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Red Wings earn a message-sending win over B’s thanks to Howard, Nyquist and the Slovaks

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!

On Twitter...

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...

 

And...

 

 
Here's Nyquist on FSD's YouTube channel:
 

Statistics:

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.

Individual stats:

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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Comments

Avatar

Amazing win!

Posted by VPalmer on 04/02/14 at 10:56 PM ET

perfection's avatar

i posted this in the other thread, but one of the best bonuses about this win is that it has to increase Boston’s effort tomorrow night against Toronto. They won’t want to lose two in a row.

Hopefully we can start getting some distance here. It would be real nice to at least lock up one of the wildcard spots before the final game

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/02/14 at 11:00 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Really pleased with this win, despite a few less-than-bright-spots. Hopefully Datsyuk (and Alfredsson) will be back on Friday, and the Wings won’t have a letdown game. Getting two more points out of that tilt would be enormous in their playoff push.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 04/02/14 at 11:00 PM ET

Avatar

Love this time of year! So emotional!!!! Incredible highs, devastating lows!!

Posted by BC two hander on 04/02/14 at 11:01 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Edzo was in fine form tonight.  When is his contract with NBC up?

I’d say “Big Win” but at this point, every win is a Big Win.  All hail The Nyquist.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/02/14 at 11:03 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

Outstanding.

Gus.. Man.. Overripe my ass. He’s plenty ripe enough.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 04/02/14 at 11:03 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Edzo was in fine form tonight.  When is his contract with NBC up?

five years ago sounds about right to me.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 04/02/14 at 11:04 PM ET

DocF's avatar

That object laying on the ice after Nyquist’s goal was not an octopus; it was Chara’s jock.

Did anyone thyink to keep track of the Bruins who were knocked on their ass after My Beloved Red Wings took the lead? 

It was almost worth listening to those three doofuses (doofi?) to see this game.

Doc, now residing in hockey hell - the Florida panhandle.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 04/02/14 at 11:15 PM ET

awould's avatar

Nyquist zipped around Chara like he was a statue. That dude is like an aircraft carrier out there…. If he’s out of position or on his heels, he’s screwed. 

Great shot on that goal too! Nyquist is the energizer bunny.

Posted by awould on 04/02/14 at 11:26 PM ET

awould's avatar

It was great to see him score after the announcers spent all game pointing out how Character had him wrapped up all game.

Posted by awould on 04/02/14 at 11:27 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

I agree.  That was a great game to watch!
Babs has them playing their butts off.

I am so glad that when they had to ice the game, they did not sit back and wait at their blue line.  They carried the puck into the Bruins’ zone and forechecked like crazy.  THAT is how you ice a game.

Bertuzzi is so old and slow you hardly saw him.

Posted by w2j2 on 04/02/14 at 11:28 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The DET players with points tonight?

Tatar, Jurco, DeKeyser, Nyquist, and Kindl.

The youth movement the Wings’ brass apparently didn’t want… is here anyways.  They just won a pressure-filled game against a seemingly-unbeatable team, and the only people with points were “the kids”.  It’s really too bad the NHL is a “mans league” and these guys are “just kids”, isn’t it?

What a weird turn of events in a way, that the “too old” Red Wings are suddenly and abruptly a young team that often hurts you with speed.


By the way… I… I haven’t heard much of anything from the Howard Haters tonight?  Eating a big bowl of STFU-o’s will do that to you I guess…

Posted by Primis on 04/02/14 at 11:42 PM ET

awould's avatar

As banged up as Detroit is and has been, it’s great to see the team grow rather than fold. Says a lot about the culture of the franchise, from top to bottom.

Pittsburgh is probably rooting hard for Columbus right about now.

Posted by awould on 04/02/14 at 11:48 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I was gonna say that nobody ripped into me for defending Howard tonight, but that would’ve been rude wink

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/14 at 11:51 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

Very undeserved win. They basically did everything wrong and still got the win, which they’ve been doing too infrequently lately (winning the games they maybe shouldn’t win, not doing everything wrong). They were horrible in their zone and Howard was putting rebounds all over the place on just about every shot he faced. The sentiment that “I’d rather see them play well and lose than play like crap and win” doesn’t apply this time of year.

Posted by bleep bloop on 04/02/14 at 11:52 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Please note Babcock’s comments—he was not a happy camper.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/14 at 11:55 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I realize how much they were outplayed but…

This team has always stepped it up when it mattered against the Bruins. They don’t scare me at all.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/03/14 at 12:07 AM ET

perfection's avatar

Boston scares me a bit. i’d much rather play the Penguins. Playoffs have different rules and they play into the Bruin’s hands. A seven game series against them would be pretty punishing. Even if we pulled it out we’d probably be pretty banged up on the other end. I think both teams are good and either would be a challenge, but Pitt would take less of a toll to beat. Also it would be deeply satisfying to knock them out in the first round.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/03/14 at 12:13 AM ET

Avatar

Nyquist is not the saviour.

Posted by loojay on 04/03/14 at 12:14 AM ET

Avatar

Nyquist is not the saviour.

Posted by loojay on 04/03/14 at 12:14 AM ET

Cool story, bro.

The sentiment that “I’d rather see them play well and lose than play like crap and win” doesn’t apply this time of year.

Except that whole, ya know, needing to win/get points to get into the playoffs thing.

Posted by fromdowntown on 04/03/14 at 12:22 AM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

Nyqusit = The swedish Turbo.

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 04/03/14 at 12:40 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Boston scares me a bit. i’d much rather play the Penguins. Playoffs have different rules and they play into the Bruin’s hands. A seven game series against them would be pretty punishing…

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/03/14 at 12:13 AM ET

Seem to recall the same thing was said about the Duhucks last year…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/03/14 at 12:48 AM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

The sentiment that “I’d rather see them play well and lose than play like crap and win” doesn’t apply this time of year.

Except that whole, ya know, needing to win/get points to get into the playoffs thing.

Emphasis added

Posted by bleep bloop on 04/03/14 at 01:42 AM ET

Alan's avatar

I’m amazed we were able to pull it off, with as sloppy as we looked. However, I’m pleased we were able to do so.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/03/14 at 04:55 AM ET

Avatar

Please note Babcock’s comments—he was not a happy camper.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/14 at 11:55 PM ET

Babcock is such an intelligent boar.  I wonder if he ever give’s any compliments to any of the players.

Posted by guy on 04/03/14 at 06:51 AM ET

Avatar

What was the message that the Red Wings sent exactly?  Boston really didn’t try that hard, had its leading goal-scorer out, and dominated most of the game.  Detroit got good goaltending, was on the plus side of the calls from the refs, and got a couple fortunate bounces (hard work from Tatar aside).  I don’t think Boston received any kind of message at all. 

But I hope Detroit got Babs’ message, that they sucked for the most part and have to be much, much better in the playoffs—whether it’s against that team or the Pens.

Posted by jkm2011 on 04/03/14 at 08:30 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

The message sent to the Bruins goes beyond last night. We defeated them these season 3 times to their 1 victory. I’d rather see Charas circus act than Bettmans gift to the NHL, Sidney Crosby.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 04/03/14 at 08:51 AM ET

Avatar

I don’t think Boston received any kind of message at all.

Maybe it’s that Detroit, whether they’re healthy or missing what is ostensibly their entire top line can beat them.

Season series, 3-1 Detroit.

The Bruins were able to concentrate their top defensive pairing on shutting down Nyquist’s line -which is something they wouldn’t be able to do if Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Alfredsson were in the lineup- and they still couldn’t keep that line off the score sheet.

Posted by Garth on 04/03/14 at 09:08 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Whatever 1/82 of 5.5 mil is, Jimmy earned every penny of it last night.

And I don’t know why Babs keeps putting blame on the forwards.  From my perspective, its the D that cant seem to make a clean pass out of the zone to save their lives.  They either make errant passes to nobody in the neutral zone, or they play catch in the dzone unitl the other team can get on top of them and cause a turnover.  The forwards have to play so deep in their own zone to cover up for the D that even when they do get the puck, they have the entire opposition in front of them to skate through.

Then throw Smith’s amazing ability to pinch at exactly the wrong time, everytime, and never come up with the puck, and it becomes a daunting task for the forwards to generate offense.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 04/03/14 at 09:10 AM ET

Primis's avatar

And I don’t know why Babs keeps putting blame on the forwards

A) He’s just so dumb he can’t help it.

B)  He knows the defense is hopeless, and instead of Carlyle/Reimer-ing them he continually challenges the forwards to pick up the slack and be better instead, knowing they maybe could, especially the kid forwards.

I’m definitely not what one would call a Babcock Fan, but B) seems pretty clear to me.  There are no other options aside from the guys he’s dressing on the blueline, so he can’t slag them for their poor play and then continually throw them out there to fail even more.

Posted by Primis on 04/03/14 at 09:43 AM ET

Bill from GR's avatar

I’ve never been confident with Howard’s play (from GR to Detroit) but I am glad to give him full props for last night.

While his play is still uncontrolled and unorthodox, and he benefited from some great “calls”, and his rebounds were all over the place, the fact is he dug deep and found a way to steal a game for his team.  That’s right, I’ll give Jimmy the steal on this one.

Very good performance, great when he had to be (stellar save on the 1st period breakaway) and hopefully gave confidence to the rest of his teammates.

He definitely earned his $ 64,600 ish game-check tonight.

Posted by Bill from GR on 04/03/14 at 10:43 AM ET

silversailer's avatar

Anybody that uses the term “Howard Hater” doesn’t understand the argument.
People don’t rag on him because he can’t make big saves. He does (occasionally).

They (we) rag on him because he CAN play like this but for whatever reason wasn’t until very recently.
They rag on him because, despite being a professional hockey player, he can’t make a 10 foot pass to a teammate. His puck handling skills are horrendous, it leads to opposing scoring chances, and he puts absolutely no effort into improving.
They rag on him because he gets himself out of position so often an lets in weak goals.

Yeah he played well last night, but that doesn’t mean the criticism of him wasn’t warranted at the time and that he shouldn’t have to improve his game.

Posted by silversailer on 04/03/14 at 12:00 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Then throw Smith’s amazing ability to pinch at exactly the wrong time, everytime, and never come up with the puck, and it becomes a daunting task for the forwards to generate offense.

bloo bloo bloo.

Smith pinched seven times last night and only one of those got past him in a way that even created a zone entry (and this won’t be popular to say, but that specific pinch, which led to the Nyquist penalty for holding Krejci, was not the wrong time nor was it a poorly executed pinch). Smith stepped up on his guy with more than enough time for the forward to get back and cover for him. Nyquist got a bit too aggressive and got burned.

Kindl got burned on just as many pinches as Smith did and he actually DID have an objectively bad game.

Static defenses which never pinch in the offensive zone do very little to prevent transition, which ends up creating more times when they have to play catch in their own zone running away from forecheckers.

Pinching is good. Embrace the pinch. Smith is good at pinching. Embrace the madness that is being ok with Brendan Smith as a defenseman.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/03/14 at 12:00 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

Edzo was in fine form tonight.  When is his contract with NBC up?

five years ago sounds about right to me.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 04/02/14 at 11:04 PM ET

A freaking MEN

Posted by MsRedWingFan from Muskegon - hometown of Abdelkader #8 on 04/03/14 at 10:07 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

  I don’t think Boston received any kind of message at all.

Maybe it’s that Detroit, whether they’re healthy or missing what is ostensibly their entire top line can beat them.

Season series, 3-1 Detroit.

The Bruins were able to concentrate their top defensive pairing on shutting down Nyquist’s line -which is something they wouldn’t be able to do if Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Alfredsson were in the lineup- and they still couldn’t keep that line off the score sheet.

Posted by Garth on 04/03/14 at 09:08 AM ET


bada bing, bada BOOM !!!! 

Posted by MsRedWingFan from Muskegon - hometown of Abdelkader #8 on 04/03/14 at 10:12 PM ET

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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.