The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/27/13 at 11:16 PM ET
The end wasn't pretty--Torey Krug's skate put in a Gustav Nyquist goal and Jarome Iginla may or may not have kicked in a goal that spoiled Jonas Gustavsson's shutout, but the first 57 minutes of the Red Wings' 6-1 win over the Boston Bruins was...
Masterful. As if the Wings had chosen to finally give their fans a little bit of deferred compensation for their awful home record, and as if the Wings had finally chosen to wake from their November slumber to prove that winning three out of four can make up for winning one of nine.
Because the East is such a mess, the Wings are now only 3 points behind Boston despite a vastly inferior record, and astonishing attention to detail, poise and composure, incredibly strong skating and winger support, a dash of superb goaltending, absolute adherance to puck possession hockey "structure" and execution of all the opportunities the Wings had been failing to execute upon over the past three-and-a-half weeks yielded a dominant victory against a still-superb Bruins team.
The game didn't involve that many shots--28 for Detroit and 17 for Boston--but the Wings struck first at the halfway mark of the 1st, with Johan Franzen and Justin Abdelkader racing up ice, Franzen's stick breaking as he took a shot and the puck deflecting to Abdelkader, who easily deposited the puck past Tuuka Rask:
The game remained a tightly-contested, intense and focused affair until the six-minute mark of the second period. Tomas Tatar basically took a pass from Brian Lashoff at the Wings' blueline and took off, tumbled on what was surprisingly bad ice, kept control of the puck and executed a remarkable wraparound on Rask at the 6:05 mark...
On what looked like a Wings power play, was tic-tac-Zetterberg on passes from Kronwall and Nyquist, 8:47 in...
And Niklas Kronwall was the beneficiary of a PP performance with Johan Franzen driving the middle after Zetterberg, Daniel Alfredsson (who played distracted, perhaps not surprisingly given Sunday's reunion with Ottawa) and Kronwall played tic-tac-toe until Franzen's rush allowed Kronwall to sneak in from the point 10:01 into the 2nd:
Drew Miller then took what was a mucked set of passes from Tomas Tatar--who couldn't beat Tuukka Rask, but stuck with the puck--and Joakim Andersson and jammed a whifflepuck past rask 8:38 into the 3rd, and after Nyquist put the puck off Krug, Iginla got a fortunate bounce, but the three second-period goals really told the game's tale.
Just as importantly, while Weiss, Samuelsson and Cleary didn't get off the scoring schneid, even that line played very well, and the Wings never really let their foot off the gas until the game's final five minutes, which is understandable given the situation.
The Wings were sharp, speedy, strong on the puck, smart positionally, slick, efficient and resilient given that Johan Franzen was elbowed in the face by Zdeno Chara and that Brendan Smith was dumped from behind into the boards, left shoulder first, by his own brother in the 2nd.
The Wings rose their level of individual and collective play to the occasion, and their efforts over the past week-and-a-half seemed to be building toward this one.
Gustavsson was utterly superb in stopping all of 16 of 17 shots and facing 3 in the 2nd, too, and his calm presence in the net may have earned him one more start before the Wings get Jimmy Howard going again.
Here's hoping they keep it going Friday afternoon on Long Island and Sunday in Ottawa, and that they take some of that sketchy but lucky ice with 'em.
As Ken Daniels said, to do this without Pavel Datsyuk...Is remarkable. But the Wings have to keep it going. Henrik Zetterberg's second in NHL scoring, but the Wings need all hands on deck ASAP.
Shots 28-17 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Boston 11-7 in the 1st, 8-3 in the 2nd and 9-7 in the 3rd.
Special teams: The Wings went 1-for-4 in 6:51 of PP time; the Bruins went 0-for-3 in 6:00 of PP time.
Goaltending: Jonas Gustavsson stopped 16 of 17; Tuukka Rask stopped 22 of 28.
NHL.com's Brian Hedger picked the 3 stars, and he picked Franzen, Kronwall and Zetterberg.
The Red Wings' goals: Abdelkader (3) from Franzen (8);
Tatar (3) from Lashoff (2) and Kronwall (14);
Zetterberg (11) from Nyquist (1) and Kronwall (14);
Kronwall (3) from Franzen (9) and Zetterberg (19), PPG;
Miller (2) from Andersson (5) and Tatar (5);
Nyquist (3) from Franzen (10) and Ericsson (5).
Faceoffs 34-22 Boston (Detroit won 39%);
Blocked shots 13-5 Detroit;
Missed shots 10-8 Detroit (total attempts 43-38 Detroit);
Hits 25-16 Boston;
Giveaways 8-6 Boston;
Takeaways 16-11 Detroit.
Faceoffs: Helm went 4-and-12 (25%); Zetterberg went 4-and-11 (27%); Andersson went 10-and-5 (67%); Weiss went 4-and-4 (50%); Tatar and Nyquist lost their only draws.
Shots: Abdelkader, Kronwall and Franzen had 3 shots; Alfredsson, Nyquist, Miller, Tatar, Ericsson and Cleary had 2 shots; Smith, Kindl, Andersson, Quincey, Samuelsson, Zetterberg and Weiss had 1.
Blocked attempts: Alfredsson, Miller, Tatar, Kronwall and Cleary fired pucks into Bruins players.
Missed shots: Helm missed the net 3 times; Alfredsson missed the net 2 times; Kindl, Nyquist, Andersson, Ericsson and Franzen missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Kronwall led the Wings with 4 hits; Abdelkader had 3; miller, Ericsson and Franzen had 2; Tatar, Lashoff and Zetterberg had 1.
Giveaways: Nyquist, Tatar, Zetterberg, Ericsson, Franzen and Gustavsson had giveaways.
Takeaways: Nyquist had 3 takeaways; Ericsson and Kronwall had 2; Smith, Kindl, Andersson, Miller, Tatar, Zetterberg, Helm, Weiss and Franzen had 1.
Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall blocked 3 Bruins shots; Miller, Lashoff, Quincey and Zetterberg blocked 2; Abdelkader and Helm blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Smith, Zetterberg, Cleary and Franzen took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at +20. Franzen was +3; Kindl, Nyquist, Lashoff and Zetterberg were +2; Smith, Abdelkader, Andersson, Miller, Tatar, Quincey, Helm, Ericsson and Kronwall were +1.
Points: Franzen had 3 assists; Nyquist, Tatar, Zetterberg and Kronwall had a goal and an assist for 2 points apiece; Abdelkader and Miller scored goals; Lashoff and Ericsson had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall played 25:07; Ericsson played 20:01; Abdelkader played 19:23;
Quincey played 18:44; Helm played 18:38; Alfredsson played 18:36;
Kindl played 18;33; Smith played 17:17; Franzen played 16:36;
Zetterberg played 16:35; Miller played 15:53; Lashoff played 15:40;
Andersson played 15:25; Tatar played 13:14; Nyquist played 11:48;
Weiss played 10:46; Samuelsson played 10:12; Cleary played 9:32.
Add a Comment
Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.
Most Recent Blog Posts
About The Malik Report
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.