Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Blackhawks wrap-up: a distressing loss

The Detroit Red Wings flew back to Detroit for their traditional New Year’s Eve tilt, this time against the St. Louis Blues (7 PM EST, FSD/FS Midwest/WXYT) lamenting a lost opportunity to gain ground on both Friday night’s opponent and Saturday’s foe, dropping what Wings fans seem to believe is a downright disturbing 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Wings are now five points (instead of one, had they won) behind the Blackhawks in the Central Division standings, and because the St. Louis Blues lost 2-1 to Nashville via a shootout decision, the Wings are tied with (instead of two points ahead of) the Blues, more or less necessitating a win tonight to keep pace with both teams.

For Red Wings fans, watching Marian Hossa score the game-winner while Johan Franzen continues to slowly regain his form after a five-game hibernation just added insult to the injury that was witnessing the Wings take five penalties to the Hawks’ one, Jimmy Howard experiencing a very “off” night in whiffing on all of the Hawks’ goals, including Jonathan Toews’ penalty shot/make-up call against Nicklas Lidstrom, and especially watching the Wings squander two one-goal leads via scatterbrained play, but the worst part was…Well, how do I put this?

I keep on reiterating the whole, “The Red Wings are a team in transition after Brian Rafalski, Kris Draper and Chris Osgood retired and the Wings brought in two new assistant coaches” spiel, but I really do believe it, and as this team tries to find its new identity, perhaps what scares us the most is what the Hawks’ display every night and the Wings only occasionally show glimpses of: swagger.

Even before they were contenders, the Blackhawks would talk a good game and then back it up, including during games in which they were hopelessly outmatched. The Red Wings, like Detroiters, don’t “talk a big game,” but like Detroiters, they’ve tended to play very deliberate and determined hockey, and when they have carved deficits for themselves, one always has the sense that the game isn’t over until the Wings say so.

This season, sometimes as soon as the opposition scores the first goal, or, in this game, once Hossa scored that second game-tying goal, you can all but feel the air blowing out of the Wings’ confidence balloon, and the Wings’ puck possession game disappears, they can’t seem to regain the ability to dictate the pace of the game, they become frantic and start taking self-destructive penalties, some of their biggest names seem to also pull vanishing acts, exposing the glaring weaknesses we’ve all assumed that they’ve addressed, and the paper tiger that is the Wings’ collective confidence seems to fold over and fold in upon itself with but the slightest touch.

So yeah, as a fellow Wings fan, I get it, and I know that after games like these, I’m swearing and grumbling, too, but I have to pretend to be objective and professional, remind you that the Wings have won two of their past three games and, West Coast flail included, four of their past seven, and that while we’re going to dwell on this puppy for a while, the Wings will do their best to shrug it off, have a quick morning skate and then come to the rink and work their tails off to ensure that all is forgiven by January 1st, 2012. Kumbaya, etc. etc (hey, I may be a professional BS artist, but I try not to send BS your way at least).

Anyway, the Hawks obviously felt that they earned a win worth celebrating as they took the first of three meetings with the Wings over the course of 16 days, suggesting that in a playoff atmosphere, they took it to their rival and then some, as noted by the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc:

“It was a great hockey game,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “It definitely had the playoff atmosphere right from the outset; from the anthem on. I liked how we competed, I liked how we played. I thought we had pace, we had strength, we had support. Across the board (I’m) very happy with the effort.”
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“We played a very good team game,” Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. “This was one of our better games this season when we needed it the most.”

After the Wings seized the lead on Abdelkader’s goal midway through the first, Toews evened it on the second penalty shot attempt of his career. The captain was awarded the opportunity after Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom hooked Toews while on a breakaway. Toews closed on Jimmy Howard and beat the goalie through his pads to tie it.

“I couldn’t believe I got a second chance on that one but I was thankful for it,” Toews said. “Sometimes they don’t always see that (hook) but it was nice to get the second chance on the penalty shot and I made no mistake there.”

No comment cough makeupcall cough. Excuse me.

The Wings regained the lead in the second when Bertuzzi scored but not long after, Hossa showed excellent puck possession and it paid off as the veteran skated from one side of the Wings zone to the other, maneuvered around Detroit’s Valtteri Filppula and fired in a rocket from the left dot. The Hawks took their only lead early in the third when Seabrook stepped into a slap shot from the high slot and blew it by Howard to the glove side early in the third.

“It’s always a big rivalry for us so it was nice to come out and have an effort like we did (Friday night) and get a big two points,” Seabrook said.

The Hawks were particularly delighted by the fact that they shut down Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, as ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers noted...

“As long as you keep those two guys off the scoreboard you know you’re going to at least have a close game against these guys,” defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said afterwards. “We played good team defense. This was one of our better games this season when we needed it the most.”

Neither team dominated for any long stretches. It was back and forth with the Hawks taking their first and only lead on Brent Seabrook’s game winning goal early in the third period.

“We have to be prepared for the defensive part of the game,” he said. “It’s nice if we can contribute at the other end of the ice and get a big win.”

A big win it was, and make no mistake, the key was keeping the Red Wings in their sights as the home team fell behind 1-0 and 2-1.

“They had the lead on us both times there early, and getting it back was important,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “When they get up by two, they’re as good as anybody with the lead. I thought that even when we were down, in those instances, I still liked the way we were playing at those points.”
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“We were going to stay patient,” Jonathan Toews said. “We knew they weren’t going to get far. We stuck with it going into the third period. We were confident all night we were going to use that crowd and energy in here and find a way to win. And we did that.”
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“The last regular-season game we played against them [last season] was at home here and they beat us and almost took us out of the playoffs at the last second,” Toews recalled. “I’d say the energy in this game was right up there with that one.”

The fact that Daniel Carcillo and Todd Bertuzzi dropped the gloves added to the “playoff atmosphere,” as the Chicago Sun-Times’ Adam L. Jahns pointed out...

“It’s exciting to get back into the lineup, especially against Detroit,” Carcillo said. “It’s always nice to play in these types of games. Everybody plays with a lot of passion.”

Although he was able to infuriate Bertuzzi with his hard, clean check, Carcillo said before the game that the Red Wings are a tough team to land good hits on. Despite missing time, Carcillo is still second among the Hawks in hits.

“They’re really hard,” Carcillo said. “Their ‘D’ handles the puck so well, and they’re so spread out. The way they possess the puck, it’s tough. You’ve got to kind of play a simple game against them.”

And we might need to pause here, because Carcillo mentions one of the Wings’ fatal flaws this season: the Wings do get spread out in terms of the gap between the point men, as well as the gap between defensemen and forwards when the Wings’ forwards start “cheating” toward offense, and the Hawks really exploited that cheating to an almost ridiculous extent via stretch passes. The two and almost three-line bombs from Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson sprung Hawks forwards roaring in on 3-on-2’s and 2-on-1’s, resulting in the penalty shot call and then plain old penalty called on Lidstrom, a rather weak hooking call on Jonathan Ericsson after the Hawks got their cycle going, and those passes both stifled the Wings’ confidence going through the neutral zone and sustained the Hawks’ physical forecheck on a night where the Blackhawks came out smashing Wings defensemen into the end boards and ended the night making a mockery of the Wings’ attempts to tie the game up with Howard on the bench, nearly scoring two or three empty-net goals.

The Chicago Daily Herald’s Tim Sassone felt that Seabrook in particular all but eliminated the few Wings forwards who represented threats to the Blackhawks….

How about no shots on goal for Detroit stars Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen, two-thirds of the Red Wings’ first line that faced Seabrook and defense partner Duncan Keith most of the game.

“We always try to be prepared for the defensive part of the game playing against these guys,” Seabrook said. “It’s nice if we can contribute at the other end of the ice.”

The Hawks’ eighth win in 10 games kept them first overall in the NHL standings and gave them a little breathing room in the Central Division by extending their lead over Detroit and St. Louis to 5 points. Twice the Hawks came back from 1-goal deficits with Seabrook giving them their first lead on his rocket past Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard’s glove at 1:52 of the third period.

“I’d say we were on our game tonight and so were they,” Jonathan Toews said. “To play with a 1-goal lead for as long as we did in the third period, we did a good job keeping them in their zone and making sure their dangerous players weren’t too much of a factor there.”

Toews and Marian Hossa, reunited as linemates with Daniel Carcillo, were the two best players on the ice. Hossa’s 17th goal at 7:30 of the second period made it 2-2 and showcased the kind of night he had when the puck never seemed to leave his stick.

“Hossa had a monster game, as Johnny did,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

“I thought Hossa and Toews were dominant for them tonight,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

And yeah, about Hossa…He wasn’t all smiles after burning his teammates, but his comments still stung, as noted by Comcast Sportsnet Chicago’s Tracey Myers:

“I’ve got lots of friends on the other team, and you’re always going to remember that year, to be there,” Hossa said. “But when I play against former teams I don’t think about it different. I try to play the same way.”

Hossa’s ability to control allowed him to set up his own goal. He got to the left circle and let one rip, beating Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard high to tie the game 2-2 at the time.

“I got the puck down low and I tried to get my speed and I tried to hit open ice and there was nothing open in the middle so I tried to go around,” Hossa said. “All of a sudden I was kind of alone so I tried to use the space and tried to release it quick.”

It was a strong performance from the Blackhawks across the board, from Jonathan Toews’ big penalty shot early to the Blackhawks defensive stifling the Wings’ chances late. And for Seabrook, it was the fourth consecutive game he’s scored against the Red Wings.

“I don’t know what it is,” Seabrook said of his streak vs. Detroit. “Obviously we have to be prepared for defensive side of the game (against Detroit). It’s one of those things; it’s nice if we can contribute to that end of the ice and get a big win.”

Cue the swagger:

“We were going to stay patient,” Toews said. “We stuck with it going into the third period. We were confident we were going to use our crowd and energy and find a way to win. We did that.”

Quenneville also suggested that the Hawks played the kind of smart, positionally-based defense and winger-supported puck possession hockey that the Wings couldn’t or wouldn’t display, as noted by the Chicago Sun-Times’ Adam L. Jahns:

“It was a great hockey game,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It definitely had the playoff atmosphere right from the outset, from the anthem on. They had some fans, we had plenty. It was a noisy place. [But] I liked how we competed. I liked how we played. I thought we had pace. We had strength [and] we had support. Across the board, I’m very happy with the effort.”

It was needed because the Hawks fell behind 1-0 and 2-1 and their power play went 0-for-5. The Hawks’ stars brought them back each time. Seabrook scored the game-winner 1:52 into the third period when Patrick Kane found him wide open at the top of the slot.

“You’ve got the two top teams in the Central Division, it’s going to be a tough game,” Seabrook said. “We needed the points and so did they. It was a battle.”
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“When they get up by two, they’re as good as anybody with that lead,” Quenneville said. “I thought that even when we were down, in those instances, I still liked the way we were playing at those points.”

It’s not that the Hawks need a morale booster after their strong start in the first half, but their victory against the Red Wings feels good.

“It’s good for our confidence,” Hjalmarsson said. “It’s the first time we played these guys this season. It’s a good feeling in this locker room.”

We’re going to go with two quote-less takes on the game before doing the, “Comments from both locker rooms” transition thing, first via Comcast Sportsnet Chicago’s Chris Boden...

It lived up to the billing. First meeting of the season between the longest-running regular season rivals in league history. Friday night. New Year’s weekend. The Wings trying to close in on the Central leaders.

Marian Hossa worked some of his individual magic, Corey Crawford stayed hot and the Blackhawks built their division lead to five points in the first of three meetings over 16 days versus Detroit.

After having to play catch-up twice, they didn’t allow the Wings to even things up after taking their first lead of the game early in the third, even though they left that door open by going 0-for-5 on the power play. Two of those came after they took that 3-2 lead.  That unit couldn’t generate much against a struggling Detroit penalty-kill, and is now in a 1-for-17 slump. But that’s picking nits after the home team bounced back nicely from Wednesday’s shutout loss.

Daniel Carcillo offered something in his first game back after missing the previous six. Jimmy Hayes had a prime chance to score on his first NHL shift and delivered four hits in the opening period. Crawford has now allowed just six goals in his four starts following that six-game perch on the bench.

And for all the talk leading up to this one about the respectful, less chippy rivalry in comparison to that with Vancouver, the Wings’ M.O. versus Crawford could generate something after drawing two goalie interference penalties and keeping him busy with other bodies buzzing around him all night. He was up to the test while the Hawks’ power play couldn’t make them pay for it.  Something to watch when they’re back a week from Sunday, then meet again at Joe Louis six days after that.

And ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers...

How it happened: The Hawks took their first lead of the game early in the third period when Patrick Kane found a moving Brent Seabrook in the middle of the Wings’ zone. Seabrook took the pass from the corner and slapped home the game winner. The Red Wings led 1-0 and 2-1 on goals by Justin Abdelkader in the first period and Todd Bertuzzi in the second but the Hawks responded both times. Jonathan Toews was awarded a penalty shot when he was hooked by Nicklas Lidstrom on a break-away and the Hawks captain promptly scored going five-hole on goalie Jimmy Howard. They tied it again in the second on a pretty goal by Marian Hossa when he went full circle in the Wings’ zone before slapping one by Howard. Neither team did any damage on the power play while Dan Carcillo and Bertuzzi fought in the first period after Carcillo slammed him hard into the boards.

We’re gonna call nothing more than a tap a “hook.” Okay…

What it means: The game had a playoff feel from the word go and the back and forth nature didn’t diminish the intensity throughout the night. Joel Quenneville was worried about momentum shifts for Detroit after Wings’ goals but the Hawks responded twice when getting down. That was big as was their ability to limit chances for Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. They combined for just one shot. It was a gutsy effort by the home team in a game that should set the tone for a great season series.

As Rogers also takes us into the “both locker rooms” phase by noting that Hossa would have had two goals had Lidstrom not atoned for his penalties…

Later in the second period he had another chance after a pretty passing play from Dan Carcillo to Jonathan Toews to Hossa which caused Howard to leave the net. But defenseman Niklas Lidstrom got in the shooting lane and made the empty-net save.

“I didn’t hit the puck the way I wanted to,” Hossa said. “He made the save.”

That Quenneville did indeed comment directly about the Hawks’ ability to stifle Datsyuk and Zetterberg (the Hawks didn’t have to work very hard to do the same to Valtteri Filppula or Jiri Hudler as they were invisible)...

“We were quick in the puck areas, we had good sticks. We pressured well and had pretty good gap tonight.”-Joel Quenneville, on his team limiting Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterbeg.

And, to put it bluntly—and bear with me, because I’m gonna use a technical term—Jimmy Howard plain old whiffed on the game-winning slap shot by Seabrook:

“It was a great pass by Kane,” Seabrook said. “I just buried my head and shot it as hard as I could.”
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“It was a bang-bang play and it was a rocket,” [Howard] said. “He’s got a heavy shot and I should’ve come off the post maybe a little bit harder and maybe gave myself a better chance staying upright.”

Ditto for Toews’ signature between-the-legs move, as NHL.com’s Brian Hedger noted:

“I mean he fires it,” Howard said. “He zips it there, but I thought I should’ve had it. That’s his move to go five hole, so I was prepared for it. I just didn’t get the legs closed fast enough. I’ve faced him a couple of times on penalty shots and that’s what he does every single time, so I figured that’s what he was going to do. I figured he was going to go five hole and he beat me. He’s a good player.”

I can only sigh about this one:

The Wings also took seven penalties to just two for Chicago, including three in the third while trying to tie the game. Two of those infractions were goalie-interference calls, including one on Johan Franzen with 5:43 left to play. Babcock, however, didn’t criticize the officiating.

“I just looked at them (on replay) … they’re penalties,” he said. “I haven’t been through the rest, but you take the penalties (and) you get killed. Those are offensive-zone penalties. What are you going to do? Can’t take ‘em.”

Hedger offers an accurate description of play after Hossa’s game-tying goal…

From there, good goaltending and good fortune—pucks hitting posts, plus a couple of outstanding defensive plays by Lidstrom—kept it tied heading into the third. One of those plays was a save Lidstrom made against Hossa while blocking a wide-open right side of the net.

That could’ve been another momentum-swinging play, but Seabrook’s goal to start the third pushed the Hawks ahead 3-2, scored off a one-time slap shot from the top of the slot. The Wings came close to tying it back up when Henrik Zetterberg rung a shot off the post with about seven minutes left, but another penalty not long afterward killed that momentum.

So both coaches gave credit where credit was due…

“I thought Hossa and Toews were dominant for them tonight,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “That was the best line on the ice for sure. We got a real good night out of (Justin Abdelkader’s) line and got a good night out of (Cory Emmerton’s) line. The bottom line is we weren’t good enough. That’s it.”

As also noted by the Associated Press’s recap:

“Hossa had a monster game, as Johnny did,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
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Hossa has points in nine of his past 10 games and has six goals and nine assists during the stretch.

“It’s pretty easy to get pumped up when the crowd goes crazy like that before the puck drops,” Hossa said. “They’re (games versus Detroit) always close, tight game you want to play as a hockey player.”

Detroit coach Mike Babcock agreed with Quenneville, citing Hossa and Toews as “dominant.”

Babcock didn’t use the term “one and done” to describe the Wings’ scoring chances, but it would have been an astute observation:

“Anyway you look at it, that’s not good enough,” Babcock said. “We didn’t have enough sustained pressure in their zone. It’s a one-shot game. You know it’s going to be like that coming in.”

So that’s 0-for-1-out-of-6 meetings for a team that seemed to sorely miss Darren Helm’s speed and Tomas Holmstrom’s willingness to go to the net and stay there, as the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan noted:

The Wings couldn’t get the tying goal, with Henrik Zetterberg hitting a goal post, and the Wings being forced to kill three Chicago power plays after falling behind (the Wings killed all five in the game).

“We still had opportunities at the end but we weren’t able to get it done,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “(Chicago’s Marian) Hossa and (Jonathan) Toews were dominant for them. We never spent enough time in their zone. The bottom line is we weren’t good enough. They (the Wings’ top two lines) got outplayed. That’s not good enough.”

Spending so much time in the box in the third period hurt the Wings, who couldn’t sustain anything offensively.

“When you have a team that’s so good with the puck it moves the momentum to their favor,” Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We couldn’t get our lines going and when you’re playing on the PK, it hurt us.”

That was particularly true for the Wings’ “kid line” of Joakim Andersson, Cory Emmerton and Gustav Nyquist—all three players played under seven minutes over a total of 10 or 11 shifts, depending on the player.

The Wings reiterated their points of emphasis to the Free Press’s Helene St. James...

“The whole game, we were shorthanded five times, plus they got a penalty shot goal,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Advantage, them. I thought we still had opportunities, and in the end weren’t able to get it done.”

Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Carcillo fought in the first period; Justin Abdelkader and Jonathan Toews scored. Bertuzzi and Marian Hossa provided goals in the second period. Brent Seabrook hammered a slap shot home early in the third period, which otherwise saw the Wings kill off three of five straight penalties.

“I think we were in the box for 6 minutes,” Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “When you have a team that is so good with the puck, so good offensively, and good at moving the puck, it changes the momentum to their favor. We can’t get our lines going—we were playing the penalty killers, and some of the guys were sitting on the bench. It hurt us in the third period.”

Who duly noted that Todd Bertuzzi’s fight seemed to give the Wings a short burst of energy and a goal from a forward who looked anything but out of place centering Drew Miller and Danny Cleary in Darren Helm’s stead…

[Justin] Abdelkader followed up with his third goal of the season, arriving in the low slot just in time to tap in a shot on goal from Drew Miller, who contributed his sixth point in seven games.

As well as a really resilient performance prior to Hossa’s game-tying goal:

The Wings spent nearly 4 of the first 5 minutes of the second period holding off Chicago’s power play, and, once that task was over with, went back to work in Chicago’s zone. Mike Commodore delivered his first point of the season when he blasted a shot from the blue line that Bertuzzi tipped because he was standing right in front of the crease. But 2 minutes later, it was a tie game. Hossa—as strong and skilled as they come—wheeled around Valtteri Filppula and shot into the left circle to snap a shot into Detroit’s net at 7:30. The Wings got 14 shots total in the period on Corey Crawford, but not enough were from Pavel Datsyuk’s and Henrik Zetterberg’s groups.

“In the end, we weren’t able to get it done,” Babcock said.

MLive’s Ansar Khan found that Lidstrom wasn’t quite sure whether his, ahem, “hook” was just that, and Khan also lets Howard state the obvious—the ice was awful:

“I did get my stick up on his elbow,’’ Lidstrom said. “I don’t know if I hooked him, but I tried to push his elbow just to change his rhythm a little bit.’‘

Howard said he should have made the save.

“That’s his move, to go five-hole; I was prepared for it, I just didn’t get the legs closed up,’’ Howard said. “I knew exactly what he was doing. I faced him a couple of times on penalty shots (in shootouts) and that’s what he does every time. The ice wasn’t in very good condition to make a move, so I figured he was going to go five-hole and he beat me. He’s a good player. He fires it, zips it there but I thought I should have had it.’‘

The Wings just couldn’t bail Howard out this time around…

“I thought Hossa and Toews were dominant for them, that was the best line on the ice for sure,’’ Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We never spent enough time in the O-zone. We got a real good night out of (Justin) Abdelkader’s line (with Danny Cleary and Drew Miller), a good night from (Cory) Emmerton’s line (with fellow rookies Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson). The bottom line is we weren’t good enough.’‘

The line of Henrik Zetterberg, Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler struggled. It was on the ice for the tying and winning goals, combined for a minus-6 rating and accounted for only one shot on goal.

“We got outplayed,’’ Babcock said. “In saying all that, it’s a one-shot game. Kids we gave an opportunity to, Abby was real good, and the Emmerton line was good, Nyquist gave us some spark there.’‘

So the Wings move forward, as Babcock told Fox Sports Detroit (via the Wings’ Twitter account):

Babcock on tomorrow’s game: “There should be two hungry teams ready to go.”

Multimedia:

Highlights: ESPN posted a 45-second highlight clip;

Comcast Sportsnet Chicago posted a 2:30 highlight clip;

And if you’re going to watch a highlight clip of this one, I’d suggest watching Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond’s narration thereof—though FSD+‘s feed was VERY VERY dark:

Post-game: ESPN Chicago posted a 34-second clip of Brent Seabrook’s take on the game, as did the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc;

Comcast Sportsnet Chicago posted coach Joel Quenneville’s post-game presser and a 1:39 clip of Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews discussing their team’s win;

And the Blackhawks’ website posted clips of Joel Quenneville’s presser as well as comments from Marian Hossa (incredibly short clip), Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jonathan Toews;

Fox Sports Detroit posted Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond’s takes on the game…

 

<a href='http://www.foxsportsdetroit.com/pages/video?videoid=40e27b15-4413-4952-9326-72ce5b8329fe&amp;src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Recap: Red Wings edged by Blackhawks 3-2'>Video: Recap: Red Wings edged by Blackhawks 3-2</a>

And post-game comments from coach Mike Babcock and defenseman Mike Commodore:

 

<a href='http://www.foxsportsdetroit.com/pages/video?videoid=a132ba84-0419-40e2-9ef6-212205b68974&amp;src=v5:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Wings on loss in Chicago'>Video: Wings on loss in Chicago</a>

Photos: The Chicago Tribune posted 10 images from the game in its “Blackhawks in Action” gallery;

• The Chicago Sun-Times posted a 26-image gallery;

• Comcast Sportsnet Chicago posted a 7-image gallery;

• The Detroit Free Press posted an 25-image gallery;

• Fox Sports Detroit posted a 10-image gallery;

• Yahoo Sports posted a 29-image gallery of AP and Getty Images photos, and Daylife.com posted four more Reuters photos;

• NHL.com posted a 44-image gallery;

• The Blackhawks’ website posted a 40-image gallery and embedded an image in its website’s recap;

• And the Red Wings’ website posted a 28-image gallery and embedded an image in its website’s recap.

Statistics:

Shots 28-28. The Wings were out-shot 10-7 in the 1st period, out-shot Chicago 14-8 in the 2nd period and were out-shot 10-7 in the 3rd period.

The Blackhawks went 0-for-5 in 10:00 of PP time; the Wings went 0-for-1 in all of 1:25 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 25 of 28; Corey Crawford stopped 26 of 28

The 3 stars, per the “Chicago Media,” Were Seabrook, Toews and Hossa.

The Wings’ goals: Abdelkader (3) from Miller (6) and Cleary (10);

Bertuzzi (5) from Commodore (5) and Ericsson (6).

Faceoffs 30-29 Detroit (the Wings won 51%);

Blocked shots 16-8 Detroit;

Missed shots 11-8 Detroit (total attemtps 52-46 Chicago);

Hits 24-22 Detroit;

Giveaways 11-4 Chicago;

Takeaways 11-2 Chicago—and that’s accurate.

Individual Stats:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 10-and-12 (45%); Abdelkader went 7-and-8 (47%); Zetterberg went 5-and-4 (56%); Filppula went 3-and-3 (50%); Emmerton went 3-and-1 (75%); Cleary and Andersson won their only faceoffs; Franzen lost his only faceoff.

Shots: Abdelkader led the Wings with 4 shots; Cleary, Commodore and Stuart had 3; Nyquist, White, Bertuzzi, Ericsson, Kronwall and Andersson had 2; Lidstrom,  Zetterberg and Emmerton had 1.

Blocked attempts: White and Ericsson hit Chicago players 2 times; Datsyuk, Emmerton, Kronwall and Franzen missed the net 1 time (more for Franzen).

Missed shots: Zetterberg and Bertuzzi missed the net 2 times; Nyquist, White, Miller, Stuart, Emmerton, Ericsson and Franzen missed the net 1 time (more for Franzen).

Hits: Datsyuk led the Wings with 4 hits; Stuart, Zetterberg and Ericsson had 3; Abdelkader, Commodore and Kronwall had 2; Nyquist, White, Hudler, Emmerton and Franzen had 1.

Giveaways: Only Miller, Stuart, Filppula and Kronwall were tagged for giveaways. The Wings had more, but the Hawks were credited with takeaways instead.

Takeaways: Only Filppula and Ericsson were credited with takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall did indeed block 4 shots; Lidstrom, Cleary and Miller blocked 2; Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Commodore, Stuart, Zetterberg and Ericsson blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Bertuzzi took a major and a minor penalty; Lidstrom, Stuart, Ericsson and Franzen were tagged with minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective zero. Abdelkader, Cleary, Datsyuk, Miller, Commodore, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Franzen finished at +1; Lidstrom and White finished at -1; Hudler, Zetterberg and Filppula earned their -2’s.

Points: Bertuzzi and Abdelkader scored goals; Cleary, Miller, Commodore and Ericsson had assists.

Ice time: White led the Wings with 26:33 played; Lidstrom played 24:50; Kronwall played 21:57;

Datsyuk played 20:40; Stuart played 20:27; Franzen played 18:27;

Zetterberg played 18:06; Miller played 17:20; Cleary played 16:58;

Filpula played 16:04; Abdelkader played 15:12; Ericsson played 14:58;

Bertuzzi played 14:40; Hudler played 12:54; Commodore played 12:18;

Emmerton played 6:53; Nyquist played 6:35; Andersson played 6:22.

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Comments

MsRedWinger's avatar

“Anyway you look at it, that’s not good enough,” Babcock said. “We didn’t have enough sustained pressure in their zone. It’s a one-shot game. You know it’s going to be like that coming in.”

Exactly.  If you lose, it wasn’t good enough.  If you win, you can brag about your effort.  But it was a one shot game.  It was hardly a blowout, even with the team not playing their best.

The Wings killed five penalties - without Darren Helm.  And Hossa got the opportunity of the game when he was on the ice and TPH wasn’t.  The rest of the night, TPH was all over him.  And our rookie fourth line was great - they had the best energy, they created traffic around the net, and they damn near scored.  You’ve got to expect that a quality team is going to cover Pav and Z.  I was happy to see that fourth line play so well.  If not for all the penalty kills, had they been on the ice more, I believe they would have put one in.

Are there things that need fixing?  Sure.  But on any given night, two of the best teams play each other and one is going to come up short.  No reason to hit the panic button, or think the Wings couldn’t beat them in a playoff series.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 12/31/11 at 11:51 AM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

The rest of the night, TPH was all over him.

Hossa was blowing by Lidstrom all night. Subpar game by the captain. Tell me again why we thought Z and Franzen were better to sign??

And our rookie fourth line was great - they had the best energy, they created traffic around the net, and they damn near scored.

I really liked what I saw out of Nyquist, but the 4th line was pinned in their own zone way too much and way too long for my liking.

You’ve got to expect that a quality team is going to cover Pav and Z.

You don’t need to be a quality team to cover Z this year! lol Pav definitely had an off game. But Z @ 6 mil per season, he should be completely embarrassed with his play. MsRedWinger, I believe I read one of your posts about Z being out of shape and fat. I think you might have something there. He always looks like he’s at the end of a shift.

I am by no means pushing the panic button, but the Wings cannot win the cup if their stars like Hank, Franzen and Fil disappear (Pav gets a pass, he’s been a beast..) like they did last night. And if Lidstrom plays like he did last night, zero chance of success. I believe they are one star short and if KH is serious about a cup run, then he will go all in for Parise. His type of heart and soul/skill combination is exactly what this team needs to seal the deal…

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 12/31/11 at 04:03 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

And you would expect US to cover THEIR top guys MsRW’er.  Toews and Hossa scored… ours didn’t.  Hossa skated a full circule around our zone against Z-Flip and huds, opened himself up and drilled it home.

The point is, it may have been a one shot game, but the Hawks dug in and got it.. mainly because their top guys showed up.  These are IMPORTANT points.  Remember last year when the Wings decided to sleepwalk through the end of the season and San Jose overtook them for the #2 spot?  That would’ve put that game 7 in detroit instead of San Jose…

But they don’t learn what they do not will bite them in the ass later.  This isn’t the NHL where you could skate through the regular season and hold off until the playoffs.  It’s so close anymore you have to grind every night.  Sometimes I wonder if this current crop of Wings who didn’t have to grind through the 90’s with us appreciate what it took to shake off the “Dead Things” moniker.

What good is it to have a good team, be a good team, if when it matters you give it to the other team?

Z hasn’t been the same player for a couple years now, Franzen is so streaky it kills me and if he’s not socring he’s not playing.  Stops hitting, stops covering his man, stops skating..  Loving we opted for Franzen over Hossa.. I could see why we would rather have a streaky goal scorer instead of a dominate complete player, who Devellano says we had, we’d take the central every year, who Babs said was born to be a Red Wing.  Who gave us an automatic shot for position in the playoffs every year.

hindsight is 20/20 but those are strong statements of how they felt at the time.. eh, what can you do.  You got what you got.  Just frustrated like the rest with players taking nights off.  Not competing and losing, I could take that, but it’s the taking multiple shifts off a game and expecting someone else to do the heavy lifting.  You can literally see the mentality when they get to playing like this, that they’re playing through their shift expecting the next shift to actually try to score.  We stop skating as 5 man unit, stop making short quick one touch passes, people start trying unrealistic zone entries and “scoring opportunities” over and over and over, one and done everytime.

Hope a couple guys are looking in the mirror today and they soon realize what the guys before them had to do for Detroit to have the kind of respect it does anymore and start living up to it.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 12/31/11 at 05:40 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Now, competing*

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 12/31/11 at 05:42 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

I only caught the highlights, but i think everyone may be overreacting a bit. We lost a close game to a rival. Both White and Z hit the post. From the comments on here you’d think we lost 7-3! lol

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 12/31/11 at 06:56 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.