The Malik Report
Red Wings-Flames quick take: inefficiency, bad positioning, bad performances = reinforcements needed
by George Malik on 03/14/13 at 12:19 AM ET
The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 5-2 decision to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, and I'd prefer to not discuss the goals as much as a stat that tells the whole story tonight:
That's right, the Wings attempted to score SEVENTY-THREE times--with 38 pucks hitting or beating Kiprusoff and another 35 going wide or hitting Flames players--but the team's skittish, jittery play in the offensive zone and its awful, just horrific defensive coverage, with players bunched together and failing to "gap up" or get in shooting or passing lanes in the offensive, neutral and defensive zones yielded no puck support, no player support and either empty nets or squeaky-weak goals on Jonas Gustavsson.
At this point, I'm one of maybe four or five people who doesn't blame Mike Babcock for the Wings' issues specifically because he didn't play Gustav Nyquist with Pavel Datsyuk for a single shift. I know that most of you are in a, "Trade/waive all the veterans, bring ALL OF THE GRIFFINS UP AND PLAY THEM ON THE TOP LINE!" frame of mind right now, but I'd argue that on offense, the Wings can't seem to get jack and shit done on offense regardless of their personnel, and on defense?
Smith, Lashoff and Kindl were terrible, as was Quincey. Smith was skating laps, not playing hockey, Kindl was soft, Lashoff was surprisingly permeable and Quincey backed in, backed in and backed in on that fifth goal.
Mind you, they got no forward support whatsoever as the Wings were all over the place in the third period, playing like a mite hockey team, but when the top six can't score and the defense is a mess, this team's growing pains begin to look like--as I said on Twitter--Kirk Cameron attending a lecture about evolution.
The Wings are now winless in 3 and face difficult games against Edmonton on Friday and Vancouver on Saturday (and yes, I checked the schedule, and neither team plays the night before) while essentially placing themselves in a position where they either need to win games in a hurry, or, as Mickey Redmond said, this team will begin to need "help" from other teams in a hurry...
And regardless of who's on who's line, who's in Grand Rapids, who's injured, etc. etc., I really feel like this team might be too young for its own good, and in need of trade reinforcements of the more veteran variety.
I do think that it's time for the management to step in (and the management is more than Ken Holland--Jim Nill, Ryan Martin, Kris Draper, Mark Howe, Kirk Maltby and the pro scouts do their part as well) and help the coaching staff find some horses who can pull the sleigh here. It might just take a tweak instead of a dramatic move, but we're at the point where ANY move signals a, "You're not alone and we're gonna do our best to help you help yourselves" message toward a team whose biggest enemy truly remains itself.
The Wings can get pucks on the net and the Wings can keep shots down. The Wings can win faceoffs and kill penalties, and, as it turns out, score on the power play on the road. The Wings do have Darren Helm coming back in a week or two. But this team needs more, and I think that "more" is not located in Grand Rapids.
In the interim, whether they can pull the sleigh or not, the Wings should definitely feel ashamed of themselves after getting one point out of the Western Conference's two worst teams in Calgary and Columbus, and they should come out playing much harder on Friday.
The way the Wings blew themselves apart in the third period is simply unacceptable, and the fact that they've given games away like this so very increasingly regularly merits real and substantive change. The coaches can put Nyquist with Zetterberg and Datsyuk and I don't think that it would help at this point. This team's beating itself mentally, and it needs to be given a hand.
Shots 38-22 Detroit overall. Detroit outshot Calgary 15-6 in the 1st and 12-5 in the 2nd, and the teams were tied in shots in the 3rd, 11-11.
The Wings went 1-for-2 in 3:45 of PP time; the Flames went 1-fo-2 in 2:39.
Jonas Gustavsson stopped 17 of 22 shots; Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 36 of 38.
The 3 stars, per The Fan 960, were Curtis Glencross, Jay Bouwmeester and Miikka Kiprusoff.
The Wings' goals: Kronwall (4) from Datsyuk (18);
Filppula (5) from Quincey (1) and Nyquist (1), PPG.
Faceoffs 25-24 Detroit (Detroit won 51%);
Blocked shots 18-6 Calgary;
Missed shots 17-10 Detroit (total attempts 73-38 Detroit);
Hits 18-13 Calgary;
Giveaways 11-10 Detroit;
Takeaways 9-8 Calgary.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 9-and-9 (50%); Zetterberg went 3-and-7 (30%); Emmerton went 6-and-2 (75%); Andersson went 3-and-4 (43%); Cleary went 1-and-2 (33%); Filppula went 3-and-0 (100%);
Shots: Zetterberg and Franzen led the team with 6 shots; Filppula had 4; Abdelkader and Nyquist had 3; Miller, Brunner, Emmerton and Quincey had 2; Kindl, Datsyuk, Eaves, Lashoff and Kronwall had 1.
Blocked attempts: Brunner hit Flames players 4 times; Kindl had 3 attempts blocked; Abdelkader, Emmerton and Zetterberg had 2 attempts blocked; Smith, Datsyuk, Eaves, Quincey and Kronwall had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Franzen missed the net 3 times; Abdelkader, Emmerton and Zetterberg missed the net 2 times; Kindl, Cleary, Datsyuk, Nyquist, Brunner, Quincey, Filppula, Ericsson and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Ericsson led the team with 3 hits; Abdelkader, Eaves and Franzen had 2; Kindl, Cleary, Miller and Andersson had 1.
Giveaways: Smith had 4 giveaways; Kindl, Datsyuk, Emmerton, Zetterberg, Filppula, Andersson and Nyquist had 1.
Takeaways: Filppula and Franzen had 2 takeaways; Cleary, Datsyuk, Nyquist and Ericsson had 1.
Blocked shots: Datsyuk and Lashoff blocked 2 Flames shots; Quincey and Ericsson blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Smith and Abdelkader took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -15. Kindl, Lashoff, Brunner and Quincey finished at -2; Smith, Datsyuk, Eaves, Miller, Emmerton, Zetterberg, Filppula and Franzen finished at -1; Kronwall finished at +1.
Points: Filppula and Kronwall scored goals; Datsyuk, Nyquist and Quincey had assists.
Ice time: Ericsson led the team with 23:06 played; Kronwall played 21:49; Quincey played 20:31;
Datsyuk played 20:06; Franzen played 19:23; Smith played 18:15;
Kindl played 17:15; Zetterberg played 17;10; Abdelkader played 16:45;
Lashoff played 16:40; Brunner played 16:12; Filppula played 15:51;
Miller played 14:01; Emmerton played 12:38; Cleary played 12:28;
Nyquist played 12:12; Andersson played 11:46; Eaves played 10:40.
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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.