The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/17/13 at 10:58 PM ET
I understand that the Red Wings had eight "regular" players absent and nine once Kyle Quincey boneheadedly boarded Ryan Getzlaf, but watching Tomas Jurco's first NHL goal give way to five Ducks goals--after Mike Babcock went out of his way to state that the Wings couldn't race Anaheim to 5 goals--yielded what I would argue is the lowest point of the Red Wings' season, and what I hope remains as such, in the form of a 5-2 loss to the Ducks.
Plain and simple, the Wings were awful. They killed 3:25 of the Quincey major and killed every other Ducks penalty, but Gustavsson (who was ran by Selanne prior to the first goal; it was uncalled) gave up 3 ugly goals in which he received no help whatsoever from a Wings defense corps standing around as the Ducks cycled it down low and slid pucks into the net, and Mrazek surrendered what ended up being the dagger on his first shot against.
The Wings at least managed to play with some structure and persistence at points, but Pavel Datsyuk does indeed look like he's re-learning how to play fearlessly after returning from a concussion, Daniel Alfredsson, Todd Bertuzzi and Niklas Kronwall were trying far too hard to force things, Daniel Cleary's desire to keep his job (see: the last-2-minutes goal actually capping off a surprisingly superb effort from #71) resulted in penalties against, and neither the call-ups nor the "support" players were very good.
If anything, Mrazek's saves after the game was 5-1 and the Wings' few attempts to actually play simple hockey and drive to the net were the "highlights" of the effort of a team that's now 5-9-and-6 at the Joe and has won 2 in 16 at JLA (and the Wings haven't won in 6 games anywhere, either, going 0-4-and-2).
Any way you slice it, regardless of the roster complications, it's simply unacceptable to continue losing like this at home, and the Red Wings need to take this loss to last year's first round foe--a first round foe that jumped all over Detroit and kept kicking when the Wings were down--and turn it into the kind of teachable moment that results in a literal refresher and/or breath of fresh air during tomorrow's outdoor practice at Comerica Park (doors open at 11 for the noon practice, Gate D will be open and parking is $6) and strong performances against the Flames on Thursday, in Toronto on Saturday and against the Islanders on Monday.
There simply is no margin for error in the Wings' record or schedule to come, and if the Wings have to call up Almquist or Ouellet, if they have to call up another forward, if they're playing the entire Griffins roster or if they're icing one of their Alumni Showdown rosters, regardless of the team's personnel (and regardless of those damn HBO cameras), the Wings have to represent themselves and the people who pay to watch them much, much better after tonight's effort.
We are all "owed" after this one, and we've been "owed" for a while. It's up to the Wings to ensure that Thursday represents the first "lump sum" payment of something that's more than coal.
We've gotten enough efforts "representing decayed plant matter placed underneath tremendous pressure over time" for an entire 82-game season already. It's time to turn the ship around, and it's up to the "guys in the room," whoever they may be, and the coaching staff to finally shake the shit out of their systems and to get back to the business of playing like the Detroit Red Wings are rightfully expected to play...
Way, way, way *#$%@& better than they did during tonight's shitstorm's worth of self-inflicted wounds.
Shots 30-18 Anaheim overall. Anaheim out-shot Detroit 12-5 in the 1st, 10-7 in the 2nd and 8-6 in the 3rd.
Special teams: Anaheim went 0-for-3 in 7:05 of PP time; Detroit went 0-for-2 in 2:05.
Goaltending: Jonas Hiller stopped 28 of 30 shots; Jonas Gustavsson stopped 8 of 11; Petr Mrazek stopped 17 of 19.
The 3 stars were picked by Michgian Radio's Rich Kincaide, and he picked Tomas Jurco, Corey Perry and Andrew Cogliano.
The Wings' goal: Jurco (1) from Miller (4) and Quincey (4).
Faceoffs 29-25 Detroit (Detroit won 54%);
Blocked shots 13-7 Detroit;
Missed shots 9-7 Anaheim (total attempts 52-32 Anaheim);
Hits 23-10 Detroit;
Giveaways 10-5 Detroit;
Takeaways 9-4 Detroit.
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 12-and-5 (71%); Glendening went 5-and-6 (45%); Andersson went 5-and-6 (45%); Sheahan went 6-and-3 (67%); Tatar went 1-and-2 (33%); Eaves went 0-and-2; Miller lost his only faceoff.
Shots: Kindl, Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Eaves, Tatar, Samuelsson, Bertuzzi and Cleary had 2 shots; Smith, Datsyuk, Jurco and Glendening had 1.
Blocked attempts: Smith and Lashoff fired 2 attempts into Ducks players; Datsyuk, Eaves and Tatar had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Kindl, Eaves, Andersson, Tatar, Lashoff, Kronwall and Cleary had 1 attempt blocked.
Hits: Kronwall led the Wings with 4 hits; Miller, Bertuzzi and Ericsson had 3; Tatar, Jurco and Quincey had 2; Alfredsson, Lashoff, Glendening and Cleary had 1.
Giveaways: Miller had 2 giveaways; Kindl, Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Andersson, Bertuzzi, Ericsson, Cleary and Mrazek had 1.
Takeaways: Sheahan had 3 takeaways; Glendening had 2; Kindl, Alfredsson, Datsyuk and Andersson had 1.
Blocked opponent shots: Lashoff and Kronwall blocked 3 Ducks shots; Miller and Glendening blocked 2; Alfredsson, Eaves and Bertuzzi blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Quincey took a major; Cleary took 2 minors.
Plus-minus: The Wings were a collective -14. Andersson was -3; Kindl, Lashoff, Samuelsson and Kronwall were -2; Alfredsson, Tatar, Glendening, Bertuzzi and Cleary were -1; Miller and Jurco were +1.
Points: Jurco and Cleary had goals; Miller, Quincey and Glendening had assists.
Ice time: Smith led the team with 25:12 played; Kronwall played 23:16; Ericsson played 23:07;
Lashoff played 21:03; Kindl played 18:26; Miller played 17:56;
Datsyuk played 17:04; Andersson played 16:14; Alfredsson played 15:43;
Bertuzzi played 15:17; Eaves played 14:52; Tatar played 13:55;
Glendening played 13:37; Cleary played 13:11; Jurco played 12:54;
Sheahan played 12:21; Samuelsson played 9:47; Quincey played 7:05.
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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.