Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: Wings get back to work today with a lengthy to-improve-upon list

The Red Wings return to practice today after taking Sunday off, and they find themselves in the middle of the longest break between now and January. The Wings won't play until they entertain the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday--with those games kicking off a slate of 4 games in 6 nights, 6 in 10 (two-game road trip to Denver and Phoenix included) and, in total, 8 games played (and 11 in total) before the Wings receive their next multiple-day break near the end of the month.

Having defeated the Sabres pretty handily during the home opener, needing to count on late-game and overtime heroics to steal two points from the Hurricanes on Friday, and then having been soundly beat by the Boston Bruins, the both the Wings and their fans have just enough information about the 2013-14 team's ability to compete, its special teams play, its depth and overall "health" as an organization (no injury puns intended) to either agree that the team has much to improve upon but at least a solid enough performance that there's nothing to stay up nights worrying about...

Unless you're a player, coach or fan who just got used to last year's 48-game campaign, and you want to say, "THAT WAS SIX PERCENT OF THE SEASON ZOMG WE'RE TERRIBLE BY THE NEXT BREAK THE WINGS WILL HAVE PLAYED 22% OF THE SEASON FREAK OUT FREAK OUT FREAK OUT!"

Given the comments of Wings fans, we're all forgetting that 3 out of 82 is not 3 out of 48, and that 11 out of 82 isn't 11 out of 48, either.

That doesn't mean that the Wings were happy with the way that their performance seemed to tail off as their opponents' competition level increased, nor does the fact that their initial foray into their seven-instead-of-three-month-long schedule left them satisfied with the egg the team laid in Boston.

In his, "Week Ahead in Hockeytown" article, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose notes that the Wings feel that they've been thoroughly mediocre in terms of special teams play--nor were they happy with the fact that their status as earning 2 of 4 points in their first of 13 sets of back-to-back games was pretty close to earning 0 of 4:

“We know what it’s going to take,” goalie Jimmy Howard said. “This isn’t the first time we’ve ever had to deal with a back to back (games). We’ve been through these for years. It’s early in the season, there’s no reason to get down about it, beat yourself up. Put it behind you and get ready for Phoenix on Thursday night.’’

But after three games, defenseman Niklas Kronwall said the Wings are still looking to play a complete game.

“We have a lot to work on. Obviously the power play needs to be a lot better. The whole game in general (Saturday) was not very good. The way we came back (Friday) was good for us. Showed we can do it. It’s just about sticking with the game plan for 60 minutes.’’

Through three games, the Red Wings’ power play is 0-for-8. They’ve mustered 11 shots in 15:58 of power-play time. It was more of a concern in the loss at Boston than it was in the Wings’ wins where they at least chances were created through puck retrieval and increasing shots.

“The power play, if we get some goals there, it will help,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “Five on five will be tight. It’s not the first time it’s like that in this league. You got to have good special teams to score goals.’’

The Wings will practice on Monday and Wednesday before welcoming Phoenix and Philadelphia to Joe Louis Arena toward the end of the week. Straightening the power play will definitely be on the practice agenda, forward Daniel Cleary said.

“We need to get shots to the net and create traffic and get them moving around, and then we can start making plays,” Cleary said. “We have to work on a lot of things. It’s early in the season, but we have a few days to get a little rest and work on things Monday and Wednesday.’’

I hope that means the Wings get Tuesday off for their own sake. That's probably one of those CBA-mandated off-days, but this early in the season, there's no point in overdoing things, practice included.

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted that the Wings' coach was less than impressed with the team's ability to deal with the trap-tastic Bruins' defensive tactics:

“We were on the outside too much,” said coach Mike Babcock, something he’s been disappointed with the opening week “I didn’t think we were good (Saturday), so making an assessment after a game you didn’t play very well in the overall probably’s not a healthy thing to do. They were better on the penalty kill and power play than us. They were harder on it, more efficient. They won more battles than we did.”

Said forward Henrik Zetterberg, who scored two goals in the three-game stretch: “They kept us outside and we couldn’t find a way to get in for rebounds and second chances.”

For all of the Red Wings’ skill, there’s always been an element of doing all the tough work around the net necessary to score tough goals and win games. Being harder and tougher on the puck is definitely on the to-do list.

“We’re normally a pretty hard team on the inside, always driving the net and hanging on to pucks,” Cleary said. “We have to get back to establishing that. We all know our identity in terms of what we bring to the team and what our role is. Sometimes you have to take a step back and realize it and just keep the game as simple as you can.”

As far as the power play, Babcock has shifted personnel and felt the opportunities were definitely there opening night against Buffalo despite not scoring. But the last two games, the power play has generated little pressure.

“It didn’t have much,” said Zetterberg. “In the other two games we at least created a lot of chances, but the puck hasn’t gone in. (Saturday) wasn’t good. (The) power play, if we get some goals there, it’ll help (the offense). Five-on-five will be tight, we know that. It’s not the first time it’s like that in this league. You have to have good special teams if you want to score goals.”

Babcock elaborated upon his points of emphasis while speaking with MLive's Ansar Khan, noting that the Wings' penchant for perimeter hockey both at even strength and with the man advantage yielded no forechecking, little sustained offensive pressure and/or puck possession...

And significant periods of time when of forwards and defensemen looking like they were on different chapters of the same book as opposed to different pages of the same chapter:

“(The Bruins) were harder on (the puck), they were more efficient, they won way more battles than we did,’’ Babcock said. “I didn’t think we handled their pressure at all, their forecheck. We didn’t execute. We weren’t good enough.’’

Babcock liked the look of the power play in the season-opening 2-1 win over Buffalo, but not so much in the next two games.

“They put the pressure on you and we didn’t break the pressure down,’’ Babcock said. “If you don’t break the pressure down all you do is break out. It’s not a skill competition. Their four guys are working as hard as they can. Your five guys got to work harder.’’

He added, “If you look at Boston’s strengths, it’s size on the back end, ability to box out and keep you from their net is key for them. So if we want to be small and play on the outside and not get involved and be light on the puck it’s a long night and we’ll spend the whole night chasing. If we’re on the inside and playing hard and being heavy, it’ll be a lot more fun for us.’’

The Wings didn't receive any sort of offensive pop from their third or fourth lines, either. Joakim Andersson and Todd Bertuzzi had some chemistry in games 1 and 2, but especially in games 2 and 3, they and Daniel Cleary didn't accomplish much of anything, and while I'm one of Tomas Tatar's biggest supporters, neither he nor Mikael Samuelsson provided "puck-hungry" play on a fourth line that looked like "Drew Miller and two guys doin' their own thing":

Tomas Tatar had no points and no shots on goal in 9:08 of ice time during his season debut Saturday. He played on a line with Cory Emmerton and Drew Miller, replacing Mikael Samuelsson, who the club said is not injured.

The only way Tatar can crack the top two lines would be as a replacement for an injured player. But playing on the third line is a possibility moving forward.

“Normally, I don’t change a winning lineup,’’ Babcock said.” I was just looking for more. I didn’t get it.’’

The Free Press's Helene St. James posited a Sunday afternoon column duly noting that we should know much more about where the team stands after their Columbus Day matinee in Boston a week from today (at 1-frickin-PM), and she didn't pull any punches in suggesting that the Wings didn't play the kind of focused, consistent or aggressive game they need to display to win against just about anybody and everybody...

The team was stung, 4-1, Saturday by the Bruins, so much so not one player tried to spin anything positive out of it. Coach Mike Babcock said a lot about how the Wings played — or rather didn’t play — but also said it wasn’t healthy to make an assessment after a game in which, “you didn’t play very well overall.”

Some players talked about a good first period, but only because Henrik Zetterberg’s goal overshadowed 20 minutes that otherwise saw the Wings direct just five shots on Boston’s net, while allowing 14 at Jimmy Howard. The Bruins used the whole game, pretty much, to show off. The Wings were forced into turnovers, rarely got out of their zone, and were schooled in how to play.

“Boston is maybe one of the most structured teams in the East,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said.

Zetterberg echoed that, saying the Bruins, “play a good structure.”

The Wings pride themselves on doing the same, on every skater knowing his role. That structure is what got them three straight goals en route to a 3-2 overtime victory Friday at Carolina

Ultimately on Saturday, the Wings came away wondering how they might fare if they’d done a better job demonstrating their attention to details. It didn’t help any that they came in on legs that had played the night before.

Kronwall said after Saturday’s game that the Wings didn’t give themselves a chance, that it’d have been “a true test if we really showed something out there.” The good news is, there's only a week before another chance arises to do so.

And St. James' Monday morning column praises the Wings for their efforts against Buffalo and Carolina, but lay plain her concerns about the Wings' inability to put the puck in the back of the net (despite giving up 4 goals on Saturday, and despite his adventurous stickhandling, Jimmy Howard's been his superb self):

Why aren’t the Wings scoring more? Zetterberg is off to a good start, with two goals. That’s also a third of the offense produced by the team. Babcock has been unhappy after every game with the lack of hardness on the puck in the offensive zone. He threw Tomas Tatar into the mix at Boston, in place of Mikael Samuelsson, but it didn’t make any difference. There is scoring potential on every line, but actual production has come just from the top line, a trend continuing from last season. Pavel Datsyuk has a goal, as has Justin Abdelkader. Stephen Weiss’ overtime marker came during four-on-four play. The only other guy to have a goal was Samuelsson, as the fourth line helped out against Buffalo.

Alfredsson didn't score, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. He's registered 9 shots and has probably attempted a dozen more, especially on the power play.

What’s going on with the third line? Todd Bertuzzi, Joakim Andersson and Daniel Cleary make up a big, heavy line, with two wingers who love to shoot in Bertuzzi and Cleary and a very smart, very stable center in Andersson. This is a group that should dominate other third lines on many nights. It’s early, so give them time to gel and get going.

Then there's the power play, which is a disaster when Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Kronwall and Alfredsson aren't on the ice...

Oh, no, not the power play again: The inability to convert with the man advantage is a tired, irritating topic with the Wings. Answers generally come down to “if we knew, we’d fix it.” This was the case two seasons ago, it was the case last season, and it has segued right into this season after an 0-for-8 start. Power plays aren’t rocket science — get shots to the net, force the opposing penalty killers to move around, opening up lanes. Stop passing so much.

And we haven't even begun to discuss the adventurous nature and back-passing tendencies of Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith, nor the inconsistency from the sometimes-rock-solid and sometimes-skittish Danny DeKeyser and Jakub Kindl, but it's early yet.

What’s next? The Wings will work today and Wednesday on righting some internal wrongs. They don’t play again until Thursday, against the Coyotes, a team they should beat. After that, there’s a Saturday night game at Joe Louis Arena against the Philadelphia Flyers, followed by a second shot at the Bruins next Monday in Boston.

What’s good to remember: It’s opening week of an 82-game schedule. The Wings have beaten the teams they should, and the loss came on a back-to-back against a team that hadn’t played the night before. No one should look at Saturday and come away thinking it means the Wings are toast if the teams meet in the playoffs. Zetterberg and Datsyuk and Howard are off to good starts. Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson look like they’re fitting in well. The penalty kill has done a lot of good work. If everything was in tip-top shape, the reminder today would be the same — it’s too early to tell too much.

We've got enough data to suggest that the Wings "need some work," but something tells me that watching the Wings slip in the standings as other teams play games four, five, six and seven while the Wings rest is going to make you edgy.

Hang in there, folks, and enjoy the Tigers for a little whlie. The Wings will be back, and when they return, they'll be playing four games in six nights, and by the time Halloween comes around, they'll have played 10 games in 21 days and will find themselves taking part in their only Western Canadian road trip of the regular season (at Vancouver on October 30th, in Edmonton on November 1st, in Calgary on November 2nd and in Winnipeg on November 4th).

We'll have way, way, way more games-played "data" to chew upon and worry about sooner than later, I promise.

 

 

 

In the prospect department:

In Sweden, in the J20 SuperElit league, Rasmus Bodin didn't register a point in Linkopings HC's 3-2 OT loss to Malmo;

And Hampus Melen registered an assist in Tingsryds AIF's 8-3 loss to Farjestads BK;

Technically speaking, via DRW Prospects on Twitter:

In NCAA Division I hockey, James DeHaas didn't register a point in Clarkson's 2-0 win over Niagara, taking 1 shot in his second college game;

And if you were wondering what Kevin Lynch, Trevor Parkes and Max Nicastro were doing, the Toledo Blade reports that the trio and their Toledo Walleye teammates will begin training camp this morning, ahead of the ECHL's season-opening weekend:

The Walleye's training camp officially opens Monday at Huntington Center. Toledo plays its first preseason game at Kalamazoo on Wednesday. The Walleye then host the K-Wings for their only home preseason contest on Saturday.

The Walleye open their fifth regular season on the road on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Fort Wayne. Toledo's home opener is slated for Saturday, Oct. 26 when the Walleye host Wheeling at the Huntington Center.

 

 

 

 

Also of Red Wings-related note: For what it'sworth, the Boston Globe's Amalie Benjamin reported that Mike Babcock and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien compared notes prior to Saturday night's Wings-Bruins game:

While Julien and Detroit coach Mike Babcock didn’t spend any time talking about the upcoming Olympics — Julien is on Babcock’s Team Canada staff — they did get a chance to talk about the five-on-three penalty kill. “If you want to stay on the top of your field, you have to continue to grow and get better,” Babcock said. “When you get to be around Claude and Lindy [Ruff] and Ken Holland and Steve Yzerman and Jacques Lemaire last time, Ken Hitchcock. So when you’re around them, you’re going to learn a lot and they’re going to take something from you and you’re going to take something from them and in the end you probably don’t even know whose idea it was, as long as it’s a good idea.”

For what it's worth, part 2: MLive's Brendan Savage says that MLive readers don't believe that fighting should result in a game misconduct, by and large, anyway;

Because the IIHF is the IIHF, Lukas Aykroyd predicted the outcome of the 2014 Olympic hockey tournament, and he believes that Sweden will defeat Russia in the Olympic final on February 23rd, bringing gold to Sweden;

In the charitable news department, part 1: If you really, really, really have money to burn for a hockey-related charitable cause, the Waterloo Region Record's Greg Mercer offers an outlet for your funds:

Gordie Howe wore it in the 1960s, when he was dropping elbows and smoothly slinging goals for the Detroit Red Wings. Next month, Mr. Hockey's old jersey can be yours for just $175,000 — at least, if you pay its' accessed value, according to its owner Jeff Reitzel.

Reitzel, a local real estate and mortgage broker and author, is auctioning off his prized Gordie Howe game-worn jersey and giving all the proceeds to a Kitchener-based charity, Possibilities International.

He's owned the weathered piece of hockey history — complete with stick marks, burns and a few holes — for five years, after buying it from a collector who was retiring to Florida. It's believed the hockey legend wore the white jersey for several seasons in the early to mid 1960s.

After joining Possibilities International on a humanitarian mission in Ghana this summer, Reitzel was moved to help their cause in some way. He decided he'd part with his beloved Howe jersey, the most valuable asset in his extensive collection of Red Wings uniforms in his basement.

"That trip was really life-changing. I don't think I really understood what poverty was until I went there," he said. "I came home and was looking at this jersey, and was thinking, 'this could really help the charity.' "

Closer to home, per the Saint Clair County Voice:

St. Clair County Community College’s Alumni Association is sponsoring a series of hockey games to raise money for local charities. The newly formed SC4 Alumni Hockey Dream Team will take on teams from local non-profit organizations. The SC4 team is made up of alumnus and supporters of the college.

Proceeds of the first four games will benefit the charity opponent. Proceeds of a March 14 game with the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association will benefit the SC4 Alumni Association and student scholarships.

All home games will be played at McMorran Place Arena, 701 McMorran Blvd., Port Huron.

Home games include:

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, vs. Blue Water Area Young Professionals;

7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, vs. Port Huron High School and Port Huron Northern High School alumni;

7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, vs. Port Huron Police Department and Port Huron Fire Department;

7 p.m. Friday, March 14, vs. Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association;

An away game is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, against Saginaw Spirit alumni at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw. Proceeds of that game will benefit the Jayden Lamb Memorial Foundation.

Suggested donation is $5 per game.

For tickets, call (810) 989-5760. Tickets also will be available for sale by members of the individual charities.

And closer still, per the Red Wings:

It’s difficult to find someone who hasn’t been affected in some way by cancer. Either through loss, or survival, cancer affects hundreds of millions of people each year.

Join the Red Wings and Van Andel Institute on October 26th for Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Joe Louis Arena. Support the fight against cancer by becoming a part of Van Andel Institute Purple CommunitySM through the purchase of a $100 Hockey Fights Cancer Night ticket package. Purchasing this ticket package helps raise funds for cancer research, as every dollar over face value of the ticket you choose will go to Van Andel Institute. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised by VAI go toward research and education.

Each ticket package features the following:

• A ticket to the sold out Original 6 match-up between the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings on October 26th at Joe Louis Arena

• A commemorative Red Wings Purple CommunitySM t-shirt

• The opportunity to join Red Wings Defenseman Jakub Kindl and other Purple CommunitySM members on the ice at Joe Louis Arena for a post game photo and form a purple ribbon to symbolize your support of Hockey Fights Cancer.

Join the Red Wings on October 26th by taking part in this very special ticket offer, and help us raise funds for Hockey Fights Cancer. To get your tickets, visit: DetroitRedWings.com/hockeyfightscancer and enter the passcode: PURPLE. Only 350 ticket packages are available for this night, as space on the ice post-game is limited.

I can only laugh when seeing this Tweet from the Free Press's Steve Anderson:

 

 

And finally, again, I am going to be absent for both Thursday and Saturday's games due to my friend Mark's wedding. I can't change the dates. I'll try to give you a solid recap of Thursday's game as that's the rehearsal dinner, but I'm going to be indisposed for all of Saturday. I cannot do anything about changing the schedules and I'm just not going to worry about Saturday as that's the day for me to worry about Mark.

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Comments

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It’s so early it hardly even matters.  Losing the third in a three in four is meaningless as a comparator against the team who was a) at home and b) not playing their third in four.

The primary reason the Wings PP struggles this year is the same reason it’s struggled for the past two and it’s unlikely to change any time soon: they can’t get goals from the blue line on it.

Last year in 48 games they got 3 PP goals from the defense, which is 5 per 82.

2012: 9 in 82.
2011: 14 in 82.
2010: 15 in 82.
2009: 20 in 82.

Adding 9 more converted PP’s a year just to get back to the old average of around 14 or 15 blueline goals a season makes a pretty big difference, mostly because it forces the other team to respect the points.  Right now they don’t have to fear scoring from out there very much, so it makes it easier to sag and clutter the crease and lanes.

This is also why Babcock tries to put forwards on points.  He’s not an idiot and he knows the team needs more scoring from there.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/07/13 at 05:38 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/07/13 at 06:38 AM ET

Not to mention, with every goal from the defense, there are several more shots that made it on net from the point and gave the forwards a chance for a rebound.  Thats not happening, even on the PP, unless its Fredo taking the shot.

Posted by Hootinani on 10/07/13 at 07:16 AM ET

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Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/07/13 at 06:38 AM ET

Translation from blow-headed to every day language:

Sammy on the point - oohhhh
Sammy on the point - oohhhh
Sammy on the point - oohhhh
Sammy on the point - ahhhhh.

Keeping the puck in the offensive zone is the Wings most difficult task. Maybe, if they could keep the puck in the offensive zone they would get more shots from the point. taking more shots from the point means more goals from the point.

Did you compare shots from the point in those four seasons too? I’d be the 82 game average for last season is also lower than the previous four. That’s more telling than just saying they aren’t scoring enough goals. Heck, every team doesn’t score enough from the point.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 10/07/13 at 09:28 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The best news I heard regarding the PP was a muffled Tweet about Holmstrom being at practice last Wednesday. They NEED Homer to teach them about puck retention. He was even better at that than he was at tipping pucks down, and the Wings desperately need to retrieve their rebounds.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/07/13 at 09:40 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

They NEED Homer to teach them about puck retention. He was even better at that than he was at tipping pucks down, and the Wings desperately need to retrieve their rebounds.

I don’t disagree, but I think they’d benefit as much from watching or listening to Lidstrom (or Rafalski) explain what shots to take and how to find the shooting lanes he did.  More important than the goals he scored were the shots he got through traffic.  I don’t know if I’ve seen a powerplay where Kindl took a shot that wasn’t blocked in the last two years, for example.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/07/13 at 11:07 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

In that sense, it’s all about lateral movement—which Kronwall is good at and Kindl has at least shown an understanding of on repeated occasions.

In a shot-blocking NHL, when players line up to block shooting lanes, your best option is to keep the puck on your stick and move across the blueline to change your shooting angle. Alfredsson of all people seems to understand the concept, but you don’t see it often enough from those who should know better.

Move to the side, then shoot.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/07/13 at 11:22 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

In that sense, it’s all about lateral movement—which Kronwall is good at and Kindl has at least shown an understanding of on repeated occasions.

Kindl is deceptive.  It’s like he understands he needs to move laterally but not why.  You see him on the blue line and he looks like he’s trying to find an open lane but he just… doesn’t.

Alfredsson has been good in that regard.  There was also a shot during one of the games (I forget which; probably the opener because it was the only one at the Joe, where he missed the net and the rebound was predictably volatile and it made me smile.  I don’t think he did it on purpose, but I also don’t doubt that he’ll be shooting them off the boards before long. 

I was always a fan of him as a person but didn’t watch much of Ottawa over the years and, as a hockey player, he’s been very neat to observe (in limited doses thus far).  He’s something of a throwback in terms of hockey IQ.  He just gets it; all of it.  He knows where to be and what to do in a way that’s kind’ve missing with a lot of wings.  I am definitely understanding your appreciation of him more.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/08/13 at 12:31 AM ET

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Translation from blow-headed to every day language:

Don’t be a complete idiot, please.  Yes, Sammy has been used on the point, but he’s not been the only forward put there nor even the most recent, as three of Detroit’s top four most frequent PP line combos have 4 forwards on them.  I’d rather Alfredsson on the point than Sammy, but I’d rather Sammy on the point than Quincey or Kindl.

Did you compare shots from the point in those four seasons too? I’d be the 82 game average for last season is also lower than the previous four. That’s more telling than just saying they aren’t scoring enough goals. Heck, every team doesn’t score enough from the point.

No, because those stats aren’t available in a usable format.  It would stand to reason that there were fewer though.  But that also doesn’t diminish the veracity of my initial point.  There are fewer goals because there are fewer shots because the current blueliners a) aren’t nearly as good shooters, either in terms of getting shots cleanly to the net to count as shots, or in getting those shots past a goalie and b) they aren’t as accomplished at making plays with the puck to maintain offensive zone possession to (not) generate shots that (don’t) turn into goals.

And as far as your moderately facile ‘every team doesn’t score enough from the point’ comment, re-read what I provided.  It is not that Wings aren’t scoring enough from the point, whatever you might think ‘enough’ means.  It’s that they are scoring barely a third as many goals from the blueline as they used to. 

We’re talking about problems on a different scale of magnitude than just not ‘enough’.  I’d imagine they’re in the bottom third in the league in that regard.  Maybe worse, like bottom 5.

They NEED Homer to teach them about puck retention.

I don’t think it could hurt, but why not have Datsyuk teach them about stickhandling, or Lidstrom about positioning?  The point is that some people can just do it and others can’t.  Not everything is a learned skill, or a skill that can be improved through instruction past a point.

Not a lot of Homer’s game was ‘technique’.  It was tenacity, will, and pain-tolerance.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/08/13 at 08:10 AM ET

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Don’t be a complete idiot You beat me to it.

those stats aren’t available in a usable format huh? If not counted, then how are they tabulated?

It would stand to reason that there were fewer though.  But that also doesn’t diminish the veracity of my initial point.

Actually, it does if there were only 10 shots from the point last season. Teams would kill to have a 90% success rate on shots from the point even if it meant fewer shots.

There are fewer goals because…. Also the number of PP opportunities reflect the number of shots from the point so does an increase in shots from the slot, top of the circle, heck anywhere else there is an increase in shots can cause a decrease in shots from the point. Maybe defenses have better success against the Wings current tactics. that could lead to a reduction in shots from the point. The problem is that you think you have pinpointed the problem when in fact you have only pointed to one possible cause.

It’s that they are scoring barely a third as many goals from the blueline as they used to.

Assuming they wanted to score more from the point.

Maybe Yes, it’s all a bunch of Maybe because you’re pointing at symptoms.

I don’t think it could hurt

No it won’t so why make a big deal about it. They need help. Babs has addressed where he, the coach, thinks that help should come from. Who are you to make further suggestions?

Not a lot of Homer’s game was ‘technique’.

Next time you are hanging with Babs and Homer you should point out that fact to Homer. I’m sure he say, “yeah my game was low skill but I had tenacity to compensate!”

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 10/08/13 at 02:53 PM ET

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Alfredsson has been good in that regard.

Alfedsson has been a surprise to me in the passing department. He’s much better than I expected. I thought he was mostly a goal scorer. It almost like playing basketball with a bunch of old men. Eventually you get hit in the face by a great pass that you weren’t expecting. I am glad he is a Wing.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 10/08/13 at 02:57 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

Posted by howeandhowe on 10/08/13 at 03:57 PM ET

Thank you for sharing that a guy with 693 career assits suprised you with beeing a good passer grin

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 10/08/13 at 05:30 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Thank you for sharing that a guy with 693 career assits suprised you with beeing a good passer

He’s had a lot of years to accumulate that many!

I was curious, though, and did some basic number crunching on assists-per-game.

Alfredsson - .5789 assists per game.
Zetterberg - .5728 assists per game.
Datsyuk - .6573 assists per game.
And for the hell of it:
Yzerman - .7021 assists per game.
Fedorov - .5577 assists per game.

I found it interesting Z and Alfredsson’s averages were that close.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/08/13 at 08:25 PM ET

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huh? If not counted, then how are they tabulated?

You asked for location-specific shot tabulation.  To my knowledge that information is not currently disseminated to the public in a usable, searchable format.  You can look at game to game shot charts, but that doesn’t help very much in aggregate.

Actually, it does if there were only 10 shots from the point last season.

You don’t understand.  Re-read what I posted.

The problem is that you think you have pinpointed the problem when in fact you have only pointed to one possible cause.[/quote

I suppose that position depends on the duration or ferocity of one’s desire to be disingenuous.  In the past four years Detroit has gone from having Rafalski and Lidstrom as primary PP blueliners to having Kronwall and Kindl there instead.  So, yeah, maybe I might be on the right track.

Assuming they wanted to score more from the point.

Yeah.  That must be it.  Good point.

No it won’t so why make a big deal about it.

Your definition of ‘big deal’ is rather inclusive.

Next time you are hanging with Babs and Homer you should point out that fact to Homer. I’m sure he say, “yeah my game was low skill but I had tenacity to compensate!”

Have you never heard Homer describe his game before, dude?  Have you never heard Homer’s game described by… anyone?  Ever?

Do yourself a favor.  Go out and look around for quotes about Homer’s game from people that describe said game as skill-based.  Wait until you have a free week.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/09/13 at 06:07 AM ET

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You asked for location-specific shot tabulation No. Just shots on goal from the point. That would most likely be shots during the PP from players who normally play on the point.

Have you never heard Homer’s game described by… anyone?

http://www.foxsportsdetroit.com/nhl/detroit-red-wings/story/Holmstrom-teaches-Wings-prospects-net-pr?blockID=920483

“...Holmstrom’s unique skill is something the Wings wanted him to teach their prospects.”

“Red Wings GM Ken Holland said. “He’s one of the best net-front-presence players of his time. “

“Holmstrom has impressed everybody with his attention to detail.”

“Holmstrom said,...there’s all this stuff around the net like puck retrievals and moving the ‘D’ around.”

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1061821-detroit-red-wings-tomas-holmstrom-earns-1000-game-milestone

“It is not easy to tip a slap shot coming at you while someone is trying to push you to the ground.”

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=nc-detroit-red-wings-tomas-holmstrom-021012

“...Mike Babcock…Homer’s managed to have a good enough package to play a long time.”

“Andersson was chatting with a coach in northern Sweden. He asked who the best player was in his league. The coach said it was a 20-year-old named Tomas Holmstrom.”

“But you don’t play with stars like Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg unless you’re smart…He has spent time on the Wings’ top line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg at even strength.”

“He knows the precise moment he needs to block the goaltender’s vision. He knows how to change the direction of the shot just enough, and he has the hand-eye coordination to get his stick on pucks you wouldn’t expect.”

“What he does is an art.”

Go out and look around for quotes about Homer’s game from people that describe said game as skill-based.

Seriously, it might be hard for someone like you who likes to make up statistics and information, but doing a little research only takes a few minutes. above is what I found in about ten minutes. Do yourself a favor and try it out. You might find that people might actually like you when your not fabricating truth and expecting others to follow you.

So if it’s easy to stand in front of a hockey net and tip in goals then why isn’t every one doing it? Why aren’t hockey scores 15 to 12? You are completely selling Homer short by saying he has little skill. His skill as a net presence guy probably contributed to a lot of goals from the point.

“Holmstrom has created many more goals for his teammates.”

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 10/09/13 at 11:53 AM ET

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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.