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Red Wings-Wild quick take: Smith, Legwand, Kindl, Howard lead Wings over Wild

It was anything but pretty, and just as Dean Morton and Steve Kozari made the standard of officiating...interesting...during the Red Wings' win over Pittsburgh on Thursday, the Wings and Wild enjoyed free rein to clutch, grab, grope and even grab pucks as well as players during some points, and at others, Johan Franzen's pull-down of Charlie Coyle at the FACEOFF dot was deemed a penalty shot, but Franzen being pushed into Darcy Kuemper and then exiting the crease before Kuemper STOPPED a shot that Jared Spurgeon put into the net was "incidental contact"...

The Red Wings overcame the temporary loss of Niklas "The Motherfucking Pterodactyl" Kronwall and overcame their customary allowance of a game-tying third period goal to defeat Minnesota 3-2...

And if Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith, Riley Sheahan,David Legwand and of course Gustav Nyquist and Jimmy Howard continue to play as well as they have (holy crap did Kindl [2 assists] and Smith [smart pinches! solid defense!] have great games, Riley Sheahan had 2 seeing-eye assists, and Legwand remains an expensive but high-paying deadline move), Detroit might be able to sweep this home-and-home series and earn win #4 out of 9 or 10 needed to make the playoffs tomorrow night (7:30 PM on NBCSN).

The Wings had to deal with the Wild's trap-happy, Predators-style counterattack and had to deal with just a terrifying scene when Kronwall went down, and as you might expect, the Wings gave up the first goal--a power play marker via a dumb Kyle Quincey penalty and all of Smith, Brian Lashoff and Jimmy Howard backing up terribly to let Mikko Koivu walk in at 5:38...

But the Red Wings received a power play of their own (after killing off another PK), and Brendan Smith was the beneficiary of some superb work by Kindl and Legwand, tying the game at 10:34 of the 1st...

Andwhile the game dragged on, Jimmy Howard made major saves to bail out his team, the Miller-Glendening-Bertuzzi line put on something of a clinic as Darren Helm attempted to regain his sea legs (down to only 9 injuries, folks!), and with 2:36 left in the 2nd period, the Wings got on another power play, Kindl fired a shot-pass into Riley Sheahan, who made a lovely lateral pass, and David Legwand, $5,000 lighter in his pockets, jabbed the puck home...

But this happened all of 15 seconds into the 3rd period...

Thankfully, the Wings had an even-strength goal in 'em, and Smith and Sheahan's passing = Gustav Nyquist doing what he does:

I still don't understand why Morton waved off the goal where Franzen was pushed into and then exited the crease, and a call to Kronwall for Mikko Koivu seeing a stick between his leg and squeezing it hard yielded an INCREDIBLY late power play in which the Wild pulled their goalie not long after Kronwall headed to the box with 3:27 remaining, but the WIld may have gotten one shot off against the other-than-the-first-goal superb Howard...

All four lines were superb, Alfredsson was smart in terms of his attention to defensive detail, Tatar stopped the drop-passing, even Lashoff had a solid game, all the "weak links" played well, and the Wings earned a deserved 2 points against what will surely remain a clutchy-grabby-gropey and pissed off Wild team that's equally determined to earn their wild card spot tomorrow.

It should be a good one, and if the Wings keep rolling as they have, the result should be good, too.

On Twitter...

 

Statistics:

Shots 30-30 overall. Detroit was out-shot 11-9 in the 1st period, the teams tied 8-8 in shots in the 2nd and the Wings out-shot Minnesota 13-11 in the 3rd period.

Special teams: The Wild went 1-for-3 in 4:31 of PP time and had a penalty shot goal as well; the Wings went 2-for-2 in 54 seconds of PP time and had a goal waved off.

Goaltending: Darcy Kuemper stopped 27 of 30 shots for Minnesota; Jimmy Howard stopped 28 of 30 for Detroit.

The Wild's website picked the 3 stars, and they picked David Legwand, Charlie Coyle and Brendan Smith.

The Wings' goals: Smith (4) from Legwand (35) and Kindl (11), PPG;

Legwand (12) from Sheahan (12) and Kindl (12);

Nyquist (21) from Sheahan (13) and Smith (13).

Faceoffs 32-32 (50%);

Blocked shots 17-6 Detroit;

Missed shots 11-10 Minnesota (attempts 58-46 Minnesota, with the Wings firing 30 shots on Kuemper and 16 wide/blocked);

Hits 10-9 Minnesota;

Giveaways 1-0 Minnesota;

Takeaways 7-1 Minnesota.

Individual stats:

Faceoffs: Legwand went 10-and-10 (50%); Glendening went 9-and-7 (56%); Helm went 9-and-5 (54%); Sheahan went 4-and-8 (33%); Miller and Bertuzzi lost their only faceoffs.

Shots: Smith led the Wings with 4 shots; Legwand, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 3; Kindl, Nyquist, Sheahan, Emmerton, Glendening and Helm had 2; Miller, Tatar, Quincey, DeKeyser and Franzen had 1.

Blocked attempts: Smith, Alfredsson, Quincey, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Franzen missed the net 3 times; Alfredsson and Legwand missed the net 2 times; Smith, Lashoff and Bertuzzi missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Kindl and Quincey had 2 hits; Alfredsson, Lashoff, Ferraro, Glendening and Kronwall had 1 hit.

Giveaways: The statisticians registered no Wings giveaways.

Takeaways: Kronwall was the only Wing credited with a takeaway.

Blocked opponent shots: Quincey supposedly blocked 6 shots; Lashoff, Kronwall and DeKeyser blocked 2; Sheahan, Miller, Emmerton, Ferraro and Franzen blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Tatar took 2 minor penalties; Quincey and Kronwall took 1 minor penalty.

Plus-minus: Given the PPGs on both sides, the Wings finished at +5. Smith, Nyquist, Sheahan, Tatar and Kronwall finished at +1.

Points: Legwand had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Smith had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Sheahan had 2 assists; Kindl had 2 assists; Nyquist scored a goal.

Ice time: DeKeyser led the Wings with 25:42 played; Quincey played 25:15; Smith played 21:54;

Kronwall played 20:44; Miller played 19:52; Legwand played 19:42;

Glendening played 18:38; Alfredsson played 18:37; Franzen played 18:21;

Bertuzzi played 14:55; Lashoff played 13:35; Kindl played 13:02;

Helm played 12:06; Sheahan played 10:55; Emmerton played 10:41;

Nyquist played 10:31; Tatar played 10:00; Ferraro played 8:39.

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Comments

WingedRider's avatar

No Minus players this game and hope Kronner has no after effects from that head banging.  Play Jimmy Sunday and keep the streak alive!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/22/14 at 05:12 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

Two points

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 03/22/14 at 05:15 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Babcock really has these young guys playing great.  This is “Babcock Canadian Hockey”.

Sheahan is a monster…he knocks guys off the puck, makes great passes, and he goes to the net.

This team is fun to watch!

Posted by w2j2 on 03/22/14 at 05:22 PM ET

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Solid game by Lashoff. Great team effort. Looked like they were having fun out there. It’s only one game but I seen a lot of confidence. Tough stretch of games so it’s great to see them rolling four lines

Posted by leftwing on 03/22/14 at 05:31 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I agree Sheahan is a total monster. He’s also the absolute perfect example of a guy who needed over ripening, received the full Red Wing treatment, the kind that a first round pick would get on very few teams in the league, the kind the coaches and management are often criticized for like the emergence of these kids somehow doesn’t vindicate the system itself. Sheahan out of college was nowhere near the player we are seeing today. He was also immature and not terribly confident and would have been a disaster on an NHL team two years ago. You can’t say enough about Blash and the Griffs system. I also think you can’t undervalue how important that championship run was last season in terms of developing these kids. As Babs said, they’ve actually won something and they know what it takes to do it. You have a bunch of confident, over ripe winners coming up filling in and we are really seeing some magic. I’m starting to smell a potential legendary and epic run to the playoffs in one of the most unlikely situations ever. This really is fun to watch!

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 03/22/14 at 05:40 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I think the Legwand” Franzen, Alfie line is starting to get good chemistry, And you’d be mad to mess with the Sheahan line right now. Getting more people healthy is going to make for interesting decisions.

Such as, you get Jurco back and you stick him with Helm and Bert?  That could be a decent line. I like these problems.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/22/14 at 06:06 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Nyquist seems to have reminded Sheahan and Tatar that you have to play defense, too. That and 4th-line ice time for the trio sometimes (like today).

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/22/14 at 06:30 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Two terrible calls by the referees. The penalty shot and disallowed Red Wing goal, but the Red Wings over came them. This team is maturing right before our eyes. Super.

Posted by bigfrog on 03/22/14 at 06:47 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Sheahan pulling the Piano for Nyquist and Tatar!  Great line and exciting to watch!!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/22/14 at 06:54 PM ET

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Absolutely huge and well deserved 2 points, just fantastic effort. Especially I was impressed with Smith and Legwand today.
Oh, and Smith scores on a PP in his first try on a PP and only because Kronwall was out at that moment. Why he is not getting PP time is something I do not understand.
Miller and Glendening leading the team in minutes? Not even sure what to say here, just a bizarre season. Thank god Kron came back.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/22/14 at 08:01 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Glendening line’s become the Wings’ shut-down line—and Tatar and Sheahan are playing less due to all the “learning” they’ve been doing that’s ended up in the back of the Wings’ net of late—so that’s the reason their ice time has flipped recently.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/22/14 at 08:07 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Not sure if people noticed, but Jarnkrok had an assist in his 1st game for Nashville?

I like what legwand has brought to the team so far, particularly the fact he is solid on defense.

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/22/14 at 08:15 PM ET

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The Glendening line’s become the Wings’ shut-down line—and Tatar and Sheahan are playing less due to all the “learning” they’ve been doing that’s ended up in the back of the Wings’ net of late—so that’s the reason their ice time has flipped recently.

Which would not be a huge deal, but it also negatively influences Nyquist playing time.
Tatar to me seems to be mentally and maybe even physically tired recently, but I just hope it’s a part of a rookie given too much responsibility too quickly. He has not been an energizing bunny he has been on every single shift earlier this season. He will be back though, love the guy.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/22/14 at 08:15 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’ve got mad anxiety issues about the prospect catch-up post of doom but you can be sure that I will monitor Jarnkrok’s progress when I post it.

And Tatar played in the Olympics. He’s dealing with some burnout there, as well as first-full-NHL-season fatigue. He’ll get through it.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/22/14 at 08:19 PM ET

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Not sure if people noticed, but Jarnkrok had an assist in his 1st game for Nashville?

I watched parts of that game and I have to admit Jarn looked very solid in both zones. Pretty good speed and he is bigger than I thought. I like Legwand,  but Jarn might end up being a better player eventually. Hopefully the trade will end up being a win-win situation for both teams.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/22/14 at 08:21 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The tale of Jarnkrok-for-Legwand will play out over time. It will depend on whether Legwand re-signs with the Wings and maintains a 40-to-50-point-producing pace, and whether Jarnkrok holds up over the long haul.

There have been trades where the Wings have truly been burned, there have been trades where things worked out for both teams, and we’ve all worried about whether Dan McGillis would out-last Kirk Maltby, whether Anders Eriksson, Adam Munro and Steve McCarthy would have a bigger impact than Chris Chelios, whether Slava Kozlov (who is still playing!) would be worth more than Dominik Hasek, etc.

We’ll have to wait and see. Were the Wings right in being concerned about Jarnkrok’s size and strength? Is he going to go home?

Are the Wings going to make the playoffs? Is Legwand even interested in staying here, and is there a spot for him given that at least Sheahan and Glendening will be here next year (it’s entirely possible that the Wings send Jurco back to GR to start next year so he can improve his strength and defensive prowess) and that we don’t know what’s going to happen with Andersson (Glendening stole his job) or Weiss (???)?

I’m still upset about losing Jarnkrok, but it’s early yet.

And yes, I think that next year we will see Ferraro, Sheahan and Glendening on the opening-night 14-forward roster, but not Jurco or Pulkkinen as both have a wee bit more finishing to do.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/22/14 at 08:27 PM ET

Avatar

Too bad Nyquist was over-ripened in Grand Rapids to the point where his is now a useless career-AHLer.

(That was sarcasm.)

The dude is the perfect example of the Wings second-to-none drafting and development program and why it works. He was introduced to NHL hockey relatively slowly, the way it should be for most players, and we’re now seeing its effects.

Posted by Diggler from Marquette, MI on 03/22/14 at 08:51 PM ET

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and we’ve all worried about whether ..., whether Anders Eriksson, Adam Munro and Steve McCarthy would have a bigger impact than Chris Chelios,

Seriously, if someone actually ever wondered that they need to just go sit in a quiet room for a decade or so.  Eriksson was borderline worthless the day of the trade, and a pair of #1’s back then given the capless NHL were next to useless considering where Detroit was drafting anyway.

Too bad Nyquist was over-ripened in Grand Rapids to the point where his is now a useless career-AHLer.

(That was sarcasm.)

Heh.  The Nyquist thing is a perfect example of the conundrum fans here have created for the Wings front office and coaching staff.  If a prospect comes up and does well the front office and coaches were morons for not having them up sooner, because duh, obviously they would have done as well 2, 4, 12 months ago as they are doing now.  If the prospect comes up and fails the front office and coaches were morons for not having him up sooner, because duh, obviously they would have done better had they not wasted away in the AHL for so long.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/22/14 at 09:54 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Play Jimmy Sunday and keep the streak alive!!

We’ve been playing a lot of “a game every other day” but now we’re starting on 6-games in 9-days… This is a great spot to play Gustavsson and kept Howard fresh.

Gus’ll be at the Joe and the fans love him.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/22/14 at 10:58 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I think that next year we will see Ferraro, Sheahan and Glendening on the opening-night 14-forward roster, but not Jurco or Pulkkinen as both have a wee bit more finishing to do.

I agree with this and think it’s probably the right moves too. It’s great Jurco and Pulkki have had a taste this year and who knows, we may need them again, but I think they really could use some more first line seasoning in the AHL as well. If Jurco has a strong offseason I could see him making sending him down a tough decision. But like we saw with Gus, the roster crunch might make that decision easier if it’s between that and losing someone for nothing. which… 

What about Mitch Callahan? Could there possibly be a forward slot for him? Hes out of waivers, has had a great year and seems like he could grow into the kind of guy who can keep the flies off but still play. A McCarty type which we haven’t really had since McCarty (1.0)

So we want to resign Legwand which I’m all for but, as George points out, we then will have at center:

Pav(or Z)/Weiss/Legwand/Helm/Sheahan/Andersson/Glendening/Ferraro (who could get moved to wing)

we assume Glendening, Ferraro and Sheahan all make the team and we sign Legwand, who goes? Andersson and Weiss?

maybe it’s time to think about trading Helm. I love the guy but we just aren’t getting our value out of him with his knack for injury, but his potential upside could give him some value on the market. I don’t know if Weiss is even tradeable at this point with his injuries? Andersson could maybe fetch a second or third round pick or something at the draft. I don’t know. It’d be nice if we could put together some sort of package with some of these guys and get ourselves a true number one dman. I know it’s easier said than done but that’s clearly what we need.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 03/22/14 at 11:00 PM ET

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I have to admit I missed about 5 minutes of tonight’s game and 5 minutes of the previous game, but based on what I seen Smith not only did NOT make one of his patented passes right to the other team in his own end and help the other team score, he actually played two error free games. Congrats to Smith for that! And congrats to Bab’s for showing us that he was wise to stick with Smith and overlook all the mistakes Smith made throughout the year, and keep sticking with Smith despite his play causing a few losses throughout the year, and for showing us that it all can be forgotten…so long as Smith continues to play the way he has the past two games, and helps the Wings get to the playoffs rather than help the opposing teams get goals and beat the Wings. And congrats to Legwand for another good game and continuing to show everyone who thought giving up a guy who Bab’s and management said would probably never make the team for him was a wise choice, and a choice that might just help the Wings make the playoffs yet again, and possibly make an even deeper run than last year.

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 03/22/14 at 11:12 PM ET

Avatar

Heh.  The Nyquist thing is a perfect example of the conundrum fans here have created for the Wings front office and coaching staff.  If a prospect comes up and does well the front office and coaches were morons for not having them up sooner, because duh, obviously they would have done as well 2, 4, 12 months ago as they are doing now.  If the prospect comes up and fails the front office and coaches were morons for not having him up sooner, because duh, obviously they would have done better had they not wasted away in the AHL for so long.

You’re so full of BS, it’s astounding.

Posted by Garth on 03/23/14 at 12:45 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

It was nice seeing Smith on the PP.  Hopefully since he scored, and is playing much more reliable hockey now, we will see him there again.  That would help cut down Kronner’s ice time.  I will feel bad for the guys that get sent back to Grand Rapids, if players get healthy.  They have palyed their hearts out.  Emmerton, especially, has been great on the PK.  I agree Pulk and Jurco do need some more seasoning, but Jurco is really close.  Not sure yet about Ferraro, too early to tell.  The future sure looks bright for these kids though.  The experience they are getting is huge for their development.  It’s been a tough year with all the injuries, but an exciting year to watch.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 03/23/14 at 10:31 AM ET

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About The Malik Report

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.