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Red Wings-Flames quick take: self-inflicted wounds decimate Wings

The Detroit Red Wings packed their equipment bags and boarded Red Bird III to fly further West an off-day in Vancouver after dropping an 3-1 decision against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, and their loss, combined with Columbus defeating Anaheim 3-2 in overtime, leaves the Wings in a particularly difficult position in the Western Conference standings--in 9th place, behind the Blue Jackets (though the Wings have a game in hand and more ROWs than Columbus), and in more danger with Dallas (2 points behind Detroit) hosting the Wings' next opponent, the Vancouver Canucks, on Thursday...

But you already know that. How the Wings managed to drop three straight games to the Flames, with the latter two games involving the Wings surrendering own-goals of the heinous variety--tonight, with Jonathan Ericsson helping Steve Begin tap a puck through Howard's legs, and then Kyle Quincey peeling away from the net and Damien Brunner changing on a power play, Howard expressing his frustration and allowing Begin to score...

5-2. 5-2. 3-1. There is no reason that the Wings should have contributed to Kiprusoff's command farewell performance as elegantly as they did. None. The Wings ridiculously out-shot, out-chanced, out-everythinged the Flames in everything except work ethic, attention to detail, intensity, effort, get-off-the-boards-ness, and, put simply, smart and efficient team play.

I am absolutely terrified that the Wings have allowed the Flames to snuff out their playoff chances...But that would be an inaccurate assessment, because so many of the Wings' mortal wounds this season have been self-inflicted. The Wings out-shot Calgary so ridiculously in this game, out-chanced them so ridiculously, and yet played so ridiculously in their own zone...

The Wings don't have the horses, folks, and at this point, I'm not blaming the coach or the GM for what I witnessed on Wednesday night.

I'm blaming the horses. With perhaps the exceptions of Nyquist, Andersson and when Brunner was shooting and not playing passively, everyone had the jitters, including Datsyuk and Zetterberg,

How can a team lose a game when it out-shoots its opponent 11-2 in the 2nd period and 19-5 in the 3rd period?

How can a team lose when it's given 5 power plays to 1, and yet ends up surrendering a shorthanded goal instead?

It's not a question of coaching. It's not a question of leadership. It's a question of execution, attention to detail, grit, heart and teamwork, and the players in which the team has placed their 21-year playoff-appearance run...Haven't delivered. Each and every one of them.

In the end, games are won and lost on the ice. And this one was lost on the ice. In potentially playoff-streak-ending fashion.



Shots 38-17 Detroit overall.
Detroit was out-shot 10-8 in the 1st period but out-shot Calgary 11-2 in the 2nd and 19-5 in the 3rd.

The Wings went 0-for-5 in 7:29 of PP time and gave up a shorthanded goal; the Flames went 0-for-1 in 59 seconds of PP time but scored a shorthanded goal.

Jimmy Howard stopped 14 of 17 shots; Mikka Kiprusoff stopped 36 of 38.

The 3 stars were picked by The Fan 960, and they were Gustav Nyquist, Steve Begin and Miikka Kiprusoff.

The Wings' goals: Nyquist (3) from Andersson (5) and Cleary (5);

Franzen (10) from Quincey (2) and Smith (7).

Faceoffs 27-27;

Blocked shots 14-8 Calgary;

Missed shots 18-8 Detroit (total attempts 70-33 Detroit, with Detroit firing 38 shots on Kiprusoff and another 32 wide or into Flames players);

Hits 18-7 Calgary;

Giveaways 15-9 Calgary;

Takeaways 7-6 Calgary.

Individual stats,TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 9-and-8 (53%); Zetterberg went 6-and-8 (43%); Andersson went 7-and-7 (50%); Emmerton went 3-and-2 (60%); Abdelkader and Nyquist won their only faceoffs; Brunner and Franzen lost their only faceoffs.

Shots: Zetterberg led the team with 8 shots; Brunner had 7; Datsyuk had 4; Nyquist and Filppula had 3; Kindl, DeKeyser and Franzen had 2; Abdelkader, Cleary, Miller and Quincey had 1.

Blocked attempts: Kronwall hit Flames players 3 times; Quincey, Ericsson and Andersson had 2 shot attempts blocked; Smith, Cleary, Nyquist, Eaves and Filppula had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Nyquist and Franzen missed the net 3 times; Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Filppula missed the net  2 times; Kindl, Abdelkader, Eaves, Zetterberg, Andersson and DeKeyser missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader had 3 hits; Cleary had 2; Kronwall and Franzen had 1.

Giveaways: Kindl, Abdelkader, Cleary, Datsyuk, Filppula, Ericsson, Kronwall, Andersson and obviously Howard had giveaways.

Takeaways: Zetterberg had 2 takeaways; Abdelkader, Nyquist, Emmerton and Filppula had 1 takeaway.

Blocked opponent shots: Quincey blocked 3 Flames shots; Kronwall blocked 2; Emmerton, Ericsson and DeKeyser blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Danny Cleary was tagged with the Wings' only minor penalty.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -5. Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Kronwall finished at -2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Eaves, Miller and Emmerton finished at -1; Smith, Nyquist, Brunner, Andersson and Franzen finished at +1.

Points: Nyquist and Franzen scored goals; Smith, Cleary, Quincey and Andersson had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 26:06 played; Zetterberg played 24:29; Kindl played 22:25;

Datsyuk played 20:51; Ericsson played 19:18; Filppula played 18:42;

Quincey played 17:54; DeKeyser played 16:57; Franzen played 16:16;

Brunner played 16:09; Cleary played 15:44; Nyquist played 15:26;

Smith played 15:22; Abdelkader played 14:56; Andersson played 13:30;

Miller played 9:02; Emmerton played 8:15; Eaves played 7:44.

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CaptNorris5's avatar

It’s not a question of coaching. It’s not a question of leadership. It’s a question of execution, attention to detail, grit, heart and teamwork

When the whole team has those problems, that kinda seems like a question of coaching.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 04/17/13 at 11:27 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

1.  Yes, Howard is to blame for that goal.  Am I mad at him for it?... no.  I don’t blame him for suing for non-support.  He’s done his bit.

2.  I haven’t been a vocal member of the anti-Filpulla crowd, but after tonight I’m just as done with him as I can be.  Shoot the damn puck man.  How many chances do you have to give before you get even a little selfish?  Jesus Christ.  He probably calls his mom for permission before sex.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/17/13 at 11:35 PM ET


I like Jimmy and this unfortunately came right after signing the contract.  He was involved in both bad goals.  The last one instead of throwing his hands up, and then whiffing on the puck.  If he moves the puck to Quincey probably a different result.  Say what you want George but I think this game does look at coaching.  Why is Brunner on the point on that play and not a dman?  All around sloppy play, could have something to do with constant roster and line changes.  Most recently not because of injuries, but by choice.  If you look at the stats you have to say who was the better goalie tonight.  I guess it just pisses me off when professionals throw up there hands an have a temper tantrum.  Again, somebody screwed up, got it, but if he moves the puck things change.  It bothers me that he made no attempt to stop the goal, not that he would have been able to, but at least make it look good.  This isn’t the best team, but to see them give games away and play like crap reflects both on the players, the coaches, and the mgt.  nobody gets a free pass anymore.

Posted by murph1jj on 04/17/13 at 11:40 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

My fingernails have very little left to bite now…. If anyone can predict what this team will do the rest of the season, that’s a far better person than me. I give up. At this point, winning 5-0 at Vancouver wouldn’t surprise me.

Posted by Bugsy on 04/17/13 at 11:41 PM ET


filppula is hardly the problem in detroit…he isnt a finisher.. he’s great at bringing the puck up the ice with speed… now J Ericcson is a complete joke..yet never gets sat down or put upstairs for anything..i guess tonight wasnt bad he was only -1… yet white gets sat all the time now..what a joke.. detroit has no better than a number 3 d-man right now..

Posted by cberth on 04/17/13 at 11:41 PM ET


I was going to say something specific, but I forgot it in the jumbled mess that my thoughts are right now.

What a season. This has to be one of the most infuriating years for a sports team ever. Has to be.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/17/13 at 11:44 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I’m blaming the horses. With perhaps the exceptions of Nyquist, Andersson and when Brunner was shooting and not playing passively, everyone had the jitters, including Datsyuk and Zetterberg,

These were the only forwards playing tonight. It’s pretty clear in reflection they’re playing to not break the streak instead of playing to win each game. That comes from above. I’d put it on Holland’s desk, because that’s not Babcock’s style. Of course, Babcock’s decision making seems as logical as a jackson pollock painting anymore, with the results to back it on the ice.

But before crucifying Howard, let’s give Abdelkader some shit for not being able to handle passes at all tonight. SO many ripe opportunities blown by 8 this evening.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/17/13 at 11:44 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Murph1 - how does Howard get that puck to Quincey with the trapezoid in front of him?  Short of some start trek teleportation, it isn’t happening.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/17/13 at 11:46 PM ET


Redux lack, he did have to wait in the trapezoid for the puck.  Which rushed him.  But the he completely whiffed on it as it passed him.  Again if he didn’t act like my eight year old daughter and throw his hands up, or at lest make an attempt at stopping the goal, I probably would’t say anything, and consider it just par for this season.  Others screwed up.  Agreed.  If he hadn’t thrown his hands up again after the goal I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it.  But he did and at that point he should be taking a little on himself too.  Just my opinion.

Posted by murph1jj on 04/17/13 at 11:54 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Apparently $5mil a season precludes you from trying to make a desperation save when you’ve given the puck up behind your net.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/18/13 at 12:01 AM ET


To sum things up -


Posted by maltby18 on 04/18/13 at 12:07 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

It’s not a question of coaching. It’s not a question of leadership. It’s a question of execution, attention to detail, grit, heart and teamwork, and the players in which the team has placed their 21-year playoff-appearance run…Haven’t delivered. Each and every one of them.

I’m sorry, but when a team is constantly bringing a dull product to the ice (and tonight was a DULL GAME, funny bounces aside) against teams that are beneath them in the standings and talent level, that is on the coaching.  There is a lack of a motivating force coming from behind that bench. I love Coach Babs, but when you look at it across the season (and not just tonight) there are way too many dud efforts against dud opponents.  That falls on him. This is his ship that is operating in the no-wake zone too often. 

A few seasons ago he made a joke about after a certain period of time, the coaching staff begins to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to the players.  What did he do to fix that? He changed out the assistants.  Are we seeing this Charlie Brown’s teacher Effect coming into play again, but this time with the big boss?  I hope not, but he can’t seem to get these guys to play 60 minutes.

Anyway, we’ve still got 10 points to get out there.  5-0 to finish the regular season!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/18/13 at 12:10 AM ET

OnlyWings's avatar

The thing that bothers me is that the Andersson line should be getting Top 6 Ice Time and Fil should go to 4th Line. Emmerton as an example has outplayed and outworked him all year.  Ice time goes on the Coach but I am not a Babs hater.

I agree that the D is missing a top 2 pairing, Kronner has played his way to 3/4 for some reason.  Kindl is too soft and crumbles under pressure, E52 is too slow physically mentally, Quincey was a Holland mistake.

Samuelsson, Gustavsson and Carlo were all that was left after the the pursued players decided to go elsewhere.

How many games has Jimmy cost us?  Less than the so called backup who is not an NHL goalie.

Z played over 24 mins (too much, IMO) and Nyquist/Andersson played less than Cleary and Fil.

I assume AV will not play Lou on Saturday so Schneider will be a problem for the Wings scoring problems.

The only reason I would like the Wings to make the palyoffs is to give the young future some playoff experience.  Doesn’t feel like a playoff team from what I have seen in April.

Posted by OnlyWings on 04/18/13 at 12:21 AM ET


this team has had a problem starting on time for 3 seasons.
collapses under pressure, either internal or external.
overplays its stars.
underplays its young guys.

sounds like coaching to me.

Posted by akwingsfan on 04/18/13 at 12:30 AM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

Not that it"s a big deal, but the score was 3-2. Another one-goal loss where we struggled to score,  gave up too many scoring opportunities and a SHG against,  with turnovers, odd-man rushes, bad line changes, lazy, sloppy play…and a frustrated goalie. Story of our season….

Posted by SandysWingingit on 04/18/13 at 01:19 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

first let me start with ... baaaahahaha i knew we wouldn’t beat calgary.

next let me say calgary didn’t really beat us ... we beat ourselves with some very careless beer league mistakes.

the reason why they happened ??  we know Babs is a good coach but are we seeing on ice the reason why Edmonton let Tom Renney go ?? Hmmmmmm

Yeah we have 5 more games to go and mathematically can still get into the playoffs but the way they played tonight ??  fat chance.

Our defence is a total joke (as we all knew it would be before the season started) and major changes need to be made in the off-season.

Kronwall, Smith, Lashoff & DeKeyser can stay ... everybody else goes.

Once we fix our D ... bring in a couple more that can actually carry the puck past their own blueline ... that will vastly improve things for our forwards.  They’ll actually be able to set up for a rush into the other teams offencive zone.  As things are now, our forwards are doing all of the heavy lifting.

Queasy continues to make poor passes and continues to play out of position.

Ericsson doesn’t seem to do much of anything besides take up space.  The day he “Kronwalls” somebody is the day poverty disappears. He’s built like Pronger ... gawd forbid he should play like him.

Colaiacovo has been hurt (like we knew he would be) and is just starting to grasp the concept. If he can stay healthy he may be useful but like I said when Holland signed him ... don’t hold your breath.

Ian White is both a mystery and a disappointment. Sure he was paired up with Lidstrom most of the time last season but, when he wasn’t, he didn’t look as bad as he does now.  Is it the compressed schedule ??  Is it Renney’s bullshit defencive scheme ??  Somethings off ... way off.

Kindl is starting to show promise. Because of his height and decent speed he may be keeper #5.

Our defence needs to move the puck and it needs an attitude adjustment.  They need at least one guy that is willing to bury someone into the end boards thats not named Kronwall ...

and we need Helmer back.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/18/13 at 01:46 AM ET

Chet's avatar

couple thoughts:

- it’s pathetic that this team is scratching and clawing to make the playoffs almost solely as a result of losing heads up against columbus and getting swept by calgary. that’s just…inexcusable.

- nyquist looked great along with anderson; they were the most dangerous line for most of the final two periods

- howard…this was a stinker for him, no doubt. what the hell was he doing on that 3rd goal…

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/18/13 at 04:58 AM ET


The idea that coaching or the front office might be blamed when a team loses despite putting up 38 shots and allowing only 17 is a pretty damning indictment of the degree of perception of some fans around here.

Good freaking grief, people.  3 goals on 17 bleeping shots, and you’re casting about looking for villains?  That’s some mighty fine strainin’ for explanin’ there.

I understand that the people who a couple days ago crowed about what a fine, fine idea it was to pay Howard 5.3 mil a year have to work hard to mitigate how silly games like last night make their opinions look, but come on.  If he can’t make 2 goals of support work even when the other side gets only 17 bleeping shots and 1 lousy powerplay… what the hell?

If Detroit’s going to be paying a guy 5.3 mil a year and they’re still going to have to protect him with 3.5 goals a night and air-tight defense… what the hell are they doing paying him 5.3 mil in the first place?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/18/13 at 05:25 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/18/13 at 02:46 AM ET

All of what you said ^^^

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/18/13 at 07:00 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

If Detroit’s going to be paying a guy 5.3 mil a year and they’re still going to have to protect him with 3.5 goals a night and air-tight defense… what the hell are they doing paying him 5.3 mil in the first place?

Dude, one game.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/18/13 at 07:02 AM ET


Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/18/13 at 06:25 AM ET


Posted by Garth on 04/18/13 at 07:37 AM ET


The Wings don’t have the horses, folks, and at this point, I’m not blaming the coach or the GM for what I witnessed on Wednesday night.

So what did you do?  Blame the horses.  The very horses you say (correctly) that the Wings don’t have. 

I’d argue they haven’t had the horses to make a serious Cup run for 4 seasons.  Nevertheless, you are right that they Wings don’t have the horses, so you can’t really blame them for being a mediocre team.  That’s the talent level.  That’s where they should be, as Babs has said over and over for the last 3 months.  It’s an obvious lack of talent, and that IS on the GM—not the so-called horses.

Posted by jkm2011 on 04/18/13 at 07:39 AM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/18/13 at 08:02 AM ET

hahaha, roles reversed. love it.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 04/18/13 at 07:39 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

hahaha, roles reversed. love it.

Sorry, didn’t get it

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/18/13 at 07:40 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Dude, one game.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/18/13 at 08:02 AM ET

Exactly.  Jimmy has given the Wings a chance to win the vast majority of his starts this season.  The Wings often leave him without defensive support (aka, having no forecheck), and he’s gotten no goal support from his teammates this season.  Was it a childish temper tantrum?  Yes.  Can you blame him?  No.  He doesn’t get to run for the bench after a bad shift like his teammates did.  Maybe it will finally dawn on his teammates that he can’t do it himself?  That’d be nice.

As for coaching… Mike Babcock isn’t one of the professional skaters on this team.  If it won’t come from within the players themselves, there isn’t really anything Babcock can do.  But this situation has more of a Lindy Ruff/Buffalo Sabres smell to it all the time.  That’s not to say that Babcock hasn’t done an excellent job in Detroit or isn’t doing an excellent job.  But in sports sometimes a coaching shake up is worth it for its own sake.  It’s obvious that the Wings are feeding on something stale.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/18/13 at 07:56 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Blame Babcock for unproductive lines and a lack of chemistry since he’s the architect of the staffing decisions (given what he has - thanks Kenny). That’s about it.

And Howard’s critics might want to remember that he’s a goaltender, not a defenseman. Just because he often carries the entire team on his back doesn’t mean his job is to do so.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/18/13 at 09:35 AM ET


If you want the big bucks, earn them.

He did.  He’s been the very best player on the team for three years.  For three years he’s been the one guy who doesn’t give up when everyone in front of him seems to have.

He got frustrated once, let’s not start requesting a buyout just yet.

Posted by Garth on 04/18/13 at 10:27 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

  He’s not getting paid for what he’s done, he’s getting paid to keep doing it.

I don’t know if you saw the other post, but here are Howard’s numbers since his contract was first reported:

28/30 vs SJ, 26/28 vs CHI, 22/22 vs NSH, 14/17 vs CGY. That’s 90-for-97, for a .927sv%, with a shutout and 1,75 GA/G.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/18/13 at 12:19 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

If anyone blames Jimmy Howard for either of those bad goals they need their heads examined.

I blame Ericsson for the first one and the entire bench for the second.

Who calls for a full 5 man change on a dump-in knowing your goalie is going to need an outlet ??

Overall poor team performance is due to lack of quality defencemen.

Poor performance from a chosen few that should be playing better than they are is due to coaching conflicts.

When a team performs this poorly, its never just one thing.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/18/13 at 02:19 PM ET


Bit of a straw-man there Garth, I’ve never mentioned a buy-out on ANYONE.  Not once.

Sorry, forgot the [/sarcasm].


Why are people so content to tolerate shitty behavior is they “like” a guy?  Do you get away with throwing tantrums at work?  Do tantrums usually get the best results?  Are tantrums usually the antics of children

Why are people so quick to overreact just because a guy wrote his name on a piece of paper?

He got frustrated.  It happens.  And he didn’t throw a tantrum.  He threw his arms up in the air because, like everyone in the world who saw what was happening, he couldn’t f*cking believe what he was seeing, that his entire line abandoned him on a dump-in.  He also saw that he could do nothing about it but wait for the puck to come to him because if he went out to retrieve it he would’ve gotten a penalty.

He let his emotions get the best of him and then, to top it off, he whiffed on the puck when it finally did come to him an he was pressured by the forechecker.

Let’s not blow this out of proportion.  If the Wings miss the playoffs, Jimmy Howard’s name is going to be about 25th down the list of who to blame for it.

Posted by Garth on 04/18/13 at 03:56 PM ET


I can’t argue with anything you said.  It was a lapse of reason by every Red Wing on the ice.

Posted by Garth on 04/18/13 at 04:58 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.


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