Red Wings-Hurricanes quick take: Wings need more TEAM effort as Canes surprise Detroit at home

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to earn their second win of the season while battling the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.

The Red Wings struggled to generate a shot in a 1st period in which they were out-shot 21-6, they struggled to generate any offense in a 2nd period that they were out-shot 15-6, and scored a goal but gave up an empty-netter in a 3rd period in which they out-shot Carolina 9-3.

Long story short, Detroit was out-scored 3-1 in a hard loss to take despite the disparity in shots and attempts (69-42!). Andreas Athanasiou scored the Wings’ only goal at even strength, the Wings blew 4 power plays and Jimmy Howard was a stalwart in stopping 36 of 38 shots. The Red Wings’ players displayed good qualities at times, but the team did not coalesce, and because the team struggled to consistently force the Canes onto their heels, Carolina won fairly handily.

This little video sequence, provided by Sportsnet, may summarize the Wings’ night:

The 1st period

1st period observations:

  • Staal won the opening faceoff and Carolina chipped the puck in vs. a mostly black-clad set of empty seats, and Carolina blended in well wearing their black third jerseys.
  • Detroit was able to exit the zone, cycle, and they turned over the puck as the first minute of play expired, but Dougie Hamilton’s shot toward the net was blocked out of play.
  • As such, Darren Helm, Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist took to the ice with Daley and Cholowski, the Wings chipped and chased, and Cholowski had to hustle to retrieve Carolina’s clearing attempt.
  • Dylan Larkin’s negation of an icing call yielded a center-ice faceoff, and Andreas Athanasiou, Frans Nielsen and Tyler Bertuzzi took to the ice with Niklas Kronwall and Joe Hicketts, taking a short shift;
  • Thomas Vanek, Christoffer Ehn and Anthony Mantha filled out a 4-line rotation in 2:02 of elapsed time, and Mantha poked a chance wide of Mrazek as the big man attempted to stir up some offense…
  • And instead, the Wings spent the majority of their shift battling defensively, with Howard making his first stop at 2:50 and Nick Jensen and Kronwall struggling to clear the zone as the top line rotated over the boards.
  • Carolina continued to pressure the Red Wings in the defensive zone, playing with a strong transition game and a heavy forecheck, but the Wings responded as Nyquist, Larkin and Helm tried to establish a cycle, once, then twice, but they found themselves repelled by the Canes’ big defenders.
  • Ultimately, Ericsson and Hicketts found themselves battling a buzzing Svechnikov line, and Nielsen’s line could only clear and change, with Howard making a couple of big stops and on some tight and in-crease attempts.
  • Nick Jensen made a superb save of his own on the goal line, helping Howard keep the Canes off the board.
  • On a 2-on-1, Howard made a great blocker stop on Warren Foegle…
  • But Carolina had amassed a 6-0 shot lead by the time the first TV timeout hit at 6:41. Worse, the Canes led in shot attempts 12-2.
  • Dennis Cholowski got the Wings’ first scoring chance almost 7 minutes into the 1st, but his shot was blocked, and Carolina raced the other way 4-on-2, with Cholowski and Daley steering the rush into a simple lateral pass and easy stop for Howard.
  • The Wings and Canes settled into a set of “trading rushes,” and coach Blashill started changing up his lines in an attempt to rescind the Canes’ momentum.

Instead, Dylan Larkin took a penalty for tripping at 8:33, tripping Brock McGinn in the neutral zone.

  • Abdelkader, Glendening, Jensen and Daley set up on the PK, and Daley could not clear on a wide-open opportunity to do so, yielding Hurricanes cycling for 30 seconds and a couple of shots for Justin Williams;
  • Detroit quickly changed PK units some 50 seconds into the PK, with Helm, Nielsen, Hicketts and Kronwall working together, and the Wings got a 3-on-2 going, but Nielsen missed Hicketts with a pass…
  • So Ehn, Glendening, Ericsson and Hicketts worked together for the final 20 seconds of PK time, with Ehn unsuccessfully clearing the puck through center and Carolina cycling down low as Larkin emerged from the penalty box.
  • Detroit emerged from the PK down 13-0 in shots.
  • Needless to say, Jimmy Howard was doing a fine job of keeping the Canes off the board as of the TV timeout at 11:55, when the Canes led in shots 13-0 and attempts 26-4.
  • As you might expect, the Wings’ few shot attempts involved playing way too “cute” in the offensive zone.
  • Dennis Cholowski was cheered when he got the first shot off, slithering into the slot and firing a low shot on Mrazek’s right toe some 13:39 into the 1st.


Joe Hicketts got the Wings’ 2nd shot, a 180-foot flip-clear that Mrazek had to stop, nearly a minute later.

  • Luke Glendening got the 3rd on a 2-on-1 that Mrazek stifled around the 15:00 mark…
  • Abdelkader raced in on a breakaway for the Wings’ fourth shot via an elegant pass from the Wings’ defense, but Mrazek was up to the task…
  • And Dylan Larkin jabbed yet another puck at Petr Mrazek at 16:08.
  • Suddenly, the Wings had 5 shots and 10 attempts to Carolina’s 14 and 28.
  • When play resumed, Howard made a big stop on Andrei Svechnikov, a stop on Hamilton, and a couple of crease-jamming pad stops.

Jonathan Ericsson took a dumb penalty at 17:55, mostly getting called for “roughing” because he fell on a Hurricanes player.

  • Carolina set up on the man advantage opposite Abdelkader, Glendening, Hicketts and Daley, and Daley could not clear the puck (again)…

So Carolina broke through on their 18th shot, with Justin Faulk firing a point blast that went off the goalpost. Howard did not see the shot.

Carolina made it 1-0 as Faulk scored on the power play, from Justin Williams, at 18:25.

  • Detroit continued to play in a defensive shell after the goal against, and, as Ken Daniels noted, the Wings were struggling mightily to clear their own defensive zone.
  • Detroit was out-shot 21-6 in the 1st period and out-attempted 38-12.

The 1st period in summary: Jimmy Howard gave up a goal against, but he pretty much stole the period for the Red Wings, who were out-shot and out-attempted by ridiculous margins (as above, 21-6 in shots and 38-12 in total attempts on net).

In all honesty, the Red Wings didn’t play terrible hockey, but they struggled to clear their zone when opportunities presented themselves to make easy plays or easy clearing attempts, turning over the puck with 11 giveaways’ worth of regularity (Ericsson, Kronwall, Larkin and Daley had 2 giveaways apiece; Jensen, Mantha and Glendening had 1 giveaway).

It’s not that the Red Wings suck as much as they suck at details. They’re not clearing pucks well, they’re getting caught either running around after the puck carrier and/or in odd-man situations in their own zone, they’re not charging through the neutral zone with any sort of authority, and in the offensive zone, they steer themselves into the side boards instead of shooting on net and using their shots as a forechecking opportunity.

All those bad details add up to bad hockey, and they’re eminently solvable with good coaching and good execution. When you add up the details, and the details suck, then the team sucks.

The 2nd period

2nd period observations:

  • The second period began with both teams at even strength.
  • Rasmussen, Glendening nad Abdelkader started the period alongside Ericsson and Jensen, and the Red Wings got a long, long shot in on Mrazek from Nick Jensen only 27 seconds into the period.
  • Sebastien Aho found Micheal Ferland in the slot, behind Trevor Daley and Dennis Cholowski, and Howard made a capable stop on Ferland’s breakaway-in-tight.


  • Aho, Ferland and Svechnikov were having their way with the Red Wings, and Detroit needed to respond with strong play from somebody.
  • As Mickey Redmond suggested, the Canes were quicker–at least in terms of their skating and execution–and the Wings were spending their time chasing their opponent all around the ice.
  • Better positioning alleviates that problem. Good sticks and skates in passing lanes.
  • If I were to name an untouchable on defense–as good as Cholowski’s been–I’d argue that Joe Hicketts’ jam and grit are sorely and desperately needed. Hicketts will go back to Grand Rapids, however, because the Wings need another puck-mover once Mike Green is healthy. I’ve got no problem with that, but the team will be better when Hicketts joins Cholowski in being able to “get a place” in Detroit.
  • Howard made a couple of big saves as the 5-minute mark passed, and Carolina more or less took over the game for a couple of minutes leading to the second TV timeout.
  • Detroit was out-shot 8-2 over the first 6:13 of the 2nd period. Total shots were 29-8 Carolina, total attempts 47-16 Carolina.
  • Coach Blashill continued to tweak the lines subtly, and he needed to:

Anthony Mantha got tagged for head-locking Clark Bishop at 7:28, going for roughing.

  • On the Wings’ 3rd PK, Helm, Nielsen, Ericsson and Hicketts worked together, and they did a fair job of blocking shots…

But the Red Wings could not block the Hurricanes’ remarkable down-low passing as Aho found Valentin Zykov down low, and he reversed the puck to Ferland in the slot, firing a puck off the left post on the Canes’ 31st shot.

 Micheal Ferland scored the Canes’ 2-0 goal at 8:05 from Zykov and Aho.

There wasn’t much that the Wings could do about the goal against. It was a perfect down-low play.

  • On the post-goal shift, Tyler Bertuzzi and Andreas Athanasiou jabbed at and tipped a Frans Nielsen shot, respectively, and the Canes’ defense stuffed the puck into Mrazek’s right pad.
  • Carolina hit the goalpost for the 3rd time as Pesce chugged in from the point and hit the iron behind Howard’s glove.
  • At the 2nd TV timeout, at 9:54 of the 2nd period, Detroit was out-shot 10-3 in the 2nd and 31-19 overall; attempts were 55-17 Carolina.
  • Howard persisted where his teammates struggled, and things were not getting better…
  • The lines were completely scrambled by the coaching staff some 13 minutes into the 2nd period. Abdelkader and Glendening skated with Nyquist, Nielsen and Vanek were reunited, Larkin and Helm welcomed Mantha to their wing, and Mantha delivered a nice hit butt check on Martinook, resulting in a 2-on-1 and a breakaway for Ehn, who drew a penalty as he hopped over the bench.

Andrei Svechnikov got tagged for hooking on a play that could have been awarded as a penalty shot at 15:14. Detroit headed to its first power play down 15-3 in shots in the 2nd and 36-9 in shots overall (attempts were 51-18 Carolina).

  • Cholowski, Nielsen, Vanek, Athanasiou and Rasmussen worked the first PP unit, which did a fairly solid job of cycling the puck down low and supporting each other on the wing, but struggled to generate shots. They got one marker on Mrazek.
  • Cholowski put a bad pass from Frans Nielsen off Jared Foegele, and the Canes rushed up 2-on-1, but Foegele fumbled the puck and skated around the back of the net instead of trying to score himself.
  • The Wings’ 2nd PP unit consisted of Bertuzzi, Nyquist, Larkin, Abdelkader and Daley. It was unable to generate a shot.
  • The Wings tried to sum some courage as the 2nd period wound down, and Mantha, Glendening and Abdelkader had a good shift together, Ehn followed it up with some strong effort, and Rasmussen and Bertuzzi did their best to kick the Wings into gear…with Cholowski leaving a lovely puck in the slot for Rasmussen, who was stick-checked.

With 4.2 seconds remaining in the 2nd period, Justin Williams sat for hooking, though Jordan Staal was the one who hooked Rasmussen.

  • Athanasiou chipped a puck wide of the net, and that was the 2nd period.

The 2nd period in summary: Detroit was out-shot 15-6 in the 2nd period and 36-12 overall, with the attempts at 61-23 Carolina, and the Wings may not have really shown any energy or enthusiasm until Mantha butt-checked Martinook and the Red Wings managed to generate zip on the power play, but at least displayed some tenacity and resolve.

The Wings’ giveaways only increased from 11 to 14 in the 2nd period, with Mantha and Larkin adding a giveaway apiece.

The 3rd period

3rd period observations:

  • Detroit would be on the power play for 1:55 to start the 3rd period.
  • Nielsen, Rasmussen, Vanek, Athanasiou and Cholowski played on the first unit, and they struggled to get through center ice, generating about 15 seconds of ice time in the offensive zone before changing.
  • Cholowski had to give-and-go with Larkin as the 2nd unit attempted to generate some offense, and instead of “going,” the puck went down the ice for an icing call against on the PP.
  • Bertuzzi, Abdelkader, Larkin, Kronwall and Nyquist worked the 2nd unit, and Nyquist attempted to feed Larkin in the slot, but the puck bounced over Nyquist’s toe…
  • And the power play expired sans any shots for the Red Wings.
  • Kronwall, Mantha, Glendening and Helm of all people set up for a fine scoring chance, with Helm jamming the puck in on Mrazek from about 6 feet out;
  • Athanasiou and Vanek attacked on a sort-of-kind-of-2-on-1 that Vanek shanked off the post;
  • Cholowski chipped a shot through traffic and wide, with Ehn and Rasmussen in front, as Detroit generated repeated scoring chances on Mrazek over the game’s five first minutes.
  • Detroit also did a nice job of stifling the Hurricanes’ attempts to counter with offensive opportunities of their own, bringing a 3rd forward back to help the defense.
  • Jaccob Slavin hit the crossbar at 7:00, however…
  • Vanek, Athanasiou and Nielsen managed to stretch the ice a bit (to his credit, Thomas Vanek was working hard on a consistent basis).
  • 7:34 into the 3rd period, Detroit was actually out-shooting Carolina 2-0.
  • The game crawled to something of a stop until Tyler Bertuzzi fed a Niklas Kronwall pass into Carolina Hurricanes shin pads 9:30 into the period.
  • Honestly, Blashill was using Glendening and Abdelkader as a “stabilize the ship” pairing with an offensive winger of the coaching staff’s choice.
  • For better or worse, Glendening and Abdelkader have been some of the Wings’ more consistent players this season.
  • Dylan Larkin must have gotten a bug up his hockey pants, because he got mean as the game started to wind down, hacking, whacking, finishing checks and otherwise being tough on his opponents.
  • At 11:29 of the 1st period, the shots were 2-2. What offense Detroit had to display appeared to have been spent.

So much for last words…as play resumed, Thomas Vanek was set up by a rans Nielsen pass through center, Vanek charged up the right wing and fed Andreas Athanasiou coming off the left half boards. Athanasiou tucked the puck in over Mrazek’s right pad as Petr attempted to slide across.

Athanasiou scored the 2-1 goal at 12:02 of the 3rd period, from Vanek and Nielsen.

  • Detroit then tossed Glendening, Abdelkader and Nyquist over the boards, with Daley and Cholowski on defense, and the quintet spent the entire shift in its own zone.
  • The Wings surged forward as much as they could, and after Martinook tripped Jensen in the Wings’ own zone, Martinook came back into his own zone to block a centering pass to Jensen to prevent a scoring chance…

Ultimately, Martinook sat at 13:35 for holding.

  • Larkin, Abdelkader, Bertuzzi, Nyquist and Cholowski started the PP, won the draw, and were unable to generate a shot as the Canes cleared the zone…
  • They re-set, re-entered the zone, and could not generate a shot despite another 30 seconds of zone time.
  • So Kronwall, Athanasiou, Rasmussen, Nielsen and Vanek took to the ice, Rasmussen sent a shot wide, and among boos…

Rasmussen could not score, Athanasiou could not score, Calvin De Haan and Justin Faulk made saves ahead of Mrazek as Cholowski also generated a shot that rolled into Mrazek.


  • The power play expired with the Wings buzzing and the Canes icing the puck with 4:13 remaining.
  • The final TV timeout hit at 15:55, and Detroit was out-shooting Carolina 7-2 in the 3rd period. Detroit was out-shot 38-19 overall; attempts were 68-35 Carolina.
  • When play resumed, Detroit won a defensive zone faceoff, Larkin, Mantha and Helm worked with Kronwall and Jensen to generate a shot and some zone time…and the Canes were able to stifle the Wings’ offensive attempts.
  • Ultimately, Carolina got a grind-it-out shift in the Wings’ zone before Athanasiou and Vanek over-complicated things, afforded Carolina another rush, and time ticked down…
  • 2 minutes, 1:45, Canes chip it out of play…

So Dougie Hamilton sat at 19:16 for delay of game.

  • Detroit pulled Jimmy Howard to start the power play. Cholowski, Vanek, Larkin, Athanasiou, Rasmussen and Mantha started the PP, struggled like heck to not give up an empty-net goal, and Larkin ultimately set up Cholowski for a wrist shot that missed Mrazek.

Athanasiou got checked, Carolina set up and Martinook took a pass from Slavin and tucked the puck into an empty net at 19:17.

 Martinook made it 3-1 at 19:17, from Slavin.

Detroit pulled Howard again, and Nielsen, Abdelkader, Bertuzzi, Helm, Kronwall and Nyquist attempted to score, but could not.

The 3rd period in summary: Effort and execution are two very different things. The Red Wings displayed a fair amount of resolve and a good amount of poise as the team attempted to rally from a 2-goal deficit, and the Wings did get a goal from Andreas Athanasiou, but Carolina was simply not forced to play on their heels consistently enough for the Red Wings to impose their will upon their opponent. Detroit’s “kids” were good and Detroit’s veterans got better as the game went on, but the Wings need a team effort to win, and the team has only appeared once this season.


Here’s the Game Summary

And the Event Summary

The final shots were 39-21 Carolina, and the final shot attempts were 69-42 Carolina.

Update: Here’s Sportsnet’s Red Wings-Hurricanes highlight clip:


Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

14 thoughts on “Red Wings-Hurricanes quick take: Wings need more TEAM effort as Canes surprise Detroit at home”

  1. Canes have moved to a playoff contender.
    Young Svech is very good, along with Aho , trade with Flames helped Canes
    Score flattered the Wings.
    Juggling lines as much as the Bald one does not help the kids, IMO
    Rotten E hopefully gone next year.
    Mrazek had another good game. Howard saved the Wings from a Blow Out.
    This is as good as the rebuilding team gets. GM still sick ) LOL, Canes are not going to lose to Wings

  2. I had the honor of watching that in person, some thoughts…
    -Howard was good, very good
    -Cholowski is smooth
    -The Bronx cheer for the first SOG was LOUD.
    -Man, Blashill needs to chill with the line blender. No wonder this team looks lost, they’re playing with different linemates each shift.
    -The Wings dump the puck a LOT, mostly because they’re gassed from spending their entire shift in the D zone.
    -Mrazek had an easy night, Carolina’s best save was made by Faulk.
    -Red or black, empty seats are empty seats.
    -The Wings veterans make a lot of bad plays.
    -60 minutes of hell…no joke

  3. Can’t agree whatsoever about the Wings needing Hicketts.
    Spirit and grit are important. But without ability, in the NHL, they are useless.

  4. Mrazek played great.
    It can be hard to play goalie when you have no action for 14 minutes and Cholo comes down and fires a low wrister and Abby gets a breakaway.
    In the third period, Mrazek had to make more tough saves than Howard did.
    I hope Mrazek finds a full time gig in Detroit. It’s absolutely insane that Holland shopped Mrazek instead of Howard.

  5. Update on Joe Veleno: 12gp, 9 g, 9 a, 18pts. Leads league in game winning goals @ 3. Zadina has 2 g, 2 a in 6 games for GR.

    1. Thanks for posting that beertowndale. Veleno might have been the steal of the draft. Let’s hope so.
      I think all the Zadina media hype (and fans) put a lot a pressure on that young kid. But I think if he gets to the gym and beefs up some, he will have no issue being a star in the NHL. Knock on wood.

  6. Update on Veleno: 14 GP, 10 g, 11 a, 21 points. Phillip Larson has not played yet for Denver U….possibly still injured?

  7. Now I’m a bit concerned. No tweets from George, either, that I can see. In the meantime, behind the paywall at ESPN, Chris Peters has Zadina at #5 among NHL prospects (he thinks the AHL stint has done Zadina some good in adapting to the timing of a faster pace and getting more offensive confidence) and #33 for Veleno (“I think he projects comfortably as a No. 2 center in the NHL due to his excellent two-way skills, tenacity in all zones and high-end hockey sense. He has a good motor and can be very important in puck pursuit. Veleno doesn’t have the finish that some other elite centers do, but he has enough skill to be a productive player at the next level, even if there’s a lower likelihood that he can lead a team’s offensive attack.”)

    1. Veleno hopefully will keep developing. Back in the recent glory days the Wings had many centers in their lineup not playing center. He may develop into a terrific 2nd line center or more. George those of us who are religious are keeping you in our prayers, all of us have you in our thoughts. Peace to you.

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