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The Malik Report

Red Wings’ loss to the Blues is a new low point (so let’s vent about it)

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 10-3 decision to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, seriously endangering their hopes of finishing 2nd in the Western Conference and at least letting the Nashville Predators off the mat in the Central Division race by playing perhaps the worst game they’ve issued in a season or three, leaving Joey MacDonald out to dry and doing the same to rookie Thomas McCollum.

In theory, I’m supposed to say something that is either inflammatory, like, “This proves that the Wings are too old/slow/vulnerable and will totally bomb in the first round!” or, “No no, really, they stank on ice, but this is a regrettable aberration, and while the Wings went an ugly 1-2-and-2 on their 5-game home stand and have been playing plain old incompetent hockey, never mind lackadaisically, of late,” and while I do lean toward the latter suggestion…

I am a Wings fan, too, and in lieu of swearing, I’ll offer you a list I wrote during the game…

Players who have shown up to play tonight:

1. Nicklas Lidstrom
2. Jakub Kindl
3. Tomas Holmstrom
4. Johan Franzen
5. Mike Modano
6. Darren Helm
7. Joey MacDonald
8. Thomas McCollum

That’s not to say that the above-mentioned players didn’t struggle like nobody’s business—Lidstrom finished at -3 and the team was a collective -30—but they did work hard and do their best to actually play hockey, which can’t be said of their other teammates.

I actually thought that the Bertuzzi-Filppula-Franzen and Abdelkader-Modano-Holmstrom lines looked very good in terms of offensive chemistry, too, but no one looked decent defensively.

And before opening up this thread to discussion, laments and criticism toward the Wings’ horrific effort—and the Wings earned everything you’re about to say and more, so please do vent—I’d encourage you to watch the following video, because there’s nothing like a North Korean dance party when it comes to cheering me up.

Also: When the Wings lose, I tend to buy a pack of hockey cards because I feel the need to do SOMETHING that involves spending money to realign hockey karma. I’m gonna try to find a box of cards at Wal-Mart tonight.

Also II: I’m interested in starting a TMR membership drive for charity. Any lurkers interested? Send me a tweet or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Comments

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When Jansen and Crombeen both show up on the figure sheet, you know you’re fu*ked. Absolutely terrible in every way. Just when I thought that Detroit had already played as unmotivated and lackadaisical as they could on this homestand….wow…just, wow.

Helm and Zetterberg are about the only two players who appear to give a shit for at least half of a hockey game. Really, I’m too pissed/frustrated for words right now.

Posted by godblender on 03/30/11 at 11:24 PM ET

sean's avatar

A real nail-biter!

On the edge of my seat!

Eh, bad time to take a thrashing like this, what with the playoffs right around the corner and all.  I think they’ll get their swagger back, though.

Posted by sean on 03/30/11 at 11:27 PM ET

AxeMaster9's avatar

Sigh… this is going to be an ugly couple days.  Shit happens.  This happens every year we put a lock on the playoffs.  Last year we were fighting until the very end and we were to “tired” to get out of the second round, barley making it out of the first.  This year we dont care so we are, as you put George, to “old, slow, etc”, similar to 2002, 2008, 2009, and thats just in the past 10 years.  Lets just take it for what it is.  An ass whipping of epic proportions.  I say lets not analyze this game until after the season is over, and then we can say if it was a turning point either way.

Posted by AxeMaster9 on 03/30/11 at 11:29 PM ET

Avatar

Lazy, unmotivated hockey. Looked like a drop-in game tonight, pucks being tossed anywhere, lack of coverage in their own zone. I feel for the fans who paid good money for this tonight, because they were robbed.

Posted by Jeremy on 03/30/11 at 11:38 PM ET

AxeMaster9's avatar

Also, and I know I am being hypocritical here but this

On the Z/Babcock conspiracy front, if this is Zetterberg playing while hating his coach how the hell good is he really then??

As far as some of Zetterbergs comments go, could it be that as one of the last men standing this year he’s just had more microphones put in front of him thus more opportunity to say things for us to over analyze?

Posted by moocat on 03/30/11 at 10:14 PM ET

is the reason I only read what you post George and stay away from the comment section.  TO ME, this kind of thing has been happening since the Chief sailed and it makes me stay far far away.  The 19 are a proud bunch but the negativity that started last season and has carried into this year makes me sad.  I believe its not the 19, its the other 87 a-holes that troll.  Any who I am done.

Posted by AxeMaster9 on 03/30/11 at 11:38 PM ET

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Disturbing. This game has huge implications, to be sure. The message it sends around the league is pretty clear.

I couldn’t help but think about the impact on our Captain, not just his +/- and his contention for the Norris trophy (if one game could have an impact, wouldn’t this one be it) but also his intention to play another year.

This is not the team we hoped it was.

Posted by Scott on 03/30/11 at 11:46 PM ET

Cwix's avatar

P A T H E T I C

Posted by Cwix from Grand Rapids, now Chicago, IL on 03/30/11 at 11:48 PM ET

Cwix's avatar

Good luck in the post season. I didn’t throw up a little bit… I puked projectile.

Posted by Cwix from Grand Rapids, now Chicago, IL on 03/30/11 at 11:50 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

The 19 are a proud bunch but the negativity that started last season and has carried into this year makes me sad.

Well, it’s not like much of the negativity isn’t warranted. The Wings have not been that great of a team, overall, in the last year-and-a-half.

Sure, they have stretches of good play, and within that stretches of brilliance. But those are becoming fewer and fewer.

I don’t know any fan who is angry at a loss when the team gives a good effort. But the effort and d-zone play of this team the last half of this season has been inexcusable, and quite frankly embarrassing for any player who collects a paycheck playing this game for a living.

It’s a privilege to be a fan of this team. It’s also a privilege to pull on that Winged Wheel sweater every game; and those Wings players right now that don’t realize that are the reason I am pissed.

That logo and sweater are bigger than any one player, or any collection of players. And if this collection of players can’t remember that, then dismantle this team at season’s end and start over.

We’re the Red Wings, not the Predators, not the Ducks, or Bluejackets, or Thrashers.

Fuchin’ right I am pissed.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/30/11 at 11:51 PM ET

Chet's avatar

i read everything and watch every game. this was unbelievable. if i was babcock i’d have told them to put on practice gear after the stands cleared and bagged ‘em.

haven’t read your entry yet, GM, but i’ll post my thoughts first and see how much of this jibes with what you’ve said:

- even before mccollum went in to get lit up, i was thinking i’d definitely want a refund if i’d paid to go to this game;

- the entire defensive corps was trash tonight, lidstrom included. just garbage;

- no disrespect to him, but when darren helm is your best player two games in a row, you aren’t a cup contender;

- there was no physicality, no compete, no urgency. this was a joke.

this team needs to wake the f*ck up.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 03/30/11 at 11:52 PM ET

Chet's avatar

just looked at the box.

47 shots against on home ice.

did i say this was a joke? it’s beyond that. just…wow.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 03/30/11 at 11:53 PM ET

SYF's avatar

As I’ve said about a dozen times before, I can’t wait for this ridiculous season to be over and for the playoffs to start.  It’s mind-numbing what this season has become for the past four months.  Just get it done and over with.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 03/30/11 at 11:56 PM ET

moocat's avatar

Also, and I know I am being hypocritical here but this is the reason I only read what you post George and stay away from the comment section.  TO ME, this kind of thing has been happening since the Chief sailed and it makes me stay far far away.  The 19 are a proud bunch but the negativity that started last season and has carried into this year makes me sad.  I believe its not the 19, its the other 87 a-holes that troll.  Any who I am done.

Posted by AxeMaster9 on 03/30/11 at 10:38 PM ET

Just curious to why my comment was the one you used to cite as an example? My comment wasn’t really all that negative an was in response to others commenting on Zetterberg and Babcock not getting along..

I’ve been around for longer than some of the “19”, I just don’t post much…

Posted by moocat on 03/30/11 at 11:59 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Disturbing is right.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think the Nashville game on Saturday is the most important regular season Red Wings game of the last 20 years. And I’m completely serious when I say that. That’s not an exaggeration.

This team is an absolute f*cking wreck right now. I think it’s pretty obvious that there’s a serious rift in the locker room. I don’t know what else could possibly explain what has transpired this year. There is a disconnect.

If the Wings don’t engage on Saturday, major changes need to be made with either the coaching staff or the players.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/30/11 at 11:59 PM ET

Chet's avatar

mandingo, do you think this is the players not wanting to play for babcock anymore? honest question, and if so, why do you think that is?

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 03/31/11 at 12:04 AM ET

moocat's avatar

As much as love Holland being tight to the salary cap as done as much to hurt this team as anything. No movement can been made, no players called up. Nothing can be done to address chemistry other move around the pieces that are already here.

I’m not sold on the rift theory just yet but it’s obvious that the defensive scheme (whatever it is) needs to be changed. The “ole!” defense is not working..

Posted by moocat on 03/31/11 at 12:04 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I completely understand the frustration, but I will not give up on these guys.  The damn injuries again after such a great start this season had to be really tough for these guys to take emotionally.  They have not been able to adjust to ever-changing linemates and defense partners and get good chemistry going.  Hank’s been playing with a bad back all season - maybe Rafi and Bert too.  They’ve had a lot of bad luck.  Whether we can get everyone healthy and get playing well again and get our swagger back remains to be seen.  But i think it’s just as likely as not.  As Paul Woods said tonight, “This is a very talented hockey team.” 

LET’S GO RED WINGS !!!!!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/31/11 at 12:09 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

“It’s two weeks before the playoffs and we should be playing a lot better than this,” Zetterberg said. “If we play like this in the playoffs it’s going to be an early exit.

I guess he lost sight of the switch.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 03/31/11 at 12:09 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

do you think this is the players not wanting to play for babcock anymore? honest question, and if so, why do you think that is?

Posted by Chet on 03/30/11 at 11:04 PM ET

I don’t know. I will say that I found Babcock’s post-game interview extremely weird. Not to go all conspiracy-theory on you, but he looked bad physically…the way he was carrying himself.

I can’t help but get the feeling that there are a contingent of players who he’s just not getting through to anymore. Z being the obvious one.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/31/11 at 12:13 AM ET

Avatar

Mandingo: if that is the case…I hope it is not..bc we are “stuck” with Z for a long time. I don’t want a future captain that “tunes out” the coach when he is not happy. This is not the Wings way..or should I say not Yzerman nor Lidstrom way. I really hope this is not true..I do think that Babs is a good coach….and again…“tuning” out the coach is sooo childish! We are so better than that ...right…..anyone?

Posted by Meg on 03/31/11 at 12:18 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I will say that I found Babcock’s post-game interview extremely weird. Not to go all conspiracy-theory on you, but he looked bad physically…the way he was carrying himself.

he seems to have aged the way a President ages over a four-year term.  maybe he works TOO hard and HE is the one running out of gas.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/31/11 at 12:21 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

if the situation really is “the build-up started when Yzerman came to the team, the run was while he was here, and since he has left it is all falling apart”....is anyone surprised?

I think because of the way the Wings played the first few seasons after he left, we all figured we had dodged the “OMG Yzerman is gone we’re screwed” bullet, when what we were really seeing was “afterglow.”

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/31/11 at 12:24 AM ET

moocat's avatar

Are we really going to go down the Z is a cancer route? Just because he’s made a few comments (like the switch comment, which is overblown) we as fans don’t like? Just because he doesn’t always agree with the coach?

This season would be a lot worse without Hank carrying the load for them when needed. Again if this season is Zetterberg playing while upset with his coach then personally I’ll take it. He can always get back on the same page and lets not forget that a lot players didn’t like Bowman and managed to play for him.

Posted by moocat on 03/31/11 at 12:26 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

he seems to have aged the way a President ages over a four-year term.  maybe he works TOO hard and HE is the one running out of gas.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/30/11 at 11:21 PM ET

That’s kind of what I’m thinking.  He seems like a guy who is suffering a crisis of confidence.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/31/11 at 12:27 AM ET

Neznarf's avatar

let’s hope we can all look back at this game in a couple months and say, “that was the turning point, that’s when they woke up.”

Posted by Neznarf on 03/31/11 at 12:28 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Are we really going to go down the Z is a cancer route?

Posted by moocat on 03/30/11 at 11:26 PM ET

Not what I’m saying at all. If anything, I’m siding with Z. I don’t think pinning the blame on Babcock is the answer. I also don’t think getting rid of Babcock is the answer.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/31/11 at 12:32 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Point being, I don’t know what the hell the answer is, as I’m sure a lot of Wings fans don’t.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/31/11 at 12:35 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Mandingo, I’m thinking more literally…an actual HEALTH crisis.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/31/11 at 12:38 AM ET

moocat's avatar

Point being, I don’t know what the hell the answer is, as I’m sure a lot of Wings fans don’t.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/30/11 at 11:35 PM ET

Fair enough…

Posted by moocat on 03/31/11 at 12:44 AM ET

AxeMaster9's avatar

Just curious to why my comment was the one you used to cite as an example? My comment wasn’t really all that negative an was in response to others commenting on Zetterberg and Babcock not getting along..

I’ve been around for longer than some of the “19”, I just don’t post much…

Posted by moocat on 03/30/11 at 10:59 PM ET

Sorry, as soon as I posted that I was worried it would be read wrong.  In my mind I was mainly pointing out your Z/Babcock part of the comment, which you were just giving your comment on.  I shouldn’t have used the whole thing, that is my bad.

Posted by AxeMaster9 on 03/31/11 at 01:03 AM ET

FranzensMouthguard's avatar

Holy cripes, am I glad I missed this one

Posted by FranzensMouthguard from Chicago, IL on 03/31/11 at 01:19 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

if the situation really is “the build-up started when Yzerman came to the team, the run was while he was here, and since he has left it is all falling apart”....is anyone surprised?

I think because of the way the Wings played the first few seasons after he left, we all figured we had dodged the “OMG Yzerman is gone we’re screwed” bullet, when what we were really seeing was “afterglow.”

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/30/11 at 11:24 PM ET


Oonagi, I was thinking this same thing yesterday actually bitching to my buddy about the shitty wings play and the inconsistency this season…  I think Z will get his points because he’s a competative player.. that doesn’t mean that he’s playing a team game.. I heard Mickey even mention at one point on one of the 10 goals that Z was trying to do everything and pulled himself out of position.  When Babs hasn’t liked the style they’ve played, he says if they win it’s no big deal.. I just don’t think that’s the kind of blue collar hard working attitude we jive on in Detroit.  Sacrifice all to for the team and to win.  You have to earn that loyalty they showed you…

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/31/11 at 01:41 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I’ve been griping out Z all year long to my friends, it’s not a recent development but I haven’t been able but help to think there is a rift in there.  I think that Pav is the balance because he’s so relaxed but works so hard and understands Yzermans “hockey heart” and what it means to be the “Red and White” machine.. Pav for captain

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/31/11 at 01:43 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I think because Pavel is goofy looking he doesn’t get the “professorly” credit.  but I suspect he is just as smart as Larionov was, and actually more talented

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/31/11 at 01:49 AM ET

Wingfan191's avatar

Just wanted to leave this here to see if this sounds about right or is cause for concern…

Here’s the Wings record against teams currently in the playoffs (east and west)

18-16-5

And here’s our record against all non playoff teams (east and west)

26-7-5

Posted by Wingfan191 from Bothell, WA (originally from Troy, MI) on 03/31/11 at 01:57 AM ET

Wingfan191's avatar

Would also like to point out that Z is really a Playoff guy while Pavel is a regular season guy.  I still wouldn’t trade either for the world right now.

Posted by Wingfan191 from Bothell, WA (originally from Troy, MI) on 03/31/11 at 01:59 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Z scored like a crazy man in the playoffs for sure.. same with Mule… Problem is DEFENSE wins championships..

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/31/11 at 02:03 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Pav understands that playoff games are tight games and you can run wide open and cheat on the D so you can get your offensive break..  Z plays other players like he players other teams when he talks about how they’ve played good when they’ve been able to get excited about who they’re playing.  I feel like unless he’s covering Crosby or Thornton he’d rather poke check or coast around waiting to get the puck.. then hold onto it for as long as you can until someone takes it away or you take a bad angle shot

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/31/11 at 02:06 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

sorry that was grammatically a horrid post.. fack it.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/31/11 at 02:07 AM ET

Avatar

I’m glad that I didn’t slit my wrists during the game, because the North Korean regime knows how to get down. “Can’t you see how fu**ing busy I am, Hans Bwix!!!”

This was just embarrassing, and they do tend to slump during the spring every season. A lot of times in sports when you get your ass handed to you, it can be the most effective reality-check. Talk about getting your shit pushed in.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 03/31/11 at 02:22 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.