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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Panthers quick take: ‘easy’ game ends wild and woolly but Wings emerge with 2 points

The Detroit Red Wings' 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers started out as a wash and finished as a heart-attack-inducing thriller, but as the Wings try to solidify at least some sort of playoff footing heading into the Olympic break, I'll take the atrial fibrillation ahead of a day set aside to promote women's heart health.

This time the Red Wings at least flipped the script against a team that's become a nemesis of sorts--and a team that the Wings hopefully won't play again until next season--by out-shooting the Panthers by a wide, wide margin but getting scored on first instead of surrendering a lead, with Scottie Upshall's breakaway goal 19:34 into the 1st (Howard leans to the right, Upshall scores through the left pad) ruining a dominant 11-to-2 shot disparity and incredibly strong first period effort by the Wings.

A slightly tentatative Pavel Datsyuk and company didn't waiver, however, and Daniel Alfredsson scored a helluva top-shelf goal off a fine exchange with Henrik Zetterberg, who didn't get an assist, and a set of passes and rebound retrievals, respectively, by Niklas Kronwall and Justin Abdelkader 6:30 into the 2nd:

Alfredsson tied Nicklas Lidstrom for second in Swedish-born NHL scoring on the goal.

The Red Wings' momentum kept going despite a middling effort by Jonathan Ericsson--who seemed to be channeling his inner Kyle Quincey--and some adventurous power play moments by the Datsyuk-Sheahan-Jurco-with-DeKeyser-and-Tatar-on-the-point unit, and Gustav Nyquist did a fantastic job of converting a fine pair of Jimmy Howard saves into goal #14 for #14, scored with 6:46 left in the 2nd.

 

Regrettably, the wind seemed to get blown out of the Wings' sails after Tomas Kopecky took a pair of minors for high-sticking Luke Glendening and chipping a puck at the ref, respectively, at 14:01--forty-seven seconds after Nyquist's goal--and a predictable Wings, "Let's try to pass it into the net!" power play sapped Detroits' momentum.

The Wings emerged from the second period out-shooting Florida 12-6 in the 2nd and 23-8 overall, but that wasn't going to last.

In the third period, the Wings were...Kinda crappy, kinda predictably against Florida. The Panthers got a pair of even-up penalties as Daniel Alfredsson was called for more or less shoving a Panther at 5:02 and Brian Lashoff got a late call for cross-checking with 2:26 left in regulation, but in between the two and after Lashoff headed to the box, the WIngs let the Panthers pepper Jimmy Howard with SIXTEEN shots, and Howard fumbled and bumbled on occasion, but he was rock-solid, and when Brian Lashoff came out of the penalty box, Darren Helm lent him a hand in scoring his first in 81 games:

Pavel Datsyuk was tentative, Jonathan Ericsson was awful, putting Joakim Andersson on the Glendening-Miller line has sapped it of its "pop" and the ending was scary as *#$%@&, but the Wings won, and they'll be heading into Tampa Bay for a game against a Lightning team that lost Ben Bishop and Valtteri Filppula's services en route to a negative result on Thursday:

Given that the Wings blew leads and gave away points to the Panthers and Divin' Tim Thomas on so many occasions, I'll take this one and suggest that the Wings run and do not walk to the team plane to get the *#$%@& out of dodge.

Now Detroit needs to end on a strong note and attempt to push to within three points of the Bolts on Saturday.

This guy was pretty good, too:

Quickie stats:

Shots: 33-24 Detroit overall. Detroit outshot Florida 11-2 in the 1st, Detroit outshot Florida 12-6 in the 2nd and Detroit was outshot 16-10 in the 3rd.

Special teams: The Red Wings went 1-for-7 in 11:22 of PP time; the Panthers went 0-for-3 in 4:28 of PP time.

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 23 of 24 shots for the Red Wings; Tim Thomas stopped 30 of 32 shots for Florida and Brian Lashoff scored into an empty net.

The 3 stars were picked by the "South Florida Media," and they picked Tim Thomas, Daniel Alfredsson and Gustav Nyquist.

Faceoffs 29-24 Detroit (Detroit won 55%);

Blocked shots 9-8 Florida;

Missed shots 14-10 Detroit (attempts 54-42 Detroit, with the Wings firing 33 shots on net and 23 wide/blocked);

Hits 27-17 Florida;

Giveaways 2-1 Florida;

Takeaways 11-6 Florida.

The Red Wings' goals: Alfredsson (13) from Abdelkader (8) and Kronwall (29), PPG;

Nyquist (14), unassisted;

Lashoff (1) from Helm (5) and Kronwall (30), empty net.

 

 

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Comments

Chet's avatar

Just got an appletv specifically for gcl games, it’s the best.

You saw what I saw: not 52’s best game, still a nice team win. Howard looked great.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/06/14 at 11:33 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Ericsson had a very bad night tonight, but thankfully, Howard woke up in time for the second and third periods. I really hope we have someone different coaching the power play next season. Renney might be an okay guy, but his power play is anything but.

And as a result, we walk away from Sunrise with two very big points and another ROW. Those are going to be huge going down the stretch,

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 02/06/14 at 11:37 PM ET

ckrila's avatar

I juts love watching the Tatar/ Sheahan/Jurco line. Howard made some huge saves but Thomas was huge for Florida. Without him we probably win this game in a blowout. Why the hell did he have to come back…

Posted by ckrila on 02/07/14 at 01:47 AM ET

Avatar

Detroit’s 5 whole points out of the #3 seed in the East despite losing 60 combined games from D, Z and Franzen (among many other injuries) and getting mediocre goaltending from Howard, but remember… Holland’s screwed up the roster and Babcock isn’t the right coach for youth.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/07/14 at 05:35 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

The power play has been haaaarrible for how many years? What’s going on here?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 02/07/14 at 08:58 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Detroit’s 5 whole points out of the #3 seed in the East despite losing 60 combined games from D, Z and Franzen (among many other injuries) and getting mediocre goaltending from Howard, but remember… Holland’s screwed up the roster and Babcock isn’t the right coach for youth.
Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/07/14 at 04:35 AM ET

There is no way you can condemn the Wings to mediocrity in one post, and then break out the pom poms and spirit fingers in another, and do it with a straight face.

You must laugh maniacally ever time you sit down to post.

As far as the win, great effort for most of the game, and thank Gorde for the 2 points.  But damn, do they need a scoring winger and a top 4 D to help them close out games like this.

Posted by Hootinani on 02/07/14 at 10:22 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/07/14 at 04:35 AM ET

I don’t remember the part about Babcock being the wrong coach for youth. But I do remember begging for Nyquist (.75 points per game - I don’t forget your gloating when, after a fast start, he had a slow stretch) and some of the other kids to play back when the team was sliding. And I remember you laughing at those ridiculous requests. And here we are, you’re posting that the team’s prospects look really good as of right now - moving upward, stringing together a number of strong games and finally earning points.

I know some people are bitter with what you say and/or can’t stand you. I’m not one of them. Not trolling you here. But the kids have reignited this lineup. And as the important veterans come back, Bertuzzi sits, Cleary sits….who is going to sit next when Weiss comes back and if Franzen comes back? I hope it isn’t the kids. It sure looks like Jurco, Sheahan and Glendening have leapfrogged Cleary, Bertuzzi, Eaves, Samuelsson, and Tootoo in short order. I wonder if Andersson or Glendening will be the next center to sit…I think Miller is too important to the PK to drop him. What do you expect or want to see?

Anyways, the Nyquist- Zetterberg pair with Abdelkader looks like it has solidified itself as a line for the rest of the season. The chemistry between Z and Nyquist is great - they could have easily had 2 more goals last night (both Nyquist shots set up by Z). Abdelkader complements them well and he’s been great the last several games. By the way…he’s surpassed his single-season best points total this year. He’s got 23 points, most he’s ever had in a season.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/07/14 at 10:22 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

the Nyquist- Zetterberg pair with Abdelkader looks like it has solidified itself as a line for the rest of the season.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/07/14 at 09:22 AM ET

The problem is, now that line gets broken up for almost 3 weeks for the Olympic break, and any momentum and chemistry they have could go right out the window.  Maybe we’ll get lucky, and Nike and Z will play on the same line for Team Sweden.

Posted by Hootinani on 02/07/14 at 10:37 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Maybe we’ll get lucky, and Nike and Z will play on the same line for Team Sweden.

I didn’t figure Z to center a line in Sochi.  I thought he’d be on a wing with Backstrom or Sedin, but since Sedin (Henrik) is now out, it could be Hank will center a line.  So maybe this could happen (tho I still think I would put Nike on a lower line where he can be more dominant).

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/07/14 at 10:50 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Maybe we’ll get lucky, and Nike and Z will play on the same line for Team Sweden.

Once again, as a guy that will be wearing a USA jersey to work a lot for the new few weeks (and being half-Swedish), I hope the Swedish coach screws up and splits them up.  USA! USA! USA!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 02/07/14 at 11:48 AM ET

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Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/07/14 at 04:35 AM ET

Regarding Holland and the roster, I wonder if maybe you haven’t been paying attention this season…

Posted by Garth on 02/07/14 at 11:59 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I hope the Swedish coach screws up and splits them up.  USA! USA! USA!

I wouldn’t worry about the US team.  I think they have a chance, tho slim.  They don’t seem to have enough play-making centers, is what worries me.  But I’ll root for them anyway.

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/07/14 at 12:09 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Holland’s screwed up the roster and Babcock isn’t the right coach for youth.

Holland’s screwed up the roster  Hmm… I sort of buy that for the 2013 season if you want to be short-minded. If you looked at the long term picture though, the contracts of all the dead weight (Sammy, Cleary, Bert, Eaves) are all gone next year aside from Tootoo.  Even whipping boy Quincey who has played well of late is done.  What player signed on this team beyond this season do you not want? 

And what happens next year? The cap skyrockets up, and we have a lot of money to player with, and a lot of returning quality youth. 

Then consider the youth that is up here and performing, this wasn’t Bowman carry over, or sneaking Russians in a trunk, these are drafted and developed products of team Holland, credit where its due, if you’re going to slap him the other way.  Plus Grand Rapids has a few more kids in the waiting.

Did he “ef” up on the current dead weight, yep sure did, but he also bet short, and timed them fairly well, I’m willing to give him a one year off margin of error in the seasoning of a professional athlete.

Now what I’d like to see him do, is take some of this youth he actually has too much off to keep, and get creative on a trade for an impact defenseman.

I completely disagree that Babcock isn’t the right coach for youth, to me, he’s the ideal coach, he’s put millions of dollars of Ilitches money and Holland’s signees on the pine to let the performing kids play, and he has them bought in and playing well. 

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 02/07/14 at 12:40 PM ET

Avatar

Murray…you understand HiHD was being facetious, right?

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/07/14 at 12:45 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

welll now that I re-read his post I do.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 02/07/14 at 12:58 PM ET

maltby18's avatar

Does this mean the season is no longer considered a “dumpster fire” ?

Posted by maltby18 on 02/07/14 at 04:34 PM 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.