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Red Wings-Ducks quick take: Abdelkader and the Wings roll over plucky Ducks

Those of you who deemed Justin Abdelkader "Log" after he scored two goals without using his stick against Vancouer, well..We need to figure out a new nickname for him.

My theory (and I hate quoting myself, but even I think this is funny)?

Justin Abdelkader had a hat trick, Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists, Johan Franzen had a goal and two assists and, perhaps most importantly, Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 34 Ducks shots, including 11 of 12 in the 1st and 15 in the 2nd--and he had an assist--in the Wings' 5-1 win over Anaheim, snapping the Ducks' 13-game home unbeaten streak (curly fries scoresheet here).

Going into this road trip, the Wings had to know that they were taking a tiger by the tail, and the Wings played all dope with no rope early, allowing Teemu Selanne to tip a Kyle Palmieri pass into the net on a play originating aaaaaalllll the way back in the Ducks' zone, at their left faceoff dot, and all of 11:31 into the 1st, despite Jimmy Howard's valiant play, the Wings seemed ripe for another picking...

But that goal woke 'em up. Howard and Smith slithered a long pass to Abdelkader, whose chip shot tied things up 1:05 after Selanne's goal, then Datsyuk backhanded a glorious board-bounce of a Damien Brunner shot past Fasth another minute-and-a-half (a little less, actually) later, on the Wings' first of only two power plays of the night, and the Wings were on their way.

In the second period, Abdelkader added two more, first on a wide side-to-side pass from Franzen--which chased Viktor Fasth--and then on a 2-on-2 where Franzen bought Abdelkader time and space, and Abdelkader ripped a hard slapper over Jonas Hiller's blocker.

Franzen capped off the scoring thanks to Emmerson Etem's skate tipping the puck he was firing in Abdelkader's direction past Hiller with 4:03 left in the 3rd, and in the interim, the Ducks did what the Ducks do: they gooned it up.

Ryan Getzlaf's fight with Jonathan Ericsson was a clear case of instigating, as was the fight where Palmieri stepped in after Teemu Selanne tried to go with Brian Lashoff--taking 2 of the Wings' 6 defensemen off the ice to start the 3rd period--and at the end of the game, Bobby Ryan worked particularly hard to get Brendan Smith to go, too...

So it is entirely possible that the Wings may have to dress Jordin Tootoo for the hell of it on Sunday...

But the game really turned on the penalty-kills, and especially on the late-1st and early-2nd 5-on-3 slashing and hooking penalties to Niklas Kronwall and Brendan Smith gave Corey, "Hey, ref, did you see that? It's a penalty!" Perry and the Ducks, and Howard's ability to bend, flex and twist but not break truly powered the Wings to an incredibly necessary win.

Thankfully, the Wings were able to both put 'er on cruise control for the vast majority of the 3rd. Coach Mike Babcock made sure to give the 3rd and 4th lines lots of ice time (and some PP time), he made sure to roll his defensive pairs as much as he could, and the Wings were still pretty porous early in the 3rd, with the shots reading 6-2 Ducks at about its halfway point, but the 3rd shots finished at 7-6 Anaheim, so the Wings tightened up and made sure to not give the Ducks much of anything going into Sunday's rematch.

The Wings need to get five or six points out of this four-game trip of back-to-backs against Anaheim, a literal back-to-back game in Phoenix on Monday and Thursday's game in San Jose, and they got off on the right foot. Defeating the Ducks on Sunday will be twice as hard as it was tonight, but the Wings seem to have gotten used to playing the spoiler's role, and it fits 'em pretty well.

Update: Here's Abdelkader's hat trick...


And Pavel Datsyuk registered his 250th goal and 500th and 501st assists, but he's telling Fox Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson that his line didn't do anything special, winning is special, and maybe they shouldn't change time zones when they come back because they're more confident and knew they had to play harder against Anaheim.

Here's Datsyuk's 250th goal:


Update: The AP, Free Press, MLive and Orange County Register have penned recaps.



34-23 Anaheim overall. Anaheim out-shot Detroit 12-9 in the 1st, 15-8 in the 2nd and 7-6 in the 3rd.

Detroit went 1-for-2 in 2:44 of PP time; Anaheim went 0-for-3 in 5:34 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 34 shots; Viktor Fasth stopped 8 of 11; Jonas Hiller stopped 10 of 12.

The 3 stars were picked by name not listed--seriously--and they were Teemu Selanne, Johan Franzen and Justin Abdelkader.


The Wings' goals: Abdelkader (4) from Smith (2) and Howard (1);

Datsyuk (10) from Brunner (11) and Zetterberg (23), PPG;

Abdelkader (5) from Franzen (10) and Kindl (6);

Abdelkader (6) from Franzen (11) and Datsyuk (22);

Franzen (6) from Abdelkader (2) and Datsyuk (23).

Faceoffs 27-25 Detroit (Detroit won 52%);

Blocked shots 16-15 Detroit;

Missed shots 14-6 Detroit (total attempts 56-52 Anaheim);

Hits 26-18 Anaheim;

Giveaways 9-7 Detroit;

Takeaways 7-4 Anaheim.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 8-and-10 (44%); Emmerton went 8-and-5 (62%); Zetterberg went 5-and-4 (56%); Andersson went 4-and-5 (44%); Filppula went 1-and-1 (50%); Cleary won his only faceoff.

Shots: Abdelkader and Zetterberg co-led the team with 4 shots apiece; Smith, Cleary, Kronwall, Andersson and Franzen had 2; Datsyuk, White, Miller, Brunner and Ericsson had 1.

Blocked attempts: White hit Ducks players 4 times; Cleary, Zetterberg and Kronwall had 2 attempts blocked; Datsyuk, Lashoff, Filppula, Ericsson and Andersson had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Nyquist missed the net 3 times; Miller, Zetterberg and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Abdelkader, Eaves, White, Brunner and Emmerton missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Cleary, White and Miller co-led the team with 3 hits; Abdelkader had 2; Smith, Kindl, Lashoff, Brunner, Emmerton, Ericsson and Kronwall had 1.

Giveaways: Abdelkader had 2 giveaways; Smith, Datsyuk, Miller, Lashoff, Brunner, Filppula and Ericsson had 1.

Takeaways: Datsyuk had 3 takeaways; Nyquist had 1.

Blocked opponent shots: Smith, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Miller and Ericsson blocked 2 Ducks shots; Kindl, White, Lashoff, Emmerton, Zetterberg and Kronwall blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Smith took a major for fighting and a minor penalty; Ericsson and Lashoff took majors for fighting; Kronwall and Andersson took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The team finished at a collective +15. Cleary, Brunner and Andersson finished at -1; Smith and Kindl finished at +1; Ericsson and Kronwall finished at +2; Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Franzen finished at +4.

Points: Abdelkader had 3 goals and an assist for 4 points; Datsyuk and Franzen had 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points; Smith, Kindl, Brunner, Zetterberg and Howard had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 24:09 played; Smith played 20:25; Lashoff played 19:51;

Ericsson played 18:39; Kindl played 18:35; White played 18:14;

Datsyuk played 16:59; Miller played 16:54; Zetterberg played 16:30;

Filppula played 15:42; Abdelkader played 14:59; Franzen played 14:37;

Cleary played 13:59; Emmerton played 13:38; Andersson played 13:16;

Brunner played 12:37; Eaves played 12:24; Nyquist played 12:12.

Update #2: Here are the game's highlights, narrated by Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond:



Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


42jeff's avatar

Wow…all that time watching Pav up close has paid off.  Nice move on the first goal for sure.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 03/23/13 at 02:36 AM ET

SYF's avatar

“I really like our team.”

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 03/23/13 at 02:43 AM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar


Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 03/23/13 at 04:35 AM ET

Zqto's avatar

How about Abstrom?

Posted by Zqto on 03/23/13 at 05:06 AM ET


Double ^^

That, more than anything else, is the danger in throwing frontrunning hissy fits.  When the team turns around and/or performance modulates the frontrunner is left looking spectacularly stupid.

The GM has kept the team in the playoffs for his entire career.  He has 3 Cups with teams he had to substantially retool at each juncture.  And 4 Finals.  Of the 19 guys on the box score last night he drafted 13 of them, despite never having a pick in the top 18.  Ever.  And the organization is so deep that he can be sans Helm, Sammy, Bert, and Colaiacovo for the whole year and a revolving door of other players off the ice for not insignificant portions of time (Fil, Franzen, etc) and be year one A.L. (After Lidstrom) while managing to keep the Wings at least relevant to the playoff chase.

And there are bleeping dopes around here actually complaining about the job he’s done.  About the job Babcock has done.

Detroit may or may not do much this year.  I tend to think not, but whatever.  For people to think that’s a poor reflection on the job Ken Holland and Mike Babcock have done in their roles either this year or over some series of seasons is the absolute pinnacle of cluelessness.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/23/13 at 05:06 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I think it’s the pinnacle of being a “what have you done for me lately?” fan.

I don’t LIKE it—it annoys the *#$%@& out of me—but it’s to be expected. When something doesn’t work, you blame the person or people in charge for it not working, and they’re the people who are assumed to be in charge.

As Babcock and Holland like to point out, it’s the players’ performances that drive their decision-making, so it may very well be the other way around to some extent, but when the times are good they’re wonderful, and when times are awful, it’s, “Fire everyone, waive everyone, promote the Griffins!”

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/23/13 at 05:24 AM ET

42jeff's avatar

Just listen to that crowd…that was awesome.  And to think they get to do it again tomorrow night.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 03/23/13 at 10:08 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.