The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/06/11 at 11:22 PM ET
A line from Wings coach Mike Babcock’s post-game presser stuck with me and stuck with me good, summarizing the Red Wings’ elimination-staving 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Friday. Here’s what Babcock said to a few members of the press corps about their broaching of the retirement question with Lidstrom:
“You guys did a real good job by talking to him about retirement yesterday, and answered that pretty good.”
Lidstrom scored two goals, the Wings got goals from depth players for the first time in this series, they earned their literal and figurative bounces, their penalty-kill was finally good in limited action and while the Wings stopped skating in the 2nd and appeared gassed at times in the 3rd…The crowd picked their Red Wings up. The crowd at Joe Louis Arena did nothing less than a masterful, Datsyukian job of injecting the Wings with the energy and belief they needed to finally eke out a one-goal victory over the Sharks via a workmanlike goal from Darren Helm, and perhaps Red Wings Nation imbued the Wings with enough self-belief to ensure that Friday night’s game wasn’t the last one at the Joe.
The Wings stood up to the Sharks (Ryane Clowe’s sucker punches on Justin Abdelkader excluded), played hard, physical, gritty, won one-on-one battles for the puck, kept pressing, as Babcock suggested, finally pried rebounds off of Niemi and managed to rope-a-dope at times thanks to another superb effort from Jimmy Howard. If the Wings can cut some of their defensive mistakes out of the game, those tickets for Game 6 on Tuesday might be worth investing in.
As the Wings suggested, however, they had to win tonight, and they did, and all they’re worried about now is winning on Sunday. And winning Sunday’s game is all that matters now. No talk of a miraculous comeback, no talk of history being made, just…
Win on Sunday. Keep it going. Stay afloat by fighting and kicking and punching the water and the Sharks swimming in it because there is nothing left to do but fight for survival.
Final Stats: Shots 40-28 Detroit overall, breaking down as 17-12 Detroit in the 1st, 10-6 Detroit in the 2nd and 13-10 Detroit in the 3rd.
The Wings went 1-for-4 in 7:56 of PP time; the Sharks went 0-for-2 in 4:00 of PP time.
Howard stopped 25 of 28; Niemi stopped 36 of 40.
Our goals: Bertuzzi (2) from Zetterberg (3) and Cleary (3);
Lidstrom (3) from Cleary (4) and Bertuzzi (3);
Lidstrom (4) from Zetterberg (4) and Datsyuk (7), PP;
Helm (2) from Eaves (1) and Rafalski (1).
The 3 stars, per Paul Harris: Bertuzzi, Clowe and Lidstrom.
Faceoffs: 33-31 Detroit (52%);
Blocked shots 12-7 San Jose;
Missed shots 10-7 Detroit (total attempts 62-42 Detroit);
Hits 29-17 Detroit;
Giveaways 10-7 San Jose;
Faceoffs: Zetterberg went 13-and-9 (59%); Filppula went 10-and-7 (59%); Helm went 4-and-4 (50%); Franzen went 2-and-5 (29%); Abdelkader went 1-and-2 (33%); Datsyuk went 1-and-2 (33%); Cleary went 1-and-1 (50%); Draper went 1-and-1 (50%).
Shots: Lidstrom led the team with 6 shots; Bertuzzi had 5; Abdelkader had 4; Cleary, Eaves, Helm and Franzen had 3; Rafalski, Draper, Filppula and Kronwall had 2; Stuart, Salei, Zetterberg, Ericsson and Holmstrom had 1.
Blocked attempts: Eaves and Hudler had 2 shot attempts blocked; Lidstrom, Cleary, Rafalski, Zetterberg, Helm, Bertuzzi, Kronwall and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Franzen missed the net 2 times; Cleary, Datsyuk, Salei, Rafalski, Draper, Helm, Bertuzzi and Filppula missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Abdelkader led the team with 5 hits; Lidstrom, Cleary, Hudler and Zetterberg had 3; Eaves, Stuart, Draper, Bertuzzi and Franzen had 2; Salei and Holmstrom had 1.
Giveaways: Cleary had 2 giveaways; Abdelkader, Stuart, Helm, Ericsson and Howard had 1.
Takeaways: Lidstrom, Cleary, Helm, Franzen and Holmstrom had 1 takeaway.
Blocked shots: Ericsson blocked 2 shots; Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Stuart, Salei and Draper blocked 1 shot.
Penalties taken: Abdelkader and Bertuzzi took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: Salei finished at -2; Datsyuk, Hudler, Draper, Filppula, Ericsson, Kronwall, Franzen and Holmstrom finished at -1; Abdelkader Eaves and Helm were even; Stuart and Rafalski were +1; Lidstrom, Cleary, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi finished at +2.
Points: Lidstrom had 2 goals; Cleary had 2 assists; Zetterberg had 2 assists; Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Helm had a goal; Datsyuk, Eaves and Rafalski had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 24:04 played; Lidstrom played 22:42; Datsyuk played 20:39;
Rafalski played 19:58; Zetterberg played 19:54; Cleary played 19:22;
Stuart played 19:22; Franzen played 18:59; Ericsson played 17:34;
Salei played 16:20; Filppula played 15:53; Bertuzzi played 14:01;
Abdelkader played 13:27; Helm played 12:44; Eaves played 11:56;
Hudler played 11:05; Holmstrom played 10:57; Draper played 7:05.
Update: Per Flightaware.com, the Wings’ plane is leaving for San Jose at 11:16 PM EDT and will arrive in San Jose at 4:26 AM EDT. I wonder whether they’ll practice on Saturday—or pay the $2,500 fine for landing at San Jose International Airport after 10:30 PM PDT.
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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.