The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/09/13 at 09:48 PM ET
I'm running a fever so I'm going to keep this brief, but...
I'm *#$%@& baffled. The Red Wings continue to waste strong performances by Jimmy Howard, and thanks to a litany of turnovers, unforced errors and plain-old poor decision-making, the Wings have dropped 3 straight (taking 2 out of a possible 6 points) and have lost 5 straight at Joe Louis Arena, for the first time in 26 years.
This one came in the form of a 3-2 OT loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team the Wings will play 4 more times this season, and it came thanks to some really dumb mistakes--whether it was the complete and total lack of coverage on Ryan Malone, the team's baffling inability to cover Steven Stamkos after coming off of over 4 minutes of power play time, or Kyle Quincey's doofy give-it-to-the-game-winner pass to Teddy Purcell under pressure from Richard Panik.
Henrik Zetterberg (2 goals), Pavel Datsyuk, Danny DeKeyser, Niklas Kronwall, Todd Bertuzzi and Howard did their best to take the team on their backs, but the Wings have an error-prone cast behind them (with perhaps the exception of Daniel Alfredsson), and...They look awful. Truly awful.
It shouldn't even surprise you that the Wings were out-shot 4-0 in OT and 34-27 overall, because that's become commonplace.
Now I feel awful, so I'm going to try to take a nap, and if I feel well enough to write a recap, I will most certainly try, but if this is all I can give you, then I'll suggest that the Wings look rudderless and like Tomas Tatar did in the 3rd and OT--indecisive, trying to deke and dangle their way through something they simply need to put their shoulder down and grind through.
This team needs to stop getting cute and start getting deliberate in a hurry, because it's playing with absolutely zero confidence, little impetus or urgency and just no poise or resolve. They continue to waste fantastic efforts from their goaltender, and I think it's officially time to admit that the Wings are in trouble after having dropped 7 of their past 10 games.
Whether that means that it's finally time to do what's necessary to bring up Gustav Nyquist or whether that means that this team somehow needs to bolster its defense via trade, I do not know, but I am grateful that the Wings have 2 days between now and their next game against Winnipeg on Tuesday, and 2 more between Tuesday's game and Friday's home tilt against Washington...
Because this team needs as much practice time--after taking tomorrow off--as it can possibly get to try and sort itself out.
All I can say is that Jimmy Howard deserves better than this, the players who're leading this team deserve better from those who are supposed to be backing them up, and for f***'s sake, the Red Wings fans who've paid good money to watch the team drop a 1-0 loss to San Jose, a 6-1 loss to Ottawa, a 3-2 OT loss to the Rangers, a 4-3 OT loss to the Stars and now a 3-2 OT loss to Tampa Bay deserve to watch a better paid-for product.
Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom have been to the rink recently, and they serve as a reminder that the standards of excellence for this team remain sky-high--and they should be. The Detroit Red Wings have the talent, grit, heart and will to win games when they put their collective and individual hearts and minds and asses to the task. They aren't living up to the standard to which they MUST ascribe.
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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.