We need major personnel changes in this organization. Buy out Franzen is he ever recovers from that concussion. Get rid of the dead weight. Sign a good free agent for once. Make a trade. This organization is the Titanic right now.

I miss the good times. We suck now.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 01/20/14 at 10:54 PM ET

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And for anyone to say “oh wait for the injured players to come back…” Um, do you remember the beginning of the season when we actually had most of the guys? Yeah, we were bad then too. Let’s face it guys, we NEED a roster shakeup. Kenny won’t do it though because “he likes his team.”

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 01/20/14 at 10:56 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Depends on your definition of “fan.”  Being a real fan is like being married - you know, “for better or worse,” and all that.

“And all that,” is for nights like tonite.

Win, lose, or draw. I’m all in. Period. End of discussion.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 01/20/14 at 11:10 PM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

I’m in .....Lets Go Red Wings !!!. Btw .this is the time the team really need their fans to support them..Go Red Wings Go !!!
Believe

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 01/20/14 at 11:44 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

The Red Wings set the pace early, turning the puck over twice in their own zone within the first 30 seconds. The turnovers have been a constant all season, regardless of personnel, so the excuse that so many people are injured doesn’t apply.

They have been a remarkably consistent team, effort-wise. They play hard, there’s no denying that. They just do not have the talent to compete with the top flight teams.

I disagree. When they start some games and allow at least 3 shots against for every shot they record, that is a lack of effort. It doesn’t take skill to get shots. I also disagree about the talent; they do have the talent, they just continually turn pucks over all over the ice and do not consistently fight to get pucks back, so they stay out of the offensive zone for too long for talent to do anything. And then when they have a nearly guaranteed goal, they shoot it wide, hit the post, or try to pass through a crowd of sticks, skates, and bodies. I half-expect that if they had an empty net to shoot at, they’d pass around until they found Kronwall with a perfect shot (wide, around the boards, and out).

Posted by bleep bloop on 01/20/14 at 11:48 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

“Wait, so you’re telling me that the Red Wings are 3-and-4 since the Winter Classic, and going into a possibly season-defining game against Chicago, Tomas Tatar’s the team’s most reliable scorer, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Todd Bertuzzi form the team’s second line, Luke Glendening’s played in 24 games already, Niklas Kronwall’s going to be the only defenseman over 30 on the blueline and Petr Mrazek’s starting?”

You know what Depeche Mode said about what happens when you tell the truth—and in this instance, say, “I wonder what all the kids could do against the Chicagos and St. Louises and Montreals…” that “Policy of Truth” can be a pain in the ass.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/21/14 at 12:11 AM ET

Chet's avatar

I do really like sheahan’s game

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 01/21/14 at 12:26 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Wow!

Color me stunned. What are the rest of you saying?

This game wasn’t very different from the 45 shots we gave up in LA, the loss in Anaheim, the 45 shots in NY, and the home game against LA. Why such a different response to this game?

In all of those games we’ve been outshot horribly - the difference here being that we didn’t get the breaks… the Blues 2 quick goals in the 2nd put us into a hole deeper than we can get out of.

This is just fine… we are in the 2nd year of a 3-year rebuilding on the fly… we got lucky in the 1st year, made the playoffs, won a series, played entertaining hockey in the next series… now we’re in year-2 and it looks like we might not make the playoffs…

Big deal! We’ve had 22 straight in the playoffs and we’re whining about “maybe” missing for once?

How do you think fans of other teams, remain fans? Lordy, some real “privilege”.... pfft.

I enjoyed the game, myself. I didn’t like the result, but I enjoyed the game.

We lost 4-1 to the Blues? So what. Did you watch the Blues at all? All three of their D-pairings are top-pairing quality! They’re a wonderful team.

I’m with MsRedWinger, Alan, & WingedRider. I’m a fan of the Red Wings.

Aww… sorry for bitching. As someone who’s been a fan through thick and thin since the 60s it sometimes grates on me hearing from you pampered folks who have only known the team since Lidstrom arrived.

Let me let you guys in on a secret:

You can enjoy hockey and enjoy rooting for your team even during the years when they aren’t among the best.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 01/21/14 at 01:25 AM ET

RocketSurgeon's avatar

There is a difference between being a fan and being a cheerleader. A cheerleader jumps up and down with their backs to the game shouting “Rah, Rah, Rah, I love my team”. They are totally oblivious to what is going on on the ice. They are loyal “just because”. A fan supports the team, criticizes the mistakes, wants the team to do well and pains when the team is not doing well. Just because you point out flaws and weaknesses it does not mean you are not a true fan! Blindly supporting them because they wear red & white makes you a cheerleader.

Posted by RocketSurgeon on 01/21/14 at 06:58 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

Babcock’s words were revealing.  He said they were “outplayed”.  He could have said they were beaten by a better team, but that would be throwing your team under the bus. But that IS what we watched.  The Red Wings simply do not have the talent of most other NHL teams…even when they are all healthy.

I think that Holland should be a SELLER at the trade deadline. He has lots of “character guys” who could help another team in the playoffs…Cleary, Bertuzzi, Quincey, Eaves, Tootoo, Weiss, Samuelsson, etc.

excaim

Posted by w2j2 on 01/21/14 at 07:36 AM ET

Avatar

We lost 4-1 to the Blues? So what. Did you watch the Blues at all? All three of their D-pairings are top-pairing quality! They’re a wonderful team.

I think people are upset because this team CAN be better. I mean ST Louis, Chic and Detroit each have 10 Olympians on their team. Difference being that the Wings have like 5 of those Os injured. The Talent we DO have just sucks sometimes. I think that Red Wings fans hope to see a new coach within the next couple of years, new training personnel to maybe stop these injuries from happening. This team has talent and effort but just can’t win. To me, that’s a coaching issue. And it frustrates fans knowing we can win a lot of these games with a healthy lineup.

I heard the wings are like 5th in man games lost to injury. How is possible that they aren’t 1st????

What teams have had more people in and out back in and out again.

For one, Pens and St Louis and some other teams do have more man games. But they are 3rd liners who suffer concussions and are out for the season. They may a few 2nd liners with surgery stuff. But NO TEAM has Even COME CLOSE to the 1st and 2nd line injuries suffered by the Red Wings. The wings have at several times this season had their top 6 line pairings out with injury.. So…. “awesome” let’s play teams with our 3rd and 4th liners and complain that we can’t win. Well no fu*king wonder. We are missing key players. As far as the Holland “I’d like to see what we got when we’re all healthy” statement. the wings won’t ever fully be healthy. There will always be someone injured.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 01/21/14 at 08:22 AM ET

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The real issue is that we are not a good team. Especially our D. Sorry, but that’s the sad truth. Last year team overachieved and bad D was masked by Howard’s play.
Sure we have lots of injuries, but what I see is Smith is still a turnover machine, same for Quincey and Kindl. Kindl also can’t make a pass if his depended on it. Dekeyser thinks he is Datsyuk and tries to pass instead of shooting. Maybe this is just part of growing up. We’ll see
Half the guys on the team can’t hit the net. Holland and Babcock gave Cleary a roster spot because of his “veteran leadership”. And like 90% of people here said that won’t win you any games, and, shocker, it’s not.
At the end of the day, this is a mediocre team when everyone is healthy and a bottom team when this happens.
And yes, I am a Wings fan and always will be.

Posted by George0211 on 01/21/14 at 08:32 AM ET

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In my opinion the wings desperately need a defenseman who is worth something. Here’s what our defense looks like.
1. Kronwall 2. Dekeyser (will get better too!)
3. Erricson 6. kindl.
6. lashoff. 6. Smith
6.quincey

Our defense is just awful. I think that with a better defense we can score more just by having some better freaking passing down the middle, outlet passes etc…

Secondly, we need a natural goal scorer. Pavs and Z are leading the team in points, but realistically, they set up more than they score. Tats has natural scoring ability and i wouldn’t trade him for anything as he could be a top scorer in years to come. However, it’s pretty sad that we don’t have any other natural goal scorers other than tats who is in his 1st real nhl year. Who? Franzen? he WAS a natural goal scorer, but he lacks effort, drive, and is injured often. He goes on long droughts. I would drop these individuals if I was GM (thank God I’m not)

Trade quincey and a 3rd rounder for nothing. Trade Kindl and weiss (once healthy) for a top pairing defenseman and make a big splash at free agency and buy a goal scorer. Contracts are up next year for cleary, tuzzie, sammy. These just let go. I would also trade franzen if he ever gets healthy. However… If you look at the past 4 seasons he has produced on average something like 27 goals or 30 goals a season. you can’t even come close to buying production like that for 4mil a season (which is what he makes). It comes in bunches and I think that’s why we should trade him while hes still relatively young and has trade value. Many teams may think he needs a change of scenery and they can get him to score regularly. I pretty much would trade anyone on the team NOT named Pavel, Zetterberg, Dekeyser or Kronwall, IF the price is right. I would probably keep tats off limit as well. Anyone else, even nyquist and abby, howard even I would trade if a good deal came for a goal scorer or defenseman. there. im done.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 01/21/14 at 08:36 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

As much as I like him, you can’t win when Riley Sheahan is your best player, at least not at this time of his career.  As soon as the 5-3 ended without results, the body language of the entire team changed, and they gave up for the night.  I’m sure seeing yet another injury didnt help bolster there resolve either.

And as poorly as I think Holland has done during this transition period, I don’t know any GM that could have prepared a team for the catastrophic injuries the Wings have faced this season.  Although, a couple more steady dmen probably would have helped.  Just sayin…...

Posted by Hootinani on 01/21/14 at 08:44 AM ET

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There’s no way to say this loss was “unacceptable” because St Louis is a better team when the Wings are healthy.  Period.

Detroit started the year with five top-six forwards (sorry Abby, you are not nor will you ever be a top-six forward) and four of them are injured.

Detroit started the season with three legitimately good defenseman and one of them is injured.

Blindly supporting them because they wear red & white makes you a cheerleader.

No, saying that they’re awesome when they’re losing makes you a cheerleader.

Posted by Garth on 01/21/14 at 09:01 AM ET

RW19's avatar

Well I am as big a Wings fan as they come but I can’t believe anyone would say that they enjoyed the game last night.

The Wings did not play the tight defensive game that would have been required, they were really bad on the powerplay and ineffective on offense. They took a lot of big hits and they were in general out raced to every puck. That is the kind of game that really damages the confidence of a team.

I am not sure why any fan would enjoy seeing their team struggle like that.

Posted by RW19 on 01/21/14 at 09:27 AM ET

Avatar

One of the nuttiest posts ever, and that’s saying a lot.

this loss was and is completely unacceptable.

Really?  I expected it.

the Wings have underachieved for so very long since their late-November flourish

Check the lineup, my man.  Staying afloat is pretty good, considering.

waive Patrick Eaves to see if they can find someone else from Grand Rapids who can provide a more urgent physical and/or offensive spark

Who exactly?  Pulkkanen?  Jarnrock?  Chicken Parm Jr.?  If these guys were “the answer,” don’t you think they’d have been tried already?

the season’s on the line when the vaunted Blackhawks come to town ... season-defining game against Chicago

So likely losing in similar fashion to the best team in the league, the defending Cup champions, is “season-defining?”  The season’s on the line?  You can’t be serious.  You do realize the Wings are tied for 8th in the East, that they’re not in the West anymore, yes?  Go back to bed.  Wings, keep it competitive and I’ll be happy.

I’m wondering how many fans are actually left after this game.

I think the fans answered the bell after that idiotic comment.

Posted by jkm2011 on 01/21/14 at 09:54 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

So likely losing in similar fashion to the best team in the league, the defending Cup champions, is “season-defining?”  The season’s on the line?  You can’t be serious.  You do realize the Wings are tied for 8th in the East, that they’re not in the West anymore, yes?  Wings, keep it competitive and I’ll be happy.

Exactly the realistic approach.  I will enjoy the game but the Wings are huge underdogs vs the Hawks.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/21/14 at 10:24 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

On a strangely brightly note: have we discovered that Sheahan can do everything we hired Weiss to do?  I saw Sheahan as an Abbey replacement, but he has looked better than that (IMHO).

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/21/14 at 10:36 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Just because you point out flaws and weaknesses it does not mean you are not a true fan!

I entirely agree. I see nothing wrong with, “pointing out flaws.” Heck, I’m in favor of it. What got my hackles up was reading a number of comments reacting to this particular game (when this has been us all of 2014) with nonsense like, “blow up the team.”

Those type of comments aren’t, “pointing out flaws,” they’re just whining. I’ll confess I was a bit out of line in that I came here straight from reddit and that’s probably where I saw the most annoying of comments. Sorry ‘bout that.

Well I am as big a Wings fan as they come but I can’t believe anyone would say that they enjoyed the game last night.

I honestly did. I’m not surprised when others say they didn’t, tho’. I understand that others watch differently than I do. I found it fun watching; I spent a lot of time watching Pietrangelo/Bouwmeester, Shattenkirk/Jackman, & Polak/Leopold holy crap are they good. Polak is playing good even… geez, what’s going on over there?

I remember enjoying games in the 70s where we played the Canadiens and the goal of our power-play was gaining control of the puck! The goal was to score, it wasn’t to get a few shots on net, it wasn’t to gain possession in their zone and set up - it was an achievement just to get the puck off of those bastards sticks. I didn’t enjoy games as much in the 70s as I did in the 60s, and I enjoyed the team he most in the 90s - but I still spent a lot of time listening to the games. (Radio-hockey is damn fine hockey.)

Did I enjoy this as much as the game in LA? A game where we played even worse?  A game where we were outshot by even more? A game where we lost almost 70% of the faceoffs?—of course not, I enjoyed the game in LA more because somehow despite all of those problems we won.

But did I enjoy the game? - Yes, yes I did. I had a nice night. I’m sorry if anyone else had their night ruined by watching the game…

Posted by alwaysaurie on 01/21/14 at 10:57 AM ET

RW19's avatar

@ alwaysaurie

I grew up watching the Habs too so I’ve seen some pretty good hockey myself. I just did not think is was a great game last night. Ken Hitchcock hockey is pretty straight forward stuff. Nothing fancy, nothing other than up and down, dump and chase stuff with a lot of pucks directed at the net. Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt would be frequent healthy scratches on this team. Yvon Lambert, Doug Risebrough and Mario Tremblay would be the top line.

I didn’t think the Wings countered with the same kind of energy. Not all the Blues are big and nasty. Yet guys like Paajarvi and Sobotka were much more physical or driven than our guys.

No, personally I didn’t think it was great hockey. Especially in the third where the Blues just shut them down. I thought it was a pretty slow game and the Wings were outplayed to boot.

Posted by RW19 on 01/21/14 at 11:27 AM ET

Alan's avatar

The way that I see it, this is a challenge for both the team and its fans.

This is something most fans of this team has never faced, and it’s a foreign concept. Growing Pains.

Because of our situation, we’ve had to call on some very talented kids that are also rough around the edges.

On the one hand, it hurts to see us losing so many games. On the other hand, all these guys are getting some very valuable experience. Kids like Jurco and Tatar are learning that, hey, there’s some shit we CAN’T do in the NHL that we could get away with in the AHL/Juniors.

Would I rather us be healthy and winning games? You betcha.  Unfortunately, we’re not one, so we’re not guaranteed the other.

You go to the rink with the team you have, not the team you wish you had. I wish we still had Lidstrom, Yzerman, McCarty, and a whole host of others that were unbeatable. That doesn’t change our present situation.

Eight players injured, including two goaltenders.  Maybe we’ll get Ericsson and Monster back on Wednesday, but that still leaves six—including Datsyuk and Franzen.

As a result, we’re getting to watch these kids learn and grow in real-time. We’re getting to see just how many of them are ready. To top it all off, we’re getting to see just how much of an impact Coach Blash has had on their development in GR during the relatively short time he’s had ‘em.

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that we would be so beaten up that even our call-ups are getting banged up, I would have laughed. Such is our reality.

The team needs to find it within themselves to persevere through this stretch and find it within themselves to play hard and never give up. As fans, we just need to be patient while our group of kids tries to find themselves. We could very well be looking at a team where the majority of who we see today is who starts next season in Detroit.

It’s hard to come to terms with what we see every night, because we have been so damn good over the past 20+ seasons. But, it is what it is. None of us can change what’s happened. All we can do, as fans, is hope the boys get better and we get to the playoffs.

Never, never, never give up. and don’t stop believing.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/21/14 at 11:33 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

On a strangely brightly note: have we discovered that Sheahan can do everything we hired Weiss to do?  I saw Sheahan as an Abbey replacement, but he has looked better than that (IMHO).

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/21/14

Actually, I see Sheahan as a Homer replacement (with the added plus that he also plays center). The kid’s a “gamer” and, as MoreShoot, says, he’s a much better player than I ever expected him to be. The turning point for him seems to have been that DUI in Oct. of 2012. He matured a lot after that.

As for the Wings being “outplayed” by the Blues, my response is: “Just look at the difference in injuries.”

St. Louis:
1. Maxim Lapierre

Detroit:
1. Daniel Alfredsson
2. Joakim Andersson
3. Pavel Datsyuk
4. Cory Emmerton
5. Jonathan Ericsson
6. Johan Franzen
7. Jonas Gustavsson
8. Stephen Weiss
9. Jimmy Howard (in-game injury)

If all of those Wings (except Andy) had been healthy, and the Blues had been without their entire 1st line, their 2nd-line center and their #2 defenseman, and the Wings had still lost, then I think you could say they were “outplayed.” As it is, they were simply “outmanned.”

I’ve made my peace with the fact that the Wings have just about zero chance of making the playoffs. And I agree with those who think the Wings should be sellers not buyers at the trade deadline. It’s time to look ahead to next year and get this cluster-f*ck of a season behind us. The sooner the better.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/21/14 at 11:34 AM ET

Avatar

I love the excuse of the Red Wings being bad this year because of injuries.  Many teams over the last few years have had more injuries than the Wings.  Stop making excuses for the horrible management of this team, the awful free agent signings and the refusal to cut ties with the past and not promote and integrate the prospects on this team is a direct fault of management and their over reliance on washed up ex-Wings.  Holland has even admitted a weak spot for veterans and it has hurt the development of the prospects.

Posted by bababooey on 01/21/14 at 11:50 AM ET

Avatar

Many teams over the last few years have had more injuries than the Wings.

They’re #5 this year so far and were #3 last year.

How is that “many”?

Stop making excuses

Excuses? Four of their top-six forwards are out, and they only had five to begin with.  It’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation.

Nobody is saying that the Wings would be the best team in the league if they were healthy, but consider that even with the fifth-most man-games lost this year, including significant time by all five of their legit top-six forwards and two of their top three defensemen, they only just fell out of the playoffs and are still within easy striking distance of a wildcard spot.

Posted by Garth on 01/21/14 at 12:12 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Actually, I see Sheahan as a Homer replacement

He’ll be 20 lbs heavier than Homer in a couple years, and he might skate better.  And, as you say, he’s a center. I think he’d be less valuable on the wing.

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/21/14 at 12:16 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

and he might skate bette

Might?

Posted by Hootinani on 01/21/14 at 12:51 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Might?

Ok.  It’d be hard to not skate better than Homer, but I love me some Holmstrom so much I had to respect his memory a little.

My dream outcome is that Sheahan could emerge as a not-too-poor-man’s Jordan Staal.  Would love to have a heavy matchup center to go to.

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/21/14 at 12:54 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Nobody is saying that the Wings would be the best team in the league if they were healthy

And they would be delusional if they actually thought that.

Turbulent times, made even more turbulent by injuries. We were already in a transition, having lost some exceptional players to retirement. Now, we’re in a different sort of transition. The kids are getting quality NHL time,, and that will only help their development.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/21/14 at 12:57 PM ET

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That we fans deserve better for our time, energy, money and frustration.

Oh good lord.  Self-entitled fandom is pretty painful to watch.  Do you know what you, or any fan, deserves?  Nothing.  Buying a ticket or spending time in front of the TV or 40 hours a week in front of a computer blogging about the team doesn’t earn you anything.

Nothing.  Zero.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  Stop being so affronted that for once in your life as a Wings fan you don’t get to be a sloppy frontrunner.

That’s actually what being a fan of a team is about, George.  Being a fan of the team, and not just the fan of a winning team.  Big difference.  That’s why lots of people stop blogging, coughIWOcough, because it’s a lot harder to follow and cheer for a team that’s not going to be awesome every year.

It has, unfortunately, been a long time since Wings ‘fans’ have had to address why they are fans.  Are they going to follow the team with the same interest when they’re missing the playoffs as they did when they were winning cups every 5 years?  Is their interest the hockey or cheering for a team on top of the standings?

Seasons like this answer that question.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 01/21/14 at 02:13 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.