The Malik Report
by George Malik on 10/23/13 at 09:04 PM ET
Ottawa Senators defeat the Detroit Red Wings 6-1.
This wasn't right.
From my perspective as both a fan and as someone who's going to rack up over 30 hours over two-and-a-half days covering this game, and especially as someone whose favorite non-Wing is now wearing #11...
The Red Wings went from what could have been 7-3-and-1 to 6-4-and-what-the-*#$%@&-was-that? in a hurry. They did so by simply not showing up in front of Jimmy Howard--who, again, surrendered multiple goals that he did not see until they went past him because the Wings can only seemingly screen their own goaltender...
And I'd mentioned this as soon as the Wings-Coyotes game was over, but I guess I have to do it again:
The Wings have historically had a difficult time adjusting to being in the media spotlight after flying under the radar for a significant period of time. They'd been in the Detroit sports background while the Lions were playing, and all of a sudden, Tuesday and Wednesday yielded a locker room full of both Detroit media folks who were intrigued by the "storyline" and a cavalcade of Canadian and non-Wings-or-Sens media types who wanted to see the great theatre afforded them by the Alfredsson-vs-Ottawa match-up.
I can only hope that the Red Wings team that's visited by the struggling Rangers on Saturday, the team that heads to Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg at the end of the month, and that the team that brings the former Senators captain back to Ottawa on December 1st does not look so very distracted by seeing its own shadow behind the camera lights, or not being able to see their own locker due to the sea of digital sound recorders and iPhones in their faces.
The Ottawa Senators played like a team on a mission. The Red Wings, who continue to not skate particularly well in terms of getting on the "inside" of puck battles in their own zone, in the neutral zone and in the offensive zone, who continue to screen the *#$%@& out of their own goalie but leave the opposition goalie unfettered (with perhaps the exceptions of Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Tatar, who worked their asses off), who continue to fritter away power play time making fancy-ass passes and attempts to paint perfect goals instead of shooting the God-damned puck on the net (even Pavel Datsyuk has come down with "passitis" of late), who provide little support in the way of outlets for defensive players and better-placed scoring opportunities for players winning 50-50 battles for the puck along the boards and in the offensive zone, who continue to do little more than saunter though the neutral zone, sending one player into 4 or 5 opposing players sans support or speed...
The Red Wings team that blew this game, as Mickey Redmond said, had less "purpose" than the Senators, and since the Colorado game, the Wings have shown neither emotion, intensity, poise nor purpose. This will be an unpopular opinion, but despite their sterling defensive effort against the Sharks, I felt that they were just far too content to show up and assume that they'd squeak a late goal through the Sharks before the Sharks struck them--as evidenced by the lazy shootout performances by Datsyuk and Alfredsson of all people--and this game looked much more like the Phoenix one.
Skate around. Let a bigger, more determined and more defensively responsible team make mincemeat out you. Get out-worked. Get out-hustled. Get out-played. Get out-classed by a 3-3-and-2 team that you're supposed to understand is a dangerous opponent.
Play like you're not getting paid to do so.
This was the Red Wings' goal. Todd Bertuzzi, Tomas Tatar and Jakub Kindl had very good games.
I'm not posting the Senators' goals. You saw them, and if you didn't, well, you will, sooner than later.
I want to know what you think about this team at the 11-game mark, and what you think this game says in terms of being a barometer of the state-of-the-Wings, especially given that both goalies were lit up and that the vast majority of the Wings' players weren't just on different pages or chapters of the same book, but were in fact in different sections of the bookstore.
This was great theatre for TSN, the Canadian Press, USA Today, etc. It was revenge and then some for Senators fans, and I'm sure Don "DeToilet" Brennan is going to have a fine write-up in store for us.
But it was shit hockey for the Red Wings fans who paid to watch this game in person, and it was shit hockey for the Wings fans who watched or listened or illegally streamed it at home all over the damn world.
What happens next? What needs to happen?
And given my take on the personnel issues, what happens if we simply assume that Eaves returning at some point will necessitate Tootoo being traded, that Helm will return in Western Canada, and that Gustav Nyquist won't be recalled until the team finds a way to unload at least Samuelsson's roster spot?
How do we take it WITHOUT saying, "Blow up the team, waive everyone, promote everyone?"
We were talking about what we'd have to say when the Wings had wrapped up their slate of 8 games in 14 nights, where they stood collectively and individually after the crazy stretch of games started on October 9th, when the Wings played three in four twice and wrapped up the long haul with 3 in 5.
Where are we at, and can we take this game in, "Okay, it was shit" isolation, or do we assume that this massive, collective brain shart is more worrisome given that the team is now technically .500 in 6-4-and-1?
And again, how do you view it WITHOUT assuming that massive personnel changes are in order, givne that this team does not react or operate that way? How do you work with what you've got?
How do the current players and management get their asses back in gear? How does the current coaching staff and players...
Well, they checked out mentally when Mike Smith was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Glendale, and they haven't mentally checked in, even for Daniel Alfredsson's sake. They were in and out enough to muddle through a shootout loss to San Jose, but the team can't seem to get its offense and defense going on the same night--if either will "go" at all.
How does THIS team get its shit together?
Shots 32-28 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Ottawa 12-9 i the 1st, 13-12 in the 2nd and were tied 7-7 in the 3rd period.
The Senators went 2-for-3 in 3:33 of PP time; the Wings went 1-for-3 in 5:18 of PP time.
Jimmy Howard stopped 5 of 8 shots; Jonas Gustavsson stopped 17 of 20 shots; Craig Anderson stopped 31 of 31.
TSN's Chris Cuthbrt picked the 3 stars, and he picked Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris and Jason Spezza.
The Wings' goal: Bertuzzi (3) from Zetterberg (6) and Kronwall (6), PPG.
Faceoffs 37-28 Detroit (Detroit won 57%);
Blocked shots 11-11;
Missed shots 13-10 Ottawa (total attempts 53-52 Detroit, with Detroit firing 32 on the net and another 21 wide/blocked);
Hits 27-25 Detroit;
Giveaways 14-7 Detroit;
Takeaways 12-7 Detroit.
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 12-and-11 (52%); Weiss went 7-and-9 (44%); Andersson went 10-and-4 (71%); Franzen went 7-and-2 (78%); Zetterberg went 1-and-2 (33%);
Shots: Miller and Zetterberg co-led the Wings with 4 shots; Tatar had 3; Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Alfredsson, Quincey, Kronwall and Weiss had 2 shots; Datsyuk, Andersson, Tootoo, Lashoff, Bertuzzi, DeKeyser and Cleary had 1.
Blocked attempts: Zetterberg and Kronwall had 2 attempts blocked by Senators players; Kindl, Andersson, Miller, DeKeyser, Cleary, Weiss and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Franzen missed the net 3 times; Tatar, Tootoo and Zetterberg missed the net 2 times; Bertuzzi missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Tootoo led the Wings with 4 hits; Abdelkader, Tatar and Kronwall had 3; Alfredsson, Miller, Lashoff and Bertuzzi had 2; Smith, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, DeKeyser, Cleary and Weiss had 1 hit.
Giveaways: Smith, Abdelkader and Bertuzzi had 2 giveaways; Kindl, Alfredsson, Datsyuk, ANdersson, Tatar, Kronwall, Franzen and Gustavsson had 1 giveaway.
Takeaways: Zetterberg had 4 takeaways; Tatar had 2 takeaways; Smith, Datsyuk, Lashoff, Quincey, Kronwall and DeKeyser had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: DeKeyser blocked 4 Senators shots; Datsyuk blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Andersson, Miller, Kronwall and Weiss blocked 1 shot.
Penalties: Alfredsson, Quincey and Kronwall took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -20. Smith, Andersson, Miller, Tootoo and Quincey finished at -2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Lashoff, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, Kronwall, DeKeyser, Cleary and Weiss finished at -1.
Points: Bertuzzi had a goal; Kronwall and Zetterberg had assists.
Ice time: DeKeyser led the team with 21:40 played; Kronwall played 21:36; Kindl played 20:15;
Quincey played 20:14; Smith played 18:56; Datsyuk played 17:54;
Zetterberg played 16:50; Alfredsson played 16:12; Franzen played 15:30;
Miller played 15:22; Andersson played 14:54; Cleary played 14:52;
Lashoff played 14:52; Bertuzzi played 14:41; Abdelkader played 14:10;
Tatar played 13:57; Weiss played 12:45; Tootoo played 11:49.
Update: NHL.com's highlights are narrated by Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond:
Update #2: The Red Wings' website posted post-game clips of Daniel Alfredsson...
And coach Mike Babcock speaking to the media:
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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.