Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Sabres wrap-up and overnight report: Doctor Babs’ team earns a gritty win

Before we begin, I had to shake my head at this pre-no-suspension-warranted take on Jared Cowen's elbow to Pavel Datsyuk's jaw (He's okay! We hope!) from the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson...

Nice Jared Cowen elbow to Pavel Datsyuk’s jaw Saturday that on-ice officials overseeing the Ottawa Senators-Detroit Red Wings clash somehow missed. “He had the puck, kind of strange no one saw a star player like that,” said Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg. You think? Datsyuk has concussion-type symptoms as a result.

And while we're shaking our heads at rife incompetency, there's this:

This Red Wings team is engaging in something of a from-the-ground-up November rebuild--or at least that's what I'm telling myself given that the Wings' 3-1 win over Buffalo leaves the Wings at 4-3-and-5 for the month.

Howevver! Minus Datsyuk, minus Todd Bertuzzi (upper body something-something) and Danny DeKeyser (out for a while with a separated left shoulder), the Wings have won 2 of their past 3 games, and the team won't play again until Wednesday's barometer game against the Bruins.

The schedule gets a little sketchy after that--the Wings play a Black Friday matinee in Long Island (a 4 PM start), they head to Ottawa for Daniel Alfredsson Reunion And-Or Angst-Ridden Freakout Night on Sunday the 1st, and while the Wings won't play again until December 4th (another two-day break, yay!), the Wings will then play 13 games in 26 nights, all leading up to that pesky Winter Classic on January 1st and a welcome break from the grind in the form of the Wings' final West Coast (and Rangers-visiting?) swing of the 13-14 season in early January.

Between now and then, the team obviously has to play significantly better, from Jimmy, "I'm wearing my old mask because my new one did me no favors" Howard* on out and especially at Joe Louis Arena (1 for 12!), and while Sunday's game--again--had little to no aesthetic value outside of the Wings' goals, it was something of a stepping stone, if not a building block.

Jonas Gustavsson continues to play well, even if his rebounds are even less predictable than Howard's, and even if he looked like he was either trying to stop Steve Ott or trying to break dance, if not both, on the penalty shot save.

The defensive pairs are solid enough. Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff played a little less due to Kindl's "hip thing," but Kindl's settled down after a severe case of recurring sophomore hiccups, and he's ripping hard shots on the net. Brian Lashoff's ensuring that he reigns in those hack-and-jab pushes so that he's not penalized, and he's moving the puck better. the Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith fandango is still a bit of hell on skates, but the fight Smith engaged in on Saturday seems to have calmed him down a little bit, and he was just moving the puck on Sunday instead--forward instead of endlessly laterally to and from Quincey--and at this point, Quincey ending the game at -13 while taking six shot attempts, blocking 2 shots and making 2 hits is progress galore. Jonathan Ericsson's getting his "game legs" back and he's looked very good alongside Niklas Kronwall, who continues to gobble up minutes left, right, center, up and down.

Up front, from 4th line to 1st line, I will say this: while it certainly seems like Daniel Cleary's continued struggles resemble something like a prelude to an eventual waiving, Stephen Weiss looks far less jittery after returning from his groin injury, if not smart offensively, and while we bag on Mikael Samuelsson left and right, he took 3 shots, had another attempt, had a hit, a giveaway and a takeaway in 11:18, and when younger players post solid efforts in what are usually team-least minutes like that, we tend to stand up and cheer. He's at least serviceable. The Drew Miller and Joakim Andersson may be stellar defensively, but adding Tomas Tatar to their line and you've got speed to spare, with Andersson leading the team with 5 shots and Tatar taking 3 (with 2 more attempts). Darren Helm continues to be something of a revelation in an offensive role, and he and Justin Abdelkader have fine chemistry in terms of pairing speed with give-and-go grit, and when you add a shot like Daniel Alfredsson's to the mix (Dear Coach Babcock, please stop encouraging everyone who plays on the right power play point to pinch and leave Kronwall all alone, ensuring that 95% of rebounds are cleared down the ice), you've got some pop; the "first line" of Henrik Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist and Johan Franzen was superb, and between Nyquist's speed and his willingness to "give and go" with the puck-cycling machine that is Zetterberg, Franzen's given the time and space to roam and lurk as he really likes to do, and he'll even eventually move his butt to the front of the net (see also: Abdelkader smelling bacon in the crease when seeing Alfredsson shoot pucks).

The Wings' special teams have been very good as well, with the power play rolling and the PK keeping opponents off the board most of the time, and in terms of "bench management," aside from Kronwall playing 26 minutes and Ericsson playing 24, the "gap control" in terms of the rest of the Wings' lineup's ice time was fantastic given that the team was playing 2 games in a little over 22 hours.

If the Wings can convince Jimmy Howard to back up a foot during odd-man rushes (as some of you have suggested) and keep his glove and blocker hand about 2 inches higher and 4-6 inches further out front of his pads, emulating the "Hasek" stance more instead of allowing his hands to sit at his waist, I think he'll be able to reclaim his form, and if Babcock at least decides to give Howard some regular break in terms of back-to-backs now that the Wings actually have a competent back-up goalie, a Wings team that continues to play an efficient, if not sometimes spare game in its own zone, a less hiccuppy and/or turnover-prone transition game and sustains more puck possession, control and more shot-or-rebound-retaining abilities going forward--while, as Chris Osgood, Darren Eliot and Mickey Redmond have been suggesting, planting more butts in front of opposing goalies--the Wings should emerge from this ugly month at least in solid shape.

All things considered, anyway.

So the Red Wings took a late evening flight back to Detroit in anticipation of a welcome day off and the team's annual Children's Hospital visit on Tuesday, all ahead of a 3-games-in-5-nights slate, and the team is no longer in full reverse. By this month's standards, that's progress and if Pavel Datsyuk is indeed as "fine" as Mike Babcock suggested to MLive's Brendan Savage, or the Free Press's George Sipple...

“He got bumped last night,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said of Datsyuk. “It’s interesting. I didn’t see it happen in the game. It’s kind of that dead corner for you, and our players didn’t see it, either. So, he went down, and he got back up and finished the power play, and obviously he got an elbow there in the chin. It’s Pavel, too. That’s how our guys handled it. You’re out, and they’ll test you over the next couple days and decide what’s going on. I just texted him, and he seems to be doing just fine. We’ll see if he’s available next game.”

Daniel Alfredsson (groin) returned to the lineup for the Wings with Datsyuk out.

Todd Bertuzzi also remains out with an undisclosed upper-body injury, but it is not his back. Asked whether Bertuzzi is day to day, Babcock said: “You know how everyone is day to day for 10 days. Day to day.”

The Wings will have dodged a nuclear warhead.

11-7-and-7 after 25 games ain't pretty, but that middle number could be much worse.

For the Sabres, who sport a 5-19-and-1 record, it both was and wasn't more of the same. The Buffalo News's Mike Harrington noted that the Sabres were unhappy with the result of their efforts...

“You have to make it count in this league,” was goaltender Ryan Miller’s succinct analysis after Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. “You can’t just be satisfied with a little glimmer of what we feel is the right way to play. We have to not let teams back in the game.”

...

I could say the Sabres played as they looked but that would be unfair. At least they’re showing a little spunk at the start and not just throwing their sticks on the ice.

“It’s nice to play with the lead, that’s for sure,” said Ott. “The whole season we haven’t really had that chance to lead very many games. We did today to start but we finished poorly.”

“We’re figuring one issue at a time. I wish we could do it all together,” said Cody Hodgson, whose slick stickwork produced the only goal. “There’s a definite difference in the way we’re playing. We have a lot more energy.”

That was true for the first 35 minutes Thursday night in Philadelphia and the Sabres seemed to be coming on at the end of the second period Sunday.

But the third period was a colossal disappointment. With the Wings in their third game in four nights – and especially coming off a physical home loss Saturday night against Ottawa – you would have thought the Sabres would have had a big edge in energy.

It didn’t happen. The Wings showed their experience and the Sabres showed their fragility. Again. You can’t just take penalties in this league. The Sabres did it twice in the third.

And that's why the Sabres were the ones suggesting that a "must-win" had slipped through their fingers, as they told the Buffalo News's Mike Vogl...

"Games like this, these are the musts to win,” forward Zemgus Girgensons said. “It just didn’t work out.”

Not much has worked out this season. The Sabres unveiled their new third jersey but looked like the same old team despite taking an early lead.

“There’s certain moments in seasons that things actually start changing,” coach Ted Nolan said. “We haven’t hit that. I know it’s very frustrating.”

The energy boost that accompanied the arrival of Nolan and Pat LaFontaine, the president of hockey operations, is gone. The losses remain.

“Nothing is going to come with the first day,” Girgensons said. “It’s not like a couple people are going to come in and everything is just going to switch around. It’s going to take time, patience.”

...

Cody Hodgson scored 7:47 into the game – sending Buffalo into the first intermission with a lead for only the second time in 25 games – but Detroit entered the dressing room feeling better. The Red Wings outshot Buffalo, 14-6, and Darren Helm followed up by scoring just 30 seconds into the second period.

“We came out really strong, and then we let them take over the period,” Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said. “The way we’re handling those situations, you can tell we take our foot off the gas a bit. We have spurts where we feel like we’re outplaying them, taking it to them, then we back off a little bit because maybe we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves. We have to continue that play throughout the entire period, the entire game.”

And Buffalo Hockey Beat's Bill Hoppe:

“Did we have an opportunity? Yes, we did,” interim coach Ted Nolan said following the Sabres’ fourth straight loss. “Three games in a row now I thought we had a pretty good start, and we don’t seem to be consistent with our play. Shift after shift we have lapses. We do things that are characteristics of losing.”

Recently, however, they’ve at least showcased some traits of winning teams. Believe it or not, the Sabres, who’ve been outscored a ridiculous 31-6 during the opening period this season, have tallied first the last three games. Cody Hodgson’s slick goal at 7:47 – the center tucked the puck in after Drew Stafford forced a turnover – helped the Sabres take a lead into the first intermission for only the third time in 25 games this season.

“I thought in the first period we came out really strong, and then we let them take over the period,” Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said. “It just seems like in our game right now we’re inconsistent with our compete level. We’re really going to have to focus on trying, no matter what the situation is, playing the same way. It seems like we’re a little bit off and on right now.”

You think? Sabres captain Steve Ott said “the light bulbs have to be turned” at the beginning of games.

“If you’re not ready to play the Detroit Red Wings, there’s something wrong with you,” he said. “Not only will they burn you with your talent and everything else, but they’re a world-class hockey team with some great character players.”

For the record, Johan Franzen's been accused of diving two times in two days, which is either very good or very bad:

The Sabres killed off Christian Ehrhoff’s hooking penalty early in the third period. But Johan Franzen scored during Myers’ cross-checking infraction, a call the Sabres thought was weak.

Myers said he “wanted that one back. Whether I think he sold it or not, I can’t put myself in that situation with my stick,” he said.

Nolan added: “I don’t think it was a real major cross-checking. Detroit was cross-checking us all night. They seemed to get away with it. … When you’re winning team, you get those breaks, and when you’re struggling, you don’t.”

Nolan told BuffaloSabres.com's Chris Rydnak that there was one player who shined through despite the result, and that was Ryan Miller, who stopped 31 of 33 shots:

"The only consistency we’ve had some far, I think, is our goaltending. He gives us a chance all the time. We kind of shoot ourselves in the foot,” Nolan said. “They get momentum, we look like we’re tired. I think it’s a state of mind. We just gotta change a little bit of things moving forward. I know it’s frustrating. In order to get, you can’t blame and point fingers all the time. We have to collectively work on this thing together.”

Detroit came out in the second period and tied the game right away. Thirty seconds into the period, Helm scored his fifth goal of the season.

Sabres captain Steve Ott attempted a penalty shot at the 9:39 mark of the second period, but his backhand was denied by Gustavsson. His penalty shot move was similar to the one he made on his initial rush, but on the penalty shot attempt, he lost control and Gustavsson was able to get a piece of his skate on it.

“That’s something I really wish we would’ve gotten though because we’re definitely lacking in the scoring department and it would’ve been nice to have,” Ott said.

Myers took a cross-checking penalty with 8:47 left in regulation. Thirty seconds later, Franzen scored the eventual game-winning goal to make it 3-1. The Sabres had just killed off a penalty to Christian Ehrhoff minutes earlier, and the Red Wings special teams finally connected with Myers in the box.

Miller’s brother Drew plays for Detroit, so the Sabres goaltender said he’s very familiar with how good the Red Wings’ power play can be. The Detroit power play is currently ranked seventh in the League.

“They love their power play and they feel like it gives them life. They feel like when they have the puck, they have control. They gain confidence from it,” Miller said.

Interestingly--at least to me--Ott wasn't buying the "selling" when he spoke with WGR 550's Paul Hamilton...

"I'm usually a guy that gets penalties as well, so I don't like bagging on guys for penalties," said Ott. "It's just something we have to clean up, that's for sure. It's gonna cost us games like it did again tonight."

Those two penalties and the goal seemed to take everything out of a team that hadn’t played since Thursday. When I asked Hodgson what happened in the third period, he said, "I can't explain it."

It just got worse and worse, Henrik Zetterberg skated around the Sabres D like it wasn’t even there and came out the other side. He had a gaping net, but slid it through the crease. Daniel Alfredsson sealed things with an empty net goal in the final minute.

"We just don't seem to be consistent with our play," said Ted Nolan. "Shift after shift we have lapses and we do things that are characteristic of losing."

Though he did lament his inability to dent Gustavsson on the penalty shot while speaking with the Buffalo News's Vogl...

There was Sabres excitement midway through the third period when Steve Ott earned a penalty shot after being hooked on a breakaway. He tried to go right both times, using a similar move, but Jonas Gustavsson made the stop for Detroit both times.

“On the breakaway, it was a very similar move,” Ott said. “I thought I saw a wide-open net but I lost the puck and it went in the corner. So same move. I actually thought I had him beat but he had a skate blade on it. It’s something I really wish we got because we’re definitely lacking in the scoring department. It would have been nice to have.”

The move surprised Gustavsson.

“I didn’t actually think he was going to go that way again because that’s the way he went, I felt like, when he had the first opportunity there, but he did,” said the Detroit goalie, who made 21 saves. “I just tried to be patient, and follow and I was lucky enough he didn’t score.”

And Vogl noted that the Wings won the special teams battle:

To start the third, the Red Wings killed off a penalty. They then had a pair of chances with the man advantage. While they didn’t convert on their first power play, they did keep the puck in the zone for nearly the entire two minutes as the Sabres whiffed on three opportunities to clear the puck. Detroit got the go-ahead goal when Johan Franzen scored on the next power play, thanks in part to a bounce off the Sabres’ defense.

“Tonight we stuck with it. I thought we had the puck the whole first period and yet we were down, 1-0,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. The big kill to start the third. … It was critical for us to get through that. I thought our last two power plays, we didn’t score on our first one but we had the puck in the zone for two straight minutes. Then the second one we got one on, so obviously specialty teams, as you know, was huge. It was a good win for us.”

NHL.com's Joe Yerdon's recap will serve as our pivot point between the Sabres and Red Wings' perspectives, noting that the Sabres' coach cast aspersions the Wings' way...

The Red Wings took the lead for good at 11:43 of the third period, when they took advantage of a cross-checking penalty to Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers.

"I don't think it was a real major cross-checking [penalty]," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "Detroit was cross-checking us all night. They seemed to get away with it. When you're the winning team, you get those breaks, and when you're struggling you don't."

Johan Franzen scored on the following power play, his sixth goal of the season, when his shot deflected off of a Sabres defender and fluttered over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller and into the net.

"A lot of times it's the bad shots that go in. It was a lollipop, I don't know what it hit, but I floated one in there," Franzen said. "Kind of a lucky shot, but I think we earned it by the way we played."

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg assisted on Franzen's goal, which was the 700th point in his career.

...

Helm tied it when he scored his fifth goal in 11 games just 30 seconds into the second period. Helm put a spinning backhand shot past Miller after receiving a pass from behind the net from Alfredsson.

"It's nice to see the puck go in every once in a while," Helm said. "Just got to continue to stick to the basics and kind of get my game back where I need it to be. It seems like pucks are finding me and going in the back of the net."

And the AP's recap will continue the Red Wings narrative with an interesting quip from Franzen:

"We decided to play a really solid game tonight," Franzen said. "We talked about being patient, not giving up too many chances for the other team. I think we stuck to the plan pretty good and finally managed to get the win."

Gustavsson was a difference maker, with several key stops on Buffalo's two third-period power plays, including a save on Drew Stafford's between-the-legs effort.

"He's a gamer," Franzen said. "He battles like crazy out there. He can really play the puck and read the play so we've got a lot of confidence in him."

Detroit improved to 7-3-1 on the road. Buffalo has lost 11 of 13 home games. Ryan Miller made 32 saves for the Sabres. He is 2-8-2 against Detroit in his career.

...

It was the sixth game pitting Ryan Miller against his younger brother Drew, who is 5-1 against his older sibling.

"He played really well," Drew Miller said. "A close win for us where he plays well but we still win is kind of a bonus for me."

Franzen told the Detroit Free Press's George Sipple that the Wings had burned one 3rd period power play, and didn't plan on letting the second one go to waste...

“We were lucky we got another shot at it,” Franzen said. “We had a good one going right before.A lot of times it’s the bad shots that go in. It was a little lollipop. I don’t know what it hit, but it went in there. Kind of a lucky shot, but we earned it by the way we earned it before.”

The Wings weren't happy with having out-shot Buffalo 12-7 but emerging down a goal thanks to Helm's turnover...

“I thought we had the puck the whole first period, and yet we were down, 1-0,” coach Mike Babcock said. “No different than last night, down one.”

The Wings were playing without Pavel Datsyuk. He stayed in Detroit with a possible concussion after getting elbowed in the head.

“We weren’t too happy with what happened yesterday, but we decided to play a really solid game tonight,” Franzen said. “Talked about being patient and don’t give up too many chances for the other team. I think we stuck to the plan pretty good, and we finally managed to get the win.”

Gustavsson made 21 saves and improved to 5-0-1. His biggest save came against Steve Ott during a second-period penalty shot.

“It was good for us, good for him,” Babcock said. “Let’s be honest, Howie (Jimmy Howard) is one of the best goalies in the world. It hasn’t gone the way he’s wanted here a bit for him. Probably pressing a bit. Give him another day breather. As Howie goes, we go. Let’s not kid ourselves. We need him going, but if Gus can buy time. ... I remember in the old days when Howie bought (Chris Osgood) almost half a winter one year.”

Or, as Gustavsson told the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

This season, after Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Buffalo, Gustavsson has earned 11 of 12 points (5-0-1) for the Red Wings in games that he has started. Talk about your night-and-day, Jekyll-and-Hyde seasons.

“Last season was a different season for everyone,” said Gustavsson, who stopped 21 shots including a Steve Ott penalty shot midway in the second period. “Being injured for the first half of the season isn’t the way you want to start on a new team. You want to have a good camp, show you’re ready. (But) it’s how you handle it and keep believing in yourself.”

Kulfan recounted the Wings' first and second periods as follows...

After a first period that resembled the night before — the Red Wings controlled play territorially after 20 minutes but found themselves trailing — Helm got the Red Wings back to even on the first shift of the second period.

He got the puck on his stick near the hashmark, spun around, and unleashed a backhand that surprised Miller 30 seconds into the period. For Helm, it was his fifth goal in his 11th game back since returning from injuries that kept him out of the lineup since April 2012.

“That was big,” said Helm’s linemate Justin Abdelkader. “For whatever reason, we haven’t gotten the bounces of late, and that was a big (goal) for us. It settled us down.”

And we'll head back to Sipple for more Babcockian thoughts regarding the Wings' goaltending...

Asked if he planned all along to start Gustavsson against the Sabres, Babcock said yes. Then he quickly added: “But, I mean, bottom line is somebody’s gotta grab it. You gotta grab it and get yourself on a roll.”

Howard is 5-7-6 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. After making 21 saves in Sunday’s 3-1 victory Gustavsson is 5-0-1 with a 2.35 GAA and a .926 save percentage.

“We expect Howie to be a star,” Babcock said. “We expect that each and every night. All you gotta do is look at our team record. It hasn’t gone as good for him, but I think we’re in that all together. When you’re real organized in your own zone, it’s way easier for your goaltender to play real well. But I also think when you start pressing as an athlete and worrying about things you shouldn’t worry about, things don’t go your way.”

And we'll head back to Kulfan for Babcock's take on Alfredsson's return...

“He was real good, he’s just smart,” said Babcock of Alfredsson. “I don’t know if his legs are like he wanted them, but he’s smart and knows how to play.”

Alfredsson played 17:20, with three credited shots and two hits, while playing on a line with Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader.

“It’s a real good line for (Alfredsson because) they do a lot of leg work for him and he can do the thinking,” Babcock said.

As well as a final summation of the "why the Wings won" aspect of the game from Justin Abdelkader:

“We knew coming into Buffalo we had to play a more sound 60-minute game and special teams would be a big factor,” Abdelkader said. “It turned out it was.”

1-for-3 on the PP, 2 for 2 on the PK.

MLive's chosen to delay Brendan Savage's with-quotes recap until 6 AM for some reason, so here are his "highlights" and "lowlights":

RED WINGS' HIGHLIGHTS

• Gustavsson stopped Ottawa captain Steve Ott on a penalty shot with 10:21 left in the second period to preserve a 1-1 tie. Ott was on a breakaway when he was hooked from behind by Niklas Kronwall.

• Henrik Zetterberg assisted on Franzen's game winner, giving him 700 career points.

• Helm's goal was his fifth in 11 games this season since returning to the lineup after missing most of last season and the start of this season with back and groin injuries.

RED WINGS' LOWLIGHTS

• The Red Wings couldn't score on a third-period power play despite keeping the puck in at the Buffalo blue line three times and keeping the Sabres' penalty killing unit on the ice for almost the full two minutes.

• Helm's turnover near the top of the left faceoff circle led to Buffalo's goal.

In the "Bonus Swedish" category, for what it's worth, Aftonbladet's Daniel Hultqvist reports that Team Sweden coach/GM Par Marts did take in a Jonas Gustavsson-playing Wings game as he attempts to survey the state of Sweden's back-up goalies (with Viktor Fasth, Robin Lehner and Jonas Enroth as his other candidates), and as the Wings will play in the much-balyhooed tilt against Ottawa a week from Sunday, we may as well allow DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's "A Look Ahead in Hockeytown" take us out:

The Red Wings are 1-3-1 against their Week 9 opponents with their lone win – a 3-2 decision against the Bruins – in a Columbus Day matinee at Boston on Oct. 14. The Original Six rivals will meet for the third time this season when Detroit hosts the Bruins in Wednesday’s tradition Thanksgiving Eve contest. The game will mark the Bruins’ first trip into Joe Louis Arena in 33 months.

But it’s next Sunday’s game in Ottawa that will be a significant one for Daniel Alfredsson, who returns to the city that he was a part of for 17 seasons.

While Alfredsson doesn’t know what to expect from the Senators’ fans, he knows it will be an emotional visit to the Canadian capital. But as he was in Ottawa, Alfredsson’s been exceptional in his time in Detroit, producing three goals and 14 points in 19 games.

“He’s outstanding, he’s great, unbelievable,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. “Just a great, great person, he’s a great player, provides very good leadership in the room for a guy who hasn’t been in our organization. Knows the right thing to say, knows how to be a pro, had great integrity, is a great help to the coach.”

The Sens have adapted to life after Alfie, though they certainly know, and appreciate, his value on the ice and in the community.

“We’ve adjusted just fine,” Sens coach Paul MacLean said. “We all have tons of respect for Alfie and the stuff he did in Ottawa. But he’s not here. So we don’t have any concern about it. We’re moving along just fine.”

Multimedia:

Highlights: Even the Red Wings website's highlight clip's narrated by the Sabres' announcers:

TSN posted a highlight clip as well, but their praise for Jonas Gustavsson is mysteriously "locked" to Canada-only IP's,

Post-game: MSG Network posted a 1:48 post-game analysis clip, a clip of coach Ted Nolan's post-game presser and interviews with Ryan Miller and Zemgus Girgensons;

The Buffalo News posted a clip of Tyler Myers, Girgensons and Steve Ott speaking with the media;

The Sabres' website posted Nolan's full presser and comments from Miller, Girgensons and Cody Hodgson, and the Sabres offer something of a digest and/or highlights-of-the-post-game clips clip as well;

The Free Press's George Sipple posted a clip of Darren Helm speaking with the media:

Speaking of which:

And Fox Sports Detroit posted Jonas Gustavsson's post-game interview with John Keating:

 

Photos: The Detroit News posted a 14-image gallery;

The Detroit Free Press posted a 32-image gallery;

The Buffalo News posted a 14-image gallery;

The Windsor Star posted 4 big images from the game;

ESPN posted a 45-image gallery;

And NHL.com, the Sabres' website and the Wings' website posted 45-image galleries.

Statistics:

Shots 34-22 Detroit. Detroit out-shot Buffalo 14-6 in the 1st, they were out-shot 9-8 in the 2nd, and Detroit out-shot Buffalo 12-7 in the 3rd period.

Special teams: the Wings went 1-for-3 in 4:30 of PP time; the Sabres went 0-for-2 in 4:00 of PP time.

Goaltending: Jonas Gustavsson stopped 21 of 22 shots, including a penalty shot; Ryan Miller stopped 31 of 33; the Sabres' empty net did not fare well, surrendering a goal on the only shot it faced.

The 3 stars were picked by the Sabres' broadcasters, and they picked Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm and Ryan Miller.

The Red Wings' goals: Helm (5) from Alfredsson (12) and Abdelkader (6);

Franzen (6) From Zetterberg (18) and Kronwall (13), PPG;

Alfredsson (4) from Franzen (7), ENG.

Faceoffs 31-30 Buffalo (Detroit won 49%);

Blocked shots 19-11 Buffalo;

Missed shots 12-10 Buffalo (total attempts 63-45 Detroit);

Giveaways 9-5 Buffalo;

Takeaways 12-7 Buffalo.

Individual stats:

Faceoffs: Zetterberg went 10-and-7 (59%); Andersson went 7-and-7 (50%); Helm went 8-and-6 (57%); Weiss went 3-and-9 (25)%; Tatar went 2-and-1 (67%); Johan Franzen lost his only faceoff.

Shots: Joakim Andersson led the Wings with 5 shots; Kronwall and Franzen had 4; Alfredsson, Tatar, Samuelsson, Helm and Ericsson had 3; Quincey and Zetterberg had 2; Abdelkader and Nyquist had 1.

Blocked attempts: Kindl fired 4 shots into Sabres players; Franzen had 3 attempts blocked; Tatar, Lashoff, Quincey and Zetterberg had 2 attempts blocked; Abdelkader, Helm, Ericsson and Kronwall had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Quincey and Zetterberg missed the net 2 times; Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Miller, Samuelsson, Ericsson and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Alfredsson, Quincey and Cleary had 2 hits; Andersson, Miller, Samuelsson, Helm, Kronwall and Weiss had 1.

Giveaways: Kindl, Alfredsson, Miller, Samuelsson and Gustavsson had giveaways.

Takeaways: Nyquist and Tatar had 2 takeaways; Samuelsson, Zetterberg and Kronwall had 1.

Blocked opponent shots: Lashoff blocked 3 Sabres shots; Smith and Quincey blocked 2 shots; Abdelkader, Helm, Weiss and Franzen blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Quincey and Weiss took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at +5. Smith,, Alfredsson, Quincey, Zetterberg and Franzen finished at +1.

Points: Both Alfredsson and Franzen scored a goal and added an assist for 2 points apiece; Helm had a goal; Abdelkader, Zetterberg and Kronwall had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall played 26:09; Ericsson played 24:09; Quincey played 19:45;

Abdelkader played 19:36; Smith played 18:54; Zetterberg played 17:59;

Alfredsson played 17:20; Miller played 16:18; Andersson played 16:12;

Helm played 16:02; Franzen played 15:49; Nyquist played 14:00;

Kindl played 13:36; Lashoff played 13:28; Tatar played 13:21;

Samuelsson played 11:18; Weiss played 11:09; Cleary played 11:04.

 

 


In the prospect department: The cupboard's nearly bare, so I'm sticking these in the recap/wrap-up:  In Sweden, in the SHL, Mattias Janmark hasn't recaptured his pre-knee-injury form as of yet. He finished at a -2 in 18:08 of ice time in AIK Stockholm's 5-2 loss to Brynas on Sunday;

In Sweden's J20 SuperElit league, Hampus Melen may or may not have been one of the 109 spectators who took in Tingsryds AIF's 6-4 loss to Orebo as he did not play in the game, and the same is the case for Rasmus Bodin, who may or may not have been among the 103 spectators watching Linkopings HC's 4-1 win over Rogle BK;

In the OHL, Andreas Athanasiou scored a goal and was named the game's first star as his Barrie Colts defeated Oshawa 5-3;

And in the QMJHL, Phillipe Hudon didn't register a point and was stopped in the shootout as his Victoriaville Tigres lost 3-2 to Gatineau.

 

 

 

Also of Red Wings-related note: Per the Montreal Gazette's Steve Faguy, today's the day that Mike Babcock becomes (honorary) Doctor Babs!

[Today] McGill University holds its fall convocation ceremonies. Energy executive Richard A. Walls and Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock receive honorary doctorates.

Sportsnet's counting down its "Top 10 24/7 Characters," and they've gone from James Reimer at #10 to Todd Bertuzzi at #9, Henrik Zetterberg at #8, Dion Phaneuf at #7 and now Nazem Kadri at #6. They totally aren't taking things from the, "We have the broadcast rights in Canada so we're interested in the Leafs and the Leafs and also the Leafs and whether Bertuzzi will spout off about his case and whether Zetterberg's secretly not himself but otherwise we don't care Leafs Leafs Leafs and also Leafs" angle;

And you may take this article from Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea for what you will:

The news conference in January 2012 to formally announce the acquisition of first baseman Prince Fielder was the first of five significant public appearances for Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch last year.

After participating in the announcement of the signing of outfielder Torii Hunter last November, the frail-looking 83-year-old Ilitch has largely withdrawn from public view, fueling fan and media speculation about his health.

The uncertainty raises questions about the future of the Tigers, and that of the Ilitch-owned Detroit Red Wings: Will the teams remain in the family, or will one or both be sold? Are the heirs interested in keeping the franchises? Can they afford them?

The same questions apply to the Detroit Lions, who have been owned by 88-year-old William Clay Ford Sr. since January 1964.

Succession and estate planning are not topics the teams are willing to discuss; the leagues say little or nothing about potential ownership changes.

Clues do exist to suggest what Ilitch and Ford may intend to do with their teams, and federal tax laws allow estates a sophisticated toolbox of options to delay or diminish a tax burden that can run up to 40 percent.

However, what team owners intend and what actually happens to the franchises don't always align, such as when William Davidson said his Detroit Pistons would remain in the family, but his widow sold the team two years after his death in 2009 at age 86.

It continues at length.

Today is my, "Pre-Thanksgiving Shop From Hell With the Mom Who Wants to Make Turkey After Years of Happily Enjoying 'Ready-to-Warm' Meals That Were Way Easier For the Mom and Aunt so I Don't Understand Why They Want to Spend the Time Energy Effort and Money on a Meal That Will Probably Yield the Same, 'Hmm, Not Quite Good Enough' Result After Eight Hours of Work But Oh Well They're Adults You Have to Let Them Make Their Own Decisions and Even Mistakes" shopping trip, so I'll be in and out.

Conveniently, I see my shrink for my, "Nod and Smile Once Every Three Months Because As Long As You're Not Batshit Insane One of Three Shrinks For Your Side of Oakland County Doesn't Care How You Really Are" appointment on Tuesday. And yes, that's how it goes in the public health system, but it's better than nothing.

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Comments

Slumpy's avatar

The Monster! Hehe, this guy impresses me the more I see him. The Sabres are hot garbage this season but The Monster was at his best without a doubt.
Like The Mick said last night, this game was disjointed, no flow really to it and with score 1-1 the next goal will win it.
PP and PK been oustanding but defense still terrible. Quincey and Smith hurt my eyes but at least Smith as the excuse of being young and inexperienced. perhaps he would of better served rippening longer with the Griffins.
Samuelsson limped off last night..it looked bad.
To bad the Wings don’t play in the Metro division. They would be in 2nd place instead of wild card team pt wise right now. Dumb new playoff seeding format by great minds that run the show.
Keep tinkering maybe someday we won’t recognize the sport anymore, lol.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 11/25/13 at 10:37 AM ET

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About The Malik Report

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.