Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Canadiens quick take: self-inflicted wounds blow the Wings’ game in hand

The Red Wings did their damnedest to lose to the Montreal Canadiens, and while the game-winning goal in the Wings' 5-4 loss was both offsides by a foot and deflected...

Jimmy Howard and Niklas Kronwall (-3) will receive most of the blame for a game in which very few of their teammates not named Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan or Tomas Jurco showed up (though Daniel Alfredsson, sporting the stitched-together-glove-fingers of a broken digit on his right hand, attempted to aid the cause), where the defense was spotty at best, the Wings' power play was a mess, even when Babcock attempted to shuffle the lines to kick-start the offense, the players couldn't or wouldn't buy in...

And the Red Wings' self-defeating tendencies have yielded two losses in two must-must-win games, 3 straight losses overall and an absolutely desperate need to win both Saturday's game in Toronto and Sunday's game against Tampa, lest this team's playoff hopes turn into an, "IF we get help..." equation.

With David Legwand playing mediocre hockey as Calle Jarnkrok scored his first goal and 4th point in 4 games for Nashville, I suppose playing blame-the-GM is an easy option, too, but the players on the ice are the players on the ice, and the Helms, Millers, Anderssons, Quinceys, Bertuzzis, Smiths, Lashoffs, Kindls, Franzens and even DeKeysers and Glendenings deserve their share of the blame when this team has so terribly underperformed offensively and has become so very porous defensively.

Has Howard let in a few squeakers? Yep. Would the Wings have won a few more games had those squeakers gone in, or had Gustavsson been in the net? Not with the way the team in front of the Wings' goaltenders have played of late.

You can't let the team you're defending open a highway to the net via odd-man rushes thanks to forwards cheating, defensemen making lazy passes, multiple players chasing puck carriers down low in what is supposed to be a man-on-man defensive system and the team's defenders and forwards doing such a fantastically thorough job of blocking their goaltender's sightlines and tipping pucks past them.

You can't keep losing faceoffs as dreadfully regularly as the Wings have, you can't commit as many turnovers as the Wings have and you cannot attempt to skate the puck into the offensive zone via lateral passes on the power play and at even strength--and when you skate into the offensive zone, you can't be so consistently late in attempts to retain possession and control by winning board battles and one-on-one tangles with the hopes of retrieving pucks.

Most importantly, you can only dig so many 2-0 holes before even appearing on the ice if you expect to win games.

The Red Wings know about all the mistakes they're making--they've been talking about stemming the tide thereof all season long--but the gulf between the team's ability to verbalize its problems and to actualize change...

It's been stark, and now the team really is in severe danger of undermining its playoff push with every loss over its last 9 games, and it is going to either live or die based upon how many times it can win those 9 games.

The positives came in the form of Riley Sheahan's goal...

And Tomas Tatar's 1st and 2nd goals...

 

But this goal was offsides...

Franzen's goal as but abeacon of hope...

And THIS TEAM, with its current personnel's flaws, is going to have to be the team that either earns itself a 23rd straight playoff appearance, or it's going to be THIS TEAM that earns itself a trip to the golf course instead and earns the player personnel, coaching and management--who will largely remain in place as the Sheahans, Jurcos, Tatars, Nyquists and Glendenings represent the majority of this summer's non-free-agent-jettisoning changes--due criticism, and deserved questions as to what this team's players, coaches and management must do this summer to fundamentally improve its ability to win games next season and beyond.

Given Brendan Smith's status as someone who's been such a frequent contributor to the team's gaffes over the past three games and beyond, and given the fact that it is evidently clear that Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff aren't getting the job done on defense while Niklas Kronwall, Danny DeKeyser and Kyle Quincey of all people are at least trying...

The team's goaltending can improve--with Howard perhaps having one year to prove he can rebound from a Verlander Contract Extension-style setback and regain his form--there are avenues for improvement.

None of it matters right now, however, because the Wings need more out of the Smiths, Lashoffs, Kindls, David Legwands, Drew Millers, Darren Helms, Todd Bertuzzis, Johan Franzens, Danny DeKeysers, getting-no-help Jimmy Howards and broken-fingered Alfredssons to make the playoffs. The Kid Line and tonight's goat-horn-wearing Niklas Kronwall are doing all they can. Time's running out for the team to show up.

This team has worked so very, very hard to so very thoroughly *#$%@& itself over since the second period of Saturday's game against Minnesota that it's GOT to have SOME sort of ability to play 9 games halfway decently, right?

I hope so, I really do hope so.

Statistics:

Shots 30-29 Detroit overall. The teams were tied 9-9 in shots in the 1st, Detroit out-shot Montreal 12-9 in the 2nd and the Wings were out-shot 11-9 in the 3rd period.

Special teams: The Red Wings went 0-for-2 in 4:00 of PP time; the Canadiens went 0-for-3 in 5:31 of PP time.

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 24 of 29 shots for Detroit; Carey Price stopped 26 of 30 for Montreal.

The 3 stars were picked by Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus, and he picked Tomas Plekanec, Tomas Tatar and Thomas Vanek.

The Red Wings' goals: Sheahan (6) from Glendening (5) and Lashoff (4);

Tatar (17), unassisted;

Tatar (18) from Jurco (6) and Sheahan (15);

Franzen (16) from Nyquist (18) and Helm (6).

Faceoffs 38-28 Detroit (Detroit won 58%);

Blocked shots 10-10;

Missed shots 12-8 Detroit (attempts 52-47 Detroit, with the Wings firing 30 shots ON Carey Price and another 22 blocked/wide);

Hits 20-15 Detroit;

Giveaways 4-4;

Takeaways 5-5.

Individual stats:

Faceoffs: Helm went 11-and-9 (53%); Legwand went 11-and-7 (61%); Sheahan went 7-and-4 (64%); Glendening went 5-and-6 (45%); Franzen went 3-and-2 (60%); both Nyquist and Andersson went 1-and-0.

Shots: Jurco led the Wings with 5 shots; Tatar had 4; Franzen had 3; Nyquist, Glendening, Helm, Bertuzzi and DeKeyser had 2 shots; Smith, Kindl, Alfredsson, Sheahan, Legwand, Andersson, Miller and Kronwall had 1 shot.

Blocked attempts: Quincey and Kronwall had 2 attempts blocked; Smith, Kindl, Sheahan, Lashoff, Jurco and DeKeyser had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Tatar missed the net 3 times; Smith, Sheahan, Legwand, Jurco, Quincey, Kronwall, DeKeyser and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Tatar led the Wings with 4 hits; Bertuzzi had 3; Glendening, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 2; Smith, Kindl, Nyquist, Sheahan, Andersson, Jurco and Helm had 1 hit.

Giveaways: Alfredsson, Jurco, Bertuzzi and Franzen had 1 giveaway.

Takeaways: Kindl, Sheahan, Legwand, Glendening and Helm had takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall blocked 4 shots; Jurco blocked 3; Smith, Miller and Glendening blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Smith, Legwand, Quincey and Glendening took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at -4. Alfredsson and Legwand were -3; Smith, Quincey, Kronwall and DeKeyser were -2; Nyquist, Andersson, Miller and Franzen were -1; Tatar was +2; Kindl, Sheahan, Lashoff and Jurco were +3.

Ice time: Kronwal led the team with 25:39 played; DeKeyser played 24:07; Quincey played 20:17;

Franzen played 19:35; Smith played 19:05; Nyquist played 16:52;

Sheahan plyayed 16:39; Jurco played 16;37; Tatar played 16:21;

Helm played 15:14; Glendening played 14:45; Kindl played 13:52;

Lashoff played 13:39; Alfredsson played 13:04; Legwand played 12:36;

Bertuzzi played 11:51; Miller played 11:34; Andersson played 10:39.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Primis's avatar

This team is golf course bound.

And they will remain golf course bound in the future until they get traffic cones like Smith and Quincey OFF the roster.

This team, with that blueline, does not DESERVE playoffs.

Posted by Primis on 03/27/14 at 09:51 PM ET

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Good thing we have Cleary and Sammy (ahem Kenny)

Posted by Bay Area Wings fan on 03/27/14 at 10:05 PM ET

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Defense and goaltending woes aside, Babs hit on some good line combos in the third.

Mule-Helm-Goose
Jurco-Sheahan-Tatar

Maybe the other two lines can sort into something.

It ain’t over by a long shot.

Posted by maltby18 on 03/27/14 at 10:42 PM ET

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Well I watched a good part of the second and third.  Again the refs were atrocious, even the linesmen got into it..  Canadians 3rd goal should have been interference penalty on Vanek and not happened….puck shot in corner, Vanek sends Kronner flying picks up puck, pass, bang.  You can bet if Vanek dumps puck in and Kronner holds him up or knocks him down, Kronner 2 min.  The 4th goal was a foot and half offside.  The final penalty on Smith @ 17.  was not called all game until critical time.

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 03/27/14 at 10:52 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

On the bright side, they didn’t give up a PPG. But the now 13 game streak (according to TSN) of allowing third period goals continues.

Posted by bleep bloop on 03/27/14 at 11:03 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I was at the game and it was a terrible performance by the Red Wings from the goal on out. It sealed the deal of the Red Wings not making the playoffs. They almost need a miracle to get in now, but not likely based on the last three games. Should be an interesting off season.

Posted by bigfrog on 03/27/14 at 11:16 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Team still loses after Callahan gets sent down which must does wonders for his future thoughts of playing for Detroit being just called up to basically pest the BJ’s clowns then take bus right back to GR, sigh.
Howard was not sharp tonight and when Lashoff and Kindl are a combined +6 and your team losses 5-4 you know you got serious problems at the defenseman position.
Why can’t this team start on time most games? They were at friggin home!
Wake the ef up you areholes and show you got a pair.
Another home game I’m glad I didn’t waste time going to.
Didn’t make me feel better seeing Gerard Gallant either knowing this team could use one just one like him at the very least but Holland insists on rostering punching bags hat take the abuse go on IR and say thank you sir may I have another.
Buy a crate of Cialis for this team and throw at them before the next game in the locker room and call up Callahan and Tootoo at least they have fight in them.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 03/27/14 at 11:20 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

The Red Wings just don’t have enough clutch players right now. The team is lacking in every area. Without Datsyuk and Z I don’t know how we get in. But….if we do and Dats and Z can come back, well watch out. I’ll be at the game on Saturday with my Zetterberg jersey on rooting on the boys to make it 23!

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 03/27/14 at 11:35 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

Mr. Slumpy, what you’ve just said… is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul…

Seriously - what the f does Callahan have to do with anything? Who gives a shit about what his thoughts are about his future with the team? Do you really think these guys are walking around pouting about their playing time and plotting their departure from the team? He’s not ready yet and they don’t have the time to let him gain experience, not if the playoffs are still in reach.

That offside goal was a back breaker and the Vanek re-direction was the nail in the coffin. They were just outplayed the first period and for large chunks of the second. They played much better in the third, but it’s no good when you’re trailing the whole game. Smith’s errant pass that led to the 2nd or 3rd goal was not helpful.

Posted by PDXWing on 03/27/14 at 11:50 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Hits: Tatar led the Wings with 4 hits; Bertuzzi had 3; Glendening, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 2; Smith, Kindl, Nyquist, Sheahan, Andersson, Jurco and Helm had 1 hit.

When Tatar has (at least) four hits and Franzen and Legwand each had zero, you get a pretty good idea about what’s wrong with this team. There are only a handful of players who are giving it 100% every game. Until that changes, the result we’ve seen lately will be the result we’ll continue to see.

And Jimmy Howard? He can make all the spectacular saves he wants, but he’s going to keep getting scored on until he stops knocking juicy rebound after juicy rebound right out in front of himself.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/28/14 at 12:13 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

A) We’re making the damned Play-offs!  There are still 18 points out there waiting for us.

B) Can’t blame the linesman on the (non) off-sides goal.  It’s a close, fast play and the replays showed that our D (Quincy or Smith, it looked like there was a “2” on the jersey) was clearly screening the official.  It sucks, but it doesn’t suck as bad as our last few 1st periods.

C) This team needs a Captain.

D) I’m a big Jimmy supporter.  He often gets the benefit of the doubt with me.  However, let’s look at the goals allowed over the last 7 games (3-3-1): 4, 2, 4, 2, 4, 4, 5.  Some of that has to be on Jimmy.  We can’t get Standings points if we’re asked to score 4 or 5 goals a game.

E) One of Coach Bab’s best tricks last year was putting Franzen on the Penalty Kill, to get him involved in the game and he played really well during our stretch run.  Since Franzen in only making the occasional appearance over the last few games, perhaps it’s time to pull this trick out of the bag.

F) The more Ken Daniels talks about Glendening looking for his 1st NHL goal, the more he’s going to Jinx it.  Let’s not bring it up for a couple of days and see what happens…

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 03/28/14 at 12:45 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Please remember that the line between, “That’s a stupid thing that you said” and “You’re stupid” is a fine one.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/28/14 at 12:52 AM ET

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Here we go again. Make sure you call out Legwand for a sub par game when half the team was sub par, then gush about Jarnkrok and point out what he is doing in Nashville as if those results would somehow be duplicated IF he somehow cracked the Wings lineup DESPITE the fact coach and management said he probably never would. And of course overlook how for the most part, Legwand has been great for the Wings. Better than most people who aren’t orgasmic for Jarnkrok could have predicted Legwand would be. Get over it, man. Jarnkrok is gone. The relationship is over. It’s time to move on and find someone else. There are plenty of fish in the sea. If anyone is worthy of blame for efforts like the Wings came up with tonight, it has to be our coach of the year candidate - coach Babs. If the team can’t play consistently every night because a handful of players aren’t “buying into the system”, it’s not because of one or two players, or because we got rid Jarnkrok. It’s because the team as a unit aren’t all on the same page and aren’t buying into the system as a team. And that is the coaches responsibility.

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 03/28/14 at 01:08 AM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

D) I’m a big Jimmy supporter.  He often gets the benefit of the doubt with me.  However, let’s look at the goals allowed over the last 7 games (3-3-1): 4, 2, 4, 2, 4, 4, 5.  Some of that has to be on Jimmy.  We can’t get Standings points if we’re asked to score 4 or 5 goals a game.

According to TSN, Howard’s save percentage is 93% in first and second periods and like 86% in third periods. This game certainly didn’t help those numbers.

Make sure you call out Legwand for a sub par game when half the team was sub par, then gush about Jarnkrok

I think the idea is that it’s still not clear whether it was a good trade and will not be until, at the earliest, Jarnkrok starts scoring like crazy or Legwand does not re-sign, or the end of next season. Meanwhile, it can’t hurt to keep track of Jarnkrok’s performance.

Legwand has been great for the Wings.

For a couple games he has been great. Otherwise, he’s been pretty unnoticeable just like the rest of his line.

There are plenty of fish in the sea.

There’s a pretty racy joke about the typical usage of that.

Posted by bleep bloop on 03/28/14 at 02:24 AM ET

Stevis's avatar

Legwand: 12 GP, 2-5-7, -8, 25PIM.  ok 15 of those were on one play but he’s taken a minor in each of the last three games (losses.)  That’s pretty darn underwhelming.

Posted by Stevis on 03/28/14 at 07:17 AM ET

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Once again, our D sucks, they are just bad. Smith is a bad bad defenseman. I don’t know how else to describe it without cursing.
Dear Nick Kronwall, please start being a leader of this team and at least pretend like you learned something from Lidstrom and start leading on the ice and not just in the locker room and in front of the media. Stop your BS talk and go out and play.
Sorry, just venting here. Kronner has been awful since the Olympics, maybe he is just tired.
I am glad Babcock called out the vets. For a team fighting for the last 2 playoffs spots with 6 other teams, with 10 games left, not to start the game on time is completely unacceptable. This is how our so-called locker room leaders lead? Watching the 1st period last night, was making me physically angry.
Regardless of what happens this season, playoffs or not, they need help on D. I don’t know how much value Smith can bring, but package him with something or someone. He is by far the worst D-man on the team.

Posted by George0211 on 03/28/14 at 07:41 AM ET

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Legwand is being used as a first line centre and that is not his strength. He would do very well in a supporting role, like third line centre. As well, his line mates for the most part have been pretty near invisible, especially Franzen. That guy is supposed to be a vet but is not showing the kind of leadership he displayed a couple of week ago. His inconsistency is creating problems, not only for Legwand but whoever else is on their line.

The D was poor last night but the forward combos were horrid except for the Sheahan line when Jurco got reunited with them. Poor goaltending and passive puck handling were responsible for many turnovers that led directly to goals by the Habs. The Wings handed this game to Montreal last night by playing uninspired hockey for brief spurts and by making lazy plays in the neutral zone.

The responsibility for this rests on Jimmy, Smith and Kronwall in large measure but Babs was way too slow to react to what was obviously a dysfunctional forward group. He needed to change up the lines long before the third period and should have pulled Jimmy after the first. Something drastic was called for but he did not respond until too late.

Posted by NewfieWing on 03/28/14 at 07:52 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Legwand mediocre?!??!  Say it aint so.

Posted by Hootinani on 03/28/14 at 08:12 AM ET

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There’s just not enough healthy talent on this team, and Howard’s not a good enough goalie this year (and hopefully just this year) to carry the club without a lot more support.  He’s been a marginal upgrade on the 26-32 year old regular season Osgood and a solid step back from playoff Osgood.

If this year isn’t a blip, the possibility exists the cap will go up enough, and quickly enough, to make paying 5.3 a year for a middle third goaltender something other than a disaster.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/28/14 at 08:48 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

He needed to change up the lines long before the third period and should have pulled Jimmy after the first.

He did move Nyquist up and Jurco down pretty quickly after the 2-0 goal.  But no amount of forward line shuffling is going to cover up for a terrible defense and sub standard goaltending.

Posted by Hootinani on 03/28/14 at 08:52 AM ET

SK77's avatar

And Jimmy Howard? He can make all the spectacular saves he wants, but he’s going to keep getting scored on until he stops knocking juicy rebound after juicy rebound right out in front of himself.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/28/14 at 12:13 AM ET

Did you actually watch the game, or just read the box score?

All five Montreal goals were either deflections or ridiculously open shots.

Not a single one was the result of these juicy rebounds you speak of.

Posted by SK77 on 03/28/14 at 09:48 AM ET

SK77's avatar

Please remember that the line between, “That’s a stupid thing that you said” and “You’re stupid” is a fine one.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/28/14 at 12:52 AM ET

If someone is going to come in here and consistently say incoherent, stupid crap like

Buy a crate of Cialis for this team and throw at them before the next game in the locker room and call up Callahan and Tootoo at least they have fight in them.

then that person deserves it when someone calls them stupid.

Posted by SK77 on 03/28/14 at 09:51 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Not a single one was the result of these juicy rebounds you speak of.

Posted by SK77 on 03/28/14 at 09:48 AM ET

I’m not talking about just last night’s game. If the D hadn’t cleared out the half dozen juicy rebounds he gave up last night, the score would have been 8-4. Howard simply is not controlling his rebounds.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/28/14 at 10:21 AM ET

Bill from GR's avatar

Please remember that the line between, “That’s a stupid thing that you said” and “You’re stupid” is a fine one.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/28/14 at 12:52 AM ET

If someone is going to come in here and consistently say incoherent, stupid crap like

Buy a crate of Cialis for this team and throw at them before the next game in the locker room and call up Callahan and Tootoo at least they have fight in them.

then that person deserves it when someone calls them stupid.

Posted by SK77 on 03/28/14 at 09:51 AM ET

SK77, thanks for the giggles this morning.  I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.

But seriously, I feel a rant coming on.  There is so much blame to pass around on this team right now.  Defensively everyone is suffering cranial-rectal disease.  I don’t care if that play was offside (actually, I really do) but Kronwall can NOT slow down and raise his arm to call it.  That’s the linesman’s job.  Nik’s job at that time was to stand up the winger and deny the shot or pass.  He didn’t, and that cost us a BIG goal.  For a player with a letter on his sweater, Kronwall needs to lead better.  Play to the whistle.

And, I’m getting so tired of hearing, “There’s nothing Jimmy could do about that one”, “Can’t blame Howard on that one”, etc.  For the money they’re paying him and it being crunch time with a depleted roster, he absolutely has to step it up and carry this team to the playoffs.  Just like Z did last year.  It’s Jimmy’s turn.

But this is what scares me:

Per NHL.com:
....
50   Jimmy Howard   DET   GAA @ 2.73
....
50   Jimmy Howard   DET   SV% @ .909

That’s 50th place out of 90 total goaltenders.  In a 30 team league.  For a goalie making $5.3M per.

He’s 58th in SV% while on the PP (can you say shortie), 50th in SV% in OT, 68th (not a typo, that’s 68th) in OT GAA @ 4.78.  No typo, 4.78 in OT.

However, he’s up to 32nd in SV% while shorthanded.

Maybe the Wings just need to take more penalties.

For those who think his post Olympic numbers are better, they’re not.  His post-O GAA is 2.93 and SV% is .895.

So, honestly, watch his fundamentals, his mechanics.  Doesn’t Bedard work with him?  Compare his unorthodox style, technique and quickness (or lack thereof) to get up after going down (always) to make a save.  Did you notice how Montreal was shooting high on him all night?  Think any of the other 28 teams know that?

But more critically, look at his body language.  How he lays out after covering up one of his many rebounds as if he’s totally spent after making that ‘spectacular’ save, how slowly he gets up after a save, seemingly milking the moment, but most notably, his look or utter shock, disappointment and disbelief after many goals, looking around as if to say, “Come on, that’s not fair”.  All of which, consciously or subconsciously KILLS the teams confidence and moral.

I know we’re racked with injuries and my abacus doesn’t go high enough to count the defensive miscues in front of him.  But he thinks he’s an Olympic goaltender and one of the leagues elites.  And he’s being paid as such.  So now, fair or otherwise, weak D play in front of him or otherwise, he simply has to stop more pucks.

I’ve said in many posts previously, he makes the improbable saves, and then gives away a short-sider, weak 5-hole or big rebound.  Mechanics.  Great one period, poor the next.  great one game, poor the next.  During this stretch drive, we need CONSISTENCY.  And not consistently weak.  These three, four and five goal games have to stop.

And he’s gotta stop the life-sucking, post goal against body language of sitting on his ass with the whipped puppy look or the laying on your stomach in exasperation.  I want to see him pissed after a goal, get up quickly and appear angry and CONFIDENT that we’ll get it back, dammit.

Fundamentals.  And somehow make that puck hit you, Jimmy.  Get your mojo back.  We’re running out of time.

Geez, I’m sorry.  I apologize for the length of this rant.  It won’t happen again.

Posted by Bill from GR on 03/28/14 at 10:27 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

I say throw Monster in the lineup for Sat. game(if the groin is ok). If you gotta use it as a wakeup call then so be it. Only 1 game in hand now(to TOR), and lets sure hope the jackets lose to Pitt. We sure needed those 2 for some separation, be it briefly.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/28/14 at 10:27 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Defense is subpar, and we have no prospect of getting better, and this is further illustration that we do not have a true #1 defenseman, we have a decent #2 in Kronwall, a solid #3 in Dekeyser who has #2 trajectory, and maybe a #4 in Ericson, the rest of the bunch is bottom pair talent. 

Having Kronwall as our “#1” kill the team, he makes too many gaffes, the puck ends up on the other teams stick too often after he touches it, and it kills this team.  I don’t want to bag on Kronwall too much, it’s not like he sucks, or wouldn’t be a great compliment to a better player, or hold down the 2nd unit with the best of them, but he’s not in a position where his ability is destined to fail. It’d be like bagging on Glenny for stepping in and being a scoring 2nd line center, not his spot on the depth chart.

What irritates that absolute hello out of me is the oldlegswand trade, it was such a short cited use of tradable assets for a position that is locked up the next few seasons, it was an absolute waste.  Sure, no GM is trading a top Dman for Jarncrok, and a minimum 3rd.  But if in the offseason, you bump the 3rd to a guaranteed 1st in 2015, toss in another D prospect and a Kindl or Smith to return salary palatable, would that get interest?  Defense is the position of need, we don’t score a lot “run support” but a lot of that starts with cleaning the puck out of our zone, and getting the offense started.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 03/28/14 at 10:38 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

If we don’t make the playoffs, and I’m still hopeful, I will feel bad for the kids.  They are putting their heart and soul into it every night.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 03/28/14 at 11:00 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

I don’t care if that play was offside (actually, I really do) but Kronwall can NOT slow down and raise his arm to call it.

Agreed!  You keep playing till the whistle blows.
Did anyone else notice the two blatant times our D man was hit off the puck?  Kronwall the first time and DK the second.  Literally knocked down to the ice.  When one of the kids loses the puck, Tatar especially, there is a hunger to go back and get it, with much success.  That is why they keep the puck in the offensive zone so much.  I would like to see that type of hunger/hustle from the other lines.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 03/28/14 at 11:16 AM ET

Avatar

I agree with Murray Chadwick. The problem the past two years has been the defence. Kronwall’‘s a No. 2 at best. Don;‘t see the Wings enough to say whether DeKyser and Erickson are really 3 and 4s, I don’t really think so. I think they have a No. 2 and No. 4 defenseman. But if KH had just got one top-four defenceman, they’d been in the playoffs. You look around the leagure and over half the teams have better defences, maybe two-thirds of them. Our Jet team, for example, has a better defence, although no way we can match their forwards.

Posted by manitobaredwingfan on 03/28/14 at 11:16 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

  I don’t care if that play was offside (actually, I really do) but Kronwall can NOT slow down and raise his arm to call it.

Agreed!  You keep playing till the whistle blows.

Yeah, I remember yelling at Kronner before the shot to put his damned hand down.  Cheli and Lidstrom used to do this from time to time, but they are Hall of Famers and were always right.  I see our current crop doing this a lot and the whistle NOT blowing.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 03/28/14 at 11:28 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Maybe KH didn’t make this move or that move, but the fact is the coaching team has been given plenty of tools.  Some those tools are old, its true, and most of the best ones are on the injured list.  But this team hasn’t broken its bad habits. 

There is still too much passing.  Most of the shots are coming from outside, or the point.  Defensively other teams are happy to let you waste effort on the perimeter, and draw yourself offside at point.  The Wings are still doing that stupid pass play on the PP to gain the blueline, that every team is well scouted on at this point, and knows how to defend.  Defensemen are still making bad pinches.

These are coachable problems, even if it means bench time, and most of them are seasons old at this point.  This team has the legs to dump and chase.  Dump and chase helps establish a forecheck which this team responds well too. 

I can understand lack of experience, but to me, a ton of the Wings’ issues stem from an on ice strategy that allows the players to disengage.  The Wings just don’t have people at the point who can make you pay anymore for letting them pass around the perimeter.  And it was those people who facilitated the Wings defensive zone exit strategy, which is also broken.  The Wings haven’t adjusted their strategy to their personnel strengths, and that’s on coaching.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/28/14 at 03:14 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

bezukov,

Couldn’t disagree more, the job this coaching staff has done is incredible.

Most of the shots are coming from outside, or the point

Offensively it takes talent and/or size to earn the middle, talent the wings don’t have enough it. The talent they do have is doing a fine job of earning shots.

The Wings are still doing that stupid pass play on the PP to gain the blueline, that every team is well scouted on at this point, and knows how to defend.

The power play kick back is something that over 1/2 the NHL teams use. Force a team to stop at the blue line, and let you best puck carrier pick the lane or draw one open to pass to.  Its easy to defend the wings because our best puckhandlers, Hank and Dats are injured, and Flippula and Huds are gone.  Tatar and Gus try to replace them, but they don’t alway do a great job. Helm is ok, but is anyone really concerned with helm having the puck on teh blue line?

This team has the legs to dump and chase

Really who? Slow old legs of Franzen? Alfredson? Bertuzzi? Miller? OldLegswand?   
Glenny, Shehan, Helm, Jurco do forecheck effectively, and they do dump and chase.
Do you want our skilled puck carriers, Gus and Tatar, to give the puck up?

Takes talent to win, there’s a reason Pittsburgh, Sharks Chicago, Blues, etc. are at the top of the standings.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 03/28/14 at 04:38 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.