The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/17/13 at 01:00 AM ET
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.
And here's a slate of highlights:
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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.