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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Oilers quick take: Wings win the horse race

Updated 3x with highlights and post-game clips at 6:01 PM: Jimmy Howard will start tomorrow, per Mike Babcock on 97.1 FM: Goodness gracious, great balls of fire, the Detroit Red Wings played a wonderfully, wonderfully entertaining game against an Edmonton Oilers team that nearly squeaked one out thanks to Nikolai Khabibulin's masterful performance, narrowly out-performed and out-played by the savvy, veteran Pavel Datsyuks, I mean Red Wings, who earned a 2-1 win in gutsy, glorious fashion.

But the Red Wings got the first goal, a fantatsic lateral-lateral-lateral play to Pavel Datsyuk, who ripped a hard shot past Khabibulin thanks to a great legal pick by Johan Franzen, the Wings survived Justin Schultz's late 2nd period PPG via a slap shot through a couple of Oilers and Wings that Jimmy Howard never saw, and in the third period of a penalty-filled game (so much for consistent refereeing), Franzen played into the equation again as Zetterberg, Super Datsyuk (Datsyuk narrowly out-performed Khabibulin) and Brunner got the puck back to Niklas Kronwall and he ripped a high, hard shot through Khabibulin with Johan Franzen in front.

Franzen and the penalty-prone Wings nearly got overtime for their trouble, however, with the Wings having to kill an extended 5-on-3 against, but Drew Miller, Zetterberg, Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Brian Lashoff especially (Kent Huskins might be out of a job) worked their asses off and Jimmy Howard was so clutch that you barely noticed that he did in fact make some wonderful saves and stoned Edmonton on some remarkable opportunities.

The Wings had strong efforts from everybody in the lineup--from Joakim Andersson to Tomas Tatar to Danny Cleary to Ian White and even Jakub Kindl, everyone showed up, and two teams that truly play the game the right way gave every Wings and Oilers fan their money's worth and then some.

Khabibulin stopped 28 shots, but Datsyuk was better, taking 4 shots, registering 2 takeaways and going 13-and-5 in the faceoff circle, and Damien Brunner (whose mom and dad were in attendance), Zetterberg, Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Kronwall and all of the Wings' best-skilled players out-skilled the Oilers' absolutely top-flight youngsters, and the Wings' support players out-worked, out-hustled and out-ground the grit the Oilers provided.

Both teams play the game the right way, the fun way, and I wish we could see more games where teams are absolutely fearless offensively and so genuinely hard-working and generally clean defensively. From end to end to end, both teams just plain out raced each other, and the Wings very narrowly came out on top.

Fantastic game, wonderful win. It should've been 4 or 5-1 Detroit. Let's hope the Wings crank up the scoring against a slower but more physical game against LA tomorrow.

Statistics:

The Red Wings out-shot Edmonton 30-24. The Wings out-shot Edmonton 9-8 in the 1st, out-shot Edmonton 13-10 in the 2nd and out-shot Edmonton 8-6 in the 3rd.

The Oilers went 1-for-8 in 12:52 of PP time, including 0-for-2 in 1:12 of 5 on 3 time; the Wings went 2-for-7 in 6:44 of PP time. They went 0-for-1 in 28 seconds of 5 on 3 time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 23 of 24 shots; Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 28 of 30.

The 3 stars, per the Windsor Star's Mark Falkner, were Henrik Zetterberg (3), Nikolai Khabibulin (2) and Pavel Datsyuk (1).

The Wings' goals: Datsyuk (4) from Brunner (3) and Zetterberg (10), PPG;

Kronwall (1, 50th of his career) from Datsyuk (8) and Zetterberg (11), PPG.

Faceoffs 33-17 Detroit (Detroit won 66%);

Blocked shots 16-15 Edmonton;

Missed shots 16-15 Detroit (total attempts 61-49 Detroit);

Hits 24-14 Detroit;

Giveaways 7-6 Edmonton;

Takeaways 8-4 Detroit.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-5 (72%); Zetterberg went 11-and-6 (65%); Filppula went 4-and-1 (80%); Andersson went 3-and-1 (75%); Emmerton went 2-and-3 (40%); Franzen lost his only faceoff.

Shots: Brunner led the team with 5 shots; Datsyuk had 4; White and Andersson had 3; Abdelkader, Cleary and Kronwall had 2; Kindl, Miller, Tatar, Emmerton, Filppula and Franzen had 1.

Blocked attempts: Franzen and Kindl had 4 attempts blocked by Oilers players; Emmerton had 2 blocked; White, Tatar, Zetterberg, Filppula, Ericsson and Andersson had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Brunner missed the net 3 times; Cleary missed the net 2 times; Kindl, Datsyuk, White, Miller, Tatar, Zetterberg, Filppula, Kronwall, Andersson and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Miller and Lashoff co-led the team with 4 hits; Cleary and Kronwall had 3; Tootoo and Andersson had 2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Tatar, Brunner and Franzen had 1.

Giveaways: Miller, Tatar, Tootoo, Lashoff, Brunner and Filppula had 1 giveaway.

Takeaways: Zetterberg had 3 takeaways; Datsyuk had 2; Miller, Lashoff and Filppula had 1 takeaway.

Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall blocked 3 Oilers shots, Lashoff and Quincey blocked 2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, White, Miller, Zetterberg, Filppula and Andersson blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Zetterberg took 2 minors; Kindl, Abdelkader, Cleary, Andersson and Franzen took single minors.

Plus-minus: Special teams goals = the Wings were even.

Points: Datsyuk had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Zetterberg had 2 assists; Kronwall had a goal; Brunner had an assist.

Ice time: Ericsson led the team with 24:00 played; Kronwall played 22:40; White played 21:32;

Datsyuk played 21:23; Zetterberg played 21:08; Lashoff played 19:55;

Cleary played 19:04; Filppula played 19:02; Franzen played 16:47;

Brunner played 14:47; Kindl played 14:41; Miller played 14:24;

Quincey played 13:04; Abdelkader played 11:11; Tatar played 10:39;

Andersson played 7:22; Emmerton played 6:55; Tootoo played 6:15.

Update #2: The Wings website's highlight clip is narrated by Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond:

 

And the Associated Press, the Free Press, the Detroit News, MLive and Sportsnet all posted recaps.

Update #2: The Red Wings' website posted clips of Brian Lashoff...

Henrik Zetterberg...

And Wings coach Mike Babcock speaking to the media:

 


This game isn't a marker of sure success for the rest of the season or something, but it's two steps taken forward in a row, and to see the Wings be able to out-grind the Blues, out-skill the Oilers and out-work them both...Is encouraging.

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Comments

Chris #19's avatar

Great game. Pretty intense. Nice to see Brunner’s parents making the trip (1st time in America).

Talking about Damien, don’t you think he should get the assist over Z on Kronwall’s goal ?

Posted by Chris #19 from Lausanne, Switzerland on 02/09/13 at 06:06 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Brunner got the shot off…I think they gave Zetterberg a kick to Datsyuk. Not sure if Z got his foot on it or not.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/09/13 at 06:19 PM ET

Chris #19's avatar

Most important thing is the win anyway. As you said, great game, great win. Nice work from the whole team.

Posted by Chris #19 from Lausanne, Switzerland on 02/09/13 at 06:27 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

Didn’t get to watch the game but listened to most of it on 97.1 via the internet.  Good to see the PP working.  Sounded like, and the highlights made it look like, a very entertaining game.  Hopefully the Wings will still have a little left in the tank for LA tomorrow.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 02/09/13 at 06:48 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Said above, and I will repeat it:

“This game isn’t a marker of sure success for the rest of the season or something, but it’s two steps taken forward in a row, and to see the Wings be able to out-grind the Blues, out-skill the Oilers and out-work them both…Is encouraging.”

The Sunday game against LA will obviously determine how the weekend goes for the Wings, but being able to see ‘em succeed playing two very different styles of hockey against two opponents who pushed back so very, very hard is a sign of some growth and a sign of some establishment of identity.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/09/13 at 07:02 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Every win is sort of entertaining, LOL.  We won’t see this style of play very often unfortunately.

The slow skaters sure stood out!  I am starting to think Franzen needs to lose weight, he doesn’t use his body anyway and can’t get any slower.

Cleary with 19 mins of ice time and Brunner less than 15 is a problem for me.  Cleary said his knees are feeling great = time to retire after this year.  Why is Eaves not playing?  If he is healthy he is better than Cleary and maybe a couple of others.

Back to Hack and Bash hockey, Kings, Blues, Ducks..

On Wed will someone please stand up to Backes BEFORE he continues to try and kill Z and Pav,,, You listening Tootoo, Aby, Bert…anyone!!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/09/13 at 08:38 PM ET

perfection's avatar

not to nitpick George, but Justin Schultz’s goal was most definitely via a wrist shot not slap shot. The only reason I point it out is because that kid has one wicked wrister. He seems to shoot almost only wrist shots from the point on the PP which, with the way teams block shots, is probably more effective anyway. You can release it much stealthier and you’re pretty much depending on screens or tips on shots from the point anyway so it’s almost just as likely to go in. And you don’t break anyone’s feet.

one other point, anyone noticing how well Ericsson is playing? Not just this game, but pretty much every game. He’s strong, defensively solid, physical, making great passes, limiting turnovers, and making utterly sick moves (like the smooth little toe drag today just inside the dzone that Murph actually pointed out. It was just silky.).

and other than the first two or three games, I totally agree with those of you who have been saying Franzen has been really good (I feel like people either write about how good he is or how bad he is… he’s become pretty polarizing, partially because he’s always going to be compared unfairly to Hossa). He did take a dumb penalty at the end of the game (which he clearly thought wouldn’t be called because they had just let a blatant trip on him go… stupid logic when you’re up one at the end of the game), but other than that, it was another game where he played big, strong, feisty, and created all kinds of offense. I hope he stays healthy and rides that into the playoff because there’s nothing sexier than Hot Playoff Mule.

And lastly, I thought Jimmy was pretty much berries today…. elderberries to be specific

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/09/13 at 10:39 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Lashoff played 19:55, had 4 hits & 2 blocked shots.
This guy is a keeper.

Posted by w2j2 on 02/10/13 at 01:35 AM ET

Slumpy's avatar

The Wings had strong efforts from everybody in the lineup—from Joakim Andersson to Tomas Tatar to Danny Cleary to Ian White and even Jakub Kindl

George I’m a devoted follower of you here but gotta disagree on you adding Kindl having a “strong effort” Saturday. You see that play where he had nail yakupov on the boards yet let him spin off him like he wasn’t even there forcing I believe Z to grab him to stop him from getting or creating a great scoring chance in our zone? Kindl is to weak physically in our zone and Kronwall is too around the top the crease bottom line. Kronwall at least hits occasionally and contributes offensively. Praying Smith to return soon and or Carla Cola to stay healthy upon return soon earning his paycheck. He works for Ilitch not the Gambino family. If he wants to be a thief he should of signed with the NYI and DiPietro making mad scratch for doing nothing legit.

Andersson is well seasoned at age 24 in Swedish league and AHL. He should stay here. We need his size and grit.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 02/10/13 at 02:58 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Hey, if I didn’t expect people to disagree with me, I wouldn’t be a good blogger…and I’m only offering my observations. You are always free to disagree or to call me an idiot or whatever. I’m just a fan calling it as I see it.

And yeah, it was a good game *by Kindl standards.* He’s still still loosey goosey at times, but he’s just never going to be a physical defenseman, despite his size, because that’s not how he plays. He’s got to learn how to use his size more effectively to simply take people out of the play if he’s not going to bang bodies, and that’s where body position, leverage and determination play huge roles.

Kronwall’s running around because he’s been covering up for everyone else. He’s also trying to be a little too much like Nick in playing goal at times, which Nick did well, but he doesn’t.

I don’t have a problem with the Wings deciding to send Tatar, Andersson or even Lashoff back to the AHL when the NHL’ers are healthy. You need as many bodies as you can to get through a 48-games-in-99-nights demolition derby, and there’s no point in sacrificing depth this year because certain players are all but ready to play here on a full-time basis next year. Warm bodies are essential, and if that means that the kids have to be overripe, they’ve got to be overripe.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/10/13 at 03:05 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Uber Youtube user and even larger uber Wings fan, awood40, has put up his version of the highlight reel in the win against the Slicks.

Thanks, awood!

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 02/10/13 at 06:27 PM ET

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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.