The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/20/13 at 10:21 PM ET
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.
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:
More post-game stuff: The Red Wings' website has posted clips of Henrik Zetterberg...
And coach Mike Babcock speaking to the media:
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.