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Red Wings-Maple Leafs pre-season quick take: Wings finally look like themselves

Updated 3x with video and good news about Weiss and Babcock's presser and stats and stuff at 10:49 PM: There was a wee bit of bad news during the Red Wings' 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but it involved ye olde precautionary pull as opposed to anything major (hopefully, anyway)...

Update: From WXYT: Babcock to St. James: They hope Weiss's not hurt, they yanked him as soon as he was sore, they think he'll have a good start/be good teammate. So the emphasis on Weiss is "precautionary." That's good news.

Update #2: Good news again:

Otherwise, aside from blowing a pair of one-goal leads, the Red Wings' "A Team" slowly but surely got its act together, and when it earned the opportunity to put the nails to tomorrow night's opponent (7 PM, Hockey Night in Canada/NHL Network), the Red Wings' power play was lethal, scoring 3 straight goals in Detroit's 5-2 win over Toronto.

The script for the first 39 minutes of Friday night's game went as one would expect: Wings score goals, then surrender them. Joakim Andersson tipped a lovely little shot from Xavier Ouellet all of 5:18 in...


But the Wings let Nazem Kadri loose three minutes later, and it was tied in a hurry.

Things remained that way until the 6:23 mark of the second period, when Luke Glendening jammed home the rebound of a Kyle Quincey shot served up on a platter by Mikael Samuelsson...

But Quincey stood and let Nikolai Kulemin shoot through his legs after Pavel Datsyuk let him breeze around the back of the net, and the puck wiggled to Joffrey Lupul, who tied things up 37 seconds after the halfway mark.

Thankfully, when the Red Wings received a power play very late in the second period, Henrik Zetterberg put home an absolutely elegant passing play set up by Pavel Datsyuk and then Johan Franzen...

Nearly six minutes into the third period, Daniel Alfredsson whipped a hard slapper from the point past Bernier, set up by Zetterberg and Datsyuk...

And when Johan Franzen tipped a Niklas Kronwall shot and Alfredsson pass (that's 3 points for Alfredsson and 2 for Franzen and Datsyuk) with 7:33 left in the 3rd, well...

Aside from David Clarkson tempting Jonathan Ericsson into fighting him late in the game, that was that.

Howard was excellent, the Wings slowly but surely got onto the same page, and the Wings out-shot Toronto 19-6 in the 2nd and 10-5 in the 3rd, out-shooting Toronto 37-19 overall and going 3-for-4 on the PP with only 5:18 of PP time at their disposal--and Alfredsson's presence making a HUGE positive impact.

The Wings started very slowly, and the defenders got caught flat-footed at the blueline and around the front of the net too often for my liking, but the team's been so banged-up that it's hard to find cohesion all at once, and again, over the course of the game, the Wings looked like themselves, really for the first time this season--against an opponent not playing a rookie goalie, anyway.

We'll find out whether Weiss is good to go for Wednesday sooner than later, and the Wings will face an angry animal tomorrow night with a greener team slated to skate at the Air Canad Centre. I hope the Wings can stand up to the challenge and stand up to what will certainly be a grumpy bunch of Leafs--and fans.



Shots 37-19 Detroit overall. Detroit and Toronto tied 8-8 in shots in the 1st, but Deroit out-shot Toronto 19-6 in the 2nd and 10-5 in the 3rd.

Detroit went 3-for-4 in 5:18 of PP time; Toronto went 1-for-3 in 5:24 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 17 of 19 shots against; Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 of 37.

The 3 stars were picked by Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika, and he picked Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Daniel Alfredsson.

The Wings' goals: Andersson (1) from Ouellet (1) and Bertuzzi (1);

Glendening (1) from Quincey (1) and Samuelsson (1);

Zetterberg (1) from Franzen (1) and Datsyuk (1), PPG;

Alfredsson (1) from Zetterberg (1) and Datsyuk (2), PPG;

Franzen (1) from Kronwall (1) and Alfredsson (1), PPG.

Faceoffs 36-27 Detroit (Detroit won 57%);

Blocked shots 10-7 Toronto;

Missed shots 8-5 Toronto (total attempts 52-34 Detroit);

Hits 24-15 Detroit;

Giveaways 7-0 Detroit;

Takeaways 7-2 Toronto.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 15-and-4 (79%); Andersson went 8-and-10 (44%); Glendening went 5-and-7 (42%); Weiss went 6-and-3 (67%); Franzen went 0-and-2 (0%); Bertuzzi went 1-and-1 (50%); Zetterberg went 1-and-0 (100%).

Shots: Alfredsson, Quincey and Franzen co-led the team with 4 shots; Abdelkader, Andersson and Samuelsson had 3; Datsyuk, Glendening Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Cleary had 2; Kindl, Lashoff, Jurco, Zetterberg, Ouellet and Weiss had 1.

Blocked attempts: Alfredsson, Zetterberg, Kronwall and Franzen hit Toronto players 2 times; Quincey and Weiss hit Leaf players 1 time.

Missed shots: Kindl missed the net 2 times; Alfredsson, Jurco and Weiss missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the Wings with 4 hits; Glendening had 3; Lashoff, Jurco and Ericsson had 2; Alfredsson and Cleary had 1.

Giveaways: Datsyuk and Alfredsson had 2 giveaways; Abdelkader, Kronwall and Cleary had 1.

Takeaways: Jurco and Bertuzzi had takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall blocked 2 Leaf shots; Kindl, Alfredsson, Quincey, Glendening and Weiss blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Ericsson got 2 and 5, first for interference and then for fighting; Bertuzzi and Franzen took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective +5. Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Zetterberg were -1; Andersson, Jurco, Quincey, Samuelsson, Glendening, Bertuzzi, Ouellet and Cleary were +1.

Points: Alfredsson had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Franzen had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Datsyuk had 2 assists; Andersson and Glendening had goals; Quincey, Samuelsson, Bertuzzi, Kronwall and Ouellet had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 23:13 played; Ericsson played 19:52; Quincey played 19:13;

Lashoff played 18:45; Datsyuk played 18:10; Kindl played 17:53;

Zetterberg played 17:45; Franzen played 17:34; Abdelkader played 16:34;

Alfredsson played 16:23; Andersson played 16:08; Cleary played 15:58;

Ouellet played 15:57; Bertuzzi played 13:47; Glendening played 12:43;

Samuelsson played 12:18; Weiss played 11:47; Jurco played 10:36.

Update: Via RedWingsFeed, here's Babcock's post-game presser, from the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...

And here's a slate of game highlights:

Update #4: Hockeyfights posted the Ericsson-Clarkson bout:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


SnarkinLarkin's avatar

The most impressive thing I’ve seen so far in the preseason is how strong our face-off percentages have been. Weiss has looked particularly impressive. It will be nice not to have to send Pav out every time the Wings have a defensive zone face-off in the playoffs.

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 09/27/13 at 10:29 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...the Red Wings’ power play was lethal, scoring 3 straight goals in Detroit’s 5-2 win over Toronto

And that was against a Leafs team that had killed 25 of 26 penalties coming into the game. Isn’t it amazing what movement will do to make a power play “lethal.” There was very little standing around playing “catch” with the puck. Everyone moved – and the puck moved to other players as they moved. It was the best I’ve seen the power play in years.

Kudos tonight to Oulette and Glendenning, with a hat tip to Andersson. I thought Oulette was steady and defensively responsible ( far more so than Smith has been). Glendenning was in the middle of everything that went on when he was on the ice. And Andy’s starting to look like he really belongs in the NHL.

Worst player that I saw tonight was Sammy. At one point the Leafs announcer said, “Wow, he missed the net by 50 feet with that shot.” It was an exaggeration, but maybe by only half. smile

All in all, that was a great game to watch. And I even enjoyed the Leafs announcers. They had a lot of positive things to say about the Wings and, surprisingly, about Detroit. Now let’s see what they have to say about the “Wiffins” tomorrow night.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/27/13 at 11:46 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

I only watched the highlights, but I HAD TO log in and comment on that freaking one-timer slap shot from Alffrreeddssssoon!!  GOD DAMN IT, it brought tears to my eyes…

I cannot remember the last time I saw a Red Wing player shoot like that….  And thats just SAD!

Posted by Zqto on 09/28/13 at 12:21 AM ET

perfection's avatar

all I have to say about tonight’s game is: ohhhhhhhhhhhhh…... THAT Daniel Alfredsson

And I’m really glad Weiss isn’t hurt. Those guys need to find a groove early. We have a lot riding on a pretty rickety second line. 

honestly, my favorite part about the Leafs announcers compared to the buffoons I hear all season around the US is that they at least know how to pronounce everyone’s name properly (even guys like Jurco). Some places (NASHVILLE!) are just embarrassing with how unprofessional their announcers are. Sometimes they seem like they just came from their day jobs and are looking at the away roster for the first time ever. 

and while this doesn’t change my view a bit regarding the Wings retaining a goon, watching this preseason matchup you do get the sense a playoff series against those guys could get pretty nasty. There was some hate starting to bubble between Abby and Phaneuf. Come April that could get real ugly. 

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/28/13 at 01:09 AM ET


Watching the decisions and plays Alfredsson made playing the point on the power play really highlighted how ridiculously bad Samuelsson is at it.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 09/28/13 at 02:33 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Watching the decisions and plays Alfredsson made playing the point on the power play really highlighted how ridiculously bad Samuelsson is at it.

Bingo. Bango. Bongo. We have a winner. smile


Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/28/13 at 09:27 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

There was some hate starting to bubble between Abby and Phaneuf. Come April that could get real ugly.

I could stomach trading five minutes of Abdelkader for five minutes of Phaneuf.

The only thing I don’t know is if Phaneuf is a big enough name anymore to get the “Damnit Pronger” treatment if he crosses a line. I don’t think he is, but it’s at least partially balanced by the fact that he plays for the NHL’s most-powerful team.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/28/13 at 10:19 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Nice shot Clarkson took at Ericsson after he was already on the ice. I like how he’s still allowed to play until the regular season starts…or while he’s appealing the suspension.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 09/28/13 at 01:08 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I could stomach trading five minutes of Abdelkader for five minutes of Phaneuf.

i hear this… but my thought comes more down to overall playing style. If you noticed last night the Leafs played a Wings style up and down, puck possession game for the most part probably because they are trying to find their legs and sticks before the season starts.

Even if Phaneuf and Abby were to get in a fair fight, yeah it’s a good tradeoff, but I’m more concerned with the escalating tit for tat in a playoff series and the risk of the entire playing style shifting to their style of goonery which is not a style we can really play. Even if we win a playoff series with them playing that style we would probably come out too banged up to make much noise the rest of the playoffs.

again, I’m not calling for a goon, but I am definitely curious as to how physical THIS Carlyle team will get come playoff time. I wonder if he’ll institute the Ducks classic “they can’t call everything” strategy against the Wings?

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/28/13 at 02:15 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/28/13 at 02:15 PM ET

They way to get around a tit-for-tat escalation is, to put it bluntly, have a power play that’s the absolute tits.

The tat stops when that happens.  In the absence of that, not playing into their style would remain the Wings’ best choice.  Unfortunately, unless you’re going to come to absolutely mutually assured destruction in the arms race for goons, all you’re really doing is inviting that style of play if you play into it and the Leafs have a five year head start on putting together the kind of team that wants to play that game.

It sucks, because I still think the Ducks series in 2009 had more to do with the Wings’ inability to win the cup than any other team in those playoffs, but there isn’t a good way to guard against it other than to skate away from those net-front scrums and keep your head up on the ice when goons come to run you.

In the meantime, here’s to hoping that the stuff like the Ron Rolston fine was at least the start of the message that tough, physical hockey is ok where circus sideshow goonery has to go. People don’t give the Wings enough credit for being able to actually do the first because they think that the second is what defines it.


Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/28/13 at 03:13 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Great post man. Can’t agree with you more on every point.

So far so good on the PP front. And I think it’ll be even more vicious when we have a full roster. Our PP will be something like Franz/Pav/Z/Kronner/Alfie and (hopefully) Tats/Gus/Weiss/Smith/Kindl (or god forbid… sammy. hell, I’d rather dress Almquist)

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/28/13 at 04:43 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.