The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/04/13 at 11:49 PM ET
Contrary to what I'm sure will be suggested over the next 24 hours, the Detroit Red Wings' 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes was not the result of a team collectively and individually choosing to "screw the pooch" to "send a message" voicing their dissatisfaction with the team's management.
The Red Wings did not lose because the ghosts of Jay Bouwmeester, Jaromir Jagr, Jason Pominville or Robyn Regehr were haunting them.
Instead, the Wings' players got complacent after a very good first period, they made some absolutely horrible decisions in terms of defensive coverage and line changes, their goaltender cheated to the glove side and gave up some softies as a result and the team simply allowed a more desperate Coyotes team to out-work, out-hustle, out-execute and out-smart Detroit's best (Filppula!) and brightest (Nyquist) as well as their worst (Colaiacovo, Ericsson).
The result was earned, and as a result, the Wings will find themselves in a particularly precarious place in the Western Conference standings if they do not earn two points in Colorado tomorrow night.
Nobody was really "good" over three periods for Detroit. Even the rally was far too little, far too late for a team far too content to be checked into the boards and surrender puck possession where the Wings had taken puck possession, "zone time" and their game to the Coyotes' slot for the first 20-some minutes of play...
And the stats bear that out for once.
In the first period, the Wings out-shot Phoenix 15-11.
Over periods 2 and 3, they were out-shot 27-21--and 20-5 in the second period.
The Wings' first goal was a power play goal, 1:56 in. Their last goal was a power play goal, with 1:13 left. In between, they did little to nothing with four other power plays.
Despite the last-period flourish, the Wings lost the faceoff battle 34-30, and the under-utilized Joakim Andersson went 1-and-8 in the circle...But it was the crucial draws thatthe Wings lost.
The stat sheet had the Wings credited with 5 giveaways, but Fox Sports Detroit had the Wings--from Datsyuk on down--giving the puck away 14 times.
Blocked shots? 20-6 Phoenix. Missed shots? 11-6 Detroit. That translates to 38 Phoenix shots ON Jimmy Howard and another 12 blocked or wide for 50 attempts--about 15 more attempts than the Wings usually give up--and 36 Wings shots on Chad Johnson and another 31 wide or blocked.
The Coyotes' being credited for 9 takeaways to 3 Wings takeaways was under-counted, too, as the Wings were turnover machines not only in their own zone, but in that danger area that is between the bluelines and within 10 feet of the offensive and defensive zone. The Wings couldn't generate puck possession, pace or flow when they were constantly turning the puck over--or putting themselves or their teammates offsides.
And finally, that team-wide -21 was earned by every player on the ice, Howard included.
The players that could have been on the ice for Detroit didn't lose the game. The players that were on the ice for Detroit lost it, and the players that were on the ice for Phoenix out-worked, out-hustled, out-competed and out-played the Wings in terms of grit, attention to detail, support, positional play, heart and smarts.
None of that has anything to do with trades. It has to do with one team being more prepared to play than the other, and that falls on the players and coaches, not the GM.
At the end of the game, Mickey Redmond commented on the Conner goal: "The Red Wings got caught pinching." That was the night. Wings got caught cheating. Not working. From Datsyuk to Colaiacovo to Howard.
As such, there's simply no excuse for the Red Wings to do anything less than beat the *#$%@& out of Colorado on Friday night, regardless of who plays and who sits.
Update: Well, then:
Shots 38-36 Phoenix overall. Detroit out-shot Phoenix 15-11 in the 1st, was out-shot 20-5 in the 2nd and out-shot Phoenix 16-7 in the 3rd.
The Wings went 2-for-6 in 9:12 of PP time; the Coyotes went 0-for-4 in 8:00 of PP time.
Jimmy Howard stopped 34 of 37 shots, and the Coyotes' 38th shot went into an empty net; Chad Johnson stopped 34 of 36 shots.
The 3 stars were picked by the Coyotes' broadcasters, and they were Chris Conner, Mikael Boedeker and Chad Johnson.
The Wings' goals: Filppula (7) from Nyquist (3) and Smith (5), PPG;
Cleary (9) from Franzen (14) and Zetterberg (25), PPG.
Faceoffs 34-30 Phoenix (Phoenix won 53%);
Blocked shots 20-6 Phoenix;
Missed shots 11-6 Detroit (total attempts 67-50 Detroit);
Hits 23-17 Phoenix;
Giveaways 5-1 Detroit;
Takeaways 9-3 Phoenix.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 12-and-9 (57%); Emmerton went 8-and-5 (62%); Zetterberg went 5-and-6 (45%); Filppula went 4-and-5 (44%); Andersson went 1-and-8 (11%);
Shots: Zetterberg and Filppula co-led the team with 5 shots apiece; Franzen had 4; Kindl, Abdelkader, Nyquist, Colaiacovo and Kronwall had 3; Cleary had 2; Smith, Datsyuk, Miller, Lashoff and Emmerton had 1.
Blocked attempts: Smith and Kronwall had 4 attempts blocked by Coyotes players; Kindl and Nyquist had 3 attempts blocked; Datsyuk had 2 attempts blocked; Emmerton, Zetterberg, Filppula and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Nyquist missed the net 3 times; Smith,Cleary,Datsyuk, Emmerton, Colaiacovo, Zetterberg, Filppula and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Miller led the Wings with 4 hits; Tootoo, Lashoff, Kronwall and Franzen had 2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Cleary, Eaves and Ericsson had 1.
Giveaways: Smith, Kindl, Datsyuk, Ericsson and Andersson had giveaways;
Takeaways: Emmerton, Filppula and Ericsson had takeaways.
Blocked opponent shots: Colaiacovo blocked 3 shots; Lashoff blocked 2; Andersson blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Tootoo took 2 minor penalties; Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Kronwall took 1.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -21. Colaiacovo finished at -3; Nyquist, Miller, Zetterberg, Filppula, Kronwall and Ericsson finished at -2; Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Cleary, Eaves and Lashoff finished at -1.
Points: Cleary and Filppula scored goals; Smith, Nyquist, Zetterberg and Franzen had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 23:53 played; Smith played 20:40; Kindl played 20:33;
Ericsson played 20:03; Filppula played 19:42; Zetterberg played 19:37;
Colaiacovo played 19:25; Cleary played 18:29; Datsyuk played 17:59;
Franzen played 17:42; Lashoff played 15:35; Miller played 15:13;
Nyquist played 14:27; Abdelkader played 13:08; Andersson played 11:25;
Emmerton played 9:54; Eaves played 9:50; Tootoo played 6:43.
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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.