The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/26/13 at 12:49 AM ET
In the first period of the Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, things did not look good. The Wings had blown Ian White's 1-0 goal thanks to a tip-in from Martin Hanzal and a roof-job from Rob Klinkhammer, and Jonas Gustavsson was the only player holding a disinterested, slow-witted and downright lazy Wings team in the game.
Gustavsson ended up stopping 13 of 15 first-period shots, and despite blowing a power play early in the 2nd period, the Wings slowly but surely found their legs, and Johan Franzen scored an absolutely gorgeous power play goal with 39 seconds left in the 2nd period (after Mike Babcock started the 2nd unit regularly, the Franzen-Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Kronwall-Brunner got the "shoot the damn puck!" message)...
And when the trap-and-clutch-and-grab-happy Coyotes took a too-many men penalty early in the 3rd, a Niklas Kronwall outlet to Henrik Zetterberg resulted in a fortunate net-front pass by Zetterberg going off David Schlemko's skate and right to Pavel Datsyuk, who jammed the 3-2 goal past Jason LaBarbera.
With their legs under them and their brains in gear, the Wings plowed through the third period, but when Jakub Kindl hooked Lauri Korpikoski, the Coyotes were awarded a penalty shot with 4:12 remaining...
And Jonas Gustavsson, who plays goal like Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld, herk-and-jerk-and-juke-and-jake-ing his way to spastic saves, stoned Korpikoski.
Gustavsson may look like he's having seizures instead of stopping pucks, but his brand of controlled chaos actually saved the day on more than one occasion, especially given Brendan Smith's rough night, and "Gus" (or is it "Cosmo?") stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced.
In the end, the Wings' road power play did an excellent job of scoring decisive goals, the PK was okay, and the Wings' persistence out-lasted the Coyotes' trapping ways.
It needs to be said that players like Drew Miller, Cory Emmerton, Joakim Andersson, Brian Lashoff and Ian White of all people had fantastic outings and worked their butts off, providing more than enough grit for the Wings to counter the Coyotes' plow-up-the-ice game and heavy size and hard checking....
But it was Gustavsson's night, and he was outstanding.
Now the Wings will, according to the Yotes' broadcasters, enjoy some "In n Out" burgers for their post-game meal and enjoy a well-deserved Tuesday off after going 3 for-mothaf***ing 3 on their road trip, with only a Thursday game against a Duck-beating Sharks team to go.
Nice job, boys. Keep it up. And thanks for "coming to the party," Gustavsson.
Shots 35-31 Detroit overall. Detroit was out-shot 15-14 in the 1st, out-shot Phoenix 12-6 in the 2nd and was out-shot 10-9 in the 3rd.
Detroit went 2-for-5 in 9:17 of PP time; Phoenix went 1-for-3 in 4:46.
Gustavsson stopped 29 of 31; LaBarbera stopped 32 of 35.
The 3 stars were picked by the Coyotes' broadcasters, and they were Henrik Zetterberg, Jason LaBarbera and Pavel Datsyuk. What?
The Wings' goals: White (2) from Kindl (8) and Cleary (3);
Franzen (7) from Kronwall (18) and Datsyuk (24), PPG;
Datsyuk (11) from Zetterberg (24) and Kronwall (19), PPG.
Faceoffs 38-21 Phoenix (Detroit won 36%);
Blocked shots 9-9;
Missed shots 18-17 Phoenix (total attempts 61-58 Detroit);
Hits 24-20 Phoenix;
Giveaways 3-2 Phoenix;
Takeaways 7-3 Phoenix.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 9-and-11 (45%); Zetterberg went 3-and-11 (21%); Andersson went 2-and-8 (20%); Emmerton went 4-and-5 (44%); Filppula went 3-and-3 (50%).
Shots: Zetterberg and Franzen co-led the team with 5 shots; Cleary and Andersson had 3; Kindl, Datsyuk, Eaves, White, Brunner, Emmerton, Filppula and Ericsson had 2; Smith, Miller and Kronwall had 1.
Blocked attempts: Kindl and Datsyuk hit Coyotes players 2 times; Nyquist, Eaves, Brunner, Zetterberg and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Nyquist missed the net 3 times; Datsyuk, Filppula, Kronwall and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Smith, Kindl, White, Brunner, Emmerton and Ericsson missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Abdelkader led the team with 5 hits; Miller hat 4 hits; Smith, Brunner, Andersson and Franzen had 2; Datsyuk, Lashoff and Filppula had 1.
Giveaways: Kindl and Filppula had 1 giveaway.
Takeaways: Datsyuk, Nyquist and Ericsson had takeaways.
Blocked opponent shots: Miller and Kronwall had 2 blocked shots; Datsyuk, White, Lashoff, Zetterberg and Andersson blocked 1 shot.
Penalty minutes: Kindl, Zetterberg and Filppula took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished even collectively. Smith and Lashoff finished at -1; Kindl and White finished at +1.
Points: Kronwall had 2 assists; Datsyuk had a goal and an assist for 2 points; White and Franzen had goals; Cleary and Zetterberg had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 26:36 played; Ericsson played 22:15; Filppula played 21:23;
Zetterberg played 20:18; Datsyuk played 18:34; Kindl played 17:23;
Smith played 17:17; Franzen played 17:14; White played 17:07;
Lashoff played 16:06; Miller played 15:32; Cleary played 14:31;
Abdelkader played 14:29; Brunner played 14:19; Andersson played 13:36;
Nyquist played 10:50; Eaves played 9:45; Emmerton played 8:00.
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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.