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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Canucks quick take: Salobration

The Vancouver Canucks came into Joe Louis Arena insisting that they would break the Red Wings’ 23-game home ice winning streak. They repeated their mantra throughout the day, and they backed their bluster up, defeating Detroit 4-3 in a shootout.

As a Red Wings fan, I would be remiss to not point out that the Canucks never would have tied the game had Sami Salo not “Larry Murphied” an icing call, chugging his arms and legs so hard that the linesman believed the Canucks earned an icing which resulted in Daniel Sedin’s game-tying goal with all of 16 seconds remaining…

But I also have to admit the following:

1. The Red Wings’ power play was horrible. It went 0-for-5 in 8:59 of PP time, including 53 seconds of a 5-on-3, and the Wings actually gave the Canucks more scoring chances than they created.

2. The Red Wings were out-shot 43-36 overall, including 17 to 5 in the 1st period, and they were as flat as southern Manitoba in the 1st period, to say the least, and not much better in the 2nd.

Had Jimmy Howard not played nothing less than valiant hockey with a stick hand that looks like it’s 100% and then some, we would be talking about the Wings dropping a regulation game to a team that was tied with Detroit in points, not 1 point behind thanks to overtime/the shootout.

3. The Red Wings surrendered 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads, and gave up two third-period goals, both on “fluky” plays;

4. It was absolutely amazing that Darren Helm (1 goal, 2 assists), Justin Abdelkader (1 goal, 1 assist) and Drew Miller (2 assists) were the best line on the ice for both teams, but it’s also completely unacceptable for the Bertuzzi-Zetterberg-Franzen and Hudler-Filppula-Cleary lines to have come up so very empty and so very paper thin in terms of confidence.

It seemed like Franzen and Bertuzzi in particular—who had strong games—just understood that they were going to be steered toward the side boards, and while Danny Cleary had a strong game, Hudler and Filppula weren’t good, and the Wings generated little to no traffic, few screens and fewer rebound opportunities, never mind secondary scoring chances or the kind of sustained pressure that involved more than pumping the puck back to the point, that the Wings needed to sustain their efforts.

5. As excellent as Kyle Quincey was in his debut, scoring a goal and registering 3 hits and 2 blocked shots as well as 4 shots in 21:32 of ice time, and as awesome as it was to see Niklas Kronwall repeatedly lay the body on players….

6. Brad Stuart had an absolutely horrific game, Jonathan Ericsson wasn’t much better, and as hard as Ian White and a seemingly slightly hobbled Nicklas Lidstrom worked to prevent the Canucks from generating secondary scoring chances, generating tips and screens and the kind of sustained pressure on the cycle and/or grinding down low in the Wings’ zone, and the defense received little help from their forwards, who were turnover-happy and simply couldn’t cleanly clear the puck on a regular-enough basis.

7. Put simply, the Wings’ power play was awful, their defense wasn’t good enough, despite a remarkable 40-save performance from Jimmy Howard, they came out flat and didn’t warm up against an opponent which told them all but to their faces that they were coming into the Joe to celebrate like they won the damn Stanley Cup after the game because they were gonna end the Wings’ winning streak, and the Wings ended up deserving their result…

8. In front of an international audience on TSN and the NHL Network U.S., NHL.com and ESPN, and one could very well argue that the Wings’ forwards’ production and their paper-thin offensive confidence over the past two defeats—defeats the Wings cannot sustain if they are to hold off the Canucks (who have a game in hand) in the Western Conference, the Blues and Predators in the Central Division and everybody else who’s got their eye on taking out Detroit—enough that the Wings’ players might have at least offered a passive-aggressive request to Ken Holland to bolster their forward lines as the Wings prepare to play for another 7-to-10 days without Pavel Datsyuk.

[edit/update: Dear Ken Holland, please take a look at the last two games. See how Valtteri Filppula’s offense disappears when you place him back in the middle of the ice, and take that under consideration, please]

9. And the Wings’ shootout strategy—skate into a gigantic Roberto Luongo slowly?—was just baffling to boot.

10. Frankly, as Wings coach Mike Babcock suggested after the game, the Wings need to get to practice tomorrow, somehow through the snow, and “get skating” again as they re-set and attempt to get back to the business of winning games after a late February hiccup.

11. And there’s something to be said for noting that every time an opponent talks a big game, the Wings almost seem lulled into a, “Gee, you really think we’re that big a deal? Thank you!” stupor before eventually engaging in a futile effort to make their opponents eat their words.

In terms of the game’s narrative, the Canucks came out running ramp-shod over the Wings, peppering Jimmy Howard and grinding the Wings down and out, and yet, after Stuart attempted to clear the puck two or three times, Darren Helm swiped the puck from Kevin Bieksa, roared up ice and deferred passing to a well-covered Justin Abdelkader for the sake of firing a fluttering knuckleball through Luongo just over 11 minutes into the game.

The Wings either could not or would not build upon two successive Canucks penalties late in the first period and instead, they rope-a-doped their way until the halfway mark of the second, killing off two Kyle Quincey penalties in the process, but it was less than something of a surprise when Daniel Sedin tied things up 13:34 into the 2nd.

Off a Vancouver dump-in, Daniel and Henrik Sedin piled behind the net and overpowered a flat-footed Ian White and a less-flat-footed Nicklas Lidstrom, they mucked the puck back out to the point, where Alex Edler chipped a point shot that Henrik tipped in the slot, and as the puck went by Drew Miller, Daniel slithered past Ian White and tipped the puck past Howard’s right toe while Howard was attempting to stop that initial Edler shot.

Did the Wings do anything when a succession of kesler and Hamhuis penalties yielded a 4-on-3 for 53 seconds?

Nope. And so the game went ahead, and while the Wings out-shot Vancouver 15-8 in the 2nd period, the play was very even as the Wings either couldn’t or wouldn’t find their legs.

The Wings recovered somewhat in the third period. Off another big mistake—a Jonathan Ericsson giveaway yielded Jimmy Howard having to make a huge toe save—Darren Helm grabbed the puck, charged headlong up ice and into 5 defending Canucks, and when he gave Justin Abdelkader the puck in the slot, Abdelkader’s shot was blocked, he retrieved the rebound and gave it to Kyle Quincey…Who had his first shot blocked, but his second, again, via an Abdelkader pass, went through Drew Miller and a Roberto Luongo who was screened as the puck fluttered toward the top shelf. 6 minutes into the 3rd, the Wings looked to be up for good…

But off yet another inability to clear, this time via Stuart, Cody Hodgson held the puck in and flicked a shot toward the net, and regrettably, Niklas Kronwall’s right leg tipped it past a stunned Howard, all off a sustained period of Canucks cycling and grinding down the Wings.

All of 20 seconds later, at 13:46, it looked like the Wings were finally taking a definitive step when Drew Miller chased Quincey’s dump-in, held off a Canuck defender with his free hand as he circled the back of the net and came out to the right faceoff dot, and when he fired a pass to Darren Helm, Helm’s shot bounced off a Canuck and the post, but before Luongo could grab the rebound, Justin Abdelkader crashed the crease and jammed the puck home blocker side.

Done?

Well, the Wings kept pushing for a while, but again, with all of 33 seconds left in the game, Sami Salo chugged his arms and legs like he was Larry Murphy chasing an icing call, the Canucks got a deep faceoff in the Wings’ zone, and when Todd Bertuzzi and Henrik Zetterberg couldn’t clear it, Kesler muscled the puck to Henrik Sedin, behind the net, Henrik fired a seeing-eye pass all the way to the blueline, and Daniel fluttered a shot through four or five Wings and Canucks and into the back of the net past a Red Wings goaltender who had no idea where the puck was. Bang-bang, 3-3, going to OT when the Wings were 16 seconds from a regulation win.

In OT, the Wings’ lack of “wind,” “legs,” urgency, whatever, caught up to them, because they were only out-shot by a 5-4 margin, but it seemed as if the Wings were skating through mud and battling a bouncing BB instead of a puck that was fluttering off ice that was a little sticky thanks to the impending half-foot of snow coming down tonight.

So we headed to a shootout, and…

Jiri Hudler just skated up the gut, fast, and fired the puck into Roberto Luongo’s glove with not the slightest hint of a fake.

David Booth tried to work the Zetterberg/Forsberg/Nilsson move, but Howard didn’t buy it.

Zetterberg went up the gut, too, and ended up skating right out of space as Luongo poke checked him and Zetterberg lost control of the puck.

Alex Edler ROARED up ice at Howard but he squeezed his legs together to stop a low wrister.

Then Todd Bertuzzi tried to sloth it in by skating up…very…slowly… and…it…didn’t…work…as…Luongo…blockered…the…puck…away…

So the game was on Alex Burrows’ stick, and he managed to indulge Jimmy Howard’s willingness to bite on the occasional deke, dropping his shoulder and getting Howard to bite on a forehand deke which went onto Burrows’ backhand, into the back shelf, and then back onto an ice surface which the Canucks flooded onto like they’d won a playoff game.

I guess they earned their right to celebrate, but if I might be rude for a moment, I cannot think of a bigger bunch of self-absorbed assholes playing hockey this side of Chicago. The Canucks are a fantastic team, but they also act like a cavalcade of divas who are absolutely in love with talking loud, being hated and backing their talk up with an incredibly arrogant flair. I sure as hell hope a team that put so much importance on ending the Wings’ streak exhibits the same kind of flash and dash in the playoffs, whereas the more workmanlike Wings…

Do what they tend to do when it’s time to put up after shutting up.

Here’s the shootout…

As well as a full slate of game highlights…

 

And from the Wings’ website, here are the comments of Wings coach Mike Babcock…

 

Forward Justin Abdelkader…

 

And defenseman Kyle Quincey:

 


Statistics: Shots 43-36 Vancouver overall. The Nucks out-shot the Wings 17-5 in the 1st period, were out-shot 15-8 in the 2nd period and out-shot Detroit 13-12 in the 3rd period and 5-4 in OT.

Detroit went 0-for-5 in 7:59 of PP time, including 53 seconds of 4-on-3 time and 6 seconds of 5-on-3 time, and Vancouver went 0-for-4 in 6:06 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 40 of 43 shots; Roberto Luongo stopped 34 of 36.

The 3 Stars, per Nicholas J. Cotsonika, were Jimmy Howard, Daniel Sedin and Darren Helm.

The Wings’ goals: Helm (7), unassisted;

Quincey (6) from Abdelkader (12) and Helm (14);

Abdelkader (7) from Helm (15) and Miller (11).

Faceoffs 36-31 Vancouver (Detroit won 46%);

Blocked shots 9-9;

Missed shots 13-7 Vancouver (total attempts 65-51 Vancouver);

Hits 25-11 Detroit;

Giveaways 8-5 Detroit;

Takeaways 11-10 Detroit.

Individual Stats:

Faceoffs: Zetterberg went 11-and-10 (52%); Filppula went 4-and-11 (27%); Helm went 6-and-7 (46%); Emmerton went 5-and-3 (63%); Abdelkader went 3-and-2 (60%); Franzen went 2-and-1 (67%); both Cleary and Hudler lost their only faceoffs.

Shots: Cleary and Bertuzzi co-led the team with 5 shots apiece; Lidstrom and Quincey had 4; Miller and Holmstrom had 3; White, Hudler and Zetterberg had 2; Helm, Ericsson, Kronwall and Franzen had 1.

Blocked attempts: Helm had 2 shot attempts blocked; Lidstrom, White, Hudler, Quincey, Zetterberg, Kronwall and Holmstrom had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Helm missed the net 2 times; White, Stuart, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Holmstrom missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Kronwall led the Wings with 5 hits; Abdelkader, Stuart and Quincey had 3; Lidstrom, White, Bertuzzi and Ericsson had 2; Hudler, Mursak and Holmstrom—who may have been the Wings’ best forward not on the Grind Line, The Next Generation—had 1;

Giveaways: Stuart, Hudler and Filppula had 2 giveaways; Zetterberg and Howard had 1.

Takeaways: Hudlerh ad 3 takeaways; Miller and Helm ahd 2; Lidstrom, White, Zetterberg and Franzen had 1.

Blocked shots: Quincey blocked 2 Vancouver shots; Cleary, White, Miller, Mursak, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Ericsson blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Quincey took 2 minor penalties; Abdelkader and Lidstrom took 1 apiece.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective +1. Franzen finished at an ugly -3; Zetterberg finished at -2; Lidstrom, Cleary, Stuart, Filppula and Kronwall finished at -1; Quincey and Emmerton finished at +1; Miller, Helm and Ericsson finished at +2; Abdelkader finished at +3.

Points: Helm had a goal and 2 assists for 3 points; Abdelkader had a goal and an assist; Quincey had a goal; Miller had an assist.

Ice time: Lidstrom led the team with 23:42 played; Kronwall played 23:07; Zetterberg played 22:24;

Stuart played 22:02; Quincey played 21:32; White played 20:06;

Filppula played 20:04; Ericsson played 19:38; Franzen played 19:35;

Bertuzzi played 17:55; Helm played 17:01; Miller played 16:41;

Cleary played 16:34; Hudler played 15:30; Abdelkader played 14:43;

Holmstrom played 10:20; Emmerton played 5:23; Mursak played 5:06.

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Comments

Chet's avatar

this game is completely different with datsyuk in it. the canucks can suck it. moving right along…

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/24/12 at 02:20 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Franzén had a strong game??

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 02/24/12 at 02:26 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Great write up.  Such a vivid recounting of the scoring plays.

- Salo’s touch-up is the reason that you pay for a veteran.
- The Canucks also went 0 for 5 on the PP and looked like a bag of assholes.
- The celebration may have been a bit much, but at least they aren’t pretending they don’t care about beating their idols; that was totally authentic, not pre-arranged.  Anyway, it reminds of what a lot of you have talked about: when beating the Wings is the best thing that happens all year…..you might not have much of an identity.

In the final analysis, neither team was great.  If that was a playoff game, I shudder to think, the gods would have given another bounce or two to the Wings.  The Nucks’ execution was woeful.  Every time they win on flukes, and celebrate like they did something, I get another little knot in the gut.

I understand the arrogance thing to a certain extent, but they are really overshadowed by the Khawks.  Seriously….that goal-song, Kane and Sharp’s faces?  Talk about fvcking arrogant.  We’ve got the humble Sedins. 

Anyway, I know Malik is no troll, so I’ll take the assessment under advisement.  (But god…..look at Sharp’s face.  Did anyone catch him making fun of Morrison when he blew the ACL?)

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 02/24/12 at 02:31 AM ET

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Franzén had a strong game??

Seriously.

I still want him shipped out of town, though that will never happen. Ya think Pavs would’ve gone down to block that Sedin shot/goal at the end of regulation…you’re god damn right he would have. F you, Franzen.

...and while I’m still blind with rage…Fu*k Babcock for his incomprehensible decision to keep putting Hudler out there for shootouts. He shoots like a 14 year old girl…when he can actually corral the puck long enough/when he has the balls to take a shot.

Posted by godblender on 02/24/12 at 02:38 AM ET

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53 seconds of a 5-on-3

You got it right the second time. But they did get 5 seconds of 5-on-3.

It seemed like Franzen and Bertuzzi in particular—who had strong games

I disagree about Franzen. It seems like the past several games, he’s not been strong on the puck, and when his shots don’t go high and wide, they are fired right at the goalie.

the Wings need to get to practice tomorrow

Why were they even rewarded for their performance in Chicago? It’s not like they had to recover from a cross-continent flight.

I sure as hell hope a team that put so much importance on ending the Wings’ streak exhibits the same kind of flash and dash in the playoffs, whereas the more workmanlike Wings…

Are willing to get outworked and lulled into a false sense of security late in games, while being outplayed for 40 minutes? Like against Chicago and now Vancouver, and San Jose the past two playoffs? The playoff “switch” doesn’t seem to work after the first couple games of the first round. (Specifically the one thing the Red Wings have done a lot of the past few seasons, that I think cost them against the Sharks and tonight, is the puck mismanagement.)

For all the talk of being a better defensive team this season, they are better at preventing second chances, but they seem to be worse at getting the puck out of their zone.

Posted by bleep bloop on 02/24/12 at 02:40 AM ET

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the fact that you think franzen had a “strong” game really speaks volumes about your capacity to understand how an NHL game works.

you’re delusional.

period.

Posted by bob Ioblaw on 02/24/12 at 02:41 AM ET

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Posted by bob Ioblaw on 02/23/12 at 11:41 PM ET

*#$%@& yourself

Posted by Garth on 02/24/12 at 02:45 AM ET

Bradley97's avatar

Well put, George.

I’d like to add 12: The Wings could not win key faceoffs in their own zone, which led to the Canucks gaining footholds to wear down the wings and score goals.

And 13: No matter how much they are paid, FSD should never ever discuss the “Miller Lite Great Taste Moment” until the final buzzer! They turned it into the “Bitter Taste Moment” by, as usual, jumping the gun. Had they waited, that moment would have been Quincey’s goal instead of what should have been the game winning goal. Even in this loss Quincey’s goal still tastes good. Great game and welcome home Kyle!

Posted by Bradley97 on 02/24/12 at 02:49 AM ET

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I really don’t understand why Hudler keeps getting picked for the shoot out.

More than that, regarding shootouts, why is it that 30 out of 31 shots have been taken by FIVE players?  Why have only six players taken a shootout attempt all year?

Why has nobody on the third line -you know, that line that we’re hearing SO OFTEN is the best line on the team in so many games- not taken a SINGLE shootout shot?

Datsyuk and Bertuzzi are both at least 50% on the shootout, so they should be called upon every game until they hit some sort of drought (or until Bertuzzi doesn’t even *#$%@& try, like in tonight’s shot), but how about mixing it up just a bit?

Posted by Garth on 02/24/12 at 02:51 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

but how about mixing it up just a bit?

About that…

See how Valtteri Filppula’s offense disappears when you place him back in the middle of the ice

And that..

Helm had a goal and 2 assists for 3 points

And that…

If Datsyuk’s injury is not the opportunity to try using Helm on the 2nd line (maybe reuniting Hank and Dats on the 1st), then Babcock will never try it.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 02/24/12 at 03:01 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I have major depression and an anxiety disorder. I’m crazy, not delusional.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/24/12 at 03:10 AM ET

42jeff's avatar

Their powerplay and most of their 5-5 zone entries have gotten terribly predictable

I spent most of the first period and nearly all of the second with this song bouncing through my head after watching the Canucks completely defuse all of the powerplays and most of the Wings offensive zone time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye7PIyIcCro

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 02/24/12 at 03:25 AM ET

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Burrows is very lucky that the Wings were on the bench after the celebratory “breaking the stick (streak)” move.  Paybacks are coming buddy.

As for the Nucks and the SCPOs, I’m not scurred of that team, and IMO, nre just either is most others.  They are just soft. They get fluke goals and act like they earned them through hard work.  They have skill…but as we’ve seen time and time again in the SCPOs, that doesn’t always translate.

I laugh at people who say…“but they have a game in hand”.  I’d take the game WON, rather than the game in hand in which 2 outcomes can occur EVERY TIME.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 02/24/12 at 03:31 AM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

Basically it was a poor overall effort by the Wings.  If they had actually played, put forth some effort, for 60 minutes instead of 30 they might have had a chance to win the game.  Heck, they did have a chance to win the game so a full effort and they might have two points instead of one and the streak might still be alive.  There are a lot of talented Wings, but they don’t seem to play like it a lot of the time.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 02/24/12 at 03:43 AM ET

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I think any other team would have had just as much satisfaction in taking out the best team in the league on an incredible record making tear.  The Canucks however actually have the skill to exact those wishes.

Posted by Trevor on 02/24/12 at 04:10 AM ET

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From a Canucks perspective: Burrows is huge clutch player, and a catalyst for emotion. Last year he got the OT goal to beat Chicago in game 7 of the first round.  Tonight he scores the shootout winner that breaks one hell of a winning streak put together by the wings. This is the beginning of the stretch drive, and I don’t care if its the Canucks, the Wings, the freakin Islanders or the Jackets: you win that game, in the fashion it happened with all the 3rd period goals, OT, and the shootout, and then DON’T celebrate like its a HUGE victory over the top team in the west? You don’t belong in the NHL. Don’t look for reasons to hate when they did what any other group of high level athletes would do in the same situation. See: Kansas City Chiefs beat Green Bay Packers, end 19 game winning streak, freak the *#$%@& out at the buzzer. Taking it offensively is childish, take it as a sign of respect.

Posted by Liam from Vancouver on 02/24/12 at 04:16 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

*#$%@& that.  Wings *#$%@& up.  16 seconds left, icing or not, did not keep the puck out of the *#$%@& net. plain and *#$%@& simple.  Should’ve have let them back in the game, either time…. this is the kind of shit they do on the road.  I felt like I was watching a road game when the top 2 lines were on the ice.  ONLY line worth watching was GLTNG.. all other lines disappeared.  Zetterberg is a 6 million dollar PKer I’m convinced.  I was pulling for Knuble but tonight makes me think picking up another center so Fil doesn’t have to go back to center.. ever.. is a great idea.  *#$%@&, put Emmerton on pivot on the 2nd line and let Cleary move down the 4th.  Both he and Z have a lot of miles on them and it’s showing this year.  If our young guys weren’t hitting their stride and Pav dazzle as usual, we’d be a sorry club.

And where the *#$%@& was Franzen, he injured?  I didn’t see him tonight

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/24/12 at 04:26 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

*#$%@& *#$%@& *#$%@& *#$%@& *#$%@& *#$%@& *#$%@& *#$%@& *#$%@&… *#$%@&

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/24/12 at 04:27 AM ET

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I guess they earned their right to celebrate, but if I might be rude for a moment, I cannot think of a bigger bunch of self-absorbed assholes playing hockey this side of Chicago. The Canucks are a fantastic team, but they also act like a cavalcade of divas who are absolutely in love with talking loud, being hated and backing their talk up with an incredibly arrogant flair. I sure as hell hope a team that put so much importance on ending the Wings’ streak exhibits the same kind of flash and dash in the playoffs, whereas the more workmanlike Wings…

Coming from a fan of about the team with that same sense of “we are good”...this anger amuses me.

I feel like the Emperor in the Star Wars movie….“GooooD…Goood…use your anger young Skywalker”.

Sucks when someone else has the cajones to back it up, huh?

Posted by vancitydan on 02/24/12 at 04:41 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

The stick-breaking move is classic (i.e. classless) Burrows.  But really, what the hell do you expect from a guy who, in one of the biggest douche-bag moves of all time, literally bit on another player?  In a way it’s unfortunate, because while the Canucks are a superbly talented hockey team, they’ve established a negative reputation that all too often overshadows all of that. 

Guys like Burrows, Kesler and Maximum-Yap-Pierre love to thump their chests and bump their gums.  Throw in their really annoying tendency to engage in stick work after virtually every whistle, add in a liberal dose of diving, bitching and whining and it’s no wonder they’ve got the reputation they do.  I can’t tell you how many hockey fans I talked to last year who had no rooting interest whatsoever at the start of last year’s SCF, and yet about two games into that series were so disgusted by the way the Canucks had so thoroughly shamed and disgraced the game that they were openly, and loudly rooting for Boston.

I respect the talent.  I really do.  As a hockey fan I think there are some elements of their game that are really beautiful to watch.  But then they just go all punk-ass-bitch and all I can do is shake my head. 

Congratulations to them on the win.  I would say they treated it like game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, but no, we saw how that goes, and unlike that game, they at least showed up for this one.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 02/24/12 at 04:49 AM ET

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The top lines aren’t working, so something else should probably be done. I initially assumed that with Datsyuk out, Filppula would be moved up with Franzen and Bertuzzi, and Zetterberg and Hudler would stay together, but I’m not sure that would work any better. Filppula and Hudler have been good this season and Zetterberg was just starting to score again. 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.

Obviously, the Helm line is very good, but it was very good before Abdelkader took Cleary’s spot too, so moving Abdelkader back to center shouldn’t hurt it. Abdelkader with Franzen and Bertuzzi should be really hard for the opposition to defend against. Alternatively, if 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.

George, if Babcock were trolling the blogosphere for suggestions for his team, he’d come here first.

Posted by bleep bloop on 02/24/12 at 05:39 AM ET

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It’s hard for me to be upset about Burrows/the celebration.  I like when teams care so much about regular season games.  It shows they haven’t won anything “for real” as they say.  Even better to celebrate when one team doesn’t have its best player.  I’ll take Vancouver over SJ in the playoffs any day.

Posted by ExiledinLA on 02/24/12 at 05:57 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I have major depression and an anxiety disorder. I’m crazy, not delusional.

Xanax is a beautiful thing.

Anywho…

It was a great game to watch.  I don’t even care that we lost, it was fun down to the last minute and I never mind a gem of a game like that, win or lose.

Per the thread, I’m underwhelmed at Franzen’s performance.  I always have been, and was a little bewildered a the contract we gave him.  I think they were looking at cap numbers more than they were at what a long-term contract does to a player’s performance.  He’s a good guy, I just hope we stop signing players to those stupid 11-year contracts and get back down into the 4-6 year range going forward.  It seemed smart then and it’s dumb now.

Either way, I freaking hate those parade-route-planning bastards, but they played a good game and so did we and it was fun to watch.  I’ll leave it at that.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 02/24/12 at 06:10 AM ET

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Coming from a fan of about the team with that same sense of “we are good”...this anger amuses me.

Wanna guess when the last time the Wings celebrated like they won the Stanley Cup?  I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t when they won a regular season home game.  Oh, and it wasn’t when they beat the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs…

Posted by Garth on 02/24/12 at 10:54 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

I spent most of the first period and nearly all of the second with this song bouncing through my head after watching the Canucks completely defuse all of the powerplays and most of the Wings offensive zone time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye7PIyIcCro

Posted by 42jeff from Minot, North Dakota on 02/24/12 at 12:25 AM ET

Man that is twisted.  +1

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 02/24/12 at 11:13 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Sucks when someone else has the cajones to back it up, huh?

Posted by vancitydan on 02/24/12 at 01:41 AM ET

Posted by Liam from Vancouver on 02/24/12 at 01:16 AM ET

Speaking of cajones, where were you tough talking, “tell it like it is” Canucks fans twenty-four hours ago?  Its easy to flex your muscles after the box score is released. So please, tell us more about cajones.  At least we had the brass to brag about the Wings before the puck dropped.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 02/24/12 at 12:04 PM ET

TheFreak's avatar

Last night showed why the Wings need one more experienced power forward. Need some depth upfront too. Could be last chance before Nick retires…

Posted by TheFreak on 02/24/12 at 12:52 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Franzen didn’t have a strong game. He was -3 and played like it. He really stunk up the joint last night. He plays so soft sometimes it’s frustrating.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 02/24/12 at 01:26 PM ET

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I was at the game and as usual everyone in my section was screaming for Ericssons head. How many mistakes can you make on one shift? He can’t hold the line, he doesn’t use his body, he’s horribly out of position and he always looks like he has no idea where he’s supposed to be on the ice.

What do Holland and Babs see in this kid?  Am i missing something here?

BTW. Franzen took a dump all over the ice. Putting Z in Pavs place is not working and for the love of sweet baby jesus put Fil on the wing and get Huds out of the shoot out.

Rant finished. Coffee made. Kesler can lick balls.

Posted by Bert from Detroit on 02/24/12 at 02:02 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

literally bit on another player?

Why the fvck did Bergeron put his finger in his mouth.

I can’t tell you how many hockey fans I talked to last year who had no rooting interest whatsoever at the start of last year’s SCF, and yet about two games into that series were so disgusted

Yeah, people who hadn’t seen a damn thing all year, parroting what the Boston-led media machine was pushing.  There were a lot of possible narratives there, but what we got was flat-out character assasination.  As though only one team embelishes.  Again, you don’t have a single incident to point to…..but hey it sounds good, just name-call the shit.  Does it matter that Boston and Uncle Coley got away with murder?  No.  Cause that’s not what the media portrayed.  Parrot that shit.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 02/24/12 at 04:13 PM ET

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Wanna guess when the last time the Wings celebrated like they won the Stanley Cup?  I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t when they won a regular season home game.  Oh, and it wasn’t when they beat the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs…

I guess that’s my point.  It was the playoffs.  Thanks for elucidating it for me and destroying whatever criticism you had.

Posted by ExiledinLA on 02/24/12 at 07:25 PM ET

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Kronwall had another big hit on Kesler, I am surprised it wasn’t on the highlights of the game for TSN, yahoo, youtube or NHL.com. Given the history between these 2 and the fact it was a big hit (maybe not as big as last time but still an 8.5 on the Krochter Scale), it felled Kesler and shook him up, I think it would have been an obvious choice for the highlights. Just as big as the hit on Booth (which was on some of the highlight reels) but more relevant with more of a story behind it because of the previous game between these 2 teams

Posted by Johnz96 from Toronto on 02/25/12 at 01:01 AM ET

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Sure the Canucks are cocky, as are the Red Wings, all good teams are confident, self-assured and at least a bit cocky. The Canucks are no more so than any other team. This narrative is getting quite tiresome…it’s not that the Canucks are a bunch of choirboys, I’m fully aware that Burrows,Lapierre and Kesler are hated characters and quite deserving of that label from opposition fans. I’d like to point something out though…

Last week the Canucks played the Leafs, HNIC started pointing out that the Canucks didn’t really celebrate their goals anymore. Seems this barely warrants a reaction ( at least to me). Then bruins fans on twitter started whining about this and saying that their muted goal celebrations make the Canucks seem more like assholes and d-bags.

Now this week, the Canucks snap Detroit’s historic run of home games, they celebrate quite exuberantly ( though not as though they won the Stanley cup, come one). Burrows does the stick-breaking move ( it may have been a bit much, but it was organic and seemed borne out of genuine emotion). Since Gillis took over, this team has always held up Detroit as the model to emulate. This warrants some emotion, no? Though now we have Red Wings fans complaining that they celebrated way too exuberantly, which makes them seem more like assholes and d-bags.

See the quandary here?

Posted by H10 on 02/25/12 at 01:07 AM ET

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H10, the only thing you can do to get out of that jam is to become a Wings fan.

Honestly, I think the bigger issue is that they’re beating a Datsyuk-less Wings and using it as a measuring stick as opposed to the celebration.

Posted by ExiledinLA on 02/25/12 at 01:17 AM ET

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@exiledinLA

Haha…I actually do admire the Red Wings and the way they play, but I’ve become way too attached to the Canucks, hated and all, to let them go.

I would’ve like to have seen Datsyuk in the line-up, just to see them match up with their full line-ups. Though I don’t really think that factors into the Canuck player’s minds when they eke out a victory to end the historic streak of the Red Wings. And a Red Wings team without Datysuk is still a mightily formidable team, you’re only left with a HOF d-man in Lidstrom, Zetterberg, Kronwall, etc. I think it’s a bit unfair to criticize them for using this game as a measuring stick because every team that goes up against the Red Wings uses that game as a measuring stick, Datsuk-less or not. As I said, this Red WIngs gave the Canucks all they could handle without Datsyuk, so yeah, they’re a pretty deep team.

Posted by H10 on 02/25/12 at 01:58 AM 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.