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Red Wings-Capitals quick take: Wings take the first of a home-and-home series by a narrow margin

The heart attack Wings nearly gave it away but earned the extra point in what is all but the beginning of a set of five near-must-win games on Friday night, rallying from a 1-0 deficit, going 0-for-5 on the power play, surrendering a tying goal with seven seconds left...

And taking a crapton of shootout shooters to take out a fantastic Michal Neuvirth and the Washington Capitals by a 4-3 tally, with Neuvirth stopping 42 of 45 shots in regulation and OT, but one fewer than Jimmy Howard in the shootout.

The Red Wings will practice at the Joe tomorrow--presumably--and head to Washington to tangle with the Caps on an NBCSN Superbowl pre-game-game at 12:30 PM on Sunday, and with the Wings having barely sank their hooks into one of the "wild card" spots, it will be absolutely essential for the Wings to come out of the Verizon Center with a point ahead of the final pre-Olympic home game against Vancouver on Monday (the Wings also head to Florida on Thursday the 6th and Tampa on Saturday the 8th).

I just got home to watch the start of this one after adventures in rental car swapping, and frustratingly watched the Wings blw a trio of first-period power plays and in fact go down 1-0 via Jason Chimera's power play marker 15:24 in, all while the Wings fired 22 shots on Michal Neuvirth but couldn't or wouldn't dent him. The Wings' power play, especially sans Bertuzzi and Cleary, involves very little screening of the goaltender and a whole lot of stationary passes to stationary players on the perimeter. As such, it's quite inefficient, and it's pretty evidently a matter of confidence as much as it is a matter of systems play.

The Wings did manage to tie the game early in the second, when Michal Neuvirth exited the net to stop Drew Miller on a breakaway and was not able to return as Patrick Eaves and Luke Glendening helped Miller score at 2:09...

And when Danny DeKeyser managed to blast an elegant slapper through traffic off a Riley Sheahan slapper (and just, just off Jason Chimera's shin pad) with 1:39 left in the 2nd, you thought the Wings might be able to pull off a regulation win...

And even after Casey Wellman tied things up 8:09 into the 3rd, Gustav Nyquist scored a gorgeous little slapper through a fine Abdelkader screen with 9:45 left...

But the young Wings couldn't hold on, and Alex Ovechkin tied things up with only 7 seconds remaining in regulation...

And OT solved nothing, necessitating a seven-round shootout in which Patrick Eaves' goal was decisive and Jimmy Howard's save on Jay Beagle was decisive.

You may take the following for what you will:


All I know is that tonight, the Wings earned the extra point they needed to earn, and given the "kids'" struggles to stand on their own without Bertuzzi, Cleary and Zetterberg as Babcock gives Sheahan and Jurco one final long audition before the Wings hopefully get healthier after the Olympic break, they, Jakub Kindl (who seems to understand that the fire lit under his ass involves him being an endangered species if he doesn't bring it every night) and the returning Jimmy Howard were all very strong--or at least strong enough to right the ship a bit as Zetterberg returned and nobody settled down...

Yet. Here's hoping that the rest of the pre-Olympic break games aren't as heart-attack-inducing, though I doubt they will be anything less than Wings-fan-freakout territory until sometime around 10 PM next Saturday night.

This is a start. Now the Wings have to finish strongly.

Statistics, quick version (and this was Mike Babcock's 400th regular season win):

Shots 45-29 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Washington 22-5 in the 1st, 9-8 in the 2nd, the Wings were out-shot 14-10 in the 3rd and they out-shot Washington 4-2 in OT.

Special teams: the Red Wings went 0-for-5 in 10:00 of PP time; the Capitals went 1-for-2 in only 3:06 of PP time.

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 26 of 29 shots for Detroit; Michal Neuvirth stopped 42 of 45 shots for Washington.

The 3 stars were picked by Michigan Talk Radio's Rich Kincaide, and he picked Riley Sheahan, Danny DeKeyser and Gustav Nyquist. He's always weird about 3 stars so no Neuvirth is no surprise.

The Red Wings' goals: Miller (6) from Glendening (4) and Eaves (3);

DeKeyser (3) from Sheahan (6);

Nyquist (10), unassisted.

Faceoffs 30-29 Washington (Detroit won 49%);

Blocked shots 16-14 Washington;

Missed shots 20-11 Detroit (Detroit fired 45 shots on Neuvirth and another 26 wide/blocked for a total of 71 attempts; Washington had 29 on Howard and another 25 blocked for 54 attempts);

Hits 24-17 Washington;

Giveaways 8-4 Washington;

Takeaways 8-7 Washington.

Update: Here's the shootout...

 

And, via RedWingsFeed, here's Riley Sheahan...

Here's Gustav Nyquist...

And here's coach Babcock's post-game presser:

 

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Alan's avatar

First, I hope we do inquire about Vanek. We need more scoring.

Second, while that power play looked a lot better, it still didn’t cash in. We had far too many chances for us to get blanked on it. Alas, I anticipate we’ll see a lot of “even up” calls in their barn on Sunday. We need to be a lot sharper than we were.

Really, other than our fruitless attempts on the power play, I can’t complain too loudly about much else.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/31/14 at 11:45 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I don’t know if the Islanders want any of the Wings’ players who aren’t young, and the Wings would have to clear Vanek’s $5.75 mil in cap space to accommodate him on a “healthy” team (assuming the Wings ever get healthy).

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/31/14 at 11:50 PM ET

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I am a big fan of Jurco’s game but this was not his first late penalty with a one-goal lead (or less).  I’m not sure that Jurco would be on my playoff roster this year absent a move—he may need some more seasoning.

Not sure what to make of the Vanek thing—he’s never been a favorite, the move can’t make sense under the cap, and he’s floated the idea of re-signing with the Islanders.  Still, there’s not that many high-end wingers.  Other than maybe Gustavsson, I’m not sure who the Islanders would want back in a move, or how we’d outbid the rest of the world’s interest in the guy.

Posted by captaineclectic on 02/01/14 at 12:01 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m kind of lost as to what it’d take to get Vanek as well.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/01/14 at 12:02 AM ET

Alan's avatar

I’m kind of lost as to what it’d take to get Vanek as well.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/31/14 at 11:02 PM ET

I think we’re all kinda lost at that. I was mystified at that tweet from Botta.  I should also note that I wasn’t even thinking about cap hits when I made my last comment.

Nonetheless, it’d be nice if we could snap up some additional scoring punch.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 02/01/14 at 12:11 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

That was a pathetic call on Jurco late.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 02/01/14 at 12:17 AM ET

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Clearing the 5.75M isn’t the tricky part—it’s clearing that PLUS the extra space we need to clear to accommodate Weiss’s return.

It could happen, but it’s hard to see how.

Posted by captaineclectic on 02/01/14 at 12:20 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I would rather have Moulson or Ott over Vanek.  Same problems on what they would want for a Rental.

Wouldn’t the Cap hit be from the time of any trade until the end of the year?  Trade date until April 7th???

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/01/14 at 12:26 AM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

Are the Wings looking for a Franzen replacement? Vanek is just as streaky as the mule although not as injury prone.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 02/01/14 at 12:41 AM ET

Alan's avatar

Wouldn’t the Cap hit be from the time of any trade until the end of the year?  Trade date until April 7th???

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/31/14 at 11:26 PM ET

That’s what I thought, too… but I don’t know anymore. All I know is Vanek would be an upgrade. The question with any trade is, who (or what) goes the other way?

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 02/01/14 at 12:41 AM ET

Avatar

That was a pathetic call on Jurco late

Absolutely.  I put no blame on Jurco for that call, it was the very definition of a makeup call.

Posted by Garth on 02/01/14 at 12:48 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Given that the Red Wings are already into cap calculus should everyone return, I have no idea how things would work, even, as Winging it in Motown suggested, if the Isles kept some of Vanek’s salary.

And I was expecting Mark *#$%@& Joanette to screw the Wings one way or another, but I’m a little paranoid at times.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/01/14 at 12:56 AM ET

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I can’t imagine the Isles would consider keeping some of Vanek’s salary to accommodate a trade with the Wings.  There are likely going to be teams willing to give up more than a holland would be without asking them to keep some of his salary.

Posted by Garth on 02/01/14 at 01:05 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

The other issue that nobody’s saying: Garth Snow, like Jim Rutherford, tends to value his assets more highly after taking calls on their value.

He kept Visnovsky, he hung on to Streit until only the Flyers would take the guy, he’s hung on to Nielsen and Grabner, he re-signed Nabokov…

Rutherford took a similar tack with Jokinen, Ruutu and Pitkanen two trade deadlines ago (and Ruutu’s an intriguing dark horse as a big body with some nastiness, but God forbid Karmanos’ Canes and the Wings talk turkey when they’re battling for a wild card spot).

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/01/14 at 01:12 AM ET

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I’ve wanted Ruutu for ages.

Posted by captaineclectic on 02/01/14 at 01:27 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

I was glad to hear Babcock praising the 4th line, I think they did a great job in a game where he showed he has some confidence in them.

Miller-Glendening-Eaves were on the ice for the opening faceoff(Babcock’s way of saying, “I have confidence in you three) and they saw time on more than one shift against Ovie’s line.

They spent most of their shifts in Washington’s zone, they drew two penalties, and they had 4-5 scoring chances, and all three of them made nice effort plays on their goal.

I’ve liked Sheahan more than Glendening since they came up, but Glendening showed me a lot against the Capitals.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 02/01/14 at 02:04 AM ET

calquake's avatar

I’ve wanted Ruutu for ages.

Posted by captaineclectic on 02/01/14 at 12:27 AM ET

“for ages” is the operative portion of that sentence but I agree with the sentiment.

Posted by calquake on 02/01/14 at 02:06 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Two big points for the Griffwings (no matter how long we had to wait for them). 

As for Vanek?  I say, “meh”.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 02/01/14 at 04:01 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I don’t know how much longer Jurco’s got if his hands remain in the AHL, and I thought that the Wings’ power play downright missed an old, grizzled vet in front of the net, but if these games are the swan songs for the “kids, Jurco, Glendening and Sheahan have all made very strong cases to be here next year—as has Eaves—and Kindl at least got shaken awake by the benching.

The team looked much sharper and a little surer of itself with Zetterberg in the lineup and Howard was just fine save that icky rebound that two defensemen and a forward let sneak out to Wellman on the 2-2 goal.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/01/14 at 04:39 AM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Hey another two pts but team still having tough time scoring. 45 shots and three goals argh.
Follow the Islanders a bit and been hearing Vanek likes playing there but this guy wants to get paid and deserves to get PAID as he just turned 30 and has scored 30 goals in a season twice and 40 plus twice and 41 pts in 38 GP during last season fun time bettman/owners lockout.

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports agent Steve Bartlett, who represents NY Islanders winger Thomas Vanek, said his client is close to reaching a decision over his future. If he decides to test the UFA market, it’s believed the Islanders will move him at the trade deadline, if not sooner. Staple reports GM Garth Snow is believed gauging Vanek’s trade value.[

This guy would not be worth the cost of a rental for what we would have to give of him. Snow would want waaaaaay to much in players and draft picks.
Sucks to be tied to lame salary cap world because this guy is a great player.
I see him probably ending up with the Kings eventually and them winning another SC soon.

Haha even ken daniels is whining about how lame shootouts are now, hehe.
I hope it wasn’t Shanahan that came up with the shootout implementing idea back in 2005 during bettman fun time lockout number 2? was it sigh. Whomever came up with nhl shootout should be strung up left for vultures.
Funny how Detroit and Chicago were the only two NHL teams that voted against shootous back then. Just goes to show dumb is highly contagious.
Well, here we are with about 7 or 8 teams lumped in a battle for 7th and 8th playoff spots thanks to that skills comp.
Hope the other 28 NHL owners and GMs are happy.
Jurco penalty late in 3rd that The Mick called as did most NHL fans that have been watching the sport long before 2005 rule changes was as predictable as death and taxes. Another constant the league should be proud of, pfft, lousy calls late in periods.
Only Holland and his scouting team know for sure who they would be willing to trade right now. Doubt we’ll get any elite forward but hoping for at least some decent rugged defenseman since the cost for a goal scorer will be sky high.

 

 

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 02/01/14 at 07:25 AM ET

The_Firebird's avatar

After Snow jumped all over Nabakov as he passed through wavers so that he could sign with the Wings, I’m not sure I want to do the guy any favors and overpay for an upcoming free agent.

I get the feeling that, if Holland doesn’t go into desperation move and pull a boneheaded Quincey-esque trade, Vanek could likely be signed in the offseason. Besides, other teams have a lot more cap space and more in the way of assets to offer for Vanek.

Posted by The_Firebird on 02/01/14 at 09:25 AM ET

The_Firebird's avatar

After Snow jumped all over Nabakov as he passed through wavers so that he could sign with the Wings, I’m not sure I want to do the guy any favors and overpay for an upcoming free agent.

I get the feeling that, if Holland doesn’t go into desperation move and pull a boneheaded Quincey-esque trade, Vanek could likely be signed in the offseason. Besides, other teams have a lot more cap space and more in the way of assets to offer for Vanek.

Posted by The_Firebird on 02/01/14 at 09:26 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I agree that Vanek is likely far too rich a target for Detroit,  and they should be concentrating on defensemen, but come on people,  Ott and Ruutu?  Have some freakin pride.  At least Vanek is a bonafide star.

Ott is a terrible player.  Other than a few hot streaks in Dallas, hes been nothing but a little weasel, and has been part of the problem in Buffalo since they acquired him.  We already have a better version of him that we dont even use.

And Rutuu is a floater who hasnt shown any consistency since he was run out of Chicago, even when playing on lines with Staal or Skinner.

Posted by Hootinani on 02/01/14 at 10:54 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

Getting the ice time down in Grand Rapids has allowed Eaves to show us the player he’s capable of being when healty.  Not sure how it could work, but hope he gets to stick around.  The team as a whole has been palying with a lot more detrmination since the kids have come up.  As for the Vanek rumor, I doubt it.  The price is too high for what we’d be willing to spend.  O

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 02/01/14 at 12:14 PM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

Wow forgive the typos.  Good grief!

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 02/01/14 at 12:16 PM ET

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Canes wont do it but i need to publicly throw my weight and manlove behind trying to obtain Andrej Sekera. I think hes EXACTLY the kind of defenseman that could do well on the wings.
As we say every year get it done KENNY.

Posted by brians neck on 02/01/14 at 12:56 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

And I was expecting Mark *#$%@& Joanette to screw the Wings one way or another, but I’m a little paranoid at times.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/31/14 at 11:56 PM ET

you aren’t the only one George ....  but I was expecting him to screw the Wings much sooner I was pleasantly surprised they called the game pretty fairly till that moment. I was shocked they didn’t start calling on the Wings after the whining Oates did

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 02/01/14 at 05:23 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Were actually perfect fit for trade partner with Isles.  Ferraro is a player with value that will never get his shot with the Wings but hes a deadly shorthand threat and faaast.  But more obviously goaltending is an issue for Isles and we have Mrazek whos got good pro numbers, phenomal resume.  Hes a franchisr goalie.  Problem is hrs developing too fast especially with Howies half decade contract and Gus winning games as backup and McCollums had a resurgent year Howard style id guarantee Holland would roll the dice on himlike Howie.  Then Coreau.

Wings or Babs seem to really love college guys.  Tatar couldnt beat out anyone beginning seasonaftr winning Calder mvp on a team that boasted a nyquist.  hes real big on ddk, glendening, shehan, smith.  Seems to be more patient with college players…. Seems to really help too.  Jurco is def an exception and i thougt for sure hed get stuck 4th line.  I dunno might be wrong.

Were deep in net and have a longterm starter.  I could see ANY GM jumping at the chance for Mrazek and i dont think thats because im a homer.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/01/14 at 05:57 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/01/14 at 04:57 PM ET

Great, you’ve still not addressed the big disparity between what the Isles could what and the amount of cap Detroit would have to get rid of to fit Vanek under the cap.

Not to mention that you want to give up a bunch of Detroit’s future for a rental?  And a rental who has already said that he might re-sign with the Isles in the off-season if he does get traded?

Posted by Garth on 02/01/14 at 09:43 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Easy there Cher first off i didnt say we should do anything.  I was surmisong how tje rumor were inyerested in vanek may be true.  Its not too outlandish so ill bother watching it vs rumors that tampa bay is inyerested in “defensive specialist” Kyle Quincey.  So tiptoe back ouy of my *#$%@&.  And im not the gm and dont have to wory about clearing cap space bit clearlt the new cba made it easy for teams to negoiate the cap allowing hits to be part of trades so dont present that as impossible.  You need to take a prozak or touch a girl Algar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/02/14 at 01:05 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.