Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

The overnight report: Red Wings-Sabres wrap-up

The Red Wings' 5-4 OT win over the Buffalo Sabres didn't come easily and it didn't come prettily, but even after blowing yet another third period lead--and this time surrendering a go-ahead goal to Buffalo--the Red Wings managed to eke first one point and then two out of a game that really should have been theirs all along.

To quote my aunt, "Should'ves and could'ves are words we don't use, they only depress us and give us the blues," and gathering from the mood of the fan base lately, there's been a whole lot of should've/could've usage recently.

The bottom line here is that the Wings got two points in what was most assuredly a "learning experience" game, and perhaps more importantly, the Wings at least verbalized having learned from their mistakes in their post-game remarks.

For the Sabres, Rasmus Ristolainen's 3 (changed post-game from 4) assists served as a bright spot, as the Buffalo News's John Vogl noted:

Rasmus Ristolainen had four quality celebrations. He lamented the fact he didn’t have five. What should have been a Tuesday night to remember instead became a disappointing loss for the Buffalo defenseman. He was on the ice for every goal by the Sabres and tied a career high with three assists, but he watched from the bench as Detroit scored in the shootout to pick up a wildly entertaining 5-4 victory.

“I liked the four goals that we scored, but we can’t let four goals in our net,” Ristolainen said in Joe Louis Arena. “That tells us something. We’ve got to be more sharp in the D-zone.”

Clearly, the Sabres were far from perfect. They got outshot, 46-32. They fell into 2-0 and 3-1 holes, then blew a 4-3 lead late in the game. But there were plenty of bright spots, too. Evander Kane scored twice, attempted 12 shots and was one of the game’s more physical players. The Sabres clawed back to erase their early deficits and take a third-period lead. Their power play scored twice.

Then there was Ristolainen. He skated a game-high 27:55. He attempted seven shots, getting four on net. Late in the third period, he hustled back to strip Gustav Nyquist on a partial breakaway to keep the Sabres temporarily in front.

“As a young player for us, we’re asking a lot of him and what he does for us,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “He’s playing against the other team’s best players night in and night out. He’s in every situation, and he’s been pretty dynamic for us.”

Ristolainen himself wasn't nearly as thrilled with the night, as he told Vogl...

“We weren’t ready to play,” Ristolainen said. “They got a couple little easy ones. We weren’t ready to battle, but after we got the first goal we played better, we battled harder. We had some chances in overtime. Four-on-three, two minutes, you’ve got to score. That was the turning point why we couldn’t get two points.”

And, well, among Vogl's notes:

Not going quietly: The Red Wings, who've had a tendency to blow third-period leads, erased one with 6:29 to play. With Sabres captain Brian Gionta in the penalty box for interference, Justin Abdelkader skated through the slot and beat Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark easily between the legs to make it 4-4.

The Sabres were also less than thrilled with themselves while speaking with NHL.com's Paul Harris...

"We got down, with their first shot, and they get another on a faceoff play that caroms in off their player and over our goalie," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "When you're down 2-0, you have to go after it, and I think you saw that in how the game was played up and down the ice. We had to fight back."

Abdelkader tied the game 4-4 by skating from right to left in the right circle and shooting along the ice past Ullmark for his seventh goal.

The Sabres took a 4-3 lead with two goals in the first 3:22 of the third period.

Kane's second of the game, on the power play, tied the game 3-3 at 53 seconds. Bogosian scored his first of the season when his screened shot from the left circle found its way past Mrazek.

"We didn't start well. … We weren't ready to play but we started to battle," Ristolainen said. "We had chances to win the game in overtime. So we get a point."

The Red Wings have surrendered a third-period lead in the past five games and six of the past eight.

"We kind of gave away a couple games here in the past," Miller said. "To get that one back was big for us."

And the Associated Press:

Buffalo had a 4-on-3 power play midway through the five-minute overtime after Gustav Nyquist was called for tripping. Kane was inches away from taking advantage, but his shot hit the left post.

"We did fight, but we didn't get it done," Kane said.

For the Red Wings, the game may have been sloppy, but it was a win, as they told the AP...

"That was a wild game for sure," Abdelkader said. "I thought we dominated and had some good chances there throughout the game. Obviously, we gave a little too much defensively."

The Red Wings gave up a game-tying score in the third period for the fifth straight game, then needed Abdelkader's goal to avoid losing in regulation.

"I thought it was a big character period," said Detroit's Drew Miller, who scored his first goal of the season. "We kind of gave away a couple games here in the past. To get that one back was big for us."

Miller continued while speaking with MLive's Ansar Khan...

"I thought it was a big character period to come back for our team and fight through adversity and put it into the shootout and get it," Detroit's Drew Miller said. "So that's huge for us. I mean, we've kind of gave a way a couple games here in the past, so to get that one back and to win is big for our team."

The Sabres erased a 3-1 deficit with three goals in a span of 6:13 late in the second period and early in the third. Two of them came on the power play against a team that was ranked fourth in the NHL on the penalty kill entering the game.

But Abdelkader scored his second goal of the game, on the power play, to tie it 4-4 at 13:31 of the third.

The Red Wings had a huge kill during overtime Gustav Nyquist was called for tripping. Miller, Luke Glendening and Jonathan Ericsson were on the ice for almost the entire power play.

"You obviously don't want to take a penalty like that," Nyquist said. "I stuck my leg out of position, being stuck against a forward one-on-one, but can't take a penalty there. PKers did a tremendous job blocking shots and they've been doing that for us all year and that won us the game today."

Blashill didn't mind this penalty...

As he told the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Evander Kane had stuck his stick between Zetterberg's legs and tugged, infuriating Zetterberg. He went after Kane -- and so did Smith. All three ended up with penalties, and the Wings were shorthanded.

"I would tell Brendan Smith get involved in that every day, all day," Jeff Blashill said. "He is going in to help Hank out, and I was really glad he jumped in there. Really glad he jumped in there and I'd tell him to do it again, for sure. And if we have to kill a penalty for it, we will kill a penalty for it.

"Over the long haul of the year, we will stick up for each other all day long."

The Sabres used the power play to make it 3-2.

Drew Miller made a very rare appearance on the scoresheet, as Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus noted...

At 4:21 of the middle frame, Miller took a pass from Abdelkader near the left dot and tucked a wrist shot away in the far corner past Ullmark to regain the two-goal lead for his team. It marked Miller’s first of the season and 100th career point in a Red Wings sweater, something unbeknownst to him.

“Abby got the puck behind the net, and I just tried to find a spot in the slot there and get a shot off quick,” Miller said. “It was nice to get the first one out of the way finally; I’ve been waiting a while on that one. It feels great to finally contribute offensively for the team and get that goal.

“I’ve been getting closer and closer, and a lot of the boys have been letting me know that I’ve been getting a little closer, a little closer each game, so it’s nice to get that first one and put that behind you and keep going forward now.

And, ahem:

The Wings’ penalty kill unit of Jonathan Ericsson, Luke Glendening and Miller came up huge for Detroit in overtime with Nyquist in the box, keeping the Sabres at bay, despite a hit post from Kane.

“Unreal kill by those guys, had one the other night, as well,” Blashill said. “The willingness to block shots is incredible. It takes a special person to basically put your whole body in front there, including your face, so I thought it was an unreal job by them.”

The Wings took their points, but they weren't necessarily thrilled with the way in which they had to win them, as they told CBS Detroit's Ashley Scoby:

The Wings went to their fifth straight overtime game Tuesday, coming out on top against the Sabres via shootout, 5-4. It was the seventh time out of the past eight games that Detroit required extra time for a result, with its 2-1 regulation win over the Kings the lone exception.

Out of those seven OT games, Detroit has won four.

“It’s nice to win one in overtime,” said Justin Abdelkader, who scored two goals against Buffalo. “A few too many games in overtime of late, but we’ll take the points.”

Head coach Jeff Blashill joked that he wasn’t sure if Tuesday’s win was a sign of performing or choking.

“Is that giving the lead up or coming from behind?” he said, and it was a valid question. Detroit held a 3-1 lead in the second period, found itself down 4-3 early in the third and eventually came back in extra time for the win.

Abdelkader had the late game-tying heroics – slashing his stick back and forth in front of Buffalo’s defenders and darting one into the net with 6:29 left in regulation to make it 4-4 – before Brad Richards scored the game-winner during the penalty shootout.

“Finding a way to win is big in this league,” said Drew Miller, who scored his first goal of the season in the second period to give the Wings that early 3-1 lead. “I think we’re learning that, and that’s big for our team.”

Blashill chalked the Wings' extra expended effort up to a learning experience, as he told the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:

“I think you should grow from your experiences for sure,” Blashill said. “I can look back at different years I’ve coached and you have some moments that are hard sometimes and really hard to handle but I think our teams have always grown.

“I think this team will grow from these experiences and be better. One thing we focus on lots is being better every day. We want to be a better team tomorrow than we were today. When you go through different trials and tribulations you end up being better if you learn from it.

“We want our process to be great. It hasn’t been great every night but through this stretch of games it’s been really good. I thought our process tonight was pretty good in a lot of ways.

“We’ve just got to keep getting better as a hockey team and in the process and in the interim of that earn as many points as we can. We don’t want to give up leads but that’s the nature of hockey. Sometimes you’re going to be in those spots.

“I want to continue to be in a spot where we have the lead. I thought tonight obviously we got down in a game late where we haven’t been in that spot much and we showed a lot of character coming back I thought.”

Again, Justin Abdelkader was relatively satisfied with his team's overall game, as he told the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa...

“Yeah, it was a wild game for sure,” said Abdelkader, who had two goals, an assist and a fight, for a so-called Gordie Howe hat trick – with a bonus goal. “I thought we dominated and had some good chances there throughout the game. Obviously, we gave up too much defensively, and a few mistakes. But nice to see the puck go in for us.  And I thought the penalty kill did a great job for us in overtime — that was huge. Difficult to defend a four on three.”

While Petr Mrazek was blunt about his performance on the Sabres' go-ahead goal...

But then at 17:30, Kane broke in with Sam Reinhart to his left, he held the puck, freezing the Wings defenders and then let it rip from 30 feet. Mrazek was in position, had an unobstructed view of the puck, with his trapper in the cocked position. But the puck went right by him. As usual, afterwards, Mrazek was matter of fact.

“Well, I was expecting that he was going to go high glove,” he said. “I just missed that. I think it went under the glove.”

Mrazek was perfect in the shootout.

And Drew Miller, again, was plain old relieved, as he told Krupa:

Drew Miller got his first goal of the season at 4:21 of the second period when he collected a pass from Abdelkader and ripped a wrist shot past Ullmark. Luke Glendening also assisted.

“Abby got the puck behind the net, and I was trying to find a spot in the slot there and get a shot off quick,” Miller said. It was nice to get the first one out of the way, finally. I’ve been waiting for a while for that one.”

Among MLive's Brendan Savage's post-game stats:

5 – Consecutive games in which the Red Wings have both blown a third-period lead and reached overtime.

8 – Consecutive games in which the Red Wings have earned at least one point. They have a 5-0-3 record in that stretch.

12 – Faceoffs won by Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk in 19 chances.

46 – Number of shots by the Red Wings, the most they've had in 25 games this season.

DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's post-game quotes, this time from Gustav Nyquist, will take us out:

What have you learned about the intensity of the new three-on-three OT format? “You have some sort of strategy, you’d like to change while you’re still fresh so you don’t get caught out there, that’s when you can get into real trouble. You can get stuck there for a couple minutes if you’re rolling around in your own zone all the time so quick changes and trying to keep the puck within your team all the time.”

Your team now has points in eight straight games, is that a consolation to the third-period collapses lately? “Just to stay in it (the playoff race). We’re not really running away with it even if we’re grabbing points most of the nights. But it’s good. It’s like this every season, you go through it and look at the standings, it’s crazy how tight it is, every single game is important to get those two points and we did a good job getting those today.”

Did you like how the team responded physically tonight and stepped up for each other? “It was great to see. We’re not stepping down for anyone and you saw that today. Abby had a good fight. Hank, too, stepped up, Smitty came in there, too, guys are stepping up for each other, it was great to see.”

What did you think of the job your team did on the penalty kill in OT? “It’s not fun, you obviously don’t want to take a penalty like that. I stuck my leg out of position, being stuck against a forward one on one but can’t take a penalty still there. PKers did a tremendous job blocking shots and they’ve been doing that for us all year and that won us the game today.”

Your team had a season-high 46 shots on goal tonight, is it good to see guys not passing up shots? “We talked about that. Obviously we’ve been struggling to put pucks on net, to score goals, really. Today we got four so that was good. I didn’t know we got that many shots but obviously that’s a step in the right direction and hopefully we can keep doing that.”

Or, as Nyquist told the Free Press's Helene St. James:

"We have been in some pretty tight and long games here lately," Gustav Nyquist said after the Wings played past regulation for the seventh time in the last eight games. "We have to find a way to come out on top, and today we did that."

FYI: Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Denny Kapp compiles fantastic audio recaps, and he got the only quip from Tomas Tatar regarding scoring on his birthday...

Multimedia:

Highlights: NHL.com posted a 4:46 highlight clip:

Here's the shootout...

And here's Abdelkader's fight...

Post-game: MSG posted a 1:59 post-game clip of comments from Brad May and Chris Rydnak, nd post-game comments from Brian Gionta as well;

The Sabres' website posted a post-game clips of Rasmus Ristolainen, Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges and coach Dan Bylsma's post-game comments, and the Sabres posted a fancy infographic, too;

The Red Wings' website posted clips of Gustav Nyquist...

Petr Mrazek...

Justin Abdelkader...

Drew Miller...

And coach Jeff Blashill's post-game comments:

Fox Sports Detroit posted a clip of the Wings' visit to Children's Hospital:

MLive's Ansar Khan posted a clip of Miller's comments as well, and the Free Press's Helene St. James posted a clip of Blashill and Abdelkader's comments.

Photos: The Free Press posted a 6-image gallery;

The Detroit News posted a 35-image gallery;

MLive posted a 35-image gallery;

ESPN posted an 11-image gallery;

And NHL.com, the Sabres website and the Red Wings' website posted 13-image galleries.

Statistics:

Shots 46-32 Detroit. Detroit was out-shot 16-13 in the 1st period, Detroit out-shot Buffalo 20-9 in the 2nd and 12-5 in the 3rd, and Detroit was out-shot 2-1 in OT.

Special teams: Detroit went 1-for-2 in 51 seconds of PP time; Buffalo went 2-for-5 in 6:05 of PP time.

Goaltending: Petr Mrazek stopped 28 of 32 shots for Detroit; Linus Ullmark stopped 42 of 46 shots for Buffalo.

The 3 stars were picked by Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus, and he picked Drew Miller, Rasmus Ristolainen and Justin Abdelkader.

The Red Wings' goals: Tatar (9) From Green (8) and Nyquist (7) @ 1:34 of the 1st, 1-0 Detroit;

Abdelkader (6) from Ericsson (2) and DeKeyser (4) @ 10:32 of the 1st, 2-0 Detroit;

Miller (1) from Abdelkader (8) and Glendening 93) @ 4:21 of the 2nd, 3-1 Detroit;

Abdelkader (7) from Nyquist (8) and Kronwall (8) @ 13:31 of the 3rd, PPG, 4-4;

Richards (shootout winner)

Shot attempts 62-52 Detroit. Detroit had 46 shots on net and 16 wide/blocked.

Individual stats:

 

 

Red Wings notebooks and also of Red Wings-related note: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff took note of the mutual admiration society that consists of Dylan Larkin and Jack Eichel...

“There was a lot of hype obviously and I was like, ‘All right, let’s see,’” Larkin recalled of their first game together as teammates with USA Hockey’s national team development program. “First shift he scored. Then they dropped the puck and he went down and scored again. I think he ended up having three or four goals that night.”

Tuesday, they met for the first time as NHL opponents. Both were held off the scoresheet as Larkin’s Detroit Red Wings downed Eichel’s Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in a shootout at Joe Louis Arena.

With the NHL schedule just past the quarter pole, it’s safe to say that both of these hockey thoroughbreds are for real.

Larkin, 19, leads the Red Wings with 10 goals and is second on the team with 18 points. Eichel, 19, shares Buffalo’s goal-scoring lead with eight and stands third overall in scoring with 12 points.

Of the two, Larkin might be considered the less likely success story, having gone 15th overall in the 2014 NHL entry draft as opposed to Eichel being selected with the second choice last spring. If you are of that belief, Eichel believes it’s only because you haven’t been paying attention.

“He’s having a great year,” said Eichel, who missed on Buffalo’s final shootout attempt. “I’m not surprised at all. You see how good of a shot he has and how fast he is, how he can make plays at top speed. You guys will all get used to this. I’ve seen it for years now, so I’m not surprised.”

As did the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:

Like both 19-year-olds, coach Jeff Blashill said the game between the Wings and Sabres, contesting available points in the same division, far exceeds any interest in the two talented young friends, meeting in the NHL for the first time.

But Blashill allowed that, especially as an American, it is good to see such strong young talent.

“What I like about it, from my perspective, is the fact that they’re both U.S. guys,” Blashill said. “And I don’t say that with any disrespect to any other (country).

“Ultimately, when we get to world competitions, I like cheering for the U.S. I’m a U.S. guy. I like coaching U.S. teams. I like being around that. I like the fact they’re both U.S. guys. I think it’s great for the U.S. game, especially.”

Ditto for the Buffalo News's Mike Vogel:

“He pushed me to be better,” Larkin said in Joe Louis Arena. “We always battled in practice, but we shared a laugh off the ice together always. Now to be at the highest level and in our first year together, it’s pretty cool.”

While Larkin said Eichel is the better player, Detroit’s rookie is off to a better start. Larkin had 10 goals and 18 points in his first 24 games while centering the top line for wingers Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

“It’s obviously a good place to play for him,” Eichel said. “He’s in a comfortable environment playing here in Detroit where he’s from. They have a good team, so I know he’s enjoying himself.”

Having teammates such as Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk allowed Larkin to ease into the spotlight, but his game is quickly drawing observers. Crowds swelled around Eichel and Larkin to get their thoughts on the matchup, giving Larkin a glimpse of what Eichel regularly faces.

“It’s been pretty crazy here,” Larkin said. “We’ve got great leadership and they’ve done a great job in keeping me grounded and just being able to play hockey. I know he’s had it since he was 16 years old. He’s had cameras like this all around him in every tournament we went to. For me, this is my first year having that.”

You can take Jeff Blashill's pre-game comments regarding Miller, Glendening and Andersson/Pulkkinen/et. al., made to the Detroit News's Krupa, as you wish:

“The one thing that I think is important to make clear is that we’ve got guys on the penalty kill who have done an unbelievable job,” Blashill said. “We’re ranking fourth in the penalty kill. You only have that type of ranking if you have great penalty killers.

“So, (Luke) Glendening, (Drew) Miller, (Darren) Helm and (Riley) Sheahan have been the majority of guys doing it lately, (Joakim) Andersson before that. They’re elite, elite penalty killers. Dylan Larkin’s in the process of learning how to do that. It takes time. You’ve got to grab one of those guy’s jobs and say I can do it just as well, if not better. But I’m really happy with the job the guys have done on the penalty kill so far.”

As for the third-period breakdowns, Blashill said it is far from a one-dimensional issue involving one line.

“First, I hope we continue to have leads late,” he said. “Secondly, can we build on those leads so that when a mistake does happen, and mistakes absolutely are going to happen, it doesn’t result in the game being tied? And then three, can we eliminate some of those mistakes? Those are all areas we’re trying to get better at.”

Blashill said he is not significantly frustrated by the trend.

“I think we’ve got 11 of 14 points,” he said of the Wings recent record (4-0-3) before playing the Sabres on Tuesday. “So, I’m glad we’re in that spot. We constantly search here on ways to get better, and we will continue to search on ways to get better.”

Sportsnet's Jeff Simmons took note of some of Ken Holland's comments to Bob McCown and Ken Reid:

Larkin has already established himself as one of the top players on the Red Wings roster, leading the team in goals (10), plus-minus (plus-14) and ranking second, only behind Henrik Zetterberg, in total points (18) in his rookie season.

“I got a hint of that at the world juniors last year,” Holland said Tuesday during a guest appearance on Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “He was real important on a U.S. team that had Auston Mathews and Jack Eichel. He (then) went to Grand Rapids into the Calder Cup playoffs and he was one of our best forwards in the series. I’ve been in the game a long time and that’s really hard to do.”

“He comes into our training camp and was one of our leading scorers through pre-season. He just passed every test. We’re now at the first of December and he’s a legitimate top-six forward. He’s a really good player.”

Here's an FYI from the Tri-County Times:

The Detroit Red Wings will be partnering with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund to host the fifth annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night this Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m.

This special night is dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and their families, while raising awareness and funds for the forthcoming National Law Enforcement Museum, to be built in Washington, D.C.

The game’s opening ceremony will be dedicated to honoring Michigan State Police Trooper Chad Wolf, Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Lt. Arthur Green and Detroit Police Department’s Sgt. Joseph Abdella who were killed in the line of duty in 2015. These officers will also be honored and remembered during National Police Week in Washington, D.C., in May 2016.

During the opening ceremony, the Midland Police Department Honor Guard will present the colors during the National Anthem.

“We are excited to bring together Michigan law enforcement and the communities they serve and to, once again, partner with the Detroit Red Wings for the fifth consecutive year for this special evening,” said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the Memorial Fund. “Every 60 hours a law enforcement officer is killed in the United States. By coming together in the ‘Motor City’ for championship hockey— and in honor of Michigan law enforcement officers — it is sure to be a great evening.”

The Detroit Red Wings are offering a special all-inclusive Law Enforcement Appreciation Night packages for the general public, law enforcement officers and their families.

For more information, visit http://www.detroitredwings.com/law or contact Jamie Clark at (313) 394-7138 or Jamie.Clark@hockeytown.com.

In the power rankings department: From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:

13. Detroit [record on Monday] 12-8-4 Last Week: 11 Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek each have six wins as the 50-50 job share continues. Do the Red Wings need to ride one guy? Not saying they do -- just asking.

Fox Sports' Tommy Chalk:

15. Detroit Red Wings (12-8-4) HIGH: 3 / LOW: 23
Six of the Red Wings’ last seven games have gone to overtime. They have only won three of them, but at least they are getting some points on the board. And that Dylan Larkin guy has scored five goals in his last six games. View season trend.

Make it 7 of 8 and 4 for 7.

SI's Allan Muir:

13. Detroit Red Wings
last week: 10
record: 12-8-4

Detroit has gone to OT in four straight and six of its past seven games. Nice that they’re collecting points, but the Wings have been outscored 6-0 in the third periods of those six contests. That inability to hold onto a lead is going to come back to haunt them. Last week: 1-0-2

Sportsline's Chris Peters...

15 Red Wings:  The Wings have seen six of their past seven go to overtime, going 3-3 in those OT games. They're keeping games close, but this team needs to start figuring out how to generate goals. Rookie Dylan Larkin leads with 10.

And TSN's Scott Cullen:

Detroit Red Wings

12-8-4 This Week: 11 Last Week: 11

TEAM STATS

GPG 2.33 GAPG 2.50 S.A. CORSI% 49.4% PP.8% PK% 85.0%

The Wings have gone to overtime in six of the past seven games, splitting the OT results, but their territorial play has improved since C Pavel Datsyuk returned to action. Funny what happens when an elite possession player -- even one who only has three points in nine games -- gets inserted into the lineup.

Key Injuries: LW Johan Franzen (concussion), D Kyle Quincey (ankle).

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

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Something needs to happen to this Wings team.. I’m not sure what exactly but I don’t like the kind of hockey we’ve been playing. I mean, If Quincey comes back and he plays well, I really think we need to change some of our core players. I sometimes think we don’t have an identity as a hockey club, what brand of hockey are we playing? I watched the MIN and CHI game last night and saw how CHI plays was eye opening as well as a little depressing. I mean, they move the puck, they get it to the points and their excellent D core shoot the puck and by God they hit the net! Why can’t the wings do that? Why don’t our D shoot the puck from the points? I swear, EVERY team does that constantly against the wings. FL, BUF, BOS. It’s how you play hockey. Even if you don’t score,  it at least generates one or two rebounds. It’s so organized how they play.
I REALLY think we need to get rid of some players and get a few in return that can be helpful. This could either happen VIA trade, or just not resigning them.
Big E, Kindl Smith, Helm, Pulky, Miller, Glendenning. I know we need a decent penalty killing team but If you look at BUF, O Reilly penalty kills. CHI - Toews penalty kills. We can do it without them.
The idea is to package a nice pick and someone like Big E and/or Pulky who is serviceable for an average forward who can finish. Don’t resign helm, as much as I love him, he just can’t score. What good is the speed and puck possession when you can’t shoot?
We seriously have no “real” 2nd line. Datsyuk needs a real partner, someone who can finish, Richards and him are great together, they need someone to put the fuching puck in the net, nike, or tats or even sheahan.
Pulky can shoot the puck but can’t get open and takes too long on his shots most of the time. I’m not sure what i’m saying but I know something needs to happen to this team or it’s going to be like this for the next 2-3 years. We need a real top pairing Def, probably going to have to raise that one from scratch. But for now, Kindl, Smith, E52, all gone, they are just not good. E52 watched Kane score that powerplay goal, so ridiculous… I would bring up Ouelette and my pairs would look like this:
Green, Kronner
Dek, Quincey,
Marachenko, Oulette

I would somehow rid myself of Pulky, Helm, Glendenning, and Miller. Don’t resign them or package them for just an average player… Anyone serviceable that brings an abrasive, big body, anyone really. I just can’t see this 3rd and 4th line players being any help any more. Maybe bring up AA..
And honestly, the real solution is to trade some big name players for other ones, Datsyuk, Sheahan, Z even. I mean the solution may be to go bottom feeder this season, to just lose a shit ton and get the next 1st or 2nd rounder. Trade some of our core players for a different core player, even though our core players are way worse than other teams’ core players…

Who on this wings team is “untouchable”? (no one is for the right price) but for all intensive purposes. I would say the only untouchable this team has is Larkin and DeKyser. Maybe… Tatar, as I think he is about the only true goal scorer we have on the team. Realistically, 3 or 4 names and everyone else gets traded/waived/not signed.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 12/02/15 at 09:10 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

all intensive purposes

its"for all intents and purposes.” sorry, pet peeve

And I just think its funny that when the Wings couldn’t score, their goalies were playing out of their minds.  Now they are scoring at a pretty decent clip, and Howard and Mrazek couldnt stop a beach ball, especially in the 3rd.

The entire team needs to pull their heads out of their collective asses and get on the same page as to how to win a hockey game.  And it would help if Holland would do his job and get this team some actual dmen.

Posted by Hootinani on 12/02/15 at 09:42 AM ET

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smile sorry

Posted by Pasha1277 on 12/02/15 at 09:47 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

seems to have been very few (if any?) post-game comments from the team aboot Richards ... curious

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 12/02/15 at 10:00 AM ET

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Hahah have you seen Oulette play in GR the year?

Yeah no thanks.

And Tatar being the only true goal scorer is hilarious. He is 5’ 9” and can’t skate to the hard areas of the ice. What true goal scorer have you ever seen score all his goals from outside of 15’? Brett Hull is the only that comes to my mind and Tatar is for sure no Brett Hull. Not to mention the fact that he is not even leading this team in goals.

No offense but Blashill is 25 games into the season, it took his Calder cup winning team in GR around 20 games to start winning. Quit pulling the plug and hating on this team that is 2nd in the Atlantic division. Gosh man.


And getting rid of Helm Glendenning and Miller is laughable.

Who is gunna play 4th line minutes and kill penalties?

Posted by hockeyfreak95 on 12/02/15 at 10:43 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 12/02/15 at 09:00 AM ET

He has the least amount of ice time, maybe that had something to do with it.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 12/02/15 at 10:44 AM ET

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Posted by Pasha1277 on 12/02/15 at 08:10 AM ET

Prepare yourself Pasha, because Helm will not only be resigned, but he’ll also get grossly overpaid.

Hahah have you seen Oulette play in GR the year?

Yeah no thanks.

Posted by hockeyfreak95 on 12/02/15 at 09:43 AM ET

Have you seen Smith play ever?  Have you seen Kindl play?  Have you seen Errorson play this year?  Ouellet (or Sproul or Jensen) would be a clear upgrade (and cheaper) over any of these bozos.

 

Posted by Wise1 on 12/02/15 at 11:00 AM ET

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Wise1 haha so you think just because they suck that bringing up someone from a lesser league who is not even the best defense playing there right now would be an upgrade?

Give me a break

Sproul cant play defense in his own zone.

Jensen I do like but I do not think he is an upgrade over Smith and certainly not Ericsson because at least Ericsson is big and take up space on the penalty kill.

Posted by hockeyfreak95 on 12/02/15 at 11:35 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by hockeyfreak95 on 12/02/15 at 10:35 AM ET

Hey Hey Hockeytown loves them some “next guy”  whose “next guy” not “this guy”

Despite a cap being in place for a decade, Hey Hey Hockeytown still doesn’t understand we can’t have HOFers on all forward lines and all 3 D pairs.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 12/02/15 at 12:03 PM ET

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I am in the minority here, but I like the way we have been playing in the last 2 weeks.
45 shots on goal yesterday. Defensemen jumping on a rush, puck possession is better. I actually see a lot of positive developments and it’s fun to watch again after a brutal start of the season (except first couple of games).
A lot of things need to get better, but I think we are on the right track. And yes, I would like some better players, but with what we have, I think we are doing just fine for now.
I will sit Zetterberg for a game or two though if it will help to refresh him. I know it will not happen, but I think he has been pretty bad in the last 4-5 games, especially defensively and with costly turnovers. Maybe reunite him with Dats, but Z is just in a bad slump. Yesterday he got hit (and those were thunderous hits) maybe 3-4 times, when was the last time that happened.

Posted by VPalmer on 12/02/15 at 12:03 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by VPalmer on 12/02/15 at 11:03 AM ET

I agree, we have been playing a lot better lately offensively for sure, we get soft on the puck at times and it costs us, but overall, we’ve played much better.

If you dig a bit deeper as to why its easy, more seasoning in the Blashill program for sure, but more importantly, Pavel has returned giving us three competent lines. Unlike Shee/tats/Nyke, his line can match defensively against the oppositions top units, and they draw the top pair d coverage from Larkin and Hank, net net, putting 3rd line coverage on Tatar and Nyke who now look like plus NHL players again, Tatar in particular.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 12/02/15 at 12:16 PM ET

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Posted by hockeyfreak95 on 12/02/15 at 10:35 AM ET

Wise1 haha so you think just because they suck that bringing up someone from a lesser league who is not even the best defense playing there right now would be an upgrade?

In Ouellet’s time in the NHL last year he was clearly better than Smith and Kindl and seemed to make a lot less bone-head plays than Errorson.  So that’s what I’m going on.

Sproul cant play defense in his own zone.

True, Sproul is definitely no Marchenko in the defensive end, but he’s got more offensive upside than Kindl, Smith or Ericsson and he’s not any worse in the D-zone than any of those guys.  Also, on a GR team that has been pretty horrific this year before Jurco was sent down, he’s currently tied for 3rd in points on the team and is an even in the +/- department.

at least Ericsson is big and take up space on the penalty kill.

You’re being sarcastic, right?  Ericsson takes up space alright.  Usually right in front of Howie or Razor and screens them from making an easy save.  Just look at his bungling on the PK last night against Buffalo.  He’s a freakin’ train wreck!  He’s also possibly the worst player I’ve ever seen in the history of hockey at clearing the puck out of his own zone on the PK.  How he consistently shoots the puck right to an opposing player instead of into open ice is just mind-boggling.

Posted by Wise1 on 12/02/15 at 12:27 PM ET

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I agree Murray. I think we have been playing better lately but my earlier point is that we don’t’ have an identity. It’s like sometimes we play well and at other times we don’t to an extent that is not recognizably red wings hockey.. I just want to win a game 4-1 or 5-2 or something. Here,, last thing from me on this… If you want to know how well a team is playing, look at their goal differential. That’s the most telling stat imho. Look at MTL, they have 33 more goals for than against. Look at other teams like NYR or Dallas, all 20+.. The wings are 2nd in division and we are a whopping -3. We aren’t scoring enough goals and we’re letting in too many. You’ll never win a cup like that even if you’re 1st in your division.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 12/02/15 at 12:32 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Pasha1277 on 12/02/15 at 11:32 AM ET

I hear you, I just think you need to manage your expectations and just understand this is a team in transition, not a team competing for a cup.  This is not the Red Wings of the Lidstrom era, with Bowman at the helm, with a lineup of stars in their prime and complimentary guys on their up and down side. Look at who on this squad is in their “prime” Green, Ablekater, Helm, Quincey, Ericson, and Howard, that’s not going to get much done. 

So when you look at a team on the other side of the dial, like Chicago, of course they move the puck and play well, they have Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson on their blueline,  I’m not sure we have a dman on this team better than those 3, and then they have 2 superstars in their prime, 2-3 past on the downside, and 2-3 more on the upside, whereas we have 2 superstars on the downside of their careers and several that could be on the upside.  Chicago lived in the basement of the NHL for years picking in or near the top 10, they made trades, they accumulated talent that is now at the NHL level, whereas the wings are result of competing for cups for as long as we have.

There was a lot of positives to consider going into this season, a lot of our kids in their Junior year, goalies battling each other,  Larkin Green Richards joining a solid team, but I was never sold that this team would compete for a cup after Babcock left, because of that transition. That’s not knock on Blash, at some point, season 2-3-4, we will consider him one of the better coaches in the league, I truly believe that, but it will take time.  We’re a team that’s probably in the discussion as a fringe top 10 team in the NHL, but certainly not in the discussion as a top 5 for sure

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 12/02/15 at 01:08 PM ET

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Chicago lived in the basement of the NHL for years picking in or near the top 10

Same with the Kings and Tampa to some extent. Pasha, imagine Detroit not making the playoffs for 5 straight years. First of all, would you want to live through that? Then yes, we could have had something along the lines of the core of Doughty, Kopitar, Jones, Larkin and Hall.
Now you expect Tatar and Nyquist to be top level forwards in the league and the likes of Smith and E to be top level defensemen.
Considering our roster and in particular where most of these guys were drafted and considering that our top 3 stars are inevitably declining with age, I think we are doing just fine.
I do think though that KH has to make some trades and I also understand it’s not easy.
To get a top level dman you need to give up a lot. Myers for Kane/Bogosian, who won this trade I am not sure. Yandle for DuClair/first - if Rangers do not win the cup this year, that’s a bad trade for them.
On the other hand there are always those Seguin for Lou Ericsson type of masterpieces.
But with Kronwall’s game deteriorating and no one in the system with a top 2 potential, a trade for a top dman seems necessary. Maybe Bufuglien. But he is also not Doughty or Weber or Suter and will cost a lot.

Posted by VPalmer on 12/02/15 at 01:54 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I do think though that KH has to make some trades and I also understand it’s not easy.
To get a top level dman you need to give up a lot. Myers for Kane/Bogosian, who won this trade I am not sure. Yandle for DuClair/first - if Rangers do not win the cup this year, that’s a bad trade for them.
On the other hand there are always those Seguin for Lou Ericsson type of masterpieces.
But with Kronwall’s game deteriorating and no one in the system with a top 2 potential, a trade for a top dman seems necessary. Maybe Bufuglien. But he is also not Doughty or Weber or Suter and will cost a lot.

Posted by VPalmer on 12/02/15 at 12:54 PM ET

Bouwmeester.

It was Bouwemeester, and it still is.  That was their big chance.  Suter would have been even better obviously, but his other half wasn’t ever going to let it happen so why belabor it as if it could have been?  J-Bo’s been eating minutes in STL and totally looking like he would have helped DET immensely.

Niskanen, Stralman etc…. everyone can say what they want but none of those guys were going to help any more than Green has honestly, if that (I’m still unimpressed, although there are signs he’s coming around a bit more).

Kronwall’s game *is* deteriorating fast though, no doubt.  It might be time for him to be done at the end of the season, unless something changes.

Posted by Primis on 12/02/15 at 04:34 PM ET

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Suter would have been even better obviously, but his other half wasn’t ever going to let it happen

You mean Parise?

Posted by VPalmer on 12/02/15 at 05:26 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I hear you, I just think you need to manage your expectations and just understand this is a team in transition, not a team competing for a cup.

Exactly, as this is year 4 of rebuilding on the fly. Hopefully this team does click in the next couple of years with Kronwall, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk slowing down. confused

Posted by bigfrog on 12/02/15 at 11:27 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.

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