The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/15/13 at 08:44 PM ET
Update: Ugh (although...Petr Mrazek's Winter Classic pads are cute, yay?):
The Detroit Red Wings, due to injuries at least, have brought up Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco, Petr Mrazek and Luke Glendening, and have been giving Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, their young defense and players like Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves just as many chances to score as they've given Daniel Cleary, Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi...
But a team whose roster is constantly in flux due to injuries--see Justin Abdelkader's status as "out for a bit" and Johan Franzen's undisclosed injury--is still struggling with the "kids" who were supposed to be brimming with confidence and game-breaking abilities playing prime-time minutes (and Mikael Samuelsson sitting in the press box), with players like Datsyuk and Bertuzzi hitting a conditioning wall as they attempt to get their game legs back, and especially with Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and even Jimmy Howard absent.
As such, the Wings looked absolutely awful in dropping their second consecutive home game and both of their first pair of games of six-of-ten, this time in the form of a 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
What do you say? Three shutouts against at home, three losses to Tampa and two to Florida, yet another Intent To Blow fiasco, and this gem in tow...
The Wings played a tentative, skate-into-the-corners and pass-into-traffic game against a Tampa Bay Lightning team whose road record was worse than Detroit's home record--they'd lost 7 straight games going into today's tilt--and this showed, big time:
What can the team do from here, other than recall Landon Ferraro if Franzen's out for any period of time as they play the Ducks on Tuesday, the Flames on Thursday, they travel to Toronto on Saturday and then host the Islanders on the 23rd?
Get their shit together.
A team whose personnel is in flux and whose lack of continuity roster-wise is clearly hurting the fark out of the Wings' cause out-shot Tampa Bay 13-3 in the 2nd but was out-shot 14-9 in the 3rd, and these goals--Tyler Johnson scoring from Martin St. Louis and Ondrej Palat thanks to a Kindl suicide pass to a lone Tomas Tatar facing 3 Bolts charing off the bench at Detroit's blueline, 3:13 into the 3rd...
And J.T. Brown surprisingly scoirng 9:16 into the 3rd because Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson all got beat to the puck...
The Bolts also scored into an empty net, but that was just salt in the wound for a team that had killed three second-period penalties but couldn't convert on its own power plays (as per usual these days).
What's going on with the Wings? The kids aren't showing up and playing like world-beaters, the injuries are hurting everyone and the vets are snakebit like nobody's business, and when you add all of that up, it's a losing recipe.
It's up to the players and the coaching staff to get themselves out of this and to return to winning form ON THEIR OWN here, and they need to do so by getting back to the fundamentals of Wings hockey--puck possession via good positional defense with lots of sticks and skates in lanes and winger support, a strong, speedy and efficient transition game, sustained possession and control of the puck in the offensive zone and shots, rebound retrievals and butts in front instead of endlessly turning over the puck and being skated into the boards over and over again.
The Wings have to execute much better in all three zones, and it doesn't matter whether it's the supposedly elderly Alfredsson or the dynamic Nyquist or the baffling Cleary and Quincey.
The crest on the front of the Red Wings' sweater demands more. The fans who are paying so much money to watch their team suck on ice at home demand more. The players are demanding more, too, but now they've got to back it up.
Shots 28-27 Tampa Bay overall. Tampa Bay out-shot Detroit 10-6 in the 1st, was out-shot 13-3 in the 2nd and out-shot Detroit 14-9 in the 3rd period.
Special teams: the Red Wings went 0-for-3 in 4:38 of PP time; the Lightning went 0-for-3 in 4:16 of PP time, including 22 seconds of 5 on 3 time.
Goaltending: Petr Mrazek stopped 24 of 26 shots, and the Lightning scored into an empty net; Ben Bishop stopped 28 of 28.
Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji picked the 3 stars, and she picked Petr Mrazek, Tyler Johnson and Ben Bishop.
Faceoffs 28-28 (Detroit won 50%);
Blocked shots 15-11 Tampa Bay;
Missed shots 12-12 (total attempts 55-50 Detroit);
Hits 23-18 Detroit;
Giveaways 8-6 Tampa Bay;
Takeaways 11-4 Detroit.
Faceoffs: Andersson went 10-and-11 (48%); Datsyuk went 11-and-9 (55%); Glendening went 3-and-5 (38%); Tatar went 2-and-1 (67%); Franzen went 1-and-1 (50%); Bertuzzi lost his only faceoff; Eaves won his only faceoff.
Shots: Alfredsson led the Wings with 4 shots; Nyquist had 3; Kindl, Datsyuk, Andersson, Miller, Quincey, Kronwall and Franzen had 2 shots; Smith, Eaves, Tatar, Lashoff, Jurco, Glendening and Cleary had 1 shot.
Blocked attempts: Alfredsson fired 4 more shots into Lightning players; Kindl, Datsyuk, Lashoff and Kronwall had 2 attempts blocked; Nyquist, Eaves and Jurco had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Jurco and Kronwall missed the net 3 times; Smith and Datsyuk missed the net 2 times; Kindl and Bertuzzi missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Eaves and Bertuzzi co-led the team with 3 hits; Kindl, Alfredsson, Miller, Jurco and Quincey had 2 hits; Nyquist, Andersson, Tatar, Glendening, Ericsson, Kronwall and Cleary had 1 hit.
Giveaways: Ericsson had 2 giveaways; Nyquist, Tatar, Kronwall and Mrazek had 1 giveaway.
Takeaways: Eaves, Miller and Quincey had 2 takeaways; Datsyuk, Nyquist, Andersson, Jurco and Bertuzzi had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: Nyquist, Miller, Ericsson and Kronwall blocked 2 shots; Smith, Glendening and Franzen blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Quincey and Franzen took minors and the Wings took a bench minor for too many men on the ice.
Plus-minus: The Wings were -16 overall. Kronwall finished at -3; Kindl and Tatar finished at -2; Datsyuk, Nyquist, Eaves, Miller, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Cleary finished at -1.
Points: Nobody scored.
Ice time: Datsyuk led the team with 23:31 played; Kronwall played 23:05; Kindl played 21:09;
Alfredsson played 19:59; Ericsson played 19:29; Quincey played 17:54;
Smith played 17:37; Jurco played 16:45; Tatar played 16:32;
Lashoff played 16:24; Andersson played 16:06; Bertuzzi played 15:17;
Nyquist played 14:13; Cleary played 13:23; Miller played 13:23;
Glendening played 12:49; Eaves played 10:40; Franzen played 6:50.
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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.