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The Malik Report

Wings Must Play Big And Match Chicago’s Effort Tonight

from Craig Custance of ESPN (paid subscription),

The best playoff teams have that element of size and strength in their top-six, and it's something Abdelkader provides for Detroit. Over the course of a long series, his physical style against the Blackhawks' best players can potentially chip away at their will and wear them down....

And Ericsson has settled in as a reliable partner with Niklas Kronwall, developing into a player Babcock can trust completely. With the Red Wings' season on the line in Game 7 against the Ducks, he played 26:10, the most ice time he has gotten in any game this year that didn't go into overtime.

"He's playing like a No. 2, that's a major progression for him," the NHL scout said. "He has size. He plays like a stopper and he can move the puck. He wants to do more with the puck, he thinks he can and he's getting there."...

If Detroit is a split second late, Chicago will blow right by them. It's why the Blackhawks are the best team in the league right now and why it's hard to put together back-to-back efforts like the Red Wings did Saturday against them.

When the Wild beat the Blackhawks in overtime in the first round, Chicago responded by scoring eight of the next nine goals to end Minnesota's season.

That's what a championship team does and there's no reason to believe the Blackhawks won't find that same effort tonight in Game 3. Whether or not Detroit matches it will go a long way in revealing just how much they've closed the gap.

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Comments

Red Winger's avatar

I agree with this. Chicago’s best effort will come out tonight.

We match it, or perish.

( a little hyperbole there to get your Monday going)

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/20/13 at 10:07 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

He wants to do more with the puck, he thinks he can and he’s getting there

his outlet pass to Franzen in game 2 was absolutely brilliant.  sheer perfection, not even Lidstrom could have made a better pass as that was as perfect as it gets.

let’s hope that’s one of those “it clicked in his head” moments.  if he can get to where he does that just as kind of a “ho hum another day at the office doing my job” kind of thing, instead of worrying about missing the pass…oh man.

and it’s a great way to beat the forecheck and get Chicago to back off. 

I think it’s not so much that teams know the Wings will fall apart under pressure in their own zone that’s why teams do it…although surely that’s part of it - I think the main reason is it’s a “it can’t hurt us because they can’t make long passes to our blue line”.  so if the Wings show that they CAN burn the forecheckers and set up odd-man rushes with 60 foot passes…oh boy oh boy.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 10:22 AM ET

awould's avatar

When the Wild beat the Blackhawks in overtime in the first round, Chicago responded by scoring eight of the next nine goals to end Minnesota’s season.

It helped that Minnesota can’t actually score goals.

Everyone points to the Minnesota series as evidence of how great Chicago is. They won in 5! Who cares. They had goalie issues from the outset and have a weak offense. Not exactly trial by fire.

Posted by awould on 05/20/13 at 10:43 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

It helped that Minnesota can’t actually score goals.

and weren’t they on their third goaltender soon enough?  I’m not going to doubt Chicago’s skill, but if ever there was a walk-over series, that one was tailor made.  I’ve seen Red Wings teams in the past dominate in the regular season, face no adversity, and then get stunned in a playoff series because they suddenly got to a place where skill alone wouldn’t get them there.  I see no reason why Detroit cannot deliver the same blow to Chicago.  But tonight *will* tell us a lot about how that will play out.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/20/13 at 10:56 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

It helped that Minnesota can’t actually score goals.

it also helped that they were playing, what, their third string goalie’s cousin’s poodle in net?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 10:57 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

It helped that Minnesota can’t actually score goals.

The same thing has plagued the Wings. Lack of the big O and or scoring once a game ain’t gonna cut it.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/20/13 at 11:20 AM ET

TKShreve's avatar

Wonder if the hawks will be implementing the full court press tonight and having their D jump up on the play?

Seemed to me they were willing to cheat their D and exchange chances with us - thinking they could “out succeed” the wings in the chance department. Not to mention their D are a little faster and can retreat back into the play a bit more successfully then our Wings D.

Guess they didn’t count on JIMMY MF HOWARD emerging from the mist carrying a torch. Guy has been ALL THAT!

Posted by TKShreve from East Uptown on 05/20/13 at 11:25 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Wonder if the hawks will be implementing the full court press tonight and having their D jump up on the play?

if they do, I sure hope Ericsstrom can hit a couple more of those 60 foot passes to the Hawks’ blue line…

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 11:58 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.