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Red Wings-Bruins Game 3 quick take: Wings were awful, but B’s might overlook ‘em now

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.

Statistics:

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.

Individual stats:

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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Comments

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Tuba Guy's avatar

I have to be honest.  That was probably the worst game I’ve seen Datsyuk play from a puckhandling perspective.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 04/22/14 at 10:28 PM ET

aerodude's avatar

Franzen is playing his way into the wildcard slot for the Wings compliance buyout this summer.

Howard back to his mediocre baseline.

I saw effort from a few players, terrible play from most. I feel sorry for those that paid to get into the game.

Posted by aerodude on 04/22/14 at 10:31 PM ET

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Stevie named him Mule and both are long since gone.

Posted by selke13 on 04/22/14 at 10:38 PM ET

voline's avatar

Agreed, Tuba Guy. That no-look backhand pass from the corner to the middle of the ice in front of Howard was atrocious.

Everyone looked intimidated, as hell.

The too-many-men penalty and bad change that led to the first two Bruins goals; Babcock should be embarrassed that his team looked performed like that.

Everyone associated wit this team should be embarrassed at tonight’s game.

Posted by voline on 04/22/14 at 10:38 PM ET

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Franzen is playing his way into the wildcard slot for the Wings compliance buyout this summer.

No he isn’t.

Posted by Garth on 04/22/14 at 10:47 PM ET

awould's avatar

I NOW believe Detroit will lose this series.

Posted by awould on 04/22/14 at 10:52 PM ET

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FRANZEN IS A NO-SHOW-BIG SURPRISE

Posted by Bay Area Wings fan on 04/22/14 at 10:53 PM ET

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I could be wrong but my perception is that the rest of the league for the last couple of years has thrown it into an extra gear during the playoffs, where the Wings try to play a calm cool and collected way. I could be wrong, we’ve won several playoff games in those couple of years but I am watching LA\SJ right now and the Wings don’t look like they hit this level of determination.

I guess we’re just a young team and this is what happens with young teams. They just look over matched and the B’s are playing like the Wings used to.

Posted by weswolverine on 04/22/14 at 10:53 PM ET

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Well, when we all thought they couldn’t do worse than Sunday’s game, it appears we were right. Unfortunately, it appears they couldn’t do much better.

Posted by neffernin on 04/22/14 at 10:56 PM ET

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Franzen is playing his way into the wildcard slot for the Wings compliance buyout this summer.

No he isn’t.

Posted by Garth on 04/22/14 at 10:47 PM ET
————
I couldn’t agree more, Garth.  We’ve all heard KH say time and again that Franzen isn’t going anywhere. Franzen could go on a 40-game scoreless streak, still end up with 20 goals in 42 games, and it wouldn’t even cross KH’s mind. It sucks, because Franzen’s skill level is diminishing exponentially and has been for quite some time. He just doesn’t hussle. But it just doesn’t matter. He will never be bought out.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 10:59 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Question: If “the kids” don’t step up and Wings lose this series, are you OK with the concept of this being a gigantic learning experience?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/22/14 at 11:01 PM ET

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So when can Mrazek take over the starting job in Detroit? Next year? I’m so tired of Jimmy Howard. Yeah, he’ll have a few great games here and there, but then we’re all brought back down to earth with the real Jimmy. Always on his knees too early, handles the puck like a peewee goalie. Just give me Petr already Holland. I’ve never liked Howard and never will. PETR MRAZEK!!!!!

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 11:01 PM ET

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George; with regards to your above-referenced question. Yes, I’m perfectly OK with this being a learning experience for our corps of the future (Nyquist, Tatar, DeKeyser, Jurco, Sheahan, Glendening). What I will not accept is another pathetic off-season where Ken Holland refuses to address the surplus of above-average prospects juxtaposed with our obvious deficiencies, both up front and in the back, most notably the latter. Kindl, Lashoff and Quincey need to go. We need to package a trade for a bona fide top-2 D; we have too many checkers STILL in the organization.  This current Red Wings squad is still far away from competing for a Stanley Cup.

2 goals in 3 games against a legitimate Cup threat. Time to make some moves because we definitely have the ammo.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 11:05 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

I believe the coach will get the best out of his players the next 2 games. But even at our best that does not guarantee a win.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 04/22/14 at 11:06 PM ET

Tuba Guy's avatar

Is it too early to soon Z on Thursday?  (especially if Alfredson is still out)

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 04/22/14 at 11:07 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Re: The Franzen cap compliance buy-out talk…For a long time I thought he’d stay no matter what. Now I’m not so sure. There are kids coming—kids who score goals. Kids who are BIG and go to the net.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/22/14 at 11:07 PM ET

Tuba Guy's avatar

There are kids coming—kids who score goals. Kids who are BIG and go to the net.

But not in this series.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 04/22/14 at 11:12 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Franzen may get 20 goals in 42 games (hypothetically), but they’ll be the 4th and 5th goal in a 1-5 drubbing, or empty netters in an out of hand game. He hasn’t been CLUTCH since 09. It’s hard to believe that was 5 years ago already, but it was.

The old gray mule just ain’t what he used to be.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/22/14 at 11:15 PM ET

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There are kids coming—kids who score goals. Kids who are BIG and go to the net.

But not in this series.

———-

Which leads back to George’s original point. This is a learning experience for them in which they look for leadership in novel predicaments, and because Franzen is again disappearing like he always does, even though he’s a veteran, in George’s opinion, Franzen is inching ever so closer to buyout candidacy.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 11:16 PM ET

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Question: If “the kids” don’t step up and Wings lose this series, are you OK with the concept of this being a gigantic learning experience?

Yes, I had no grand illusions we were going to win the cup. I was more looking at what the young guys could do and how they reacted. We don’t have a legitimate number 2 d-man. The one we consider our number 2 but is really a number 4 is injured. We played very injured most of the year and struggled and ended up getting the toughest draw. Dems da breaks. The kids are learning and will be better for it. Can’t wait for the next couple of years, they should be fun.

Posted by weswolverine on 04/22/14 at 11:16 PM ET

aerodude's avatar

  Franzen is playing his way into the wildcard slot for the Wings compliance buyout this summer.

No he isn’t.

Posted by Garth on 04/22/14 at 10:47 PM ET

Yes, he is.  He is already on the decline with a massive tail end contract. I know its not his fault but he added some concussion miles this season too.

Would the Wings be letting a better player than Tootoo go with a buyout? Yes they would.

Would the Wings save a shit ton more money vs Tootoo’s 1 year remaining? Yes they would.

If Franzen stays, its because of Kenny’s loyalty, the lack of a better sniper being available in July, or a dash of both.

 

Posted by aerodude on 04/22/14 at 11:17 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Howard with .931 save percentage and a 0.66… goal support. Good lord, people.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/22/14 at 11:19 PM ET

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Franzen is still the best $3.9 million\yr man in the NHL. Say all you want, but every other $3.9 million\year man has the same fan base bitching about them too. Franzen is big and can score and 3.9\year isn’t as much as it used to be. We need a number 2 d-man that’s intimidating as all hell and can let Kronwall pinch in while he covers his ass. Q is gone this year, the cap is raised, we have young guys that are proven so spend money on a number 2 and a goal scorer and let the chips fall where they may.

Posted by weswolverine on 04/22/14 at 11:20 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

My mom just told me that the Wings aren’t protecting Howard against the Bruins’ crashing forwards…And she’s right.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/22/14 at 11:24 PM ET

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Posted by weswolverine on 04/22/14 at 11:20 PM ET

———-

Franzen will only get worse with age. You ever gamble at the casino? Ever hear the old adage “get out while your ahead?” Well, we won a Cup with Franzen before he got that contract, we got to another Final, and that’s it. We’ve received incredible return for AAV per goal, but what do you realistically expect moving forward? Franzen is 33, has concussion problems, a guaranteed contract for life, and ZERO incentive to work hard as his body starts to break down.

Knowing Franzen’s work ethic like we do, based upon watching his regular seasons and post-seasons, what do you think would be the wise decision here?

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 11:26 PM ET

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Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 11:26 PM ET

Franzen is 34, not 33. And he has 31 points in 41 games this year. Name someone better for the same price. You can’t.

Posted by weswolverine on 04/22/14 at 11:30 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Unless Howard starts scoring some fuchin’ goals the Wings will not win with him in net.

Posted by SK77 on 04/22/14 at 11:32 PM ET

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Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 11:26 PM ET

Franzen is 34, not 33. And he has 31 points in 41 games this year. Name someone better for the same price. You can’t.

————-

Franzen’s production will only decrease with his age. This isn’t Nick we’re talking about here. What happens when we have a 38 year old Franzen standing in front of 3 or 4 bona fide prospects, similar to how Cleary screwed Nyquist? Yeah, that’s inevitable if you’re somewhat familiar with our incredibly deep prospect pool.  While you make a valid point regarding his production, Franzen is something called a depreciating asset that will yield very little return at the end of his career. It just makes sense to get out while we still can without incurring a cap penalty.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 11:35 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

Babs neeeds to break up the kids line

Posted by Rdwings28 on 04/22/14 at 11:35 PM ET

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Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 11:35 PM ET

Completely understand where you are coming from. Right now, and next year he is the best player for the price. He will not, nor should he be bought out.

Posted by weswolverine on 04/22/14 at 11:36 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

I think Howard is playing pretty damn well. Tonight could have been a hell of a lot worse, and let’s not forget he has a shutout in this series already. Hard to win with zero goal support and that’s what is happening. No one is impressing out there, and some guys are playing just plain awful. This team needs, more than anything else, a veteran guy in the locker room to step up and set everything on the right track. Someone like how Maltby or Draper used to be. We know Pasha doesn’t speak up in the locker room, so if Z can do that well it’s time for him to step up and speak even if he’s not playing. It looks like a young team out there that’s lost and needs a vet to settle things down.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 04/22/14 at 11:38 PM ET

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Posted by weswolverine on 04/22/14 at 11:36 PM ET

————

That’s Kenny’s mindset. Although I disagree with it, I know Franzen isn’t going anywhere, and I’ll continue to scream at the TV when he floats. Hey at least we’re not Oilers fans though. That must really suck.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 04/22/14 at 11:40 PM ET

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Unless Howard starts scoring some fuchin’ goals the Wings will not win with him in net.

Posted by SK77 on 04/22/14 at 11:32 PM ET

Please don’t think this went unnoticed. It was hilarious.

Posted by weswolverine on 04/22/14 at 11:42 PM ET

SK77's avatar

I think Howard is playing pretty damn well.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 04/22/14 at 11:38 PM ET

I think anyone calling out Howard is crazy.

In three games the dude has posted the best save percentage and goals against average of HIS LIFE.

Seriously, take a look.—> .931 SV% and 2.02 GAA.

Too bad the rest of the team is getting dominated.  confused

Posted by SK77 on 04/22/14 at 11:43 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Hits 32-25 Detroit;

Does this bother anyone else?  I can’t believe it’s accurate because it sure looked to me Boston was much more physical.  Jimmy not playing better than Rask and the defense being somewhat porous mean nothing if you don’t score any goals.  Wings bow out in 5 unless Mule, Dats, Alfie, and Legwand show some leadership and start scoring goals or setting up the kids.

Posted by calquake on 04/22/14 at 11:48 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Alfredsson was injured. He seemed to steady the ship in Games 1 and 2, to the point that I’d suggest putting him in a suit on the bench.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/22/14 at 11:49 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Posted by calquake on 04/22/14 at 11:48 PM ET

Agreed, cal.

Two straight games trying to match their physicality and getting blown out of the building. Safe to say that’s NOT how the Wings will win this series.

Some people look at how good the Bruins are (and yes, they are) and apparently think “they’re good because they hit”. Not, they are good because they play their style of hockey and can really play that.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/22/14 at 11:59 PM ET

Alan's avatar

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Z suit up and take the ice for us Thursday.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/23/14 at 12:07 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Not, they are good because they play their style of hockey and can really play that.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/22/14 at 11:59 PM ET

They are an elite team when they get other teams to play their style.  They are exposed when forced to adapt to other teams’ style.  Hope things are going well for you Herm.

Posted by calquake on 04/23/14 at 12:09 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Posted by calquake on 04/22/14 at 11:48 PM ET

I don’t think, however, that tally is accurate. I remember looking at the hits total during the first and thinking it was just some home-cooking on the scoresheet. We definitely did not outhit them tonight.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/23/14 at 12:07 AM ET

I think he definitely plays too. Just not sure if it’s before the Bruins have three wins (if that happens!).

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 04/23/14 at 12:10 AM 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.