Detroit kept their streakiness streak streaking as they won their 2nd straight game on Saturday night. The Wings gave up an early goal and everybody puckered up in a bit of an "uh-oh" moment before they righted the ship and laid seven goals on the tired Jets. The Wings convincingly answered for a loss to the then-Thrashers last November in this game, which was closer for longer than it would have seemed.
The refs generally let the two teams play. It felt like both teams got away with just about an even number of uncalled infractions and were victimized by an even number of soft calls. Then again, it's tough to be mad at the refs (or anything) in a 7-1 game. If I have to choose something to hate though, I choose Detroit's 0-for-3 on the PP performance. Winnipeg outshot the Wings 30-29 by the time all was said and done, but that's only because of a 12-4 third period.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 00:35 - Winnipeg Goal: Bryan Little (backhand) from Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane
Just 35 seconds into the game, the Wings find themselves trailing. The Jets put on great pressure in the zone for the first 20 seconds before Detroit can clear the zone. Datsyuk and Bertuzzi pressure the puck as the Jets cycle back to their own blue line to start it back up ice. Oduya goes to Byfuglien, who goes cross ice to Kane in the neutral zone. Ian White steps up to pressure Evander Kane before the Bane of Matt Cooke hits Blake Wheeler on the boards at the other side of the center stripe. Wheeler recognizes Little going through the middle and now behind both Ian White and Johan Franzen (who had both keyed on Kane instead of either covering Little). While Lidstrom is back and gets into a position which prevents Little from being able to make a move to the inside, the Jets forward gets a backhander off from low in the circle which beats Howard five-hole. This is a bad goal for Howard. The shot isn't particularly strong and Little's options aren't particularly numerous. I'm going to clear the official minuses for Datsyuk, Bertuzzi, Franzen, Lidstrom, and White. However, Franzen and White are going to earn their minuses back for the coverage mistake which let Little break into the zone.
1st Period 06:47 - Detroit Goal: Todd Bertuzzi (wrist shot) from Johan Franzen and Nicklas Lidstrom
This play starts in the Detroit zone on Lidstrom's stick. Both teams change after a Winnipeg dump-in. Lidstrom skates it out from behind his own net under no forechecking pressure. From the top of his own faceoff circle, he throws a long bomb pass trying to hit Franzen behind the Winnipeg defense. The pass doesn't connect, but it leaves Franzen as the first player into the zone to retrieve it off the end-boards. Mule collects it at the goal line and goes to skate behind the net before dishing a backhand pass to the short side where Bertuzzi is trailing in uncovered to tap it to the far post and in. This is an absolutely incredible pass from Lidstrom, and he'll earn a bonus assist for doing it. If you have a keyhole anywhere in your house, I guarantee you Lidstrom has seen you naked with vision like that. Franzen's patience and sense of timing on the play to put his right foot back down on the blue line before going in to make sure he was onside will earn the Mule a bonus half-plus.
1st Period 14:56 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (slap shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall
Off an icing, Val Filppula loses an offensive zone faceoff (the jerk) and Randy Jones throws it up the boards in an attempt to get it out so the Jets can change. Ericsson steps up on Tim Stapleton at the blue line to prevent a clean breakout. The puck exits the zone, but Kronwall steps across ice to gather it before it reaches the Detroit blue line. Kronwall immediately turns back up ice and hits Filppula on the far boards re-entering the offensive zone. Filppula skates in with Zetterberg trailing and Hudler driving the center lane; he carries to the top of the circle and leaves a drop pass which Zetterberg steps into to drive a blast low to the glove side on Pavelec for what will turn out to be the game-winner. This is a good offensive-zone step up by Ericsson and an excellent job of recognition by his defensive partner to get it back in during the bad change. Both Ericsson and Kronwall will pick up a bonus half-plus for their work. The real star of this goal-scored is the Wings' third line, who kept the Jets pinned in their own zone without a change for a long shift just before this goal. The tired Jets rushed to get a change that they shouldn't have taken. For doing their jobs to make this play happen, bonus pluses will go to Darren Helm, Chris Conner, Danny Cleary, Brad Stuart, and Jakub Kindl.
2nd Period 04:03 - Detroit Goal: Jiri Hudler (wrist shot) from Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk
Early in the 2nd period, Detroit gets another, as Franzen hits his man coming off the bench. The play starts in the Detroit end, as Todd Bertuzzi spends half a shift playing defenseman so Stuart and Kindl can cover Jets cycling through their areas. Finally, the pressure breaks on a whiff in front of the net by Thorburn. Ericsson, Datsyuk and Franzen head the other way 3-on-3. Pavel carries in and heads to the half boards, trying to thread a pass through the skates of Mark Stuart to Franzen going to the front of the net. Stuart blocks the pass into the corner where he goes to battle for it with Franzen. Mule chips it back to Pavel on the low boards before Pavs chips it back over the pressure to Franzen. While Bogosian reacts to Franzen uncovered behind the net, he slides a pass to Jiri Hudler streaking in off the bench with nobody standing within 15 feet of him at the far-side faceoff dot. Hudler collects and snaps it high glove over Pavelec. This is some awful defensive coverage by the Jets. I'm going to give the plus for Lidstrom to Kindl. Additionally, Todd Bertuzzi will get a half-plus. The defensive work by those three led to the clear and the eventual goal.
2nd Period 04:43 - Detroit Goal: Chris Conner (wrist shot) from Danny Cleary and Darren Helm
Forty seconds later, the rout is on. After an offside call, the Wings' third line comes on to take the draw. Helm wins it, but Detroit is forced back into their own zone when Wheeler gloves down a high dump-in attempt by Lidstrom. TPH gets it back from Wheeler and puts it up the boards, but a step up by Little pushes it back into the zone behind the Detroit net. Here Ian White bodies off Evander Kane for it and makes a short pass to Helm. Under immediate pressure, Helm hits Cleary at the blue line to start out of the zone. Cleary takes the middle lane crossing the center stripe while Conner cuts across the ice at the Jets' blue line. Cleary bounces a pass off the boards to Conner and they're in on a 2-on-2. Conner brings it into the faceoff circle holding the puck in a shooting position the entire time while Flood defends him. Cleary drives the net while being marked by Randy Jones. Conner goes through Flood's legs trying to feed Cleary at the back post, but the puck double-deflects off Flood and Jones and into the net behind Pavelec. Conner is going to keep full goal-credit on this, despite this being a pass attempt. The outcome is a little flukey, but without it, there's a goal either way, as this is such a great feed. Cleary driving the back post will earn him a half non-touch assist for drawing Jones and making him turn his back to the play. Ian White will also pick up an assist for his work turning the puck up ice.
Penalty Adjustments (x2)
2nd Period 07:42 - Bryan Little (tripping): Good hustle by Franzen on a loose puck in the Wings' zone earns him body position on Bryan Little and a penalty plus when Little gets his stick in Franzen's skate and brings him down.
2nd Period 07:59 - Todd Bertuzzi (hooking): Chasing a loose puck into the corner of the Winnipeg zone on the power play, Bertuzzi gets beaten to it by Oduya and gets the stick parallel while giving a little hook. Mickey Redmond is right that it's a very minor infraction (just like what he called the Little penalty), but it's an easy call to avoid by simply not giving the guy even a little bit of a hook. Bertuzzi will get a minus.
2nd Period 09:31 - Detroit Goal: Valtteri Filppula (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Ian White
On the four-on-four, the Jets bring the puck into the Wings' zone with a bit of speed. Burmistrov gets a shot off that's intended to take advantage of a screen caused by Byfuglien crossing in front covered by Franzen. The shot hits Franzen's skate and bounces high to an open area in the Detroit zone. Datsyuk races with Oduya to the loose puck and beats him easily. Pavel pokes it off the boards around the D-man and heads up ice with Lidstrom on a 2-on-1. Pasha shoots it just wide of the net on the chance and the puck richochets off the far-side boards and out of the zone. Franzen is at the bench to collect and throw a backhander to Ian White at center ice to reset the play to Datsyuk looping back around and in. Datsyuk carries on the right wing casually while all four Jets stare in amazement at him. After fully mesmerizing the defense, Pavs chucks it on the backhand across ice to hit a wide-open Valtteri Filppula fresh off the bench for Franzen. Flip tries to shoot over the net from the slot, but he's too close and it ends up going in on the top shelf. This play is almost all Datsyuk, and he'll earn a bonus assist and a bonus plus for his work here. Franzen will also get a third assist and a plus as though he were on the ice.
2nd Period 12:41 - Detroit Goal: Drew Miller (wrist shot) from Brad Stuart and Todd Bertuzzi
The Wings get caught on a bit of a long shift, but make up for it with some good defense. Mark Stuart gets a shot from the blue line, but Pavel Datsyuk blocks it and heads the other way. After gaining the blue line, Datsyuk goes to Bertuzzi on the wing to carry in. Datsyuk drives the center and Bertuzzi cuts in front of Mark Stuart at the top of the circles. Here Bertuzzi loses the puck, allowing Stuart to poke it back to the boards. Bert turns and races Kane to retrieve while cutting off the up-ice angle. Stuart gets it past Bertuzzi, but not before Brad Stuart has come into the picture to keep it in the zone. The Correct Stuart sees a lane to the net with some excellent puck-tipping prospects and fires a slapshot on goal. The puck gets through undeflected, but Pavelec kicks the rebound straight to Drew Miller coming off the bench. Miller wastes no time throwing it past an out-of-position Pavelec for the Wings' sixth goal. Again, a great defensive play by Datsyuk is what makes this goal happen. Pavel will get a bonus half-plus and a third assist. Defensively, Ian White and Nicklas Lidstrom had a lot to do with keeping the Jets to the outside on the pressure. They'll earn back the pluses they lose for changing after their good work. Stuart will keep his plus for being involved in the play, but Ericsson will lose his.
Penalty Adjustments (x3)
2nd Period 12:59 - Jonathan Ericsson (holding): This still feels like it's two minutes for Detroit being up 6-1, but I feel less sorry for watching the replay and seeing that Ericsson definitely does use his free hand on Burmistrov. Ericsson will get a minus.
2nd Period 16:43 - Mark Stuart (interference): Filppula is going to the net like he's supposed to be and Mark Stuart pushes him off-balance like he's not supposed to be. It's not a drawn call, so no adjustment.
2nd Period 18:52 - Nik Antropov (slashing): This is certainly a slash and perhaps even a decent call, but it's not going to earn Danny Cleary any bonus adjustments. Nothing doing here, folks.
3rd Period 01:12 - Detroit Goal: Jiri Hudler (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg
Shortly into the third, Lidstrom tries to regain the first-period magic with an attempt to break Henrik Zetterberg into the zone from his own zone. The pass tips off Z's stick and into the zone where it's recovered by Dustin Byfuglien. Z cuts off his path behind the net to Bogosian, so Buff turns it up ice to the near boards. Jiri Hudler threatens his path up the ice, but quickly realizes that would be like an X-Wing trying to ram the Death Star and instead veers off to take away Byfuglien's lane to Kyle Wellwood in the middle. Fortunately for Red-26, Byfuglien reacts slowly to this turn of events and tries to make that pass. Hudler picks it off easily and passes it to Henrik Zetterberg standing wide-open on the back door. For some reason, Zetterberg is extra-nice and goes straight back to Hudler on the low 2-on-0. Hudler slides it in to end the mercy-kill on Pavelec's night. This play will earn Hudler a self-assist and a bonus plus.
-1 to Jakub Kindl: He'll still finish the night with an overall plus rating, but Kindl struggled with the puck and with turnovers and he never really made up for those well enough to deserve an overall rating as high as that.
+1 to Valtteri Filppula: Already a +3 on the night, this is a well-earned bonus plus for the guy who has become the single-most dangerous Red Wings player on the ice in games he's played. He's been absolutely phenomenal lately.
Both Ericsson and Holmstrom were due for pluses until lazy defensive zone turnovers canceled them out. They're nit-picks and I don't want it to seem like I'm unhappy with the way anybody played. This was a dominating team effort and a good job keeping the foot on the gas for a Wings' team which hasn't done that well lately. I'm keeping this game on my DVR for cold and lonely nights.
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