The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/22/14 at 03:57 PM ET
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.
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.
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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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.