Red Wings-Wild quick take: Wings keep it close, ultimately play unlucky, mediocre hockey when it counts

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to snap a two-game losing streak at the expense of the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. The Wild were in desperate straits battling for a playoff spot, so Detroit had to match the Wild’s urgency.

The Wings got off to a good start, scoring only 3:58 into the game, but a Luke Witkowski fight in the 2nd period sparked the Wild, who scored 2 goals in 2:53 to take a lead that they would not relinquish.

Detroit was able to push hard in the 3rd period, but a terrible set of defensive errors by Ericsson and Daley–and a second bad goal of the game by Jimmy Howard–yielded a 3-1 lead for the Wild with 4:18 remaining in regulation, and for some reason, the Wings still pulled their goalie, ultimately surrendering a 4-1 empty-net goal.

The Wings had some very close calls in terms of scoring tying goals on Devan Dubnyk, but the Wild were both lucky and good, and the Red Wings were both unlucky and very mediocre, as has become the norm.

As a result, the Red Wings lost their 3rd straight game, and the Wings now head to Boston, where they NEVER win.

The Wild’s lineup was known before the game, as posted by MinnesotaWild.com’s Dan Myers:

Jason Zucker – Eric Staal – Mikael Granlund

Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Charlie Coyle

Nino NiederreiterJoel Eriksson EkLuke Kunin

Daniel WinnikMatt CullenTyler Ennis

Ryan SuterJared Spurgeon

Jonas BrodinMatt Dumba

Nick Seeler – Nate Prosser

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

The Red Wings’ lineup was also known before the game, per the Wings’ Twitter account:

The Wild started Jason Zucker, Eric Staal and Mikael Granlund at forward, Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin on defense and Devan Dubnyk in goal;

The Red Wings started Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Justin Abdelkader at forward, Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley on defense and Jimmy Howard in goal.

Pierre Lambert and Chris Lee refereed the game, with Kory Nagy and Brian Mach working the lines.

The 1st period

1st period observations:

  • Larkin drew in for the opening faceoff opposite Staal, and the Wild mucked the puck back to the blueline, chipped the puck into the Wings’ zone, and were called for offside.
  • Larkin was chirping at the officials from the outset, and he drew in for a draw at the Wings’ line opposite Granlund which Larkin won, but Detroit could not penetrate the Wild zone.
  • Instead, Howard stopped the first Wild shot some 35 seconds in, Detroit raced up into the Wild zone and Abdelkader slid a puck into the slot, but the Wild charged back up ice and chipped but did not chase, yielding an icing call at 47 seconds.
  • Zetterberg won the offensive zone draw and Nyquist slid the Wings’ first shot in on Dubnyk just under a minute into the 1st period, Detroit re-set at the offensive zone blueline and Jensen pinched to help the Wings cycle deep behind the Wild net, and then Jensen returned to his point position to play catch with DeKeyser and send a tip attempt into Zetterberg, who battled the puck into the corner.
  • Detroit changed lines and Minnesota chipped and changed as well, and 2:04 into the 1st, Athanasiou suffered a turnover at the hands of Ennis, Suter and Spurgeon sent shots into Wings traffic, and Detroit swiped the puck, with Nielsen chasing the puck deep and Athanasiou and Helm jamming along the left wing half boards.
  • The Wild chipped and changed again some 2:48 into the 1st, and DeKeyser skated to center ice, dumped the puck in for Booth, and he, Glendening and Witkowski crashed and banged to force the Wild to chip and chase. Howard played the puck to Larkin, Witkowski got the puck to Larkin, and he was clothes-lined.
  • Larkin lost his footing, however, so there was no call.
  • Detroit managed to win an offensive zone draw, Anthony Mantha kept the puck in the zone, and Dylan Larkin pumped the puck back to the point…

Where Jonathan Ericsson blasted a heavy slap shot off Prosser, and the rebound came to Abdelkader, who jammed the puck into the net at 3:58.

Β Abdelkader scored from Ericsson and Larkin at 3:58, making it 1-0.

  • Detroit went offside on the post-goal shift, so Nielsen, Helm and Athanasiou had to retreat into their own zone, where Green surrendered a turnover.
  • Helm sent the puck up to Green, he went lateral to Nielsen, and Spurgeon blocked Nielsen’s shot, but the Wings worked the puck deep, Green’s pass to Helm was blocked, and Koivu and Parise nearly connected for a breakaway…
  • Instead, Howard had to make a big stop on a slot shot from Parise at 5:15, which counted as the first shot for the Wild, and Minnesota cycled deep and heavy, managed to change as the Wings cleared the zone, and Minnesota re-set.
  • The first TV timeout hit at 5:31, and at 5:31, Detroit led in shots 3-1 and attempts 6-5; hits were 2-1 Detroit; giveaways 1-0 Wild, takeaways 1-0 Wild; blocked shots 3-1 Detroit; faceoffs 4-2 Detroit (67%).
  • The Wings still looked a little loose defensively, and when play resumed, the Zetterberg line surrendered a BREAKAWAY as Granlund found Staal splitting the Wings’ defense, and Howard made a HUGE stop.

  • Zetterberg then skated into the Wild zone and fed Nyquist and Bertuzzi for a slot opportunity, but Zetterberg’s pass was wide, and the Wild skated into the Wings’ zone and chipped a slot shot wide of the net, too.
  • Detroit was surrendering far too much time and space to the Wild, who were firing attempts wide…for the present moment.
  • Athanasiou, Nielsen and Helm worked the puck into the Wild zone, went offside, won the blueline faceoff, and 8 minutes into the 1st, Detroit chipped and chased, with Brodin and Dumba working the puck out to Winnik. He tumbled near Green, which surprisingly didn’t result in a penalty, but Minnesota set up cycling in the Wings’ zone, they got the puck to the blueline and Howard had to stop a Dumba shot from distance before Nielsen avoided Winnik to help the Wings clear the zone.
  • Glendening, Booth and Witkowski created a little bit of havoc in the Wild zone 9:30 into the 1st, and the Larkin line replaced the 4th line as Detroit was rolling its personnel…
  • But Howard had to make a stop off a Wild rush…
  • The Wild won the next faceoff, and Spurgeon boomed a slapper wide of the net…
  • Minnesota re-set in the Wings’ zone, and Abdelkader and Mantha worked the puck to Larkin at center, and he chipped a long shot on Dubnyk, ushering in the next TV timeout at 10:28.
  • At 10:28, shots were 5-3 Detroit, but attempts were 10-8 Minnesota; hits 3-3; giveaways 1-1, takeaways 1-0 wild; blocked shots 3-1 Detroit; faceoffs 7-4 Detroit (64%).
  • During the TV timeout, Bruce Boudreau suggested that the Red Wings’ speed means that they’re always “looking for the long bomb pass,” and that it must be cut off.

Detroit then received an extended stretch of 6-on-5 time on a delayed Wild penalty, but Detroit could not convert on it.

Matt Dumba sat at 11:09 for cross-checking Bertuzzi. The penalty was called “interference.”

  • Detroit set up on the PP with Mantha drop-passing the faceoff win to a crowded slot, and in the slot, the Wild took the puck, skated out of their zone and into Detroit’s before chipping and changing.
  • Green helped the Wings carry the puck into the Wild zone, and Mantha, Larkin, Athanasiou and Bertuzzi worked the perimeter, using Mantha at the right half boards as a pivot.
  • Green fumbled the puck at the blueline and Detroit set up with new personnel at 1:10 thereof, with Nyquist, Zetterberg, Nielsen, Abdelkader and Kronwall setting up.
  • Kronwall sent a shot wide, Zetterberg’s shot was blocked by Brodin, Abdelkader fed Kronwall ,he fed Nyquist, Zetterberg went down low, and Detroit continued to pass and pass some more, with Kronwall’s point shot stopped by a diving Dubnyk.
  • After the power play, Booth, Helm and Glendening came out and ground the puck out down low, with Daley and Ericsson helping, and instead, the Wild raced into Detroit’s zone, and Howard had to make a big stop on a backhand by Jason Zucker.
  • At 14:06, Helm and Zucker tried to drop the gloves, but their pushing and shoving yielded restraint from their teammates, and nothing resulted from the scrap.
  • At 14:06, Detroit was out-shooting Minnesota 8-4; attempts 14-11 Detroit; hits 4-3 Detroit; giveaways 1-1, takeaways 2-0 Minnesota; blocked shots 3-2 Detroit; faceoffs 9-5 Detroit (64%).

Helm and Zucker were given off-setting penalties for roughing and cross-checking, respectively, at 14:06.

  • Detroit buzzed off the deep offensive zone faceoff, with Larkin winning the puck to DeKeyser, whose shot was tipped by Mantha; Dubnyk made a good stop, and Detroit had to take another faceoff in the offensive zone.
  • Detroit won the next faceoff, and Jensen sent a Larkin pass into the netting off a Wild block;
  • Larkin then got tied up, and Minnesota raced away, but Kronwall and Green took the puck, set up behind the Wings’ net, and Kronwall was chased out of the pocket, eventually drop passing the puck to Larkin. Larkin charged through center ice and clanged a shot off the goalpost behind Dubnyk;
  • Detroit re-set and Athanasiou chugged through center ice, was held up by Suter, and AA dropped the puck to Jensen, who sent a wrister whistling past Dubnyk.
  • Minnesota skated in deep and cycled, but Nielsen and DeKeyser stole the puck, Jensen chugged into the Wild zone and fired a shot off Dubnyk, and as play returned to 5-on-5, Minnesota tried to work a one-timer play together.
  • Zetterberg, Nyquist and Helm nearly connected on lateral slot passes before the Wings had to retreat into their own zone, and Larkin returned to the ice, centering the puck for Mantha, who just missed the Wild net.
  • Mantha carried the puck back to the point, Detroit cycled, Larkin dropped the puck to Daley…

And Mantha got called for elbowing at 17:25. It was an offensive zone penalty, which is bad, and it was sold.

  • Minnesota won the offensive zone faceoff and Glendening, Abdelkader, Ericsson and Daley set up vs. the Wild’s first PP unit. Parise, Koivu, Coyle, Niederreiter and Dumba could not hold the puck in, Detroit tried to clear a chip-in, but Jensen and nielsen could not, and Coyle fired a shot that was blocked into the netting.
  • Detroit won the next faceoff and Helm and Nielsen managed to clear the zone with DeKeyser and Jensen, and the Wild re-set at center.
  • Zucker, Staal, Suter, Spurgeon and company watched Glendening skate away and charge into the Wild zone, where Glendening deked and dangled but fired a backhand wide with Abdelkader also driving the net.
  • Staal then got a shot on Howard, Dumba put a puck into Howard, and Green and Nielsen shoved Eriksson Ek away from Howard’s crease–after Eriksson Ek sat on Howard’s back and head.
  • When the PK expired, Howard tried to poke the puck away from a Wild player, and his stick was checked out of his hands;
  • Zetterberg, Larkin and Nyquist worked into the Wild’s zone, but they were unable to do much more other than cycle.

The 1st period in summary: The Red Wings absolutely dominated the shots–if you believe the shot clock–and Detroit out-possessed the home team in terms of puck control, but the Wild were a pain in the ass, a pain in the neck and a pain in the Wings’ heads, preventing Detroit from scoring more than a single goal. Detroit went 0-for-2 on first period power plays, too.

Statistically, Detroit out-shot Minnesota 11-5 and out-attempted Minnesota 23-15; hits were 4-4; giveaways 2-1 Detroit, takeaways 2-1 Minnesota (possession changes 4-2 Minnesota); blocked shots 5-4 Detroit; faceoffs 13-8 Detroit (62%).

Individually, Larkin led the Wings with 2 shots, and 9 other skaters had a shot; Glendening led the Wings with 2 hits; Jensen and Ericsson had giveaways; Green had a takeaway; Nielsen blocked 2 shots; Zetterberg’s 4-and-1 (80%) led the Wings in the faceoff circle; Detroit was +5; Green played 7:03, Kronwall 6:44, Daley 6:42, Mantha 6:36, Jensen 6:27, Nielsen 6:23, Larkin 6:21.

The 2nd period

2nd period observations:

  • Larkin drew in for the period-opening faceoff vs. Staal and the Wild won the draw, but went offside on their initial rush.
  • Larkin and Granlund drew in for the second draw, Detroit won it, and the Wings chipped the puck down on Dubnyk, who held the rolling puck.
  • Larkin then took a third faceoff, this time vs. Staal, Mantha pushed the puck back to Daley and he fired a slap shot into Dubnyk from 60 feet out.
  • Larkin took his fourth faceoff of the shift, losing it to the Wild, and they dumped and chased, worked the puck to the point off a line change, and Larkin was able to clear the Wings’ zone so that the Wings could follow the Wild’s example and change personnel.
  • Nyquist, Zetterberg and a pinching Jensen were able to work the puck down low in Minnesota’s zone before the Wild cleared, Tyler Bertuzzi worked as the last man back and was stifled at the Wild line, and Zucker was closely-checked until Zetterberg steered Staal away from the net while taking his netminder’s cage off the pegs.
  • 1:33 into the 2nd period, Nielsen, helm and Athanasiou drew in for an offensive blueline faceoff, they lost it, and Jensen swiped the puck from the Wild’s Zucker, chipped the puck down ice, and Staal re-set, lost the puck to Jensen at the Wings’ line, and Jensen pinched again, helping Athanasiou and Nielsen at least facilitate a change.
  • The Wild got their first real rush of the 2nd period 2:25 in, and Dumba blasted a snapper wide of Howard; Minnesota cycled against Glendening, Nielsen and Witkowski, and ultimately, the Wings were able to clear the zone and bring Booth onto the ice.
  • Minnesota re-set, Coyle cycled, Prosser fed Cullen in front, he was stopped by Howard, and Howard made a fine rebound stop off an Abdelkader turnover.
  • Ericsson then sent a puck out of play off Eriksson Ek, and Minnesota continued to generate pressure on the Wings puck carriers as Daley and Ericsson tried to help Larkin, Abdelkader and Mantha clear the zone.
  • Minnesota surrendered possession through the neutral zone, but they re-set in a hurry, and Howard had to make a big stop on Parise on a cross-ice feed.
  • The 2nd period was “all Minnesota” some 4:30 into the 2nd.
  • Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Nyquist tried to change that, with Jensen’s help, and they generated a shot attempt before Minnesota charged into the Wings’ zone.
  • Detroit countered and changed, with Nielsen, Helm and Athanasiou working the cycle;
  • Minnesota iced the puck at 4:35 of the 2nd, and Larkin fed Mantha for a one-timed snapper wide of Dubnyk;
  • Minnesota raced up the other way, with Zucker feeding Granlund, and Granlund’s “power move” was unable to generate a shot on Howard.
  • Instead, Daley pinched and slid a sneaky shot into Dubnyk for the Wings’ first real shot on net at 6:08.
  • At 6:08 of the 2nd, Detroit had been out-shot 5-2 in the 2nd, but retained a 13-10 shot lead overall; attempts 27-21 Detroit; hits 6-5 Detroit; giveaways 4-1 Detroit, takeaways 2-1 Minnesota; blocked shots 6-6; faceoffs 18-12 Detroit (60%).
  • Glendening, Booth and Witkowski took the post-TV timeout shift, and the Wild won the battle for possession, but could not generate zone time.

So, of course, the Wings took a penalty.

And Luke Witkowski got into a fight with Nick Seeler on the delayed penalty.

David Booth got a 2-minute penalty for holding at 6:41. Witkowski and Seeler went off for 5-minute fighting majors.

  • Minnesota won the opening draw and Suter fired a slap shot wide of the net, with Detroit’s Ericsson clearing the zone.
  • Minnesota returned to Detroit’s end and Glendening, Abdelkader, Ericsson and Daley battled the Wild’s PP…

And as the Wild pushed the puck toward the Red Wings’ net, Jonathan Ericsson tipped the puck past Howard. Staal was credited with the goal as it must have gone off his foot as well.

Β Staal was credited with the goal from Spurgeon and Suter at 7:22. 1-1.

  • Minnesota continued to attack the Wings on the post-PP shift, and Bertuzzi, Zetterberg and Nyquist had a very short shift before Nielsen’s line returned to the ice, working with Green and Kronwall.
  • Minnesota cycled the puck down low and they cleared the zone, and Nielsen was tripped at the Wild line, yielding an offside call.
  • Detroit won the offensive zone blueline draw, and Abdelkader fed Mantha in front for an “almost,” and Mantha retained possession of the puck, working with Ericsson to try to center the puck.
  • Daley’s blast was blocked by Winnik, and the Wild chipped and changed some 9:35 into the 2nd.
  • Detroit worked the puck through center ice as Nyquist took to the ice with Bertuzzi and Zetterberg, but Nyquist’s shot was blocked, Nyquist could not retain possession at the blueline…

And Minnesota raced in 3-on-2, Zetterberg abandoned Kronwall chasing the puck, and Koivu fed Parise, who slid a sneaky little shot through Howard’s blocker side.

Β Parise made it 2-1 at 10:15 from Koivu and Niederreiter.

  • Athanasiou got a shot off on the post-goal shift, but Helm, Nielsen and Athanasiou only saw about 25 seconds before Glendening, Booth and Zetterberg took to the ice, working to try and stem the bleeding.
  • Zetterberg ultimately cleared the puck to Booth, he fed Glendening, and he went offside at 11:31.
  • At 11:31, Detroit was out-shot 7-4 in the 2nd but out-shot Minnesota 15-12 overall; attempts 31-24 Minnesota; hits 6-6; giveaways 4-1 Detroit; takeaways 3-2 Wild; blocked shots 8-7 Wild; faceoffs 21-14 (60%) Detroit.
  • When play resumed, Larkin, Mantha and Abdelkader chased the Wild around the ice, as did Daley and Ericsson, and Abdelkader fed Ericsson for a clearing attempt that Mantha could not control at center due to a high stick.
  • Nielsen’s line replaced the kids, and Green made a big pinch, chipping a lateral shot on Dubnyk, who made an easy stop.
  • Minnesota returned to the Red Wings’ zone with 7:10 remaining in the 2nd, and as Wild fans barked for a penalty, Athanasiou skated into the Wild zone and fired a shot wide of Dubnyk.
  • Detroit brought Zetterberg, Nyuist and Bertuzzi out, and Zetterberg had to help DeKeyser not surrender a catastrophic shot attempt to Seeler of all people.
  • The Wings continued to surrender shots and shot attempts to Minnesota, with Howard stopping Spurgeon;
  • Abdelkader, Larkin and Zetterberg played together for half-a-shift, and they did OK;
  • Mantha then joined Zetterberg and Nyquist, and Mantha got a good shot off on Dubnyk.
  • Howard made two good stops on Ennis and Coyle, and Detroit charged up 4-on-2 but made nothing happen in their rush;
  • With 4:40 remaining in the 2nd, Detroit parried away a Wild rush, and Mantha double-shifted with Nielsen and Athanasiou before exiting the ice for Darren Helm.
  • When Larkin tried to race away with the puck deep in his own zone, the Wild swiped the puck, Eriksson Ek’s shot was blocked, and Prosser slid a sneay shot through Howard that went off the side of the net.
  • Minnesota DOMINATED the shift against Larkin, Abdelkader and Helm, and Detroit really struggled against the Wild’s fourth line.
  • Larkin managed to set up in the offensive zone and get a shot off that Dubnyk stopped, and Zetterberg passed up shooting for a passing attempt that was blocked ;
  • Larkin also almost got in a fight.
  • With 2:15 remaining, Bertuzzi returned to the ice with Nyquist and Zetterberg, and the Wild fed Staal for a rush that Daley stifled.
  • Detroit re-set, skated the other way, and Nyquist fed Daley, he ust missed Nielsen for an open-net redirect, and Mantha and Glendening helped Nielsen pressure the Wild.
  • Detroit was taking over again.
  • At 18:36, Detroit was out-shot 12-8 in the 2nd and held a 19-17 shot lead; attempts 39-34 Detroit; hits 9-7 Detroit; giveaways 4-1 Detroit, takeaways 4-2 Minnesota; blocked shots 10-9 Minnesota; faceoffs 24-15 Detroit (62%).
  • Detroit won the post-TV timeout blueline faceoff, Larkin fed Abdelkader and HE COULD NOT CONVERT despite having an open net.
  • Larkin, Athanasiou and DeKeyser cycled, Abdelkader took some physical punishment and three Wild players shoved Abdelkader after play.
  • Athanasiou and Larkin were reunited, at least for one shift.
  • With 47.4 remaining in the 2nd, Mantha, Zetterberg and Nyquist came out and lost an offensive zone blueline draw;
  • Minnesota’s Koivu flipped the puck into the netting, and the teams took one final draw in the Wings’ defensive zone. howard had to make a great stop on Parise, the Wild chipped loose pucks around the Wings’ net, but not on net, and Winnik and Kronwall chewed the fat as the 2nd period ended.

The 2nd period in summary: Minnesota absolutely dominated the first 15 minutes of the 2nd period, and they scored a pair of goals as a result. Minnesota pounced on the Wings’ turnover-prone play after the Witkowski fight, and attacked Detroit’s net, scoring one goal off a skate deflection (legal, Staal’s) and one goal off a bad play by Howard to cheat off the goalpost (Parise’s). Ultimately, Minnesota out-shot Detroit 14-9 in the 2nd, but the Wings came to life after the 15-minute mark, and Detroit was snarly and growling for goals as Athanasiou and Larkin reunited and Mantha and Zetterberg reunited.

Statistically, Detroit was out-shot 14-9 in the 2nd and the shots were 20-19 Detroit overall; shot attempts were 42-37 Detroit; hits 9-7 Detroit; giveaways 4-1 Detroit, takeaways 4-2 Minnesota (possession changes 8-3 Wild); blocked shots 10-10; faceoffs 25-17 Detroit (60% for Detroit); Minnesota was 1-for-2 on the PP, Detroit 0-for-1.

Individually, Larkin led the Wings with 5 shots; Mantha and Daley had 2, and another 10 players had 1 shot; Glendening and Bertuzzi led the Wings with 2 hits apiece; Jensen, Abdelkader, Nyquist and Ericsson had 1 giveaway; Green and Athanasiou had 1 takeawya; Ericsson blocked 3 shots, Nielsen and Green 2; Larkin’s 10-and-6 (63%) led the Wings in faceoffs; Detroit was “even”; Daley led the Wings with 14:14 played; Abdelkaderp layed 12:55, Ericsson 12:46, Zetterberg 12:44, Jensen 12:30, Mantha 12:27, Green 12:19, Larkin 12:17.

The 3rd period

3rd period observations:

  • Larkin and Staal drew in for one more opening faceoff, and the pair tied each other up, so the Wild pushed the puck deep and Staal beat Larkin to an icing, but Larkin fumbled a pass to Ericsson, Daley had to clear the puck to center, and Staal chipped and changed.
  • Detroit re-set and charged into the Wild’s zone on their own chip and chase, and Minnesota exited their zone, re-set at center opposite Zetterberg, Nyquist and Bertuzzi, and Zetterberg made a good defensive zone stop on Parise;
  • Bertuzzi skated into the Wild zone and fired a good shot on Dubnyk;
  • Both teams changed 1:20 into the 2nd, and Athanasiou was offside on a call that should have brought to the blueline, but instead, Detroit was called for icing.
  • Nielsen, Helm and Athanasiou worked together on the checking line, and they pushed the puck out of trouble, but Suter sent a long bomb to Ennis, and he spun and shot wide of the Wings’ net.
  • 2 minutes into the 3rd, Detroit was still surrendering chances up the gut as their defensemen were too widely-spaced.
  • Glendening, Bertuzzi and Witkowski worked together on the 4th line some 2:20 into the 3rd, and they had to work damn hard to help Jensen and DeKeyser clear the puck…

And Minnesota chipped the puck over the glass sans Red Wings interference, and Luke Kunin very reluctantly sat at 2:45.

  • Zetterberg, Nyquist, Abdelkader, Kronwall and Zetterberg won the opening faceoff but ended up surrendering a rush by Koivu before Detroit set up.
  • Kronwall dropped the puck to Nyquist at center, Detroit entered the zone, and Koivu swiped a Zetterberg pass and cleared the zone.
  • With 1:18 left on the PP, Nyquist chugged into the zone himself and sent a shot off Dubnyk’s foot.
  • Nielsen, Kronwall, Zetterberg, Nyquist and Abdelkader ground the puck out down low, Brodin stole the wraparound, the puck hit a stanchion, and Nielsen got a backhander into Dubnyk.
  • The Wings’ old “Datsyuk Drop” pass was working.
  • The Wild won the draw with about 30 seconds remaining in the PP, and Detroit had to charge into the Wild zone with only 15 seconds remaining as a result, and Larkin coughed up the puck, yielding the end of the power play.
  • Detroit got 3 shots on the PP, but they had no finish.
  • The Wild then attacked the Wings as best they could, stealing pucks from the Red Wings and nearly setting up Staal for a slot shot–twice, with Glendening blocking Staal’s stick the first time–but the Wings were able to clear the zone.
  • And ice the puck with 14:09 remaining.
  • Zetterberg drew in for a defensive zone draw and won it to Nyquist and Bertuzzi, but Detroit could not keep the puck in the offensive zone, and DeKeyser and Jensen surrendered a shot attempt to Suter.
  • Mantha, Larkin and Abdelkader had a solid-enough shift some 7:00 into the 3rd, with Mantha hammering a Wild defenseman with a good check…
  • And at the other end of the ice, Howard made a smart stop on the blocker side, no longer cheating away from the post.
  • Athanasiou swiped the puck from Seeler in the Wild zone, but Seeler grabbed Athanasiou…
  • Legally, apparently, stopping Athanasiou’s rush.
  • With 11:15 remaining, Staal charged up with Zucker, Larkin stole the puck, chugged into the Wild zone and tried to feed Ericsson. The play did not work, and Larkin then sent a shot on Dubnyk, who made a toe save.
  • Matt Cullen got away from Mantha and sent a sneaky shot into Howard’s blocker, but again, Howard was no longer cheating off the post;
  • With 10:15 remaining, Detroit parried away a Wild rush, Witkowski chipped and chased, and Bertuzzi NEARLY SCORED as Dubnyk flubbed a passing play on an uncalled icing…
  • And Spurgeon blocked a Nielsen shot that may have been going into the net.

For some reason, the refs chose to stop play to separate Helm and Seeler, and Helm was the only person called at 10:39.

  • Detroit worked on the PK with Lakrin, Glendening, Daley and DeKeyser, and Howard had to “snow angel” as the Wild flipped a puck over the back of the net to the slot.
  • Nielsen drew in with 9:02 remaining and 1:42 left on the PK, Nielsen lost the draw, Abdelkader blocked a shot, the Wild worked the perimeter, Parise, Koivu, Spurgeon, Niederreiter and Suter cycled…
  • And Howard made a good set of stops on Parise and Koivu.
  • Minnesota continued to attack, with 8:10 remaining and 49 left on the PK, but Howard made a good stop on Spurgeon, Nielsen made a block, Minnesota cycled again…
  • Daley and DeKeyser made desperate attempts to clear the zone;
  • Howard avoided a Niederreiter redirection…as did the net…
  • the Wild worked the puck down low, blasted a shot wide, and Howard stopped a Parise tip, with Helm joining the fray, but he lost his stick as it was slashed.
  • The Wild chipped and chased as Wings players poured over the boards, and with 6:40 remaining, Detroit charged into the Wild zone, Nyquist fed Ericsson, but he missed the net…
  • Minnesota worked the puck back to the point, and Howard stood tough as the Wild hemmed in Zetterberg, Nyquist and Larkin, who tried to cheat away from the puck.
  • Ultimately, the Wild were the team that was possessing the puck, and Detroit was blocking shots and passes in their own defensive zone.
  • Green broke free, sent a shot into the slot, and Athanasiou and Glendening dealt with some pushes and shoves with 5:19 remaining in the 3rd.
  • At 14:41, Detroit was out-shooting Minnesota 8-5 in the 3rd and 28-24 overall; attempts 52-52; hits 14-9 Detroit; giveaways 6-1 Detroit, takeaways 7-6 Wild; blocked shots 15-11 Detroit; faceoffs 28-23 Detroit (55%).
  • Detroit won the post-TV timeout faceoff, but the Wild cleared the zone, and Green and Kronwall worked the puck through center ice, with Green firing a sneaky slapper off Dubnyk’s blocker with 5 minutes remaining.
  • Detroit then got hemmed in its own zone.
  • To the Wild’s credit, it was playing textbook defensive hockey–Wild trap stuff, Lemaire era.

And Minnesota scored a 3-1 goal at 15:41.

Jason Zucker sent the puck into the Wings zone, Granlund won the puck battle away from Ericsson, and Zucker tipped the puck through Howard’s 5-hole.

Β Zucker scored from Granlund and Suter at 15:42.

On the post-goal shift, Detroit pulled its goaltender, Larkin and Jensen surrendered possession of the puck, and Zucker scored again.

Β Zucker made it 4-1 at 16:22 from Dumba.

  • Detroit did not give up, with Glendening, Booth and Witkowski given the chance to press as Jensen and Daley worked together on the blueline. The Wings at least pushed the puck into the Wild zone and forced an icing…
  • The next shift yielded another Wild icing opposite Nielsen and comapany, but the Wings could not win faceoffs–suddenly–Minnesota was dominant on stick battles, and time ticked down.
  • With 1:30 remaining, Kronwall fed Booth, Glendening and Witkowski ground the puck out down low, and Minnesota could not clear off Jensen’s hand, but they ultimately dumped and chased.
  • The Wings looked BAD. VERY BAD.
  • The final 30-something seconds ticked down with Bertuzzi, Zetterberg and Witkowski on ice, and they surrendered a rush to the Wild and Minnesota cycled down low, trying to score and almost succeeding.

The 3rd period in summary: Detroit made a good push to attack the Wild for the first half of the period, but Minnesota took over as the period progressed because Detroit played dumb, risky hockey, and ultimately the Wild scored 2 very easy goals due to detail work that was not focused on by the Wings all night long.

The score reflected the Wings’ effort and attention to detail.

Statistics:

Here’s the Game Summary

And the Event Summary:Β 

The final shot attempts were 56-54 Minnesota, despite Detroit’s 29-27 shot advantage.

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.

10 thoughts on “Red Wings-Wild quick take: Wings keep it close, ultimately play unlucky, mediocre hockey when it counts”

  1. Maybe the Wings Skill Level is far too low to compete with other teams especially at this time of the year. Wings are doing the best they can and when they take the night off, it is really, really ugly.

    1. They definitely don’t seem to have the ability to turn it up late in games like they used to. Although they missed a couple point blank chances and played pretty well for a few good stretches of that game.

      Close regulation losses with good effort is what we’re cheering for at this point anyway isn’t it?

      1. This time of year, close and entertaining games are pretty much what the Wings can give us, be they wins or losses. :/

    2. I don’t think the skill level is lacking, I think that the execution is the problem, and it’s the team’s inability to execute plays that hurts them. As Blashill says–and he’s not wrong–the Wings are a team that can win when it plays to 100% of its abilities. It doesn’t do that enough.

      1. I sure do not know if the skill level on the current roster is very deep?? I just can’t think of one player that exhibits Top level skills. The youngsters need some time but hopefully as the kids arrive many current Wings will be gone. Maybe the level of some skill takes away from their abilities.

        Tough to nail down but some are just plain not good enough, are they hindered by players around them?

        Opposition players find it easier to “out play” Wings players that are struggling, Tampa for example.

        We might be a few points ahead if they played harder/smarter. Certainly not a Black and White answer.

        I am sure some Current Wings are frustrated. “take away those 2 goals we gave them(vs Minny)” Who was responsible? Someone knows and I don’t really want to know

  2. Sorry George but I strongly disagree. We have many players that can look great on any given night, but we lack elite skill. There is no 1D that can command a game. No 1C that can go head-to-head with anyone. No 1W that can score with ease. I mean look at the Winnipeg game…Buff, Wheeler, Maine. We had no answer. Herman, Stamkos, Kucherov. No answer. We don’t even have one player like this and some teams have 3 or 4 stars. I also don’t think Larkin, Mantha, AA will come anywhere near this. It’s ugly. Skill is a huge issue. But yeah once in awhile the execution is so good that you forget that.

  3. All teams go through ups and downs. Wings had a very long period of up, so it was bound to come down. There are a lot of common sense things that could have been done to make this hurt less, but a lot of the suggestions I have seen make complete sense now that we have seen it play out.

    Our young players are still young, and shouldn’t be expected to be top tier players.

  4. I agree that we don’t have any Mcdavid, Mathiews, Laine, Doughty or Karlsson level guys but I do think that Mantha, AA, and Larkin can still turn into top end players in the league as the wings team improves. I guess it depends how you define elite players. If Mantha and AA turn into perennial 25 or 30 goal scorers and Larkin turns into a 70 point per season guy I think we’re off to a good start. Its pretty obvious though that outside of those 3 guys we sure could use some more prospect/young guy depth.

    1. I don’t see AA as a 25-30 goal guy.

      Mantha probably falls into that range, but only if used in the right situation. He’s not going to carry his own line like many of the elite wingers can do – Ovechkin, Hall, Laine, Kessel. These are guys opponents need to key on. Mantha will score 25-30 goals through osmosis. He’s like JVR or Anders Lee. Guys who will get 25-30 goals but only because they benefit from the guys around them.

      Larkin scoring 70 points. Maybe. But I still haven’t seen anything to suggest he can be a top 10 or top 20 center in this league. He has 26 goals in his last 145 games. That’s a pace of 15 goals per year. Wake me up when he’s averaging 35 goals a year…

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