The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/14/14 at 10:29 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings' 2-1 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers was the LIVING EMBODIMENT of an ugly win, but in a month, it could be a beautiful, beautiful thing for a team that's now -20 in terms of goal differential in the 3rd period and managed to fire more pucks wide or into Oilers players (35) than it did on Viktor Fasth.
With nine players injured, the lines shaken up a bit (Nyquist with the "Kid Line" until Abdelkader replaced him in the 3rd period) and Teemu Pulkkinen playing in limited action during a superb NHL debut (2 shots, 3 more attempts, and a hit in 7:36 played), the Red Wings played...
Like a team without nine important players, surprisingly out-shot and out-worked in the 1st by an Oilers team coming off of a blowout loss to St. Louis on Thursday.
Thankfully, Jimmy Howard's adjusted to his new Vaughn pads and blocker, and he was superb for the Wings, giving the team the saves it needed to eventually witness Drew Miller and Tomas Tatar win a battle along the right half boards, Tatar emerge with the puck, stickhandle behind the net, and then drop it to Riley Sheahan, who roofed it past Viktor Fasth 13:53 into the 1st:
Regrettably, the Wings' power play was AWFUL, going 0-for-4 on the night, but the Wings made it through the second and seemed likely to squeeze a point out of the game...Until Brendan Smith passed to Ryan Smyth, and the picture-perfect giveaway was roofed past Howard with 11:17 left:
The Wings continued to blow power plays, turning Boyd Gordon's puck-over-glass penalty with 2:57 left and Martin Marcinin's puck-over-glass penalty 1:21 into OT look like mercy pulls for a team that wanted to pass the puck into the net...
And yes, a dangerous shootout loomed, with Todd Bertuzzi whiffing wide and Daniel Alfredsson firing a whiffleball into Fasth, but Howard was strong, stopping Eberle with his stick shaft, Perron with his pad and glove and letting Taylor Hall fire it wide...
While Tomas Tatar did this:
That was enough, and the win was indeed hideous, but with the Wild Card opponents continuing to earn points, the Wings desperately needed the two points, and they got 'em.
It must be said that the Wings now go into Chicago on Sunday, host the Maple Leafs on Tuesday and the Penguins on Thursday and wrap up the week by going into Minnesota Saturday and hosting them on Sunday, all before that hugely important Columbus game on the 25th--so they've got to play a lot better, starting with their Olympic Burnout Award-Winners in Tatar, Alfredsson, Kronwall and Ericsson, and they've got to start regaining chemistry and playing with more "Finnish" than what Pulkkinen alone can give them...
But you've gotta win a shift at a time, and sometimes you've gotta win any way you can, even if you're rope-a-doping the Oilers.
Here's the shootout:
Shots 23-22 Detroit overall. Detroit was out-shot 8-6 in the 1st period, the teams were tied 7-7 in shots in the 2nd, the Wings out-shot Edmonton 7-6 in the 3rd and out-shot Edmonton 3-1 in OT.
Special teams: The Wings went 0-for-4 in 8:00 of PP time, including 0-for-1 on a 4-on-3 in OT; the Oilers went 0-for-2 in 4:00 of PP time.
Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 21 of 22 shots for Detroit; Viktor Fasth stopped 22 of 23 for Edmonton.
The 3 stars were picked by Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji, and she picked Riley Sheahan, Jimmy Howard and...Ryan Smyth?
The Red Wings' goal: Sheahan (5) from Tatar (13) and Miller (6).
Faceoffs 29-27 Detroit (Detroit won 52%);
Blocked shots 15-15;
Missed shots 20-5 Detroit (attempts 57-42 Detroit, with the Wings firing 35 attempts wide or into Oilers players);
Hits 23-13 Edmonton;
Giveaways 8-7 Detroit;
Takeaways 5-3 Edmonton.
Faceoffs: Legwand went 9-and-8 (53%); Sheahan went 5-and-7 (42%); Glendening went 7-and-4 (64%); Emmerton went 3-and-2 (60%); Franzen went 2-and-3 (40%); Alfredsson won 2 faceoffs; Tatar went 1-and-1 (50%); Nyquist and Miller lost single faceoffs.
Shots: Alfredsson and Franzen co-led the team with 4 shots; Nyquist and Quincey had 3; Sheahan, Glendening and Pulkkinen had 2; Miller, Lashoff and DeKeyser had 1 shot.
Blocked attempts: Pulkkinen hit Oilers players 3 times; Nyquist, Lashoff and Kronwall had 2 attempts blocked; Alfredsson, Legwand, Tatar, Bertuzzi, DeKeyser and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Alfredsson and Franzen missed the net 3 times; Smith, Abdelkader, Tatar and Kronwall missed the net 2 times; Nyquist, Sheahan, Miller, Quincey, Glendening and Ericsson missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Legwand, Ericsson and Franzen had 2 hits; Alfredsson, Nyquist, Miller, Tatar, Glendening, Pulkkinen and DeKeyser had 1 hit.
Giveaways: Alfredsson and Kronwall had 2 giveaways; Smith, Sheahan, Ericsson and Howard had 1.
Takeaways: Nyquist, Sheahan and Tatar had takeaways.
Blocked opponent shots: Quincey blocked 4 shots; DeKeyser blocked 3; Kronwall blocked 2; Abdelkader, Nyquist, Legwand, Miller, Bertuzzi and Ericsson blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Abdelkader, Lashoff and DeKeyser took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished even. Miller, Quincey and DeKeyser were +1; Smith, Abdelkader and Lashoff were -1.
Points: Sheahan had a goal; Miller and Tatar had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 30:20 played; Ericsson played 23:21; Franzen played 23:10;
Nyquist played 22:25; DeKeyser played 21:07; Quincey played 20:11;
Legwand played 19:18; Alfredsson played 18:38; Glendening played 17:36;
Sheahan played 17:08; Tatar played 16:26; Abdelkader played 15:36;
Smith played 14:33; Miller played 14:02; Bertuzzi played 12:49;
Lashoff played 12:26; Pulkkinen played 7:36; Emmerton played 7:24.
Update: The Red Wings' website posted post-game interviews with Pulkkinen...
And coach Babcock:
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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.