The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/30/14 at 07:52 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings absolutely, positively HAD to win both of their weekend games, and despite the fact that the Wings gave up a predictably fan-terrifying 3rd period goal against to make the game very close, Detroit closed out Radko "All Elbows" Gudas, Valtteri Filppula, Ryan Callahan, Steven Stamkos and the rest of the Tampa Bay Lightning via a 3-2 score, making the Bolts look at least human along the way--all during a game that really serves as a shining example of the shit-show that's become of the NHL's standard of officiating (or the lack thereof) since the Olympic break.
As you might expect, the Red Wings started with some slightly heavy legs and gave up the game's first goal, allowing Valtteri Filppula to steal the puck and flick a sneaky shot past Jonas Gustavsson (who, save the 3-2 goal, was excellent) 8:40 into the game...
But the Red Wings received a welcome offensive contribution from a player who's fighting for his job at present in one Joakim Andersson, who did a fine job of jamming home a give-and-go with Helm and Alfredsson at 11:08...
4 minutes and 16 seconds later, Gustav Nyquist did what Gustav Nyquist did--facilitated by smart play from the cold-for-a-bit David Legwand...
And as the Wings battled through a pair of penalty-kills in the second, they continued to play conscientious and dilligent hockey in terms of detail work, checking well, "boxing out' their opponents in terms of body position and placing sticks and legs in shooting and passing lanes, and really standing up to the Bolts' extremely physical push to the point that it was Steven Stamkos who was driven to distraction thanks to Justin Abdelkader and Luke Glendening.
Legwand continued to pull himself out of his slump on the power play, scoring a lovely net-front jab with 3:24 left in the 2nd...
And while this Salo goal with 4:29 left in the 3rd scared the Wings...
Gustavsson was superb otherwise, the Wings did a solid job of making the Bolts look human most of the time, the Wings stood up to some goonery and dished out some jabs of their own (though Gudas' forearms to Nyquist's face, on a repeated basis, were just...what a punk he is), and when the Wings needed Gustavsson to bail them out, he was there:
So the Wings wrap up a set of 9 games in 15 nights having gone 5-3-and-1, the Wings have knocked out 5 of the 9 or 10 wins they needed to earn out of their last 15 games to make the playoffs, and they're ahead of Columbus in the Wild Card standings--for the moment--while at least having dug into what was once a seven or eight-game Blue Jackets advantage in terms of regulation or OT wins.
Now the Wings get to take Opening Day off, but things get messy in a hurry as the team will host Boston on Wednesday, host Buffalo on Thursday, and head into Montreal on Saturday...They lather, rinse and repeat with another 3-games-in-4-nights stretch with road tilts against Buffalo, Pittsburgh and then a homer game against Carolina on the 8th, 9th and 11th, respectively, and the team will close out the season in St. Louis on Sunday the 13th, so they're going to play another 7 games in 13 nights.
The Wings still need to win over half of their remaining seven games to make the playoffs, and it'd be really swell if they could earn points in 5 of 7, but this weekend's turned what may have been an impossible task to a very achievable goal, and the secondary scoring Darren Helm's given Nyquist, the continued strong play of the Kid Line, Abdelkader's addition to the Glendening-Miller line (Miller was superb all night long) and Danny DeKeyser's re-emergence as a confident puck-carrier has rejuvenated the Wings' ability to skate through the neutral zone with speed.
The Wings look more like a hard-charging puck possession team that's going to out-work and out-attention-to-detail you on a nightly basis, with Abdelkader back in the lineup, they're less likely to demure when things get rough (the third period's start was delayed by a significant amount of Abdelkader chirping at a Bolt), and this team is ever-so-slowly starting to look comfortable in its skin, which is huge.
Shots 30-28 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Tampa Bay 12-6 in the 1st period, they were out-shot 13-8 in the 2nd and the Wings out-shot Tampa Bay 10-9 in the 3rd period.
Special teams: Detroit went 1-for-3 in 5:19 of PP time; Tampa Bay went 0-for-4 in 8:00 of PP time.
Goaltending: Jonas Gustavsson stopped 26 of 28 shots for Detroit; Ben Bishop stopped 27 of 30 for Tampa Bay.
The 3 stars were picked by NHL.com's Brian Hedger, and he picked David Legwand, Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist.
The Red Wings' goals: Andersson (8) from Helm (7) and Alfredsson (28);
Nyquist (27) from Legwand (36);
Legwand (13) from Franzen (22) and Kronwall (38), PPG.
Faceoffs 28-25 Tampa Bay (Detroit won 47%);
Blocked shots 9-8 Detroit;
Missed shots 9-6 Tampa Bay (attempts 46-44 Tampa Bay; Detroit fired 30 shots on the net and 14 wide/blocked);
Hits 26-22 Tampa Bay;
Giveaways 9-4 Detroit;
Faceoffs: Legwand and Andersson both went 5-and-7 (42%); Glendening went 6-and-8 (43%); Sheahan went 8-and-3 (73%); Abdelkader went 1-and-1 (50%); both Franzen and Miller lost their only faceoffs (0-and-1).
Shots: Legwand led the Wings with 6 shots; Abdelkader and Kronwall had 4; Nyquist, Jurco and Franzen had 3; Andersson had 2; Alfredsson, Miller, Lashoff, Quincey and Helm had 1.
Blocked attempts: Nyquist and Kronwall fired 2 shots into Tampa Bay players; Smith, Kindl, Tatar and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Tatar missed the net 2 times; Alfredsson, Nyquist, Sheahan and Franzen missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Helm had 4 hits; Abdelkader had 3; Legwand, Jurco, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 2; Smith, Alfredsson, Nyquist, Sheahan, Miller, Glendening and Franzen had 1 hit.
Giveaways: Gustavsson had 4 giveaways; Andersson, Miller, Helm, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 1 giveaway.
Takeaways: Miller had 2 takeaways; Abdelkader, Sheahan, Tatar and Glendening had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: Smith and Helm blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Abdelkader, Miller, Glendening and Kronwall blocked 1 shot.
Penalties taken: Smith took 2 minors; Quincey took a minor penalty; the team took a minor penalty for too many men on the ice. David Legwand served the penalty.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective zero. Smith, Abdelkader, Miller, Glendening and Kronwall were -1; Kindl, Alfredsson, Andersson, Lashoff and Helm were +1.
Points: Legwand had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Nyquist and Andersson had goals; Alfredsson, Helm, Kronwall and Franzen had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the Wings with 26:27 played; DeKeyser played 25:54; Quincey played 22:43;
Smith played 19:18; Glendening played18:36; Miller played 18:14;
Legwand played 17:26; Nyquist played 16:10; Franzen played 15:57;
Helm played 13:53; Abdelkader played 13:33; Andersson played 13:10;
Kindl played 13:07; Lashoff played 12:29; Tatar played 12:15;
Sheahan played 11:51; Jurco played 11:40; Alfredsson played 9:27.
Update: The Red Wings' website posted post-game comments from Gustav Nyquist...
And coach Mike Babcock:
Here's a set of game highlights as well:
Add a Comment
Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.
Most Recent Blog Posts
About The Malik Report
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.