The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/25/13 at 11:15 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings played like two different teams--or was it three or four?--en route to a slightly sloppy but particularly satisfying 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday. I'll write more about the game I described as, "Dating a fat girl who 'tries harder'" on Twitter in a minute, but I'd like to hear what you thought about what may or may not be an identity-finding effort by a team that seems to have learned that its personnel matter a little less than playing the puck possession system no matter what...Though Helm and Bertuzzi sure helped a helluva lot.
My more general take: The Wings were out-shot 11-6 in the first period, if we are to believe the statisticians at the Joe, they blocked a ridiculous 24 shots (9 in the first period alone!), and displayed a serious case of, "Stand around and watch-itis" over the first 20 minutes or so. They also took 9 frickin' penalties, and, after scoring 2 goals in 47 seconds, quickly surrendered that lead...
But the entire team seemed to play more confident hockey, more puck possession hockey, and plain old looked like the Red Wings again after Brunner and Bertuzzi's early second-period goals, and aside from a sag in the third that allowed Zach Parise to score the fluky 5-3 goal--on a goaltender who was otherwise impeccable--the Wings managed to push back via a persistent goal from Zetterberg, a beautiful goal by Datsyuk (1 goal, 2 assists) and plain old better, smarter team play.
As far as I'm concerened, Ken Holland ought to tell Brian Lashoff to, "Get a place," and while the Wings face a gargantuan task in tangling with the Hawks on Sunday, all of a sudden, the bipolar beast that is Red Wings Nation will be breathing a little easier now that the Wings seem to have begun (emphasis on begun) to find their footing.
Ugly game. Beautiful result. Like the fat girl I dated who kept wanting to play tonsil hockey over and over again.
Shots 27-26 Detroit overall. The Wings were out-shot 11-6 in the 1st, out-shot Minnesota 11-10 in the 2nd and out-shot Minnesota 10-5 in the 3rd.
The Wings went 2-for-5 in 6:02 of PP time; the Wild went 1-for-8 n 14:04 of PP time, including 1-for-1 in 1:24 of 5 on 3 time.
Jimmy Howard stopped 23 of 26 shots; Josh Harding stopped 22 of 27.
The three stars, per the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, were Zach Parise (3), Todd Bertuzzi (2) and Pavel Datsyuk (1).
The Wings' goals: Brunner (2) from Zetterberg (3) and Kronwall (3), PPG;
Bertuzzi (1) from Filppula (1) and Smith (1);
Zetterberg (1) from Datsyuk (3) and Filppula (2);
Datsyuk (2) from Kronwall (4) and Franzen (2), PPG;
Bertuzzi (2) from Datsyuk (4) and Filppula (3).
Faceoffs 35-33 Detroit (Detroit won 51%);
Blocked shots 24-5 Detroit;
Missed shots 12-10 Detroit (total attempts 60-44 Minnesota);
Hits 21-5 Detroit;
Giveaways an ugly 12-6 Detroit;
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 14-and-9 (61%); Zetterberg went 9-and-6 (60%); Helm went 6-and-8 (43%); Emmerton went 1-and-5 (17%); Filppula went 1-and-3 (25%); Abdelkader went 1-and-2 (33%); CLeary, Brunner and Franzen won single faceoffs.
Blocked opponent shots: Huskins blocked 7 Wild shots; Quincey blocked 4; Smith and Kronwall blocked 3; Kindl and Lashoff blocked 2; Cleary, Datsyuk and Emmerton blocked 1.
Shots: Bertuzzi and Zetterberg led the team with 5 shots; Datsyuk took 4; Brunner and Franzen took 3; Smith and Cleary took 2; Lashoff, Helm and Filppula took 1.
Missed attempts: Franzen missed the net 4 times; Zetterberg and Helm missed the net 2 times; Tootoo, Quincey, Bertuzzi and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.
Blocked attempts: Cleary, Tootoo, Quincey, Helm and Bertuzzi had 1 shot attempt blocked.
Hits: Helm led the team with 4 hits; Tootoo and Lashoff had 3; Smith and Kindl had 2; Abdelkader, Cleary, Emmerton, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, Kronwall and Franzen had 1.
Giveaways: Kindl had 4 giveaways; Smith and Datsyuk had 2; Miller, Quincey, Helm and Franzen had 1.
Takeaways: Filppula and Franzen had 2 takeaways; Quincey and Helm had 1.
Penalty minutes: Abdelkader took a major for fighting; Cleary and Kronwall took 2 minors; Kindl, Datsyuk, Lashoff and Helm took 1 minor penalty.
Plus-minus: Lashoff and Kronwall finished at -2; Abdelkader, Miller, Brunner and Franzen finished at -1; Quincey and Bertuzzi finished at +2; Smith, Datsyuk and Filppula finished at +3. The Wings finished at a collective +5.
Points: Filppula had 3 assists; Datsyuk had a goal and 2 assists for 3 points; Bertuzzi had 2 goals; Zetterberg had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Brunner had a goal; Smith and Franzen had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall played 24:28; Zetterberg played 20:49; Quincey played 20:44;
Huskins played 19:31; Franzen played 18:52; Lashoff played 18:36;
Datsyuk played 18:22; Smith played 18:08; Filppula played 16:27;
Kindl played 16:17; Cleary played 15:51; Bertuzzi played 15:07;
Brunner played 14:24; Helm played 12:27; Miller played 11:57;
Abdelkader played 10:46; Emmerton played 5:52; Tootoo played 5:51.
Update #3: Here's Damien Brunner speaking to the NHL Network...
Nice goal, eh?
And here are Datsyuk and Bertuzzi doing their thing:
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff also posted videos of Mike Babcock's post-game presser...
And Wild goalie Josh Harding, who's from Stratford, ON:
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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.