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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Coyotes quick take: who was that masked team?

You know the math and the, "Wings need to win out" blather, but I'm not sure if you or I are particularly familiar with the Red Wings team that won a first-game-home-from-the-West-Coast game for the first time in five tries, defeating Phoenix 4-0 and really manhandling the Coyotes while extinguishing their playoff hopes in every category save shots.

The Wings came out strong--with Johan Franzen deftly tipping a Damien Brunner shot on the power play, all of 2:37 in--and, despite the Coyotes' near-ridiculous 12-4 shot advantage and the Wings' baffling 9 giveaways during the first period, Jimmy Howard played like a wall, the Wings killed off two penalties, and Damien Brunner scored a power play goal of his own via a slick diagonal pass from Henrik Zetterberg to essentially close out the first period.

Goals 1...

 

And 2...

In the 2nd period, the Wings kept the pedal to the metal, not only out-shooting Phoenix 12-10, but also answering the Coyotes' repeated physical challenges by giving Phoenix no penny, never mind nickel, dime or quarter, annoying the hell out of Shane Doan, Derek Morris (who got away with more than a few punches to Justin Abdelkader's head) and at least half a dozen ornery Coyotes, and all while doing something the Wings haven't been able to accomplish in ages in providing puck support and outlets for their puck-carriers in all three zones by skating hard and rotating into position to back each other up instead of leaving their puck carriers all alone while cheating toward offense, which had resulted in so many giveaways, pinned-to-the-boards scenarios in the offensive zone and awful scoring chances surrendered that it got silly over the past dozen-plus games.

The Wings out-detailed as well as out-worked out-hustled and out-ground the Coyotes, and by the time Valtteri Filppula(!) scored the Wings' 3rd power play goal late in the 2nd period, via Henrik Zetterberg's 3rd PP assist and Niklas Kronwall's 2nd PP assist, the game's outcome wasn't in doubt.

The only question was whether the Wings would let Phoenix off the mat in the 3rd period.

They didn't. Sure, Phoenix challenged Detroit and crashed Jimmy Howard with regularity in the 3rd period, out-shooting Detroit 12-7 and playing like their playoff lives were on the line (they were, and for once, the Wings were "doing the spoiling"), but the Wings' defense stood firm, as did Howard, and when Shane Doan exploded and decided to "wrassle" Justin Abdelkader down, then cock his fist for a haymaker after the referees had restrained him, Doan ended up taking a double minor to Abdelkader's single minor (hey, it wasn't much of a fight).

While the Wings got a little sloppy during the third period, they did continue to skate up ice with purpose, poise and the willingness to "get on the inside" of physical battles for the puck, even if it meant paying a physical price to do so, and in all honesty, they ended up exploiting Mike Smith's desire to keep the game going via puckhandling to burn off clock and, in a pleasant surprise, to help "eat the puck" down low in the Coyotes' end so that the Wings could pull an old-school move in playing defense nearly 200 feet from their own net.

Johan Franzen's empty-net goal would've been Pavel Datsyuk's had Datsyuk not felt so very charitable in attempting to give it to Justin Abdelkader, but the Wings were gonna put that puck in the net, one way or another, and they did.

From start to finish, hiccups and high number of shots against included, the Wings played like a team that finally understood that controlling its future involved backing up its words with actions, for perhaps the first time in a month or more, and while the Wings have three more hard games to go--against LA on Wednesday (NBCSN only), Nashville on Thursday and in Dallas on Saturday--this time, the Wings look like they plan on gettin' shit done instead of simply telling us what they need to do and then shaking their heads when their actions aren't enough.

Urgency. Intensity. Effort. Attention to detail. Grit, grind, grime, muck, and of course poise, clutch scoring, superb goaltending and excellent special teams play. All of those aspects were missing from the Wings' game since the middle of March, and they've reappeared when absolutely necessary.

Here's hoping the Wings keep it up.

Update: Oh, did I mention Danny DeKeyser both backchecking and tipping a sure Shane Doan goal over the net and then being rewarded with late-game time on the power play? That was pretty damn cool, too.

Statistics:

Shots 34-23 Phoenix overall. Detroit was out-shot 12-4 in the 1st period, out-shot Phoenix 12-10 in the 2nd and were out-shot 12-7 in the 3rd.

The Wings went 3-for-5 in 6:34 of PP time; the Coyotes went 0-for-4 in 8:00 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 34 of 34 shots; Mike Smith stopped 19 of 22; the Wings' last goal was an empty-netter.

The 3 stars were picked by the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, and he picked Jimmy Howard, Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner, in ascending order.

Faceoffs 28-27 Phoenix (Detroit won 49%);

Blocked shots 11-9 Detroit;

Missed shots 16-10 Detroit (total attempts 55-48 Phoenix, with the Wings firing 23 shots on the Coyotes' net and another 25 wide or into Coyotes players);

Hits 31-21 Phoenix;

Giveaways 15-2 Detroit--12 occurred in the 1st period;

Takeaways 4-3 Detroit.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 9-and-8 (53%); Filppula went 8-and-8 (50%); Andersson went 7-and-6 (54%); Emmerton went 1-and-4 (20%); Franzen went 2-and-1 (67%); Zetterberg lost his only faceoff

Shots: Franzen led the Wings with 4 shots; Abdelkader, Zetterberg and Filppula had 3; Nyquist, Brunner and Andersson had 2; Datsyuk and Eaves had 1.

Blocked attempts: Filppula and Kronwall hit Coyotes players 2 times; Abdelkader, Cleary, Brunner, Emmerton and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Abdelkader missed the net 3 times; Datsyuk, Brunner and Andersson missed the net 2 times; Smith, Cleary, Nyquist, Eaves, Quincey, Filppula and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the team with 6 hits; Datsyuk and Quincey had 3; Cleary and Zetterberg had 2; Smith, Tootoo, Filppula, Ericsson and Andersson had 1.

Giveaways: Franzen had 3 giveaways; Filppula and Smith had 2; Cleary, Datsyuk, Nyquist, eaves, Brunner, Zetterberg, Ericsson and DeKeyser had 1.

Takeaways: Kindl, Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Nyquist had takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: Kindl, Ericsson, Kronwall, DeKeyser and Franzen blocked 2 shots; Cleary blocked 1.

Penalty minutes: Smith and Cleary took 2 minor penalties; Abdelkader took 1 minor penalty.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective +5. Cleary, Datsyuk, Ericsson, Kronwall and Franzen finished at +1.

Points: Zetterberg had 3 assists; Franzen had 2 goals; Kronwall had 2 assists; Brunner had a goal and an assist; Filppula scored a goal; Ericsson had an assist.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 23:22 played; Quincey played 20:25; Ericsson played 20:09;

Datsyuk played 20:07; Zetterberg played 19:25; Franzen played 19:05;

DeKeyser played 18:33; Filppula played 17:49; Smith played 17:21;

Kindl played 17:13; Andersson played 16:15; Cleary played 15:58;

Abdelkader played 15:48; Brunner played 14:15; Nyquist played 13:03;

Emmerton played 9:07; Eaves played 8:54; Tootoo played 5:11.

Update: Early highlights come with NBC narration...

 

And yes, Ken Daniels stated that Tomas Holmstrom's going to scout for the Wings in the North America and Sweden, and will become a player agent. FOR SURE!

Update #2: Via RedWingsFeed, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted Jimmy Howard's post-game comments:

Update #3: Here's Zetterberg from Duff:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Figaro's avatar

Coach Babs has made some real head-scratching coaching decisions this year and we’ve (I’ve) been pretty vocal about our displeasure with them.  However, it took some real attachments to try what he did to motivate Mule.  He put him on the Penalty Kill.  You can’t lolly-gag on the Penalty Kill.  If Bab’s gamble fails, he’s essentially giving the other team a 5 on 3.5.  If he succeeds, he engages Franzen and gets him involved in the game.  He succeeded.  Not only did he skate, but he went to the front of the net, he played physical…hell, he even sacrificed the body by sliding in for a shot-block.  None of that happens if Babs doesn’t roll the dice and throw him out there short-handed.  Well done, Coach!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/22/13 at 09:23 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Also,

1) Did Filppula actually do something? Give that man $5mil a year!!!

2) Damn that unproductive, aging, over-paid Captain Hank.  Why can’t he score a goal? His production continues to deteriorate every game.

3) Abdelkader for Doan for 5 minutes?  I’ll make that trade every game. Great game, Abby! (had a goal stolen by a hell of a defensive play there at the end.)

4) Smith better take that goal-post out for dinner.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/22/13 at 09:26 PM ET

Avatar

Wow.
Can’t believe that was the same team that has sleep walked through such a large part of the season. Even Abdelkader looked useful. Not great, but at least he wasn’t a detriment to the team.

Posted by teldar on 04/22/13 at 09:29 PM ET

OnlyWings's avatar

Nice Win!!!  Big confidence builder and momentum.

Bottle that effort for Wed/Thurs and Sat

3 more game sevens!!!

Posted by OnlyWings on 04/22/13 at 09:29 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

Yeah but… they didn’t score any even strength goals and were mostly outplayed even strength. And that PP on Doan’s idiocy (JR’s wrong) looked a little too much like their power plays of late.

So if they can score three power play goals every game, that will definitely help, but they aren’t likely to get three power plays every game if they continue giving the puck away in their own zone and spending 65+ second shifts trying to get it out.

Datsyuk needs to stop passing up good chances and get his shots on goal.

Posted by bleep bloop on 04/22/13 at 09:32 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Hey Primis…

Nah…just wanted to say hi.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/22/13 at 09:35 PM ET

Avatar

2) Damn that unproductive, aging, over-paid Captain Hank.  Why can’t he score a goal? His production continues to deteriorate every game.

Hey Primis…
Nah…just wanted to say hi.

Hah!

Posted by Garth on 04/22/13 at 10:00 PM ET

OnlyWings's avatar

Babcock: “I thought our goalie did a real good job in the first until we got our legs back.”

Fix that 1st Period before Wed and you lost me with getting our legs back.  How do you lose your legs before the game starts??

Oh well, JUST WIN OUT!

Posted by OnlyWings on 04/22/13 at 10:01 PM ET

Tony Perkis's avatar

Great game by all, but I was impressed with DeKeyser, Abbey, and Brunner. Even without the goals, Brunner and Abbey had nice chances/shots and made good plays.

So what the hell is going to happen to White, Cola, Sammy, and the rest that are often healthy scratches? I know I’m Captain Obvious here, but I’m very curious about what will happen this off-season. Holland does have some interesting decisions to make.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 04/22/13 at 10:15 PM ET

Avatar

DD seems a lock on the top 6 next season. That’ll make 8 d-men if no moves are made.

Anyone think we can get a 3rd or 4th rounder for Q?

Posted by AZWinger on 04/22/13 at 10:20 PM ET

Avatar

So what the hell is going to happen to White, Cola, Sammy, and the rest that are often healthy scratches?

What should happen is that none of them are Red Wings next season, along with Filppula.

Posted by Garth on 04/22/13 at 10:23 PM ET

Tony Perkis's avatar

Hah yeah I know that’s what most people say should happen and want to happen, but what’s REALLY going to happen?

Intriguing indeed.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 04/22/13 at 10:30 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

No big deal, but the goal clips are reversed.

Great game.  I missed the first, tuned in to see Cleary giving the Yotes practically four consecutive minutes worth of powerplay time.  But surprise of all surprises, the Wings looked good afterward.  And, oh my goodness, Franzen lives.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 04/22/13 at 10:34 PM ET

Avatar

Hey George…

Ken said on FSN, Tomas Holmstrom will NOT be working for the Wings, but may hopefully direct some players their way thru his Agency - the Ardmore Management Group as he will work as an agent with his agent Howard Gourwitz ( per Mickey ) and scout here and in Sweden as an agent, not as a scout for the Wings.

Posted by kentc on 04/22/13 at 10:36 PM ET

Avatar

I have to say, that was a pretty awesome effort tonight. Jimmy looked fantastic and they were moving the puck really well. This was also my first game getting to watch DeKeyser. I was impressed. He made a really smart play on the Doan breakaway, sticking with him all the way in and taking away the far side of the net.

Posted by beardChamp on 04/22/13 at 11:04 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Great play tonight.  More of that.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 04/22/13 at 11:47 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I also have to say I love the DeKeyser/Abdelkader stories - Michigan boys playing for their Michigan teams.  Back in the Russian 5 days I remember an uncle saying “I remember when guys from Michigan played on this team…” — Seeing both of those guys put in top-line situations and stepping up just warms my heart.  Going from a Red Wings fan to a local college hockey hotshot to an NHL player on your home team is just perfect.  Happy to see the organization pull guys like that in.

Now let’s trade Filpulla for Cammalleri.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 04/22/13 at 11:54 PM ET

calquake's avatar

If the Wings played most of their games like they did this evening… they’d already be in the playoffs.  Very good win but I’ll be impressed if they win three more.

Posted by calquake on 04/22/13 at 11:55 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I would have been happy to see the team get by without incurring some major injury against PHX. That they got through healthy AND won decisively was just beautiful.

It would figure that this team that has been just good enough to string me along all year would have a knockout win right before the pileup at the end of the schedule.

Big UPS to the Red Wings. Massive eff yous to gamecenter, which YET AGAIN had the wings game blacked out. Maybe someone could work the math on this, but I think something like 20% of wings games were not on gamecenter this season.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/23/13 at 07:00 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I also have to say I love the DeKeyser/Abdelkader stories - Michigan boys playing for their Michigan teams.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 04/23/13 at 12:54 AM ET

You know, my wife said the same exact thing last night - and for the first time in a long time, I could not refute her.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/23/13 at 08:25 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

So what the hell is going to happen to White, Cola, Sammy, and the rest that are often healthy scratches? I know I’m Captain Obvious here, but I’m very curious about what will happen this off-season. Holland does have some interesting decisions to make.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Starting a fire in your mother’s panties. on 04/22/13 at 11:15 PM ET

It’s very exciting to see how well the rookies have taken to the pros.  Now that the organ-i-zation can quantify the talent it has to work with…. It’s gonna be even more exciting to see what will happen this summer knowing that KH will have leeway to cut the fat and make some additions. 

Its even more exciting to think that this team no longer has to go out and acquire a big time D-man.  Hopefully the big time forward(s) we and Babs have been dreaming about is in the offing.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/23/13 at 09:27 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

How good will Nyquist be in a couple of seasons? And imagine him on a line with a healthy Darren Helm and Calle Jarnkrok? Wake me in three years!

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/23/13 at 09:35 AM ET

SYF's avatar

If the Wings played most of their games like they did this evening… they’d already be in the playoffs.  Very good win but I’ll be impressed if they win three more.

Posted by calquake on 04/23/13 at 12:55 AM ET

Yup yup yup.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 04/23/13 at 09:37 AM 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.