The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/03/13 at 12:56 AM ET
The Detroit Red Wings may have struggled with some mental and physical fatigue after having played 3 games over the course of 4 nights coming into Saturday night's battle with the Edmonton Oilers...
But the Oilers didn't prove to be much of an opponent. Save a couple of goalposts and Brian Lashoff taking a tipped shot off of Stephen Weiss in the visor, there were no "scary" moments en route to Petr Mrazek's 14-save shutout and the Red Wings' 5-0 trouncing of the Oilers, giving the Wings 3 straight wins and their second-ever sweep of Alberta and British Columbia.
The Wings came out against a hungry Oilers team in tough, trading some chances and some shots--and having to kill a Brendan Smith penalty taken all of 53 seconds in--but Darren Helm pounced upon a slightly lucky bounce after Daniel Alfredsson and Daniel Cleary had cleared the zone, and, wouldn't you know it, Helm scored in his first game in a year-and-a-half, cracking the scoresheet at 5:09:
The Wings had a helluva bump-up shift, too. Joakim Andersson and Tomas Tatar capitalized on some Oilers gaffes in their own end, and Tatar slammed the puck into the net a 5:36, all of 27 seconds after Helm scored:
Soon after, Richad Bachman tweaked his groin, and the Oilers did rally a bit when Jason LaBarbera entered the crease.
But the score remained 2-0 for another twenty-one minutes because the Wings stayed strong defensively and played efficient hockey, limiting the Oilers' time of possession and working their butts off to keep the turnover bakery through the neutral zone closed. The Wings moved the puck speedily up ice to their forwards, they kept the puck away from their net for the vast majority of the game, and when the Oilers did threaten, they kept Petr Mrazek's sightlines clear.
The Wings' power play went 0-for-2 prior to Jakub Kindl scoring a lovely goal thanks to hard work by Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Alfredsson, 6:55 into the 2nd...
And the Wings held tough into the 3rd, when the Oilers really did come out on a tear until Randy Jones took a doofy holding penalty 5:01 in. The Wings didn't score on the power play, but they did score shortly thereafter, with Joakim Andersson netting his second point of the game when Justin Abdelkader mucked the puck down to Drew Miller, who executed a slick wraparound "pass" to Andersson 7:54 in...
And the Wings finally pounced on the power play with just over 10 minutes left in the game, with Todd Bertuzzi scoring a lovely power play marker thanks to a slick give-and-go play with Henrik Zetterberg, 9:43 into the 3rd:
Other than a crossbar late--and a dumb set of a minor penalty and then a fight taken by Brendan Smith, who finished what was an otherwise strong effort with 4 penalties and 11 minutes in PIM's--the Wings just cruised through the boos directed at the Oilers and managed to emerge a 14-save shutout for Petr Mrazek.
Nice effort, and now the Wings will head to Winnipeg hoping to make Jimmy Howard's return to the lineup and Helm's return to his hometown (or nearly so) a sweet one as the team attempts to sweep its road trip.
At this point, with the PK humming along, the Wings getting points from everyone not named Stephen Weiss and the young defense holding up very well as the team's strengthened its transition game and cranked up its defensive effort while working harder and smarter to keep the puck away from their own goalie for as long as possible--and when their goalies have faced chances against, the Wings have done their best to make sure their goalies can see pucks and don't have to face the kinds of secondary or tertiary scoring chances the Wings are earning at the other end of the ice.
Shots 31-14 Detroit overall. The Wings out-shot Edmonton 12-6 in the 1st, 9-4 in the 2nd and 10-4 in the 3rd.
The Wings went 1-for-5 in 8:56 of PP time; the Oilers went 0-for-3 in 6:00.
Petr Mrazek stopped 14 of 14 shots; Richard Bachman stopped 7 of 9; Jason LaBarbera stopped 19 of 22.
The 3 stars were picked by the CBC, and they picked Petr Mrazek, Tomas Tatar and Daniel Alfredsson.
The Wings' goals: Helm (1) from Cleary (2) and Alfredsson (9);
Tatar (3) from Andersson (4);
Kindl (1) from Alfredsson (10) and Datsyuk (9);
Andersson (2) from Miller (1) and Abdelkader (3);
Bertuzzi (4) from Zetterberg (7) and Kindl (4), PPG.
Faceoffs a stunning 40-22 Detroit (Detroit won 65%);
Blocked shots 15-13 Edmonton;
Missed shots 17-10 Detroit (shot attempts 63-37 Detroit, with the Wings firing 31 shots ON net and 32 wide/blocked);
Hits 29-16 Edmonton;
Giveaways 13-9 Edmonton;
Takeaways 10-7 Detroit.
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 16-and-7 (70%); both Weiss and Andersson went 9-and-5 (64%); Helm went 5-and-5 (50%); Alfredsson won his only faceoff.
Shots: Kindl led the Wings with 4 shots; Tatar, Quincey, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi had 3; Abdelkader, Andersson, Miller, Lashoff and Samuelsson had 2 shots; Smith, Helm, DeKeyser, Cleary and Weiss had 1.
Blocked attempts: Zetterberg had 3 attempts blocked by Oilers players; Smith and Quincey hit Oilers 2 times; Kindl, Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Miller, Tatar, Samuelsson, Helm and DeKeyser had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Kindl and DeKeyser missed the net 3 times; Datsyuk, Samuelsson and Zetterberg missed the net 2 times; Alfredsson, Miller, Quincey, Bertuzzi and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Miller, Lashoff, Helm, DeKeyser and Cleary had 2 hits; smith, Abdelkader, Tatar, Quincey and Samuelsson had 1.
Giveaways: Kindl, Lashoff, Quincey, Zetterberg, Kronwall, DeKeyser, Cleary, Weiss and Mrazek had giveaways.
Takeaways: Andersson had 4 takeaways; Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Miller, Lashoff and Quincey had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: Kindl blocked 4 shots; Kronwall blocked 3; DeKeyser blocked 2; Smith, Andersson, Tatar and Lashoff blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Smith took 4 penalties, 3 minors and a major for fighting.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective +20. Kindl, Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Andersson, Lashoff, Kronwall and Cleary finished at +2; Smith, Miller, Tatar, Helm, DeKeyser and Weiss finished at +1.
Points: Andersson had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Kindl had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Alfredsson had 2 assists; Tatar, Helm and Bertuzzi had goals; Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Miller, Zetterberg and Cleary had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 22:47; Kindl played 20:07; Quincey played 19:41;
DeKeyser played 19:35; Datsyuk played 19:28; Zetterberg played 19:08;
Bertuzzi played 17:30; Tatar played 16:57; Weiss played 16:03;
Smith played 15:08; Andersson played 14:56; Cleary played 14:43;
Lashoff played 14:23; Abdelkader played 14:05; Samuelsson played 13:15;
Alfredsson played 13:09; Miller played 12:55; Helm played 10:10.
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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.