The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/12/13 at 10:31 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings cannot score three goals, and they are dooming their own playoff chances because of it, having dropped 3 of 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks and following up last night's 3-2 shootout loss to San Jose with a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago.
For the second night in a row, the Red Wings gave up the first goal, a bizarre back-door-tap-in by Viktor Stalberg.
For the second night in a row, the Wings tied things up, getting a power play tip-in by Johan Franzen off a Carlo Colaiacovo shot, and for the second night in a row, the Wings took a 2-1 lead quickly, with Cory Emmerton banging home a rebound for a top-shelf goal. But the Wings seemed to trip over themselves when the Hawks were given a too-many men penalty with 1:31 left in the 2nd. They stopped moving forward. They seemed content to guard a 2-goal lead.
And the Wings sagged during and after Jakub Kindl took a hooking penalty, and yet again, the goalie who kept the Wings in it was burned because his defense was caught swimming. Johnny Oduya flickered a pass through falling-down players and off Kyle Quincey right to Jonathan Toews, who tied things up with 1:57 in the 3rd.
Both teams played for a shootout, regrettably, with the Wings only getting 1 shot in overtime and all the effort and progress the Wings made in terms of pushing the puck FORWARD, skating FORWARD, shooting the puck ON the net and then RETRIEVING any rebounds to SUSTAIN puck possession hockey...
And Howard was schooled while the Wings' shooters were just as slowly and painfully over-cutesy in the shootout as they were in regulation.
That is my biggest problem--the players. The coaching staff has swapped lines and defensive pairs on the fly repeatedly over the past few games, they've accentuated the positive, they've tried to get the maximum amount of effort from their charges, and we're at a point where even Pavel Datsyuk is throwing blind passes to no one in the slot, where Henrik Zetterberg's automatically skating the puck BEHIND the net with one hand on his stick, where Gustav Nyquist is spinning and twisting himself into the boards instead of toward the net.
The Wings' best players aren't getting the job done, from Datsyuk to Zetterberg to Brunner to Kronwall to Kindl to Howard, frankly, at least not in the shootout for the Wings' goalie, and now the team has 7 games left--starting with Sunday's tilt in Nashville--and has 44 points, needing 9 to control their destiny.
That's a hard number to achieve, and the Wings...Are slowly turning into Beavis, chittering and jittering, saying, "WE'RE NEVER GONNA SCORE!" and then proving it.
At this point, the coaches can only make moves on defense. They can't swap out forwards as only 12 are healthy and there are no recalls for anything save emergencies. There is nothing that the GM can do. It's on the players to decide their fates, and the players have not delivered.
It's on them now, and it's going to be on the players for the next seven games.
If the horses can't deliver, in the end, coaches and general managers do not score goals or stop pucks. And there are some incredibly well-paid and incredibly talented players on the Wings who are not playing up to their potential, including the three men wearing letters on their jerseys and the goaltender who has to be better in the shootout--and EVERYONE in between.
The responsibility for this entire season falls upon the players who HAVE played for the Wings, not the players who you or I wish COULD have come here or we think SHOULD have come here. And the Wings are holding on by a thread.
Shots 29-28 Detroit overall. The Wings were out-shot 11-10 in the 1st, out-shot Chicago 10-7 in the 2nd, were out-shot 10-8 in the 3rd and out-shot Chicago 1-0 in OT.
The Wings went 1-for-5 in 8:08 of PP time; the Hawks went 0-for-3 in 4:29.
Jimmy Howard stopped 26 of 28 shots; Corey Crawford stopped 27 of 29.
The 3 stars were picked by the "Chicago Media," and they picked Viktor Stalberg, Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Toews.
Faceoffs 37-22 Chicago (Detroit only won 37%);
Blocked shots 17-13 Chicago;
Missed shots 12-9 Detroit (total attempts 58-50 Detroit, with Detroit firing 29 on net and 29 wide or into Hawks players);
Hits 31-29 Detroit;
Giveaways 11-4 Chicago;
Takeaways 13-10 Chicago.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 11-and-11 (50%); Filppula went 7-and-13 (35%); both Emmerton and Zetterberg went 1-and-4 (20%); Andersson went 2-and-5 (29%).
Shots: Zetterberg and Franzen co-led the team with 6 shots apiece; Cleary had 3; Kindl, Emmerton, Filppula, Ericsson and DeKeyser had 2; Abdelkader, Nyquist and Brunner had 1.
Blocked attempts: Franzen fired 4 shots into Blackhawks players; Kindl, Abdelkader and Ericsson had 2 attempts blocked; Datsyuk, Nyquist, Brunner, Emmerton, Quincey, Colaiacovo and Zetterberg had single attempts blocked.
Missed shots: Datsyuk, Colaiacovo and Zetterberg missed the net 2 times; Nyquist, Brunner, Filppula, Ericsson and DeKeyser missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Ericsson led the team with 6 hits; Colaiacovo had 5; Miller had 4; Abdelkader and Filppula had 3; Franzen had 2; Kindl, Cleary, Datsyuk, Nyquist, Tootoo, Zetterberg, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 1.
Giveaways: Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Brunner and DeKeyser had giveaways;
Takeaways: Kronwall had 2 takeaways; Datsyuk, Nyquist, Miller, Tootoo, Brunner, Emmerton, Zetterberg and Andersson had 1.
Blocked opponent shots: Emmerton, Colaiacovo, Filppula and Kronwall blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Quincey, Zetterberg, Ericsson and DeKeyser blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Kindl, Cleary and Quincey took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -5. Kindl, Cleary, Tootoo, Quincey, Filppula and Franzen finished at -1; Brunner finished at +1.
Points: Emmerton and Franzen scored goals; Miller, Tootoo and Colaiacovo had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 27:57 played; Ericsson played 24:33; Zetterberg played 22:54;
Datsyuk played 22:22; Colaiacovo played 21:41; Filppula played 20:57;
Franzen played 20:11; DeKeyser played 19:49; Kindl played 19:23;
Cleary played 18:22; Abdelkader played 16:13; Quincey played 14:14;
Miller played 13:22; Brunner played 11:46; Nyquist played 11:42;
Andersson played 10:47; Emmerton played 9:26; Tootoo played 8:33.
Update: The NHL Network posted the shootout via the Hawks announcers:
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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.