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Red Wings-Canucks quick take: Dead bull with a life from the low, I’ll be massive conquistador

The Detroit Red Wings' 5-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks started with a stunned Jimmy Howard wondering how his team parted like the red sea with a red light glowing behind him, and it concluded with Howard gloving a final-second puck like he was picking cherries.

In the middle, Howard was heroic, Pavel Datsyuk seems to like playing for Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg and the Wings' power play got off the "schneid" and Justin Abdelkader somewhat surprisingly proved the old Tomas Holmstrom axiom that, "If you stand close enough to a stick, you can use an oar for a stick and you'll still score"--all while playing on a left foot that was cut down to the bone in last night's win over Edmonton.

At some points, it was ugly as hell, at some points, it was terrifying--see a 16-6 Canucks shot advantage in the 1st, a Jannik Hansen penalty shot that hit the goalpost over Howard's glove and 4 third-period penalties--but the Wings prevailed over themselves and the Canucks, and it was just wonderful to see.

"In the middle," the Wings did blow a 5-on-3 and a 4-on-3, but scored on a 5-on-4, Abdelkader got two goals--none off his stick--Datsyuk had 3 assists, Zetterberg had 2 goals, Valtteri Filppula continued to play strongly, and even though he was demoted from Henrik Zetterberg's wing to that of Joakim Andersson, Damien Brunner got an assist on Danny Cleary's goal...

And "in the middle," even though he made an own-goal boo boo and let Burrows blow by him early, Niklas Kronwall was sound and strong, Jonathan Ericsson and Brian Lashoff made some kick saves and shot blocks that were nothing less than lovely on the PK, Brendan Smith showed flashes of fantastic lateral mobility, Jakub Kindl was invisible in all of the best ways and Ian White looked like someone who had been sitting for over half a dozen games, but that was okay.

Add in another broken nose for Jordin Tootoo, some typically inconsistent refereeing (miss any high sticks or tipped pucks into the crowd?) yielding stops and starts amidst a game that flowed pretty damn well, a noncommittal Ken Holland interview (Trades? Depends on whether the Wings win between now and the deadline. Size for going East? Sammy and Bert are big and Helm plays big, but yeah, they're gonna look. Smaller goalie gear? It ain't easy bein' a 5'8" goalie, Mickey Redmond) and what I'm sure felt like watching a game called by the Canucks Broadcasting Network for everyone that didn't have the Fox Sports Detroit feed.

In the end, the Wings salvaged what started out as a horrific road trip, and within a couple of minutes, the NHL's website's standings will show the Wings sitting a point ahead of Vancouver and one behind the St. Louis Blues...

Which is really good given that the Wings will probably drop from 5th to out of the playoff picture by the time they face off against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.

It's a dogfight, and in a game of Red Wings vs. Millionaires, the Wings have started to finally show some snarl, bite and drooly grit. That, and the Wings proved that the Zettersyuk Datserbergs are just as good, if not better than the Sedins.

The Canucks don't think the Wings are worth a dollar, but tonight they feel like millionaires.


Shots 35-26 Vancouver overall. Detroit was out-shot 16-6 in the 1st, out-shot Vancouver 11-9 in the 2nd and were out-shot 10-9 in the 3rd.

Detroit went 1-for-3 in 2:40 of PP time; Vancouver went 0-for-5 in 8:05 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 35 shots; Roberto Luongo stopped 21 of 26.

The 3 stars were picked by Hockey Night in Canada, and they were Alexandre Burrows(?), Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

The Wings' goals: Abdelkader (2) from Datsyuk (19) and Franzen (8);

Zetterberg (7) from Datsyuk (20) and Franzen (9), PPG;

Zetterberg (8) from Filppula (7) and Kronwall (17);

Cleary (6) from Andersson (4) and Brunner (10);

Abdelkader (3) from Datsyuk (21) and Kindl (5).

Faceoffs 36-24 Detroit (Detroit won 60%);

Blocked shots 12-12;

Missed shots 11-8 (total attempts 58-46 Vancouver);

Hits 13-8 Vancouver;

Giveaways 7-2 Vancouver;

Takeaways 8-5 Vancouver.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 15-and-9 (63%); Zetterberg went 8-and-7 (53%); Andersson went 6-and-5 (55%); Emmerton went 3-and-2 (60%); Filppula went 3-and-1 (75%); Eaves won his only faceoff.

Shots: Zetterberg led the Wings with 5 shots; Datsyuk had 4; Abdelkader technically had 3; Kindl, Eaves and Filppula had 2; Smith, Cleary, Miller, Lashoff, Emmerton, Kronwall, Andersson and Franzen had 1.

Blocked attempts: Datsyuk, Filppula and Kronwall fired 2 pucks into Canucks players; Smith, Kindl, Eaves, White, Tootoo and Zetterberg had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Datsyuk and Ericsson missed the net 2 times; Miller, Lashoff, Filppula and Andersson missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Miller had 2 hits; Abdelkader, Eaves, White, Brunner, Ericsson and Kronwall had 1 hit.

Giveaways: Kindl had 2 giveaways.

Takeaways: Datsyuk had 2 takeaways (more, really); Smith, Eaves and Brunner had 1.

Blocked shots: Filppula and Ericsson blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Abdelkader, Cleary, Datsyuk, White, Kronwall, Andersson and Franzen blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Lashoff was tagged for 2 minors; Tootoo, Zetterberg, Ericsson and Kronwall took 1.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective +10. Kronwall finished at -2; Miller, Lashoff and Filppula finished at -1; Cleary and Andersson finished at +1; Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Franzen finished at +2; White finished at +3; Kindl of all people finished at +4.

Points: Datsyuk had 3 assists; Abdelkader and Zetterberg had 2 goals; Franzen had 2 assists; Cleary had a goal; Kindl, Brunner, Filppula, Kronwall and Andersson had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 24:21 played; Ericsson played 23:42; Smith played 21:09;

Zetterberg played 18:26; Datsyuk played 18:11; Lashoff played 17:03;

Filppula played 16:21; Franzen played 15:34; Andersson played 15:18;

White played 15:13; Kindl played 15:11; Eaves played 15:08;

Miller played 14:54; Abdelkader played 14:45; Cleary played 14:25;

Brunner played 12:36; Emmerton played 10:12; Tootoo played 7:24.

Update: The Vancouver Province, Vancouver Sun, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, TSN, and MLive have all posited recaps.

And here's a slate of highlights:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


Bradley97's avatar

Howard saved the game and Abby bounced in two goals. Take that doubters!  tongue rolleye

Posted by Bradley97 on 03/17/13 at 01:08 AM ET


Another dominate game by Pav, was glad zets got on the board, and jimmy wants that extension.
thought the canuck crew was a heck of a lot better than” subtle interference”, the sharks broadcasters, and the fools that call the nashville games.

Posted by akwingsfan on 03/17/13 at 01:09 AM ET

Bugsy's avatar

This puts the Wings at 14-5-3 vs. the Canucks since 2007-08.
Also, for what it’s worth, your top 5 goal scorers now:
Brunner 10, Datsyuk 9, Zetterberg 8, Fippula 6, Cleary 6.

The puzzling statistic called +/-
Your top 5 in +/-:
Kindl 14 Datsyuk 11 Quincey 8 Andersson 6 Franzen 6
your bottom 5:
Kronwall -7, Lashoff -5 Brunner -5 Cleary -3 Huskins -3

Is there any realistic way they can sign Datsyuk to an extension now?

Posted by Bugsy on 03/17/13 at 01:10 AM ET


You’re very optimistic. I think this game was really weird, because lots of players just aren’t playing great right now. I partly think the Nucks have very little fight in them, and partly credit the way they started playing in the 3rd for the win, but I was pulling my hair out after two periods.

The most mind blowing thing to me was the 5 on 3 in the second. After wasting more than half a minute standing as far from the net as they could, the Wings stood around at the bench and talked amongst themselves while Babcock looked on. I was sure Z was saying something about this being their chance to take the game over, about how bad that last shift was…and then they all go out there and do the exact same thing, as if getting within 20 feet of the net is a penalty. Well, except for the one guy who always goes in front of the net, but someone always goes to the net, because the Wings seem to think only one thing works.

I don’t think any of our defensemen were good tonight, even though Kindl somehow ended up +4. Maybe it was all fatigue, but whatever. They put the pedal down when they needed to and pulled it off. This has to be the point where things turn around and get good the rest of the season. It has to be.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 03/17/13 at 01:12 AM ET

Zqto's avatar

Datsyuk finally understood what he had to do, to make Abs score some goals
Dont pass on Abs take, shoot off his body!
GENIUS!!!!!  Datsyuk is a freaking GENIUS!!!

On other news, Babs say it will replace Abs for a wooden log, on Pav’s right wing next game

Posted by Zqto on 03/17/13 at 01:14 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Babs say it will replace Abs for a wooden log, on Pav’s right wing next game

The skating will be much better.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 03/17/13 at 01:21 AM ET

42jeff's avatar

On other news, Babs say it will replace Abs for a wooden log, on Pav’s right wing next game

Posted by Zqto on 03/17/13 at 01:14 AM ET

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 03/17/13 at 01:32 AM ET

Zqto's avatar

Thats amazing Jeff

But in seriousness now, I think it was Mike, commenting during the broadcast that Dats actually liked having Abs on his line
Anyone know if that’s from an interview or something we can get more info?
I would be really interested in seeing exactly what Dats had to say in that

Posted by Zqto on 03/17/13 at 01:38 AM ET

Zqto's avatar

Humm, just remembered the piano reference, and a quick googling resolved the mistery


Not much more than what was said in the game, but it seens Dats is at least ok having Abs on his line

Posted by Zqto on 03/17/13 at 01:43 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I heard the same thing. I heard Ken Daniels very specifically say that Datsyuk wanted Abdelkader on his line.

We’ll find out sooner or later, but every indication seems to suggest that Abdelkader is there at Datsyuk’s preference.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/17/13 at 01:44 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Interesting, I was watching the non-FSD feed. They also said that Abdelkader was playing with Pavs because Pavs requested it and “he loves playing with Abdelkader because of the way he goes to the net.” I thought to myself, what the hell are they talking about?

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 03/17/13 at 02:19 AM ET

Bugsy's avatar

  “He goes through and gets the puck to me or goes back in front of the net and fights for every puck,” Datsyuk said, Friday afternoon. “Some people only measure him if he scores. But if you see him … he does a lot of hard jobs.”

  Abdelkader was finally rewarded for his hard work when he scored his first goal of the season Thursday at Joe Louis Arena, which snapped a 41-game scoring drought.

  Using an analogy to sum up Abdelkader’s contribution to the top six forwards this season, Datsyuk said, “It’s like somebody needs to pull the piano and somebody needs to play the piano. This is a guy who pulls the piano.”


Posted by Bugsy on 03/17/13 at 02:37 AM ET

SYF's avatar

i’m smoshed.

tow things:

1.  SHOOT THE G-DDAMN PUCK ON THE PP.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
B.  Dangles is Love.

That is all.  Good Win.


Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 03/17/13 at 03:21 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

”...watching a game called by the Canucks Broadcasting Network”

If you paid attention George, they all were calling it “The Pavel Datsyuk Show”.

You have to expect them to be biased towards the canadian team and it should bring you greater joy when the canadian team looses.

29 games into the season and they’re still playing sloppy hockey but at least they won this one. Howie’s save on Burrows on the delayed penalty call was probably the turning point of the game.  There were a few other saves that could get honorable mention.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 03/17/13 at 03:49 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I didn’t pay attention because I was watching Fox Sports Detroit. It was the Pavel Datsyuk show wink

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/17/13 at 04:18 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

The broadcast wasn’t slanted toward the Canucks at all, from my perspective.  They gushed about Datsyuk and Howard nonstop. 

I understand the point of your generalization regarding the broadcast “flavor”, but you overlooked a key point:  Everyone who isn’t a Canucks… fan hates the Canucks.  They’re Duke, or the Yankees, except for the whole winning part.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/17/13 at 05:49 AM ET

BrendonTO's avatar

I heard the same thing. I heard Ken Daniels very specifically say that Datsyuk wanted Abdelkader on his line.

We’ll find out sooner or later, but every indication seems to suggest that Abdelkader is there at Datsyuk’s preference.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/17/13 at 01:44 AM ET

So it looks like we’ve gone from asking for Babs’ head for playing Pav with Abby, to the realization that he’s been willing to sacrifice team offense just to keep Pav happy by complying with his request even after poor results.

Posted by BrendonTO on 03/17/13 at 07:21 AM ET


I heard the same thing. I heard Ken Daniels very specifically say that Datsyuk wanted Abdelkader on his line.

That kind of thing suggests all of the fans excoriating Babcock for being such a dum-dum in his line combinations as they hurriedly build up blog-cred by hammering the organization are a huge, stinky pile of dopes, though.


Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/17/13 at 07:23 AM ET


So what are you saying, HD? Coaches know better than fans? I’ll still take some convincing. Everyone knows fans know it all.

Posted by teldar on 03/17/13 at 07:50 AM ET


So what are you saying, HD? Coaches know better than fans? I’ll still take some convincing. Everyone knows fans know it all.

Well, with qualifications.

First, it should be assumed as a given that I know everything.  Second, I suppose I’ll allow that coaches and GMs know almost as much as I do.  Third I’ll place you, for agreeing with me.  Fourth, all the rest of these bozos who just can’t freaking wait to show how great of a fan they are by ripping the franchise around 36 months after said franchise goes to the Finals back to back… just because they haven’t done a good enough job resembling their PS3 dynasty league.  Fifth, of course, is Larry Brooks.

As with all Power Lists, this is subject to change depending on performance.  Except, you know, the top spot.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/17/13 at 08:48 AM ET

mud's avatar

Sorry for the Hockey unrelated but Malik title related post:
must… share… riffage…


Posted by mud on 03/17/13 at 06:17 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

I’m curious about Z’s stats versus Luongo.  It seems like everytime they play against each other Z lights Lou up and comes up with baskets of goals.  I’m willing to bet he has the most goals against luo in the post-lockout era.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 03/18/13 at 11:47 AM ET

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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.