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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Ducks quick take: adapt or die

Updated w/ video post-game chatter from Kronwall, Zetterberg and Babcock after the game at 12 AM: The Detroit Red Wings reminded us all how incredibly "young" they are, literally and figuratively, and how much trouble they've had on special teams during the course of an absolutely embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night (with the, "How many games with Justin Abdelkader get for hitting Toni Lydman?" talk out-pacing, "How will the Wings readjust and rebound?" also: Hey, the Griffins won 7-0!).

This needs to be said right now: the Wings aren't out of it by any means down 2-1 to the Ducks, and you better believe that the team lost its nerve completely--giving up some silly, mite-hockey pedestrianly poor goals to the Ducks in the 3rd period--which can be corrected...

But it's gotta be fixed fast, and given the fact that the Wings blew three first-period power play chances, including a 5-on-3, while trying to cutesy the puck to back-door plays in similar manners to Damien Brunner's horrible shorthanded flurb to Ryan Getzlaf (and Howard followed that up with a wonderfully awfully-timed poke check), and the honest-to-Gord truth is what Johan Franzen noted about his play in Game 2:

North-south is the way to go, it's the way to engage the puck, it's the way to engage the Ducks. Despite their third-period fumbles on Thursday, the Red Wings were aggressive, they provided shooting and passing outlets for each other in all three zones, they kept the Ducks to the outside of defensive zone chances, had sticks and legs in passing lanes, they skated up the ice as a team and they attacked the Ducks' net, sustaining pressure as they possessed, controlled and shot the puck--and retrieved rebounds--while getting on the inside of puck battles and grinding things out while also drawing penalties and driving the Ducks to distraction.

All of that stuff?

That's what the Ducks did on Saturday and what the Wings didn't.

After the Abdelkader penalty, Nick Bonino scored quickly, and while the Wings killed the balance of the 5-minute major, once Getzlaf schooled Brunner and Howard, the wheels fell off. Etem scored thanks to a stupid play by Brian Lashoff (and Jakub Kindl...And a lack of awareness by Howard, whose best play of the night was made when he punched Corey Perry in the back of the head), lather, rinse repeat except substitute Smith for Kindl on the 4th goal against...

And the rest was a formality.

Why the Wings imploded after the Brunner giveaway, I don't know, but I do know one thing.

The Wings were awful.

They played awfully young, but as many wise people noted on Twitter, their veterans and leaders were neutralized, too.

The line will be, "We'll put this behind us" and move on. But the best thing the Wings can do is learn from this. Review it and watch some tape tomorrow and say, "This is what we did wrong...And this is how we'll fix it."

Part of that really should involve playing much more aggressively, physically and otherwise. But playing more aggressively and more Duck-like to some extent involves playing smarter, playing more efficiently, and of course executing on scoring chances instead of literally and figuratively passing and overcomplicating things while trying to score that elusive back-door-tap-in.

At even strength. On the power play. On the PK. When things go wrong. When the team faces adversity. This team has to play better, it has to engage the Ducks, physically, mentally, emotionally, competitively, it has to be better, it has to be more aggressive, it has to want it more, it has to out-work, out-hustle, out-shoot, out-score and mostly out-WANT the Ducks while playing SMARTER hockey.

But these kinds of meltdowns happen to very young teams at this time of year, and it's all about how one rebounds from them.

You learn and adapt or you die at this time of year. The Wings have to learn and adapt.

Update:

Update #2: These ain't highlights:

Update #3: Here are the Red Wings website's post-game clips of comments from Niklas Kronwall...

Henrik Zetterberg...

 


And coach Mike Babcock's post-game comments:

Statistics:

Shots 29-23 Anaheim overall.
Anahei out-shot Detroit 13-7 in the 1st, tied Detroit 9-9 in the 2nd and 7-7 in the 3rd.

The Ducks went 2-for-5 in 10:59 of PP time; the Wings went 0-for-6 in 9:48 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 25 of 29 shots; Jonas Hiller stopped 23 of 23 shots.

The 3 starts were picked by NHL.com's Corey Masisak, and he picked Emerson Etem, Jonas Hiller and Ryan Getzlaf.

Faceoffs 30-29 Detroit (Detroit won 51%);

Blocked shots 14-8 Anaheim;

Missed shots 11-6 Detroit (shot attempts 48-43 Anaheim, but Detroit fired 23 shots on Jonas Hiller and 25 wide or into Ducks players;

Hits 26-16 Anaheim;

Giveaways 9-3 Detroit;

Takeaways 5-5.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 11-and-5 (69%); Filppula went 7-and-9 (44%); Andersson went 8-and-6 (57%); Franzen went 2-and-1 (67%); Cleary lost 2 faceoffs; Brunner lost his only faceoff; Zetterberg won his only faceoff.

Shots: Filppula led the Wings with 5 shots; Franzen had 4; Datsyuk, Emmerton and Samuelsson had 2; Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Eaves, Brunner, Zetterberg, Ericsson and Kronwall had 1.

Blocked attempts: Brunner hit Ducks players 3 times; Smith, Zetterberg and Kronwall had 2 attempts blocked; Kindl, Lashoff, Ericsson, Andersson and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Smith and Brunner missed the net 2 times; Kindl, Datsyuk, Nyquist, Emmerton, Quincey, Samuelsson and Zetterberg missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Kindl, Cleary, Eaves, Samuelsson and Andersson had 2 hits; Smith, Abdelkader, Lashoff, Zetterberg, Ericsson and Franzen had 1

Giveaways: Smith, Quincey and Ericsson had 2 giveaways; Kindl, Nyquist and Kronwall had 1.

Takeaways: Zetterberg had 3 takeaways; somehow, Brunner was credited with 2 takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: Lashoff blocked 3 Ducks shots; Kronwall blocked 2; Abdelkader, Filppula and Ericsson blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Abdelkader took a major penalty and a 10-minute misconduct; Eaves, Brunner, Samuelsson, Andersson and Howard took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -10. Datsyuk and Zetterberg finished at -2; Kindl, Lashoff, Brunner, Samuelsson, Kronwall and Franzen finished at -1.

Points: No one scored.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 22:16; Lashoff played 20:00; Franzen played 19:34;

Smith played 19:02; Datsyuk played 17:57; Zetterberg played 17:53;

Ericsson played 17:48; Kindl played 16:55; Andersson played 15:31;

Brunner played 15:12; Quincey played 15:09; Filppula played 15:03;

Nyquist played 14:36; Cleary played 14:05; Emmerton played 13:18;

Samuelsson played 11:48; Eaves played 11:05; Abdelkader played 8:13.

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Comments

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Avatar

Shots on goal will always be the part I despise most about these losses. It’s symbolic of everything they do wrong, I truly believe that. A puck possession team will be getting more than 30 SOG a game, easily.

Instead, this Wings team takes their sweet time getting up the ice, they glue themselves to the boards in the defensive zone against a bigger, rougher team, and they just play…dumb hockey.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 05/04/13 at 10:37 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

No change on the modus operandi. I didn’t expect them to race out to a 4-1 lead in Anaheim in game 2, I didn’t expect them to collapse in the 3rd period tonight. Again, wouldn’t be surprised to win this series, too, but also wouldn’t be surprised if they lose in 5. I hope DeKyser wasn’t THAT important to the defense that they can’t win. I hope the Wings remember what got them the big lead in Anaheim in the first place, and as Babcock noted before, simpler play, grind things out, play knowing the team has 2013 talent, not 2008 talent where they could afford to get fancy. It’s only one loss, but this hurt all the same watching this.

George, I hope you’re feeling better.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/04/13 at 10:41 PM ET

DAN M's avatar

I was surprised its been that long since they’ve been SO. That was a pretty impressive streak too.

Posted by DAN M on 05/04/13 at 11:10 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I’m thinking Datsyuk is hurt. Was hit WAY after the play several times…slow to get up.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 05/04/13 at 11:35 PM ET

DAN M's avatar

+ he won 20 faceoffs in game 2 fluffy. That’s gotta take something out of the man.

Posted by DAN M on 05/04/13 at 11:37 PM ET

DAN M's avatar

The biggest difference was hiller and the ducks. There weren’t any crap goals given up by hiller or crap giveaways like with which put us up 2-0 before we even got situated.

Posted by DAN M on 05/04/13 at 11:39 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Winning 20 faceoffs has nothing to do with getting hit behind the play but ok.

Also, getting situated 40 minutes after the beginning of the game is a crap excuse. Not from you, but from the team themselves. They deserved to get blown out, and blown out they did.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 05/04/13 at 11:40 PM ET

DAN M's avatar

Winning 20 faceoffs has nothing to do with getting hit behind the play but ok.

The 2 things combined I referring to.

I dont think I understand your second part. We’re on a different page. As usual. I was talking about game 2 and you’re reffering to game 3…I think.

Posted by DAN M on 05/04/13 at 11:44 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

You mean young D.

I thought all of our bottom 6 were outstanding.  Good pressure, played the bodie, played physical, drove the net, retrieved pucks…

Our transition *#$%@& us in this one.  I lay that at the feet of the DDK injury.  His influence on the team settled them down, not necessarily his ability.  They looked back to their old jittery selves.

Forwards standing around also didnt ‘help.  Lot of that with the Filpulla Franzen line.  Even Pav and Z to an extent on the PP.  Why the players don’t realize that if everyone stands still you’re not going to open up lanes.  You have to move to draw players.  It’s crazy that they just stand there.

Where are all the “I told you so’s” for KH liking his team?  The physicality of the series has determined the wins.  Wings can’t utilize speed because of lack of developed skill on the back-end but can’t power through the 3-man forecheck of the Ducks.

We’ll see how they bounce back.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/04/13 at 11:50 PM ET

DAN M's avatar

I thought brunner had a great chance during one of those early pp’s in the 1st. A shot I’ve seen him bury. A tough shot but he’s been there done that. He hesitated ever so slightly and didn’t score. Looked uncomfortable not being on the pt cuz of samuelsson. Then they put brunner back on the pt. He’s carrying it up. Hesitated ever so slightly. Meet getzlaf. Game over.

Posted by DAN M on 05/04/13 at 11:52 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I’m really, really disappointed in DET’s vets.

Datsyuk to a lesser extent, but Z, Fil, Cleary, Franzen somewhat.  None of those guys got on the board at all tonight.  That just can’t happen.

I think it’s sad that the kids have had to carry this team as much as they have.  If there’s hell to pay this offseason, the top six vets should be the ones to catch it.  It’s not the fault of guys like Eaves, Miller (though he’s out right now), etc.

I really wish Pavel or Z would stand up though and publicly admit a failure.  The kids need that I think.  I don’t know that any of them can or will though.  I don’t know if they have anything left in the tank this season either.

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 12:05 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

I was begging for another quality forward all year. I love abdelkader’s game. Never been as high on him as I am right now. Well aside from the hit tonight. But wouldn’t we all have agreed Jagr would have been awesome. Someone like that. Even Brad Boyes I would have welcomed. For 1 year, 1 million like he got from NYI. What’s the hurt?

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 12:08 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Well, this might be the wine talking, but that was some pretty uninspired hockey. 


Could someone give me a good reason why Sammy should see another minute of ice time for the rest of the year?

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/05/13 at 12:11 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

What about next year Figaro for Sammy?  Would u amnesty him?  There’s pro’s and cons to being agressive with these 2 amnesites.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 12:14 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Could someone give me a good reason why Sammy should see another minute of ice time for the rest of the year?

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/05/13 at 12:11 AM ET

To be perfectly blunt, does it really matter if it’s Sammy or Bert?  Neither of them seem to be able to be make anything happen.  And it’s going to have to be one of them, DET can’t put anyone else in.

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 12:17 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

Dress 7 defensemen. Carlo couldn’t have made the pp any less disapointing tonight. He’s making shouldn’t be healthy scratched get something out this guy we’re paying him solid bucks thru next year money. Special teams have been the key in every game so far. M.A. Bergeron 7th dman in TB that one year. Really only a fringe 5 on 5’er/ pp specialist.  Carlo there.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 12:22 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

Just awful by everyone on the team.  Just got home from the game, and it was just pathetic.  They couldn’t connect on a 6 foot pass all night, and they gave up after the Brunner gaff.  I’m not sure they even attempted a shot on goal on the 5 on 3.  Every powerplay was the same:  if we can’t get a backdoor slam dunk we’re not going to shoot.  Problem was no one without the puck ever skated, so no one was ever open.  I don’t know how you come home after an emotional OT win and play like absolute garbage, but they managed it.  Shame was Anaheim didn’t play any better than the Wings thru the 1st 2 periods.  But like I said, they gave up after the shorty.

Lastly, I need to say I’m about done with Kronwall.  He’s supposed to be a puck moving defenseman, but somewhere along the line he’s completely lost the ability to execute a single pass or shot without it hitting an opposing player 4 feet away.  And it’s every time, every game.  He turns every scoring chance into either a complete waste, or worse, a chance going the other way.  We desperately needed him to step up this year, and he’s regressed.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 12:23 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

Kronwall needs help. We didn’t offer Ryan Suter what we did for nothing. Ericsson is serviceable but more is needed.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 12:27 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

I bet Holland does nothing splashy this offseason again while we wait on Datsyuk like we waited on Lidstrom. It will be another year full of growing pains. But hey we’ll prolly keep the streak alive again. I’m really interested on the RFA statuses of Andersson, Kindl, Smith and Nyqvist. Arbitration anyone?

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 12:31 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

If we do sign Filppula that cap money we have free is cut in half.  Thanks Edmonton for jacking up prices by signing Hemsky for 5 million. And also ty Calgary for overpaying Hudler and overpaying Wideman.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 12:35 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

Hopefully FA’s will like the idea of us out East vs us going across the country half the year. That was a big part of no one wanting to come here.  + Holland won’t just dole out outrageous deals like most of these other lunatic GM’s will.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 12:39 AM ET

Avatar

brunner must have watched some old tape of lilja. oh no, that was selanne lilja gave it away to. maybe next time. hope abdelkader doesn’t get the gryba treatment, but seeing how lydman needed help getting off the ice, he should at least get a game, maybe two. explain to me how the ref literally right next to the play calls nothing, yet abdelkader ends up with a 5 min.

Posted by tbuhg on 05/05/13 at 12:48 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

I swear I remember having this argument with the tigers recently. Ump didn’t call something who was standing right there and they all conversed and ended up changing it. Leyland stormed out saying I’ve never seen shit like that happen ever. Can’t remember exactly what is was…

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 12:51 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

It was last year involving the orioles buck showalter, mark reynolds and jhonny peralta safe at 1st.  Yes yes.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 12:57 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Yeah, Kronner has the “Weight of Lidstrom” on his shoulders and the “We don’t want you to play like Lidstrom” talks have not connected with him. He is trying waaaaaaaaaaayyyyy too hard right now.  What we need is Kronner to play like Kronner and let the Lidstrom-Gap simply exist. You’ll never fill it, just do the best you can with what you’ve got. (The Bruins have yet to fill the Orr-Gap, plus they are also stuck with a Bourque-Gap, but their D-men simply go out an play their game. So far, they’re doing ok.) Unfortunately with the “new” season that is the Play-Offs, Kronner is back to trying too hard to make up for a talent gap he’ll never fill.  BE YOUR OWN MAN, NIK!  BE YOUR OWN MAN!  It wouldn’t hurt for Babs to let him hit somebody, but I think since Kronner is our #1, Babs & Co are encouraging him to NOT run someone over do to the risk of injury/suspension.  Seriously, Kronner needs to hard-core Kronwall someone to get his head back in the game, but I just have this weird feeling like someone in a leather chair is telling him not to….spooky….

As for the buy-outs this summer…I’m not sure about Sammy.  Sammy loves to shoot more than anyone we’ve seen in the Winged Wheel since…um…Sammy left the first time…  I think with a full, healthy season, Sammy is a decent roster-mate.  I don’t think I’d buy out (a now-healthy) Sammy.  However, I thought he was a detriment to the team tonight.  Bert, I didn’t really know he was on the ice until half-way through the 1st in Game 2, but he didn’t do anything to hurt the team in Game 2, he was simply another player killing some time until Datsyuk & Captain Hank got back on the ice.  Sammy, however, I was very aware of and I thought his presence was a detriment to the team.  I don’t know what Babs was thinking putting him in with only 42 minutes of Ice-time leading into tonight.  He simply wasn’t ready to play and it showed.  Let Sammy sit.  Bert…eh….let him play if the team needs him let him play (and honestly, with a perfectly healthy Tootoo sitting there, the team doesn’t need him).  Sammy, let him sit and rest and get healthy for next season where perhaps he can do good, like he has done in the past.

Back to the two Buy-outs we have this summer:  Gun to my head, I’d buy out Coliacomachoviachoviceiconintendonasticano and The Monster.  Both good guys, but neither has been given the opportunity to build up their confidence with quality ice-time, and, given our acceptable depth in the organization in those positions, they probably have barely-played their way out of town. 

But enough about next year.  Let’s focus on Game 4 and extending our current season a little longer…like to mid-to-late June.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/05/13 at 01:54 AM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

Our captain (small c) has a locker room to corral. Period.

Posted by The Hurricane on 05/05/13 at 02:03 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

Michal Ryder, Boyd Gordon, Zidlicky. Buying out Gustavsson and Samuelsson. Gus is toxic for Jimmy.  Trusting Sammy to be injury free next year after being banged up 3 years running now. Each year worse than the last is ludicrous to expect. That’s the aggresive approach. Letting Brunner walk wouldn’t break my heart either. He’s gonna get a hefty raise and his growing pains this year really hurt.  The money he would get I’d rather pay Ryder. Someone with a proven record playing intense games in hockey meccas.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 02:04 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

brunner must have watched some old tape of lilja. oh no, that was selanne lilja gave it away to. maybe next time. hope abdelkader doesn’t get the gryba treatment, but seeing how lydman needed help getting off the ice, he should at least get a game, maybe two. explain to me how the ref literally right next to the play calls nothing, yet abdelkader ends up with a 5 min.

Abby’s hit (while it sucked for us) was “at the head” and, unfortunately, warranted a penalty.  5 Minutes?  Meh….Probably not.  I’d give it Two minutes.  But, it was a head shot and should have been penalized.  It changed nothing as they scored in the first two minutes, anyhoo.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Abby and have been a fan of his since I used to watch him play in Cedar Rapids, but it was a high hit and was mostly-correctly called (as opposed to the hit in Montreal, but that’s another discussion raspberry

As for the Refs, someone on TV recently (maybe Ken Daniels?) tried to explain that the Ref behind the net is, by rule, required to look at one section of the ice, while the Center Ice ref, is looking at a different part of the zone…which explains (while maddening to us) why the Center Ice Ref makes calls on some plays deep in the zone while the close Ref does nothing.  Nutty, but designed by the Powers-That-Be in Toronto.

I think George brought up how much he hated Brunner at the Point on the Power Play a while ago and many of us agreed.  Sadly, this is not the first time something has happened which brought us back to the “Why is a rookie forward (often Brunner) manning the Point on the Power Play” argument.  I’m not opposed to a forward with a booming shot and offensive vision on the PP Point (Sammy has filled this role in the past nicely), but Brunner has neither the Booming Shot nor the Defensive Chops to man that position.  George, once again, is proven correct.

 

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/05/13 at 02:08 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Letting Brunner walk wouldn’t break my heart either.

Admittedly, if Brunner left for greener pastures, I’d be sad, but I’d wish him well and not look back.  He’s a good player, but I don’t know if we’d be a worse team without him. 

But as I’ve said. That’s this summer.  We’ve still got Spring to worry about.  Let’s go boys, let’s even this series at 2-2!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/05/13 at 02:10 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

You can tell from Babs comments (he defends Abby) that he really likes what Abby brings to the top line.

Posted by w2j2 on 05/05/13 at 02:14 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

We’re gonna win game 4. This wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Easter sunday we were absolutely torn limb from within 4 mins. I didn’t see anything close to that. We had every opportunity in the world to win this game or at least frickin score before the whole business with Abby even occured. We beat ourselves. They didn’t beat us.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 02:14 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

Just play every power play going forward like its OT and you just blew a 3 goal lead in half a period. We’ll be fine. Oh and scratch Quincey for Colaiacovo. 15 mins for a guy we gave up a 1st rd pick for. I swear that’s gotta eat at holland.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 02:20 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

Even Zidlicky isn’t worth a 1st rd pick and he woulda aided our endeaver about 8 million times better than KQ.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 02:23 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Heh…this team has been like this all year and now it’s Zetterberg’s fault.

Ha. You guys are amusing.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 05/05/13 at 02:43 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

Gretzky himself reaped praise on Zetterberg. Get him Kurri to play with and it’ll be a different story. Jagr!!!

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 02:51 AM ET

DAN M's avatar

You’d think some glitzy FA would wanna take a spin on the DRW East , yes?  Or we can just sign Kessel and Giroux in a couple years. Or Jagr or Ryder now.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 02:56 AM ET

markierer's avatar

I was really disapointed after I woke up this morning. I went to bed before the second period and I was optimistic about the 0:0 after the first. At my point of view the wings should had at least a two goal lead after the first 20 minutes. But the wisdom “If you don’t score you get them” is always an a..hole. Abbys penalty, Brunners fault and the inefficient veterans are the evidence.

But it doesn’t matter whether the game was 0:1, 0:4 or 0:10. The next will be the 2:2.
And this afternoon the soft undersized swiss are going to beat “nhl” canada at the worlds. I can’t live with two losses in 24h.

Posted by markierer on 05/05/13 at 06:46 AM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Sammy in after Bert played his first game back from injury also??? Who next Babs, Larry Murphy coming out of retirement to replace Dekeyser?. Go raid a hospital why don’t you Babs, jeez. Plenty of people in beds there that are about to be released.

The Ducks are physically brutalizing our team and Babs has Tootoo as a healthy scratch, wtf!

The Abdelkader hit was bad decision but it appeared he may have tried to target the body first at least.

PP sucked
PK sucked
The Mule made no deke on Hiller and his breakaway, sigh.

This team should of lost by a lot more.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 05/05/13 at 08:21 AM ET

Avatar

Thank goodness for Nabokov.  If not for him Howard would have the worst goalie line of any goalie in the playoffs.

Look, losing anybody makes the team weaker.  Obviously.  Having Dekeyser go out was a blow, but trying to place the blame for last night in any real way on that is, IMO, really silly.

Detroit’s skaters had the game on their sticks in the first period and didn’t capitalize, and Detroit had the game within reach late but Howard couldn’t even come close to shutting the door. Or even holding it moderately less than blow’d wide-ass open.

In the new NHL if your best players aren’t playing better than the other teams best players, you’re going to lose.  That sounds trite, and to a certain extent it is.  It’s also more true today than it ever has been.

10-15 years ago if Detroit’s first line wasn’t getting it done they’d throw out the Russian 5.  Or that 4th line with Larionov and Robitaille.  Or that third line with Lapointe.  The cap means that stuff is no longer an option.  There is now next to no recourse for a team if their ‘stars’ aren’t getting it done.

Datsyuk.  No goals.  1 ES point.
Zetterberg.  No goals. No ES points.
Kronwall.  No goals.  No points.
Howard.  3.33 GAA, .885 save%.

The best two forwards, the best dman and the best goalie on the team have been a burning bag of bleep so far.

Danny freaking Dekeyser could be totally healthy and a combination of Ray Bourque, Nick Lidstrom and Bobby bleeping Orr and they’d still be down 1 to 2 in this series with the aforementioned 4 guys not doing bleep all to help.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/05/13 at 09:10 AM ET

OnlyWings's avatar

First off I am not a fan of Samuelsson but Bert, Sammy and Lashoff haven’t played any real hockey in a month and some cases 3 months.  Putting them in the lineup and expecting them to be in game shape, in the playoffs yet, is not going to happen.  Wings have no depth at forward and the Griffins are moving to the 2nd Round.

If you look at the Ducks scratches compared to the Wings it is apparent their farm team must be done from the playoffs.

I think the Wings are back in MUST WIN territory with huge holes in the lineup.  DeKeyser, Aby (yes I think he will be suspended 2-3 games) and no one on the roster to replace them.  No big body on the Top 6 will be “Hit Z and Pav hard and often” for the Ducks.

1st Period PP fiasco came back and bit them, IMO. The only reason Sammy was chosen over Tootoo/Bert was for the point on the PP, doomed idea.

So Monday will have (2 of Bert/Tootoo/Sammy)  in the lineup unless there is a healthy sitting Forward I am missing?  For the D I have no idea what Babs will do but I would bet White will not be in the mix.

Must win Monday whoever is in the lineup.

Posted by OnlyWings on 05/05/13 at 09:20 AM ET

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About The Malik Report

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.