Kulfan’s notebook: Ill-timed penalties damning Wings

The Detroit Red Wings aren’t taking a ton of penalties thus far, but when they do take bad penalties–the kinds of penalties where they’re committing infractions far away from their own goal, or suffering at the hands of chintzy calls–the Wings are affording their opposition easy goals on their struggling penalties.

As a result, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan’s pre-game notebook focuses on these penalty issues:

[On Saturday] a growing Wings’ issue, taking penalties, surfaced. Three consecutive whistles against them, all in the offensive zone, put Montreal in control. The Canadiens waltzed to a 6-1 win.

“We had good energy, we were on top of them, we were playing good hockey,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We score on the power play. We took three offensive-zone penalties, and that’s something that’s plagued us here throughout the early part of the season. We’ve taken too many penalties. We’ve talked about it. We have to stay out of the box and be more disciplined in those areas.”

Gustav Lindstrom and Danny DeKeyser had tripping calls, and Filip Zadina, a high-sticking infraction during that stretch. Montreal scored twice in that span, once on the power play and another goal shortly after a power play expired.

The Wings couldn’t recover. Detroit is averaging just under six penalties per game, tied for second most in the NHL.

“Sometimes there are good penalties, and you need to take them out of desperation to maybe stop a scoring chance,” defenseman Marc Staal said. “We’re not taking those type of penalties. We’re taking stick penalties and tripping, kind of needless penalties away from the play and those will hurt you.”

The Wings can’t have sustained success playing shorthanded so often.

“I’ve addressed it with our team,” Blashill said. “At the end of the night, we can’t expect to take this many penalties and expect to win.”


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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.