The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/17/13 at 09:39 PM ET
Updated 3x with clips of Mrazek, Zetterberg and Babcock speaking to the media at 9:30 PM: The Detroit Red Wings now find themselves admist a 3-game losing streak thanks to a loss of poise, a loss of direction and a seemingly baffling lack of effort, intensity and attention to detail after giving up 3 goals over the course of 4 minutes and 10 seconds, en route to a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.
The Red Wings, bolstered by the additions of Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson, got off to a superb start, and it took 8-and-a-half minutes for Damien Brunner to score a gorgeous goal off a superb outlet pass from Brian Lashoff and some magic worked by Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and after out-shooting Minnesota 14-8 in the 1st period, the Wings struck quickly in the second, with Pavel Datsyuk scoring 20 seconds into the second period from Zetterberg and Lashoff...
But the Wings seemed to all but collapse after Dany Heatley mucked the 2-1 goal past Petr Mrazek off a bizarre faceoff loss and puck that went off Lashoff and right to Dany Heatley. A poor pinch by Jonathan Ericsson and a terrible defensive play by Samuelsson yielded a game-tying goal by Jason Zucker under four minutes after Heatley scored...
Off a bizarre draw win-but-loss by Justin Abelkader, Torrey Mitchell chipped the puck past Mrazek 32 seconds after Zucker's goal, and the Wings played the remaining 26:45 as if they were a rudderless ship, mostly because--as Fox Sports Detroit's Darren Eliot wisely pointed out--nobody seemed to be able to pull the puck off the wall, where the Wild were all too happy to play penalty-killing hockey at even strength, save the top line, and nobody seemed to be willing to actually skate through the neutral zone with speed and shoot on Darcy Kuemper and then retrieve rebounds.
The Wings played a perimeter game, burned a 4-minute high sticking penalty Devin Setoguchi took for whacking Kyle Quincey in the face in the second period (in which the Wings were out-shot 11-10), and the Wings more or less acquiesced to the Wild's penalty-killing-dump-don't-chase-and-trap game in the 3rd, firing a measly
4 shots 7 shots on the net and burning yet another crucial power play earned with 5:42 left (my goodness, was this game ever full of clutching and grabbing and wrestling by both sides, but mostly the Wild).
It was as if the Wings were resigned to an inevitable loss after Zucker tied the game on a somewhat poor goal given up by Mrazek, and the Wings' confidence, poise, attention to detail and effort seem to have all vanished in a hurry.
I'm not quite sure what's ailing the Wings, injuries excluded, but this team seems flummoxed with itself. Just baffled as to what it can do. And until the Ericssons, Whites, Filppulas, Clearys, Quinceys, et. al. play like the "top five" (Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Brunner, Kronwall and Lashoff) or that spunky third line of Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson and Justin Abdelkader...
The Wings are going to continue to be mediocre at best, and they're going to continue to fold like paper tigers under the slightest hint of adversity.
Shots 31-24 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Minnesota 14-8 in the 1st, were out-shot 11-10 in the 2nd and out-shot Minnesota 7-5 after all in the 3rd period.
The Wings went 0-for-3 in 6:00 of PP time; the Wild went 0-for-2 in 4:00 of PP time.
Petr Mrazek stopped 21 of 24 shots; Darcy Kuemper stopped 29 of 31.
The 3 stars, per "Minnesota Fans," were Torrey Mitchell, Darcy Kuemper and Jason Zucker.
The Wings' goals: Brunner (7) from Datsyuk (9) and Zetterberg (14);
Datsyuk (7) from Zetterberg (15) and Lashoff (1).
Faceoffs 29-20 Minnesota (Detroit won 41%);
Blocked shots 16-6 Minnesota;
Missed shots 16-11 Detroit (again, the Wings fired more shots wide or into Minnesota players than on the net. The Wild had 41 attempts; the Wings had 63 attempts, and 32 were wide or into Wild players);
Hits 26-17 Minnesota;
Giveaways 11-4 Minnesota;
Takeaways 7-4 Minnesota.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Zetterberg went 8-and-11 (42%); Filppula went 5-and-6 (45%); Emmerton went 5-and-4 (56%); Andersson went 1-and-7 (13%); Datsyuk won his only faceoff; Abdelkader lost his only faceoff.
Shots: Zetterberg led the team with 6 shots; Tatar had 5; Miller and Brunner had 4; Datsyuk and Andersson had 3; Abdelkader, Cleary, Lashoff, Emmerton, Quincey and Samuelsson had 1.
Blocked attempts: White, Zetterberg and Kronwall had 3 shot attempts blocked; Brunner and Ericsson had 2 shot attempts blocked; Cleary, Lashoff and Samuelsson had 1 shot attempt blocked.
Missed shots: White, Quincey and Samuelsson missed the net 2 times; Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Miller, Tatar, Lashoff, Brunner, Emmerton, Zetterberg, Filppula and Ericsson missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Abdelkader and Miller co-led the team with 4 hits; Tootoo, Quincey and Filppula had 2; Huskins, Emmerton and Samuelsson had 1.
Giveaways: Cleary, Lashoff, Brunner and Zetterberg had giveaways;
Takeaways: Abdelkader, Tatar, Brunner and Zetterberg had takeaways;
Blocked shots: Huskins, White, Tootoo, Quincey, Samuelsson and Ericsson blocked 1 shot.
Penalties taken: Lashoff and Andersson took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -5. Abdelkader, Cleary, Tatar, Lashoff, Samuelsson, Filppula, Ericsson and Andersson finished at -1; Datsyuk, Brunner and Zetterberg finished at +1.
Points: Datsyuk had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Zetterberg had 2 assists; Brunner had a goal; Lashoff had an assist.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 22:31 played; Zetterberg played 20:36; White played 20:09;
Datsyuk played 19:44; Lashoff played 19:33; Ericsson played 19:24;
Filppula played 18:31; Quincey played 17:51; Brunner played 17:46;
Cleary played 16:59; Samuelsson played 15:37; Huskins played 14:52;
Tatar played 13:45; Miller played 13:29; Anderson played 12:56;
Emmerton played 11:47; Tootoo played 10:49; Abdelkader played 10:32.
Update: MLive's Ansar Khan, the Free Press's Helene St. James, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan and the AP have already penned recaps, and there is some good news, per the Grand Rapids Press's Dean Holzwarth:
On Sunday afternoon, Jonas Gustavsson became the first Detroit Red Wings goalie to make a rehabilitation start in Grand Rapids in more than seven years.
The 28-year-old Swede continued a longstanding trend of successful debuts for Red Wings in Griffins’ uniforms.
Gustavsson stopped 26 shots and Grand Rapids defeated the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 before 5,895 fans at Van Andel Arena.
“It was fun to be back,” said Gustavsson, who has been sidelined with a groin injury since playing in the third period of Detroit’s season-opening loss in St. Louis on Jan. 19.
“It was kind of weird because you forget your habits before the game and it's all about finding them again during the game. I felt better the longer the game went and I felt more comfortable out there. The guys played great and made it easy for me.”
The 6-3,192-pound Gustavsson was the fourth Detroit goalie to start in a conditioning assignment for the Griffins, and all of them won their debuts with 20 or more saves.
The Griffins assigned Jordan Pearce and Willie Coetzee to Toledo, too...
Update #2: Here's a set of game highlights:
Update #3: The Red Wings' website has posted clips of Petr Mrazek...
And coach Mike Babcock speaking to the media:
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