The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/29/13 at 11:20 PM ET
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:
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:
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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.