The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/02/14 at 09:54 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings were absolutely manhandled during parts of the first, second and even third period against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday evening, at times looking lost, disjointed, sometimes plain old baffled and other times utterly lazy (I'm looking at you, Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff)...
But Jimmy Howard was SENSATIONAL, stopping 33 of 35 shots (to 20 Wings shots on Tuukka Rask), and the Red Wings rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, tying the game 11:06 into the 3rd and playing incredibly strong hockey after Gustav Nyquist scored with 7:12 left, ensuring that the Wings somehow beat both the Bruins and themselves, all en route to a WONDERFUL 3-2 win.
I'm nearly speechless here--the game was just stellar, and I'm jacked up after seeing the Wings end the Bruins' FIFTEEN-game unbeaten streak...
But I'll try to be professional.
The Wings stumbled out of the game in the first period and really let themselves be ran over by the Bruins' forecheck. At times, the Wings were lucky to clear the puck to center ice, and they'd run into a wall at the Bruins' blueline, or they'd be pinned to the wall by the Bruins' players because that penalty is now apparently legal (and the Wings have used it to their advantage at times, too).
Yes, the Bruins got "Holmstrom'd," but this also happened:
The Wings were able to keep Boston off the scoresheet for most of the 1st, but Gustav Nyquist was given a chintzy holding penalty at 14:39, and just as he got out of the penalty box, Johnny Boychuk blasted a slapper past a screened Howard at 16:50:
The Wings managed to rally early in the second period, with Tomas Tatar scoring an absolutely lovely goal off a given-and-go with Danny DeKeyser, who elegantly walked across the blueline a la Nick Lidstrom, opening up lateral space for Tatar to take his pass and rifle it past Rask at 4:45:
Howard held tough despite facing 14 shots to all of 7 by the Wings in the 2nd, and the team appeared to get out of trouble despite a dumb boarding penalty Tomas Jurco took at 13:54, but Darren Helm took a very lazy hooking penalty with 3 seonds left in the 2nd...
And a terrible set of defensive coverage jobs blown by Luke Glendening and Drew Miller allowing Carl Soderberg to literally walk through him yielded this 1:10 into the 3rd:
For a little while, the Wings looked like they were certain to collapse, but Howard held the team in tough and he got a little lucky, too, and some ten minutes later, the seldomly-used Kid Line delivered again. Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco were literally being grabbed and groped in a rugby-style scrum, but the team that had used puck possession and speed to battle the Bruins' might ended up tying the game thanks to Tatar kicking the puck to Jurco, who batted the puck past Rask on his second try:
With 8:54 left in the 3rd, the Wings were tied...
And then a team clearly jittery without Daniel Alfredsson's presence--man, does he ever calm the team down--got a bit of earned luck as Gustav Nyquist and David Legwand found Zdeno Chara just coming onto the ice off a line change, and Nyquist did this:
The Wings took the lead with 7:12 left in the 3rd, and they held on, with Howard ending up stopping 9 of 10 and the Wings killing 3 of 4 Bruins man advantages despite their continued brain cramps on defense.
In the end, the Wings won two key faceoffs with Tuukka Rask out, they boxed out the Bruins' forwards throughout the third, and they really did an amazing job of reestablishing that puck-possession-and-speed-based game that the Wings need to play against the big Bruins and stacked Penguins--as well as the Sabres on Friday and the Canadiens on Saturday, if this team is to earn a playoff spot at all.
So the Wings captured points 85 and 86, and after 76 games, the Wings now have 31 regulation-or-OT wins to Columbus's 33 (CBJ still has 38 wins to the Wings' 36, with a game in hand on Detroit though they're 3 points behind), they're now 4 points up on Toronto, 5 on Washington and 6 on New Jersey...
And damn, this game was a *#$%@&' blast to watch. GOOD JOB WINGS!
Via RedWingsFeed, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff's already posted a video of Nyquist speaking with the media:
Here're the Wild Card standings, too:
Via Paul, here's Tatar speaking with the NHL Network...
Shots 35-20 Boston overall. Detroit was out-shot 11-4 in the 1st period, Detroit was out-shot 14-7 in the 2nd period and Detroit was out-shot 10-9 in the 3rd.
Special teams: The Bruins went 1-for-4 in 7:13 of PP time; Detroit went 0-for-2 in 4:00.
Goaltending: Tuukka Rask stopped 17 of 20 shots for Boston; Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 35 shots for Detroit.
The 3 stars were picked by Eddie Olcyk, and he picked Johnny Boychuk, Jimmy Howard and Tomas Jurco.
The Red Wings' goals: Tatar (19) from DeKeyser (17) and Kindl (15);
Jurco (6) from Tatar (17);
Nyquist (28), unassisted.
Faceoffs 29-24 Detroit (Detroit won 55%);
Blocked shots 11-3 Detroit;
Missed shots 10-6 Boston (attempts 56-29 Boston; Detroit had 20 shots on Rask and 9 attempts wide/blocked);
Hits 24-16 Boston;
Giveaways 8-6 Detroit;
Takeaways 6-3 Boston.
Faceoffs: Glendening went 9-and-10 (47%); Legwand went 9-and-7 (56%); Sheahan went 6-and-4 (60%); Andersson went 3-and-2 (60%); Helm went 2-and-1 (67%).
Shots: Jurco led the Wings with 4 shots; Tatar had 3; Miller, Quincey and Franzen had 2; Kindl, Nyquist, Legwand, Andersson, Glendening, Helm and Bertuzzi had 1.
Blocked attempts: Kindl, Legwand and Andersson had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Smith missed the net 2 times; Kindl, Sheahan, Miller and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Miller led the Wings with 4 hits; DeKeyser and Franzen had 3; Kindl, Sheahan, Tatar, Lashoff, Glendening and Kronwall had 1.
Giveaways: Nyquist had 2 giveaways; Smith, Jurco, Bertuzzi, Kronwall, DeKeyser and Franzen had 1 giveaway.
Takeaways: Legwand, Quincey and Glendening had takeaways.
Blocked opponent shots: Quincey blocked 3 shots; DeKeyser blocked 2 shots; Smith, Legwand, Miller, Lashoff, Glendening and Kronwall blocked 1 shot.
Penalties taken: Nyquist, Lashoff, Jurco and Helm took minor penalties.
Points: Tatar had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Nyquist and Jurco had goals; Kindl and DeKeyser had assists.
Ice time: Quincey led the Wings with 23:25 played; DeKeyser played 23:17; Kronwall played 20:46;
Smith played 20:10; Miller played 19:09; Franzen played 18:39;
Nyquist played 18:26; Legwand played 17:42; Glendening played 17:26;
Kindl played 16:06; Abdelkader played 14:24; Lashoff played 14:23;
Tatar played 13:26; Sheahan played 13:08; Jurco played 13:00;
Helm played 12:52; Andersson played 9:17; Bertuzzi played 7:12.
Another update: From the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
Wings coach Mike Babcock after the 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins.
“I mean we knew we needed a big kill and we talked right after because there’s tons of time left, we know the score,” Babcock said. “Now we had a lot of players tonight that, especially forwards, that weren’t very good for us and yet what they did in the third was they found a way to get going a little bit and guys that maybe wouldn’t have good games scored big goals for us so that’s a positive thing.
“We haven’t watched the other team play in a while, we stood around and watched and so that was surprising to me but it’s a good lesson for us,” Babcock continued. “We can play with anyone, we don’t have to watch the other team, we can actually just get out there and play.”
And, via RedWingsFeed again, here's Howard after the game on FSD's YouTube channel:
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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.