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Red Wings-Bruins Game 2 quick take: This was coming, but it still sucked

The Detroit Red Wings had to know that the Bruins' comments were going to yield more strict officiating and more penalty calls--some spurious, some warranted, on both teams--coming into Game 2, but instead of coming into the game with composure...

The Red Wings tried to beat the Bruins at their own game, engaging an angry, mean alligator in a bite-fight. The Wings lost their nerve, lost their resolve, lost their game plan and, thanks to a TERRIBLE power play, a TERRIBLE penalty-kill, MEDIOCRE goaltending, and yes, some really shitty calls against them (to which the Wings did a shit-ass job of giving their beleagured goaltender any sort of help closing those squeaky pads).

As such, the Wings were nearly ran through the boards during the first period, and while they found their form in the second and third periods, their nagging regular-season mistakes--defense, the turnover bakery in the neutral zone, the Highway to the Danger Zone in front of Howard, who was squeaky, the power play that continues to pass horizontally through the neutral zone and endlessly to the point when they're in the zone--yielded something that was 2-1 at one point dissolving into yet another shitty matinee game.

Very obviously, Jimmy Howard should never channel Petr Mrazek again, but he also held the Wings in it between giving up squeaky goals.

Very obviously, the Wings made some stupid clutch-and-grab penalties, but boy, were the stripes the stripes (I am apparently a bad person for mentioning this), and boy, did the Wings let the Bruins get into their heads, their kitchens, creases and nets.

All the talk of disrupting the Bruins' forecheck, owning the neutral zone, predating on the other team's turnovers, getting into the offensive zone and keeping the puck there and getting repeated pucks on Rask, hopefully with screens in front and rebounds pounced upon...It went up like somebody laced whatever seafood the Wings ate last night with a little wacky tobaccky.

Brendan Smith's especially given his foray into Zdeno Chara's grill, or his chest, or whatever.

THE GOOD NEWS is that the Wings did steady themselves in terms of "playing between the whistles" after the 1st period. THE GOOD NEWS is that the Wings DID out-shoot boston 13-6 in the 2nd period and 12-5 in the 3rd, despite that horrible power play (not Tom Renney's fault: the fault of the players not executing on the ice). THE GOOD NEWS is that the Wings do come home 1-1.

The bad news is that the Wings suddenly look like a team with one-and-a-half lines (Datsyuk, a frustrated Abdelkader and/or Nyquist and/or Franzen, Daniel Alfredsson defending for Darren Helm and Tomas Jurco's mistakes, Riley Sheahan not getting through enough traffic and Tomas Tatar trying to do too much on their own, and David Legwand doing very little as Drew Miller and Luke Glendening at least try to play decently) and four defensemen (a sometimes-error-prone Niklas Kronwall who is at least doing his damn best, Brendan Smith reverting to his old self on enough occasions to negate his wonderful offensive and defensive maturity with goals against, especially as the Bruins target him, Danny DeKeyser skating strongly but also getting out-muscled, Kyle Quincey trying to be steady but losing players skating behind him, Brian Lashoff continuing to be a Disastur Zur Rhein and Jakub Kindl marring his skating, passing and shooting skills with dimwit coverage), and half a goalie (Howard was wonderful in stopping pucks and horrible in terms of the ones that got by him, though he had no help--as usual).

Ideally, Mr. Michael Babcock Jr. and the leaders in the locker room say what needs to be said (though it would be amusing to hear Babcock complain about a call or two), the Wings get offensive contributions from 2+ lines, they at least get 4 defensemen rolling strongly and Howard puts his inconsistencies behind him again as the Wings come out at home strong, focused, prepared to take the initiative ("Chasing Hockey Is Losing Hockey" echoed in my head after the Bruins scored the first goal) and focused on ONLY playing Red Wings hockey instead of trying to get into a close-range fight with an alligator.

Enough with the dumbassery and ashattery, deal with what the refs are gonna call when the media is played (and partial to furthering the cause) against you, pounce upon the opportunities they afford you, and MAKE YOUR OWN.

Do the damn Whitman iPad commercial (I hate that commercial--Uncle Walt, the blazing gay American propgandist genius that he was, God love him, would be an Android guy) and, "Contribute a verse."

A verse worth noting.

This wasn't necessarily a waste of a game as a very young Wings team had to learn the hard way--again--and the kids sure did a lot of learning. But it was a *#$%@& waste of the afternoons of Wings fans and it was strangely divisive enough that people annoyed with a holiday weekend turned on each other online, something that I didn't understand...

But that's what happens when the Hockey Easter Bunny takes a shit in your living room.

The goals: Florek from the Glendening line cheating, Smith and Howard at 7:28 of the 1st, 1-0 Boston...

Reilly Smith from Ericsson, Bergeron, a dim set of penalties from Kindl and DeKeyser (I still thought that the stick broke on its own though) at 10:35, 2-0 Boston...

Luke Glendening's hand via Darren Helm, Drew Miller, a lovely transition play by Smith and Quincey and in fact Howard as well at 13:20 of the 2nd, 2-1 Boston...

Milan Lucic via Jarome Iginla, Torey Krug and some shit defense by Smith and Quincey, cheating again by the Glendening line and Jimmy Howard being awkward at 18:16 of the 2nd, 3-1 Boston, the dagger...

And Zdeno Chara via David Krejci throwing his head back against Kyle Quincey and then holding Quincey's stick, then Jarome Iginla and Torey Krug again, Brian Lashoff standing around and watching and Jimmy Howard not closing his five-hole  at 2:27 of the 3rd, the end, 4-1 Boston.

Now I will say what I said on Twitter: I certainly understand if you disagree with my opinion. The theory regarding this blog is that it's a round table where everyone can have an opinion and I am only the discussion-starter.

If you are only here to bag on me and your fellow readers instead of disagreeing and debating our subjective interpretations with both passion and respect, go read some other *#$%@& blog, or go blow a *#$%@& goat while you're at it.

This remains an area where discussion is warranted and welcome, but it's my *#$%@& opinion that starts the conversation and it's my *#$%@& territory. If you're here just to *#$%@& with me and *#$%@& with my readers, you are not welcome. You wanna be the person to intersperse, "Detroit sucks" into, "We Want the Cup," *#$%@& off

Now I'm gonna shut up and find my discipline again, and worry about myself and doing some quality work/providing some solid writing, at least eventually.

Happy Easter and some shit. Dinner got canceled here.

Statistics:

Shots 35-29 Detroit overall. Detroit was out-shot 18-10 in the 1st period, but Detroit out-shot Boston 13-6 in the 2nd and 12-5 in the 3rd period.

Special teams: Boston went 2-for-4 in 4:31 of PP time, including 2-for-3 in 5-on-4 time; Detroit went a horrific 0-for-4 in 7:49 of PP time.

Goaltending: Tuuka Rask stopped 34 of 35 shots for Boston; Jimmy Howard stopped 25 of 29 for Detroit.

The 3 stars were picked by 98.5 the Sports Hub, and they picked Pavel Datsyuk, Johnny Boychuk and Tuuka Rask.

The Wings' goal: Glendening (1) from Helm (1) and Miller (1).

Faceoffs 35-27 Boston (Detroit won 44%);

Blocked shots 14-7 Boston;

Missed shots 9-7 Detroit (attempts 58-43 Detroit; Detroit had 35 shots ON the net and another 23 attempts wide/blocked);

Hits 33-29 Boston;

Giveaways 11-4 Boston;

Takeaways 8-2 Boston.

Individual stats:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-12 (52%); Sheahan went 6-and-8 (43%); Helm went 5-and-8 (38%); Glendening went 1-and-6 (14%); Legwand went 2-and-1 (67%).

Shots: Helm led the team with 5 shots; Nyquist, Sheahan and Jurco had 4 shots; DeKeyser and Franzen had 3 shots; Smith, Abdelkader and Tatar had 2 shots; Datsyuk, Legwand, Miller, Quincey, Glendening and Kronwall had 1 shot.

Blocked attempts: Helm fired 4 shots into Bruins players; Nyquist fired 3 shots into Bruins players; Alfredsson fired 2 shots into Bruins players; Smith, Sheahan, Jurco, DeKeyser and Franzen fired 1 shot into Bruins players.

Missed shots: Abdelkader, Legwand and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Smith, Nyquist and Sheahan missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader, Tatar and Kronwall had 4 hits; Miller and Quincey had 3; Smith, Jurco and Helm had 2; Datsyuk, Legwnad, Glendening, DeKeyser and Franzen had 1.

Giveaways: Howard, Alfredsson, Sheahan and Helm had giveaways.

Takeaways: Alfredsson and Franzen had takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: Quincey blocked 2 shots; Datsyuk, Lashoff, Glendening, Helm and Franzen blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Tatar and DeKeyser took 2 minor penalties; Smith, Kindl and Quincey took 1 minor penalty.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at -5. Smith, Miller, Tatar, Glendening and Kronwall finished at -1.

Points: Glendening had a goal; Miller and Helm had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the Wings with 25:03 played; DeKeyser played 21:06; Datsyuk played 21:05;

Quincey played 19:30; Franzen played 18:27; Smith played 17:04;

Alfredsson played 17:03; Nyquist played 16:11; Tatar played 15:48;

Kindl played 15:04; Jurco played 14:25; Helm played 14:16;

Sheahan played 14:07; Lashoff played 13:41; Abdelkader played 13:16;

Glendening played 13:06; Legwand played 12:58; Miller played 11:50.

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Comments

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

If the Wings can learn from this and steel themselves mentally for the upcoming games, they seriously can win this series. When they are confident and believe in themselves, I daresay that they actually look a little better than the Bruins. But when they let the Bruins get in their heads, they take a giant step backward.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 04/20/14 at 06:20 PM ET

Avatar

Offense was the biggest problem, IMO. Just…completely ineffective in everything they tried to do. So many shots from long range with no one getting to the net.

They seemed slow to make decisions, or react. I didn’t think they played that well in Game 1 either, but at least they stifled the Bruins’ attack too. Something has to change in the offensive aspect of their game.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/20/14 at 06:29 PM ET

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Obviously we cannot win the series with this PP. Good couple of first shifts, we get a present of a PP and lose all the momentum. Terrible mistake by Howard, 2 PP goals, 1 goal with Q and Smith on the ice together (and that should not be together on the ice EVER) and that’s the game. Other than that we competed and 5 on 5 played even. Had all the momentum in the second and on 2 consecutive PP could not enter the zone. Datsyuk looked the best he looked since January which is a very good sign. Helm had a good game too. Need more from Alfredsson, Franzen, Nyquist and Tatar. But most importantly need PP to be at least half decent,  but I have been saying this for 3 years straight.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/20/14 at 06:34 PM ET

Chet's avatar

the refs missed a lot of stuff against both teams, but detroits PP is so awful it wouldn’t matter anyway.

this was the game where i noticed how bad they really miss zetterberg.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/20/14 at 06:51 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

My quick worthless review of the game is that after the first shift, the Red Wings started well and it looked to be a continuation of the first game until the puck came in the Red Wings zone and instead of making any move toward the puck of helping the goalie make the safe/smart play, the defensemen went to the board and Howard channeled Hasek, but wasn’t quite as good in his recovery, and a bear who gladly accepted the gift. Then the zebras decided that Orange is the New Gold and the Red Wings penalty killers figured they wouldn’t be in trouble if they stayed away from the hernia checks and vasectomies certain Bruins players specialize in (no one could have guessed Kindl raising his stick to make a guy go around—subtle interference!—would have the same effect of a Hollywood gunshot). The reunion between Smith and Quincey went as well as could be expected, with a 2-on-2 turning into a 1-0.

The offense consisted of mostly weak wrist shots from the perimeter with no one in red within 10 feet of Rask. And, unlike last game when the Red Wings were winning every race, they looked lost whenever there were free pucks.

I think Franzen’s calendar is confused and is hanging with his buddy Tomte somewhere in Sweden. That explains the epic mid-season slump.

Posted by bleep bloop on 04/20/14 at 07:05 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Since Franzen switched from the Warrior gloves he was using for most of this season to Eastons, his hands have disappeared. He IS shooting and is near the top of the shot leader-board over the past 10 games, playoffs included, but…You see where they go.

I still believe after all this time that the Wings’ biggest key to success is the Lidstrom-Holmstrom model: establish possession and control, cycle the puck down low, push it back to the point, fire it at the net with butts in front of the opposing goalie, retrieve the rebounds and repeat.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/20/14 at 07:14 PM ET

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^You mean on the power play? That’s pretty much all they seem to try, the last few years.

I mean, when you think Red Wings power play, do basic concepts like a one timer from the faceoff dots come to your mind? Or how about just creating a lane to the net and having the puck carrier drive it to cause chaos?

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/20/14 at 07:25 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I still believe after all this time that the Wings’ biggest key to success is the Lidstrom-Holmstrom model: establish possession and control, cycle the puck down low, push it back to the point, fire it at the net with butts in front of the opposing goalie, retrieve the rebounds and repeat.

Our blue line cannot consistently place pucks where they want, which you need for that strategy to work.

Posted by MoreShoot on 04/20/14 at 07:29 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Please note: Glendening and Miller were on the ice for 3 Bruins goals—2 at even strength and a PPG—and Lashoff was on the ice for both PPG’s against. Interesting.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/20/14 at 07:38 PM ET

Chet's avatar

this team needs offense! franzen for leino, straight up, first day of draft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we should also throw in a first.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/20/14 at 08:26 PM ET

Chet's avatar

btw GM—give credit where it’s due, we looked awful but that’s bc the bruins executed. we’re in for a bumpy ride.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/20/14 at 08:28 PM ET

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Definitely not their finest hour. Goaltending just did not get the job done and Howie set the downward spiral in motion when he gifted the Bruins with a goal. Then, he allowed pucks to go through him on the PP and that killed any possible rally.

As for the PP, it sucked big time and, if anything, drained any momentum the Wings would build up 5 on 5. It was totally pathetic and shows the need once again of a couple of RH defence men.

The forwards efforts to engage the Bruins in board work did not go well. All it did was slow them down and allow the Bruins to crush our guys at every opportunity …..sometimes legally, sometimes crossing a line that the officials were oblivious to.

Smarter hockey, more determination, and a willingness to actually shoot when a good opportunity presents itself….all that and more is needed on Tuesday.

Posted by NewfieWing on 04/20/14 at 08:32 PM ET

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Please note: Glendening and Miller were on the ice for 3 Bruins goals—2 at even strength and a PPG—and Lashoff was on the ice for both PPG’s against. Interesting.

This was a perfect example of plus/minus stat being not a good representation of what was happening on the ice. Terrible giveaway by Howard on the first goal and poor positioning by Q and Smith on a simple give and go by Iginla and Lucic on the second. Miller and Glen had nothing to do with that.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/20/14 at 09:05 PM ET

RhymeTimeWingsDings's avatar

Third Boston goal was all on Smith.  Its a simple defensive switch that takes place in just about every sport, instead he chased after one Bruin and took himself and Quincey out of the play.

Posted by RhymeTimeWingsDings on 04/21/14 at 03:12 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

This was a perfect example of plus/minus stat being not a good representation of what was happening on the ice. Terrible giveaway by Howard on the first goal and poor positioning by Q and Smith on a simple give and go by Iginla and Lucic on the second. Miller and Glen had nothing to do with that.

Exactly.  Miller and Glendening were just off the bench when the puck rolled to Jimmy Howard (thanks to a Riley Sheahan mistake). They are entirely blameless on that one.

The Lucic goal was a good forecheck by Helm that the Bruins kept possession on. Miller slowed down the recovery and Glendening trapped his man, forcing a pass that got the Bruins into the zone at 2-on-3. Helm and Smith made mistakes on that goal.

The power play goal was a faceoff that Glendening lost and that’s certainly problematic. It wasn’t a clean loss, but Lucic stepped right through Glendening to recover a loose puck that was on the Red Wings’ side of the circle. Miller watched Krug at the point, then backed to the high slot when the puck went to Iginla just as he should have.

All things considered, the defensemen had a bad game and the forwards who are supposed to score had a bad game. I think the defensive forwards were ok.

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/14 at 09:21 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

I still believe after all this time that the Wings’ biggest key to success is the Lidstrom-Holmstrom model: establish possession and control, cycle the puck down low, push it back to the point, fire it at the net with butts in front of the opposing goalie, retrieve the rebounds and repeat.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/20/14 at 07:14 PM ET

I cannot disagree more with you here George.  That model was wearing thin as far back as 2009.  The reliance on Homer, Lidstrom, and Rafalski yielded a one dimensional offense as the years worn and it got worse and worse as each of them retired.  Between that strategy and the stupid entry play the Wings are still using, the Wings have been one and done in the zone (assuming they manage to gain the zone), and all their chances were out on the perimeter. 

When the Wings finally moved to more of a grinding game down low, it allowed the defensemen to pinch in and the forwards started winning more puck battles.  The Wings have become a far more dangerous team now that they’ve finally awakened from the Tomas Holmstrom hangover.  I love Homer, but his retirement was a godsend.  I don’t miss the phantom penalties and waived goals either.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/21/14 at 09:45 AM ET

RedMenace's avatar

... and Lashoff was on the ice for both PPG’s against. Interesting.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/20/14 at 07:38 PM ET

The second Bruins PP goal I can definitely call Lashoff napping on (but do you really want Lashoff defending Chara in front of the net?), but the first? Lashoff was playing the other side, and both Quincey and Kindl let TWO Bruins players (Eriksson was already back there, and I HATE that method of PK) get behind them for the rebound. Lashoff dove across to try to stop the rebound chance, but Not Brendan Smith already had inside position on Quincey and Kindl.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 04/21/14 at 10:10 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

but the first? Lashoff was playing the other side, and both Quincey and Kindl let TWO Bruins players

Kindl was playing as a forward at that point and his responsibility was high right up until Bergeron wristed the puck to the net-front. Kindl raced back from the moment of the shot, but there was no way he was ever going to beat Reilly Smith to that position without leaving the high zone coverage and giving Bergeron an even better scoring opportunity.

The pass to Bergeron up top came from low along the boards to Jimmy’s right (pass from Lucic).  This is Lashoff’s side of the ice. This created a need for the PK box to transition across. Quincey had to respect Reilly Smith on the low-side to Howard’s left while Lashoff should have moved faster to the net-front (leaving Datsyuk to watch the passing lane back to Lucic around the faceoff dot).

When the shot came in, Quincey was watching the general net-front area, but Lashoff wasn’t there to jump on Loui Eriksson.  The failure to tie up the stick lets Eriksson get a whack at the puck that knocks it through Howard’s pads.  This is a mistake I attribute to Lashoff.

Following that mistake, Quincey compounds it by coming too far across in trying to help Lashoff with Loui Eriksson, leaving the back side of the crease exposed for a guy who was always going to get there before a third Red Wings player came in.  This was a 2-on-2 net-front battle for the defensmen and it turned into a 2-on-1 which led to a 1-on-0 which led to the goal.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/14 at 10:42 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

My takes on the game, and I watched with a terrible migrane, so take that for what you will.
1. Yes our PP stunk!  We had too many problems just gaining the zone.
2. We had problems gaining the zone on 5 on 5.  I was disappointed that Babs didn’t seem to have an answer to the I formation at center ice the Bruins were employing.
3. In game 1 Rask was letting out a lot of rebounds, game 2 he was not. Could be partially due to the location and clear view of the shots he was facing.
4. We weren’t nearly as active with sticks in lanes this game.
5.Smith trying to fight Charra was humorous, and sad at the same time.
6.Tatar was trying to do too much when gaining the zone, but it seemed to be for a lack of passing options.
7. Smith had some good offensive plays.
8. We need Ericsson back and not likely to get him anytime soon.
9. Our players looked manhandled out there at times.  Not the kind of game we can win against Boston.  I thought we looked too tired to play the way we needed to.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 04/21/14 at 11:43 AM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/14 at 10:42 AM ET

Heh, okay, let’s see if I can keep a train of thought here:

- In the video, Lashoff is covering Lucic at the right circle; the Wings’ PK is very passive as a whole, so he’s trying to take away passing lanes across the middle and shots without being too aggressive. Box remain in-tact, Lashoff has done his job by not allowing the pass across/shot.

- Lucic passes the puck back to Bergeron, who is lightly pressured by Datsyuk. Due to the way the PK (as well as the Bruins’ PP) is structured, Eriksson’s already at the net looking for a rebound, with Not Brendan off at the bottom of the left circle - giving Boston two guys down low - waiting for a rebound (this is where I have a problem with the passive box, but that’s a different rant).

- Bergeron takes the shot, Jimmy takes the opportunity to provide a juicy rebound, and Lashoff and Quincey collapse to prevent any further chances, Lashoff having to come back further since he was out higher. At this point, Quincey is flat-footed and unable do anything but spin around in place.

- Both Lashoff and Quincey take mighty whacks at Eriksson’s stick after Howard makes another save (although the puck squeaks through), preventing him from getting a second rebound chance - but in doing so, and as you pointed out, Quincey ignores Smith coming in from the left circle, which was his side of the ice. Kindl attempts to cover for Quincey’s missed cover, but it’s too late.

Perhaps Lashoff could have been quicker to get to Eriksson, but in my opinion, Quincey panicked and double-teamed Eriksson, which was the major mistake. My point, however, is that I think the implication that Lashoff is the problem is a misguided one.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 04/21/14 at 01:19 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Perhaps Lashoff could have been quicker to get to Eriksson, but in my opinion, Quincey panicked and double-teamed Eriksson, which was the major mistake. My point, however, is that I think the implication that Lashoff is the problem is a misguided one.

I think you and I agree on how this play is described and in the idea of what happened and should have happened after the pass from Lucic to Bergeron (Lashoff was too slow to get to the net-front).  I also completely agree that Quincey panicked and that’s the real kicker of this play.

I will say that I disagree with an implication that Lashoff was *THE* problem on that play.  I’m just also disagreeing with what I read as an implication that he’s blameless.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/14 at 02:14 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

I’m just also disagreeing with what I read as an implication that he’s blameless.

I didn’t mean for it to come out that way, so I apologize if it did.

It just seems that Lashoff gets a LOT of flak, and I feel much of it is undeserved. Does he have lapses and gaffes? Of course he does - he’s barely played more than a full season of hockey. Same with Smith. Same with DeKeyser. Lashoff isn’t flashy and scorey, however, and that seems to turn a lot of people off.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 04/21/14 at 05:16 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 04/21/14 at 05:16 PM ET

Right on.  I’m probably guilty of being a bit harder on Lashoff than I should be

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/21/14 at 05:53 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.