The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/15/13 at 10:06 PM ET
Update: Wings coach Mike Babcock told the media that Pavel Datsyuk has a shoulder bruise in his post-game press conference: The Detroit Red Wings' 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks did indeed involve some broken Wings sticks and a gaggle of broken Wings in Pavel Datsyuk (shoulder?
wrist?), Todd Bertuzzi (back), Johan Franzen (hip flexor), Darren Helm (back), Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Jan Mursak (shoulder), Brendan Smith (shoulder), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Grand Rapids-bound Jonas Gustavsson (groin)...
But, in the words of Mickey Redmond, "The bottom line is that you've got to play with what you've got and try to survive."
True words for hockey, life and probably some other activities, and with the Red Wings having dropped both of their games in front of Nicklas Lidstrom, and having split their 4-game home stand thanks to all of one good game's worth of play against Edmonton, rope-a-dope hockey against Los Angeles and then losses to St. Louis and now Anaheim--with the latter two losses yielding a turnover-prone Wings team bitten by poor line changes, poor decisions on set plays, and efforts in which the team fired more pucks into opposing players or wide of the net than they did at the opposing goalie...
Injuries can only explain the poor decision-making, the lack of confidence with which the Wings have played and their plain old inefficient, self-defeating style of play against teams whose check-and-trap styles can be defeated by playing smarter than one's opponent.
Now the Wings, who received fine performances from Drew Miller, Cory Emmerton, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson, but have watched Valtteri Filppula, Danny Cleary, Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner especially get far too "cute," have seen the terrible chemistry between Ian White and Jonathan Ericsson yield turnovers galore, Niklas Kronwall perhaps valiantly trying too hard and Kyle Quincey of all people playing strong hockey...Head on the road to play in Minnesota on Sunday and Nashville on Tuesday rather desperately needing points to keep up in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Wings' progress over the first half of February has more or less been erased by the past three games' worth of poor performances, and now a team that knows that Bertuzzi and Helm are out for a month or more, that Franzen, Colaiacovo and Smith are two weeks out, and that Datsyuk is out for an indeterminate period of time...Has to scramble and claw and plain old get its head on straight again.
This team, as injury-decimated as it may be, this team, as incredibly young (FSD stated that the team's employing six rookies at present, which is second only to Dallas' 7) as it may be, and this team, as hard as it is struggling in the self-confidence department, must, must, must play better. It cannot give up successive goals to a team that capitalized on stupid play and a goaltender left to his devices thanks to a turnover machine setting up below center ice, a power play that is just horrific and Jordin Tootoo doing dumb things while trying to fight instead of play hockey.
There are explanations for why the last three games' worth of play have happened. There are no excuses for the Wings' performances, collectively or individually, from the awful line changes on down to the special teams down to Brunner looking to make one too many passes in front of a visiting mom and dad.
Get your asses in gear, Wings. It's up to who's in the lineup. Make due with what you have.
Shots 37-28 Anaheim overall. Anaheim out-shot Detroit 14-6 in the 1st, were out-shot 16-14 in the 2nd, but the Ducks regained the shot lead in the 3rd, out-shooting Detroit 9-6.
The Wings went 1-for-4 in 6:45 of PP time; the Ducks went 0-for-3 in 4:59 of PP time.
Viktor Fasth stopped 26 of 28 shots;
Jimmy Howard stopped 32 of 36, and the Ducks' 37th shot went into an empty net.
The 3 stars, per Michigan Talk Radio's Rich Kincaide, were Tomas Tatar, Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan.
The Wings' goals: Andersson (1) from Kindl (2) and Tatar (2);
Tatar (2) from Brunner (4) and Andersson (1), PPG.
Faceoffs 30-22 Detroit (Detroit won 58%);
Blocked shots 14-12 Detroit;
Missed shots an ugly 19-8 Detroit (total attempts 59-59);
Hits 18-14 Detroit;
Giveaways 9-3 Detroit;
At least Andersson's first goal was gorgeous:
Here are the game highlights:
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted a video of Henrik Zetterberg speaking to the media after the game...
And We All Bleed Red posted a clip of Tomas Holmstrom and Nicklas Lidstrom watching the game:
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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.