The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/28/14 at 09:43 PM ET
Oh, boy. Where do I start?
It was better than the State of the Union and its rebuttal?
The Red Wings just laid an absolute egg en route to a 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, looking like a rudderless team minus Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen (and Jimmy Howard not in net, Cory Emmerton and Stephen Weiss also injured, Todd Bertuzzi still scratched, etc. etc.), but the beating came while the Wings were down 3 goalposts and a crossbar, too.
The Wings' power play was a parody of drop-passes and "only the defenseman can shoot the puck" shenanigans--when the Los Angeles Kings East in terms of their style of play were called for penalties on a night where the refs were incredibly inconsistent on both sides and both sides committed all sorts of restraining fouls--defensemen made awful pinches (Niklas Kronwall, I'm looking at you), the "kids" struggled like nobody's business, the "vets" followed, and so did the goaltender.
Some stats stand out: Jonathan Ericsson was -4, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar were -2, Luke Glendening and Daniel Cleary were -2, and the Red Wings fired 33 shots on
Chris Steve Mason, fired 20 into Flyers players and 12 wide (that's 32 more attempts), and between the 9 giveaways and 7 Flyers takeaways, that's 16 times that the Wings were in puck battles and the Flyers came up with the puck.
On a night where the national discussion will involve disparities between parties, the mistakes were spread evenly and equitably among all parties involved, the old, the young, the offensive, the defensive, the promising and the struggling, the infuriatingly predictable as well as the surprisingly steady, and...
The team gave a Wild Card playoff spot opponent a fine opportunity to polish its game while building a polished something-else of an effort.
The Red Wings will say that they were banged-up and worn down, and that's true, and they will say that this game, like Sunday's loss to Florida, has to be forgotten quickly, but I really do believe that this game is the kind of game that needs to be gone through by video coach Keith McKittrick in order to offer some very evident, "THIS IS HOW YOU DON'T DO PLAY X" examples.
In the early going, the Wings were being held in by Gustavsson and denied by goalposts; by the end, the occasional flourish while shorthanded was cold comfort.
You can't win every must-win game, but the way in which you get your ass handed to you some nights stings, and I hope this game remains in the Wings' memories as one to not allow to happen again this season.
I can hope, right?
Statistics--perhaps to be taken with a grain of salt:
Shots 33-28 Detroit overall. Detroit was out-shot 8-7 in the 1st period, was out-shot 12-10 in the 2nd and surprisingly out-shot Philly 16-8 in the 3rd.
Special teams: The Red Wings went 0-for-4 in 8:00 of PP time; the Flyers went 1-for-2 in 2:24 of PP time.
Goaltending: Jonas Gustavsson stopped 23 of 28 shots for Detroit; Steve Mason stopped 33 of 33 shots for Philadelphia.
The CSN Philadelphia's Steve Coates picked the 3 stars, and he picked Claude Giroux, Steve Mason and Scott Fartsmell, I mean Hartnell.
Faceoffs 28-24 Detroit (Detroit won 54%);
Blocked shots 20-9 Philadelphia;
Hits 36-23 Philadelphia;
Giveaways 9-3 Detroit;
Takeaways 7-4 Philadelphia.
The telling individual stat is a combined one: the Red Wings were -20 tonight.
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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.