The Malik Report
Red Wings-Jets wrap-up and overnight report: taking 3 of 4’s fine if you don’t lay an egg at the end
by George Malik on 11/05/13 at 05:10 AM ET
Updated 3x at 5:06 PM: The Detroit Red Wings flew back to Detroit after their only 4-game Western Canadian Swing of the season having taken 3 of 4 games and 6 of 8 possible points, defeating the Canucks, Flames and Oilers along the way...
But the way in which the Wings dropped Monday's 4-2 decision to the Winnipeg Jets, despite that game's status as the team's 3rd in 4 nights and 4th in 6, must've left the Wings with a bitter taste in their mouths. The Wings are heading home to enjoy a 2-day break before hosting the Stars on Thursday, the Bolts on Saturday, these same Jets next Tuesday and the Capitals next Friday, but winning 3 of 4 games on a West Coast swing and losing the last is one thing...Going home having laid a big, fat egg in game 4 is quite another.
The stats from Monday nigh's game are galling: the Wings were out-shot 47-28, they were out-shot-attempted by a massive 76-50 margin, they gave away the puck 11 times and allowed the Jets to be credited for 13 more takeaways, and worst of all, the Wings took a 2-1 lead into the final minutes of the second period and a 2-2 lead into the 3rd period, but found themselves both unable and unwilling to out-play or outsmart a Jets team that was coming off a 5-1 loss to Chicago this past Saturday.
As such, the Wings wasted what was nothing less than a heroic 44-save performance by Jimmy Howard, Danny DeKeyser's first NHL goal and what was arguably Stephen Weiss's best game as a Wing (3 shots, 1 more attempt, a blocked shot, going 9-and-9 in the faceoff circle and displaying savvy confidence at both ends of the ice).
This might not be popular, but given that the Wings were obviously physically and mentally tired going into the game, I thought that the absolutely stupidest thing the could have done is what Jordin Tootoo did when Mike Babcock chose to indulge St. Andrews, MB native Darren Helm and a certain Manitoba-born Tootoo opposite the Jets' checking line (via Hockeyfights):
Tootoo decided to fight Chris Thorburn--or vice versa--in what was possibly one of the most "staged" fights I'd ever seen.
Dumb. You've got a team playing its third game in 4 nights, and the last thing you want to do is to disrupt the team's ability to roll four lines.
I don't know if Tootoo'd read the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's clip about him before he went out and did things that didn't involve being speedy and physical on the forecheck, turning over pucks, banging bodies to create time and space for his teammates or attempting to put the puck in the opposition's net:
- The Red Wings are shopping Jordin Tootoo in an effort to get forward Gustav Nyquist back on the roster — salary cap issues have planted the NHL player in minor-league Grand Rapids.
By the end of the game, even Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Alfredsson, Danny DeKeyser and Niklas Kronwall looked like they were sucking wind, even though Mike Babcock did a fantastic job of managing his bench (Kronwall led the team with 23:33 in ice time, about five fewer minutes than he played against Vancouver and 3 fewer than he did against Edmonton, and no forward played over Datsyuk's 18:56), and the Wings very, very literally were chasing the Jets all night long...
In no small part due to those 11 giveaways and 13 Jets takeaways, including the ones that resulted in the Jets' 1-0, 3-2 and 4-2 goals.
The Wings coughed up the puck left and right, their young players, like Tomas Tatar, Brian Lashoff, someone who looked over his head in Adam Almquist and even Joakim Andersson, either went for checks when they should've tried to whack the puck out of trouble instead (with Tatar's check yielding a 2-on-1 on the tying goal and Lashoff's check yielding the 4-2 dagger, and Andersson allowing Matt Halischuk to beat him to the slot on the game-winner). Their older players weren't much better, with Kyle Quincey and Jakub Kindl having suspect games at best...
And between the Tootoo fight to start the night and the 6 penalties and 10:27 that the Wings spent on the penalty-kill, often due to suspect at-best calls in what was a grab-and-grope game, the forwards never got into sync, and their desire to press offensively yielded even more turnovers, odd-man rushes and perhaps less-than-conscious decisions to allow the Jets' forwards to cycle the puck down low and pump pucks back to their defensemen, who unloaded howitzers on Howard all night long and set up like an "umbrella" power play, utilizing 3 players "high" to find snipers in scoring positions "down low" during long stretches of sustained possession and control of the puck in the Wings' zone.
Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser did their best, and Howard was most certainly stellar, but other than that, the defense was awful.
Up front, Darren Helm was gassed, and played 7:46 as a result; Tootoo played all of 5-and-a-half minutes, and Miller's massive 13:02 in ice time was due the fact that he played for over half of the minutes the Wings played shorthanded; while Tomas Tatar and Justin Abdelkader continue to be assertive, aggressive and plain old physical in the offensive zone, both they and Joakim Andersson had "off" games save some short spurts of offensive grit; Weiss's play was a highlight given Cleary's moribund effort and Alfredsson's status as looking all of 40 for the first time this season; and Bertuzzi did his best to be physical, but it was hard when even Datsyuk and Zetterberg were committing turnovers.
Prior to the game, the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe noted that the Jets were in answer-seeking mode, with that 5-1 loss to Winnipeg native Jonathan Toews' Hawks and scorer Evander Kane out of they lineup...
After losing three consecutive games and six of seven, the Jets aren’t feeling sentimental. They’re taking a sense of urgency into this game against a Red Wings team that is 3-0 on a Western swing through Edmonton (5-0), Calgary (4-3) and Vancouver (2-1).
“We’ve got to keep the game simple and stick with our game plan,” said Jets centre Olli Jokinen. “It’s not like teams are going to give us a win. We have to go out there and try to earn the two points and find a way to play a lot harder than we’ve been playing. As a player, you have to push yourself to be better and learn from your mistakes. There’s no limits on how hard you can work. You can always work harder and that’s the one thing we can do a lot better. At the same time, as a player you have to step up and take charge. You can’t wait for other guys to carry the load or have the same guys carrying the team (every game). It’s a good chance for all of us to step up and take charge.”
During the game, the Jets were the ones who did indeed "push themselves to be better" and "learned from their mistakes," and they worked both harder and smarter than the Red Wings did. They pounced upon Wings turnovers like--if you'll pardon the pun--heat-seeking missiles, and they attacked Howard in waves.
After the game, the Jets told the Winnipeg Sun's Wiebe that they'd played what may have been their best game of the 13-14 season:
“This is a big statement win for us,” said Jets goalie Al Montoya, who picked up his second victory of the campaign with another workmanlike effort. “Whatever it means out there, who cares? For us, in this locker room it’s huge. We know what direction we need to start heading in. This is a Class A team and for us to do what we did and do what we did and put up this kind of effort, we’re going to remember this one.”
After building a 1-0 lead on a breakaway goal from Bryan Little with 59.5 seconds left in the first period that barely snuck its way through the five-hole of Jimmy Howard, the Red Wings found a way to pull even when captain Henrik Zetterberg banked a pass in off the skate of Jets defenceman Grant Clitsome at 7:09 of the second. To that point, the Jets had carried the play but found themselves even.
“There’s not much I can do on that play, I’m just taking my guy who is driving to the net, obviously it was a bad bounce,” said Clitsome.
On some nights this season, a bad bounce like that has caused the floodgates to open and the potential was there once again.
Just under three minutes later, Stephen Weiss won a draw cleanly in the Jets’ defensive zone and Dan DeKeyser blasted home a one-timer from the point through an unintentional screen by Andrew Ladd for a shorthanded goal that made it 2-1 for the visitors.
“Our effort was good,” said Jets head coach Claude Noel. “It’s nerve-racking a bit because you play that way against a team like Detroit and you’re waiting for things to happen and it kind of scares you a bit, but our guys were strong, they played hard and they played confident, which was fairly difficult to do at this juncture for us, because we’ve been bitten, more than once.”
But alas, the Jets bit back and ultimately, would not be denied.
“We knew we were right into it and had to keep pushing forward,” said Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian. “Howard made some good saves and showed why he’s one of the best goalies in the league. We stuck to the game plan the whole time.”
The CBC's Jeff Hamilton picks up the narrative from there...
But that lead would be short-lived as the Jets would regroup, tying things up with less than three minutes to go in the second period.
Rookie Mark Schefiele gained the zone, feeding the puck to line-mate Michael Frolik, who deposited the puck in the back of the net.
That line would strike again in the third period, only this time it would be Frolik finding Halischuk open in front for his first of the year and a 3-2 lead.
The Jets would put it away midway through the period with Ladd’s fourth of the season, as he would slip a Devin Setoguchi rebound under the pads of Howard.
And the Winnipeg Free Press's Tim Campbell tells us that the Jets "played the right way" while taking a jab at the Wings--and again, Campbell's one of those Winnipeggers who blames the Red Wings in part for the Jets' departure from Winnipeg simply because the Wings were the Jets 1.0's last opponent:
"I thought we played the right way tonight, and played it for 60 minutes, which was good to see," said Jets coach Claude Noel after his team snapped a three-game losing streak and came sharply out of a funk that had seen them record just one win in the previous seven. Our effort was good. It’s nerve-racking a bit because you play that way against Detroit and you’re waiting for things to happen and then it kind of scares you. Our guys were really strong. We’ve been bitten more than once."
The Jets limited their gaffes in the dangerous areas — aside, one supposes, from Dustin Byfuglien’s three inopportune blown tires — and despite some adversity in the second period that saw them fall behind 2-1 after getting the game’s first goal, they rallied strongly.
"I think a big thing was we didn’t get down on ourselves," said centre Mark Scheifele, who had assists on goals by both his wingers, Michael Frolik and Matt Halischuk, the game-tying and game-winning goals. "We knew we made some mistakes but I think on the bench, guys were saying, ‘We’re still in this, we’ve still got lots of game.’ I think that was a huge character part of our team."
Winnipeg, putting a small dent in a 17-year-old debt to Detroit, improved to 6-8-2.
Campbell praised the Jets' "third line," the above-named Scheifele, Frolik and Halischuk...
Scheifele, Frolik and Halischuk were responsible for getting the team over the hump on the scoresheet, more evidence secondary production matters a great deal on many nights.
"They were flying all night," said Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian. "They were on pucks, they turned over a lot of pucks, made them turn over pucks. They’re a good line when they’re doing that. It was good to see them kind of clicking tonight. It was a really good thing to see, everybody chipping in."
And he duly noted that the Jets capitalized on the Wings' turnovers in a big way, keeping Howard incredibly busy:
The Jets tied their season-high 47 shots on goal on Monday night, and that without their top shots-on-goal skater, left-winger Evander Kane, who was out with a lower-body injury on Monday.
"It means we’ve got to keep shooting, I guess," Bogosian said. "If the lane’s there, we have to make sure they’re getting through. We have to have that shoot-first mentality and crash and bang at the rebounds."
The Jets' end of the ice yielded a relatively uncluttered set of shooting and passing lanes from which Al Montoya plucked generally single, unobstructed and un-pursued shots, but the Jets have had shitty goaltending in general this season, so Montoya's teammates raved about his 26-save performance, as the Winnipeg Free Press's Gary Lawless noted--and it's here that we descend into the "Sprit of the Thing," which is about to become a theme:
"Al was huge. Every game he’s played he’s given us a chance to win. He’s been sharp," said veteran forward Olli Jokinen. "Guys are happy to see him get wins. He works hard in practice, never complains about his playing time and is always ready to play when he gets his chance. He made some big saves when we needed them."
The job of the modern-day goaltender isn’t to steal games but rather to not lose them. [Ondrej] Pavelec is the big-money goalie in Winnipeg and still the No. 1. But those things can’t matter right now. The Jets have backed themselves into a position where they can’t afford to do anything short of what gives them the best chance to win the next game. Wednesday, that’ll be Montoya.
"Al has been giving us a chance to win every time he’s been on," said Jokinen. "We can’t worry about the next game. We have to worry about our next practice. It’s always about the next day."
If Pavelec has to sit and wait his turn, what’s so awful about that? Too often things in this organization, dating back to its Atlanta days, have been granted and not earned. Why is Pavelec the starter? Because his contract says so? That can’t rule the day right now.
"I thought Montoya was like the rest of our team and did the right things at the right time. He made the right saves," said coach Claude Noel. "I thought he had a good night. He’s played that way this year."
Noel was then asked if he would consider Montoya for the next game.
"We’ll look at it and assess it and we’ll consider it," said Noel.
TSN's Dennis Beyak begins to delve into the "Spirit of the Thing" with this assessment of the game...
This was Scheifele's best game in the NHL. He won five of nine face-offs, was a plus player, had three shots on goal and used his speed to his advantage. "The chemistry on our line is getting better every game," said Frolik post-game. Coach Noel agreed. "They were our best line last game, they have some chemistry and very reliable defensively."
Olli Jokinen was the best face-off man for the Jets winning 11-of-17. Little took 25, winning 13. Blake Wheeler and Zach Bogosian led in the shots department with six each, a season high for both. The only Jet to not register a shot on goal was newcomer Keaton Ellerby. He was very solid in 10:39 of work with a couple of blocked shots.
Jets played without Evander Kane, who is day to day with a lower body injury. Jets were also minus Paul Postma, Mark Stuart, Jacob Trouba and Jim Slater because of injuries, while Zach Redmond recalled from St. John's did not dress. The Jets did not convert on any of the six power play chances but it was the best the power play has looked in quite some time, creating a number of scoring chances with good puck movement.
Coach Noel liked what he saw from his team in this game right from the drop of the puck. "The first period was real good. We could have been up by a few. We managed the puck quite a bit better tonight. We got pucks to the goal line and put a lot of pressure on their defence. A lot of guys had a really good game. It was fun to watch our team play that way."
And the Winnipeg Free Press's Paul Friesen offered a slate of six observations, including this about the Jets' first period...
Can’t say I’ve seen all 48 periods the Jets have played this season, but I can’t imagine they’ve had a better one than the first, Monday. It was hard to tell which team lead its division and which resided in the cellar. It it weren’t for Howard, the home side may have piled up a nifty lead.
Imagine Wings coach Mike Babcock gave his team an earful at the intermission, and his team responded with a pair of goals in the second. But the Jets didn’t shut down this time, and looked like the faster, better team for good chunks of the middle frame, too.
This about the Jets' overall game...
Sure, the Wings looked tired at the end of a Western Canadian road swing, but the Jets took full advantage, jumping on loose pucks, causing turnovers and generally making a very good team look downright awful at times.
I don’t know when the Wings last gave up 47 shots, but I wouldn’t have expected the Jets to out-skate them like they did for the better part of 60 minutes. It was Detroit that needed spectacular goaltending to stay in it, not Winnipeg.
The performance came when the Jets desperately needed it. As Bryan Little had said Monday morning, this team couldn’t afford to wait much longer before finding its game. For one night, at least, it did.
And this about Tootoo's scrap:
In the seven games he’d played previously, his stats line was flat — no points, no penalty minutes — so it was about time he did something.
The former Brandon Wheat King, whose next goal will be No. 50 of his career, figured he’d have about 30 friends and family in the stands.
MacGregor writes with the thoroughness of a Gregg Krupa, and the flourish of a Mitch Albom, but in a sort of dispassionate style, so it's...A love-it-or-hate-it thing with MacGregor, and in this instance, I'm a fan of the losing team who pretends to be a professional, and this game mattered more than most given my personal connections to Winnipeg:
Winnipeg tied the game 2-2 late in the second when young centre Mark Scheifele sent a perfect cross-crease pass to Michael Frolik, who buried the puck behind Howard.
Scheifele and Frolik then set up Matt Halischuk for his first goal of the season, allowing the Jets to regain the lead at 3-2.
By now, the booing of Alfredsson or Tootoo was long over, the crowd chanting “How-ard! How-ard!” with all the dripping sarcasm that a happy sellout crowd could muster. Jets captain Andrew Ladd made it 4-2 when he came out of the penalty box and joined the attack, sweeping a rebound into the Detroit net.
“HOW-ARD! HOW-ARD! HOW-ARD!”
“We’ve got to give them something to cheer about,” Little had said earlier.
And cheer they did, the sound deafening in the final minute of play and for several minutes after.
The Canadian Press's recap duly notes that the Jets bent but did not break...
The Jets finally lived up to their name, roaring out of the gate at full speed Monday night and keeping the throttle full as they outskated and outshot the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. But for a few minutes in the second period, Noel admits he was worried.
"Is this going to be one of these nights?" was the thought that crossed his mind. I thought we had a good first period then OK, before you know it we're down 2-1."
"I think a big thing is we didn't get down on ourselves," said Mark Scheifele. "We knew we made some mistakes but I think on the bench we were saying, 'Guys, we're still in this, we've still got lots of game.' "
In the end, Noel had little to complain about as the Jets continued to dominate, outshooting the Red Wings 47-27 and forcing turnover after turnover.
"The way that we played, it would have been a really tough game to lose," he said. "We got some games from a lot of players."
Matt Halishuck scored the winner and his first goal as a Jet. Michael Frolik and Andrew Ladd also scored for the Jets, who snapped a three-game losing streak The assists tell a fuller story. Devin Setoguchi had two, Scheifele had two and Little and Ladd both had assists in addition to their goals.
"There was a lot of things to like in that game," said Noel.
And Reuters' recap paid special attention to Scheifele's performance before noting that the Wings' coach was marginally dissatisfied with his team's performance:
"I thought our penalty kill and our goaltending gave us a really good chance to win. But we did nothing with the puck. We didn't have them under any pressure at any time. It was an easy night for their goaltender," said Babcock. "What I like about the trip was we played right three out of the four games. But I didn't think we were great tonight in any way. But you have to give the opposition credit, too. They were at home. They gave up five goals the other night (against Chicago) and they were ready to skate. I thought they played hard and we didn't play hard enough, or didn't have the energy to play hard enough."
And NHL.com's Patrick Williams' recap will serve as our pivot point between the Jets and Red Wings' perspectives:
"There were a lot of really good things in that game," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "It was fun to watch our team play that way."
Winnipeg's Matt Halischuk broke open a 2-2 game 4:27 into the third period with his first goal of the season. Halischuk took Michael Frolik's behind-the-net pass and rammed a shot from the low slot through Howard's pads. Jets captain Andrew Ladd finished off the Red Wings, interrupting a nine-game run without a goal by shoveling a shot under Howard with 9:03 remaining.
"We found a way to come back 2-2 going into the third," Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "But then we didn't take care of the puck enough, and in the end that cost us the game."
The Red Wings (9-5-2) finished a four-game tour of Western Canada with their first trip to Winnipeg since they ended the city's original NHL run on April 28, 1996, in a first-round series against the original Jets. Detroit had taken one-goal decisions against the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames on this trip before blowing out the Edmonton Oilers 5-0 on Saturday.
"They played better than we did," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said of his team, which was playing its third game in four nights. "I think from start to finish they were the better team. We didn't look like we had much energy. We didn't skate well. We didn't execute well."
"Our penalty kill (6-for-6) and our goaltending gave us a really good chance here," Babcock said. "But we did nothing with the puck. We didn't have them under pressure at any time. It was an easy night for their goaltender."
The Wings' momentum was quashed in Phoenix when a certain Mike Smith collapsed like he'd been shot while Brian Lashoff was en route to scoring a 3-1 goal that would've stifled the Coyotes, but the goal was waved off, and Phoenix came back to defeat the Wings 5-2 on October 19th.
Sixteen days later, the team that replaced the one Shane Doan accompanied to Phoenix received a break that may may not have been a momentum-breaker--in the mid-way point of the game, just as was the case in Phoenix--as MLive's Ansar Khan noted in a quote-free recap which highlights the Wings' second-period struggles:
Despite being outplayed by a wide margin, the Red Wings were gained some momentum when Zetterberg scored at 7:09 to tie it at 1-1. He got a lucky break, as his centering pass to Todd Bertuzzi deflected in off a defender’s skate. It was Zetterberg’s team-leading eighth goal.
DeKeyser scored his first career NHL goal, in his 27th game, at 10:05. It was a blast from just inside the faceoff circle, following an offensive-zone faceoff win by Stephen Weiss. Weiss recorded his first assist of the season on the play, ending a nine-game points drought.
It was Detroit’s first short-handed goal of the season.
The Red Wings thought they had taken a 3-1 lead at 11:11, but an apparent goal by Pavel Datsyuk was disallowed following video review because the net was off one of its moorings.
Howard made several huge saves in the first period to prevent his club from falling into a deep hole. He stopped Ladd on a breakaway, denied Olli Jokinen on a good chance breaking down the wing, and stretched out his right pad to rob Halischuk.
The Jets finally broke through with 59.5 seconds to play in the period as Bryan Little scored on a breakaway, after Kyle Quincey fell down near the Winnipeg blue line.
“Too many mistakes that cost us,” forward Henrik Zetterberg said. “We knew they’d come out fast from the start and they did. Tonight was about taking two points no matter how it looked but we couldn’t find a way to do that.”
The Jets outshot the Wings, 47-27, an indication of the type of pressure Winnipeg was able to sustain through the evening.
“They played better than we did from the start,” coach Mike Babcock said. “They were the better team on the ice. We didn’t have much energy, didn’t execute well, and turned a lot of pucks over in the neutral zone. We didn’t have it tonight.”
Darren Helm was just as blunt about the Wings' inability or unwillingness to out-work their opponent as Jets coach Noel was about the significance of his team's win:
“We just couldn’t find our legs and our will to compete,” forward Darren Helm said. “We didn’t play that well. Besides Howie, we weren’t that great.”
Zetterberg and Danny DeKeyser (shorthanded) had Wings goals. Bryan Little and Frolik added goals for the Jets (6-8-2, 14 points), who ended a three-game losing streak.
“It’ll be up there,” said Jets coach Claude Noel, when asked whether this was his team’s best all-around game this season. “I’m not going to rank games, but as far as a 60 minute game, we were good. Our effort was good.”
Babcock told the Free Press's Helene St. James that the Wings spent too much time defending and too little attacking, and while that's a bit of an understatement, it's also the truth:
“From start to finish, they were the better team on the ice,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We didn’t look like we had much energy, didn’t skate well, didn’t execute well. In the end, we turned over a lot of pucks in the neutral zone, either through their forecheck or their track pressure. In the end, that helps them be faster and you slower. I didn’t think we had it at all. We never really seemed to get buzzing. Even though we were in the game at 2-2, they were carrying the play and we were in hang-on mode.”
The Wings started like a team playing for the third time in four nights, displaying poor puck management and turnovers so numerous Howard saw a handful of breakaways in the first period. He got beat on the last one, in the final minute of the period, when Bryan Little skated the puck up the middle and used a wrist shot to make it 1-0.
“We did too many mistakes that cost us,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “We find a way to come back, it’s 2-2 going into the third, but then we didn’t take care of the puck enough.”
“We have to be a lot better than that,” Niklas Kronwall said. “We can’t rely on Howie shift after shift. There were a lot of things we didn’t do right. Howie kept us in the game. We just couldn’t get the job done.”
St. James also noted that Adam Almquist's debut was less than Xavier Ouellet-smooth...
[Brendan] Smith missed the first of what’s expected to be a handful of games Monday, watching as Almquist played 16 minutes in a 4-2 loss to the Jets at MTS Centre. Almquist was on for the last two goals, which included a sort-out problem on the winner.
“Those are what happens when you’re young,” coach Mike Babcock said.
And here "Why the Wings Lost" capsule recap offers quotes that will serve as our bottom line:
Mike Babcock, on how the Wings played: “We just played four games in six nights. There’s never any excuse. That’s just the reality of the situation. We should have been better than we were. They skated, we didn’t. ... We turned the puck over too much, that’s the bottom line.” .... Darren Helm said: “Too many turnovers. That’s going to shoot a team in the foot every time.”
Go home, rest up and get the Jets back a week from today, Wings. The city's in Chapter 9, so those Winnipeggers might get uppity about debts needing to be repaid and "sorries" needing to be said, but that shit's for people who decide to take all of that soccer crowd's worth of energy and ability to positively cheer their team on and simply turn it into booing random Wings and goalies who stop 43 shots.
To hell with that bullshit.
Highlights: Swell, even the Red Wings website's highlight clip is narrated by the Jets' announcers:
It's worth noting that Danny DeKeyser was named Yahoo Sports' 3rd Star of the night for scoring his first goal, and this is what it looked like:
Post-game: Technically, this is a pre-game clip: the CTV News posted a 2:19 clip of Helm speaking about his comeback and Jordin Tootoo discussing his Manitoba roots before the game;
The Free Press's Helene St. James posted a 1:31 clip of Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm and coach Babcock discussing the game:
You probably won't be interested in Illegal Curve's post-game Jets player audio, nor will you be interested in Claude Noel's presser, but they did post clips of Babcock, Zetterberg, Kronwall, Helm and Jordin Tootoo speaking to the press, and I'm not posting them for the simple reason that I'm not sure how they go about sharing non-embeddable clips;
Photos: The Detroit Free Press posted a 23-image gallery;
The Detroit News posted a 10-image gallery;
The Winnipeg Free Press posted a 16-image gallery;
The Windsor Star posted 4 big pictures from the game;
ESPN posted a 57-image gallery;
Shots 47-28 Winnipeg overall. Winnipeg out-shot Detroit 14-9 in the 1st, 17-10 in the 2nd and 16-9 in the 3rd.
The Jets went 0-for-6 in 10:27 of PP time; the Wings went 0-for-3 in 4:27.
Jimmy Howard stopped 43 of 47 shots; Al Montoya stopped 26 of 28.
The 3 stars were picked by the Jets, and they picked Bryan Little, Michal Frolik and Mark Scheifele.
The Wings' goals: Zetterberg (8) from Datsyuk (10) and Quincey (3);
DeKeyser (1) from Kronwall (9) and Weiss (1) shorthanded.
Faceoffs 36-29 Winnipeg (Detroit won 45%);
Blocked shots 21-13 Detroit;
Missed shots 9-8 Detroit (total attempts a stunning 76-50 Winnipeg, with the Wings firing 28 shots on Montoya and another 22 wide/blocked);
Hits 22-18 Winnipeg;
Giveaways 14-11 Winnipeg;
Takeaways 13-3 Winnipeg.
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went a disturbing 6-and-13 (32%); Weiss went 9-and-9 (50%); Andersson went 8-and-8 (50%); Helm went 5-and-5 (50%); Zetterberg won his only draw; Abdelkader lost his only draw.
Shots: Datsyuk led the Wings with 5 shots; Kindl, Tatar, Zetterberg and Weiss had 3; Abdelkader and Alfredsson had 2; Miller, Tootoo, Lashoff, Helm, Kronwall, DeKeyser and Cleary had 1 shot.
Blocked attempts: Quincey fired 3 shots into Jets players; Alfredsson and Helm had 2 attempts blocked; Kindl, Lashoff, Zetterberg, Almquist, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Datsyuk missed the net 2 times; Kindl, Andersson, Tatar, Tootoo, Zetterberg, Cleary and Weiss missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Abdelkader led the Wings with 4 hits; Helm had 3; Alfredsson and Tootoo had 2; Datsyuk, Tatar, Lashoff, Quincey, Bertuzzi, DeKeyser and Cleary had 1.
Giveaways: Quincey had 3 giveaways; Kindl and Datsyuk had 2; Alfredsson, Lashoff, DeKeyser and Howard had 1.
Takeaways: Andersson, Miller and Lashoff had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: Lashoff blocked 4 shots; Quincey and DeKeyser blocked 3; Datsyuk, Miller and Kronwall blocked 2; Kindl, Andersson, Tatar, Bertuzzi and Weiss blocked 1.
Penalty minutes: Kindl, Datsyuk, Lashoff, Kronwall and DeKeyser were tagged for minor penalties, and the bench took a minor for too many men; Tootoo took a major.
Plus-minus: the Wings finished at -11. Kindl was -3; Andersson, Tatar and Almquist were -2; Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Miller, Tootoo, Lashoff, Quincey, Helm and Cleary were -1; Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi were +1; Kronwall somehow finished at +2.
Points: Zetterberg and DeKeyser scored goals; Datsyuk, Quincey, Kronwall and Weiss had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 23:33 played; DeKeyser played 22:17; Quincey played 21:31;
Kindl played 20:06; Datsyuk played 18:56; Zetterberg played 18:39;
Weiss played 17:05; Cleary played 16:26; Andersson played 16:24;
Alfredsson played 16:18; Almquist played 15:51; Bertuzzi played 15:31;
Lashoff played 15:30; Tatar played 13:17; Miller played 13:02;
Abdelkader played 12:01; Helm played 7:46; Tootoo played 5:38.
Red Wings notebooks: The Wings' beat writers were engaged in the 4-games-in-4-cities-over-the-course-of-6-nights grind, too, so they stuck to what they could snag easily. The Free Press's Helene St. James profiled Almquist, who finished at -2 in 15:51 of ice time, and she tied it into Brendan Smith's forced vacation due to his partially separated shoulder:
It was Almquist’s first NHL game. He’s 22, a seventh-round pick from 2009, and has tons of smarts. Smith knows Almquist well from last fall, when the two played together in the American Hockey League during the NHL lockout. The guy Smith kept coming back to while talking about Almquist was Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, one of the game’s best defensemen (also, like Almquist, a Swede).
Smith called Almquist “a good little player. He’s actually very similar to Karlsson — a lot of offensive ability. He’s a great passer. For a little guy, he finds a way to get his body out of position to get hit, so he’s very shifty. That’s the same thing you see with Karlsson. He makes the play and gets up in the rush and never really gets hit that much because he’s quick.”
Babcock would like to see Almquist, with a waist like that of a waif, “fall in love with the gym, and eating.”
Everyone who has played with Almquist also has noticed how softly he speaks. Defense partner Brian Lashoff said he’s constantly telling Almquist “to use your outside voice.” Smith said, “He’s like a mouse out there.”
Smith is sidelined at least through the week with a sprained shoulder suffered Saturday. Smith, at minus-seven, said he’ll spend the time watching Niklas Kronwall and learning. “I get to pick up on some things I need to get better at,” Smith said. “I think I’ve been playing better, but there are a few things I need to pick up on.”
MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Babcock and Brian Lashoff, who played with Almquist in Grand Rapids, about the "Mini Mite"...
“I hate doing this, but (Tobias) Enstrom for (the Winnipeg Jets) is a star, and we’d like (Almquist) one day to be a star,’’ Babcock said. “He’s got to fall in love with the gym and eating if he wants that to happen. So the challenge is there for him. He’s got lots of talent and he can really move the puck.’’...
“Had a couple months to learn about each other on the ice and we’re good friends off the ice, too,’’ Lashoff said. “He’s really good with the puck, he’s got a lot of composure with it, he doesn’t just throw it away. He always makes a good first pass, he has a lot of patience, so he’ll do a good job with the transition game, getting it up to our forwards and making us play fast.’’
As for Almquist’s slight build, which would make him unrecognizable on the street as an NHL defenseman, Lashoff said, “He’s actually bulked up since I met him. Even though he’s not the biggest guy, he does a good job positionally and has a good stick.’’
And Khan spoke with Almquist himself, too--which isn't easy given how quiet he is:
“It was a good experience, first training camp, got to know the guys here a little bit better, see how it is,’’ Almquist, a native of Huskvarna, Sweden, said. “It’s getting confidence to play with these guys before, see if you can play at the same pace as them.’’
Like any 22-year-old rookie, his objective is to keep it simple.
“Play hard, keep the focus and try to play it like a normal game,’’ Almquist said. “Try to move the puck, try to shoot it when I can and make plays.’’
Babcock's expectations for Almquist are realistic:
“Do what got you here, at the same time look after things defensively,’’ Babcock said. “If you look after things defensively you get trust from the coach and more ice time. If you don’t and you’re erratic the coach doesn’t trust you and pretty soon you’re stapled to the bench.’’
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan took note of Almquist's debut, he discussed Smith's "lesson plan" for his hiatus...
Smith (minus-7) believes he might have been taking too many unnecessary chances.
“You have to let the game come to you,” he said. “If you chase it, it could be a snowball effecand be in the wrong position for sure.”
And he offered the following:
For all the talk of forward Darren Helm returning to his hometown of Winnipeg, this was also a homecoming of sorts for forward Jordin Tootoo. Tootoo got into a fight 16 seconds into the game with Winnipeg's Chris Thorburn.
"We knew this building creates a lot of energy and being on the road, for us, we had to create our own energy," Tootoo said. "It was the right time to get the boys fired up a little bit.”
I guess so, but I certainly didn't think that it was useful at all.
The Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe took note of both Helm and Tootoo's game-day comments as Helm's from St. Andrews, just north of Winnipeg, and Tootoo was born in Churchill and spent his junior hockey days playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings--and again, Winnipeg is the closest major Canadian city to Nunavut for Native Canadians, so it's something of a hub for Inuks and other natives:
“There were some mental challenges and a couple days of doubt, that I thought maybe I would not make it back, but that was followed by a lot of good days and a lot of support. It was nice to have people around me that helped get me through that challenge,” said Helm. “I’m really looking forward to my first NHL game (in Winnipeg). I’ve heard a lot about the crowd, the excitement in the arena. So get out there and kind of feed off that. It should be a fun game.”
Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg talked about what it means to have Helm — the speedster — back in the lineup.
“He’s a big part of our team, unfortunately he’s been injured for almost two years here,” said Zetterberg. “It’s fun to see him back and last game, to see him get the goal right away. He skates well and plays a lot on P.K. He’s a nice piece to have back.”
Tootoo, meanwhile, draws in on the fourth line for just the eighth time in 16 games and he’ll have plenty of support in the stands as well. It’s been challenging for Tootoo since leaving the Nashville Predators to sign a two-year deal as a free agent with the Red Wings, but he’s keeping things in perspective.
“I’m definitely excited. I have a lot of family that came down from Nunavut and playing in Manitoba for a lot of my career, there’s a lot of roots here,” said Tootoo. “I’ve been in and out of the lineup, but I’m a veteran guy. I’ve been through this before and it’s just about making the best of every opportunity you’re given. I know how to play the game. It’s about maintaining composure and mentally, being strong. We’re born to compete and every time you’re not in the lineup it kind of burns, but it creates more fire for you.”
Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels said that Tootoo and his sister spent an hour at a boarding-house for Inuit kids in Winnipeg on Monday.
Global Winnipeg's Russ Hobson also penned an article about Helm:
Detroit head coach Mike Babcock warns though that it’ll probably be a few months before Helm gets his game back in shape.
“Anytime you’re injured, it takes away what you love,” said Babcock. “It’s hard for you. We really missed Helm. We think he’s a real good player in the league.”
Before the bright lights of the NHL, Helm played midget hockey as a 15-year-old for the now defunct Winnipeg Hawks. His old coach Jerry Caputo says the qualities you see in Helm’s game today are similar as they were then when helm was playing against kids two years older than him.
“He was very quiet but a team player,” said Caputo. “The word I use most about him was relentless. He never stopped skating on the ice.”
It’s the same reason why the Red Wings love Helm and why he had a spot waiting for him when he finally got healthy.
Also of Red Wings-related note: As Paul noted, Kris Draper appeared on the NHL Network to help promote the Winter Classic's Alumni Showdown, and I posted a clip of Draper and Wendel Clark speaking with 97.1 FM's Jamie Sauelssen.
NHL.com's Jon Lane also spoke with Draper and Clark for an article promoting the tilt (which may or may not be half-sold-out), with Draper discussing the establishment of Hockeytown, as it were, and how the alumni game's blossomed into a doubleheader:
"Now you look at it with the consecutive playoff years, us getting into the postseason, I think it correlates with a great product, a winning tradition and a very proud past of all the great players that have played within the Detroit Red Wings organization and all the great players that continue to come through the Red Wings organization," Draper said.
Detroit’s roster has 12 players and coaches who have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and 29 who won a Stanley Cup championship. This includes the core of a team that was able to, for the most part, remain intact to win four Stanley Cups in 11 years. Given the large followings of both clubs, the restoration of a historic rivalry and the allure of outdoor hockey, the alumni game and the memories it will revive will practically sell itself.
"I think over the last couple of years, the alumni game has gotten a little bit bigger," Draper said. "I think that the players are really excited about competing and the opportunity to go play outdoors. Talking to a lot of people throughout the city, everyone is excited certainly about the game at the Big House in Ann Arbor, but I think people are pretty excited about seeing some of the former Red Wings to get on the ice and play together as well."
It's a recipe for a great week in Detroit.
"I think Detroit is taking it to a whole new level with the way they're doing it," Draper said. "I know everybody is really excited about the opportunities here and I know I can't wait to get back to the ice, skate outdoors, skate at Comerica and put the Red Wings jersey on again, and play with some of my great friends and teammates. Just to do it one more time is going to be awesome."
In a very different vein,Jamie Macoun played for the Leafs but won a Cup with the Wings in 1998, and he told the Canadian Press's Bill Graveland that he's got no doubt that he's dealing with some cognitive issues thanks to the concussions he sustained during his career:
"If you talk to my kids, they say I have some damage. I can't remember their names. I can't remember my dog's name for crying out loud," Macoun said Monday as the federal government announced funding for new research on concussions with a focus on improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the injuries in children and youth. If this research had been done 25 years ago where would we be now?"
As you know, I'm no fan of power rankings, but three sets came out before the Wings-Jets game. ESPN's Scott Burnside offered the following assessment of the Wings' efforts...
9. Detroit [record is now 9-5-and-2] Last Week: 14 The Wings have won three in a row, all away from Joe Louis Arena, thanks to depth scoring of late, and are a solid 6-2-0 on the road.
Make it 6-and-3.
CBS Sports' Brian Stubits offered this...
12 Detroit Red Wings [last week 15]: The Wings lost three straight at home last week so this week they win three straight on the road, taking out the Northwest Canada trio. They're tied atop the Atlantic but have just a plus-1 goal differential.
Now it's a -1...
And TSN's Scott Cullen weighed in during the afternoon:
This Week12 Last Week 20 Detroit Red Wings:One regulation loss in the last six has the Red Wings moving in the right direction, even as they try to get some consistent production from their second and third-line forwards.
Key Injuries: D Jonathan Ericsson (upper body).
Shoulder, like Brendan Smith.
In the "If You Missed It" category, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a pair of articles about Chris Chelios, and as I posted during the game, the Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek talked to Henrik Zetterberg about the long-term benefits of moving to the Eastern Conference, while the Globe and Mail's Roy MacGregor checked in with Daniel Alfredsson;
MLive's Brendan Savage offered an intriguing take on the Wings' move to the East in MLive's Game-Day entry...
[If] the Red Wings were still in the Western Conference – they moved to the East this year after 19 seasons – they'd be in seventh place with 20 points, ahead of only Minnesota (8-4-3) among teams currently holding down playoff positions.
Five teams in the East holding down playoff spots today have winning records against the West – that includes the Red Wings, who are 4-2-1 and in the midst of playing nine of 12 games vs. Western teams.
The Eastern playoff teams have a combined record of 30-20-2 (.600) vs. the West.
But all eight Western playoff teams have winning records vs. Eastern teams. (We didn't count Los Angeles are technically ninth.)
Western teams holding down playoff spots have a 44-11-4 record vs. Eastern teams. That's a winning percentage of .780. And all eight of the Western teams holding down playoff spots have winning records against the East.
So all things considered, is the West the stronger conference this season?
Maybe so, but the Wings aren't in the West anymore, and they've done pretty decently against teams not named Phoenix.
And finally...Once I submit this entry, I'm taking the balance of the day off. The Wings aren't going to practice today and we won't hear any injury updates until after practice tomorrow, so I'm going to try to get some sleep, go vote and do some errands and get some more sleep. Paul will fill you in on the big stuff and I'll be back on Wednesday.
I'll try to attack Anthony Mantha's French-language interview with Le Soleil if I'm able, but if not, my French is nonexistent anyway, so I may need to ask for assistance in attempting to provide any sort of remotely accurate translation.
Please vote if you can today--election day in the U.S. is not exactly scintillating in most places, and I know that in South Lyon, we've got 1 candidate for mayor, an already-decided city council election and a school millage, but I still take the privilege of voting very seriously, and I hope that you'll choose to exercise it today.
Update: For the record, iDnes.cz reports that Dominik Hasek's #9 will be retired by HC Pardubice on December 1st.
Update #2: At 4:50 AM, RedWingsFeed snagged the Wings posting very-late-night post-game clips of Henrik Zetterberg speaking with the media for almost 4 minutes...
And coach Babcock's full post-game scrum:
You may also take post-game notes from the Winnipeg Free Press for what you will, but I like Niklas Kronwall's anger here:
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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.