The Malik Report
‘Three Things’: Extended Wings-Yotes highlights, praise for the Winged Wheel and cracking ‘Super 16’
Of brief Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. AWood40 posted an extended highlight clip from last night's 5-1 win over Arizona:
2. The Wings' uniform was picked as the 6th-best "sweater" in the Hockey News's "Top 50 Jersey" rankings:
[W]hat if I told you that Datsyuk is in fact probably buoying this recent run of success in Detroit to an almost unbelievable extent?
Let's start with the very, very basic numbers. Without Datsyuk in their first 15 games, the Red Wings went 8-6-1, with two of those wins in overtime. That's a pace for just 92.3 points, which isn't getting the job done, and stoked fears that the Detroit playoff streak was coming to an end. With Datsyuk in their next 10 games, the Red Wings went 5-2-3, with all but one of their wins coming outside regulation, but it was still a pace for 106.6 points.
That put them at 13-8-4 as a club, and a pace for 98.4 points. Which sounds like just about what most people probably should have expected coming into the season.
More numbers: The Wings overall goal differential through 15 games was a poor minus-2 (34 for, 36 against). Since Datsyuk's return, it's still minus-2 (26 for, 28 against). And while that's still not ideal, it shows the Wings have increased their scoring even as the goaltending struggled.
But on a more granular level, it's clear that the team is both quickly adapting to new coach Jeff Blashill's system — which is slightly different from that of Mike Babcock, but apparently different enough that things weren't coming to them easily — and benefiting significantly from the return of their still-No. 1 center.
The Red Wings have posted a reminder regarding the Salvation Army Kettle Bell-Ringing competition this evening...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard liked what he saw nearly 200 feet away at the other end of the ice Thursday.
His teammates peppered the opposing goaltenders with shots, which enabled them to equal a season-high goal total.
A team that was starved for scoring and struggled to get shots on goal has come alive. The Red Wings defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 at Joe Louis Arena and have gained points in nine consecutive games (6-0-3).
The Red Wings outshot the Coyotes 44-27. They have scored nine goals and amassed 90 shots in their past two games.
"Early in the season we were having a little bit of an issue clicking offensively and getting shots on net," Howard said. "The last couple of games we've gone 40-plus, making other goalies work. When you're getting those opportunities, more often than not you're going to find the back of the net. That's going to lead to W's for us."
added 7:57am, Extended game highlights are below...
Of prospect-related note:
You expect a coach's challenge to change the face of a game, but just as strangely as the Wings have suddenly become a 14-8-and-4 team on a 9-game point streak, a lifted skate changed the tone of a predictably slow-starting Wings team getting bitten by a young, hungry Coyotes team into what ultimately became a 5-1 Wings rout of Arizona.
The big concern going forward is obviously that Teemu Pulkkinen (lower-body) and Drew Miller (upper-body) are injured and, to quote the coach, may be out "for a while," but those were the only negatives to take from the game.
For the record, ArizonaCoyotes.com's Dave Vest reports that the Yotes had no problem with the ruling:
As the Red Wings' 6-game home stand draws to a close, the Wings were presented with a good opportunity to push ahead in the Atlantic Division standings by defeating the Arizona Coyotes. Phoenix has given Detroit fits of late, but the Coyotes aren't yet elite, and without Shane Doan in the lineup, the Wings could at least rest a little easier about the states of their knee ligaments.
Regrettably, Detroit had other concerns--with Teemu Pulkkinen and Drew Miller leaving the game with lower and upper-body injuries, respectively--but the Red Wings did dominate on the scoreboard, parlaying the momentum bounce of a successful coach's challenge to a 3-0 lead and an eventual 5-1 win that was nothing less than dominant by the Wings.
Working with 10 forwards and a Larkin-Datsyuk-Zetterberg trio that all cleared 20 minutes of ice time, the Red Wings shot early, often, and by default as the Wings amassed a 44-27 shot advantage and a fast and furious scoring advantage against Mike Smith and Anders Lindback, with the Wings using speed, puck possession, consistent pressure and stout goaltending by a Jimmy Howard who was strong when needed to defeat Arizona--which never gave up, to its credit--in rousing fashion.
Both Teemu Pulkkinen (hit by Martin Hanzal, upper-body injury) and Drew Miller (hit to the head from Klas Dahlbeck) are out for the Wings:
As the Red Wings prepare to face the Arizona Coyotes tonight (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Arizona/WWJ 950), both teams are respectfully sizing each other up, as NHL.com's Paul Harris noted:
"The League is extremely tight," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "Every single night comes down to a play here and a play there. It's been well-documented we've gone into a lot of overtimes and had leads and things like that. We just got to keep grinding, keep getting better, and when we go into overtime try to win as many of those as we can."
The Coyotes know they can't give the Red Wings much room.
"They've got a lot of skill; skill and speed. They know what to do with the puck," defenseman Michael Stone said. "With that speed, we have to take away their time and space."
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
As Mike Green has adjusted to his new teammates, the points have started to rack up for him.
Green had nine points entering tonight's game between the Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes at Joe Louis Arena. Green had assists in two of the previous three games, and scored his first goal Nov. 20. That's the sort of production the Wings hoped for when they signed Green in July.
"He has done a really good job," coach Jeff Blashill said. "He has gotten more and more comfortable as the year has gone along. He has done a really good job of understanding the way we want to play, of being active with our defensemen, of being part of the breakouts, being part of the entries, and being a big part of the o-zone, and he has done an excellent job."
Green, 30, is tied with Niklas Kronwall for most points among the team's defensemen, but Green has played six fewer games than Kronwall because of a shoulder injury incurred late October.
The two were paired up about 10 games ago, when Blashill decided to use Danny DeKeyser on the shut-down pairing with Jonathan Ericsson. It wasn't difficult for Green to adjust.
"Nik is such an easy guy to play with, you know he is going to be there for you and he makes hard, smart plays," Green said. "It's been nice, really nice."
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.