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Red Wings-Avalanche no take: Wings petition Ken Holland for reinforcements

I’m writing this from a wedding where two Plaza brothers danced with two separate women at the same time, so my mind’s already blown by the improbable coming true…And from what I gather, the Red Wings are in the process of letting the Blues back into the Central Division race by dropping their third straight game despite a furious third period comeback attempt, losing by a 4-3 tally.

Add in an “upper-body injury” to Jonathan Ericsson [Edit/update: make that a God-damned chipped bone in his wrist for a MONTH ] and the frustration that is the Wings “not getting started on time” while Jimmy Howard stands alone for far too long…

Now as I’m gonna go home, watch this one and stay up till 5 or six writing a wrap-up, I can only suggest that the vents are having a rough patch to try and lobby for a little scoring help, but by all means, please vent some frustration on my behalf.

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Okay, the question after this sour week: is this team going to do any better than last year? In other words, is the leadership the problem (with Draper and co. retiring)? Is it turning into the Atlanta Braves syndrome (going through the motions until the playoffs hit, knowing you’re in)—e.g., the slow starts like tonight? Is it just the players that are here are a bit weak when things don’t go well—e.g., Chicago this week? Are they slacking off because they have an all-star goalie? I have no idea where to start, but I’d just prefer to blow up any memories of the past week like it never happened and hope they put their snozzes back to ye olde grindstone.

You could say that the decline has been going on for more than a week, and I was hoping the home cooking would allow them to get back on track, but the team seems to be going the wrong direction.

Or are we just panicking a bit early given they’re still leading the Central? Naaah. I just hope this week didn’t weaken Ken Holland’s bargaining position too much.

Oh, and George: good to see you get out, but don’t let this force you into another sleepless night… and what are Plaza brothers?

Posted by Bugsy on 02/26/12 at 12:50 AM ET

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is this team going to do any better than last year?

The only way they do better is if they can luck out and not face the Sharks.  As it is there is nothing about this team that makes me think it will do better.

Posted by Garth on 02/26/12 at 12:56 AM ET

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I texted Babcock after the second period and told him to read my second comment from the last postgame thread:

With Datsyuk out, Zetterberg has to be that much better, and he may need the wingers he’s played with for most of the season to help.

f you put Franzen with Helm and Miller, you could maybe call it a second line, and Abdelkader, Bertuzzi, and Cleary can all grind and create plenty of scoring chances.

They scored a bunch of goals in a short time, so they know they can do that if needed. Now, I think the team mostly needs a couple boring practices to try to get rid of the bad habits that have been hurting them.

[Edit/update: make that a God-damned chipped bone in his wrist]

Even considering him completely vacating his spot on that fourth goal, the Quincey deal is looking a lot better right now.

Posted by bleep bloop on 02/26/12 at 01:09 AM ET

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Are they slacking off because they have an all-star goalie?

Posted by Bugsy on 02/25/12 at 09:50 PM ET

They definitely played a much better defense in front of JMac.

Posted by Alex on 02/26/12 at 01:10 AM ET

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” As it is there is nothing about this team that makes me think it will do better.”

Honestly, this is ridiculous. A week ago we were the best team in the league; you wouldn’t have found a Wings fan who didn’t think we had what it took to win a Cup. And now a week later the bottom has fallen out. Come on now.

I’m not thrilled at the way we are playing right now (although a couple of calls and bounces go are way and we’re all singing a different tune) but this sort of complaining is just absurd.

Posted by Mike from Brooklyn on 02/26/12 at 01:19 AM ET

Chet's avatar

- Quincey figured pretty prominently in the first three Col goals, which is weird BECAUSE HE IS A RED WING.

- the first was the ugliest period I’ve seen them have in awhile.

- the wings were so out of sorts they ran into linesmen four different times.

- an usually poorly officiated game, shafting the wings. the third esp.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/26/12 at 01:27 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

We’ll see a different Wings team on Tuesday, one way or another, now that Ericsson is out for a month.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/26/12 at 01:31 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

For the 2nd straight game the Wings played pretty poorly and were still a bad call(s) away from having a chance to win.  It doesn’t excuse 40 horrible minutes, but after the Wings pulled within 1 it all of a sudden turned into 1995 where blatant trips, hooks, and tackles became legal.  And of course there’s still that horrible icing call last game which pretty much single-handedly gave Vancouver the game. 

Have they played well this week?  Not at all, but even playing poorly they still played well enough to win, and that says quite a bit.

As for the Ericsson injury, it’s unfortunate, but the guys has had plenty of occasions this year where he should have been sat down for several games due to very poor play.  Let’s hope Kindl takes advantage and shows the Wings brass that he deserves to play over E52.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 02/26/12 at 01:46 AM ET

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A week ago we were the best team in the league; you wouldn’t have found a Wings fan who didn’t think we had what it took to win a Cup.

No, we were a team that was lights out at home and not so great on the road.  Now we’re a team that’s lost three straight for the first time since what? October?

but this sort of complaining is just absurd.

Really?  So this team is that much different and better than the one that has lost two years in a row to San Jose in the second round?

Please explain what it is that makes them that much better than the teams of the previous two years, because looking at the roster, they’ve lost veteran leadership and gained an improvement on their third defense pairing.

now that Ericsson is out for a month.

I hope that Ericsson being out doesn’t distract Holland from addressing issues up front.  With Ericsson out, they’re still as good or better a defense corps than before they got Quincey.

Posted by Garth on 02/26/12 at 01:49 AM ET

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dit/update: make that a God-damned chipped bone in his wrist for a MONTH ]

I might be worried if it were any of the other five guys who played tonight.

Honestly, I think that probably the best case scenario going into the playoffs would be Quincey and Commodore on the third pairing.

Posted by Garth on 02/26/12 at 01:54 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Every team has a swoon now and then. The Wings do this every year—tho I have to say that Franzen’s habits are getting out of hand. I didn’t watch the third, but heard afterward that Uncle MIke stuck him at center.  Good.  He needs to work.  Who knows, maybe he’ll even shoot the puck.

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/26/12 at 01:56 AM ET

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dit/update: make that a God-damned chipped bone in his wrist for a MONTH ]

Also, if it’s just looking for a depth guy, Grant Clitsome was put on waivers, though I wonder if there’s not one of the 28 teams who have priority over Detroit on the waiver wire who would put in a claim…

Posted by Garth on 02/26/12 at 01:57 AM ET

RorSchach's avatar

Package The Loafer in Mule with Hudler and Kindl and get Nash. Fuch it. Why not? I’m tired of seeing the Mule Loaf around. Period.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 02/26/12 at 01:57 AM ET

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George will probably be ‘sick’ for the next week.

Posted by Adam on 02/26/12 at 01:59 AM ET

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Okay, I’ll be more positive: I love the Wings, do not take their success for granted (I remember Ted Lindsay’s “Aggressive hockey is back in town” days—I know you meant well, Mr. Lindsay: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1092969/index.htm ).

The Wings certainly still have the talent to win the Cup. Goalie, Datsyuk/Z, Lidstrom, numerous goal scorers in the teens, a defense on paper that can match up well with anyone, and potential to be really good on special teams. At their best, they can win 23 straight at home, and hold their own on the road, like beating Vancouver. They certainly could turn it on in the playoffs, and if they’re going to go on a hot streak, I’d rather it be during the playoffs than now.

However, it makes a lot of fans nervous when the Wings lose 3 in a row and seem to be escaping when they do win (albeit San Jose, Chicago and Vancouver wasn’t exactly an easy week, and teams like Colorado and San Jose never look like good matchups to me), because given the growing parity of the NHL, it doesn’t take much to get knocked out in the first round, regardless of seed (although you could argue that even 10 or more years ago).

Request to Red Wings: snap out of this energy funk, get the special teams primed for the playoffs (beat the Rangers in March to really get us fans fired up again), get the new piece(s) to fit, give at least a decent showing on the last west coast trip, hold onto the division lead, and we’ll be a lot less worried (at least until/if San Jose comes knocking again—I still worry about them more than Vancouver and the Central Division). I hope I’m not asking too much, because I think that’s what you expect of yourselves too. Good night.

Posted by Bugsy on 02/26/12 at 02:47 AM ET

AxeMaster9's avatar

George will probably be ‘sick’ for the next week.

Posted by Adam on 02/25/12 at 10:59 PM ET

out of line, piss off

Posted by AxeMaster9 on 02/26/12 at 03:19 AM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

Adam…you, Sir, are a POS. Piss off, indeed!

Something I don’t get…..Datsyuk has knives and daggers gouged into his knee and he’s out a couple weeks, but Jonny Appleseeed gets tickled in the wrist and he’s out a month? Geesh….call me curious, but what the heck?!?!

Posted by The Hurricane on 02/26/12 at 03:47 AM ET

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Heck, I’m still awake. Wrists are one of the trickiest places to heal. I would have him rather had a hand or forearm fracture than the wrist. My guess is that’s why they’re being so cautious. The knee, if they cut small and don’t have to ream around too much, is just soft tissue healing.

Posted by Bugsy on 02/26/12 at 04:00 AM ET

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Really?  So this team is that much different and better than the one that has lost two years in a row to San Jose in the second round?

Please explain what it is that makes them that much better than the teams of the previous two years, because looking at the roster, they’ve lost veteran leadership and gained an improvement on their third defense pairing.

I commented on the San Jose series too, but I’ll answer your question. First of all, the Sharks won eight games against the Wings by one goal each. The Red Wings could have won any of those games, even with getting outplayed for substantial portions of many of them. There are a lot of things that make this team better than those teams:
1. an all-star goalie who’s playing with confidence and doesn’t get rattled by the occasional bad goal or [unfortunately, all too frequent lately] bad defensive coverage
2. better play in front of their own net. They’ve had trouble getting the puck out of their zone and keeping it out for a few games, but they have been much better at preventing second chances and deflections
3. the determination to win close games that’s been lacking for a few seasons, and the ability to hold onto a slim lead, even if they didn’t show it against the Blackhawks or Canucks

Posted by bleep bloop on 02/26/12 at 04:36 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

[Edit/update: make that a God-damned chipped bone in his wrist for a MONTH ]

Wow, George. You say that like it’s a bad thing. In my book, that’s a dream come true. Get that turnover-machine off the ice. And I don’t care whether Kindl or Commodore takes his place. Hell, even Janek would be an upgrade over that overpaid P.O.S.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/26/12 at 04:40 AM ET

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All I know is the non- call on the trip resulting in the cough up was the worst non-call I’ve seen in AT LEAST 5 years.  EVERYONE on both teams EXCEPT David Jones slowed down waiting for the call.

Just horrible.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 02/26/12 at 04:42 AM ET

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3. the determination to win close games that’s been lacking for a few seasons, and the ability to hold onto a slim lead, even if they didn’t show it against the Blackhawks or Canucks

Really?  Are you kidding me?  They start slow, they so often don’t play a full 60 minutes and they have a hard time holding onto late leads.

1. an all-star goalie who’s playing with confidence and doesn’t get rattled by the occasional bad goal or [unfortunately, all too frequent lately] bad defensive coverage

So they’re better because their goalie is better even though their defense is worse?

2. better play in front of their own net. They’ve had trouble getting the puck out of their zone and keeping it out for a few games, but they have been much better at preventing second chances and deflections

Again, they’re better because they’re worse at getting the puck out of the zone and keeping it out?

Two of the three things you list as being better have been qualified by you  with things they’re worse at.  One and two look like, at best, a push to me.  They’re better at some things and worse at others.

But on the Howard thing, how is it a good thing that they have to lean so much on their goalie to win games?  The Red Wings have been, for so long, a team that is so good it just needs solid but not spectacular goaltending and now this year they are where they are because their Vezina-quality goaltender has bailed them out of so many games.

If anything you’re supporting my argument.  They’re worse in their own zone, relying too much on their goalie, and they have a hard time winning close games (nevermind that they let teams make games closer than they should be).

After reading your response and thinking about it I’m actually more worried than I was before.

The one positive I would carry forward going into the playoffs is the possibility that Ericsson’s injury somehow lingers, allowing Quincey and Commodore to be the third pairing going into the playoffs so we don’t have any awful, lumbering, overpaid shitty defensemen on our core (OK, so maybe Ericsson wasn’t overpaid last year, but he sure as shit is this year).

Posted by Garth on 02/26/12 at 04:46 AM ET

SYF's avatar

George will probably be ‘sick’ for the next week.

Posted by Adam on 02/25/12 at 10:59 PM ET

You’re worthless.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 02/26/12 at 05:41 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Cough cough hack hack cough cough!

And oh noes my depression and anxiety were tweaked hugely by the wedding (they were)!

But I’m not allowed to relax until after the deadline. Paul needs a hand. Maybe I’ll take Tuesday till April 15th off or something instead.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/26/12 at 05:48 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

And I’m still on those Antibiotics of Doom till Tuesday, too. So good in killing that damn sinus infection.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/26/12 at 05:50 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

George will probably be ‘sick’ for the next week.

Posted by Adam on 02/25/12 at 10:59 PM ET

You’re a coward. 

If George is anything, he’s honest.  He doesn’t deride people while hiding behind his computer screen, and he doesn’t pull any punches over his personal life.  The frankness and honesty that George shows is more than I could show if I wrote for this site, and he writes for total strangers for little in return.  I’ve never met him personally, but I’d be proud to.  I wonder if anyone would ever say anything like that about you Adam.  I’m guessing thats a negative, but being the small person you probably are, I’m sure you’re used to it.  Hope it feels good.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 02/26/12 at 06:05 AM ET

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Honestly, whenever I see someone trying to spread misery, I just think of how sad their life must be.  People who are happy or successful in life wouldn’t bother trolling. 

Keep that chin up, “Adam.”  Your life clearly sucks now but it may not be like this forever.  Of course, maybe it will.

Posted by ExiledinLA on 02/26/12 at 07:51 AM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

Anyone else wonder what would have happened had the refs actually called the world’s most obvious trip instead of letting it go and setting up the 2nd Avs goal?

Completely different game, being down 2-0 with less than 3 minutes played than only down 1 and on a 5 on 3 for a long time.  Granted this is the Wings anemic PP we’re talking about about but at least they’d still only be down 1.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 02/26/12 at 02:35 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.