Not much for pluses to give out on this one; the Wings could not solve Quick and simply lost it in the third. Credit to Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick for an outstanding 51-save shutout, as he was clearly the player of the night. The Wings had some opportunities to get pucks by him, but either couldn't get the shots up or were met with goalsticks from nowhere to stone them.
The Wings got three power plays and if you read the title of the post, you know how that went. Unfortunately, their penalty kill went 1-for-2 while Justin Abdelkader was serving the second two minutes of his double-minor for hitting Rob Scuderi in the face. Drew Doughty put up three assists after Babcock said God touched him. Perhaps for the next game, we can tell Babcock to say that God touched Jiri Hudler so he'll stop touching himself.
Jimmy Howard gave up five goals and had a save percentage of .808, so I'll let you guess what that means for his rating. He was only tested to the tune of one big save, and that wasn't until the third period. I did count the first goal against him as weak though. Still, looking back on the rest of the season, I can't give him a minus rating, essentially calling this the worst tended game of the year by a Wings netminder though, because I don't think it was. I'm going to give him an even rating while reminding everybody that on the scale we've established for goaltenders this year, being at a +0 is terrible.
Scoring and plus/minus adjustment after the jump.The Goals
1st Period 13:27 - Los Angeles Goal: Wayne Simmonds (wrist shot) from Matt Greene and Alexei Ponikarovsky
The Kings dump the puck high at Ericsson and push it into the zone behind him. Rig later gains possession, but a clearing attempt up the boards ends up on Greene's stick for a dump back in that Handzus gets and passes behind the net to Ponikarovsky. Ponikalonglastname passes back up to Green who floats a rainbow wrister at Howard through much less traffic than I remember seeing live. Howard completely flubs this rebound, which ends up right on Simmonds' stick. Simmonds taps this under Howard as he moves to adjust. Bertuzzi's doing his job the whole time here and won't get a minus. The bad goal by Howard will clear Rafalski's minus and half of Franzen's minus. Both of these guys had a chance to keep Simmonds from putting the rebound home (Franzen more a chance than Raffi), but Howard simply can't put a soft shot like that directly out in front. Despite the bad goal, I'm going to let Ericsson and Filppula keep their minuses. I think both of them could have hustled better to prevent this entire scoring play.
Penalty Adjustment: at 7:30, Alec Martinez trips Todd Bertuzzi as punishment for shooting a slapshot at his feet just moments prior. This isn't really a hustle play by Bertuzzi so much as it's bad stick work by Martinez. After that power play expires though, Danny Cleary shows Mr. Martinez what a hustle play leading to a penalty really is and draws the guy back into the box. Cleary gets a plus.
2nd Period 13:39 - Los Angeles Goal: Oscar Moller (wrist shot) from Kyle Clifford and Drew Doughty
A Red Wings line change allows the Kings to get the puck in and retain possession. Drew Doughty gets it at the boards while Miller steps on and tries to establish his position on the ice. The Kings' defender moves to the center of the ice at the blue line and releases a slap shot that's tipped on Howard by Clifford. The redirection is enough for the puck to find a little hole for the puck to trickle through on Jimmy. The puck trickles behind on its way wide, but Moller is the guy on the spot to slam it home. Moller has position on Stuart here for a puck that's behind Howard, but not for a rebound out front. Stu can't cover every one of the angles. Clifford's deflection means this isn't a bad goal, but I don't think anybody on the ice made a particularly noticeable gaffe to earn any extra punishment. No scoring adjustment on this play.
3rd Period 00:23 - Los Angeles Goal: Anze Kopitar (wrist shot) from Dustin Brown and Justin Williams
Carrying the puck out of the Wings' zone after a faceoff, Brad Stuart tries joining the rush and has a slight miscommunication with Henrik Zetterberg. Stu loses the puck in the neutral zone to Kopitar, who pokes it to Williams. The non-vanilla Williams finds Dustin Brown streaking toward the far post and finds him. Before LIdstrom, as the only man back, can get on him, Brown puts a shot on Howard that he kicks straight to Kopitar for the easy put-away goal. First, I'm clearing Lidstrom's minus. He's the only man back and doesn't have much of a chance. I'm also going to clear Holmstrom's minus; Homer's job is to rush up the ice on possession to help create separation as he makes defenders cover. Both Stuart and Zetterberg will get an extra minus. Their communication mix-up causes this turnover and coverage issue. Datsyuk will keep his minus simply because he needed to stop the Williams pass to Brown and didn't.
3rd Period 2:59 - Los Angeles Goal: Anze Kopitar (slap shot) from Drew Doughty
A Kings' icing is waived off as Brad Stuart gets beaten to the puck by Alexei MyLittlePonikarovsky. Poni feeds a backhand to Kopitar on the other side of the net behind the goal line, who tries a pass to Handzus in the slot that's broken up Zetterberg. Z quickly gets it over to Datsyuk, who tries to feed it back to him for a rush up ice, but the two don't connect. The puck ends up on Doughty's stick, as he takes a slap shot aimed directly at the mélange of body parts now known as Branze Stupitar. It bounces off the two-man combination and into the net, where Kopitar is credited with putting the Kings up 4-0. Nobody is cleared of a minus here, as everybody had a chance to block something. Stuart, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg all receive extra minuses. Stu is late turning to retrieve the puck and loses the icing because of it. Datsyuk and Zetterberg usually get away with being cute in their own end, and when they do, there's no special mention of it. Unfortunately, when they fail, they get extra punishment for a turnover that leads directly to a goal.
Penalty Adjustment: By now, I'm pretty sure it's clear to all but the most meth-addled minds out there that the Wings aren't digging themselves out of this hole, but that doesn't excuse Justin Abdelkader from trying to play John Travolta to Rob Scuderi's Nic Cage in 'Face/Off' with his stick. Abdelkader gets a minus.
3rd Period 6:03 - Los Angeles Goal (PP): Jack Johnson (slap shot) from Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown
Almost 3/4ths of the way through the double minor, the puck is dumped around behind Howard with Datsyuk pinching in low to help Ericsson out. Pavel comes up with the puck, but it tripped up by Handzus with no call. With Zetterberg as the only standing forward, the Kings move the puck around to the other side of the ice through a Brown to Doughty to Johnson passing play. Johnson is nearly to the top of the faceoff circle when he unleashes a slap shot past Howard. I'm not making any scoring adjustment here.
+1 to Jiri Hudler: I don't know what the hell I'm doing either here, but he played 15 minutes and for long stretches also looked like the best Wings player out there. Five shots on goal leaves me little room to scream "SHOOT THE DAMN PUCK!" and, if not for a fantastic job getting a stick into the lane a the last second by a Kings' defenseman, Hudler sets up Helm for a beauty of a goal.
Honorable mentions: I thought the Franzen-Filppula-Bertuzzi line had good jump, but again, they ended the night with a minus rating and nothing to show on the offensive scoresheet. I've noticed that although Filppula is the center on this line, when they're in the defensive zone they have Franzen doing the center's work down low while Flip covers the point. I'd like to see them switch this up. I know Filppula's the fastest guy on this line, but Franzen's getting burned over and over on defensive assignments in front of the net. Dan Cleary had seven shots on goal and looked fairly good, but I'm not letting anybody finish a 5-0 blowout loss as a +2 on the adjusted scoresheet, especially when he had a couple great second-chance opportunities down low that he didn't capitalize on.
St. Louis on Wednesday. We'll see if the Quickie Monster's attack on our team scoring is going to carry over to another well-goaltended team.