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Red Wings-Stars quick take: execution, effort, and some style points

Updated 2x at 10:54 PM with some videos and initial Twitter-based player comments: The Detroit Red Wings have not managed to score a first-period goal yet. Their power play still kinda stinks. But the Red Wings managed to secure a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars thanks to some inspiring fights by Jordin Tootoo--followed up by some superb play by the Miller-Abdelkader/Emmerton-Tootoo line--fantastic goaltending by Jimmy Howard, and persistent effort in overcoming the Stars' mob-the-puck-carrier defense and sneaky sticks.

Playing on ice that was as sticky as the May day's worth of 60 degrees and thunderstorm-y weather that we had in Metro Detroit, the Wings and Stars played messy hockey for the first 25+ minutes of the game, filled with penalties and phantom calls. The Stars did get the first goal thanks toa colossal mix-up between Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Pavel Datsyuk, yielding Loui Eriksson finding an easy rebound goal past Jimmy Howard, but the Wings responded in a hurry, with Valtteri Filppula depositing the first of two goals behind Kari Lehtonen a little under 3 minutes after Eriksson scored...

And after the Wings dodged a bullet in the form of Todd Bertuzzi being high-sticked in the eye, Henrik Zetterberg scored a lovely PP goal late in the second period to break the deadlock, allowing the Wings to come out in the third period, guns blazing against a team that'd played the previous evening, and a tip-down goal by Damien Brunner and Filppula's second allowed the Wings to, aside from a few hiccups Howard answered nicely, put themselves on cruise control while wrapping up a 3-games-in-5-nights slate.

The Wings didn't really erase any of their ugly statistical marks, but their persistent, determined and increasingly poised play hopefully went a long way toward erasing not only fans' doubts in the Wings, but also the Wings' doubts in themselves. Filppula's performance may have exempted him for practice for the balance of forever, too.

Now the Wings get two days off, and they'll get back to action and begin a busy February, where they'll play 15 times in 28 nights, with a back-to-back slate against the dastardly Blues (time to stand up and prove you won't be Central Division doormats, Wings) on Friday and then the Blue Jackets on Saturday (ditto toward the doormat).

Good, "The first season was kind of our training camp and now we're really showing up to play" win, Wings. Build on it. 3-2-and-1 is just the start of bigger and better things, all of Wings Nation said hopefully.

The leaders led, the support players delivered support, those who should have scored scored, the defense improved on individual and team bases as the game went along and the Wings showed poise, panache and intelligence. Keep it up.

Update: Nice goal, Fil:

 


We All Bleed Red on YouTube has uploaded both of Tootoo's bouts, too:

 

 

 

 

 

Update: If you want narrative recaps, MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James provide them...

Statistics:

Shots: The Red Wings out-shot Dallas 27-26. The Wings were out-shot 10-7 in the 1st period, out-shot Dallas 13-8 in the 2nd and were out-shot 8-7 in the 3rd period.

The Stars went 0-for-5 in a total of 9:21 of PP time; the Wings went 1-for-7 in a total of 9:18 of PP time, including 0-for-4 in 7:24 of 5 on 4 time, 1-for-1 in 36 seconds of 5 on 3 time and 0 for 2 in 1:18 of 4 on 3 time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 25 of 26 shots; Kari Lehtonen gave up 4 goals on 25 shots; Richard Bachman stopped 2 shots.

The 3 stars were picked by the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, and they were Henrik Zetterberg (3), Pavel Datsyuk (2) and Valtteri Filppula (1).

The Wings' goals: Filppula (1) from Datsyuk (5);

Zetterberg (2) from Eaves (1) and Kronwall (5), PPG;

Brunner (3) from Franzen (3) and Zetterberg (5);

Filppula (2) from Datsyuk (6) and Bertuzzi (1).

Faceoffs 36-24 Detroit (Wings won 60%);

Blocked shots 13-12 Detroit;

Missed shots 16-8 Detroit (total attempts 55-47 Detroit);

Hits 18-17 Detroit;

Giveaways an ugly 10-3 Detroit;

Takeaways 9-6 Detroit.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-5 (72%); Abdelkader went 10-and-6 (63%); Zetterberg went 6-and-7 (46%); Emmerton went 5-and-4 (56%); Filppula and Franzen went 1-and-1 (50%).

Shots: Filppula led the team with 6 shots; Brunner and Franzen had 3; Miller and Zetterberg had 2; every other Wing save Smith, Emmerton and Bertuzzi took single shots.

Blocked attempts: Kronwall fired 5 shots into Stars players; Ericsson had 2 attempts blocked; Smith, Kindl, Emmerton, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Brunner missed the net 4 times; Datsyuk, Kronwall and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Cleary, Miller, Tootoo, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Filppula missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Miller and Ericsson led the team with 3 hits; Kindl, Cleary and Tootoo had 2; Smith, Huskins, Abdelkader, Eaves, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 1 hit.

Giveaways: Kindl and Datsyuk had 2 giveaways; Smith, Cleary, Brunner, Quincey, Ericsson and Kronwall had 1 giveaway.

Takeaways: Brunner, Zetterberg and Ericsson had 2 takeaways; Smith, Datsyuk and Tootoo had 1 takeaway.

Blocked opponent shots: Quincey blocked 4 Stars shots; Ericsson and Kronwall blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Cleary, Datsyuk, Miller and Bertuzzi blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Tootoo took two majors for fighting; Kronwall took 3 minor penalties; Kindl, Miller and Zetterberg took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The team finished at a collective +10. Kronwall finished at -1; Smith, Huskins, Kindl, Datsyuk, Brunner, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, Filppula and Franzen finished at +1; Quincey finished at +2.

Points: Filppula had 2 goals; Datsyuk had 2 assists; Zetterberg had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Brunner scored a goal; Eaves, Bertuzzi, Kronwall and Franzen had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 26:21 played; Ericsson played 24:34; Zetterberg played 21:21;

Franzen played 19:24; Quincey played 19:09; Cleary played 18:13;

Brunner played 18:08; Datsyuk played 18:04; Smith played 16:58;

Filppula played 14:59; Huskins played 13:32; Abdelkader played 13:06;

Kindl played 12:57; Bertuzzi played 12:29; Miller played 12:15;

Emmerton played 10:08; Eaves played 8:34; Tootoo played 7:58.

Update #2: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan offers a recap as well, and here're some Tweets from the Red Wings and Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Bugsy's avatar

Good to get a win over the Stars after the previous loss, the Blues are next. The team just has to stay within the system and do what they’re capable of, and keep working on the lost time of the exhibition season on their special teams. I agree, keep it up.

By the way, you think this Brunner guy has a chance to be good?

Posted by Bugsy on 01/29/13 at 11:37 PM ET

Avatar

Again, I thought Kindl didn’t look too bad. I really wonder if he wouldn’t blossom if he were given a chance. Hopefully if the Wings don’t give him any ice time, they’re able to get something for him.

Posted by teldar on 01/29/13 at 11:47 PM ET

Lenny's avatar

I like what 22 brings to this lineup. Hated the guy in Nashville but he reminds me of Mac out there just a little bit. Kindl looked better then last game and Smith seems to be getting better every game.

Posted by Lenny on 01/30/13 at 01:30 AM ET

Lenny's avatar

Unbeaten when 22 fights?

Posted by Lenny on 01/30/13 at 01:31 AM ET

ChowYunCat's avatar

What exactly was that call near the end that put Kronwall in the box? It was too quick to really judge, but I thought there was going to be a charging penalty on the Stars.

Posted by ChowYunCat on 01/30/13 at 01:55 AM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

I didn’t like that 3rd period Kronwall penalty either (well I only really agreed with a couple of the calls, but most of them at least made some sense). I didn’t know it was interference if you hit a guy as soon as you pass the puck. That creates the situation where if the guy hits you, it’s okay because you just had the puck a second ago, but you can’t hit him instead because neither of you has the puck. Pretty dumb.

Abdelkader didn’t used to be this good on faceoffs. He won 10 out of 12 faceoffs against players not named Ray Whitney. The funny thing is that Whitney only won faceoffs against Abdelkader. (The not funny thing is that three of those faceoffs were in the Red Wings defensive zone.)

Posted by bleep bloop on 01/30/13 at 03:07 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by ChowYunCat on 01/30/13 at 12:55 AM ET

I thought Kronner tried to be sneaky and throw a bow at Morrow for Robidas run on Eaves seconds earlier.  Could’ve read that situation completely wrong though.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/30/13 at 04:49 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Saw Morrow rubbing his mouth afterward too.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/30/13 at 04:50 AM ET

Avatar

I thought it looked like kronwall got his elbow up. But I don’t think that was really the call. I think it was just a bad interference call.
However.
I’m not positive dude wasn’t going to just skate past Kronwall either…

Posted by teldar on 01/30/13 at 08:59 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Kronwall passed the puck off and then he moved into Morrow’s path (it didn’t even look like Morrow was going to hit him, but rather that he was going to try to skate behind Kronwall.)

I can see why the ref called it interference, but Kronwall’s pass hadn’t connected by the time this happened. For all intents & purposes, Kronwall still technically had possession of the puck when he did this.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/30/13 at 09:00 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Count me out on the Tootoo bandwagon. If a team needs a useless plugger to drop the gloves for a staged fight three seconds into the game just to get their energy up, that team doesn’t deserve to win the game to begin with. You’re getting paid good money to play a game you love professionally. Shouldn’t be hard to find motivation.

Also, the Tootoo signing is so counter-intuitive for what the Wings otherwise do. It’s essentially a wasted lineup spot when you fill it with a guy whose main contribution is to get sent to the box in five minute chunks, and then when he’s out there is generally really poor on the puck (not good for a team that likes to play with the puck). Might as well be playing a forward short at that point. Honestly, Mike Knuble wouldn’t look better as a net-front specialist on the PP, playing 7 even-strength minutes per night?

I appreciate that Tootoo works hard on the forecheck and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around or stand up for a teammate. But to me, these are overrated cliches that fans like, not things that actually contribute much to winning Cups. It’s irritating watching Tootoo work hard to get in on the forecheck, only to see him miss the puck entirely. Kinda pointless.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/30/13 at 09:33 AM ET

Lenny's avatar

“not things that actually contribute much to winning Cups”

Have the Wings won a cup without someone like this in their line up?

Posted by Lenny on 01/30/13 at 10:23 AM ET

Avatar

But to me, these are overrated cliches that fans like, not things that actually contribute much to winning Cups.

1) You think trying hard on the forecheck is an overrated cliche?
2) Ask Wayne Gretzky whether he thinks guys who throw their weight around and stand up for their teammates contribute much to winning Cups.

Posted by Garth on 01/30/13 at 11:11 AM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/30/13 at 08:33 AM ET

Two or three years ago I would have agreed completely. But as everyone says, parity caught up with the Wings. No überskill on 3-4 lines. No Lidström or comparable D-man who can pass and move the puck like a playmaker. It pisses me off what the game turned into, but they are still the wings. Seeing Pasha’s moves justifies watching every game.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 01/30/13 at 11:32 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Have the Wings won a cup without someone like this in their line up?

Posted by Lenny on 01/30/13 at 09:23 AM ET

Because surely having one player like that is the secret to success, which explains why every team wins the Cup every year!

But seriously, 2008 and 2002 come to mind. And don’t say Tootoo is anything like McCarty, a guy that was a consistent plus player and 15-goal shooter in his prime. And Downey did not play in the ‘08 final, if my memory serves me.

Even 1997 and 1998 come to mind considering Kocur showed better actual hockey skill in his one 4-goal playoff run than Tootoo has in his entire playoff career (3 goals).

1) You think trying hard on the forecheck is an overrated cliche?
2) Ask Wayne Gretzky whether he thinks guys who throw their weight around and stand up for their teammates contribute much to winning Cups.

Posted by Garth on 01/30/13 at 10:11 AM ET

1) No, I guess I wasn’t clear that I tied that in with my other two points about “standing up for a teammate” (a definite overrated fan cliche), and Tootoo’s weakness on the puck. The guy is obviously a physical player and has physical strength, but he’s not strong on the puck. Just look at the way this guy Brunner is like a magnet to the puck—that’s being strong on the puck, and it takes skill and hockey sense more than brawn and a willingness to use it.

2) You’re comparing two wildly different eras of hockey and two wildly different teams. Fighting was a much bigger part of the game in the ‘80s than it is now, and the Oilers and Kings teams in question were much more talented up front on the whole than this current Wings team is. This current Wings team needs players that can play hockey.

Two or three years ago I would have agreed completely. But as everyone says, parity caught up with the Wings. No überskill on 3-4 lines. No Lidström or comparable D-man who can pass and move the puck like a playmaker. It pisses me off what the game turned into, but they are still the wings. Seeing Pasha’s moves justifies watching every game.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 01/30/13 at 10:32 AM ET

That’s really my point exactly. The Wings aren’t the team they were in 1997, 1998, 2002, or even 2008 and 2009. They have less talent on the bottom two lines (or perhaps more accurately, that talent is older and less effective than in years past). When you’re the ‘98 Wings and you want Kocur on your bench to ride shotgun with the skill guys if a game gets out of hand, you can afford using up that lineup spot because Yzerman, Shanny, Fedorov, and company are gonna carry the bacon in the actual hockey skill department. In the league now, where every team is mediocre, and the Wings in particular are the least talented they’ve been since Nick Lidstrom’s rookie year… it seems punting a lineup spot for a guy that’s just going to throw some punches and generally be ineffective in most other ways is wasteful.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/30/13 at 01:06 PM ET

Lenny's avatar

“Because surely having one player like that is the secret to success, which explains why every team wins the Cup every year!”

Not sayign that one player is the secret to success, but the team plays differently when someone is around to “keep the flies off.”

You think Dallas Drake banging and crashing and willingness to fight didnt help this teams confidence overall in their cup run?

 

Posted by Lenny on 01/30/13 at 01:29 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

exactly, or McSorley, or Kocur/Probert.  I’m sure Yzerman and Gretzky don’t think those guys are worth a bag of pucks right?

And useless plugger?  YOU DO KNOW TOOTOO OUTSCORED ANYONE IN OUR BOTTOM 6 LAST YEAR.  How many times do people have to say this before all the “goon” people keep hating on the guy.

Better yet, you can watch an actual game.  Toots line whether with Abby or Emmerton established a strong forecheck, generated scoring opportunities, the FIRST scoring opportunities of the game.  Set the tone.

What’s useless about any of that?

Maybe you should start watching water polo.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/30/13 at 01:52 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.