The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/16/13 at 12:22 AM ET
Updated at 12:28 AM: The news on Kyle Quincey's cheek is not good. The Detroit Red Wings looked down, out and plain old lost afer giving up first and second goals against the Edmonton Oilers (see: Taylor Hall splits everyone, and Jonathan Ericsson's stick getting grabbed yields an easy rebound tap-in for Sam Gagner). The team seemed out of sorts, skating on the wrong side of the puck and puck battles in every zone, back-passing and deking and dangling themselves into oblivion for the first 40 minutes of the game.
But something must have been said by someone during the second intermission, because the Wings woke up, and all of a sudden, the winless-after-a-road-trip Oilers were in a world of hurt. After giving up 26 shots over the first 40 minutes, the Wings out-shot Edmonton 12-6 in the 3rd period and got a gorgeous 2-1 goal from Valtteri Filppula, and kept pressing until a second power play's worth of chances resulted in a circle and drag by Henrik Zetterberg, a drop pass to Niklas Kronwall and perhaps the most beautiful goal Jeff Petry will ever score for the Red Wings. All of a sudden, with 5:53 left in the 3rd period, things were tied.
The Wings still looked half-lost and half on-their-way to one point out of a possible four at times during the balance of the 3rd period and OT, but between Jimmy Howard holding the Wings in it with puck-sticks-to-him goaltending and, oddly enough, Kyle Quincey's facial injury (nose? teeth?) resulting in a shuffling of the 5 remaining defensemen, the Wings seemed to finally get back to playing efficient puck possession hockey as OT went on...
And as we should have expected, Pavel Datsyuk started a breakout with a diagonal pass to Johan Franzen. Franzen stood in the neutral zone and waited for Datsyuk to catch up to the puck, returned the diagonal pass favor, and Datsyuk deked and dangled between two Oilers defensemen before roofing the game-winning goal past Devan Dubnyk. Wings win 3-2.
If the Wings had lost, this game would've gone down as a playoff-hope-killer, and it would've marked a bizarre chapter in the team's history of self-defeating tendencies. The Wings literally looked lost and gone forever for the vast majority of the game.
But there are times when the Wings still remind us that they have the skill, will and determination necessary to out-hustle teams that have out-played them, and the Wings stole two points from the Oilers in Datsyukian fashion.
After the game, he gave a fantastic interview to Fox Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson, suggesting that the Wings may become "unstoppable like a red machine," and when he was asked about the team's tasks at hand in Vancouver, he put things simply: "Worry about today and tomorrow will take care of itself."
In more ways than one, perhaps...
Update: Rut roh:
Shots 32-28 Edmonton overall. Detroit was out-shot 10-5 in the 1st and 16-9 in the 2nd but out-shot Edmonton 12-6 in the 3rd and 2-0 in OT.
The Wings went 1-for-5 in 7:20 of PP time; the Oilers went 0-for-3 in 4:39 of PP time.
Howard stopped 30 of 32 shots; Dubnyk stopped 25 of 28.
The 3 stars, per Sportsnet, were Jimmy Howard, Pavel Datsyuk and Taylor Hall.
The Wings' goals: Filppula (6) from Zetterberg (22);
Kronwall (5), unassisted, PP;
Datsyuk (9) from Franzen (7) and Kronwall (16).
Faceoffs 34-23 Detroit (Detroit won 60%);
Blocked shots 20-7 Edmonton;
Missed shots 15-6 Detroit (total attempts 63-45 Detroit, with 35 Wings attempts going wide or into Edmonton players);
Hits 14-11 Edmonton;
Giveaways 9-2 Edmonton;
Takeaways 8-6 Detroit.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-7 (65%); Zetterberg went 8-and-6 (57%); Andersson went 6-and-2 (75%); Filppula went 2-and-5 (29%); Emmerton went 2-and-3 (40%); Abdelkader went 2-and-0 (100%); Cleary went 1-and-0.
Shots: Kindl and Quincey co-led the team with 4 shots; Datsyuk and Zetterberg had 3; Cleary, Brunner and Franzen had 2; Smith, Nyquist, Miller, Tootoo, Emmerton, Filppula, Kronwall and Andersson had 1.
Blocked attempts: Datsyuk and Zetterberg hit Oilers players 4 times; Ericsson had 3 attempts blocked; Smith and Franzen had 2 attempts blocked; Kindl, Nyquist, Miller, Brunner and Quincey had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Brunner missed the net 3 times; Datsyuk, Kronwall and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Nyquist, Quincey and Andersson missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Abdelkader led the team with 3 hits; Kindl had 2; Brunner, Emmerton, Quincey, Filppula, Ericsson and Andersson had 1.
Giveaways: Quincey and Filppula had giveaways.
Takeaways: Datsyuk had 3 takeaways; Kindl, Abdelkader, Zetterberg, Filppula and Franzen had 1.
Blocked opponent shots: Quincey and Kronwall blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Miller and Lashoff blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Tootoo took a major for fighting; Smith, Kindl and Cleary took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -1. Miller, Brunner, Emmerton, Ericsson and Kronwall finished at -1; Kindl, Datsyuk, Lashoff and Franzen finished at +1.
Points: Kronwall had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Datsyuk and Filppula had goals; Zetterberg and Franzen had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 26:58 played; Datsyuk played 24:07; Ericsson played 23:26;
Franzen played 21:42; Kindl played 21:37; Quincey played 21:08;
Zetterberg played 20:32; Smith played 17:23; Filppula played 15:57;
Cleary played 15:33; Brunner played 15:19; Nyquist played 15:04;
Lashoff played 14:12; Andersson played 13:05; Abdelkader played 12:19;
Miller played 12:01; Emmerton played 10:53; Tootoo played 7:10.
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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.