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Kindl gets over missed opportunity

Alone in the high slot, defenseman was robbed by great play

Saturday, 04.20.2013 / 8:08 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Kindl gets over missed opportunity

VANCOUVER – To Jonathan Ericsson, defensemen are defensemen for a reason.

“I’m not a goal-scorer that’s why I’m a defenseman,” the veteran defenseman said, following Saturday’s morning skate at Rogers Arena where the Red Wings were preparing for a game against the Canucks.

The same can be said for nearly every defensemen – except maybe Bobby Orr – who has played in the NHL.

Defensemen defend. Forwards score.

Ericsson was speaking of Jakub Kindl’s chance to tie the score late Wednesday in Calgary. With 16.6 seconds left in regulation, and Detroit on a 6-on-4 advantage, Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff came out to challenge Kindl alone in the slot. The Wings’ defenseman uncorked a quick rising missile, but Kiprusoff made a remarkable save with his left catching glove for the most spectacular of his 36 stops.

“When I got the puck I was basically wide-open, so there wasn’t much time left,” Kindl said. “When I got it I put everything on it and tried to score. It either goes in or it doesn’t go in.”

Jakub Kindl
Defense - DET
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 13
SOG: 70 | +/-: 12
Kindl can hardly be blamed for missing the tying goal by a nanometer, yet the moment has replayed over and over in his head. It’s disappointing because of what is at stake for the Red Wings, who are desperately in need of wins as they try to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 22nd consecutive time.

“I won’t say that it bothered me, but I had the opportunity to tie the game,” Kindl said. “As a defenseman you don’t get an opportunity to shoot from the high slot and nobody in the way. The goalie, basically, didn’t have any traffic in the area so he saw the whole shot. It either goes in or he makes the save.”

Ericsson, who had a rare breakaway against Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov on April 1, can empathize with Kindl.

“I think you have to practice those types of situations to become more confident in those situations,” said Ericsson, who missed low on Varlamov’s stick side. “Forwards are more used to it, but for us we don’t really get to shoot them in practice. We’re working more in getting the passes to the forwards so they can shoot the pucks. It’s a matter of practicing and getting used to those situations.”

Gustav Nyquist, who has had his share of breakaways this season, is less sympathetic to a defenseman’s cause.

“It’s different for defensemen when they come down,” he said. “It’s usually only in warm-ups when they get to come down and take a shot like that with just the goalie standing in front of them. … I’m sure it’s a weird feeling for them when they come down on a breakaway.”

Still, the Red Wings’ rookie forward complimented Kindl for his last-second effort.

“Kuba is obviously one of those defensemen with great offensive instincts,” Nyquist said. “He plays on the power play and makes the right, smart plays and he can shoot the puck well, as we’ve seen.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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