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Red Wings-Bruins quick take: trap game, defined

The Detroit Red Wings skated into Boston having played 2 games in 3 nights and having overcome some missteps to win a tight 2-1 decision over Buffalo and having rallied for a 3-2 OT decision over Carolina...

While the Beasts of the East beat the Bolts on Thursday and were able to rest and wait for the Wings. As such, and especially given that the Wings were able to "get away" with sloppy play and a middling power play during their first two games, the result was predictable in the form of a 4-1 loss--and as such, we'll have to see whether the Wings can present a better effort in their Columbus Day matinee in Boston nine days from now.

When the Wings get away from their fundamental system of play in puck possession, and add in some brain farts, bad things happen, and bad things happened in a hurry on Saturday night.

While Jimmy Howard was spectacular yet again, the players in front of him continued to cede defensive territory, turn over pucks, and generally attempted to play dump-and-chase hockey against the best trapping team this side of the Columbus Blue Jackets or St. Louis Blues.

That ain't gonna cut it, and as such, the Wings really did walk right into the Bruins' trap, literally skating into Bruins players who plucked the pucks from their sticks and skated around their opponents--or, in the words of Mickey Redmond, the Wings' combination of inability to win puck battles and giveaways, "Made the Bruins look good." And the B's don't need any help in that department.

During a night when the refs "let 'em play" to a fault, the Bruins received the first power play, and it cost the Wings immediately. Off a lost faceoff at the left dot, both Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen chased the puck carrier on the left side in Milan Lucic, he slid the puck to a wide-open Torey Krug and as Jimmy Howard was screened by Zdeno Chara, Howard had no chance on the goal scored 9:11 into the 1st.


The Wings showed some life late in a 1st period in which they were out-shot 14-5. Off a puck that literally went into the Wings' bench, Pavel Datsyuk roared up the ice, sent a pass to Justin Abdelkader, and Abdelkader and Henrik Zetterberg kept hacking at the puck until Zetterberg rifled one in. With 3:11 left in the 1st, things were tied...

But the Wings opened the 2nd period with a horrific first shift and on a 3-on-3 rush, the Wings' defensemen backed in and Johnny Boychuk found Brad Marchand and marchand slid a post-hugging shot past Howard, who was again somewhat distracted by the man in front of him and off his angle--this time with his own defenseman, Niklas Kronwall, screening him.

36 seconds into the 2nd, it was 2-1 Boston.

A little under seven minutes later, off a doofy giveaway by Jakub Kindl and a stand-around-and-stare effort from Kyle Quincey, Adam McQuaid held the puck in, slid it to Reilly Smith, and Smith moved the puck laterally to Jordan Caron, who fired a shot that Howard had no chance upon 7:58 into the 2nd. This one was the dagger.

The Wings had ONE attempt to really dent the deficit in a power play with 6:15 left in the 2nd, but they did jack and shit with it, and while they put 15 pucks on Tuukka Rask, Howard's 13-shot workload represented much harder "quality" chances.

The Wings came out for the third period with lines shaken up (Abdelkader with Alfredsson and Weiss and Franzen with Datsyuk and Zetterberg), and they played strongly until Danny DeKeyser took a penalty 6:33 into the period.

That penalty seemed to take the wind out of their sails, and while the Wings killed their third penalty, they looked like they'd hit a mental and physical wall.

You can't win every game, especially when your hardest opponent is your third in four nights, when Kyle Quincey shovels a terrible pass at Pavel Datsyuk on the PK, he's kneed by Milan Lucic, and the only man left is Brendan Smith, even Zdeno Chara can deke and dangle his way to a 4-1 goal.


Quincey, Smith and Kindl were giveaway machines--as was Kronwall, oddly enough--and when your defensemen are playing east-west hockey and back-passing endlessly, you can't get your transition game going, especially against the Masters of the Trap...

And especially when clutch-and-grab is the order of the day.

The Red Wings get four days off before a merciless stretch of 4 games played over 6 nights--including a rematch in Boston on that Columbus Day matinee--begins when the team entertains Phoenix on Thursday and Philly next Saturday, and the team needs to do two things between now and then:

1. Rest and recover--especially in the case of Jimmy Howard, who faced 37 shots to 26 taken by the Wings;

2. LEARN from this game, because the Bruins just issued a blueprint as to how to beat the Wings in the East, and thats worrisome;

3. Get some bloody scoring going from the bottom two lines, because there are nights that the Wings will be facing teams that can check both Piano-Pav-Hank and the Weissfredsson line.



Shots 37-26 Boston overall. Detroit was out-shot 14-5 in the 1st, out-shot Boston 15-13 in the 2nd and were out-shot 10-6 in the 3rd.

The Wings went 0-for-2 in 4:00 of PP time; The Bruins went 2-for-4 in 6:03 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 37 shots; Tuukka Rask stopped 25 of 26.

The 3 stars were picked by 98.5 FM, and they picked Jordan Caron, Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.

Faceoffs 32-25 Detroit (Detroit won 56%);

Blocked shots 11-9 Boston;

Missed shots 13-8 Boston (total shot attempts 59-45 Boston, with Detroit firing 26 shots on Rask and 27 wide or blocked);

Hits 23-16 Boston;

Giveaways 12-9 Detroit;

Takeaways 7-6 Detroit.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Weiss went 8-and-9 (47%); Datsyuk went 10-and-6 (63%); Andersson went 9-and-7 (56%); Emmerton went 5-and-2 (71%); Tatar lost his only faceoff.

Shots: Zetterberg led the team with 4 shots; Kindl had 3; Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Miller, Emmerton Kronwall and Franzen had 1.

Blocked attempts: Datsyuk and Ericsson had 2 attempts blocked by Bruins players; Kindl, Alfredsson, Andersson, Quincey, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Cleary had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Smith missed the net 2 times; Kindl, Emmerton, Quincey, Bertuzzi, Cleary and Weiss missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the Wings with 3 hits; Tatar and Bertuzzi had 2; Kindl, Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Ericsson Kronwall, DeKeyser Cleary and Franzen had 1 hit.

Giveaways: Smith, Alfredsson and Weiss had 2 giveaways; Datsyuk, Andersson, Quincey, Ericsson, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 1.

Takeaways: Datsyuk had 4 takeaways; Andersson, Emmerton and Weiss had 1.

Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall blocked 3 Bruins shots; Kindl Datsyuk, Ericsson, DeKeyser, Cleary and Weiss blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Bertuzzi, Kronwall, DeKeyser and Franzen took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at -5. Kindl, Alfredsson Andersson, Quincey and Bertuzzi finished at -1.

Points: Zetterberg scored a goal; Abdelkader and Datsyuk had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 21:08 played; Ericsson played 20:34; Quincey played 20:33;

Datsyuk played 20:09; Kindl played 19:33; Zetterberg played 19:05;

Alfredsson played 18:45; Smith played 18:43; DeKeyser played 16:45;

Franzen played 16:42; Andersson played 15:13; Weiss played 15:00;

Cleary played 14:46; Bertuzzi played 14:04; Abdelkader played 13:37;

Miller played 10:13; Emmerton played 9:59; Tatar played 9:08.



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w2j2's avatar

The Wings were totally out played.  Kronwall & Quincey were particularly bad.

Posted by w2j2 on 10/05/13 at 09:46 PM ET

Temo's avatar

Those back to back games are a killer.

Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 10/05/13 at 10:09 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

Quincey was not at fault for the 3rd goal and was in proper position. Kindl iced the puck two times to create that defensive zone start, and Andersson was unable to get the puck out of the zone.

I don’t think that was a particularly good game for anyone. I’m not sure if it was fatigue or what, but every line got outplayed. As others have mentioned, our d-pairs look a little shaky. I can’t help but think that if we had another top 4 dman, everyone else would slot correctly. I think that’s why they made a pitch for Edler. A 2nd pair of Edler-DDK would be solid.  Then Smith and Q could battle it out to be paired with Kindl.

I don’t know. Maybe this is just a throwaway game.

Posted by PDXWing on 10/05/13 at 10:12 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Kindl had a rough game, Quincey had a rough game, Smith, Kronwall…And the Wings’ defense never got the puck up to the forwards with speed.

To me, the difference, as I said in the quick take, is that the Wings skated INTO the Bruins, and the Bruins just skated around the Wings.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/05/13 at 10:23 PM ET


Sometimes I feel like I’m crazy when I feel like I’m noticing so many bad habits. Forcing long passes that don’t connect, sliding the puck around the boards instead of finding an open man to skate the puck out, playing on the boards and in the corners too much overall, and just general…not possessing the puck…it all seemed to be happening a lot last season.

As long as the Detroit Red Wings rely on home grown talent and the occasional free agent who isn’t a super star, franchise player, they’re never going to beat teams with pure skill, size, or speed and checking. Puck possession is in the teams DNA, and it’s their only chance. I hope they replicated it better this year than they have in the last few seasons.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 10/05/13 at 11:02 PM ET


So many commas.

Posted by borq646 from South Lyon, MI on 10/06/13 at 12:28 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Kronwall & Quincey were particularly bad.

In all honesty, there wasn’t anyone not named Bertuzzi who wasn’t bad, and I mean really bad.  Along those lines, what the hell has happened to Pavel. It almost looks like he’s lost 50% of his vision in the past two games.

Bottom line, here’s my overview of the first three games…

Game 1: Wow. They’re like a completely different team.

Game 2: Um. Gosh, they look okay but all of a sudden they’re like half of last year’s sloppy, disinterested team.

Game 3: Okay, I knew this was coming. This is exactly like last year’s team – but with different players. They make dumb passes straight to the opposition. They skate liesurely after loose pucks. And they always choose pass over shoot.

This loss had nothing to do with playing a back-to-back game.  It had everything to do with being “cute” with their passes and lazy with their puck pursuit.

Pretty amazing that this team could take me from excited to confused to frustrated in just three games. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe this is what you get when an organ-I-zation decides to go with “the past” over “the future.”

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/06/13 at 01:45 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

So many commas.

Posted by borq646

At least someone these days knows that a comma even exists. And, from the perspective of a former magazine editor, CP used every single one of those commas correctly.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/06/13 at 01:48 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.