The Malik Report
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
It's not like the Red Wings took their foot off the gas in the third. They had ample opportunity to take a two-goal lead, but Boston hung around thanks to Gustavsson.
The Red Wings have blown third-period leads in five games. They bounced back to win three of them in OT.
"Before when we had leads, we kind of been on our heels a little bit," Zetterberg said. "But this time I thought we kept playing and kept having pressure on their D, but unfortunately that one was a tough goal."
Said Darren Helm: "It's tough losing games that you got to hold onto and find ways to win. I thought we played great, so that's something to build off of. Obviously, we got to find ways to hold onto that lead and find ways to win in overtime, but I think we keep moving, build off the positives that we did today and come back for next game."
The currently wild-card-spot-occupying Wings find themselves in the Eastern Conference's playoff picture, if only barely, at American Thanksgiving, but the Red Wings backed into their spot via a 3-2 OT loss to the Boston Bruins that was staggeringly disappointing in its predictability.
The Red Wings have now lost 6 straight to Boston and 11 of their past 13 games to the Bruins--including 2 games this season--and you'd think that somewhere along the way, the Wings would focus a little extra time on breaking down Boston's systems or a little extra emphasis on sealing the deal.
Instead, Detroit surrendered a 1-goal lead with 1:44 remaining in regulation and dropped an OT decision to a Bruins team that Detroit thoroughly, thoroughly out-played for the vast, vast majority of Wednesday's game, mostly because Detroit's killer instinct remains--so far, anyway--absent in the post-Babcock era.
Had the Wings made the game 3-1 at any point during their 2nd or 3rd period dominance, they would have had the margin for error necessary to beat a Bruins team that seems to know how to hang around and hang around against them, surrendering a second goal against without fatal consequences.
But this team still believes that playing strong defense when up by all of a goal will carry the day, and as we've learned over Mike Babcock's final two or three years with the team, that's just not the case yet (and the fact that Jack Edwards had to change his pants after the win is just the icing on a shitty cake).
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, both Tomas Jurco and Mitch Callahan registered 2-goal games, Andy Miele and Mark Zengerle had 3-assist games and Tom McCollum stopped 28 shots as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Iowa Wild 5-1. The Griffins' website posted a recap...
The Red Wings faced a team they hadn't defeated in 5 tries in the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, and the teams were fighting for an Altantic Division playoff spot on the American Thanksgiving playoff cut-off.
In theory, this was going to be a near-guaranteed win for a team that had taken 10 of 12 from the Wings based upon history and the plain old fact that the Wings don't line up very well against the heavy, acerbic Bruins.
In practice, the Red Wings tempted fate, and it bit them in the ass. Detroit had to rally from a 1-0 deficit to slowly and persistently generate a 2-1 lead over the Bruins, but despite out-shooting the Bruins by a massive margin and out-chancing Boston by far more than the 34-22 shot advantage or 53-33 attempt advantage, the Wings couldn't close the deal--not scoring on a late power play that could've salted the game away at 3-1--and instead, it was the Bruins who tied the game with under 2 minutes remaining, on a shot Petr Mrazek should have stopped, and scored in OT to take a 3-2 victory.
Detroit is tied with Boston in points at 25, but Boston's 12-8-and-1 record is better than Detroit's 11-8-and-3, so Detroit is in a playoff spot--a wild card spot--because they couldn't or wouldn't put the Bruins away.
If I may be frank, the Red Wings' finishing skills remain Babcockian--far too worried about playing decent defense to truly possess an offensive killer instinct--and this team has, has, has to rid itself of the, "Oh well, we'll play good defense and good things will happen" mentality in the 3rd period if it is to truly become a playoff team.
Pavel Datsyuk's 300th goal is perfectly Datsyukian:
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James asked the Red Wings' North American and non-North American players about their Thanksgiving traditions:
Sports Illustrated's Sarah Barshop spoke with Mark and Marty Howe regarding their father's health, their memories of the holidays growing up and their takes on the modern game, and it's the latter part of the interview that I found most interesting:
SB: As former players, what do you think of the changes in the NHL today?
Marty: I used to be upset about all the changes in the rules and everything. I was one of the ones who, you used to control the game as players. The referees were there when things get totally out of hand, and they would call penalties. [The league tried] to go to a more finesse game and to me, it’s coming around now to where I enjoy it again. I kind of finally let it go.
I like the changes. I like the open ice. I like the guys being able to show their skill. The game is so fast now, it just happens so quick. With the five-on-five hockey, there’s not a whole lot of room out there. So being able to have the four-on-four play, and a lot of the three-on-three in overtime, I think it’s a great idea. I know from our practices, when we play 3-on-3, it just opens it up. One little mistake, it’s a breakaway, or two-on-one the other way. And if they miss, it’s two-on-one the other way.
I doubt the goalies really like the shootout part of it. It kinds of exposes them. It puts a lot of pressure on the goalies. The guy, if he misses, well, you miss. If the goalie lets it in, it’s heartbreaking for him. But I like how things have turned around, and how the game is progressing. It does let the talent show more.
Ken Kal speaks with Tom Wilson, Danny DeKeyser and Jeff Blashill.
added 5:10pm, Paul Harris at NHL.com with his game preview...
Red Wings-Bruins game-day articles: Wings to lean on balanced offense vs. Gustavsson, determined B’s
Updated 6x at 2:02 PM: The Red Wings held a full morning skate while the Bruins "took an optional" ahead of tonight's game between the two teams (7:30 PM EST on FSD/NESN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM). The Red Wings anticipate no changes from the lineup the team employed on Saturday vs. St. Louis, and Petr Mrazek will start; the Bruins had half-a-dozen players participate in their morning skate, so possible changes to their lineup remain murky.
DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji spoke with Danny DeKeyser regarding his latest "zipper" from yesterday's practice...
#RedWings DeKeyser: I’m fine today. I had 10 stitches (under right eye). Everything’s fine.
And MLive's Ansar Khan noted the following...
Jonas Gustavsson first goalie off ice, so he's likely starting vs. #redwings, but neither he or Julien would confirm.
As did DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Jonas Gustavsson is likely gonna start tonight vs. the #RedWings. Team wouldn't confirm but he was first Bruins GK off the ice this morning.
The Bruins confirm...
The 11-8-and-2 Detroit Red Wings take on the 11-8-and-1 Boston Bruins this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/NESN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and the Red Wings do so hoping to snap a 5-game winless streak against Boston and a stretch in which the Bruins have won 9 of 10 total regular season-and-playoff games against Detroit.
The Wings took to the ice at 10:30, per MLive's Ansar Khan:
No changes to #redwings lines:
Defense pairs the same:
Kindl healthy scratch
Power play units:
Tatar-Zetterberg-Nyquist, Abdelkader (net front), Kronwall
Pulkkinen-Datsyuk-Larkin (net front), Richards-Green
Also of Red Wings-related note:
Winging It in Motown's Piyer97 posited an exhaustive analysis of the Wings' defensive system under Jeff Blashill;
Ken Holland made a sligthly unusual comment regarding coaching changes in an article posited by the Associated Press:
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