The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/14/13 at 09:40 PM ET
SIGH. Update: double sigh:
The Detroit Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Penguins was a situation in which the Red Wings were out-worked, out-performed severely on special teams (the Penguins scored 2 power play goals and the Wings blew the 5-minute major assessed to Deryk Engelland when he knocked Justin Abdelkader out of the game), out-goaltended (Gustavsson was fine--the Penguins were just much better in front of Detroit's net and Jeff Zatkoff played out of his mind as the Wings blew opportunities in front of him) and were out-lucked on calls like this:
I know that many of you are frustrated with the Wings' personnel or the lack thereof, but Ken Daniels duly noted that the Wings are 1-3-and-2 without Henrik Zetterberg in the lineup, and absent Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Jimmy Howard...The Wings did sit Mikael Samuelsson, they brought Patrick Eaves up on an earned basis, Drew Miller was earning second-line ice time on an earned basis and the team was all but triple-shifting Pavel Datsyuk by the end of the 3rd...
And the luck the Wings received from Sidney Crosby's stick when Niklas Kronwall ripped a low slapper at the net 6:09 into the game was all the luck the Wings would earn around the Penguins net:
The Penguins then scored a pair of power play goals and were tipping and jamming pucks past Jonas Gustavsson (who was fine) all night long; the Wings, on the other hand, burned Engelland's 5-minute major trying to pass the puck into the net, and while Todd Bertuzzi isn't quite back into net-front-crashing form and Daniel Alfredsson, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Pavel Datsyuk were oh so close many times, the Wings never managed to find the extra amount of jam and grit around the Wings' net that was absent from Detroit's efforts in front of "Chesterfield Township's" Jeff Zatkoff, who played out of his mind.
I'm keeping this brief beause I'm guessing from the Twitter atmosphere that I'm going to hear suggestions that Ken Holland and Mike Babcock in fact score goals and stop pucks, and because it's my unpopular opinion--especially given that the Penguins lost Malkin--that the Wings were simply out-played and out-executed on an every-player-versus-every-player basis.
The Nyquists, Tatars, Datsyuks, Alfredssons, Franzens (at center he can't exactly crash the net, but he was still very good), Millers, Eaveses (I can't say I like the 2nd power play unit) and even the Clearys of the Wings world worked their tails off, the defense was engaged and the team at least managed to keep its Center Ice Turnover Bakery's output low, but...
A Wings team whose roster is in flux got beat by a team that's running on all cyliners despite its roster issues. The Wings were out-hustled, out-executed, out-detailed and outplayed. And while Gustavsson was excellent, he surrendered the kind of goals that would have the Jimmy Howard critics up in arms about rebounds that should have somehow, miraculously been covered.
Shit happens. These games happen, and in this instance, the Wings lost "honestly."
Shots 29-25 Detroit overall. The Wings out-shot Pittsburgh 12-9 in the 1st, 14-4 in the 2nd and were out-shot 12-3 in the 3rd.
Special teams: Detroit went 0-for-5 in 11:32 of PP time; the Penguins went 2-for-4 in only 2:59 of PP time.
Goaltending: Jonas Gustavsson stopped 23 of 25 shots; Jeff Zatkoff stopped 28 of 29.
The 3 stars were picked by the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, and he picked Chris Kunitz, Jeff Zatkoff and Evgeni Malkin.
The Wings' goal: Kronwall (4) from Abdelkader (10) and Alfredsson (17).
Faceoffs 23-22 Pittsburgh (Detroit won 49%);
Blocked shots 14-6 Pittsburgh;
Missed shots 14-4 Detroit (attempts 57-37 Detroit, with Detroit firing 29 shots on the net and 28 wide/blocked);
Hits 22-18 Pittsburgh;
Giveaways 5-4 Pittsburgh;
Takeaways 9-6 PIttsburgh.
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 10-and-7 (59%); Franzen went 3-and-6 (33%); Andersson went 2-and-4 (33%); Tatar went 3-and-3 (50%); Glendening went 3-and-2 (60%); Eaves won his only faceoff; Miller lost his only faceoff.
Shots: Alfredsson led the Wings with 4 shots; Kindl and Tatar had 3; Datsyuk, Nyquist, Eaves, Miller, Bertuzzi, Cleary and Franzen had 2; Smith, Abdelkader, Andersson, Lashoff and Ericsson had 1.
Blocked attempts: Kindl and Miller had 3 attempts blocked; Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 2 attempts blocked; Smith, Datsyuk, Tatar and Ericsson had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Alfredsson missed the net 4 times; Datsyuk and Eaves missed the net 2 times; Smith, Kindl, Nyquist, Tatar, Bertuzzi and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Smith, Tatar and Ericsson had 3 hits; Franzen had 2; Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Lashoff, Quincey, Glendening, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 1.
Giveaways: Datsyuk had 2 giveaways; Franzen and Gustavsson had 1 giveaway.
Takeaways: Smith, Alfredsson, Miller, Tatar, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: Smith blocked 2 shots; Datsyuk, Andersson, Ericsson and Kronwall blocked 1 shot.
Penalties taken: Eaves, Miller, Bertuzzi and Kronwall took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at -5. Andersson and Miller finished at -2; Smith, Eaves, Glendening and Kronwall were -1; Abdelkader, Alfredsson and Datsyuk were +1.
Points: Kronwall had a goal; Abdelkader and Alfredsson had an assist.
Ice time: Datsyuk led the Wings with 21:55 played; Kronwall played 21:15; Quincey played 21:10;
Alfredsson played 20:31; Smith played 19:27; Nyquist played 18:57;
Kindl played 18:39; Ericsson played 18:21; Franzen played 17:52;
Bertuzzi played 17:20; Miller played 16:26; Tatar played 15:19;
Cleary played 14:32; Eaves played 14:29; Andersson played 13:25;
Lashoff played 10:00; Glendening played 9:58; Abdelkader played 6:01.
Update: The coach knows:
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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.