The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/09/11 at 01:03 AM ET
With one more dress rehearsal before the playoffs begin, the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks was most troubling not because of the Wings’ collective inability to keep the puck out of their own net, not because of their unwillingness to engage and match the competition, effort, urgency or attention to detail of their opponents or to contain Chicago’s superstars, and certainly not because of Jimmy Howard as he was essentially left out to dry by even Datsyuk and Lidstrom at times…
It was the fact that these kinds of multi-goal first period deficits and inattentive, almost disinterested efforts against any team that the Wings can give themselves an excuse for losing to over the last month-plus of the regular season…They’re predictable. Utterly and almost ridiculously predictable, especially at home and especially against potential playoff opponents.
It speaks poorly of everyone on the team from Mike Babcock on down that the Wings are less than a week away from the playoffs and boast an ugly 7-7-and-4 record since the beginning of March, have yet to get their defensive game, penalty-kill, power play, even strength scoring, offensive game, neutral zone play, etc. etc. back on track, and haven’t really stepped up their level of play since the middle of February.
More to come in the recap, obviously, but I think it’s necessary to press the “concern” button right now, because the Wings are, in the words of my father, “D***ing around” when it’s supposed to be time to round into playoff form.
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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.