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Red Wings-Wild quick take: Wings lose poise, patience, lose game

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.

Stats:

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...

Henrik Zetterberg...

 

And coach Mike Babcock speaking to the media:

The Wings will fly to Nashville just before 10 PM EST, and at least the Predators have to play in Colorado tomorrow afternoon.

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Comments

WingedRider's avatar

Fans are getting dumped on for realistic this is not a Cup team.  Some luck, upsets but have to make the playoffs, FIRST!

Injuries are bad for many teams.  This reload should have started 3 years ago.

Fragile team right now and I am not sure that Babs is handling this room very well.

KH is not going to move until the end of Feb, so we just have to accept whatever happens until then.  Hope they are still in the hunt!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/17/13 at 10:03 PM ET

gowings's avatar

I feel sick….I am starting to have bad flashes of the past…you know….the dead wings era…Although I am happy to have witness 20 years of success (defined loosely…the last four has been difficult) I am not sure my “old” heart can re-live those terrible years. One would think after all these years I would become “wiser” and not be so troubled by a losses…. it’s just a game…..but man….I still feel the pain ....and I have a feeling that pain will continue to grow for the next few years….sometimes, it sucks to be a die hard fan

Posted by gowings from MTL on 02/17/13 at 10:05 PM ET

gowings's avatar

“and I am not sure that Babs is handling this room very well.”


yeah well….when you have players like…..wait…..I do need to write their names…..play like crap, and when you have a GM that is not helping in providing the necessary “tools” to help this team….not much he can do…

Posted by gowings from MTL on 02/17/13 at 10:08 PM ET

Avatar

thinking either fil or babs is back next year, not both.

Posted by akwingsfan on 02/17/13 at 10:38 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Best way to describe this game: If it wasnt for us(wings) Minnesota wouldnt have won that game.


Bag skate!

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 02/17/13 at 11:40 PM ET

Avatar

Shots on goal. I really think it’s the defining characteristic of this team.

A Wings team that can consistently put more than 30 shots on goal and keep their opponent around 20 should be successful. The Wings have not done that consistently for a long while now, and they aren’t as successful.

It all comes back to puck possession, and George is absolutely right when he says the personnel doesn’t matter - it’s a simple concept, and players with skill or will can play a part in it. Countless times since the 08 Cup win, even though the team might not have been as good, the Wings have been able to whip out that style of play and dominate any team in the league.

But they just don’t do it consistently enough anymore…I can’t figure out why. I’m not saying it’s easy…I understand they need to play well in order to…play well, I guess.

I don’t know. They just need to figure out the system again. The Detroit Red Wings can’t beat teams by being big and tough or fast and relentless. They win with skill and will.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 02/18/13 at 12:21 AM ET

awould's avatar

They win with skill and will.

Unfortunately, their “will” has a back injury. If this team had Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Howard, Kronwall, Franzen on his good nights and 15 Darren Helms, they’d never lose.

Posted by awould on 02/18/13 at 01:00 AM ET

Avatar

Yeah, I forgot to mention the injuries. You can have all of the will in the world, doesn’t matter if your body doesn’t work anymore.

The team has to find a way to take care of themselves too. I hope the trainers are doing everything they can to keep guys from breaking down.

It starts with the system. They need to get that down, then find the will to play it to the end of every game.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 02/18/13 at 01:13 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

The Wings are not a very good team.  They have a few good players and a bunch of young “up and comers”. 

Their best lines are lines 4 and 3, which, when matched against other teams’ #4 & #3 lines, are pretty good.

Their low position in the draft for 20 years has caught up with them.  Actually, they have been on the downslide for several years, but this was hidden by Lidstrom. 

The biggest thing they need is a #1 defenseman to replace Lidstrom. 

Defense wins games.  Wings’ defense sucks, but given time, Ericsson, Smith, Kindl & Lashoff will be very good defensemen, as is Kronwall.

There is no comparison between the Wings personnel and that of Anaheim or Chicago.

Holland can make trades, but he cannot make a pig fly.
To rebuild this team is going to take several years.

Posted by w2j2 on 02/18/13 at 01:32 AM ET

BrendonR's avatar

We’ve got a great #1 defenseman in Kronner, one who was moulded in part by Lidas himself. We’ve also got a great team and lots of young talent…our problem isn’t Babs, it’s definitely not Kenny (sure he’s been quiet since signing Hossa, but we’ve had a legit chance every year since then anyways and didn’t win the Cup when we had Hossa), our problem is the Bottom 6. This is what happens when Helmer is out for an extended period of time. With Helm in, we’d likely have Eaves going on a line with him, and a ton of energy brought to the team. Right now our problem is with players like Cleary, Bert (though he gets a pass sometimes), Abby, Emmerton, Sammy and Miller. Clean out the average players and bring in some young talent! Since when is this a team that needs a traditional Bottom 6? Put some scorers in there.

Oh, and get rid of Quincey!

Posted by BrendonR on 02/18/13 at 07:53 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

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…

The pinch was well-timed and it’s something the Wings should do more often.

Filppula whiffed on Zucker at the half-boards and Sammy took a dumb angle.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/18/13 at 10:01 AM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

I love Helm like everyone else, but I don’t think his return will fix the biggest problem. The special teams.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 02/18/13 at 12:48 PM ET

HeilThom's avatar

Our special teams need to be better.

We need a number one defenseman. Here’s my depth chart for our defense:
Kronwall & White are number 2s.
Lashoff is a number 4.
Ericsson is a number 5.
& the others are 6s or 7+s.

Sammy needs to go.

Eaves should be an everyday player. Nyquist & Tatar, too. I don’t know who you sit, but I’m certain you can find three players that don’t play as well as these guys. Cleary? Samuelsson? Miller? Emmerton? I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I feel like these 3 need to be playing.

Tootoo is more than just a fighter & should be played as such. What?

Our 3rd & 4th lines need to play more. I know there’s a whole match up thing & it’s hard because you don’t want to put them out against their 1st & 2nd lines, but find a way.

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 01:14 PM ET

HeilThom's avatar

OH. Helm need to come back, too.

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 01:34 PM ET

HeilThom's avatar

I love Helm like everyone else, but I don’t think his return will fix the biggest problem. The special teams.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 02/18/13 at 11:48 AM ET

I think Helm could definitely fix the penalty kill all by himself.

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 01:35 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Lashoff is a number 4.
Ericsson is a number 5.

What?

Posted by SK77 on 02/18/13 at 02:46 PM ET

HeilThom's avatar

Lashoff is a number 4.
Ericsson is a number 5.

What?

Lashoff is a number 4.
Ericsson is a number 5.

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 03:15 PM ET

HeilThom's avatar

Honestly, I don’t care how you rank them. My point is that we don’t have a number 1 defenseman. Kronwall is not it, nor is White.

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 03:17 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Our special teams need to be better.

don’t know who you sit, but I’m certain you can find three players that don’t play as well as these guys. Cleary? Samuelsson? Miller? Emmerton?
Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 12:14 PM ET

Our Special teams need to be better, so your solution is to sit 2 of our best PKers?

I think Helm could definitely fix the penalty kill all by himself.

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 12:35 PM ET

Helm is fantastic and we all remember The Kill.  But, his PK numbers (i.e. his GA/60min of SH-time) are actually sub-par.

Kronwall & White are number 2s.
Lashoff is a number 4.
Ericsson is a number 5.
& the others are 6s or 7+s.

.............................................................I don’t know how to respond to this collection of posts without being insulting.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 02/18/13 at 04:31 PM ET

HeilThom's avatar

You could just tell me what your opinion is without attacking mine. That would be a good start.

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 04:37 PM ET

HeilThom's avatar

I said maybe I was wrong about those guys. I was spouting off names. Like I said, I just feel that there are guys in the lineup that could be replaced with the guys that I mentioned. If you disagree, you can say so. I’m playing armchair gm here. I listed 4 names & you disagreed with two. That’s fine, but am I wrong in saying that Eaves, Tatar, & Nyquist should be in the lineup?

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 04:40 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Personal opinion of course, but ...

Kronwall with the right partner is a great 1/2 pair.

Ericsson has finally put it together, been consistent, and looked like a 3/4.

Lashoff has been a nice call up, makes rookie mistakes, can handle himself in the 5/6 more often than not.

Then you’ve got White & Smith who are top 4. I haven’t seen enough Colaiacovo to have an opinion. Kindl & Huskins are serviceable. Quincey makes me sad.

But there’s also the problem of how best to pair all these guys. Even with the skill level that is there, it might not necessarily be complimentary.

Posted by SK77 on 02/18/13 at 04:48 PM ET

SK77's avatar

but am I wrong in saying that Eaves, Tatar, & Nyquist should be in the lineup?

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 02/18/13 at 03:40 PM ET

Tatar has looked pretty good so far and deserves a spot for sure, until proven otherwise. Haven’t seen Nyquist play enough at this level to say whether or not he should be in the lineup.

Posted by SK77 on 02/18/13 at 04:50 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

In the last seven games, Detroit’s penalty kill has worked at an 81.5% efficiency.

This matches a change in which Justin Abdelkader stopped seeing so many PK minutes.

If we’re looking for somebody to replace in the lineup who isn’t producing and isn’t currently being used in a PK that’s actually improved. I’m looking his way.

Dan Cleary has been playing decent PK minutes during this stretch, but I might go ahead and chance it to replace him in the lineup.

Samuelsson has played three games this season and hasn’t looked impressive. Nyquist has played two games this season and has looked worse than Samuelsson.

Jan Mursak also just got activated off IR.  Has Joakim Andersson really impressed or has he just impressed to the point where he hasn’t sucked?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/18/13 at 06:02 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.