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Red Wings-Wild quick take: bad breaks or a given-away game?

Updated with video stuff at 10:48 PM: I'm well aware of this fact...

But, regardless of the waved-off Tootoo goal, regardless of Kronwall's hit, the Detroit Red Wings' 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild  was both a case of the Wings falling into a classic "trap game" and a case of bad habits and plain old disinterested play surfacing at the worst time possible--and that's why tonight's loss is so infuriating.

Sure, the Minnesota Wild came into tonight's game winless-in-forever at the Joe ahead of a "rivalry night" NBC game, and sure, the Wings were playing their classic "first game back from a Western Canadian road swing," but the Wild had just defeated the same Canucks the Wings snuffed on Saturday night in a Minnesota win on Monday.

And it was the Red Wings who looked jet-lagged, all game long.

The shots were listed at 38-19 Detroit overall, with Detroit out-shooting Minnesota 18-5 in the 1st period, but the Wings were out-scored, out-first-chanced, out-second-chanced, out-hustled, out-checked, out-competed, out-detailed and of course out-clutched-and-grabbed (funny how all the "subtle interference" that the Wings were called for early in the season is just "battling" for the puck in March)...

And the Wings were never really in this one, from the time that Devin Setoguchi scored off a set play all of 2:04 in, onward.

From a fan's perspective, to see the Wild apply the Columbus Blue Jackets game--steer the Wings to the side boards in the offensive zone, let the team shoot all it wants but deny them any sniffs at secondary opportunities and any ability to screen the goalie, then slowly but surely apply a forecheck, let the Wings make mistakes and utilize down-low passes to sneak into the slot unobstructed and score "easy" goals--and to see the Wings so willingly fall into the trap set for them was incredibly disappointing and downright infuriating.

The fact that the Wild went 2-for-3 on the power play, and that the Wings were one-and-done both at even strength and on their 1-for-5 PP (with Drew Miller's goal coming with 14 seconds left in the game) didn't help...

And the fact that Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, Jonathan Ericsson and especially Brian Lashoff looked so green, that Ian White looked so utterly unable to generate offense, and that neither the aforementioned quintet nor Niklas Kronwall received any help save Pavel Datsyuk accidentally gloving Mikko Koivu's dagger 3-1 goal past Jimmy Howard...

That ain't right. Johan Franzen looked somewhat typically disinterested tonight, but he had so much company that it was scary, and yet the Wings are on the radio right now, and they're looking at the shot totals--38 to 19 on the scoreboard, with the Wings firing another 9 attempts into Wild players and another 12 wide for 21 more attempts and 59 overall--and looking at the could'a's and would'a's and are suggesting that they competed well and just got behind the 8-ball.

Did they?

Going into two incredibly dificult games against Anaheim on Friday and Sunday, then a back-to-back game against Phoenix on Monday and a game in San Jose next Thursday, all before coming back to the Joe for another tough NBC game against Chicago on March 31st and a difficult game against a team that has its number in Colorado on April 1st, did the Wings get beaten by a "hot" goalie in Niklas Backstrom...

Or did they give this one away?

Were the dearth of secondary scoring chances on Detroit's side and the mistakes-yielding-goals-goals simply the case of a hot Wild team earning breaks, momentum and then building upon it with a score that was deceptively high?

The Wings will suggest that this is just one that got away, and that it happens. But I can't help but feel that the Wings did this to themselves, at least in part, via a chorus of cascading brain farts.

And that's just plain unacceptable with a little over a month to go in the regular season.

According to 97.1 FM's Ken Kal, the team will fly to Anaheim at 12 PM EDT tomorrow. I hope the day off refreshes their brains and bodies, because the team looked mentally and physically tired tonight.


Shots 38-19 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Minnesota 19-5 in the 1st, were out-shot 12-8 in the 2nd and out-shot Minnesota 12-2 in the 3rd.

The Wild went 2-for-3 in 5:00 of PP time; the Wings went 1-for-5 in 8:11 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 14 of 19 shots; Niklas Backstrom stopped 36 of 38.

The 3 stars were picked by Subtle Interference himself, and they were Niklas Backstrom, Gustav Nyquist and Devin Setoguchi.

The Wings' goals: Nyquist (1), unassisted;

Miller (3) from Tootoo (3) and Emmerton (2), PPG.

Faceoffs 33-28 Minnesota (Detroit won 46%);

Blocked shots 9-7 Minnesota;

Missed shots 12-3 Detroit (total attempts 59-29 Detroit);

Hits 18-15 Detroit;

Giveaways 7-6 Minnesota;

Takeaways 11-3 Detroit.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 14-and-13 (52%); Emmerton went 8-and-8 (50%); Zetterberg went 4-and-8 (33%); Andersson went 2-and-4 (33%).

Shots: Zetterberg led the team with 5 shots; Kindl and Nyquist had 4; Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Filppula had 3; Tootoo and Franzen had 2; Cleary, White, Miller, Lashoff, Emmerton, Kronwall and Andersson had 1.

Blocked attempts: Kindl hit Wild players 2 times; Smith, Datsyuk, Nyquist, Tootoo, Lashoff, Brunner and Filppula had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Kindl, Datsyuk, White and Filppula missed the net 2 times; Miller, Tootoo, Filppula and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Kindl, Miller and Franzen co-led the team with 3 hits; Lashoff and Ericsson had 2; Smith, Abdelkader, Cleary, Tootoo and Filppula had 1.

Giveaways: Kronwall had 2 giveaways; Kindl, Nyquist, Miller and Zetterberg had 1.

Takeaways: Nyquist had 3 takeaways; Tootoo had 2; Smith, Datsyuk, White, Brunner, Zetterberg and Franzen had 1.

Blocked opponent shots: Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, White, Lashoff and Kronwall blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Kronwall took a double minor; Kindl and Abdelkader took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The team finished at a collective -5. Smith, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Lashoff, Brunner, Zetterberg, Filppula and Franzen finished at -1; Cleary, Nyquist and Andersson finished at +1.

Points: Nyquist and Miller scored goals; Tootoo had an assist.

Ice time: Kindl led the team with 22:16 played; Kronwall played 20:18; Smith played 19:08;

Zetterberg played 19:07; Filppula played 18:28; Datsyuk played 18:03;

Lashoff played 17:52; Franzen played 17:07; Brunner played 16:03;

Cleary played 15:20; Miller played 13:35; Nyquist played 12:24;

Emmerton played 12:17; Andersson played 12:00; Tootoo played 11:52.

Update: Video time. Here are the game's highlights...

Including Nyquist's goal...

And the Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted a video of Henrik Zetterberg's post-game comments:



Early recaps: The Star-Tribune, Windsor Star, MLive and the AP have all penned recaps.

More post-game stuff: The Red Wings' website has posted clips of Henrik Zetterberg...

Gustav Nyquist...

And coach Mike Babcock speaking to the media:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


OnlyWings's avatar

A bit of bad breaks but mostly costly mistakes defensively. The tough 4 game road trip might loom huge for any playoff hopes.

If it wasn’t a Home game it might not hurt so much for both the fans and team.

Nice goal by Gus, a confidence builder I hope.

Posted by OnlyWings on 03/20/13 at 09:34 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

That game reminded me of playoff losses to the Sharks - complete with getting burned by Setoguchi and all!  It’s the same old song with the Wings.  Play a good game, get some bad breaks, and wonder what could have been.  Sometimes you just want the team to stop finding excuses and get it done.

Posted by gt500x on 03/20/13 at 09:34 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I’m immediately forgetting this game ever happened.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 03/20/13 at 09:55 PM ET


I feel like I’ve had this thought several times this season, but now I really do think it’s true.

This loss seems like it marks the end. I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs. I believe it feels true this time because I couldn’t figure out what exactly caused this game to so easily slip from the Wings grasp. The wonderful obtuse NHL rulebook didn’t help…but I didn’t know what the deal was when they were getting so many shots on goal, the Wild seemed so…unremarkable.

It seems to simply boil down to one simple fact: this isn’t a great hockey team. There are too many players who aren’t doing their job well enough.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 03/20/13 at 09:58 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Well time to go on the road, win three improbable games, come home and stink up the ice against the Hawks o. NBC with Doc, Edzo and the deuche

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/20/13 at 10:24 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

well, with all teams near us having more wins, we lose any kind of tie breaker after points. Really needed that one. Tougher road ahead because of it.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/20/13 at 11:25 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

I’d like to see the coaching staff make one minor adjustment: Instead of going into a game and telling the boys “This goalie goes down early, shoot high on him.”, they should say “This goalie goes down early, shoot high on him, but also keep the shot below the crossbar.”.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 03/20/13 at 11:34 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

with all teams near us having more wins

And fewer games played as well.  Unless a couple teams take a nose dive, it wont matter what the Wings do from here on out, there just wont be enough available points to make up for the games-in-hand difference.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 03/21/13 at 09:25 AM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

i like our team
    Posted by
      on 03/20/13 at 10:44 PM ET

HTO, I love reading this comment in all these threads, it’s exactly what I’m always thinking too.  Getting back some of those injured players at the trading deadline will be LIKE trading for a roster upgrade.  I like our team.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 03/21/13 at 09:43 AM ET


with all teams near us having more wins
And fewer games played as well.  Unless a couple teams take a nose dive, it wont matter what the Wings do from here on out, there just wont be enough available points to make up for the games-in-hand difference.

Are you guys looking at the same standings I am?  There’s nobody close to Detroit in the standings who have more than one game in hand and the only team behind them who would jump ahead of them if they one their game in hand is San Jose.  Everyone else who has one game in hand also has fewer wins and/or fewer points.

The standings aren’t a vaccuum.  If Detroit wins more than they lose they’ll make the playoffs and if they don’t they won’t make the playoffs.  Detroit’s fate is very much in their own hands.

Posted by Garth on 03/21/13 at 10:09 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I am absolutely perplexed by the number of brilliant chances the Wings are creating, but not scoring.  what is the problem?  why can’t these experienced hockey players who have been doing this all their life actually get their shots to go in?

even Datsyuk missed on a wide open net.  wut de fug?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/21/13 at 10:16 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Posted by Garth on 03/21/13 at 11:09 AM ET

You’re right Garth, I apologize.  I was working on dated info.  It seems that 3 day break cleared up all the teams with 2 games in hand, and apparently they didnt do very well overall.  Still have alot of heal nippers though, even without the games-in-hand advantage.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 03/21/13 at 10:28 AM ET


even Datsyuk missed on a wide open net.

Well, he’s just learning from his linemate.

Posted by Garth on 03/21/13 at 10:53 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Detroit’s fate is very much in their own hands.

Absofreakinglutely.With the road heavy schedule I’m not sure the chances are 50/50 the Wings slide in to the SCPO’s.If, big IF… some miracle occurs and we head down the stretch and avoid these craptastic games like last night, we’ll be ok.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/21/13 at 12:30 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.


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