The Malik Report
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Jeff Blashill gets a lot of information sent to him being an NHL coach, but one piece last summer stood out.
In relation to faceoffs, Blashill was left shaking his head with this advice.
“I had one analytics guy tell me you should be at 49.5 percent,” Blashill said. “You should be at 49.5 percent in order to maximize. You should lose more than you should win. If you’re 49.5 you’re perfect, if you’re 50.5 you’re not as good, so I’m not sure.”
The Red Wings have won a lot more faceoffs than they’ve lost the last two games. They won 40-of-62 (65 percent) Friday against Vancouver, and Sunday against Calgary the Red Wings dominated winning 39-of-55 (71 percent).
“Certainly having the puck, we’re a team that wants the puck,” Blashill said. “We don’t want to give the puck up, so starting with the puck I believe helps out.
“That (analytics) guy didn’t.”
There are two areas, in Blashill’s mind, that faceoffs are especially critical.
added 5:11pm, Ansar Khan of Mlive with a faceoff article too....
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who missed Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames with an upper-body injury, is doubtful for Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils, according to coach Jeff Blashill.
“Today was not much better,” said Ericsson, who said that if there were a game tonight, he wouldn’t have played.
Ericsson said he suffered the injury midway through the third period of the 4-3 shoot-out loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday....
Blashill also is considering changes among the defensive pairings, including putting Danny DeKeyser with Niklas Kronwall. He switched things up in Sunday’s game.
“We wanted to see what the look was,” Blashill said. “We ended the game with DK and Kronner together. We’ll evaluate it. We taped our practice and see how we thought it went.
“I thought, halfway through the game, we just didn’t feel that we’d play good enough. We had talked about DK and Kronner together. Kronner’s spent lots of his career here matching up against the other team’s best players. DK, night in and night out, certainly one of our best defenders.”
added 2:55pm, Khan with his wrap below...
Via RedWingsFeed, Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith gave Fox Sports Detroit advice for Christmas and/or holiday shoppers, and Smith believes that the "buddy system" is the way to go and the way to avoid "scramble mode":
Updated 2x at 1:45 PM: The Red Wings got back to work at Joe Louis Arena subsequent to their 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday, preparing for the pre-Christmas finale against New Jersey tomorrow evening (7:30 PM on FSD Plus/MSG/97.1 FM), per the Wings...
Monday grind. #LGRW http://vine.co/v/iKI7HXHhLga
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...
Finally, the #RedWings are filing on to the ice for their noon practice here at JLA. Apparently, Secret Santa took longer than anticipated.
Defensive pairs have kind of a new look at #RedWings practice: Kronwall-DeKeyser; Smith-Green; Kindl-Marchenko. Ericsson (injured)-Ouellet.
The Free Press's Helene St. James...
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
MLive's Brendan Savage posted an article discussing Henrik Zetterberg's decision to play through a lower-body injury during Sunday's game against Calgary...
"That's Z to me," coach Jeff Blashill said after the Red Wings snapped a three-game skid by beating Calgary 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena. "His character is unbelievable. I asked him, 'Are you going to play for sure?' He said '100 percent, there's no doubt about it,' and that to me is what makes him special."
Zetterberg suffered an undisclosed lower-body injury in Friday's shootout loss to Vancouver and was still sore Saturday, when he left the Red Wings' practice early after power-play drills but before they worked on line rushes.
That left him questionable to play Sunday.
But Zetterberg was in the lineup against the Flames and responded by picking up one assist – he originally had another before a scoring change – while taking four shots, making two hits, blocking a shot, winning 10 of 15 faceoffs and finishing with a plus-2 rating. All in a day's work for the Red Wings leading scorer, who shrugged off the injury he suffered Friday.
"Something happened last game but I felt better this morning," was all Zetterberg would say when asked about his health
Petr Mrazek chats with Roger Millions about the Red Wings beating the Flames and talks about the mix of veterans and youth in the Detroit locker room.
Below, watch extended game highlights...
The Red Wings snapped a 3-game winless streak with a strong, efficient 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night, finally building a lead in the second period and finally building an effective cushion in the form of a 2-goal lead that was enough to withstand Calgary's furious late-third-period comeback attempts.
The Wings did surrender a crucial 3-2 goal late, but they didn't continue to buckle, and as a result, the Red Wings won their 800th game at Joe Louis Arena.
After the game, the Red Wings talked about playing the right way, the "necessary" way, and keeping composed from the goal on out; the Flames, who lost 2 straight after building their way back into playoff contention with a 7-game winning streak, talked about taking steps back, as the Calgary Herald's Scott Cruickshank noted:
Of prospect-related note:
In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye are now Marek Tvrdon-free, and Tvrdon was nearly a point-per-game player, but the Walleye had no trouble scoring against the Indy Fuel, receiving a goal and an assist from Dominic Zombo and goals from Alden Hirschfeld and Josh Shalla--as well as 33 saves from Jeff Lerg--as the Walleye defeated Indy 4-3. The Walleye's website posted a recap:
The Detroit Red Wings did what was necessary to finally win in regulation on Sunday vs. the Calgary Flames:
Detroit rallied from a 1-0 deficit, Detroit pushed away from the Calgary Flames with a 3-goal second period, and while Detroit did give up a 3-2 goal late, Detroit kept the hammer down, eventually salting the game away with an empty-netter as the Red Wings defeated Calgary 4-2.
This game wasn't extraordinary per se, but for a Wings team that was winless in 3, facing a Flames team that had won 7 of 8 (and was peeved having dropped a game yesterday in St. Louis), the Red Wings overcame a slightly slow start by playing simple, efficient and determined hockey against a Flames team that is now as skilled as it is physical.
As a result, the Red Wings slowly but surely established themselves as the dominant team, and while their power play didn't deliver (again) and there were some hiccups (as usual), this was as efficient a game as the Wings have played in a month, and when you move the puck out of trouble in a hurry thanks to lots of defensive support, minimize your time in the neutral zone and sustain presence and puck control in the offensive zone, you're gonna win games.
The Wings' 800th win at the Joe is something of a blueprint for the Wings going forward, not only for Tuesday's pre-Christmas finale against New Jersey, but also thereafter, when the road schedule gets gnarly.
Many thanks to Anders B. Jansson and Niklas Drake for heads-ups on this:
SVT.se's Marie Lehmann spoke with Pavel Datsyuk in his hometown of Yekaterinburg, Russia last summer (during his summer hockey school) as part of a biographical profile, and the Swedish website posted the half-hour video--which is mostly in English, and is incredibly revelatory--today on SVT.se. You should be able to watch this in the U.S. and Canada.
About The Malik Report
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.