The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/24/13 at 09:53 PM ET
Updated 8x at 12:11 AM on Monday: Gustavsson starts vs. Phoenix, Brunner back in: My goodness. The Detroit Red Wings rope-a-doped their way to a Jimmy Howard-powered 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, with Howard stopping a remarkable 33 shots--including 13 of 13 in the 1st and 12 of 12 in the 3rd--and the Wings building up a 2-0 1st-period lead via a net-front goal from Danny Cleary and a jam-job by Drew Miller...
And while the Wings faded over the second half of the second period, surrendering a power play goal to Ryan Getzlaf with all of 46 seconds left in the 2nd...And with the Ducks loading up Ryan, Getzlaf and Perry in the 3rd, Detroit was plain old under siege during the first half of the third...
But Jimmy Howard saw the vast majority of the shots he stopped, and between no longer swimming in his crease (he now scrunches up in his down-low crouch, pads splayed to cover the bottom of the net, with his blocker low and glove high) and making oodles of glove saves on Getzlaf, Souray and eventually Cam Fowler's last-second would-be game-tying goal, the Wings' resolve frustrated the hell out of the Ducks, and it helped them prevail.
Just as importantly, and perhaps for the sake of rubbing things in, Getzlaf, Perry and Selanne all took 10-minute misconducts in the last minute of the 3rd, with Perry bitching about an iffy trip on Valtteri Filppula, Perry drop-kicking his stick in frustration and Selanne complaining from Francois Beauchemin's ref-bump all the way back to the bench.
Via Paul, back on Thursday, Bruce Boudreau said this to the Orange County Register's Eric Stephens after the Ducks defeated Chicago:
"We’re not the same team that mouths off to all the refs," Boudreau said. "You can look. We don’t have a two-minute unsportsmanlike penalty yet this year. I would venture to guess we're at the bottom of the league in misconducts for talking.
"So it's not us being -- or the officials saying, 'Hey, listen if you're going to act like dinks, we're going to treat you like that.' That's not the case. It's tough because our guys are hurt. That's where we've got to draw the line a little bit."
The Ducks went back to acting like dinks as the Wings
swept the sesaon series took two out of three from the Ducks, getting 4 of a very necessary six-to-eight points on this West Coast swing in regulation, against Anaheim.
Sometimes the Wings' efforts weren't pretty, and Howard had to make a boatload of saves on both nights, but going into tomorrow's also-must-win against Phoenix, the Wings can say that they've finally made another team feel like Columbus makes the Wings feel: frustrated to the point of losing their cool.
Sometimes it's fun to play the spoiler's role.
While we're at it:
1. If you missed it, Calle Jarnkrok is coming over to play a few games with the Grand Rapids Griffins before returning to Sweden to play in the World Championships, but MLive's Ansar Khan spoke to Ken Holland about Jarnkrok's NHL eligibility, and he's not going to be allowed to play for the Wings;
3. From Paul again, here's an interesting tidbit from the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson:
If the Edmonton Oilers believe unrestricted free agent Ladislav Smid is part of their core (he certainly is, and could easily have an A on his jersey), then they will offer him a five-year contract for likely $17.5 million and get the deal done before the April 3 trade deadline.
If not, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t try free agency come July 1 and — you can take this to the bank — 20 of the 29 other NHL teams will be all over Smid because he’s only 27. The Detroit Red Wings, for sure, are very interested; he could be a replacement for Brad Stuart.
Not sure how much Smid is asking for, but $4 million for a strictly defensive D-man is likely the NHL ceiling.
Smid gives you negligible offence but he shows up every night — what you see is what you get.
“The Oilers will surely sign him won’t they?” asked one NHL GM, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
If they don’t, Detroit will be all over Smid on July 1. Smid is a younger version of Bryan Allen, who signed a three-year, $3.5-million deal with the Anaheim Ducks last summer. Both have little offensive pop, but big bodies.
Allen was 31 when he signed with the Ducks. Or, on Smid’s own team, there’s Nick Schultz making $3.5 million at age 30. Maybe they have to pay $3.6 million a year for Smid because of his age, which makes it $18 million for five years. Just get the deal done.
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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.