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TMR Evening Line: Mike Babcock says Red Wings were ‘ineffective’ in Game 2

I will try to cobble together a solid wrap-up later, but as I look back at the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to Boston in Game 2 (shockingly, Glendening and Miller were on the ice for 3 of the Bruins' 4 goals--2 at even strength--and Lashoff was on the ice for both PPGs against, so that may show you that the Bruins wanted Glendening to battle and lose against Krejci's line), some scribes are already chiming in with notebooks and recaps, and none speaks more succinctly to what ailed the Wings than the Boston Globe's Nancy Marrapese-Burrell's notebook.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had this to say about his team going 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty-kill:

“I thought we were ineffective period, to tell you the truth,’’ said the coach, whose team is 0 for 6 on the power play in the series. “I didn’t think we were very good. I thought they were better. I thought we were better than them in Game 1. I thought they were way better than us in Game 2. They were engaged, they won the battles. They were quick, we were slow. We didn’t execute.

“On the power play, I thought their penalty kill forecheck was good. On special teams, they won the faceoffs so they cleared it down. Our power play breakout failed to execute so we got no zone time. It was like an exercise in skating up and down the rink. We weren’t very good on specialty teams.’’

Despite that, the Red Wings had clawed back to 2-1 as the second period was drawing to an end before Milan Lucic struck at 18:16 to restore the two-goal edge.

“As poor as we were, I thought in the second period we got the game to right where we wanted it. It’s 2-1, going to be going into the third [period]. It’s a simple two-on-two cross play and we don’t execute on it and now we’re down, 3-1, and the game’s over. We weren’t very good here tonight.’’

Marrapese-Burrell continues...

Meanwhile, NHL.com's Matt Kalman filed an early recap in which Daniel Alfredsson, the Romulan that he is, suggests that the Bruins owned the neutral zone...

"We didn't set up in their end," Detroit forward Daniel Alfredsson said about his team's power play. "Our breakouts, I think they read them too easily, and they did a good job in the neutral zone. Seems like we got hesitant and we weren't as assertive as we normally are, and I think that's been one of our strong suits is setting up in the other teams end. We are going to have to do a much better job of that because that's probably the difference today, the special teams."

And Babcock told Kalman what he told the Wings about their penalty-prone ways and willingness to engage in post-whistle scrums, including a first period which ended with Brendan Smith trying to engage Zdeno Chara:

"I just think you've got to decide what you want to do," he said. "Do you want to play like them or play like us?

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RW19's avatar

Well they lost and there isn’t much anyone can do now, but I think we might see some changes in the line up. Andersson for example had a great playoffs last year and certainly deserves to draw back in, probably at the expense of Legwand who just seems ineffective. This should be his kind of physical series, but he seems like a fish out of water. And sorry to say, slow.

Alfredsson too looks a little worn out or down. Could Bert be back in? I mean its not like Alfie is adding much to the PP, he can’t hit the side of a barn right now.

Anyway I am good with the split in Boston. I think the team sagged after they won game 1 and they looked unfocused. The young guys are battling, but Howard and the veteran forwards need to carry the play a bit more.

Posted by RW19 on 04/20/14 at 08:26 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Babcock’s last question is exactly right. What happened in Game 1 was that the Wings stuck to their system and refused to let the Bruins get into their heads. Today was just the opposite. The Bruins were the “Bad Boys” and the Wings got sucked in, which made them forget about their game plan. The Wings need to get out of this ridiculous “proving their manhood” idiocy and just go out and play hockey. And skate like the wind away from those big, dumb goons.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 04/20/14 at 08:48 PM ET


Dats looked the best he has looked since January, that was very encouraging. We are good 5 on 5, need to improve the PP and Franzen and Alfredsson have to be better.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/20/14 at 09:09 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I don’t know if anyone caught the TSN version of the NBC broadcast? In between first two periods the TSN guys talked to Kerry Fraser about the referees job in maintaining control over a game, especially one where emotions are running this high.

Fraser basically blamed the officials for the Seabrook hit saying that every game has a “heartbeat” and its the refs job to recognize when the temperature is rising too much and quash it. He basically said if Keith had been penalized early on for one of his billion slashes or punches and was also threatened with a misconduct, it would have never escalated to that hit.

He also went on to say that the Wings/Bruins game was rising to dangerous levels and that the reason the Wings lost composure and started playing Bruins hockey began with the hit on Brendan Smith that drove his head into the boards. Fraser said that he would have called a 2min boarding minor on that hit as it was the third guy in and he drove his forearm in such a way that it rattled Smiths head into the boards. I do wonder if the tone of the game actually would have changed if that call had in fact been made?

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/20/14 at 09:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m getting shit all over for it but I’m convinced that the refereeing since the Olympics has been incompetent in terms of setting no real standard of acceptable player behavior on a shift-by-shift or period to period basis. Now that the playoffs have begun, it’s getting dangerous.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/20/14 at 09:29 PM ET


Perfection: that hit on Smith was by Krejci. With all attention to Lucic, Chara and Marchant, Krejci is one of those little dirty players who are hiding behind their more “notorious” teammates.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/20/14 at 09:32 PM ET


Yeah, the Bruins would have probably been up by another goal if the Wings got a powerplay.

I agree with that. PP constantly kills our momentum. Also, our inability to even enter the zone on a PP makes Bruins play with great confidence and take runs at our players without any fear of being penalized and we play 5 on 5 better anyway.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/20/14 at 09:45 PM ET

perfection's avatar

setting no real standard of acceptable player behavior on a shift-by-shift or period to period basis.

the interesting thing is that Kerry Fraser seems to imply different standards should actually be used and that one of the officials main jobs is to be able to read a game and adjust accordingly. Meaning you might go into a game intending to “let ‘em play” but when the tit for tat thing starts escalating to a point that it could become dangerous, it’s your job to take control. The whole “pull one guy out” strategy of stopping escalating patterns of post-whistle scrums for example.

And while it’s true that the Wings terrible PP doesn’t scare the Bruins away from taking runs, it’s also possible that at least some acts of retribution can in fact be avoided by calls being made at certain times and maybe things don’t escalate to a point where Brendan Smith is trying to fight Chara which is maybe the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a hockey game in years. By the look on Chara’s face it was the dumbest thing he’d seen too. I honestly started to think Smith MUST have a concussion

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/20/14 at 09:59 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The funny thing is that “we” can all fix the power play, too:

1. TWO defensemen on BOTH units;

2. Stop dicking around in the neutral zone. Skate through it with speed instead of passing side-to-side and drop passing the entire damn time, and on top of that, stop making Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser be the only people allowed to shoot the damn puck. Get it in deep, cycle it around, get in Rask’s grill, THEN try that pass to the point shit.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/20/14 at 11:22 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

...Legwand who just seems ineffective. This should be his kind of physical series, but he seems like a fish out of water. And sorry to say, slow.

Don’t be sorry, I’ll take it a step further, I’d rather have Adelina Sotnikova in the lineup, at least she would look good curling away from forcheck opportunities. This guy has more silky smoothness to his hockey grit than my wife’s conditioner. What a pansy, and 110% in effective with his old legs.

Its time for Mr.Anderson to make an appearance.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/21/14 at 12:12 AM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

the interesting thing is that Kerry Fraser seems to imply different standards should actually be used and that one of the officials main jobs is to be able to read a game and adjust accordingly.

This is VERY interesting to me. I also find it fascinating that this game had more penalties called in the first ten minutes than in the entirety of Game 1 - despite not being any rougher.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 04/21/14 at 01:04 AM ET

awould's avatar

We got outplayed and beaten. If that’s the best Boston has, they’re in trouble.

Posted by awould on 04/21/14 at 01:42 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

I seem to recall asking this question during last year’s play-offs, too…

Can we start declining penalties?  It’s almost as if a Power Play for us automatically becomes a momentum builder for the other team.

Actually, there were a few times in this game where I could see Franzen starting to get going, to start to fire up, he was hitting, he was passing with conviction, the puck left his stick in a hurry when shooting,  and I’d think to myself “Hooray, here comes The Mule!  Today is the day he breaks this infernal slump!” and then the 2nd half of the game happened and he disappeared.  So close to getting The Mule…so close…

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/21/14 at 02:12 AM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

No worries mate !!! we will win next 4 games,,howard taking a break for two of the 4 games ,then will he be back better then ever before…We’ll give him a new nick name,,The Wall…Afie,franzon will become scorings machines…tatar and nyqvist is breaking all scoring and assist stat there is in the NHL ...and the rest of the group is starting to plan for the Parade in Detroit…Lets Go Red Wings !!!..Ohhh btw I’m pretty drunk..;;cheers or skal..

Don’t worry be happy !!! Lets Go Red WIngs !!! grrr

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 04/21/14 at 04:48 AM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

we will win next 3 games,, that’s better…  sorry

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 04/21/14 at 04:50 AM ET


What an awful arsekicking that first period was.

Might be the best thing that could have happened to them. I get the feeling that Babcock has his team exactly where he wants them.

I did see a lot of good things the rest of the way. They didn’t give up. That’s a big plus right there.

Very impressed with Jurco. This kid is going to be a very good hockey player.

Noticed some big juicy rebounds in the third. Mainly from Smith and Kindl shots. Too bad they didn’t have someone anywhere near the front of the net. Neither Smith nor Kindl are defensive defensemen. That’s what they do. Might as well use it.

Not blaming Howard for the loss, but he has to do a better job with that D in front of him.

Posted by leftwing on 04/21/14 at 06:01 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Heading back to Detroit 1-1 is all as a fan I can ask for. Whether we lost 1-0 or 8-0 yesterday doesn’t matter to me.  Just as long as we come back on Tuesday with a much better effort in front of there home crowd.

Again there is obvious reasons why we won the season series and why we won on Friday.  If we match the Bruins physicality with our explosiveness we may be able to win this series.  These players (Red Wings) have huge egos and that is a main reason why they’ve made it this far in the NHL, so being consistently pounded in the boards and taunted after every whistle wears on you as a man and makes you want to fight back.  Seeing Brendan Smith want to throw with Chara was example #1 (bad idea). Babcock must make sure the players are completely, and undoubtedly on the same page when it comes to how to beat this team. And only then, with egos put to the side, will they be able to make this a competitive series.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 04/21/14 at 10:00 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

we will win next 3 games,, that’s better…  sorry

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 04/21/14 at 04:50 AM ET

No four is good.  Want to start the second round off right!


Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 04/21/14 at 11:52 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.


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