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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Islanders quick take: Wings roar past Isles

I can only describe the Red Wings' play over the past two games as..."Something completely different" from what the Wings have delivered their fans for the vast majority of the 2013-2014 season.

The Wings have won their last two games by a combined score of 11-1, defeating Boston 6-1 on Wednesday and roaring into Long Island and taking their first game in...Ten years? Yep, ten years, defeating the Islanders 5-0, thanks to a pair of goals from Daniel Alfredsson, a pair of goals from Darren Helm, and yes, a 29-save shutout from Jimmy Howard, who kept the Wings in it when they were dramatically out-shot early in the 1st period.

So the Wings will descend into the media maelstrom in Ottawa tomorrow, hoping to avenge 6-1 and 4-2 losses against the Sens, and they will do so having played DRAMATICALLY different hockey over the past week than they've displayed over, well, really since the middle of October.

The Red Wings are playing a smart, speedy, and efficient game, and its disparate elements appear to finally be coming together and working as a real team.

One could very well argue that Darren Helm's return and Gustav Nyquist's recall have keyed the Wings' success--and there's no doubt that, as Brian's Neck noted on Twitter, adding Helm and Nyquist's speed while also witnessing Tomas Tatar literally hit his stride has provided the Wings with vastly more team speed through the neutral zone, which is nothing less than essential given that the Wings' defensemen can't move the puck through the neutral zone the way that Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski used to, robbing the team of "puck speed" that had to be replaced with skating speed...

But that ignores the fact that everyone from Brendan Smith, Kyle "I'm only -9 now!" Quincey, the disturbingly competent if unspectacular 4th-liner that is Mikael Samuelsson (that being said, once Bertuzzi and Datsyuk return, Samuelsson and Daniel "I'm struggling like nobody's business" Cleary are hitting the bench) and the waiting-to-break-out Stephen Weiss to players like Kronwall, Zetterberg, a Johan Franzen displaying the kind of hard work and every-shift effort we haven't seen since the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs and "The Best 3rd, I Mean Second Line Center in the League" have all finally gotten on the same page, and the Wings' team is playing puck possession hockey from the goal out, blocking passes and shots and issuing multiple bodies in the way of every player trying to go to the net, their goaltenders are booting out the proper rebounds and hanging onto the shots they need to hold (this was a wonderful statement game for Jimmy Howard), the team's transition game is remarkable and is no longer rife with turnovers, and when the Wings roar through the neutral zone and get into the offensive zone, they grind the puck out down low, take hits and "eat the puck" to sustain possession and control, they retrieve rebounds after they shoot as forechecking and they're placing butts in front of the opposing goalie--or simply skating and passing so very well that the goaltenders they're facing have no chance to stop open-net goals.

The Wings appear to have awakened from their November slumber, collectively and individually, and the team just dismantled the Isles today.

7:09 into the 1st, Darren Helm opened the scoring thanks to lovely passes from Daniel Alfredsson and Brendan Smith...

And the Wings did a fine job of protecting that 1-goal lead until they broke out in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Howard was superb and the penalty-killers were just getting warmed up when Darren Helm scored an absolutely amazing shorthanded goal, charging up ice, dekeing Andrew MacDonald and then putting his puck and stick past goalie Kevin Poulin, whose poke check turned into a kneeing attempt:

All of 12 seconds into the 3rd period, Daniel Alfredsson took a "home run" pass from Brendan Smith and gave the Wings a 3-goal lead via a breakaway goal...

Exactly six minutes later, Gustav Nyquist scored a glorious goal thanks to a bushelful of hard work by the Mule...

And despite this amazing save by Poulin on Nyquist, and a little of sitting on their hands thereafter...

Howard earned his shutout...


And the Wings kept the pedal down, and Alfredsson scored his second goal with 3:42 left in the 3rd.

Babcock's on FSD as I'm typing this, and he duly notes that the Wings have "suddenly" won 4 of 5 because the team's stuck together, because it's continued to do the right things, and because Jimmy Howard put in some hard work with goaltender Jim Bedard, and now the team can start Gustavsson on Sunday and go back to Howard feeling that good things are coming to a team that's both confident and is getting rewarded for good defense, special teams and goaltending via some unexpected but pleasant offense.

And now this happens:

Update: FYI/FTR:

 

Statistics:

Shots 30-29 Detroit overall. Detroit was out-shot 12-9 in the 1st, out-shot the Islanders 9-7 in the 2nd and out-shot the Islanders 12-10 in the 3rd.

Special teams: The Wings went 0-for-2 in 3:57 of PP time; the Islanders went 0-for-1 in 1:57 of PP time and also gave up a short-handed goal against.

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 29 of 29 shots; Kevin Poulin stopped 25 of 30 shots.

The 3 stars were picked by the "Islanders Media," and they picked Jimmy Howard, Daniel Alfredsson and Darren Helm.

The Wings' goals: Helm (6) from Alfredsson (13) and Smith (2);

Helm (7) from Cleary (3) and Ericsson (6), shorthanded;

Alfredsson (5) from Smith (3);

Nyquist (4) from Franzen (11) and Kronwall (15);

Alfredsson (6) from Abdelkader (7) and Kronwall (16).

Faceoffs 32-26 Detroit (Detroit won 55%);

Blocked shots 17-10 Detroit;

Missed shots 13-10 Islanders (total attempts 59-50 Islanders, with the Wings firing 30 shots on Poulin and another 20 wide/blocked);

Hits 34-12 Islanders (I do not believe this stat: Matt Martin did not have 7 hits, Cal Clutterbuck may have had 5 and Brock Nelson did not have 4);

Giveaways 11-10 Islanders;

Takeaways 11-3 Islanders.

Individual stats:

Faceoffs: Zetterberg went 9-and-10 (47%); Helm went 9-and-7 (56%); Andersson went 5-and-5 (50%); Weiss went 7-and-3 (70%); Franzen went 2-and-0 (100%); Abdelkader went 0-and-1 (0%).

Shots: Nyquist, Zetterberg and Franzen co-led the team with 4 shots apiece; Alfredsson and Tatar had 3; Smith, Kindl, Quincey and Helm had 2; Andersson, Miller, Kronwall and Weiss had 1.

Blocked attempts: Tatar and Ericsson had 2 attempts blocked; Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Nyquist, Lashoff, Quincey and Weiss had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Miller missed the net 3 times; Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Quincey, Helm and Ericsson missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the Wings with 5; Lashoff had 2; Smith, Miller,, Ericsson, Kronwall and Franzen had 1.

Giveaways: Smith had 3 giveaways; Alfredsson, Andersson, Lashoff, Samuelsson, Zetterberg, Weiss and Howard had 1.

Takeaways: Andersson, Weiss and Franzen had takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: Smith blocked 4 shots; Kindl, Lashoff, Quincey and Franzen blocked 2 shots; Alfredsson, Miller, Helm, Ericsson and Kronwall blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Abdelkader took a minor penalty.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at +24. Helm finished at +4; Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Ericsson and Kronwall finished at +3; Smith and Quincey finished at +2; Nyquist, Zetterberg, Cleary and Franzen finished at +1.

Points: Helm had 2 goals and an assist for 3 points; Alfredsson had 2 goals and an assist for 3 points; both Smith and Kronwall had 2 assists; Nyquist had a goal; Ericsson, Cleary and Franzen had 1 assist.

Ice time: Quincey led the Wings with 21:06 played; Smith played 20:56; Kindl played 20:19;

Zetterberg played 19:58; Kronwall played 19:45; Franzen played 18:28;

Helm played 17:34; Nyquist played 17:31; Ericsson played 17:04;

Abdelkader played 17:00; Lashoff played 16:52; Alfredsson played 15:37;

Miller played 14:08; Tatar played 13:46; Andersson played 12:56;

Samuelsson played 12:38; Cleary played 11:27; Weiss played 10:55.

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Comments

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(that being said, once Bertuzzi and Datsyuk return, Samuelsson and Daniel “I’m struggling like nobody’s business” Cleary are hitting the bench)

Abdelkader’s in that rotation too, and I’m not 100% sure Bert’s an automatic re-ad into the top 6.  That penalty he took today on the PP… that was one of his patented astoundingly stupid takes he throws in every other game.

How the Wings are playing now sans Datsyuk and Dekeyser is representative of what they had on their roster to start the year… and it’s why I cautioned ‘Patience and Perspective’ when so many people were calling for the immolation of the Wings front office and on-ice staff, and giving the team through November and into December to let a roster with a number of high-profile changes gel.

They still have to re-acclimate Datsyuk into the top 6, which I’m sure will piss off people if the ‘wrong’ person gets their IT reduced, but the Wings are starting to round into shape.

The scary thing is, this team still has ceiling.  Dats, Weiss, Howard warming up, Dekeyser getting Smith/Lashoff off the ice.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/29/13 at 08:11 PM ET

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One could very well argue that Darren Helm’s return and Gustav Nyquist’s recall have keyed the Wings’ success

Uh oh, you’re going to bring down someone’s wrath, because we all should know that adding a point-per-game player is not ever going to help jump start a team.

Posted by Garth on 11/29/13 at 08:13 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Nyquist has helped, but he hasn’t been “the savior.” He hasn’t needed to be and that’s hugely important. His speed has allowed Franzen to lurk in the weeds, and that’s what The Mule prefers to do.

He’s been very important, but the team seemed to start getting its groove back once Helm started playing on the 2nd line, and he’s been the biggest phenomenon.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/29/13 at 08:20 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I hate to agree HiHD, but Abdelkader could use a seat in the press box to restart himself. He was good against Boston, but he’s been struggling like nobody’s business to establish himself as an offensive contributor away from Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/29/13 at 08:21 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

Smith played a great game, not just a hard working one (which is also true). That kid has been great lately.

Posted by PDXWing on 11/29/13 at 08:22 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

Why would you hate to agree with one of your readers? You should agree or disagree with opinions, not people. But, of all the things HD has said over the years, this isn’t the one to agree with. Abby has been fine, and that cross checking penalty was really weak. I agree that Lashoff will be off the ice when DDK comes back, but Smith is staying. Q is the candidate to get booted off the top 6.

Posted by PDXWing on 11/29/13 at 08:33 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Well, I’ve been saying that I thought that a sit-out would benefit Abby for a while. I still believe that he could use a game “off” at some point in December.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/29/13 at 08:39 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Uh oh, you’re going to bring down someone’s wrath, because we all should know that adding a point-per-game player is not ever going to help jump start a team.


bwaaaahahahahaha

Posted by MoreShoot on 11/29/13 at 08:47 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

What behavior are you trying to correct by having him sit out? He’s one third of the 2nd line that has been producing and clearly has chemistry. Why would you want to replace him? It’s not a given that anyone else could replace him in that position and the line would still work. Usually sitting someone is a good chance for them to see defensive errors and get back to fundamentals. I don’t know what you would tell him as he sat out.

Posted by PDXWing on 11/29/13 at 08:50 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Well, I’ve been saying that I thought that a sit-out would benefit Abby for a while. I still believe that he could use a game “off” at some point in December

or you could move him. That wouldn’t be the first (or even second) guy I’d prefer to move, but if you get to a point where you need DDK back and you don’t have the salary cap room, ... is there some abilityAbby is providing right now that Sheahan can’t?

Posted by MoreShoot on 11/29/13 at 09:14 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

For the record, I work in a business where far too many authors so indeed live in fear of making comments that incur their readers’ wrath. If I were to fear upsetting, annoying or aggravating my readers, or feared saying something stupid or wrong—and yes, I do get things wrong—I’d suggest that I was in the wrong business.

Shit happens. Wrong happens.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/29/13 at 09:18 PM ET

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Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/29/13 at 07:11 PM ET

I knew I’d come here today for the episode of this day’s “I told you so show”. Funny, but you’ve been preaching wait until November in October and wait until December in November. If the wings are pissing away games in December I bet you say, wait until January to show what they really have. I mean, man, its the safe thing to say which is your M.O.

They still have to re-acclimate Datsyuk into the top 6… This is a total excuse if they start losing after Dats return. He’s the team’s best player and plays awesome with or without anyone on the ice. There shouldn’t be any “acclimating” to him coming back. Best scenario is Sammy goes back to the press box. His zeros in the stat columns are getting annoying for an annual 30 goal scorer. I’d be happy with a 2 in the penalty minute box to at least show that he’s showing up.

Howard warming up

What? now your on the Howard train?

and I’m not 100% sure Bert’s an automatic re-ad into the top 6

Another safe comment. No one but Z and Dats are certain top six on this team. Come on, have a real point of view.

that was one of his patented astoundingly stupid takes he throws in every other game.

Every game. huh. 6 penalty minutes in…..27 games this season. Dude, come back to reality, it misses you.

The only thing certain about every Wing’s game is your third grade intellectual “I told you so”.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/29/13 at 09:18 PM ET

Chet's avatar

BENCH HELM AND THAT 14 SMILING GUY

this is one to enjoy. cleary plainly the odd man out thus far.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/29/13 at 09:28 PM ET

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Man, and I bet that hack Babcock goes with the same lineup again tomorrow.

Posted by maltby18 on 11/29/13 at 09:42 PM ET

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he’s been struggling like nobody’s business to establish himself as an offensive contributor away from Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

He has 3 goals and 6 assists this year.  I’d say he hasn’t exactly established himself as an offensive contributor with D and Z.

That’s something I think gets overlooked when it comes to how people generally perceive Abdelkader: the guy just flat out sucks offensively, and manages to suck offensively almost regardless of who he plays with.

I knew I’d come here today for the episode of this day’s “I told you so show”.

So it is possible for you to be right about something.  This is an encouraging development.  I look forward to seeing if it can continue.

He’s one third of the 2nd line that has been producing and clearly has chemistry. Why would you want to replace him?

Because he doesn’t score, plays mediocre defense, isn’t an effective psuedo-enforcer a la a McCarty, and he takes really stupid penalties.

I don’t mind Abby as a 4th liner, which is why I suggested including him in a rotation of scratched forwards when the roster gets healthy along with a couple other guys that the team wouldn’t miss overmuch, but his on-ice positives are pretty much being a fairly physical player, and that’s it.

I agree that Lashoff will be off the ice when DDK comes back, but Smith is staying. Q is the candidate to get booted off the top 6.

The problem is that Lashoff plays substantially less than Quincey.  Were Quincey a more likely player to be scratched that wouldn’t be the case.  I’d imagine Q will see his IT reduced along with his role, but he’s in little danger of losing his spot altogether.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/29/13 at 09:53 PM ET

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I mean, man, its the safe thing to say which is your M.O.

I feel like this needs to be re-quoted in a separate reply, just for the chortle I got out of it.

Yeah… safe.  That’s, like, totally my stance on hockey topics.  Go along to get along, that’s me.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/29/13 at 09:57 PM ET

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He’s been very important, but the team seemed to start getting its groove back once Helm started playing on the 2nd line, and he’s been the biggest phenomenon.

And for all that production, until tonights +4 Helm was a - player.for the season to date… which means his line was getting scored on more at ES than it was scoring.

IMO the primary reason Detroit’s played better is that they’ve gotten far better team (now that Howard’s done it once) goaltending the past 3 games.  When you’re not constantly trading goals and/or constantly twitchy about the goalie play, lots of stuff makes more sense out there on the ice.  The more you play with a lead, the more comfortable you’re able to get with one.

But yeah, the vastly improved non D/Z scoring has been a big part of their play without Datsyuk too, whether it’s from Franzen or Nyquist or Helm.  I just hope it can continue when D gets back and the IT for some or all of those guys is changed/reduced.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/29/13 at 10:14 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

The problem is that Lashoff plays substantially less than Quincey.  Were Quincey a more likely player to be scratched that wouldn’t be the case.  I’d imagine Q will see his IT reduced along with his role, but he’s in little danger of losing his spot altogether.

Yeah, for a minute there I lost my mind and thought there were two injured dmen. Yes, when DDK comes back, Lashoff will sit and not Q.

Because he doesn’t score, plays mediocre defense, isn’t an effective psuedo-enforcer a la a McCarty, and he takes really stupid penalties.

Well, you can make that argument ,but maybe what he does do well allows the other two players on his line to score. Homer didn’t score all that much (even strength) when he played with Pav and Z, but was still a valuable player on the line. I don’t see the stupid penalties thing with Abby - as someone else pointed out, he’s only taken three minor penalties total this season (and today’s was a questionable call). (I realize that he’s played in other seasons, but 27 games is a pretty decent recent sample size). Anyway, all that is to say that I think Abby is fine and making him sit out is a solution in search of a problem. If his line continues to score and not be on the ice for bad goals, there’s no problem with Abby (at least while they’re winning).

@George Malik - I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out what prompted your last reply. Certainly no one is suggesting that you’re always right, but offering opinions is definitely in the job description of a blogger. Hell, the Chief only offered opinions, no facts or reporting at all (and was proud of it).

Posted by PDXWing on 11/29/13 at 10:26 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/29/13 at 09:14 PM ET

You’re PSH, aren’t you?

You just outed yourself. You point to +/- when your theorem was proved wrong, and then you go and say 11 goals for and 1 against (two wins) were based solely on good goaltending. Oh wait, you said team goaltending.

*eyeroll

I still saw puck possession issues, defensive breakdowns (no more than usual for this team this year), yet…the transition game seemed to be working more…so the offense is unsputtering for once…because better offensive players are pushing bottom six guys down to the bottom six where they belong.

Offense has given this team it’s glimmer of hope, not goaltending.

The Monster has been lights out since day one, Howard has been rather shaky.

Three D-men have been good…the rest of ‘em…meh…have been patch-work at best…

Which means…all of this again…leads to the offense waking up.

 

 

You’re welcome.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 11/29/13 at 11:37 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Gustavsson is a career backup who happens to be hot at the moment.  His technique scares me.  He is big and SLOW.  He give up rebounds that are uncontrolled and those lead to goals, boys and girls.  Howard has had some issues of late, but given the way the blue line corps has played in front of him, who would not have issues.

The thing I have noticed that has contributed to the turnaround for the Wings is the improved play of the defense.  Ericsson is big and solid.  He is now coming into his prime.  Kronwall has looked less than whole for most of the season.  He has played solidly in the last two games.  The rest of the crew, well, Smith seems to have had a realization that his attempts to get creative are really brain farts.  By playing simple hockey, he is becoming a very effective contributor.  Quincy also looks more comfortable and like his is getting on his game.  Lashoff is a guy with limits to his game.  The best thing about him and something that the Red Wings need a whole lot is that he plays mean.  That can make up for a lot of limitations in his skill set.

And speaking of mean, one Daniel Alfredsson has demonstrated that he has not lost that part of his game even at his advanced age.  This just makes the Wings that much more difficult to play against.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 11/30/13 at 12:50 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

I’d quote the Wolf from Pulp Fiction if it wasn’t a smidge inappropriate.  I will, instead, say that despite being of the “patience” inclination, a bit of patience should be used before crowing and proclaiming ourselves geniuses as well.  It’s important to note that the trends of the last few games aren’t all that precented.

Good goaltending?  That we should be able to count on.  Howard’s a 5M a year guy right?
Reliable defense from Q and Smith?  Please.  This will regress at times and progress at times.  Don’t expect it to stay as it has been.
Alfredsson offense?  That’s why he’s here.  It’s probably worth counting on.
Franzen resurgence?  I’d actually say this one makes sense to.  Slotting is important to what’s going on with Franzen.
Nyquist’s production?  He’s going to stay a PPG player but I think he’s still an important piece in the top six because he makes things happen.  Those things may sometimes be Franzen, Z, Datsyuk points rather than Nyquist’s points but he gives a bit different an element than the cast of the top six did before he came up. 
Helm’s ‘08 Mule Impression?  Yeah.  This is the part where we need to, collectively, calm down a touch.  He’s at 7 goals in 13 games and his previous best season was 12 in 82.  He’s not going to keep this pace up.  He’s still someone that changes the dynamics of the team drastically but we should expect something more like the drink-stirrer from previous seasons rather than the goal scoring dynamo we’ve gotten the last few games.  I’m willing to concede that time off may’ve helped the game slow down for him a bit but, or some other plausible quasi-explanation, but he’s probably not truly transcended mortal limits while he’s been injured even if that’s what it seems like now.

And, sadly, even though he’s my favorite hockey player in the world… Z is likely not going to finish the year as a top-5 point guy in the NHL.  He’s scoring too many goals lately and we all know he goes through dry spells every so often.  We also know that when the season starts to bog down for him it seems to affect his creativity (Hey, let’s drive wide of the net for the sixth time today!) and not his defense (which remains stellar).

But, hey, there’s always a bright side and when the bright side of a 2 game stretch like we witnessed is we’re about to get the best player in the world back... that’s pretty damn bright.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 11/30/13 at 12:56 AM ET

Alan's avatar

I’m sure it’s been said… or at least thought of in passing, but I think the loss of Datsyuk has forced the team to work together more, and work harder. No one can deny that having Helm and Nyquist in the lineup helps a great deal, insofar as how speedy and smart they are, but I’ve seen a lot more hard work from everyone these past two games than I did during the losing streak.

Looking forward to Sunday. LGRW!

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 11/30/13 at 01:44 AM ET

Chet's avatar

despite a great win and some nice storylines (helm’s fun-to-watch goals, nyquist again proving he belongs, howard having a very steady game compared to the recent past, franzen continuing to put up points), what stood out to me more than anything else in this game was how outrageously bad cleary and weiss looked in limited, mostly protected ice time, notably against a pretty flat or maybe just plain bad islanders team.

they played the least minutes on the team, and clearly deserved to. this is a problem, sadly, that isn’t necessarily going away anytime soon—certainly in weiss’ case.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/30/13 at 01:45 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

this is a problem, sadly, that isn’t necessarily going away anytime soon—certainly in weiss’ case.

Weiss has vastly different responsibilities with us that he did before, and it’s taking him awhile to get used to them - but he is progressing.

Weiss’ play will improve and we’ll see his production improve once he’s given a set line to play with(he’s not going to center Cleary & Samuelsson after Datsyuk returns).

This is my first year on Wings-specific blogs and what-not, and I’m a little stunned by the level of negativity during our losing streak and the general dislike of our system.

As someone who cut his teeth on the pre-Illich Wings’, all I can say it, “We have one hell of a spoiled fan base.”

I’d hate to see how you folks would’ve treated poor Willie Huber.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 11/30/13 at 03:07 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

They’ve been pretty well-behaved. You wouldn’t have liked the post-trade-deadline fun last year. You’d have thought that an atomic bomb went off.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/30/13 at 03:14 AM ET

Chet's avatar

don’t doubt it, I hope and expect Weiss to improve.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/30/13 at 03:15 AM ET

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I actually think lashoff has been showing some signs that he can develop into a very dependable d-man. DD up Q out. Lets see what this kid can do.

Posted by redrum on 11/30/13 at 12:30 PM ET

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He has 3 goals and 6 assists this year.  I’d say he hasn’t exactly established himself as an offensive contributor with D and Z.

Not to mention only six penalty minutes. For a guy who makes a lot of stupid penalties that figure sure is low this year.

I’m not sure where you get the idea that he is a scoring machine. He’s a grinder that was an experiment on the top line - attempting to replicate Holmstrom. He isn’t a top six guy and shouldn’t be expected to have stellar scoring years. Still he is on pace for his best scoring season in the NHL.

So it is possible for you to be right about something.

Bahahahahaha. Is that some kind of a cut down? You need to work on that part of your commenting. Maybe throw in a word or two that is rarely used outside of the renaissance fair. Now that would be cutting.

Chortle.

I look forward to seeing if it can continue.

Yet another witty comeback. You are certainly a third grade masters student.

which is why I suggested including him in a rotation of scratched forwards

no, you are just trying to find a space for Sammy.

The more you play with a lead, the more comfortable you’re able to get with one.

Really? Who would have thought that? What does a 5-0 lead do for the leading team’s confidence?

, whether it’s from Franzen or Nyquist or Helm

You forgot Sammy. Oh, no, he’s not been scoring.


Yeah, for a minute there I lost my mind and thought there were two injured dmen.

Yes, the use of “chortle” must have cause your temporary loss of motor functions. It should have causes paralysis in at least the five states around Indiana.

as someone else pointed out, he’s only taken three minor penalties total this season

that was me. Yet hihd still thinks he’s a stupid penalty magnate.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 11/29/13 at 10:37 PM ET

Pure brillance. But just wait for the witty retort….you’ll go fetal!

there’s always a bright side and when the bright side of a 2 game stretch like we witnessed is we’re about to get the best player in the world back… that’s pretty damn bright.

Can I get an Amen?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/30/13 at 12:36 PM ET

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Nyquist has helped, but he hasn’t been “the savior.”

And yet again, nobody suggested he was ever going to be the savior.

Posted by Garth on 11/30/13 at 02:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Given the amount of comments in this thread, I’m starting to realize that some of you enjoy arguing with each other (and me) more than you enjoy watching the Red Wings.

I don’t know what that means, but I certainly hope that your enjoyment of rhetorical sparring and debate involves getting paid for it during your day jobs.

We may disagree on a regular basis, but “Lemme Tell Ya,” as Don Cherry would say, I have all the respect in the world for a) your opinions and b) your thoroughness, even if we rather passionately disagree on regular bases.

I would like to ask that everybody please take in some holiday spirit—the good kind, not the “this *#$%@& sucks” kind—and that you please try to be a *little* less openly hostile toward each other, but I can only ask that perhaps we have one day where everybody has to say something positive about their fellow commenters.

Anyway, hope you’ve all had some fun and worked out some holiday stress.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/30/13 at 03:25 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

This is my first year on Wings-specific blogs and what-not, and I’m a little stunned by the level of negativity during our losing streak and the general dislike of our system.

Not all blog comments sections are like this.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/30/13 at 03:51 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.