The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/09/13 at 05:51 PM ET
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.
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:
Update #2: The Red Wings' website posted clips of Brian Lashoff...
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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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.