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Red Wings-Bolts quick take: Wings have lost seven of ten…And that’s scary

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.

Sorry I can't give you more for now. I'm sniffly and boogery and have a bad case of the chills. I'll do stats (the game summary and event summary are yours to dissect as you wish) when I am able...

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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Primis's avatar

I’m *#$%@& baffled

Don’t be, George.

The Wings just aren’t a good team and are already playing over their heads.  They shouldn’t even be getting these Loser Points.

The Wings aren’t very good.  If everyone, including fans, Babcock, Holland, and Co. could bring themselves to admit this, things could then be addressed and fixed.  But at this point, it isn’t going to be. This team is what it is.  And what it is is a team with a great goalie, one line of scoring, and no competence on defense whatsoever.

Posted by Primis on 11/09/13 at 10:54 PM ET

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We have albatross contracts and noone wants anyone on our team (minus the obvious). The strange thought that Abdelkader is a top line player at the beginning of season says a lot about this team.

Posted by brians neck on 11/09/13 at 11:03 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Very poignant from Babcock in the postgame: “We gotta check better”

That is some truth

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 11/09/13 at 11:09 PM ET

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Getting the wrong players out and the right players in won’t be enough, I think. Constant turnovers, being outshot game in game out…these things are deeper problems, they are structural.

Are there tapes from 2007-2008 still lying around somewhere? I think Babcock needs to dust those off and study them intently, when he has some free time.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 11/09/13 at 11:10 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Getting the wrong players out and the right players in won’t be enough, I think. Constant turnovers, being outshot game in game out…these things are deeper problems, they are structural.

Are there tapes from 2007-2008 still lying around somewhere? I think Babcock needs to dust those off and study them intently, when he has some free time.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 11/09/13 at 10:10 PM ET

Babcock had Bowman back then. Maybe he can give him a call and arrange a consultation. 

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 11/09/13 at 11:20 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Agreed—it’s about the system. The system has always transcended personnel, and when the Wings play puck possession hockey with one-touch passes from defensemen to forwards who are *conscientiously skating through the neutral zone* with winger support, this team can get the job done.

Also: It’s about *#$%@& time to stop pretending that this team’s got no secondary scoring problem. I’m sorry, Jordin Tootoo, but go ride the bus. Free *#$%@& Nyquist.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/09/13 at 11:29 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Wings have to make some decisions soon.  My biggest fear is that they remain in contention (like they are now) in the East.  That will delay hard decisions but that is what KH and Babs are paid for.  Pulling the trigger now is too soon… but the gun is gettin’ damn close to your head.

Posted by calquake on 11/09/13 at 11:30 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s always American Thanksgiving for KH. I think that the injuries on defense can justifiably delay some decisions for now, but it’s time to do what’s necessary to bring Nyquist up now.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/09/13 at 11:39 PM ET

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1) when did it ever transcend personnel?  When the Wings had better personnel it worked, now that they have four top six forwards, way too *#$%@& many grinders and completely mediocre defense it doesn’t.  That seems exactly the opposite of transcending personnel.
2) holland and co are simply content to have a team that makes the playoffs.  As long as they make the playoffs he can get away with “I like our team”.  The best thing that could happen for the long term would be to miss the playoffs so that they would have to step back, really assess the team and make actual changes.  Maybe take the chance that Landon Ferraro isn’t going to be Wayne Gretzky 2 and Adam Almquist isn’t going to be Nick Lidstrom 2 and that you don’t draft dominant players with the 22nd pick and not all late round picks become Datsyuk, Zetterberg or even Ericsson.
3) the red wings overvalue averageness way, way too much. The revelation that they offered Filppula as eve-year deal is astounding.  Unless it was seven years, $21m with the intent to trade him right away, then it’s ridiculous.

Posted by Garth on 11/10/13 at 12:49 AM ET

DocF's avatar

This is a team that is thoroughly demoralized.  They are not just disorganized, they are dispirited.  That being said, who does that reflect on most directly?  The coaching staff, especially the head coach.  All his faults are exacerbated by a situation like this season has become already. 

Players do not listen to the same old crap but just so long and then they tune it out.  That is why I believe that pro teams need to change coaches every five years or so.  College coaches do not have this issue as they have a new team every four years.

When I look at Babcock, I see a man whose anal sphincter is starting to spasm as he realizes that he has lost control of his team and the team no longer pays him any heed.

And yes, I want to dump Tootoo (he is a great fit for a team that plays dump and chase, helter-skelter hockey, but not for the Red Wings.  I also want to send Samuelsson packing as he has the spector of failure embedded in his soul.

That and some other manipulations of the stoopid cap rules should allow Nyquist to be playing in the NHL where he belongs and is needed.

Bah! Humbug, eh!

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 11/10/13 at 12:55 AM ET

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the wings do not have 4 top 6 forwards..the wings have 2 top 6 forwards and a lot of good 7-9 guys out of position..getting a point when your second line center is Helm and Andersson is your third with glendenning as fourth in all reality is stealing a point as far as im concerned

Posted by cberth on 11/10/13 at 12:59 AM ET

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A problem could be that the ‘system’ works when you have Lidstrom-Rafalski and Kronwall-Stuart breaking you out of your own end. That same system wont work with Kronwall-Ericsson (or Dekeyser) and Quincy-Kindl controlling your teams tempo.
I REALLY think KH thought that Suter was going to be a slam dunk and if not he would get a crack at Weber. He has throughout his career always got the big player he sets his sights on. So Parise and the Wild and that offer sheet to Weber really screwed him/us big time.

Posted by brians neck on 11/10/13 at 01:04 AM ET

calquake's avatar

.getting a point when your second line center is Helm and Andersson is your third with glendenning as fourth in all reality is stealing a point as far as im concerned

Posted by cberth on 11/09/13 at 11:59 PM ET

There’s no reason to bring facts and logic to this discussion mister. smile

Posted by calquake on 11/10/13 at 01:06 AM ET

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When I look at Babcock, I see a man whose anal sphincter is starting to spasm as he realizes that he has lost control of his team and the team no longer pays him any heed.

You can take this for what you will. I have now talked to two recent Red Wing players who say that almost the entire dressing room despises him. Not ‘doesn’t like him but respects him’(ala bowman)...despises.

Posted by brians neck on 11/10/13 at 01:08 AM ET

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now im on a roll….can someone tell me why glendenning would come up over say a Jurco?

Posted by brians neck on 11/10/13 at 01:09 AM ET

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Alfredsson is top six forward and Weiss is, too.

Posted by Garth on 11/10/13 at 01:19 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

The Red Wings continue to waste strong performances by Jimmy Howard…

Well, George, if you think blowing two saves on shots from unscreened guys right in front of him is a “strong performance” by Howard, you may be sicker than you think you are. I haven’t been among those who thought Howard was a problem until the last game. And then tonight, it seemed pretty obvious to me that he’s just not “in” to the game.

He’s slow to react to moves by the opposition. And he’s not getting out of the crease far enough to close off the shooting angles. In short, I thought he was the worst Wings player on the ice tonight (with the obvious exception of Quincey).

I’ll suggest that the Wings look rudderless…

And I’ll sugest that a ship without a rudder is usually caused by having someone at the helm who’s driven the ship onto the rocks. And that person is Babcock.

Here’s something that has been nagging at me for most of this season. In the past (let’s say three or four years), when I saw a particular forward’s jersey number on the ice, I immediately knew who the other two forwards were. The same was true for seeing a particular defenseman’s jersey number.

This year, the only thing I know for certain is #40 will be on the ice if I see #13, and vice versa. Beyond that, their third linemate could be almost anyone. And every line below them is like watching a roulette wheel spin.

If players look confused on the ice, maybe it’s because they’re trying to figure out who the hell their linemates are. So the obvious result (which is blatantly obvious with Tatar) is that each player tries to do everything himself. And why not? If you don’t have any idea what your linemates might do, you might as well try to do it all yourself.

Others have mentioned that Babcock might be distracted by the upcoming Olymics. I hadn’t thought about that before, but I think they have a point. Right now, he seems to be grasping at straws (in the form of rapid-fire, almost haphazard line changes) because he’s not really focusing on his #1 job.

Whatever it is, I’m getting pretty sick of watching a confused and “rudderless” Wings team skating around in circles trying to find themselves.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/10/13 at 01:35 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

When I look at Babcock, I see a man whose anal sphincter is starting to spasm as he realizes that he has lost control of his team and the team no longer pays him any heed.

Isn’t that what the over zealous line juggling is about?  a coach losing impact trying to stay in control.

Posted by MoreShoot on 11/10/13 at 01:36 AM ET

calquake's avatar

You can take this for what you will. I have now talked to two recent Red Wing players who say that almost the entire dressing room despises him. Not ‘doesn’t like him but respects him’(ala bowman)...despises.

Posted by brians neck on 11/10/13 at 12:08 AM ET

You know I really hate it when people say things like this.  I won’t ask you who the two players are but if you want any credibility in here you need to name at least one… or go away.

Posted by calquake on 11/10/13 at 01:37 AM ET

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do you have twitter il send you a direct screenshot of the text?

Posted by brians neck on 11/10/13 at 01:41 AM ET

calquake's avatar

How about you send me a PM?

Posted by calquake on 11/10/13 at 01:50 AM ET

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How about you send me a PM?

sent

Posted by brians neck on 11/10/13 at 02:03 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Thanks. I’ll get back to you.

Posted by calquake on 11/10/13 at 02:05 AM ET

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although its showing zero sent in my outgoing folder so i have no idea if it worked.

Posted by brians neck on 11/10/13 at 02:12 AM ET

calquake's avatar

It worked just fine.  Hopefully you received my response.

Posted by calquake on 11/10/13 at 02:16 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

A few times this year I’ve found myself thinking “You know, I don’t despise Quincy so much this year. Maybe he’s found some more of his game.”  Then I watch him skate up the ice in what seems like slo-mo, or I see him lose his guy behind the net, or send a pass into someone’s skates, or like tonight, when he coughs up the puck at the side of his own net in OT and I’m reminded that yes, I do quite despite Quincy. 

It’s not really fair to the guy, though.  It’s not his fault the Wings have blown 2 1st-Round draft picks on him which puts our expectations for him rather high.  There is no way that someone of his talent level can achieve “Worthy-of-2-1st-Round-Draft-Picks-Quality” hockey.  So I’m not sure if he simply really sucks or if he really sucks in comparison to the player we all think he is supposed to be.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 11/10/13 at 02:47 AM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

Figaro, Quincey really sucks in comparison to the player he thinks he is, and that is the worst part. If he could be reliably depended upon to defend without making a pointless gamble for little potential gain, or he actually used his speed to cover for his own mistakes, I don’t think people would complain as much. The best thing he can do at this point is stop everything he’s been doing and just focus on making the safe play and hope everyone forgets he’s on the ice.

Posted by bleep bloop on 11/10/13 at 04:05 AM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

Alfredsson is top six forward and Weiss is, too.

Posted by Garth on 11/10/13 at 12:19 AM ET

By what standard is Weiss a top six forward? If Weiss is a top six forward then Filppula was a #1 Center…

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 11/10/13 at 05:27 AM ET

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Howard isn’t “the problem”, but George trying to spin his performances as “fantastic” and “heroic” is just nuts.  He was ok last night, but as has been happening for pretty much all of this season the other guy was just as good.  Or better.

As things stand at the moment, Detroit is caught between two sub-styles of play.  When they try and press offensively their defensive system rattles loose due to substandard defensive reactions from both old and new Wings, and Howard hasn’t been good enough to win those situations.  When they focus on limiting shots on net and winning with two goals they can be more successful in the short term, but we’ve all seen what happens to teams who depend on that over the long haul.

And also, it’s stupid to have to play a turtle system to win when your goalie is the third highest paid player on the team.  Someone making that much shouldn’t need to be bubble wrapped just like a forward or dman making that much shouldn’t have to be surrounded with talent or playing against third liners to be effective.

Until Detroit starts to a) get more out of Weiss and Franzen and b) has Howard start being the better goalie 6-7 games in 10, at least… they’re going to have problems.

As a side note, I didn’t mention the dmen not because I think they are fine, but because I don’t think there is any upside not being met.  There just aren’t any difference makers there.  Detroit has to get their scoring from the forwards because the dmen are mostly stand around types.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/10/13 at 06:43 AM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Well, Ouellet was quietly solid on defense which says a lot considering all the turnovers by about 8 to 10 other Red Wings players during the game. Mickey Redmond said 8 turnovers were registered officially by Detroit by he counted over 10 which I agree with.

Quincey is far to inconsistant game to game. Why Kenny brought him back may be what Tigers fans will be asking someday when they question why Ausmus was brought back for 3rd time to be part of Tigers org. this time as skipper, jeez. He was a cap casualty when we had to let him go but if kenny bothered to follow his NHL career he developed into a defenseman that doesn’t fit our system of play though he resigned him anyone, ugh.
40 odd hits total in this game and in Boston vs Buds game 80+, lol.
Bring in a Regehr, Vlad , Cheli or Brad Stuart type defenseman. I’m sick of watching dancing with the stars NHL Detroit.
Quincey and Kindl get rubbed off pucks like 90 pounds weakenings get abused by Muscle pound freaks on Venice beach.
Wow, Babcock said to check for! Who know a heavy forecheck in O-zone could coause turnovers and create scoring chances. The Blackhawks, Bruins and Kings sure don’t play that way ever


  rolleyes

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 11/10/13 at 06:52 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

Maybe it is time to accept that Weiss and Quincy and Samuelson and Tootoo were poor additions.
What does this say about Holland’s pro scouting staff?

Posted by w2j2 on 11/10/13 at 09:07 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Yeah, Weiss hasn’t put the puck in the net, but he’s played damned fine D, wins a lot of face-offs, and he doesn’t turn the puck over as much as some of the other guys.  I’m ok with Weiss right now.  And hey, if he only has a certain number of goals in him this year, I’d rather he score them in the Play-offs than in November.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 11/10/13 at 10:39 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

This team needs to stop getting cute and start getting deliberate in a hurry

Not gonna happen, George. This is the team Holland built and it’s a cute little team. We’re not big enough to grind out victories and we’re not talented enough to “skill” our way to victory. The moves and non-moves that Holland has made over the past few years has created a team that needs to win early in the season to rack up points because in the final stretch we are going to be a beat-up team. The pisser is I don’t think he can fix it. Unless, of course he pulls a “Lindros trade” with Datsyuk. I know, sounds horrible but what other option is there? Whait to replenish talent with the kids in G.R.? Offff….

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 11/10/13 at 11:10 AM ET

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Agreed HockeyinHD, Howard was good again but not great - giving up two short side goals isn’t great.  And brians neck, it was Glendending over Jurco beceause they needed a center to fill in for Wiess, who is a top 6 forward btw. 

The problems are: 1. the D is bad, especially so without Big E - Quincey and Lashoff are both terrible, Almquist/Oulette aren’t ready, Smith when healthy has tons of skill no hockey sense 2.  Holland’s signings of Cleary, Tootoo, Sammy, even Miller at $1.3M (a guy like him should be at $875K and someone else wants to pay him more so be it) were just brutal and have left the team without any cap space to trade for a guy like Smid (could have used him badly) or add a top 6 fwd.  Cleary is done.  Bert has played well on top line but he’s just too slow and out of of position too often.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 11/10/13 at 11:38 AM ET

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The wings will NEVER get rid of datsyuk, that’s absurd. The Wings need to get rid of dead weight, Sammy, tootoo (already), eaves and perhaps cleary, make sure Smith stays injured and for God’s sake get rid of quincey, (maybe some team will give us a 1st round for him LMFAO). And yes, last night we were missing our probably best def in erricison. We were also missing franzen and Weiss, at least they don’t make terrible “give the puck up so stamkos can find the back of the net” plays. Franzen and Weiss may not have contributed much offensively but at least they’re not newbs on the ice. Get nyquist up here, and lets have Helm gets some more games in, he’s rusty as hell and keeps giving he puck up. I would love to see the wings trade some of our dead weight and get a good defenseman. I would have thrown EVERYTHING I had last july for suter so he would have no choice but to take the contract. I don’t think Suter is a “god defenceman” but when we lose all of our pros like we did I would have realized the market was quite shallow on defence. And yes to all up there who said Jimmy played bad, I agree, just like in the playoffs against Chicago, he gives up weak goals that aren’t even screened, he can’t stop shots that are right in front of him. *#$%@&.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 11/10/13 at 11:45 AM ET

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Im holding out hope for mid season when we were are still in playoff contention but not quite an elite team.. The lines hopefully will look like this… and we can get in gear to become a cup contender. (maybe lol)

Datsyuk, Z, Bert
Alf, Weiss, Franzen
nyquist, tartar, andy,
helm, cleary,abby.

extras miller, (no eaves, Sammy, tootoo)

krownwall, Big E
smith, kindl (to make up for smiths dumbass)
lashoff, dekyser
extra in almquist or oullet b/c quincey is horrible

Posted by Pasha1277 on 11/10/13 at 11:56 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Agreed—it’s about the system. The system has always transcended personnel, and when the Wings play puck possession hockey with one-touch passes from defensemen to forwards who are *conscientiously skating through the neutral zone* with winger support, this team can get the job done.

The system only works when you have enough skill on the back end to run it.  The Wings are no longer playing their system, they are a dump and chase team, and they dont have the grit or wheels to play that game.

I sound like a broken record, but since everyone is throwing their 2 cents in, I’m going to say it again:  If there is no defensive upgrade, either through trade or one of the prospects wows us, no amount of forward depth, line juggling, or amazing goaltending is going to make this a good team.

No upgrade in D = this is your season

Posted by Hootinani on 11/10/13 at 12:09 PM ET

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Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/10/13 at 05:43 AM ET

When they focus on limiting shots on net and winning with two goals they can be more successful in the short term

Uhm….the short term is all we’ve seen thus far in the season. Your point fails completely on the time test and is moot.

when your goalie is the third highest paid player on the team

When are you going to answer the mystical 1st line D-man that was available over the summer that could have been signed rather than paying Howard? You know that guy who would have made Monster and Peter (who, by the way is having a terrible year in the AHL) look unbeatable? Who? Who? Who?

Until Detroit starts to a) get more out of Weiss and Franzen

Are you kidding? These guys are underperforming? Was it all that micro-analyzing going on here that uncovered that info for you? Or, did you actually watch a game focusing on their play?

Howard start being the better goalie 6-7 games in 10, at least… they’re going to have problems.

Any team, who’s goalie isn’t performing like that will have problems. Try for an even more blanket of a statement, like, “by not scoring goals a team can not win”.

I didn’t mention the dmen not because I think they are fine

Tune changer. Or should I say toon changer?

Detroit has to get their scoring from the forwards because the dmen are mostly stand around types.

So, if Howard has a bunch of “stand around types” playing in front of him he must be getting hung out to dry a lot. This indicates that you actually agree that Howard isn’t the problem and it’s the D in front of him.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/10/13 at 12:28 PM ET

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By what standard is Weiss a top six forward?

By the admittedly crazy, absolutely stupid standard of watching him play hockey.

He’s strong defensively, borderline dominant in the face off circle, is good on the puck and off the puck and can put the puck where it needs to go when making plays.

Is he having a tough transition, coming off a broken wrist, having to adjust to a new team while being put on a line with the guy who doesn’t give a shit and another guy learning the system of a new team, then being shuffled onto a different line every few shifts or so?  Yeah, but if you think he’s not good just because he isn’t putting up a lot of points then you’re plain stupid.  On his most recent line he’s se tip Cleary so many time that if Cleary wasn’t a total waste of space offensively, Weiss would be racking up the assists.

Posted by Garth on 11/10/13 at 01:00 PM ET

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Regarding last night’s game, what a novel concept it is to have a GM recognize the benefit of taking the top line from your Calder Cup finalist team and moving it up to the NHL intact as a line.  Too bad Detroit couldn’t do that with the top line of their Calder Cup winning team…

Posted by Garth on 11/10/13 at 01:03 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.