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Red Wings-Wild quick take: it wasn’t pretty, but it was good

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.

Update #2: The Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan provide narrative recaps, and the AP's Larry Lage will eventually add quotes to his recap.


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;

Takeaways 6-6.

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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NIVO's avatar

in this case personnel had ALOT to do with it. For the first time this season we had an established forecheck, and we finished our checks. If you noticed at the end of the game, Zetterberg talked to both Kronwall and Bert while they were giving Jimmy props at the net. I’m betting Z stood up after the first period and gave an “enough is enough” speech, because they came out a changed team.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 01/25/13 at 10:23 PM ET

bigdee89's avatar

My take - Less Quincy and Kindl would make this team a force.  It’s those ridiculous turnovers in our end by those two that kill us.  Huskins and Lashoff played way better.  The line combinations worked great but the biggest reason we played better was having Helm back.  He’s the heartbeat of the Wings.

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 01/25/13 at 11:36 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Quincey came up pretty big toward the end. Blocked shots, nice passes, heavy shots…He looked downright decent when the Wings were spinning their wheels. I hope it’s the start of something good instead of a brain fart.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/25/13 at 11:55 PM ET


Getting Bert and Helm back is awesome. Helm is such a gamer. He is our little spark plug whose game is huge. I as a Redwing fan am awed by his affect on his teammates and his effect on opposing players. His quickness makes opponents alter their game and actions during play. He is crucial to our success going foreward. Bert is so tough! Nobody moves him off a puck and the guy has got great instinct and those hands. Class and Skill these two bring plus a little edge. They hit skate and got the Hockey grit. Wish Tootoo could get in more ice time The current style of NHL successful play is playing gritty edgey strong bodily hockey. I agree with George ,I hope Babcock tells Lashoff to get a permant residence cuz he’s so strong and stands people up or puts them in their place (on their arse) when required. He’s got a great first pass instinct. He hit players in stride ya can"t teach that .He’s a gamer and I love his toughness. We have a better D corp than people around the league think. Great game and bring em on Detroit is starting to roll!!.....rayzredwing

Posted by rayzredwing on 01/26/13 at 12:07 AM ET

alukacs's avatar

What happened to the “fire Uncle Mike” talk - one win and it’s gone… grin

Posted by alukacs on 01/26/13 at 01:31 AM ET

perfection's avatar

I thought Quincey and Kindl both made a few good plays but man did they make several awful ones as well. I still want to give them some games to get in game shape. Kindl was hurt and Quincey spent the lockout playing in some Coloradan coed over 40 beer league or something.

But man, I’m definitely sold on Lashoff. He rules. I’ve seen him a handful of times playing for the Griffins and knew he was solid, but for a 22 year old rookie to be that smooth defending the 5-3, I’m really pleasantly surprised at how well his “solidness” translates to the NHL. Give him three or four more years and he really can develop into a Brad Stuart caliber player. I honestly think we miss Stuey as much or more than Lids. I hate to actually say this out loud, but if I had to choose between Lidstrom for this prorated season or Brad Stuart for 3 or 4 more seasons I would take Stuart in a heartbeat. That guy leaves it on the ice. Lashoff seems to have some of those qualities, but with a steadiness beyond his years. I still have hopes for Kindl (he’s only 25 and he does show glimpses), Big E seems to look better and better, but Quincey I’m just not very optimistic about. For that kind of money too? If he doesn’t get noticeably better he might end up a buy out candidate this summer. Especially if Lashoff is challenging for a roster spot. But we sure are pretty thin in terms of defensive prospects.

Anyway, this game was fun to watch. Watching Datsyuk in any of his “1st star” games just makes me tingle. And I LOVED hearing the crowd boo Suter! I just don’t care about class, it was hilarious and they are dbags for choosing that stupid team over our awesome team and they deserve to hear about it. Also, only super cool, original six/Canadian type teams have fans passionate enough that they would boo random opposing players who didn’t sign with their team the previous free agency. I love it. Just like I used to LOVE hearing every single opposing stadium boo every time Chelios touched the puck. It was one of his best qualities actually. 

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 01/26/13 at 01:48 AM ET

perfection's avatar

i guess we would probably just waive Quincey rather than buy him out since he only has one more year, right?

And I want to add too that Helm really does make an incredible difference. Babs is not exaggerating. Anyone else notice how much more effective Abdelkader suddenly seemed with Helm out there? 

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 01/26/13 at 02:07 AM ET

RorSchach's avatar

I’m telling you.. Abby, Helm and Tootoo should be a line. But of course, when sammy gets healthy again.. I guess Abby Helm and Sammy wouldn’t be to terribly bad.. Just get rid of emmerton. Then you’re stuck with Miller eaves and tootoo.. not sure who would play center. Maybe drop Abby to the 4th and put patty up with Helm and Sammy.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 01/26/13 at 02:43 AM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

I could get used to the team blocking a bajillion shots, Lord knows they need to.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 01/26/13 at 09:19 AM ET

awould's avatar

they are dbags for choosing that stupid team over our awesome team

Ha ha, well said!

Posted by awould on 01/26/13 at 11:58 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Also, only super cool, original six/Canadian type teams have fans passionate enough that they would boo random opposing players who didn’t sign with their team the previous free agency. I love it. Just like I used to LOVE hearing every single opposing stadium boo every time Chelios touched the puck. It was one of his best qualities actually. 

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 01/26/13 at 01:48 AM ET

??? *headscratch*

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 01/26/13 at 01:40 PM ET

perfection's avatar

what’s confusing… I like spirited crowds who are well versed in the game and are passionate about the story lines. Detroit has such a crowd and booing Suter and Parise is an expression of that passion. It’s part of the fun to think of our team as the “good guys” and the other team as the “bad guys”. Suter and Parise chose the dark side over the Jedi. Booooooooooo!

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 01/26/13 at 03:51 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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