Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Sharks wrap-up: Wings come up short in a grind-fest; on Ouellet, Kronwall and real estate

The Detroit Red Wings recovered from heavy road legs to give the unbeaten-in-regulation-or-OT San Jose Sharks quite a run on Monday night, even without Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson in the lineup. Regrettably, the Wings couldn't or wouldn't recover from acute cases of "passitis" and "too-cute-ness" when they finally lit up Antti Niemi in the 3rd period.

As such, these two plays determined the course of a 1-0 shootout loss ahead of Tuesday morning's Winter Classic ticket sale and Wednesday's much-hyped reunion with Daniel Alfredsson's Senators.

Jimmy Howard gave up a blocker-side shootout goal to Logan Couture, marring an otherwise perfect performance...

And Todd Bertuzzi couldn't solve Antti Niemi:

That was that, regrettably.

I'm pretty tired, so I forgot to do my observations until I got in the shower (I'm a late-night-shower-taker, there's your TMI on TMR for the day), so here's what I have to say as of already having spent two-and-a-half hours writing this up:

  • Kyle Quincey probably had his best game as a Red Wing on Monday night, looking superb alongside the out-of-his-sophomore-slump Danny DeKeyser, and that's awesome. For better or worse, the Wings need Quincey (and Smith) to succeed;
  • I'm really getting to the point on Smith where I believe--and I said this on Twitter--that he's like Tom McCollum. The Wings have spent an inordinate amount of time, energy and effort trying to mentor an arrogant and a bit immature but supremely-talented, dangerously-offensively-gambling collegian wandering defenseman, encouraging him to play smarter, safer and simpler hockey. He's grown by leaps and bounds both in terms of his maturity and the maturity of his game, but his tendencies regarding both making high-risk plays and deferring puck-moving and/or puck responsibility to his teammates are habits he can't seem to shake--goal-surrendering habits at that--and if he doesn't get himself sorted out, he's going to be eclipsed on the depth chart by the crush of young defensemen in the system, and he may be moved as a result. Tom McCollum's still trying to figure out the game between his ears, too, and he's just run out of time with Mrazek and now Coreau in the system, so he's hanging on by an AHL-only-deal thread;
  • Speaking of goalies, Jimmy Howard's been stellar. How he has a 3-3-and-2 record despite having perhaps 2 bad games is beond me;
  • I liked Johan Franzen at center. I liked him at center a lot. I just didn't like his desire to do everything himself, because while Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg can carry the puck from goal line to goal line, Franzen isn't as skilled, and he got picked off repeatedly;
  • Physically speaking, the Wings were under heavy assault--how the Sharks only registered 13 hits on the stat sheet is beyond me--but the held up much better against the Sharks' down-low cycle than they ever have, or at least better than they have in years. That's something to build upon;
  • Brad Stuart looks like he's playing with the weight of the world off his shoulders now that he's back with his family. I miss the guy;
  • Jakub Kindl is having something of a "sophomore slump" himself, and I don't think that we remember he's still inexperienced enough to be having one;
  • Xavier Ouellet was superbly steady. He looked great alongside Brendan Smith;
  • Again, Stephen Weiss continues to struggle. Both he and Tomas Tatar also looked to be forcing offense, and when you're trying to force things, they tend not to occur. I thought that Weiss looked fine with Cleary, Tatar and sometimes Alfredsson;
  • While Alfredsson didn't score, his work ethic is amazing and his ability to see plays develop is remarkable. He tossed a puck into nowhere and Todd Bertuzzi skated right into it and got a scoring chance as a result;
  • Speaking of Bertuzzi, he's been very consistent, and that's good to see;
  • Miller and Tootoo seemed to have an extra step with Joakim Andersson centering them. Glendening is the future of the fourth line, but Andersson and hopefully a healthy Helm will give the Wings' "bottom six" one hell of an edge;
  • Justin Abdelkader looked "at home" with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, but the Wings' alternate captain and captain (where's the third "A," Paul "I've worked in 1,000 games" Boyer?) were bothered by fatal cases of passitis;
  • In terms of the power play, if I was Mike Babcock, and I'm not, I'd be working my tail off to build a second unit that could sustain possession and control of the puck like the first one;
  • And the shootout was...Kind of icky. But the Wings were too cute and too precise to dent the back of Antti Niemi, whose dominant record against the Wings will be missed like Corey Craword's thigh rises (farewell!);
  • Overall, the Wings played excellet hockey in their own zone, which is a testament to their ability to shut down high-scoring teams, but the fact that they fired 24 shots on Niemi and 25 wideblocked spoke to the fact that the team wasn't getting "on the inside" in the offensive zone like they were in their own end.

For the Sharks, who were without both Dan Boyle and Brent Burns, playing a particularly ugly road game was a beautiful thing, as Logan Couture told Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area's Kevin Kurz...

“We scored a lot of goals in our first eight games. We’d love to keep scoring like that, but I don’t think it’s going to happen every night,” Couture said. “For us to defend that the way we did, and give up zero, was nice.”

Todd McLellan said: “We’ve played in a variety of different games. It’s amazing – we’re nine games in. … We’ve played run-and-gun games, high scoring games, rugged games. This was the first really tight, 0-0 type game. Usually it takes awhile to have all of those experiences happen, but it’s occurred nine games in for us already, and I think that’s a good thing.”

The single best highlight from the game came on the very last play. After Couture converted on the shootout, Todd Bertuzzi attempted to keep the competition going on the Red Wings’ third attempt. He got Niemi to flop to the ice and had room above the fallen netminder, but Niemi managed to get his pad up just in time to stop the puck.

Earlier in the shootout, Pavel Datsyuk missed high and Niemi stopped Daniel Alfredsson. In other words, not a single puck got past Niemi, as he picked up his league-leading eighth win.

McLellan said: “It was a helluva save, wasn’t it? ‘Burt’ made a great move and had [Niemi] down and out, and he anticipated him going up, and got it with the pad.”

“He kind of had me down there, but usually they still try to get it higher off the ice. It’s kind of instinct and reaction,” Niemi said.

The goaltender finished with 24 saves to record his first shutout of the season. He’s 11-2-2 in his career against Detroit.

And the Mercury News's David Pollak (whose notebook blog entry goes over the same topics):

"Similar systems," Couture said. "It was good to get in a tighter game than we've had before. It was good to come out on top."

The Sharks came out on top because goalie Antti Niemi stopped Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi -- the latter on a beauty of a save after seemingly being out of position. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped Patrick Marleau before Couture's shot beat him on the stick side.

Couture remembered that he had gone to his backhand in a previous shootout against Howard, faking it this time to freeze the goalie. Then Couture came back with the quick snap shot.

"I was able to get it just above the pad," he said.

San Jose had been averaging 4.9 goals per game -- a full goal more than any other NHL team -- and had scored no fewer than three on any night. The Sharks outshot Detroit 27-24 but had nothing to show for it through 65 minutes.

"Not much space out there, it was playoff-like, if you will," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Both teams played a prevent type game. It was a chess match, no doubt about it."

Pollak noted that the Sharks happened to kill off a very important penalty with 4:57 left in the 3rd...

"It was big," McLellan said of the penalty kill. "I thought Vlasic had a rally good stick on a clearing attempt to break up a sure goal. That was probably the key moment."

And Kurz took note of the teams' special teams, well, play, as well:

Special teams: The Sharks failed on three power play attempts, and all came before the midway point of regulation.

Detroit finished 0-for-2. James Sheppard’s interference penalty with 4:57 left in regulation offered an opportunity to break the deadlock, but the Red Wings failed to get a shot on goal during the late advantage.

The Sharks entered the game with 23 minutes and 51 seconds more time on the power play than the penalty kill, a league best differential.

In goal: Niemi made 24 saves while Jimmy Howard stopped 27, in a game in which both goaltenders got credit for their first shutouts of the season.
 

Niemi, who has played every minute of every game, is 8-0-1. Howard fell to 3-3-1.

The Sharks told USA Today's Kevin Allen that they were certain both teams were happily playing a snooze-fest (in front of more than a few sold-but-empty seats)...

"I thought we played well, and it was good to get into a tighter game," Couture said.

Before Monday, the Sharks had won by three or more goals in six of their wins.

"I think both teams played the way they wanted to," Couture said. "They didn't give up too many chances."

And the Windsor Star's Bob Duff noted that both parties were relatively satisfied with their efforts:

“We kind of expect this when we come here,” Sharks centre Joe Thornton said of the tight-checking, low-chance contest. “We play them hard, they play us hard. There’s a lot of one-goal games. It’s a normal kind of game between us and them.”

Minus injured defencemen Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, the Wings, with two rookies – Danny DeKeyser and Xavier Ouellet – on the blue-line, were able to hold the Sharks, who’d scored an NHL-leading 39 goals, without a tally through 70 minutes of hockey.

“To hold that team to zero goals you have to be pretty happy with that,” Detroit defenceman Kyle Quincey said. “I think the six of us (on defence) played a pretty good game and it’s something to build off of, and all of us can get better.”

...

“The only thing that was bad is that we couldn’t finish it and get two points,” Detroit forward Tomas Tatar said. “That would have been a perfect game for us. It was a shootout, it’s a lottery, so we lost it.”

The Associated Press's recap, which notes that Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman was in attendance to watch the Sharks' Canadian Olympic possibilities (Couture, Thornton and Marleau, among others), will serve as our pivot point between the Sharks and Red Wings' perspectives:

"We scored a lot of goals in our first eight games. We're not going to keep scoring like that," Couture said.

Each goalie got a shutout for not allowing a goal in 65 minutes. Antti Niemi -- who got his 24th career shutout -- made 24 saves for San Jose and Jimmy Howard, who earned his 17th shutout, stopped 27 shots.

"Not much space out there. It was very playoff-like," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Both teams (played) a prevent-type game. ... It was a chess match, there's no doubt about it. Even on the power play and penalty kills, the teams didn't get a lot of looks."

Howard praised the way his team played without the puck.

"I thought we did a good job on their top guys. We didn't give them a lot of room and space. Another thing that was a positive was we didn't give up a lot of odd-man rushes," Howard said. That's been an Achilles' heel of late for us. We did a great job of keeping the third man high in the offensive zone, making them come 200 feet. We didn't turn pucks over. It's a good sign."

Howard insisted to Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus that the teams did look a wee bit tired...

“You can tell early on it was two teams that were tired from traveling all day yesterday, so I think both teams were trying to find their legs out there,” Howard said. “It was one of those games for a goalie where they’re even more difficult to play in because one screw-up can cost you the game.”

Howard complimented his young, fairly inexperienced defensive corps – one without the likes of regulars Niklas Kronwall (concussion) and Jonathan Ericsson (paternity leave) – in front of him that kept a dynamic Sharks offense off the board. The defense also featured a youngster making his NHL debut in 20-year-old Xavier Ouellet.

“I thought they did a tremendous job,” Howard said. “They kept it simple. If something wasn’t there, they weren’t afraid to go off the glass and out. It may be a dirty play or one of those plays you’re not accustomed to being a Red Wing, but when you’re missing Kronner and Big E… our guys stepped up.”

Though the Free Press's Helene St. James notes that the Wings did come alive in the third period:

It wasn’t until the third period that the Wings were able to show some creativity with the puck, with several good shots on Antti Niemi. Brendan Smith benefited from some nice setup work by Henrik Zetterberg, so much so Smith raised his hands in disbelief when his shot was blocked.

The Wings got a power play out of the same sequence, just their second of the game, and coming after killing off three San Jose man advantages. Two minutes worth of passing perfection later, it was still 0-0, headed straight past regulation and into an uneventful overtime.

...

The Wings had to make do without defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who is concussed, as well as Jonathan Ericsson, who had familial duties after welcoming a baby girl. The Sharks were without Dan Boyle and Brent Burns.

Kronwall is expected to be cleared in time to return Wednesday, when the Wings host Ottawa. Colorado’s Cody McLeod was suspended five games for the hit from behind.

The absence of their top two defensemen forced the Wings to field a very young defense, with 28-year-old Kyle Quincey the most experienced, and at the other end, 20-year-old Xavier Ouellet, making his NHL debut.

“Those young D did a good job for Howie,” Babcock said. “They didn’t give up anything.”

Cue more of the same from St. James' capsule recap:

Quotable: Mike Babcock on how the Wings played: “There were two pretty good teams tonight. I thought our young D played real good. There wasn’t much in the way of scoring chances either way. Both teams played real tight. It was a good game.” ... Kyle Quincey on how even the game was: “We play a similar game. We were kind of playing against each other. It was just a battle of wills.”

Howard shrugged off the shootout winner while speaking with the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

“It was just a quick snapper blocker side,” said Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who stopped 27 shots. “I thought I was backing up a lot too fast last year and maybe giving guys too much respect. I really tried to hold my ground but it was a good shot over the pad and those are one of the toughest for a goalie to stop.”

Who also noted that the Wings were particularly green on defense:

The Red Wings (6-3-1) were without defensemen Niklas Kronwall (concussion) and Jonathan Ericsson (birth of his first child).But young defensemen such as Brendan Smith, Xavier Ouellet and Brian Lashoff more than held their own.

“Those guys stepped in,” said defenseman Kyle Quincey, the elder statesman among the defensemen Monday, and who played 21 minutes, 20 seconds. “A guy like X(avier) coming in, he’s NHL-ready. They (the young defensemen) all played well.”

Unlike their recent games, the Red Wings limited the Sharks’ scoring opportunities and the 27 shots San Jose got were quite manageable.

“We didn’t give them a lot of space,” Howard said. “Another positive was we didn’t give up a lot of odd-man rushes. We did a great job of keeping a third man high in the offensive zone. They can come 200 feet (down the ice) but we didn’t turn the puck over. It was a good sign.”

Sensing a theme? I'm doing my best to change it up, but the theme continues in the Macomb Daily's George Pohly's recap...

“We lost the ‘skills competition,’” Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said after San Jose kicked off a five-game road trip with the victory.

The Sharks, who scored a league-high 39 goals in their first eight games of the season, could not beat Howard in regulation time and the overtime. But the Wings, who had 15 fewer goals in nine games than the Sharks had scored in eight, could not get any of their 24 regulation and overtime shots past Niemi as both the San Jose goalie and Howard were credited with shutouts.

The Red Wings defense, which included Xavier Oullet, who was making his NHL debut, played well, Howard said.

“They did a great job out there tonight,” Howard said after the Red Wings gave up 27 shots in three periods plus the overtime.

Detroit had surrendered 33, 37 and 40 shots in its three previous games.

“We can build off this,” Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey said. “I thought Smitty (Brendan Smith) played his best game of the year, and Lash (Brian Lashoff) was strong.”

As well as that of DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:

Prior to Monday, the Sharks hadn’t been shutout in consecutive periods all season. But the Red Wings managed to keep the visitors in check, holding the Sharks to 19 shots through two periods.

It also helped that Detroit’s young defensemen were active in the shooting the lanes, collecting 11 of the team’s 14 blocked shots, including a game-high five by Quincey. Rookie Danny DeKeyser also had three blocks, and Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff each had one.

Playing without their most experienced defensemen – Niklas Kronwall (concussion) and Jonathan Ericsson (birth of first child) – much was made of the young players who were expected to slow down the Sharks’ skilled forwards. And they did a tremendous job, limiting San Jose to a season low for shots.

“Those young D did a good job for Howie, they never gave up anything,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “All in all they had a good night.”

Rookie Xavier Ouellet, who was making his NHL debut in place of Ericsson on Monday, was the only Wings’ defensemen not to register a blocked shot, though that was OK with Babcock.

“He made lots of good plays,” Babcock said. “Those guys had tough matchups. You go through it, their top three centers are in the top 10 scoring in the league. You got good matchups no matter who you’re playing with, (Joe) Pavelski, Thornton or Couture, those are good players.”

...

“They kept it simple, if something wasn’t there they weren’t afraid to go off the glass and out,” Howard said. “Lots and lots of talk. I was trying to talk to them all night long, even when they were out there in defensive-zone coverage, telling them to widen it out or to get in there and help or just eating the puck along the boards. But they did a great job out there for us. We’re going to need them.”

Overall, the Red Wings took what they could get, as they told MLive's Ansar Khan (who also penned quote-less recap):

At age 28 and with 302 NHL games, Kyle Quincey was the oldest and most experienced of a young group that included Jakub Kindl (age 26), Brendan Smith (24), Danny DeKeyser (23), Brian Lashoff (23) and 20-year-old Xavier Ouellet, who made his NHL debut.

“To hold that team to zero goals, you have to be pretty happy with that,’’ Quincey said. “I think the six of us played a pretty good game and it’s something to build off of, and all of us can get better.”

Playing a simple game was the key.

“I thought they did a tremendous job,’’ Howard said. “If something wasn’t there they weren’t afraid to go off the glass and out or made a dirty play, one of those plays you’re not accustomed to, being a Red Wing. But when you’re missing Kronner and Big E, our guys stepped up.’’

Said Babcock: “Obviously, we want them make nice easy plays. That’s what Nick Lidstrom made a career of. It’s not a bad way to play. We talk about it all the time. Sometimes we turn the puck over a little too much. Tonight wasn’t one of them.’’

Yes, Ouellet, who did this...

Received as rave a review as Mike Babcock was willing to give him, as the Detroit News's Kulfan noted:

Ouellet played 17 minutes, 15 seconds on 23 shifts, with one shot on net and one hit.

“He was real good, he was steady,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Those young defensemen did a good job for Howie (goalie Jimmy Howard). They didn’t give up anything.”

Babcock liked what he saw from Ouellet and defenseman Ryan Sproul during camp and believed both were close to playing in the NHL.

Ouellet was first up.

“He’s a really good young player,” Babcock said “He makes good decisions. He just has to get quicker and that comes with experience, and we think he’ll do it.”

The Red Wings received more than enough defensive help on Monday, but their offense remains in neutral when Zetterberg and Datsyuk are on the ice--despite dogged work by Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Alfredsson (who's shown a Datsyuk-and-Zetterberg-like "hockey IQ"), Justin Abdelkader, Daniel Cleary, even though he was turning over pucks while ragging it up the ice, Johan Franzen, and Tomas Tatar, who was trying to do too much on his own.

Hell, Jordin Tootoo and Drew Miller looked like real offensive threats playing alongside Joakim Andersson, and while Stephen Weiss was supposed to be focusing on defense while skating with Cleary and Tatar on a non-power play line, he worked hard, too.

The Wings' issue was simple: the team played fantastically well in its own zone, moving as a 5-man unit that got on the inside of puck battles and blocked shots and passes, although it didn't bear down on clearing attempts (perhaps due to its youth). From the center ice red line upward, however, the Wings' forwards tried to do far too much on their own, and whether we're talking about even-strength or power play time, the Wings' veterans and Tatar alike kept trying to make the perfect pass for a picture frame-worthy artistic goal instead of bearing down, shooting the puck and retrieving it to fire it at Niemi a second time with a butt planted in Niemi's face.

If the Wings can play a "team game" in all three zones, they're going to blow the Senators and Rangers out of the water. If they keep playing, "I can do it by myself...Until I decide to throw the puck away to make a fancy play!" they're going to struggle.

Multimedia:

Highlights: The Red Wings website's highlight clip is narrated by Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond:

TSN posted a highlight clip, too.

If you wish to watch the NHL Tonight's analysis of the game, or the shootout, you may most certainly do so.

Post-game: Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area posted Todd McLellan's post-game presser and Logan Couture's post-game interview...

The Red Wings' website posted clips of Xavier Ouellet...

Jimmy Howard...

And coach Mike Babcock's post-game presser:

Photos: The Detroit News's David Guralnick posted a 29-image gallery;

The Detroit Free Press posted a 6-image gallery;

The Mercury News posted a 10-image gallery;

ESPN posted a 40-image gallery;

The Windsor Star posted...two...big images from the game...

And NHL.com, the Sharks' website and the Red Wings' website posted 28-image galleries.

Statistics:

Shots 27-24 Sharks overall.
Detroit was out-shot 7-4 in the 1st and 12-7 in the 2nd, but out-shot San Jose 12-6 in the 3rd. They were out-shot 2-1 in OT.

Detroit went 0-for-2 in 4:00 of PP time; San Jose went 0-for-3 in 6:00.

Jimmy Howard stopped 27 of 27 shots; Antti Niemi stopped 24 of 24.

The 3 stars were picked by ESPN's Craig Custance, and he picked Logan Couture, Jimmy Howard and Antti Niemi.

Faceoffs an ugly 36-28 San Jose (Detroit won 44%);

Blocked shots 14-11 Detroit;

Missed shots an ugly 15-4 Detroit (total attempts 50-45 Detroit, with Detroit firing 24 on net and 25 wide/blocked);

Hits 28-13 Detroit;

Giveaways 10-6 Detroit;

Takeaways 9-1 Detroit.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Franzen went 14-and-10 (58%); Datsyuk went 8-and-11 (42%); Weiss went 4-and-9 (31%); Andersson went 2-and-4 (33%); Bertuzzi and Cleary lost their only faceoffs.

Shots: Alfredsson and DeKeyser co-led the Wings wit h4 shots; Bertuzzi had 3; Tatar, Tootoo and Zetterberg had 2; Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Ouellet, Cleary and Weiss had 1.

Blocked attempts: Alfredsson hit Sharks players 2 times; Smith, Kindl, Andersson, Tootoo, Lashoff, Bertuzzi, Ouellet, DeKeyser and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Missed shots: Abdelkader missed the net 3 times; Smith, Kindl and Quincey missed the net 2 times; Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Tatar, Cleary and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the Wings with 4 hits; Alfredsson, Tootoo and Zetterberg had 3; smith, Tatar, DeKeyser and Franzen had 2; Kindl, Datsyuk, Lashoff, Quincey, Bertuzzi, Ouellet and Cleary had 1.

Giveaways: Smith, Kindl and Bertuzzi had 2 giveaways; Quincey, Zetterberg, Weiss and Franzen had 1.

Takeaways: Tatar, Weiss and Franzen had 2 takeaways; Kindl, Datsyuk and Andersson had 1.

Blocked opponent shots: Quincey blocked 5 shots; DeKeyser blocked 3; Smith, Kindl, Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Andersson and Lashoff blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Datsyuk, Quincey and Bertuzzi took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: Nobody scored. Wings were even.

Points: Nobody scored. No points.

Ice time: Kindl led the team with 26:04 played; Smith played 21:57;Quincey played 21:20;

DeKeyser played 21:02; Alfredsson played 20:29; Lashoff played 20:24;

Zetterberg played 20:23; Datsyuk played 20:19; Franzen played 19:09;

Ouellet played 17:15; Abdelkader played 17:08; Cleary played 15:24;

Bertuzzi played 15:01; Weiss played 14:31; Tatar played 12:07;

Miller played 11:57; Andersson played 11:52; Tootoo played 7:38.

 

 

 

Red Wings notebooks: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan took note of Xavier Ouellet's comments prior to the game...

“It’ll be a challenge to keep my emotions,” said Ouellet, a 2011 second-round pick who has played five games in Grand Rapids. “I just want to concentrate on making the right plays and playing a good game. I’m a defenseman who coaches can trust.”

Ouellet played 17 minutes, 15 seconds on 23 shifts, with one shot on net and one hit.

“He was real good, he was steady,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Those young defensemen did a good job for Howie (goalie Jimmy Howard). They didn’t give up anything.”

Babcock liked what he saw from Ouellet and defenseman Ryan Sproul during camp and believed both were close to playing in the NHL. Ouellet was first up.

“He’s a really good young player,” Babcock said “He makes good decisions. He just has to get quicker and that comes with experience, and we think he’ll do it.”

And the Wings' attempt to jump-start Stephen Weiss by "demoting" him to the 3rd line:

“We have to find a way to generate (offense), and have more offensive push than one line,” Babcock said. “We haven’t had it.”

The Red Wings were hoping Weiss would provide offense as a replacement for Valtteri Filppula (who signed with the Lightning), but it hasn’t happened yet. Weiss has two goals and no assists in 10 games, and a minus-3 rating.

“The first thing you have to do when you come to a new place is to breathe, you have to give yourself a break,” Babcock said. “Spend no time thinking and spend your time playing. Just look after defense and once he settles down, the rest will come.”

MLive's Ansar Khan also took note of Ouellet's pre-game comments...

“I’m an overall defenseman,’’ Ouellet said. “I can be strong defensively, make the first right pass on tape, so that would be me. My goal was to get up on this team, and tonight is my first game and first chance to show them what I can do.”

...

“It’s kind of weird,’’ Ouellet said. “You’re down in the American League and they just call you, telling you that you’ll be playing the next night. It’s pretty exciting.’’

He realizes he must control his emotions.

“For sure it’s going to be a big challenge to keep all that emotion for me,’’ Ouellet said. “I just want to concentrate on making the right plays and playing a good game.”

He will be leaning on his teammates.

“It helps for sure that we will be talking a lot on the ice,’’ Ouellet said. “Lots of young defensemen are here, so we’re all kind of living the same thing so we can help each other.”

And he asked Mike Babcock to comment on Tigers manager Jim Lelyand's retirement:

"I think he’s a serial winner who wherever he goes he and everything he touches turn pretty good,’’ Babcock said. “I think he’s an inspiration to all of us because he does things right. He’s a great, great man and, you know, the rest of us should be as lucky to win as much as he’s done.”

He added, “I just look at the program since Dave (Tigers president and general manager Dombrowski) and him took over, where it was and where it is now. I hope the new guy is half as good.”

As for Kronwall and Ericsson, if you missed the reasons for their absences, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness took note of their respective statuses:

Niklas Kronwall remains sidelined with a mild concussion and Jonathan Ericsson will miss after his wife went in labor Sunday night.

“Well, I think it’s a great opportunity for our guys,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We talk about that all of the time. When someone gets hurt, especially when you’re a young NHLer, there are opportunities for you. If you get stuck behind Cal Ripken for 20 years it’s not much fun, probably. So when you get your opportunity you’re allowed to establish yourself as a player and play every night.”

...

Kronwall hopes to return Wednesday at home against the Ottawa Senators.

“I feel good,” Kronwall said. “I’m looking forward to hopefully playing on Wednesday. So far I’ve felt really good ever since day one, so hopefully I’ll be given the go-ahead. I’m sure there’s another test that I need to do before that but I feel good.

 

 


Also of Red Wings-related note: I tried to jam as much of the Alfredsson-reunion crap in the pre-game post as possible. I'm not going to repeat it. There are now two TSN videos in there as well as articles about the game on Wednesday. To say that TSN, the Canadian Press, the Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Sun, the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Senators' website and probably USA Today, Yahoo Sports and ESPN are planning on putting a heavy spotlight upon the affair is an understatement.

Wednesday's going to be nuts.

If you missed the "Pregame Skate," you missed this from TSN's Darren Dreger:

Trade discussions between NHL clubs are starting to pick up.

The Detroit Red Wings are among the teams believed to be eager to make a move.

The Wings need to create some cap space and sources say Jordin Tootoo is in play.

Detroit would like to call up Gustav Nyquist from the AHL, but doesn't have the cap room to make it happen.

Tootoo makes $1.9 mill. this season and is valued by some teams because of his grit.

Also complicating things for Detroit from both a roster and cap standpoint is the potential return of injured forward Darren Helm.

Helm is scheduled to come off of I.R. on Saturday.

(He didn't skate today, so he may have other ailments he's dealing with, but, his 10-game, 24-day stint on I.R. ends on Saturday).

(He played two games in 3 nights. He was tired.)

I thought that Brendan Shanahan did a helluva job explaining why Cody McLeod was suspended for his hit on Niklas Kronwall, who hopes to return on Wednesday, as noted by Yahoo Sports' Harrison Mooney...

"With the speed of today's game, there often are occaisons where a player changing direction or turning his back just prior to or simultaneous with an oncoming check may absolve a checker from responsibility. The boarding rule states that we are to consider it. It certainly is a notable aspect of the play, and we have considered it."

Unfortunately, the absolution does not follow for McLeod, nor should it.

"The key to this play, however," Shanahan says, "is that we are convinced McLeod has time to avoid or minimize checking Kronwall from behind. This is because, although Kronwall cuts back, McLeod actually makes an adjustment to his own path, and is responsible for the violent collision that results."

The reverse angle on the hit does show McLeod altering his angle to make sure he gets the most of Kronwall, and that appears to be the moment at which he earns his five-game suspension. The Department is watching his skates, and rather than seeing an adjustment that could lead to a safe play, they spot an adjustment to make the dirty one. That's never a good sign.

"At no point do we see any action by his skates indicating that he is attempting to stop or at the very least slow down prior to this forceful check," Shanahan says.

And USA Today's Mike Brehm:

"With the speed of today's game, there often are occasions where a player changing direction or turning his back just prior to or simultaneous with an oncoming check may absolve a checker from responsibility," Shanahan said.

He said that the Department of Player Safety considered that, but "we're convinced McLeod had time to avoid or minimize checking Kronwall from behind."

Reuters duly noted that #19 was in the building on Monday night:

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager, Team Canada Olympic GM and Red Wings Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman watched the game from the press box. He was likely impressed by the defensive play of anyone he is considering for the Canadian team. He and Detroit coach Mike Babcock, who is Team Canada's coach, and Red Wings GM Ken Holland -- also on the Team Canada management team -- certainly compared notes after the game.

"Every game I play, I try to play the way I want to," Couture said. "I know the Olympic people are watching."

Of all people, the Hockey News's Rory Boylen got very excited about Darren Helm's impending return:

Helm, 26, has a career high of 12 goals and 32 points in the NHL, which he achieved in 2010-11. But while he was trending up in these offensive categories, his real value is as a checker. Helm is one of the best defensive forwards in the game and cuts you down with his incredible speed. In each of his three full seasons with the Red Wings, Helm has been either first or second among Detroit forwards in average shorthanded time on ice.

He will probably not be playing his A-game right out of the gate, telling MLive’s Peter J. Wallner “I was sucking wind a few times” during his first AHL game. But he did get two shorthanded breakaways in that game, so he hasn’t lost that elite skill set. He’ll be yet another responsible weapon for the Red Wings to turn to in their quest for an Atlantic Division title.

And he’s also a ton of fun to watch – just not if you’re a fan of the other team. Welcome back, Darren.

Here's a tidbit of Red Wings rink-related news from the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar:

The Detroit Shriners have agreed to sell a Cass Corridor garage in the heart of the planned $650 million entertainment district that will be anchored by the Detroit Red Wings’ future home ice. The garage easily fetched more than $1 million, according to speculation from local developers.

“We have an arrangement in place to sell,” said Chuck Baer, president of the Detroit Shriners group, the local chapter of the International Shriners organization. He declined to say who is buying the building, nor would he reveal the price.

The property is on a corner of Ledyard Street and Cass Avenue, one block south of the Masonic Temple. It’s a 12,564-square-foot class C warehouse, according to commercial property database Costar. The building’s windows have been bricked up, and some of the graffiti on its walls is the size of a bus. The Shriners have been parking buses there when the fraternal organization participates in events in the city.

Across the street on Cass is where the planned 650,000-square-foot, 18,000-seat multipurpose arena is expected to be built.

“We entertained a few offers,” Baer said. “We went with the group that had the most secure development plan. It is really a joy for the Detroit Shriners to be part of this great comeback of the neighborhood.”

It was easily a seven-figure deal, said several real estate developers who do business in Cass Corridor.

“That deal is well north of $1 million,” said Robert Slattery, president of Midtown Development Group. In the Cass Corridor, he added, “There are much smaller buildings that are asking $700,000, $800,000. Really, the atmosphere right now is crazy, the limit hasn’t been set yet on price.”

In Swedish, Aftonbladet's Per Bjurman noted that Daniel Alfredsson received his $2 million bonus for playing in 10 games on Monday;

And Expressen's Mattias Ek reports that Staffan Kronwall's out for 3-4 weeks, and won't play in the Karjala Cup in November, because he tried to "Kronwall" someone in the KHL.

In the power rankings department, as previously noted, ESPN's Scott Burnside bumped the Wings up one spot...

10. Detroit 6-3-0 Last Week: 11 Wings blue-line leader Niklas Kronwall was felled after a nasty hit by Colorado's Cody McLeod early in the week, and then the Wings blew a two-goal lead against Phoenix. A little more up-and-down to the Wings' game right now than Mike Babcock would like.

Paul noted that TSN's Scott Cullen's down on the Wings...

This Week 17 Last Week 13 Detroit Red Wings 6-3-0

Had a four-game winning streak snapped Saturday at Phoenix, but the bigger concern (when it comes to the rankings) for the Red Wings is the health of D Niklas Kronwall, clearly their best on the blueline.

Uh, did the Wings beat the Bruins and unbeaten Avs and toss off four  wins before their 2-game winless streak? 17th?

And Sportsline's Adam Gretz penned a set of power rankings, too:

9 [Detroit Red Wings, last week 12]: A four-game win streak was snapped in Phoenix but the Wings are adapting well to the East so far. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk definitely still have it.

And finally, I've been drafted to haul the mom to a continuing education class on Tuesday, and I'm not thrilled about no notice, but that means I'll be in and out on Tuesday afternoon.

 

 

Update: This is EXCELLENT. We All Bleed Red posted Ken Daniels explaining why Kyle Quincey's ass was saved by hybrid icing:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

Glad to see Tatar in the lineup. Wonder what Holland is gonna do when Helm and Eaves come back? We got way too many everyday’rs. I liked the speed Tatar posesses. He, unlike Bert can carry the puck into the zone and push the opposing defense back toward there net. This opens up space to make plays. We need that speed and youth in the lineup. They have to get Nyquist in the lineup. The lines should be:
Fran-Dat-Abby
Zetty-Weiss-Alfie
Cleary-Helm-Bert
Nyq-Andy-Tatar
Miller, Tootoo
Sammy - Trade/Waive
Eaves - Trade/Waive

Posted by Anderj8 on 10/22/13 at 07:14 AM ET

RW19's avatar

George I think you are off on your Smith take. He played a pretty decent game last night. He brings some abrasiveness and some pretty solid skating ability to the defense. He can move the puck. He still has holes in his game but the Wings are always talking about defensemen turning into real complete players when they are in the 26-27-28 year old range.

Kindl went through the same thing being a scratch all the time and so did big E (who still makes the most egregious pinches and blind passes). Smith is a good player who hasn’t always been paired with the best partners. Plus depth chart wise, there are a lot of guys that would move before him: Quincey’s contract is coming up and Lashoff doesn’t have the mobility to be an everyday player.

As for Ouellet, the hit he laid on Desjardins was a thing of beauty ... we haven’t had that since Stuart left. Best thing about XO is that he did not look intimidated or hesitant at all. Even the few times when he got in trouble and lost pucks, he didn’t panic and didn’t lose his man.

Posted by RW19 on 10/22/13 at 07:36 AM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

How do you propose the Wings trade a guy (Sammy) that has a no trade clause (genius, Kenny! Pure genius!) and no one wants because he blows?

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 10/22/13 at 08:36 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 10/22/13 at 09:36 AM ET

Kenny’s alter ego is Wile. E. Coyote.

Posted by MoreShoot on 10/22/13 at 08:45 AM ET

Avatar

How do you propose the Wings trade a guy (Sammy) that has a no trade clause (genius, Kenny! Pure genius!) and no one wants because he blows?

Simple, tell him he won’t be playing and will be put on waivers and any team can claim him (if anyone even will) or ask him if he will waive his no trade clause and go to a team where he can be a regular. He needs to play somewhere to earn a new contract next season.

My idea may never happen but im sure Kenny will figure something out.

Posted by Anderj8 on 10/22/13 at 08:53 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

How do you propose the Wings trade a guy (Sammy) that has a no trade clause (genius, Kenny! Pure genius!) and no one wants because he blows?

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 10/22/13 at 09:36 AM ET

Come now, let’s not sell Kenny short here: It’s a No Movement clause that he gave Sammy.  So good luck seeing him in Grand Rapids, too.  confused

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 10/22/13 at 08:55 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

When Tatar got the puck in the corner, turned up the ice, put a shoulder into a Sharks Defender, and kept on going with the puck, I recall thinking “Now there is a play I don’t think we’ll see out of Sammy at this point of his career.”

I like Sammy, I really do, and I want him to be successful in a Wings uniform. I wasn’t opposed to his resigning. However, the team has better players on the roster and in the system than him.  Every time he gets dressed for a game I get a feeling that we could put a better team on the ice.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 10/22/13 at 09:01 AM ET

Avatar

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is clear what our problems are.

We have a solid top line—Datsyuk and Zetterberg function fine paired with any of Bertuzzi, Abdelkader, and Alfredsson.

We have been unable to find a combination that generates consistent offense behind them.  Alfredsson and Bert have had moments, especially on the power play, but that’s it.  Franzen was a one-game wonder.  Weiss—I don’t know if he’s hurt or adjusting or just unable to find magic with a linemate—is adding little offensively.

We can keep tweaking and rotating linemates for Weiss and trying Franzen at center, but my gut tells me the answer is in Grand Rapids.  Nyquist belongs on this team.  If the only way to clear the space we need to skate our best 12 forwards (which I suspect includes Nyquist and Tatar and Helm) is to trade Brendan Smith’s contract along with Tootoo’s, and rely on Ouellet ahead of schedule, that might be a good move.

Posted by captaineclectic on 10/22/13 at 09:24 AM ET

Avatar

Simple, tell him he won’t be playing and will be put on waivers and any team can claim him (if anyone even will) or ask him if he will waive his no trade clause and go to a team where he can be a regular.

You conveniently missed the part where nobody wants him because he blows.

It’s a No Movement clause that he gave Sammy.

Nope, it’s a no trade.  It might as well be a no movement because they’d get nearly zero cap relief from sending him to Grand Rapids, but it’s still just a no-trade.

 

Posted by Garth on 10/22/13 at 09:26 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Come now, let’s not sell Kenny short here: It’s a No Movement clause that he gave Sammy.  So good luck seeing him in Grand Rapids, too.  confused

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 10/22/13 at 09:55 AM ET

Nope, just an NTC, but waiving him nets Detroit very little in cap relief.

Posted by Hootinani on 10/22/13 at 09:31 AM ET

Avatar

The practical difference is that Sammy could waive his no trade because he’d rather play in (f’instance) Buffalo than Grand Rapids.

Posted by captaineclectic on 10/22/13 at 09:31 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by captaineclectic on 10/22/13 at 10:31 AM ET

You conveniently missed the part where nobody wants him because he blows.

Posted by Garth on 10/22/13 at 09:35 AM ET

Avatar

No, I didn’t “miss” that—I reject it.

Detroit would have to retain salary to trade Samuelsson, but it could do so.

Posted by captaineclectic on 10/22/13 at 09:36 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Xavier Ouellet was superbly steady. He looked great alongside Brendan Smith;

I agree completely, then I kick myself for such a low-bar comparison. Ouellet would have looked good in any pairing, but Smith has replaced Ericsson as the guy I yell at the tv about the most.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/22/13 at 09:43 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I like how on the Oullete video above, after the hit someone (think it was Tootoo) gets boarded. The Shark gets cross checked by Miller in open ice not even five seconds later, goes down, gets up and looks at the ref. That’s like the first call against the wings they have missed all year.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 10/22/13 at 09:57 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Brendan Smith’s career in the NHL is 68 games old and he’s wandering into hopeless Tom McCollum territory despite being one of Detroit’s best defensemen last night.

But please make sure nobody forgets that Jakub Kindl (two years older and with 171 games played) is maybe having a sophomore slump that he’s just bound to break out of at any time if only we’re patient enough.

Smith made one pretty bad play last night on a neutral zone pass that got picked off. Ouellet bailed him out long enough for him to get back and make the right play.  Kindl had four turnovers which led directly to scoring chances for the Sharks and on the only two forays into the offensive zone where he looked even partially like Smith looks, he created a zone clear for the Sharks on one and got caught pinching on the other (although that was more Franzen’s fault because it took Kindl so long to deke the winger at the top of the zone that there’s really no excuse for the forward to not pick up on his responsibility by then).

But the narrative about Smith will always be that there’s something wrong with his head because when he got benched the last time he said the goals scored against the Wings with him on the ice weren’t really his fault (and for the most part HE WAS RIGHT).

It doesn’t help that Mickey Redmond had one of his teledoodling sessions showing Smith getting trapped into having to eat the puck by Joe Thornton and one of his teammates while not pointing out that the only option he was given by his teammates to not ice the puck was a pass into the middle of the ice through a lane that one of the best takeaway centers in the league had his stick in.

That’s why I was so pissed that Smith didn’t find that tiny sliver of net in the waning seconds last night. The guy’s going to have to spend some games being an absolute hero before even a pretty good game isn’t some sort of disappointing nightmare from him.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/22/13 at 10:11 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I’m really getting to the point on Smith where I believe—and I said this on Twitter—that he’s like Tom McCollum. The Wings have spent an inordinate amount of time, energy and effort trying to mentor an arrogant and a bit immature but supremely-talented, dangerously-offensively-gambling collegian wandering defenseman, encouraging him to play smarter, safer and simpler hockey. He’s grown by leaps and bounds both in terms of his maturity and the maturity of his game, but his tendencies regarding both making high-risk plays and deferring puck-moving and/or puck responsibility to his teammates are habits he can’t seem to shake—goal-surrendering habits at that—and if he doesn’t get himself sorted out, he’s going to be eclipsed on the depth chart by the crush of young defensemen in the system, and he may be moved as a result.

He had a better game last night.  As I said on A2Y, Dekeyser was the only d-man that had a solid complete game, the rest were all hit and miss.  To be honest though Smith “hit” last night more than he probably has all season so far.  So did Quincey.  I guess that’s something.

The question with Smith is if DET can afford the patience he needs.  I don’t know that they can.  3 or 4 more years to get it together is too long.

I liked Johan Franzen at center. I liked him at center a lot. I just didn’t like his desire to do everything himself, because while Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg can carry the puck from goal line to goal line, Franzen isn’t as skilled, and he got picked off repeatedly;

To be fair, I thought the line combos were mostly garbage last night.  When I first saw them, I knew it was going to be bad.  Those combos were destined for trouble the get-go.  I hope Babcock learned from that.

Brad Stuart looks like he’s playing with the weight of the world off his shoulders now that he’s back with his family. I miss the guy;

Me too.  I spent all game last night seeing him and thinking what a huge difference he would make in this defensive group, this team even.  Imagine being able to have Ericsson in 2nd pairing, and what that would mean to everyone else…

Jakub Kindl is having something of a “sophomore slump” himself, and I don’t think that we remember he’s still inexperienced enough to be having one

I kinda’ disagree.  I said to my wife last night that we don’t talk a lot about Kindl anymore, and I think that’s progress.  He’s not scoring of course, but he’s also not screwing up spectacularly like Smith or Quincey.  Kindl got caught once or twice pinching last night but heck, Kronwall still does that too.  Out of Smith, Kindl, and Quincey right now, if only 1 of them survives my bet would be on Kindl making it.  I know his progress has been painfully slow compared to what we’d like but, it’s also been mostly-steady.

Again, Stephen Weiss continues to struggle. Both he and Tomas Tatar also looked to be forcing offense, and when you’re trying to force things, they tend not to occur. I thought that Weiss looked fine with Cleary, Tatar and sometimes Alfredsson

I still like what I see of Weiss.  I know he’s not producing right now and that’s a concern, but he’s doing things *right* and just not going yet.  He’s working and skating hard.  He’s better defensively than I expected and more willing to do dirty work than Filpppula was.  I don’t know if it’s system, or timing, or what but… I can’t help but feel like things will start to go for him naturally.

Justin Abdelkader looked “at home” with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, but the Wings’ alternate captain and captain (where’s the third “A,” Paul “I’ve worked in 1,000 games” Boyer?) were bothered by fatal cases of passitis;

Z was by far the worst with the passitis last night.  He did not have a good game.  Games like that are why he frustrates me so.  He’s getting paid a looooot of money to be doing that.  Take the weak wrist shot from the blueline that has no chance of going in or of generating a rebound… but get a pass in the slot when he SHOULD shoot and you instantly know he’s not gonna’ because you see him looking elsewhere.  Then try driving wide of the net for the 45435093409th time instead of cutting back in or passing it to a better shooting angle.  I spend much of my time anymore not at all understanding what Z’s trying to do offensively.

Posted by Primis on 10/22/13 at 10:16 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I’m really getting to the point on Smith where I believe—and I said this on Twitter—that he’s like Tom McCollum.

I like the analogy of Smith to McCollum. High hopes for a couple of years, followed by the reality that their game is better suited to college hockey than the NHL.

And that stupid grin on Smith’s face when he missed his prime scoring chance in the third period really pissed me off. It’s the look a college player gets when he screws up because he knows that, even after missing that shot, he’s stil going to get laid after the game. I’d much rather see a reaction like Tootoo had after he blew his scoring chance.

As for XO, all I can say is wow. Solid on the puck, composed, and physical in a meaningful way. I mean, when was the last time you saw a Wings defenseman not named Kronwall take out a guy of Thorton’s size without taking a penalty. I’d take him in the line-up over Smith any day and against any opponent.

Then there’s Weiss. Or at least I think there’s a Weiss on the team. I sure as hell haven’t seen him, except for his overtime winner in Carolina. Babcock has played him with practically everyone on the team, and he looks invisible with all of them. He’s even beginning to make Fil look good. And how sad is that.

It’ll be very interesting to see what Holland does before Saturday to clear space for Helm. Maybe Tootoo could “accidentally” put Sammy on LTIR with an “inadvertent” hit in practice. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/22/13 at 10:16 AM ET

Primis's avatar

And that stupid grin on Smith’s face when he missed his prime scoring chance in the third period really pissed me off. It’s the look a college player gets when he screws up because he knows that, even after missing that shot, he’s stil going to get laid after the game. I’d much rather see a reaction like Tootoo had after he blew his scoring chance.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/22/13 at 11:16 AM ET

I think you missed the boat on that, OTC.  Smith’s reaction was not to immediately smile.  He looked to the rafters and then buried his head in his hands, and when he emerged he was still not smiling.  It was only after skating back out towards center ice in the stoppage that I think someone else *said* something to him and *then* he smiled, well after the fact.

Smith has enough issues and questions, we don’t need to have some sanctimonious “HOW DARE HE EVER SMILE AGAIN AFTER MISSING THAT SCORING ATTEMPT!” attitude.  He blew it, he knew it, AND he knew how important it was in the context of the game.

Posted by Primis on 10/22/13 at 10:47 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

Smith has enough issues and questions, we don’t need to have some sanctimonious “HOW DARE HE EVER SMILE AGAIN AFTER MISSING THAT SCORING ATTEMPT!” attitude.  He blew it, he knew it, AND he knew how important it was in the context of the game.

Well put. I saw that smile last night and I thought to myself “oh no. Here we go.” wondering how much flak he’s about to take from people making issue of a smile like this is the life-and-death struggle-of-the-moment in the nfl or something.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 10/22/13 at 11:37 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I think you missed the boat on that, OTC.  Smith’s reaction was not to immediately smile.  He looked to the rafters and then buried his head in his hands, and when he emerged he was still not smiling.

I guess I did miss that initial reaction. But I really don’t care what someone said to him on the way back to the bench. From my perspective, one of Smith’s main problems is his lack of focus. If he’s all “jovial” five seconds after missing an opportunity like that, I don’t think he’s “in” the game.

Can you imagine Pavel or Hank or Nik doing that in the same situation? I can’t.

we don’t need to have some sanctimonious “HOW DARE HE EVER SMILE AGAIN AFTER MISSING THAT SCORING ATTEMPT!” attitude.

And we don’t need “embellishment” in commenting on someone’s statement either, Primis. I got your point without you making it “personal.”

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/22/13 at 12:56 PM ET

Primis's avatar

And we don’t need “embellishment” in commenting on someone’s statement either, Primis. I got your point without you making it “personal.”

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/22/13 at 01:56 PM ET

I wasn’t actually addressing you personally with that part OTC, sorry if it came across that way.  That was more in general to a chunk of people that might read it, I should have probably did two space between paragraphs instead of one.  I’m just really sick and tired of the whole “OM]G Smith is such a hot dog!” thing and then the fact that no matter what he does it gets over-analyzed into him “not caring enough” or what-have-you.

Posted by Primis on 10/22/13 at 06:22 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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.