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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Rangers quick take: ‘team loss’ makes incline of playoff-making climb that much steeper

Update: FYI:

The Red Wings played their fourth game in five-and-a-half days...As you might expect, displaying a fragile sense of confidence, a mediocre attack, poor team play on defense and an inability to generate or sustain any sort of forecheck against a New York Rangers team that was quite happy to grind out a 2-0 win over the Wings on Sunday--despite some stellar goaltending from Jimmy Howard (until the 3rd goal, which was terrible) and an infomercial for "Subtle Interference" by Eddie Olczyk.

On predictably bad ice and with the narration of an NBC crew that seemed intent upon convincing the world that the Red Wings are a dirty bunch of deceptive, interference-happy scumbags, the refereeing was shitty in terms of calling legitimate penalties on both teams, the Red Wings either couldn't or wouldn't stop drop passing (to a ridiculous extent in terms of the "Kid Line"[please, please, stop drop passing, Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco, go to the damn net] and Daniel Alfredsson, who both had particularly rough outings), and they kept both sending 1 puck-carrier into 3 or 4 Rangers through the neutral zone or just over the blueline, and yet they managed to give up so many 3-on-2's against that it was silly.

The poor team effort, an inability or unwillingness to concentrate on detail work and just what appeared to be an extremely mentally as well as physically exhausted Wings team yielded yet another NBC-or-NBCSN-or-Start Time Before 7:30 Local Time loss, and now the Wings go into Columbus rather desperately needing to wrap up this 5-games-in-8-nights stretch with a win...before a two-day break precedes a game-every-other-night schedule for the remainder of the month.

The Wings have gone 1-2-and-1 over the first 4 of their 5-in-8-nights stretch, and that isn't good enough, regardless of who you're scapegoating today (and Nyquist was pretty shitty, honestly, to those of you who are going to blame Kronwall, Ericsson, Howard--who's been very good as Jonas Gustavsson has surprisingly gone downhill a bit of late--or whoever else for what have been team losses over the past week).

The Rangers' first goal, from Bryan Boyle, resulted from a dumb 3-on-2 where Daniel Alfredsson (lost since he lost his teeth), Joakim Andersson and Drew Miller got caught on a 3-on-2, Brian Lashoff and Brendan Smith made some doofy mistakes and Smith tipped the shot past Howard 5:14 into the 1st...

And despite some adventurous refereeing and some poor play, the Wings held on until the first shift of the first period, when Jonathan Ericsson was to blame for a poor clearing attempt, the Rangers shoveled the puck to the net and it went off BOTH of Niklas Kronwall's skate and Chris Kreider's stick, yielding a "no chance for the goalie" goal at 14 seconds of the third...

But the salt-away goal was another poor performance from the 1st line combined with bad management by Kronwall on the 2-on-1 and a Jimmy Howard who lost his angle, yielding a shitty, shitty goal against with 7:49 left in the 3rd.

The Wings' continued inability to string wins together = this team can barely afford to lose a single game going forward, and in all honesty, we're going to be watching this team either make the playoffs or miss them depending on what they do during their final game against St. Louis on April 13th.

In the interim, it's up to the goaltender(s), players and coaches to try to sustain a forecheck, sustain attention to detail, sustain momentum and just stop playing scared as they head to Colubus on Tuesday.

The Wings can't do a thing to change the fact that Howard struggled early, that Gustavsson struggled lately, that Alfredsson's been hot and cold, that the Kid Line looked like it was stunned by the bright lights of the big stage in New York today, and they can't change any of their past mistakes...

But they've gotta be a whole lot better going forward to make the playoffs, and they're climing uphill mostly due to self-inflicted wounds.

That's got to change in a hurry, regardless of which player or coach you choose to single out for blame in what really have been "team losses" of late.


Shots 31-30 New York overall.
The Rangers out-shot Detroit 12-11 in the 1st, out-shot Detroit 9-7 in the 2nd and were out-shot 12-10 in the 3rd.

Special teams: both the Red Wings and Rangers went 0-for-3 in 5:24 of PP time.

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 28 of 31 shots for Detroit; Henrik Lundqvist stopped 30 of 30 shots for New York.

The 3 stars were picked by the "attending media," and they picked Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider and Henrik Lundqvist.

The Red Wings' goals: the Wings were shut out.

Faceoffs 29-21 Detroit (Detroit won 58%);

Blocked shots 17-9 Detroit;

Missed shots 9-4 New York (attempts 57-41 New York, with the Wings firing 30 shots on Lundqvist and 13 wide/blocked);

Hits 21-17 New York;

Giveaways 8-7 New York;

Takeaways 8-3 New York.

Individual stats:

Faceoffs: Sheahan went 9-and-2 (82%); Legwand went 6-and-7 (46%); Glendening went 6-and-4 (60%); Andersson went 4-and-3 (57%); Franzen went 3-and-2 (60%); Abdelkader went 0-and-3 (0%); Nyquist won his only faceoff.

Shots: Nyquist and Sheahan co-led the Wings with 4 shots; Tatar, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 3; Abdelkader, Abdelkader, Andersson and DeKeyser had 2; Smith, Miller, Lashoff, Jurco, Quincey, Ericsson and Franzen had 1.

Blocked attempts: Quincey and Franzen had 2 attempts blocked; Smith, Nyquist, Andersson, Tatar and DeKeyser had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Smith, Andersson, Lashoff and DeKeyser missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader and Glendening had 3 hits; Miller, Tatar, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 2; Smith, Sheahan and Legwand had 1.

Giveaways: Kronwall had 3 giveaways; Sheahan, Legwand, Lashoff and Jurco had 1 giveaway.

Takeaways: Smith, Ericsson and DeKeyser had takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: DeKeyser blocked 4 shots; Kronwall blocked 3; Alfredsson blocked 2; Abdelkader, Sheahan, Legwand, Andersson, Miller, Lashoff, Glendening and Franzen blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Howard, Quincey and Franzen took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: Nyquist, Ericsson, Kronwall and Franzen finished at -2; Smith, Alfredsson, Legwand, Andersson, Miller, Lashoff and Bertuzzi finished at -1.

Points: No one registered a point.

Ice time: DeKeyser led the Wings with 22:55 played; Kronwall played 22:00; Ericsson played 21:26;

Quincey played 21:09; Franzen played 17:32; Legwand played 17:31;

Nyquist played 16:53; Glendening played 15:40; Jurco played 15:20;

Abdelkader played 14:36; Smith played 14:35; Sheahan played 14:35;

Miller played 14:18; Alfredsson played 14:08; Tatar played 13:51;

Lashoff played 12:54; Bertuzzi played 12:51; Andersson played 11:40.

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George Malik's avatar

Oh hey by the way: if the Wings *do* miss the playoffs, do not expect “more massive changes than if the team’d made ‘em.* This is a stay-the-course coaching staff and management team. The team obviously needs another top-four defenseman, but after that, I do not expect them to make any major changes during the offseason.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/09/14 at 03:05 PM ET

silversailer's avatar

Here is how Howard ranks in some categories.

Wins:              30th with 13 wins…...Top 19 goalies all have 20+ wins

Overtime Loses:    1st with 10 (yes 10! overtime loses, not good)

GAA:              40th (subtracted a few guys who played less than 10 games)

SV%:              40th (again subtracted the guys with less than 10 games)

So what we have is a goalie who is CURRENTLY 30th-40th in terms of numbers compared to other NHL Goalies and has the most overtime/SO loses (meaning he isn’t very clutch when the time comes).

I stressed Currently because you can argue about what he did in the past or what he might do in the future, but RIGHT NOW he is not very good. and nowhere near ELITE, unless you consider being the 30th best goalie in the league elite!

Edit: And I understand that it’s not 100% his fault, the rest of the team has some impact on these numbers, but that only gets you so far. I mean Ryan Miller was putting up better numbers in BUF and they have a really s***ty team.

This isn’t just a reaction to the game today but rather Howie’s season as a whole.
Bottom Line, we need better goaltending if our team isn’t going to be scoring too many goals, Howard just isn’t getting the job done.

Posted by silversailer on 03/09/14 at 03:48 PM ET

Chet's avatar

what a joke. btw st. Louis’ dive on that cross checking penalty on Q was disgraceful.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 03/09/14 at 03:59 PM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

Amen!!!  ZAPPA !!

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 03/09/14 at 03:59 PM ET


The St. Louis dive was horrendous. Now I do believe Quincey legitimately cross-checked him,  but there is no doubt that his reaction was embellished. Some leader?

Posted by Robert on 03/09/14 at 04:43 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

We have known all year this is not a very good team. 
If they play hard, stick to their structure and don’t make too many mistakes, they can win on any given day.
However, if all does not go according to plan, then the better team is going to win.
This has been happening a lot lately, and I think other teams are playing closer to their potential, trying to make the playoffs.
The Wings were a decent team with Hank and Pav.
Without them, they are toast.

Boy, they could sure use a #1 D-man!

cool mad

Posted by w2j2 on 03/09/14 at 04:44 PM ET


This one is all on Lashoff.

Posted by maltby18 on 03/09/14 at 04:54 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

missing Helm and Weiss along with the guts and glue of Pavs and Z is not a prescription for success. Alfie looks absolutely gassed with the Olympics and this latest stretch the probable cause. You can include E-52 in that too. Can’t do anything about a D-man until the off season so we have to take the ugly girl who we took to the dance home and make the best of it. Could be worse like Vancouver and the Islanders are showing.

Posted by cigar_nurse from On The mend for next season Greenville Pylons on 03/09/14 at 05:03 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

That 3rd goal looked offsides to me with Krider’s back skate in the air on the line with the front foot offside. That is offside in any league. Is that like the phantom force at second on a double play in baseball that is so common? Bah

Posted by cigar_nurse from On The mend for next season Greenville Pylons on 03/09/14 at 05:09 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Can we start declining to play any more of these weekend matinee games on National TV?  They never turn out well. 

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 03/09/14 at 05:24 PM ET


Same old narrative, George. I do take exception to those who say this is not a very good team. When you look at their overall play and performance against the so-called good teams, they are rarely outplayed.

What happens is that you get guys in full-blown panic mode on occasion or you get guys who refuse to hit somebody lurking in front of our net. From a talent perspective, they are holding their own, even with the top guys out. Wings often play well for about 58 minutes of a game but somehow always manage to inject 2 minutes of sheer stupidity in their effort.

Today, the scheduling gods and crappy officiating was the 6th skater for the Rangers. Welcome to Gary’s world!

Posted by NewfieWing on 03/09/14 at 05:38 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

To win faceoffs, the Rangers centers mostly tried to tie up the opposing center’s stick and let his winger get the puck but the Red Wings adjusted in the second period.

Shorthanded and even strength, two Rangers players went for the puck carrier, one to tie him up and the other to take the puck. The Red Wings never adjusted.

Most of the time when a Rangers player passed the puck, he skated into the line of attack for the nearest Red Wings players (i.e., Olczyk’s favorite phrase, something the Canucks did extensively under Vigneault).

These are all variations on the same thing and can be beaten, resulting in odd-man situations and scoring chances, if you’re not waiting too long to make decisions with the puck and then finally passing into a dangerous area (how many times the past handful of games has a Red Wings player passed the puck directly to an opposing player in the slot?).

Posted by bleep bloop on 03/09/14 at 05:43 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

The Wings need three things:
1. To get healthy
B. A top 2 dman (top 4 minimum)
%. Howard must start playing A LOT better

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/09/14 at 05:50 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Oh hey by the way: if the Wings *do* miss the playoffs, do not expect “more massive changes than if the team’d made ‘em.* This is a stay-the-course coaching staff and management team. The team obviously needs another top-four defenseman, but after that, I do not expect them to make any major changes during the offseason.

I agree on that, since the Red Wings seem set with all the forwards on the team. Another horrible matinee game ending with the usual results. What disgusts me is how anti Red Wing the NBC tools are. They really totally ticked me off today. The next time the Red Wings have a game televised on NBC with these idiots (and I hope it will be a long time), I will definitely turn the sound off, and listen to the radio.

Posted by bigfrog on 03/09/14 at 06:03 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

The next time the Red Wings have a game televised on NBC with these idiots (and I hope it will be a long time), I will definitely turn the sound off, and listen to the radio.

My buddy’s dad used to be a Dallas Cowboy radio broadcast guy and he preaches the “For National broadcasts, unplug your center channel and just listen to the game/crowd noise from your other speakers” gospel.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 03/09/14 at 06:21 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I haven’t listened to a non FSN game in… I have no idea how long. Even when in a local sportsbar/pub any other sport takes precedent over an NHL game as far a volume. I have no idea why someone would put themselves through the torture that is an NBC broadcast team

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/09/14 at 06:27 PM ET


remember stephen weiss?

Posted by brians neck on 03/09/14 at 10:45 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

I don’t have a problem with the NBC crew.


Maybe it’s because I don’t live in Detroit anymore and I’m not used to having the home annoucers…
Maybe it’s because I remember the pre-Versus years when there was no American TV network…
Maybe it’s because I remember FOX and ESPN as being worse, much, much worse.


The next time the Red Wings have a game televised on NBC…—- Posted by bigfrog

Next Sunday. It’s against Chicago. I remember being so happy when I saw in the off-season that both of the DET-CHI games were going to be nationally televised.

Red Wings - Black Hawks. I’m ready for a classic.

I’ll bring the beer if you promise to have the Funyons, Bugles, and Spearmint Leaves.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/10/14 at 05:06 AM ET


I caught the 2nd and 3rd periods. When they said something about the 4th game in 5 1/2 days I wasn’t surprised to see them gassed at the end of the 2nd. Geez. Ice the friggin’ puck and call a time out coach. That, to me, was the turning point in the game. There’s no excuse for that.

I thought Abby played with a lot of energy. Too bad it didn’t rub off on the rest of them. Anderson looked good. I’d love to see Bertuzzi get going. Guys like that have to start leading. Put him in with Legwand and Franzen? Why not?

Gotta go with the hot goalie. Throw that crazy little bugger in there and let’s see if he can give them a spark. If it works, keep throwing him in. Howard sitting a few games always does him good.

This has to be one of my favourite wings team ever. I’d love to see them make the playoffs. Not much time left.

Posted by leftwing on 03/10/14 at 07:29 AM ET


The St. Louis dive was horrendous. Now I do believe Quincey legitimately cross-checked him,  but there is no doubt that his reaction was embellished. Some leader?

Posted by Robert on 03/09/14 at 04:43 PM ET

That was also a dive when Franzen got an interference penalty. 2 players simply collided, no interference by anyone, but boy, did St. Louis’  legs exploded. Flopa would be proud.

Posted by George0211 on 03/10/14 at 08:05 AM ET


Can’t blame this loss on Howard. The entire team was asleep. This was just sad to watch.

Posted by George0211 on 03/10/14 at 08:08 AM ET


The St. Louis dive was horrendous.

Is this what we’re complaining about after that abortion of a game?  That St Louis sold Quincey’s third consecutive cross check?

Posted by Garth on 03/10/14 at 09:15 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

I don’t have a problem with the NBC crew.

I don’t either.  The “subtle interference” thing did get old really quick though.  If your going to repeatedly say they do this all the time, then you better have more than just two examples to show for it.  The SAME two each time.  I don’t feel that they were anti Red Wings so much as the Red Wings just weren’t giving them anything to be fangirling about.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 03/10/14 at 10:53 AM ET


I don’t know, when they’re pointing out penalties such as barely tapping a guy with your stick as glaring SLASHES and instances of players playing basic defense -such as trying to get to the puck before the opposing player- then it’s kind of hard not to see a bias.

I should amend that.  I don’t think McGuire has a bias, but I’m not sure that “Edzo” uttered a sentence that didn’t include the words “Red Wings” and “interference”.

Posted by Garth on 03/10/14 at 12:12 PM ET


I am not sure how can anybody criticize Alfy for his lack of production. We are talking about possibly the best pure shooter on this team and one of the best passers. And Babs made a grinder out of him playing with Abby and Glendening (both guys who cannot shoot or pass). I know our options are limited, but putting Alfy on that line is even worse than Cleary/Dats/Bert line he tried before. Franzen can center a line with Alfy and Nyquist and Legwand can center a line between Abby and Bert. To me that would make a lot more sense than basically eliminating Alfy from the game plan.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/10/14 at 12:52 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

  NBC Sports announcers are an embarrassment to professional Sports and especially the NHL ...  Eddie Olczyk is pathetic and should not be calling any Red Wings games ..  his utter hatred of the Red Wings is pretty obvious and NBC and the NHL SHOULD BE ASHAMED letting him continue to whine about what the Red Wings get away with or do in any game that he announces on.  Unprofessional and disgusting.  I will now refuse to watch ANY NHL games on NBC until Edzo is not calling their games any more.

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 03/10/14 at 07:00 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.


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