The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/22/14 at 10:20 PM ET
After watching what may have been the worst Red Wings game since...The 6-1 loss to Ottawa, this time a 3-0 loss to Boston, I have two hopes:
1. I sincerely hope that the Red Wings' forwards start doing things other than cheating toward offense and begging their defensemen to be the only ones who shoot pucks on the power play;
2. I hope the Bruins buy into what their media corps is selling, because the Wings may have been manhandled in two consecutive stinkers--from the goal on out--but as far as the B's media has informed us on Twitter, it's time to prepare for the Canadiens-Bruins series, which will start after Saturday's game, apparently.
Very regrettably, Brad Marchand's flop-and-flail-and-grab-the-wrong-leg crap (he's been targeting Brendan Smith, who did try to knee Marchand, all series long), may have been the highlight of the night for Red Wings fans.
Otherwise, the power play was listless--due to players exhibiting no confidence with the puck and forwards just sort of standing around as one forward moved it to the defensemen and back (the get it back to the point with butts in front thing is the blueprint, I get it, but Kronwall Can Only Score is a terrible strategy)--Howard gave up a terrible first goal, the Wings were pushed around, pushed off the puck, and, bizarrely, a team that's supposed to be a skating, speedy team was chasing the puck all night long.
The veterans have been invisible save Kronwall and Datsyuk. The Kids have been intimidated out of their wits, Nyquist included. And the in-betweeners have been very in-between (sorry, Franzen haters, he's been bad, but he's had company in the form of about 15 of the Wings' other 18 skaters, including two who are trying far too hard in Tatar and Smith).
But do these two listless losses mean that the series is over, do they mean that the Wings are dead?
I'm not so sure.
The Wings can't get up the middle for shit right now, I know. The Wings can't or won't execute a solid transition play, they can't or won't out-SKATE the Bruins into body position along the boards, and they seem downright afraid to enter the area between the faceoff circles and goal line in front of Tuuka Rask.
Yeah, it's bad right now. Really bad.
And there's nothing more humiliating than coming out in the playoff home opener and ending up looking like you were the team taken out of the game by your crowd--because you tried to "put on a show" instead of actually playing the kind of hockey that made you successful.
But this game in particular was so bad that this team can't help but improve.
Dougie Hamilton scored a terrible goal on the Bruins' power play 9 minutes into the 1st...
Caron's even-strength marker was due to a disastrous line change 15:48 into the 1st...
And Bergeron's goal with 1:59 left in the 3rd was an empty-netter.
Are the Bruins really this dominant? I've seen the Wings manhandle 'em. I've seen the Wings out-eke them and I've seen the Wings blow 'em out. And I've seen much more from the Wings than what they're giving us.
It is entirely possible, if not probable, that we'll be watching the last 2-4 games of the Wings' 2013-2014 campaign over the next four to seven days.
But I believe this team has some heart left in it and has some players who will be just as angry and upset and humiliated by the loss as we feel.
That, and it's human nature to look ahead--and that makes the Wings quite dangerous to another team that is not themselves.
Rub it in, B's media. Rub it in. Plant the seed. And let's see what happens on Thursday, because it doesn't get worse than this, and the last two games sure taught the Wings' younger, middle-of-the-road and veteran players enough lessons for a month's worth of responses.
Get your shit together, Wings. You put it all over the ice Sunday and today. Coach, your work is cut out for you, but you're supposed to have the horses.
Make 'em run.
Shots 34-23 Boston overall. Detroit was out-shot 11-4 in the 1st period, the teams tied in shots 12-12 in the 2nd, and the Wings were out-shot 11-7 in the 3rd period.
Special teams: The Bruins went 1-for-3 in 5:20 of PP time; the Wings went 0-for-3 in 5:25, including 35 seconds of 5-on-3 time.
Goaltending: Tuukka Rask stopped 23 of 23 for Boston; Jimmy Howard stopped 31 of 33 for Detroit, and the Bruins scored into an empty net.
The 3 stars were picked by ESPN's Craig Custance, and he picked Patrice Bergeron, Dougie Hamilton and Tuukka Rask.
Faceoffs 31-25 Boston (Detroit won 45%);
Blocked shots 13-10 Boston;
Missed shots 12-10 Boston (attempts 56-46 Boston; Detroit had 23 shots on Rask and 23 wide/blocked);
Hits 32-25 Detroit;
Giveaways 8-1 Detroit;
Takeaways 4-2 Detroit.
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-7 (65%); Sheahan went 2-and-9 (10%); Glendening went 3-and-8 (27%); Helm went 6-and-4 (60%); Abdelkader, Legwand and Miller lost single faceoffs; Andersson won a single faceoff.
Shots: Kindl and Nyquist co-led the team with 4 shots apiece; Helm and Kronwall had 3; Lashoff, Quincey and Franzen had 2; Smith, Datsyuk, Tatar, Jurco, Helm and DeKeyser had 1.
Blocked attempts: Kindl fired 4 pucks into Bruins players; Nyquist and Sheahan had 2 attempts blocked; Datsyuk, Quincey, Helm, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Abdelkader missed the net 3 times; Nyquist, DeKeyser and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Legwand missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Miller led the team with 5 hits; Abdelkader and Tatar had 4 hits; Sheahan, Legwand and Quincey had 3 hits; Smith, Kindl and Kronwall had 2 hits; Nyquist, Lashoff, DeKeyser and Franzen had 1 hit.
Giveaways: Datsyuk had 3 giveaways; Kindl, Nyquist, Tatar, Kronwall and Franzen had 1 giveaway.
Takeaways: Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Nyquist and Kronwall had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: MIller, Quincey, DeKeyser and Franzen had 2 shots; Kindl and Tatar had 1.
Penalties taken: Smith, Abdelkader, Tatar and the bench took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -11. Kindl, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Sheahan, Andersson, Tatar, Lashoff, Jurco, Helm, Kronwall and DeKeyser were all -1.
Points: No one scored.
Ice time: DeKeyser played 25:00; Kronwall played 22:39; Datsyuk played 21:27;
Quincey played 21:03; Franzen played 19:57; Abdelkader played 17:43;
Kindl played 17:42; Smith played 16:42; Nyquist played 15:37;
Tatar played 15:20; Lashoff played 14:38; Sheahan played 13:48;
Legwand played 13:47;Helm played 13:33; Glendening played 12:25;
Miller played 12:16; Jurco played 11:43; Andersson played 8:17.
More Tweets--the coach is taking it hard:
He never does.
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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.