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Red Wings-Sabres quick take: good enough

As is perhaps typical at this time of year, the Detroit Red Wings found themselves on the short end of a "crackdown," their power play was ineffective, and a gigantic brain fart from Jimmy Howard made the team's 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres far, far too "interesting"...

But Mikael Samuelsson's somewhat fluky-but-earned goal 12:05 into the 1st gave the Wings the lead...

Pavel Datsyuk scored a slick deke-and-dangle-and-backhand all of 36 seconds later...

The Wings ended up dealing with the Sabres' rather relentless smash-'em-into-the-boards checking, they somehow still found themselves tagged for 11:38 in PK time and 2:22's worth of 5-on-3 time, and didn't earn their third power play unti lthere was 3:58 left in the 3rd...

But, despite Jimmy Howard's doofiness (and Kyle Quincey standing around) giving the Sabres a significant amount of life with just over seven minutes in the 3rd...


The Wings' middling PP, oodles of PK time and their passive play in the 3rd didn't come back to bite 'em because Howard was superb, the defense blocked shots and passing lanes, while they didn't score, Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss were superb defensively, and after no-penalty-shot-scorer Cory Emmerton and Mikael Samuelsson were in the box, Joakim Andersson, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson were fantastic on an extended 5-on-3.

It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a good start, and two regulation points without OT or a shootout against an unfamiliar opponent, despite some unfocused moments...

Are more than good enough for a "first game."

Update: Yeah, I know, I forgot the waved-off Bertuzzi goal when Cleary tripped into Miller. It was iffy.


Shots 34-20 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Buffalo 8-6 in the 1st, 10-9 in the 2nd and 16-5 in the 3rd.

The Sabres went 0-for-7 in 11:38 of PP time, including 2:22 of 5-on-3 time; the Wings went 0-for-3 in 5:58 of PP time.

Ryan Miller stopped 32 of 34 shots; Jimmy Howard stopped 19 of 20.

The 3 stars were picked by Eddie Olczyk, and he picked Zegmus Girgensons, Kyle Quincey and Pavel Datsyuk.

The Red Wings' goals: Samuelsson (1) from Emmerton (1) and Kronwall (1);

Datsyuk (unassisted).

Faceoffs 35-23 Detroit (Detroit won 60%);

Blocked shots 9-8 Buffalo;

Missed shots 11-4 Detroit (attempts 54-32 Detroit, and Detroit fired 34 shots on Miller and another 20 wide or blocked);

Hits 21-13 Buffalo;

Giveaways an ugly 11-9 Detroit;

Takeaways 7-5 Detroit.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-8 (62%); Andersson went 9-and-4 (69%), as did Weiss; Emmerton went 2-and-5 (29%); Miller and Franzen won their only faceoffs; Zetterberg and Cleary lost their only faceoffs.

Shots: Zetterberg and Franzen co-led the Wings with 4 shots; Alfredsson, Datsyuk, DeKeyser and Cleary had 3; Abdelkader, Andersson, Miller, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 2; Emmerton, Quincey, Samuelsson and Weiss had 1 shot.

Blocked attempts: Alfredsson, DeKeyser and Cleary fired 2 shots into Sabres players; Samuelsson, Zetterberg and Weiss had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Zetterberg missed the net 4 times and had 9 total attempts; Alfredsson and Cleary missed the net 1 time and had 6 attempts; Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Quincey, Bertuzzi and Ericsson missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the Wings with 5 hits; Smith and Ericsson had 2; Samuelsson, Zetterberg, Cleary and Weiss had 1.

Giveaways: Zetterberg had 3 giveaways; Alfredsson and Howard, whose second giveaway yielded a goal against, had 2; Datsyuk, Andersson, Ericsson and Kronwall had 1.

Takeaways: Datsyuk had 4 takeaways; Andersson, Samuelsson and Cleary had 1 takeaway.

Blocked opponent shots: Andersson and Quincey blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Miller, Kronwall and Franzen blocked 1.

Penalty minutes: Zetterberg took 2 minor penalties; Emmerton, Quincey, Samuelsson, Ericsson and Cleary took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective +5. Smith, Andersson, Quincey, Bertuzzi and Cleary finished at -1; Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Miller, Emmerton, Samuelsson, and Zetterberg finished at +1; Ericsson and Kronwall finished at +2.

Points: Datsyuk and Samuelsson had goals; Emmerton and Kronwall had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 25:41; Ericsson played 21:04; Zetterberg played 20:52;

Datsyuk played 20:08; Smith played 17:15; Andersson played 17:04;

Quincey played 16:59; DeKeyser played 16:58; Kindl played 16:39;

Alfredsson played 16:13; Franzen played 14:47; Cleary played 14:43;

Weiss played 13:54; Bertuzzi played 12:09; Abdelkader played 12:06;

Miller played 11:25; Emmerton played 9:36; Samuelsson played 8:27.

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I thought the officiating was a little crappy, but a good win.

Posted by teldar on 10/02/13 at 10:58 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The officiating is always terrible at this time of year.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/02/13 at 11:10 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

Any word on why Cleary was wearing #71? Wasn’t he supposed to change to #15?

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 10/02/13 at 11:27 PM ET

detroitredwings's avatar

Sam took one shot, scored a goal, he is 100% effective raspberry

Posted by detroitredwings on 10/02/13 at 11:33 PM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

The officiating is always terrible at any time of the year.  LOL  Let’s Go Red Wings !!

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 10/02/13 at 11:35 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

My understanding is that Cleary was going to change to #15, but either Paul Boyer said, “We’re done here” or, more likely, he wound up falling outside the NHL’s window of time in which one can change one’s jersey number in June and July, so once he picked #71, he was stuck with it.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/02/13 at 11:38 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...their power play was ineffective…

Well, they certainly didn’t score, but I’d hardly call it “ineffective” or “middling.” In fact, the 1st unit looked absolutely lethal to me. I don’t think they had as much player and puck movement in all of last year’s power plays combined as they had in their three opportunities tonight.

Alfredsson brings a “Lidstrom-esque” level of danger from the outside and that seems to free everyone else up. And there was very little “holding” of the puck or two guys playing “catch” with it. Even the 2nd unit looked good. Imagine what it’ll be like when Gus and Tatar eventually replace Bert and Buckets – you know, in like two or three years. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/02/13 at 11:58 PM ET


OTC I certainly agree with you in regards with the power play. I only had the pleasure of watching the 3rd period; however, my eye lit up when I saw the first line controlling and playing with the puck. It has been a long time since I remember seeing something like that.

Posted by Extreme Monky on 10/03/13 at 12:24 AM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

The faceoff % was atrocious! That is a stat we need to watch closely. I know pre-season means nothing, but we were amazing in pre-season faceoff % and were well under tonight. Datsyuk was clearly on his game in that department, but he was alone in his excellence.

Posted by The Hurricane on 10/03/13 at 01:03 AM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

...and was anyone else a little less sphincter-puckered whenever Big Rig touched the puck? He was responsible and tough tonight.

Posted by The Hurricane on 10/03/13 at 01:05 AM ET


Two words: Datsyuk.

Posted by neffernin on 10/03/13 at 02:14 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Had an internet hiccup. Still working on recap.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/03/13 at 02:17 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

But, despite Jimmy Howard’s doofiness (and Kyle Quincey standing around)

Quincey was set up as the recipient of the pass that Jimmy Howard decided he didn’t want to make until the last second.

It was literally his job to be standing around on that play.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/03/13 at 08:18 AM ET


But Mikael Samuelsson’s somewhat fluky-but-earned goal 12:05 into the 1st gave the Wings the lead…

Any comment about Sammy that is positive must, of course, be salted.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/03/13 at 08:38 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Why can’t Howard get better at handling the puck.  Cripes, hire someone to work one on one with you and get it done. It’s ridiculous.

Posted by MoreShoot on 10/03/13 at 09:38 AM ET


Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/03/13 at 08:38 AM ET

You’re right! A brilliant $3 million dollar goal. The way Sammy skated around and through not only the players on the ice but weaved in and out of the players on the bench was Gretzkarian!

You should really get your hand out of Sammy’s pants.

Still, I am glad that line got a goal.

I only caught the third period. The wings looked good up until the goal and then again after Buffalo pulled their goalie. That latter reminded me of the Wings of the 90s looking like they were on the PP when they were actually killing off a penalty.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 10/03/13 at 12:36 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Ericsson spent so much time in the offensive zone that I thought he was a forward!

Is this a coming out party for him, or what?

Posted by w2j2 on 10/03/13 at 12:41 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.