The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/19/13 at 11:14 PM ET
I don't "like our team." Quite frankly, being a Red Wings fan, never mind spending the amount of time that I do covering an 0-and-7 team that's now 0-and-8 at home, this job sucks right now and my team sucks right now.
I'm frustrated as all hell get out because the Wings' disparate parts are not working together. As I've said previously--and even given that Danny DeKeyser will be out for an unspecified period of time with a shoulder injury--you can basically swap out Brunner for Alfredsson, who's been more consistent, Filppula for Weiss, who's been equally disappointing, swap out Tomas Tatar for Gustav Nyquist and add in Darren Helm, and this is the same team that went 14 games into the playoffs last spring, but its special teams are better. Its goaltending has been OK and its coach is pulling every trick out of his hat to help the team win.
It still dropped a 2-0 decision to Nashville, and when you've got solid personnel, good special teams, solid goaltending, secondary scoring and enough players and enough coaching to get it done, what do you do?
My problem with the "Free Nyquist" folks involves three factors that have nothing to do with their desire to see the Wings able to dress the best roster available:
1) There are no "buyers" in terms of dead cap space;
2) Nyquist would HAVE to remain with the team for the balance of the season as his waiver exemption would expire after 2 more NHL games;
And 3) No one player is going to solve anything. Not someone who's putting up 21 points over the course of 15 games, not Nyquist, not Anthony Mantha, nobody.
The guys in the locker room have to get it done.
And while Joakim Andersson's clearing pass yielded a power play goal by Shea Weber in front of a screened Howard with 4-point-something left in the 2nd...
But the salt-away goal at 7:13 of the 3rd was surprising in one aspect: Howard came out three feet too far to boot away a Predators shot because he was doing his defensemen's job, Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall were beaten to a rebound, and one of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg or Todd Bertuzzi led David Legwand pounce on the pass out front.
The team's best players, not Kyle "Minus Twelve" Quincey or some of the other convenient scapegoats, were out on the ice, and they screwed up just like all of their teammates have been screwing up.
It's been about bad decision-making and a complete and total lack of confidence--to the point that the Wings look like me trying to ask Sammy Braddy out on a date--and that's it.
Jonathan Ericsson bumping Patric Hornqvist down to the ice in the crease and Mikael *#$%@& Samuelsson fighting were the high points of the night.
The Wings were booed tonight. They deserved it.
But if you're going to commit seppuku or plan on leaving the team for good because Detroit's stank on ice of late, that's up to you, not me.
The low point of the season is the low point of the season. The standards do not change. It's up to these guys to get themselves out of the hole they've dug for themselves, and I still believe that they can do it.
But it is up to them to prove it and it is up to them to play some *#$%@& puck possession hockey, adhere to their "structure" and support each other instead of making mistakes trying to do each other's jobs, from the net on out.
This is not the end of the Wings as we know them, though this certainly reduces the team's margin of error going forward. This is a shitty, shitty time and it's something the Wings cannot excuse themselves from figuring out given the caliber of the personnel, coach or GM, frankly.
Shots: the Red Wings actually out-shot Nashville 27-25. Detroit was out-shot 10-7 in the 1st but out-shot Nashville 9-7 in the 2nd and 11-8 in the 3rd.
Special teams: The Wings went 0-for-2 in 3:18 of PP time; the Predators went 1-for-6 in 10:13 of PP time.
Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 23 of 25; Marek Mazanec stopped 27 of 27.
The 3 stars were picked by the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, and he picked David Legwand, Marek Mazanec and David Legwand
Faceoffs 34-32 Nashville (Detroit won 48%);
Blocked shots 15-5 Nashville;
Missed shots 11-7 Nashville (total attempts 49-46 Detroit, with the Wings firing 27 shots on Mazanec and 22 wide/blocked);
Hits 21-16 Detroit;
Giveaways 14-7 Detroit;
Takeaways 7-5 Nashville.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-9 (59%); Helm went 9-and-9 (50%); Andersson went 6-and-9 (40%); Abdelkader went 1-and-6 (14%); Zetterberg went 2-and-0 (100%); Miller won his only faceoff; Franzen lost his only faceoff.
Shots: Datsyuk led the Wings with 4 hits; Samuelsson and Zetterberg had 3; Andersson, Tatar, Helm, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Franzen had 2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Miller, Quincey and Cleary had 1.
Blocked attempts: Datsyuk, Miller and Kronwall had 3 attempts blocked; Ericsson had 2 attempts blocked; Smith, Kindl, Lashoff and Bertuzzi had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Samuelsson, Helm, Kronwall and Franzen missed the net 1.
Hits: Ericsson led the Wings with 4 hits; Miller had 3; Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader and Cleary had 2; Andersson, Quincey, Samuelsson, Helm, Bertuzzi and Franzen had 1.
Giveaways: Zetterberg and Franzen had 3 giveaways; Kronwall had 2; Smith, Kindl, Andersson, Quincey, Helm and Cleary had 1.
Takeaways: Datsyuk, Tatar, Samuelsson, Helm and Franzen had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: Kindl and Kronwall blocked 3 shots; Ericsson blocked 2; Tatar and Lashoff blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Miller, Tatar, Samuelsson, Ericsson and Kronwall took minor penalties; Cleary took a double minor.
Plus-minus: The Wings were -5. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Kronwall were -1.
Points: No one scored.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 24:21 played; Ericsson played 23:35; Zetterberg played 21:35;
Datsyuk played 21:33; Quincey played 19:17; Smith played 19:08;
Helm played 18:10; Kindl played 17:37; Franzen played 17:18;
Bertuzzi played 15:23; Cleary played 14:29; Tatar played 13:59;
Lashoff played 12:44; Miller played 12:32; Samuelsson played 12:32;
Abdelkader played 11:49; DeKeyser played 1:21; there was no 18th skater.
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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.