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Red Wings-Blackhawks quick take: Wings suffer big loss and a DeBrinc-hat-trick against

The Detroit Red Wings hoped to pounce upon a winless-in-four (0-3-and-1) Chicago Blackhawks team on Thursday night, with the Red Wings hoping to end their pre-All-Star Break schedule with a big win.

Instead, the Red Wings gave Farmington Hills' Alex DeBrincat a canvas with which to paint a masterful game. DeBrincat scored 3 goals as the Blackhawks won 5-1 over the Red Wings.

Detroit was an awful -26, with Tyler Bertuzzi, Mike Green and Niklas Kronwall finishing at -4 and Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou finishing at -3. Detroit was out-scored 4-0, 3-0 in the 1st period and 4-0 by the halfway mark of the game. For whatever reason, the Wings were flat from the start, and they never seemed to get their footing.

So we go into the All-Star Break wondering whose names will be called before the trade deadline, and how this team is going to try to build for the following season.

The Blackhawks don't Tweet out their lineup, but the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus does just that, and Lazerus reported that the Hawks made a surprising move in scratching Patrick Sharp:

The Red Wings went with "12 and 6," per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

The Blackhawks started Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews and Anthony Duclair at forward, Duncan Keith and Jordan Oesterle on defense and Anton Forsberg in goal;

The Red Wings started Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou at forward, Niklas Kronwall and Mike Green on defense and Jimmy Howard in goal.

Dan O'Halloran and T.J. Luxmore refereed the game, with Devin Berg and Tim Nowak working the lines

The 1st period

1st period observations:

  • Larkin drew in for the opening faceoff opposte Toews, and Toews tied things up, so the Hawks chipped and chased, Green battled 3 Blackhawks and DeBrincat nearly centered a puck deep, with Duncan Keith standing up to Andreas Athanasiou at the Wings' blueline.
  • Detroit ultimately chipped and changed some 32 seconds into the first period, with Jensen and DeKeyser working the puck out to Nielsen, Glendening and a late-to-change Bertuzzi, who cleared the zone and afforded the Wings another change 1:05 into the 1st.
  • Nyuist foed Mantha who had a WIDE OPEN chance to shoot, but Mantha deferred to Zetterberg, and Zetterberg wasn't open. Chicago took the puck away instead, and Detroit had to re-enter the zone, with Gustav Nyquist ripping the first shot on Forsberg some 1:45 into the 1st.
  • Zetterberg got a good backhand chance in on Forsberg as play continued, and Detroit regrouped at center, changed, and iced the puck...
  • Narrowly avoiding a too many men penalty.
  • Mantha, Turgeon and Nyquist won the deep defensive zone faceoff and completed the Wings' line rotation at 3:25 of the 1st, with Tatar, Turgeon and Frk working the fourth line.
  • Turgeon did a nice job of setting up Tatar and then Frk for a pass that rolled off the toe of Frk...

And instead, Chicago dumped, chased, and Oesterle slid the puck to DeBrincat in front of the net, and the puck was chipped through traffic and under Jimmy Howard's glove.

Chicago scored on their first shot, with DeBrincat scoring at 3:10 of the 1st period from Duclair and Oesterle.

  • Larkin's line got tagged on the goal against, so the shut-down-Toews strategy didn't work very well.
  • The Red Wings tried to respond with some OK pressure, but Nielsen's line didn't do much on the post-goal shift and Zetterberg's line was worse, so Turgeon, Frk and Witkowski came out and surrendered a pair of shots to Jurco, Kampf and Hinostroza.

Off the offensive zone faceoff, Toews won the puck to keith, DeBrincat found Duclair in the slot and he beat Howard quite badly at 5:43.

Once again, the Hawks made Larkin's line (and Kronwall and Green) look very, very poor as Duclair scored the 2-0 goal from DeBrincat and Keith.

  • Chicago continued to pressure the Red Wings' defense and Howard made a couple of big stops to keep the Wings in the game.
  • Detroit looked flat-footed to say the least as the first TV timeout hit at 7:12.
  • 7:12 into the 1st period: Detroit was out-shot 7-5 and out-attempted 11-9; hits were 2-1 Chicago; giveaways 3-2 Detroit, takeaways 1-0 Chicago, blocked shots 2-1 Detroit, faceoffs 5-3 Detroit (63%).
  • Stats don't tell the time of possession in the offensive zone, which was Chicago's by a wide margin.
  • Detroit was just flatter than Ohio over the game's first 9 minutes. the Wings were not able or not willing to do much more than ice the puck to negate Chicago's pressure, and as the Wings played a team that had lost 4 of 5 games...
  • It didn't look good for the Wings.
  • Detroit fumbled a turnover as the Larkin line changed...

And Vinnie Hinostroza skated into the offensive zone and ended Howard's night with a blocker shot at 8:47. Petr Mrazek replaced Howard.

Hinostroza scored off a turnover by Ouellet to Anthony Duclair, and suddenly it was 3-0 Chicago 8:47 into the 1st.

  • On the post-goal shift, Gustav Nyquist put the puck off the post over Forsberg's blocker, but the puck clanged off the post and exited the zone, as did the Red Wings.
  • Tatar, Glendening and Nielsen did a good job of generating some offensive flow for the first time in the game some 10:03 into the 1st, but the Wings were a mess.
  • At 10:03 of the 1st, Detroit was out-shot 9-6 and out-attempted 16-11; hits were 5-2 Detroit; giveaways 5-2 Detroit, takeaways 1-0 Chicago, blocked shots 3-1 Detroit, faceoffs 6-5 Chicago (55%). Bertuzzi was -3.
  • Bertuzzi was -3 because Larkin and Athanasiou got off the ice early, abandoning their linemates.
  • zetterberg, Nyquist and Mantha may have been the Wings' best line, but Mantha's terrible tendency to back-pass to no one negated a lot of puck possession in the Hawks' zone, and the Turgeon line replaced them...
  • With Hinostroza and Ericsson getting into contact with each other so Ericsson was able to stifle a Hawks rush.
  • The Wings still turned over the puck, and Jurco got a shot off before Detroit iced the puck for the 5th time in 11:54.
  • Frk, Turgeon and Witkowski looked competely out-manned by the Hawks' fourth line, and that was bad...
  • But everybody looked pretty mediocrely.
  • Tomas Tatar was able to charge up and find Nielsen on a 2-on-1, and Nielsen clanged a puck off the goalpost, but that was the Wings' luck for you.
  • Schmaltz nearly scored as Mrazek went swimming, but Schmaltz fired the puck wide of the net.
  • At 14:01, Detroit was out-shot 10-8 and out-attempted 19-16; hits 8-3 Detroit, giveaways 5-2 Detroit, takeaways 1-0 Chicago, blocked shots 3-3, faceoffs 7-6 Chicago (46%). Detroit -15 as a group.
  • Larkin's line took to the ice and Athanasiou coughed up the puck pretty quickly, but the line recovered and pushed the puck into Chicago's zone, where Bertuzzi, Athanasiou and Larkin cycled down low, worked the puck to Ericsson and Green (defensive change), and the Hawks cleared the zone.
  • Tatar continued to be double shifted with Frk and Turgeon, but it didn't necessarily help.
  • Another bad pass by Mantha yielded Duclair getting a scoring chance that was blocked by Kronwall. And I like Mantha, but Jeez, the drop passes to no one...
  • Detroit continued to skate on its back foot as the Hawks were able to keep the Wings hemmed in their own zone for the most part...
  • Bertuzzi did get a good set-up from Larkin and nearly scored, and Athanasiou tried to deke and dangle his way around Anton Forsberg, but he was unable to do so.
  • The NBCSN announcers were kind in suggesting that the Red Wings had their chances--which they did...
  • But Toews, Hinostroza and Jurco nearly scored on Mrazek as the announcers talked up the Wings...
  • And the Hawks brought out Kane, Toews and DeBrincat to stack things up during the final minute of play.
  • DeBrincat fired a heavy shot off Jensen and wide and the Wings were able to get out of the zone, but Tatar deferred a shot attempt to pass to Nielsen, and time expired.

The 1st period in summary: The Red Wings started as terribly as I've seen them start in years, and the fact that it wasn't worse than 3-0 Chicago after 1 was a credit to the few times that Howard was able to stop the puck and Mrazek coming in and playing well.

Statistically, Detroit was out-shot 11-8 and out-attempted 24-22; Detroit out-hit Chicago 10-4; giveaways were 7-5 Detroit, takeaways 1-0 Chicago (possession changes 8-5 Chicago); blocked shots 6-6; faceoffs 8-8 (50%).

Individually, Nyquist, Tatar and Mantha led the Wings with 2 shots apiece; Zetterberg and 1 shot and 4 total attempts; Ericsson led the Wings with 2 hits; Jensen, Tatar, Mantha, Ouellet, DeKeyser, Larkin and Athanasiou had giveaways; no Wings had takeaways; 6 players blocked shots; Nielsen's 3-and-0 (100%) faceoff record set the pace in the faceoff circle; the Wings were -15; Green led the Wings with 7:35, Ericsson 7:27, DeKeyser 7:07, Mantha 6:57, Nyquist 6:48, Zetterberg 6:29.

The 2nd period

2nd period observations:

  • In front of a half-empty rink, Zetterberg had to come back because Nyquist and Mantha cheated off the faceoff, and Duclair nearly scored, Mrazek had to stop Oesterle, and Green carried the puck out and swept a shot in on Forsberg. Zetterberg got the rebound but it was an up-and-down shift because the cheating toward offense nearly burned the Wings.
  • That being said, Detroit's scoring chance may have been their best of the game.
  • Bertuzzi, Larkin and Athanasiou at least ground the puck out down low in the Hawks' zone, and Witkowski took a turn on defense with Ericsson--and Ericsson had to stop a Hawks attempt to spring Anisimov, who cherry picked behind the Wings' defense.
  • When the Hawks regrouped, Schmaltz drop-passed the puck to Kane and he got a great chance to score on Mrazek, who stifled the Hawks' scoring chance.
  • The Wings began to display some actual backbone as the 2nd period continued, and Frans Nielsen hit the GOALPOST for the second time off a fine feed from Tatar.
  • Witkowski of all people fired a sneaky shot in on the Hawks' Forsberg, and was stopped, but he then coughed up the puck in his own zone and forced the team to ice the puck (though the icing was negated by Zetterberg).
  • A bad Mantha back pass yielded a scoring chance for Duclair, and Duclair, DeBrincat and Toews continued to cycle...
  • And Green shoved Duclair into the goal, so the referees declared Duncan Keith's goal null and void (which was weird)...
  • So the Wings got a little lucky due to "intent to blow," and the Hawks didn't challenge.
  • 5 minutes into the 2nd period, it already felt like the Hawks were "killing clock" against the Wings, and as Blashill began to tweak the lines, the clock started slipping away.
  • Mantha, Zetterberg and Nyquist had a very good shift some 6 minutes into the second period, cycling the puck around, but at 6:50...
  • Detroit had out-shot Chicago 3-2 in the 2nd but was out-shot 13-11 overall; attempts were 30-30; hits 12-6 Detroit; giveaways 9-6 Detroit; takeaways 2-0 Chicago; blocked shots 10-10; faceoffs 12-11 Chicago (48%).
  • If I may be blunt, the NBCSN announcers sound like they'd lost a bet and were forced to announce the game.
  • Their lack of enthusiasm for this one was palpable, and it was hard to blame them for feeling bummed out by having to call a "crappy" game.
  • A bad Nyquist turnover at the blueline = Duclair RACED in 2-on-1 with Toews, but Mrazek made a big stop;
  • 9 minutes into the 2nd period, Chicago didn't necessarily dominate possession and control, but it was their game. The Wings weren't dictating play for more than a coule seconds here and a couple seconds there.
  • Witkowski of all people-despite his fumbles-looked pretty good on defense, and he got TWO great chances to generate scoring chances in the slot via some lateral passes from Athanasiou.
  • Turgeon, Frk and Tatar continued the Wings' push for...something positive...but a bad turnover to DeBrincat nearly yielded a Duclair goal, save a small whiff by Duclair...

But the Hawks re-set at center, and off another awful line change, Toews found DeBrincat and Zetterberg lost his check.

DeBrincat made it 4-0 at 11:31 of the 2nd period. Another terrible line change = 4-0 Chicago. Mrazek had no chance on the shot.

  • Green and Kronwall, who overloaded the wing to try and stop Toews from passing, joined Bertuzzi in the -3 club.
  • There are no "mercy rules" in hockey, but the viewers, both online and in person, were taking their option to exit the facility and change the channel, respectively.
  • The Wings TRIED to get physical, with Bertuzzi and Larkin stirring things up in front of the Hawks' bench, but not very much came from it.
  • As the final few minutes began to tick down, Jurco, Hinostroza and Kampf got the cycle going...

And Niklas Kronwall took an interference penalty at 14:21 of the 2nd period.

  • At 14:21, Detroit and Chicago were tied 4-4 in shots in the 2nd, and shots were 15-12 Chicago overall; attempts were 36-34 Detroit; hits 19-8 Detroit; giveaways 10-7 Detroit; takeaways 2-0 Chicago; blocked shots 12-11 Chicago; faceoffs 15-12 Detroit (56%).
  • Glendening, Nielsen, DeKeyser and Jensen worked the first PK unit, and Larkin and Athanasiou got 40-second shifts before Nielsen and Glendening re-set the unit;
  • Blashill seemed comfortable swapping out forwards to mirror the Hawks' changes, and Ouellet and Ericsson took the second "turn" for the defense.
  • The Hawks' power play looked like the Wings at even strength.
  • The Wings had something of a post-PK surge, with Mantha, Nyquist and Zetterberg generating a couple of scoring chances and working with Ericsson and Green...
  • But Zetterberg was tripped up by Schmaltz sans penalty, and the Hawks raced up 3-on-2, but were stifled by Kronwall, Green and the Larkin line.
  • Mrazek had to make THREE big stops against Oesterle, Anisimov and then Hartman, and the Hawks followed that rush with a Toews-DeBrincat rush, but Kronwall blocked the puck out of play.
  • To his credit, Witkowski threw Jonathan Toews' stick away from him during a scrum behind the Wings' net, and Luke Glendening nearly scored as he worked with Frans Nielsen to battle the puck into Anton Forsberg.
  • During the final seconds of play, Mantha set up Nyquist for a fine scoring chance, but Nyquist chipped the puck wide of Forsberg.

The 2nd period in summary: The Wings got a lot better in the 2nd period, but a lot better from completely terrible isn't exactly dominant. The Wings still surrendered a 4-0 goal and they still struggled to generate any sort of sustained puck possession, excitement, or hope.

Statistically, Detroit was out-shot 7-6 in the 2nd and 18-14 after 2 periods; attempts were 40-40; hits 19-9 Detroit; giveaways 10-8 Detroit, takeaways 4-2 Detroit (possession changes 12-12); blocked shots 13-12 Detroit; faceoffs 16-14 Detroit (53%).

Individually, Nyquist, Tatar and Mantha had 2 shots apiece; Mantha also led the Wings with 4 shots, and Glendening and Ericsson ahd 3 shots; Mantha led the Wings with 2 giveaways; Mantha, Zetterberg, Glendening and Larkin had 1 takeaway; Kronwall blocked 3 shots, Ericsson, Bertuzzi and DeKeyser 2; Nielsen's 5-and-0 record led the Wings in the faceoff circle; Detroit was -20 in terms of +/-; in terms of ice time, DeKeyser played 15:13; Ericsson 14:46; Green 13:48; Mantha 12:45, Jensen 12:43, Zetterberg 12:34, Tatar 12:19, Nyquist 11:55.

The 3rd period

3rd period observations:

  • I get the feeling that, "Put Your Hands Up (Go Detroit)" was not what the Wings wanted to hear going into the 3rd.
  • Chicago started the 3rd period with a good cycle by the Toews-Dulair-DeBrincat line, but Zetterberg, Nyquist and Mantha worked themselves into the Hawks' zone and got the puck to Ericsson for a hard shot that Forsberg had to stp.
  • Tatar then hamered a one-timer in on Forsberg, and got back in time to help Jensen and DeKeyser stop Kane and company.
  • Chicago was still attacking quite heavily, but the Red Wings looked like a team that had finally risen its competition level to match that of its opponent. The Wings were forcing the Hawks offside and challenging Chicago's puck possession.
  • Turgeon, Frk and Witkowski even had a good shift together--and I don't mean to use that as a disparagement of Turgeon, who I believe can be a superb third or fourth-line center--but Turgeon was not having a good evening, and he and Frk struggled a bit.
  • When the Wings could not clear the zone after a Toews shot, Alex DeBrincat nearly scored a hat trick via a D-to-D pass that went to DeBrincat in the slot. Mrazek flashed the leather to stop him, and it was an underrated stop at that.
  • 4 minutes into the 3rd, Bertuzzi, Larkin and Athanasiou were working with Kronwall and Witkowski, and the Zetterberg line replaced Larkin's, but Nyquist and Mantha could not find much space to work with.

However, Tomas Tatar got called for "hooking" Jonathan Toews on the hands at 5:58, and Chicago went back to the power play.

  • Chicago set up against Larkin, Glendening, Jensen and DeKeyser, and Duclair nearly scored, but fired a shot wide, Toews put a wrist shot off Jensen, and the Wings cleared.
  • Still, the Wings were getting banked in a little too easily, and as a result, they gave Chicago a fair number of shooting opportunities...
  • And when Andreas Athanasiou sent the puck WIDE of Forsberg shorthanded, it was just par for the course.
  • Chicago raced back up the other way and coughed up a scoring chance to the Hawks, and Mrazek had to stick his toe out to stop Chicago and kill the power play.
  • Mrazek had to make a smart kick save on Toews as the Larkin line got caught cheating again, but Niklas Kronwall parried the rush and skated the other way in on Forsberg, who made a big glove save to keep the game 4-0.
  • At 9:24 of the 3rd, Detroit was out-shot 6-3 in the 3rd an 24-17 on the night; attempts were 55-46 Chicago; hits 23-11 Detroit; giveaways 12-8 Detroit; takeaways 4-2 Detroit; blocked shots 19-14 Detroit; faceoffs 20-17 Detroit (54%).
  • Nielsen, Frk and Tatar played a shift together around the 10-minute mark of the 3rd period, and they were good, forcing the Hawks' defense to make plays on the run and opening up some ice for the Larkin line.
  • Athanasiou, Larkin and Bertuzzi nearly connected on the shift, too, but AA slid the puck into Bertuzzi's feet--after Larkin should have shot--and as the announcers said, that was the game in a nutshell for you.
  • The Red Wings nearly gave up a 5-0 goal, but Anisimov was stopped by Mrazek at the lip of the crease after Wingels set him up.
  • The Wings weren't going through the motions, but whatever is just above "going through the motions," that's what they were doing.
  • Bertuzzi, Larkin and Athanasiou still looked terrible against Toews and DeBrincat...
  • Green of all people made a masterful move to stifle Kane on a 3-on-2 that went Chicago's way...
  • But time was running out incredibly quickly on the Wings, and they didn't look likely to break the Hawks' shutout.
  • Mantha DID hit the goalpost just after I wrote that...

And Martin Frk drew a penalty at 14:57, forcing the Blackhawks to their first penalty of the night. Anisimov headed off for tripping.

  • Zetterberg, Mantha, Frk, Kronwall and Nyquist started the PP, lost the opening faceoff (after Zetterberg was tossed from the dot) and Kronwall carried the puck to center, drop-passed it, and Nyquist miraculously made his way into the Hawks' zone and worked with Frk, who was set up by Zetterberg for a superb one-timer that was gobbled up by Forsberg.
  • The Hawks were more or less allowed to do what they wanted to the Red Wings..

But Detroit prevailed off a bad Hawks line change. Frk fired a shot into Forsberg, the Wings retained possession at the blueline, and Zetterberg fed Mantha in the slot for a tip shot past Forsberg at 16:09.

Mantha scored from Zetterberg and Kronwall at 16:09.

  • The Wings kept attacking, and as the WIngs pulled their goaltender, Frk joine the Larkin line and Kronwall and Green, Frk fumbled the puck, Bertuzzi set up Athanasiou, reset and cycled out to center ice.
  • Off an offside call, Zetterberg, Mantha, Nielsen, DeKeyser, Nyquist and Tatar ground the puck out along the half wall, Chicago chipped the puck away, and Toews clanged the puck off the side of an empty net....
  • Forsberg covered up with 1:02 remaining, off a Wings dump-in.
  • Athanasiou, Bertuzzi, Larkin, Kronwall, Green and Frk worked together for the next shift, and Bertuzzi hacked and whacked at Forsberg, which irritated Oesterle.
  • The group won an offensive zone faceof, cycled along the perimeter, and Green bumbled a puck, so DeBrincat scored his hat trick.

Alex DeBrincat scored at 19:41 from Ryan Hartman, making it 5-1

5-1. DeBrincat times 3.

  • That was the game.

The 3rd period in summary: The Red Wings pushed, the Red Wings shoved, the Red Wings attempted very hard to salvage something out of a 4-0 game, but Detroit couldn't score an actual goal until 16:09 into the 3rd period, and that was it for Detroit's offense.

The Hawks needed this one more than the Wings, but it still sucked to get embarrassed on home ice again, and it sucks when the home-town boy makes you look bad.


Here's the Game Summary...

And the Event Summary

Final shot attempts were 61-58 Chicago.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



We were never in this game, terrible effort. If Blashill would ever take the time to watch how NHL successful teams play offense, they rush the whole team forward, not continually make rink long passes that get picked off, challenged for or go for icing. Can’t win if you never have possession, our players are never close enough to be in the play. Blackhawks came right to the points to force the play and we continually gave the puck away. Not us we’re back to leaving players unchallenged as long as they stay at their points. Embarrassing. Flying the winged wheel at half mast again. P.S. Howard wasn’t at his best either and keep Kronwell and Green off defense when Larkin’s line is out there.

Posted by stateofmifan on 01/25/18 at 11:42 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Pretty obvious everyone had the All-Star break on their minds and not hockey.

Thats OK ... they’re not in the playoff race so its evaluation mode the rest of the season ... just kinda embarrassing ... and painful to watch.

Can’t wait to see who gets traded for whom (and/or what).

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/26/18 at 12:07 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Mrazek was 17 of 18 .944 48:56

Howard was   6 of 9     .696       8:47

I don’t see how the score in the 1st could be worse with Howard in the Net under 9 Mins

Especially with Mrazek letting 1 in nearly 49 mins.with .944 Save %

Howard simply shit the bed early.

Howard and Mrazek do not play well on the same team.  Howard promised #1 Mrazek Sits, Howard stinks Mrazek jumps in big time.

This is a competition that Brashill has not handled very well. They are both on the same damn team. No competitions, No annointments, No HSJ Let them play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They should be helping each other, not happening with this Coach

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/26/18 at 12:24 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Some ugly minuses there

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/26/18 at 12:26 AM ET


Welcome back George, you’re back just in time for a bout of depression if you’re like most of us. Whenever they start to look good a reality check shows it’s ugly symptoms.

Posted by stateofmifan on 01/26/18 at 01:06 AM ET

MattD's avatar

No chance on 1st goal that hit Krons stick.  2nd and 3rd goals were very well placed shots.  I know you’re supposed to be bummed after losing by four, but reality is the puck luck was on the side of the Hawks last night.

Posted by MattD on 01/26/18 at 08:58 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.

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