The Malik Report
by George Malik on 10/11/13 at 12:25 PM ET
Somehow, this didn't get "opened" by me last night, so here's a VERY belated Wings-Coyotes recap:
Here's what I thought about the game (before we get into the formal recap and stuff):
- The line least visible to me didn't play very much, but I'm still baffled as to what the fourth line consists of other than Drew Miller being Drew Miller. To me, it's been ineffectual, and as such, has yielded too many instances when the Wings are rotating three lines;
- Johan Franzen has no chemistry whatsoever with Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson. Alfredsson's the sniper, Weiss is the puck-lugger, and in theory, Franzen's supposed to give, go and then haul ass to the net, but instead, he's meandering and looking to find an opening for a Pavel Datsyuk, "Go to an empty space and I will find you" pass instead. The Wings need someone with that pairing who can forecheck and who will want to head toward the net to keep the machine churning. That's not Franzen.
- Where do I like Franzen playing? At center. When he was forced to play center down the stretch, the absent-minded power forward found himself having to skate harder, pay more attention to his defensive responsibilities and to engage that not-dim-despite-his-easygoing-demeanor brain in the game;
- There are no excuses for Daniel Alfredsson's gaffes, but there are explanations. Alfredsson is trying far, far too hard to force things to happen with a team he's never played for over the course of his 17-year career. He's not letting things happen, he's taking an extra half-second to think, an extra half-second to shoot, and extra half-second to stickhandle...But he's doing so during the course of attempting to make a positive impact. It's one thing when Mikael Samuelsson is a non-factor on the fourth line and during his PP time with his job on the line; it's another when Daniel Alfredsson's mostly a non-factor and is sometimes a negative one because of very evident and effort to contribute;
- Ditto, to a lesser extent, for Weiss;
- The Wings' biggest issues remain the fact that they continue to trade chances with teams instead of sustaining offensive pressure, and they're still being far too "cute" in all three zones. Defensemen are making extra lateral passes, forwards are choosing to pass up less-than-perfect opportunities to get pucks on net to make the "perfect" aesthetic back-door drop pass, and nobody save Justin Abdelkader is planting his ass in front of the net and staying there;
- Both on the PP and at even strength, a large part of the "trading chances" part involves an inability to retrieve pucks, but up and down the ice, they're losing one-on-one battles, and when they are winning one-on-one battles, there's little winger/skater support. At one point, Brendan Smith got chased all the way from his blueline to the goal line and beyond, lugging the puck against Lori Korpikoski, and no one skated back to give Smith an outlet;
- At the same time, Smith and Quincey continue to produce as many opportunities for the opposition as they produce offense or make strong defensive plays, and they're at the head of the, "Defensemen choosing to make lateral or drop passes instead of just hauling it up ice" list. At least Kindl and DeKeyser a) produced some offense and b) bailed each other out of defensive gaffes;
- To some extent, the defense's unwillingness to move the puck up ice provides a disincentive for the forwards to haul their asses through the middle of the ice with speed, and as such, there's a helluva lot of lollygagging--and cheating--by forwards who have to read their defensemen's uneasiness and work harder to force those defensemen to send the puck to them. That involves communication as much as it does positioning, and it involves impetus from the bench.
- No retrieval of rebounds = PP sucks;
- Little winger support + early-season crackdown on stick fouls = lots of penalties taken;
- Jimmy Howard is facing five to ten too many shots every game. And they're generally grade-a scoring chances against.
- The Wings were awful--awful--on faceoffs on Thursday, and they've been very inconsistent in that department;
- This is perhaps nothing more than an aesthetic observation, but it almost seems as if the Wings suddenly found themselves having won the last 4 of 5 down the stretch in April, having found themselves a no-goal turned a non-call-on-a-series-winning-goal away from playing in the Conference Final, and now that they're suddenly at the start of a seven-month journey for the first time in two years, they don't know how to take October seriously. One could very well argue that last season planted the bad seed that is, "It's okay if you don't establish your game plan right away, you can make up those points later." And that's bullshit.
- In case you didn't notice it, the Wings are doing an awful job of blocking point shots, and instead, they're doing a wonderful job of screening their own goaltender. Morris and Stone's goalies were not the first this season where Howard's been rewarded for a valiant effort with hearing the puck whistle past him before he had any idea where it was;
- All in all, the Wings played like a team that forgot how hard you're actually supposed to compete at the start of the season, they still don't have their fundamentals' worth of sea legs beneath them, and while it was good to see the third line score a goal, and Weiss (continuing to wear a visor to cover that 20-stitch gash) and Alfredsson continue to work their butts off, when the Z-Pav-Piano line isn't on the ice and the Kronwall-Ericsson defensive pairing is not on the ice, this team feels incredibly top-heavy.
The Wings continue a stretch of 3 games played over the course of 6 nights with 2 in 3--Saturday's "Pink the Rink" game against Philly, which I will miss completely due to the wedding itself, Monday's Columbus Day matinee in Boston, and Tuesday's home game against the vexing Blue Jackets (ironcially enough, the Blue Jackets and Bruins will tangle in a Saturday afternoon matinee, too)--and then they go on the road as they continue to play every other night or more from last night until October 23rd (they're playing 8 games over the course of 14 night).
It's early yet, but Mike Babcock and Ken Holland continue to harp on the fact that getting off to a good start and being in playoff position by American Thanksgiving (happy Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday to our Canadian friends) for a reason...
And given that the Coyotes are playing the Flyers tonight, the Wings have every reason to expect themselves to take Saturday's game, and to accept nothing less than 2 points, no matter how they are achieved, ahead of their Monday rematch with the Bruins.
And this kind of stuff? It's completely unacceptable:
The Yotes' press doesn't travel with the team most of the time, so the Arizona Republic's McLellan offers a sans-quotes recap...
-They had more experience in the lineup. On the blue line, the Coyotes welcomed back defensemen Derek Morris, who sat out Tuesday’s game with an upper-body injury, and Rusty Klesla. This was Klesla’s first game since he suffered a concussion and whiplash Sept.15 in a preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings following an open-ice hit from center Jordan Nolan.
Morris scored the first goal at 2:21 of the first with a seeing-eye point shot. He played 19:17, added an assist and had a pair of hits. Tallying the first goal was something the Coyotes couldn’t do in their first two road games, and it was a huge surge of confidence for a group that looked fragile earlier this week.
Klesla was paired with Michael Stone, and there was definitely some comfort and familiarity there. The two made up the third defensive pairing most of last season. Klesla was on the ice for 15:13, dished out three hits and blocked two shots.
-The Coyotes scored the winning goal right after a solid effort on the power play. Not long after center Stephen Weiss’ tripping penalty expired late in the third, Stone stepped into a point shot and the one-timer bounced off the post and in at 15:13 to give the Coyotes a 3-2 lead.
Mike Ribeiro earned an assist by setting up Stone, and Martin Hanzal was the screen in front of Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. It was Ribeiro’s first assist (and point) as a Coyote.
This was only Stone’s second game. He stayed in the lineup with David Rundblad and David Schlemko healthy scratches. Stone was critical of his showing in training camp. He didn’t earn a starting job after securing a three-year contract over the summer and being a regular last season. His goal this season is to become a well-rounded defender who’s harder on the body and puck and not be a one-trick pony with a booming shot. But, as he showed against the Red Wings, that shot is powerful and usually accurate.
-Their performance on the penalty kill also improved. The Red Wings went 0-for-2. The Coyotes blocked 13 shots compared to six for the Red Wings.
-The Coyotes were dominant in the faceoff circle. That was key on the PK, but it also enabled them to regularly have possession as opposed to chasing the Red Wings around the ice. Center Antoine Vermette was strong, winning 17-of-27 draws. Hanzal was also superb, going 14-for-19. In total, the Coyotes won 46 draws and lost only 24.
NHL.com offers quotes from the Coyotes' room, noting that Phoenix rebounded from its 6-1 trouncing to the Islanders in a big way...
"We figured out what we have to do to be in a hockey game," said goaltender Mike Smith, who made 28 saves.
Two nights after a poor showing in the loss to the Islanders triggered a players-only meeting and some roster moves, the Coyotes bounced back with a solid effort to even their record at 2-2-0. They broke a 2-2 tie when Stone took a pass from Mike Ribeiro and fired a straightaway slap shot that went through a screen and beat Jimmy Howard two seconds after a penalty to Detroit's Stephen Weiss had expired.
"Got an opening and a chance to shoot," Stone said. "Ribeiro mad a great pass, and I got a screen in front from Marty Hanzal. To respond the way we did after two ugly ones is the way to go."
Antoine Vermette hit the empty net with 50.7 seconds remaining as the Coyotes ended a four-game losing streak at Joe Louis Arena.
"It was the players. The players competed as hard as they needed to compete to give ourselves a chance to win," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said.
The teams wound up even with 10 shots each through 20 minutes. The Coyotes helped themselves by winning 20 of 27 faceoffs, including the one that led to Morris' goal. For the game, the Coyotes won 46 of 70 draws, allowing them to control the puck for much of the game.
"Our faceoffs were really strong," Tippett said. "There's always little things that you want to tweak."
And we'll use the AP's recap to transition from the Coyotes' perspectives to those of the Red Wings' players and coach:
Joakim Andersson and Jonathan Ericsson scored for Detroit, and Jimmy Howard stopped 35 shots. Andersson and Ericsson had goals 53 seconds apart early in the second period to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.
"I didn't think we played very well," Red Wings right wing Daniel Cleary said. "It wasn't a very good game defensively, and we didn't spend enough time in their zone. That's two games in a row that we haven't looked like us."
Detroit lost 4-1 at Boston on Saturday night.
The Coyotes also dominated in the faceoff circle, winning 46 of 70 draws.
Andersson, Detroit's third-line center, addressed the faceoff situation.
"They are known to be good faceoff guys, a couple of them, but we have to be better than we were tonight," he said. "I don't know what the stats are, but that's how I felt. We knew those two guys (Hanzal, Vermette) are real good on faceoffs. We have to dig in better next time."
Wings coach Mike Babcock was not happy at all, as you'll see in the video below, and as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted:
“We weren’t good enough,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We were poor. We lost the first seven faceoffs in our zone, we didn’t skate very good, we gave up odd-man rushes. We got the game back (tied 2-2) but that’s not good enough for us in any way. We’re going to have to look at how we’re playing everybody.”
The Red Wings weren’t very good in many areas but particularly in the faceoff circle. Phoenix dominated, winning 46 faceoffs to 24 for the Red Wings.
“We knew they were good in faceoffs but we should be able to be better than that,” said Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg, who won four of five draws. “It’s something we can work on.”
Said Babcock: “We’ve never been beaten like a drum like that at home, ever. Obviously their intensity was much higher than ours and we addressed it from the first period on, but were never able to do anything about it.”
The line of Stephen Weiss centering Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson, which has been slow to get going this season, combined to go minus-10 against the Coyotes.
“They lost the faceoff on the first one, broke down in coverage on the second, and anyway you look at it, it puts you in a tough spot,” said Babcock, who could be close to changing personnel on the lines.
MLive's Ansar Khan duly noted that the Wings were supposed to play "heavy" in their first game in five days in his sans-quotes recap, and instead, things went shittily:
“It wasn't a very good game defensively, we didn't spend a ton of time in their zone,'' Detroit forward Daniel Cleary said. “Gave up too many shots, way too many chances. Didn't look like us. That's two in a row.''
It was a rough night for the second line. Weiss (minus-4) was on the ice for all four Phoenix goals; Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen (each was minus-3) were on the ice for three goals against.
“They lost the faceoff on the first one (goal) and broke down in D-zone coverage on the second one,'' Babcock said. “Any way you look at it that puts you in a tough spot. They didn’t generate any scoring opportunities, they weren’t clicking and they weren’t good enough for us, so we’re going to have to look at it and see what we can do.''
Said Weiss: “It was one of those nights when they (the Coyotes) got the chance it went in, and we had a tough time getting much going. When we got a chance it wasn’t going in.''
Options for Babcock include inserting one or both of his healthy spare forwards, Tomas Tatar and Jordin Tootoo.
Joakim Andersson (5:07) and Jonathan Ericsson (6:00) scored less than a minute apart in the second period to give the Red Wings a short-lived 2-1 lead. Detroit has scored only eight goals in four games, but defense was a bigger concern on this night.
“We created enough chances, but we gave them way too many chances,'' Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “We just need to keep it a little tighter and be more structured. (They) probably had 10 or 15 odd-man rushes. You don’t see that often in this building.''
This year, you've seen a lot of odd-man rushes both created by the Wings in the offensive zone and surrendered by the Wings in their own zone. Skate up ice, shoot the puck, watch the other team take it, cheat toward offense, get caught, chase the puck back down the ice, watch Howard make a save, watch Howard make another save...Watch somebody make a stupid mistake getting too cute and see a goal scored against the team.
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness also took note of Babcock's points of emphasis...
“I’ve never seen it like that, we’ve never been beaten like a drum like that at home ever,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Their intensity was much higher than ours and we addressed from the first period on and never were able to anything about it. I know we have good faceoff people, we’re a real good faceoff team and tonight for whatever reason we weren’t.”
Derek Morris, Mikkel Boedker, Michael Stone and Antoine Vermette scored goals for Phoenix, while Mike Smith made 28 saves. The Wings got goals from Joakim Andersson and Jonathan Ericsson. Jimmy Howard stopped 34 shots.
“We were poor as a team,” Babcock said. “We started out, we lost the first seven faceoffs in our own zone and we didn’t skate very good, gave up too many odd-man rushes.”
And he noted that the players were suitably peeved:
“Lack of goals, I don’t know it’s lack of offense,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “We created a lot of chances. We need to put the puck in the net. I probably should have had two tonight. I’ve got to bear down a little better when I have the chance. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
“I don’t know if it’s a little too early cause for concern but you have to get more than two on most nights to win,” Daniel Cleary said. “But we’re usually a team that plays well defensively. We’ve been too loose last couple losses. I’m not concerned about the offense, I think we’ll be fine.”
A number of odd man rushes also was an issue in the loss.
“We created enough chances, but we gave them way too many chances,” Zetterberg said. “We just need to keep it a little tighter and be more structured. Probably had 10 or 15 odd man rushes. You don’t see that often in this building. There are things we have to work on. We’re happy we don’t have five days (off) now. We practice tomorrow and play again on Saturday.”
Detroit went 0-for-2 on the power play, making them 0-for-10 on the season.
Weiss didn't spare himself from criticism, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted:
Through four games, the Coyotes are No. 5 in league faceoffs, winning more than 55 percent of the draws. Last season, Vermette was one of the league’s top centermen, finishing in the top six with a 57.4 winning percentage in the faceoff circle. Hanzal and Vermette combined to win 31-of-46 faceoffs – that’s a 67.4 percent efficency – against the Red Wings, who as a team managed to win 24 draws. Vermette also scored a goal and he and Hanzal each added an assist.
“I think we were in the 20 percent range in the first period,” said center Stephen Weiss, who was 5-of-21 in the circle. “It was something we talked about. We want to be better in that area. When you lose a lot of draws like that you’re chasing the puck a lot of the times. We have to find a way to win a lot more than we did tonight.”
The Red Wings (2-2-0) had a much better second period when Joakim Andersson and Jonathan Ericsson scored goals 53-seconds apart to give Detroit a 2-1 lead. Andersson scored on a rebound from Jakub Kindl’s initial shot that Coyotes goalie Mike Smith made a save on.
“Kuba took it down the side and threw it back in the slot there,” Andersson said. “(Daniel) Cleary drove the net and the rebound came out to me and I put it in.”
Agitated coach is agitated...
“We need everybody,” Babcock said, alluding to the other third forward lines. “You can’t just have one line, we have to have everybody playing and tonight we didn’t. We were poor as a team.”
And the captain told the Free Press's Helene St. James that his team did not "get started on time":
"It wasn’t good enough,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “We should be able to be ready to play.”
Babcock reiterated several times during the layoff that he wanted the Wings to “be heavier,” to be harder on the puck in the offensive zone, to grind away at opponents. He stressed how someone besides a first-liner had to contribute offensively. That, at least, did happen: Joakim Andersson and Jonathan Ericsson used the second period to score their first goals of the season.
The start didn’t reflect a team that hadn’t played since Saturday night, enjoying two off days entirely off during the span. The Wings knew the Coyotes were coming in with something to prove after getting beat handily in two straight games, but weren’t able to do much containing.
The Coyotes played with the puck as much as the Wings did, and got a goal off a face-off about 3 minutes in when Derek Morris’ shot from the blue line sailed through traffic and sank behind Jimmy Howard. The Wings allowed 11 shots total.
“They come with a lot of speed, throw a lot of pucks on net,” Zetterberg said. “They put a lot of pressure on our D, and we couldn’t executive with our first pass when we had the puck. We gave up a lot of odd-man rushes, more than we usually do.”
The WIngs haven't skated through the neutral zone with much speed, they haven't generated or sustained forechecking, their first passes usually precede second, third and fourth try-to-exit-the-zone-for-the-umpteenth-time passes, and no one is chasing rebounds, nor is anyone not named Abdelkader going to the front of the net or staying there.
Here's more from St. James' "Why the Red Wings"...Won?
Quotable: Henrik Zetterberg said, "First 10 was not good. We came in a little better in the second, then after that, the last 10 minutes wasn't good. We created enough chances, but we gave them way too many chances. Just have to keep it a little tighter. We probably gave up 10-15 odd-man rushes, which doesn't happen often in this building."
Mike Babcock said, "We lost the first seven faceoffs in our own zone and we didn't skate very good and we gave up too many odd-man rushes."
As for the whole faceoff issue, Daniel Cleary told Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner that it's kind-of-sort-of important if you want to be a puck possession team...
"Face-offs are a huge part of our game,” Cleary said. “When we don’t have the puck, we’re always chasing it and we can’t get going. And by the time we get the puck back, the shifts over.”
Despite their face-offs troubles, the Wings took a 2-1 lead in the second period on goals scored 53 seconds apart by Joakim Andersson and Jonathan Ericsson.
But the Coyotes were relentless in their attack and scored the game's final three goals. Michael Stone got the go-ahead goal at 15:13 of third period, and Vermette added an empty-netter to seal it in the final minute.
The Wings were out-shot for the second straight game, too:
Jimmy Howard faced 37 shots, and the Wings had 30 on Mike Smith.
Detroit’s next game will be Saturday night at the Joe against the Philadelphia Flyers, and there could be some changes and juggling of lines. The Wings have just eight goals in four games and have lost two straight after winning their first two.
“We weren’t good enough in any way,” Babcock said. “We’ll have to look at how we’re playing everybody and what we’re doing. We were poor as a team.”
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff wondered aloud why the team can't seem to get its...game...together when Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and the Piano Man aren't leading the way, stating that while Pavel Datsyuk was chatting with Ted Lindsay--who's holding a beer-tasting event to benefit autism research on Saturday in Sterling Heights--the rest of the team, well...
Four goals from one line. One goal each from the other three lines. In the long run, that’s not going to add up to much success for Detroit.
“We need to get three or four (lines) going,” Babcock said. “You need depth and scoring in the league to be good and you need depth and work ethic and commitment to doing things right.”
Increasing their scoring depth was supposed to be the No. 1 priority of the off-season and the additions of Alfredsson and Weiss were expected to address the issue. Thus far, it’s added up to one goal, an overtime winner from Weiss in Game 2 at Carolina. Babcock envisioned his top two forward groups as options 1A and 1B, but there’s little evidence of that materializing to this point.
It’s only four games, so it’s far too early to panic, but there has to be at least a little bit of a concern that Alfredsson has yet to connect. His presence on the point was also supposed to ignite what was a very dormant Detroit power play last season, but that unit is pitching a shutout so far, going 0-for-10. For his part, Alfredsson is preaching patience, noting that it will take time for chemistry to develop on the ice between Weiss and himself.
“We’ve spent some time together,” Alfredsson said. “We sit next to each other on the plane, so we’re getting to know each other more and more every day.”
Given time, Alfredsson is confident they will connect and believes that Wings fans will come to warmly embrace Weiss.
“He anticipates the game really well and he’s a good skater,” Alfredsson said. “But I think the biggest thing is just the way he thinks the game. He understands what the other team is trying to do and he anticipates that.”
I didn't expect Alfredsson or Weiss to have scintillating starts. Weiss has only played for the dump-and-not-chase Panthers. Alfredsson's finding his comfort zones both on and off the ice for the first time since 1995.
I expected more from Franzen, who seems to think that the sniper that is Alfredsson and the puck-lugger that is Weiss need someone who's going to wander around, not someone who's going to go to the front of the net.
The Free Press's Helene St. James wondered what Babcock might do personnel-wise in her notebook, and she also snagged quite a quote from Weiss about the lack of support from, well, teammates of all kinds when the Wings are battling for the puck...
“We have to find a way as a group to try and get a few more back,” Weiss said of competing for face-offs, which involves wingers and defensemen pouncing on sliding pucks.It was one of those nights, when they got a chance, it went in. We had a tough time getting anything going.”
The Wings have a couple of forwards ready to go in Tomas Tatar and Jordin Tootoo. Tatar played at Boston, and is likely to reappear soon.
Other possibilities, of course, include line juggling. The first line —Pavel Datsyuk with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader has carried the load so far, contributing most nights. Babcock has liked the third line more than not, given it brings great size with Andersson, Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Cleary, but Bertuzzi and Cleary are still looking for their first goals.
Babcock might move up Mikael Samuelsson, who has a big right-handed shot that’s not getting a lot of opportunity on the fourth line.
I didn't expect the fourth line to be so bloody invisible. For someone who was kept on the roster after clearing waivers because he can win faceoffs, I don't see Cory Emmerton doing much of anything, and Samuelsson's been a non-factor save his tip-up goal.
I didn't expect the Bertuzzi-Andersson-Cleary line to take four games to score its first goal, either. I'd argue that Bertuzzi on the 2nd line might bring more focus to the mix, that Cleary could help, or that one could always throw Tatar or even Drew Miller on the Weiss-Alfredsson pairing and see what sticks.
I didn't expect Danny DeKeyser and Jakub Kindl to take until Game 4 to contribute, either, and I'm still waiting for Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith to finish better than "even" in terms of goals created for the opponent versus goals created for your teammates on any given night.
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa penned a "spirit of the thing" column, and it's as good a place as any to wrap this up, because Krupa notes that the Wings have also been HORRIBLE in terms of their giveaway-versus-takeaway ratio...
[G]iveaways — a hideous 12 for the game — continued to plague them, and they failed utterly in the faceoff circle, trailing 72 percent to 28 after two periods and 66-34 for the game.
Those are some distinctly “un-Red Wing-like” numbers. Starting too infrequently with the puck and giving it away a lot are not two ingredients of winning hockey.
The bodies the Red Wings had hoped to put in front of the Coyotes’ goalie, to screen shots, seemed still not to be there. Indeed, the Coyotes did a much better job generating traffic, screening Jimmy Howard on two of the three goals scored when he was in the net.
But Krupa believes that the Wings' status as "a work in progress," to use his term, will be temporary:
The Wings are not playing poorly. But they certainly are not playing like the Red Wings, yet. Nor are they entirely up to the marker they put down at the end of last season. But the feeling is nothing we have seen so far is not amenable to some good hard work and fortitude, and that this can be straightened out this month.
Heading into the night, Mike Babcock was not sure exactly what he had. But he was certain what they needed to do.
“Well, I don’t know if rust is a concern,” he said, after the morning skate, speaking of the odd schedule. “The big thing is taking advantage of when they give you a rest. Obviously, we would have liked not to play back to back. To have a practice day and then a day off and a practice day and then a day off, that’s just not the way the schedule works. So, we’ve had a chance to work on our game here and give the guys an opportunity to get fresh. We need to improve as a team.”
My sense is the Red Wings are going to be fine, if good health prevails. But they do not want to remain just so-so, for too long. And that is why some importance attaches to these games between now and Halloween.
Babcock will know what buttons to push, and with too many forwards hanging around — especially when and if Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves come off the long-term injured list — he can move bodies in and out of the lineup and hope that competition generates better play.
It is hard to argue that much of importance has happened, yet. Halloween is a bit of another matter, and the game against the Flyers Saturday is the first of eight likely to tell us a whole lot more about the 2013-14 Red Wings.
I hope so, because I'll be at a wedding doing my best to be a "good friend" and not check my phone for scores, and I'd prefer to not come home absolutely exhausted and find out that I have to write a quick take that pissed off as many people as the Coyotes game did.
You'll have to excuse me for being a little loony in suggesting that it's up to the teammates of the guys who finished at -4 and -3 to lift 'em up, but that's what I believe about the Red Wings and Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson. I don't like the look of the team, of the players as a whole. I can deal with some slow-starters given their effort, even if it's going sideways for them. I don't have time for lazy, disinterested play, and it's simply time to give all of the Wings' Mules a re-positional kick in the ass.
Highlights: At least the Red Wings website's highlight clip's narrated by Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond:
The Coyotes' website posted coach Dave Tippett's 1:57 post-game presser, you may enjoy it in video form via Fox Sports Arizona, the same is true for a post-game interview with Michael Stone, and as the Yotes were on the run, Fox Sports Arizona's Craig Morgan posted clips via Twitter:
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted a clip of Joakim Andersson speaking after the game...
Fox Sports Detroit actually posted clips of the Red Wings speaking about their Tigers fandom...
As well as a chunk of Wings coach Mike Babcock's post-game presser:
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness posted a clip of Henrik Zetterberg's post-game comments...
The Red Wings' website posted clips of Zetterberg speaking with the media...
Stephen Weiss addressing the media...
And Babcock's post-game presser:
Photos: MLive's Mike Mulholland posted a 27-image gallery;
The Detroit Free Press posted a 20-image gallery;
The Detroit News's David Guralnick posted a 25-image gallery;
The Arizona Republic posted a 22-image gallery;
If a wallpaper-sized image of a de-helmeted Brendan Smith is your thing, CBS Detroit provides your wallpaper for the day;
ESPN posted 54 images from the game;
Statistics: Shots 38-30 Phoenix overall. Phoenix out-shot Detroit 11-10 in the 1st period, 14-12 in the 2nd and 13-8 in the 3rd.
Detroit went 0-for-2 in 2:15 of PP time; Phoenix went 0-for-2 in 2:15 of PP time, but Michael Stone's game-winner was scored two seconds after Stephen Weiss exited the penalty box.
Jimmy Howard stopped 34 of 37 shots, and the 38th was an empty-net goal; Mike Smith stopped 28 of 30.
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness picked the 3 stars, and he picked Joakim Andersson, Michael Stone and Derek Morris.
The Wings' goals: Andersson (1) from Kindl (1) and Bertuzzi (1);
Ericsson (1), unassisted.
Faceoffs 46-24 Phoenix (Detroit won 34%);
Blocked shots 13-6 Phoenix;
Missed shots 12-8 Phoenix (total attempts 56-51 Phoenix, with the Wings firing 30 shots on Mike Smith and 21 wide or into Coyotes players);
Giveaways 12-5 Detroit;
Takeaways 10-7 Phoenix.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Weiss went 5-and-16 (24%); Andersson went 5-and-11 (31%); Datsyuk went 6-and-10 (38%); Emmerton went 2-and-5 (29%); Zetterberg went 4-and-1 (80%); Bertuzzi went 2-and-0 (100%); Alfredsson went 0-and-2; Cleary went 0-and-1.
Shots: Abdelakder and Zetterberg co-led the team with 4 shots; Datsyuk had 3; Alfredsson, Emmerton, Ericsson, Cleary, Weiss and Franzen had 2; Smith, Andersson, Miller, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 1.
Blocked attempts: Datsyuk, Quincey and Kronwall hit Coyotes players 3 times apiece; Smith, Abdelkader, Emmerton and Ericsson had single shot attempts blocked.
Missed shots: Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Bertuzzi missed the net 2 times; DeKeyser and Franzen missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Abdelkader led the team with 5 hits; Alfredsson and Franzen had 3; Bertuzzi, Ericsson, DeKeyser and Cleary had 2 hits; Kindl, Datsyuk, Emmerton, Samuelsson, Zetterberg and Kronwall had 1 hit.
Giveaways: Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Weiss and Franzen had 2 giveaways apiece; Smith, Abdelkader, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 1 giveaway.
Takeaways: Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Zetterberg, Weiss and Franzen had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: Abdelkader and Kronwall blocked 2 shots; Miler and Cleary blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Abdelkader, Weiss and Franzen took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: the team finished at a collective -11. Weiss finished at -4; Alfredsson and Franzen finished at -3; Smith and Quincey finished at -2; Miller Emmerton and Kronwall finished at -1; Kindl, Abdelkader, Andersson, Bertuzzi, DeKeyser and Cleary finished at +1.
Points: Andersson and Ericsson scored goals; Kindl and Bertuzzi had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 22:05 played; Ericsson played 21:25; Zetterberg played 20:42;
Datsyuk played 20:28; DeKeyser played 19:29; Alfredsson played 19:10;
Quincey played 18:41; Franzen played 18:05; Kindl played 17:39;
Smith played 17:32; Weiss played 17:16; Abdelkader played 15:40;
Andersson played 13:30; Cleary played 12:57; Bertuzzi played 12:16;
Miller played 11:25; Emmerton played 9:22; Samuelsson played 7:03.
In the prospect department: In Sweden, Mattias Janmark scored a goal in AIK Stockholm's 3-1 loss to Vaxjo;
Mattias Backman played 20:52 in Linkopings HC's 4-3 loss to Modo;
On this side of the pond, in the QMJHL, Phillipe Hudon didn't register a point in the Victoriaville Tigres' 2-1 win over Gatineau;
In the OHL, Andreas Athanasiou had an uncharacteristic performance in the Barrie Colts' 2-1 loss to Oshawa, fighting instead of registering a point;
And Zach Nastasiuk finished at -2 and had 4 penalty minutes in the Owen Sound Attack's 7-2 loss to Niagara.
Red Wings notebooks: You don't know him, but the Red Wings know him, and the Albany Times-Union's Pete Dougherty explains why AHL Hall of Fame inductee Bill Dineen's important to Detroit:
Longtime Adirondack Red Wings coach Bill Dineen is one of four people selected for induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2014, the AHL announced today.
Joining Dineen as the ninth group of enshrinees are Al MacNeil, Bob Perreault and John Slaney. The class will be honored as part of the festivities for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic on Feb. 12 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Dineen’s career included two turns in the American Hockey League — first as a player, then as a coach.
A native of Arvida, Quebec., he played five seasons in the NHL and won two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings before making his AHL debut with the Buffalo Bisons in 1958. Dineen topped the 20-goal mark four times in his six years with Buffalo, Cleveland, Rochester and Quebec, and made appearances in the Calder Cup Finals in 1959 and 1964.
Dineen turned to coaching and won championships in both the Western Hockey League and the World Hockey Association before returning to the AHL as Adirondack head coach in 1983. In six seasons behind the bench in Glens Falls, he won the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach in 1985 and 1986, and he led the A-Wings to Calder Cup titles in 1986 and 1989.
Dineen was Adirondack general manager in 1989-90, and later was head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. He still lives in the Glens Falls area, as many of his former players also did. His sons Shawn, Peter, Gord, Kevin and Jerry all went on to play and/or coach in the AHL.
Bill Dineen tallied 271 points in 391 AHL games during his playing career and earned a coaching record of 246-182-52. He is one of just 12 coaches ever to win more than one Calder Cup, and one of only two to earn the Pieri Award in consecutive seasons.
I'll get up when I get up and will try to provide you some coverage on Friday, but it's 5 AM and I left home at 3:30 in the afternoon. I think I need to lay down for a bit.
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