Howard and Stuart doing their best Dan Boyle impressions.
Detroit traveled to San Jose to kick off their 2nd-round series with the two-seeded Sharks on Friday night. After a hard-fought game where rust was as evident as skill, the Wings find themselves down 1-0 in the series for trying to sit too long on a 1-0 lead and then being unable to turn pressure up late.
The reffing standard was... inconsistent. The Wings failed to convert on their two power play chances while the Sharks were able to tie the game on a third period opportunity and were able to seize momentum in the overtime thanks to a four-minute power play. Still, that didn't have as much to do with the Wings loss as the one goal they put up and the 46-25 shot disadvantage they helped dig themselves.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jumpThe Goals
1st Period 9:30 - Detroit Goal: Nicklas Lidstrom (slap shot) from Pavel Datsyuk
Datsyuk wins an offensive zone faceoff to the side boards and wins a race to it to push it a little deeper beyond the coverage. Here, Zetterberg outraces Boyle and Nichol to the puck low in the corner and backhands it back to Pavel. Pavel gets it at the side board and gives a subtle shoulder shake to keep Nichol honest on the defense. The Sharks keep Datsyuk to the outside, but they have to give him room. He skates from the corner up the boards and threads a backhanded pass through Joe Thornton to Nick Lidstrom taking a run through the slot. Lidstrom gets the pass and puts a quick slapper over the pad and under Niemi's glove to start the scoring. Datsyuk's faceoff win and part of the cycle will get him a bonus half-assist. Zetterberg will get the assist he deserves (and the one I'm quite frankly surprised he hasn't already been given).
Penalty Adjustment: At 11:20 of the first period, Jonathan Ericsson pinches on a puck that he misses and sends the Sharks away on an odd-man rush. The replay of this penalty shows that it is an absolute phantom horseshit call. However, That doesn't change the fact that Ericsson made a bad pinch that led to an odd-man rush. Ericsson will get a minus. Consider it for giving up an opportunity if not for the penalty.
Penalty Adjustment: 6:33 into the 2nd period, Hudler and Pavelski fight for a puck. Pavelski gets good body position and Hudler makes contact. Pavelski goes down easy here, but Hudler sticks his leg in behind the hip and helps use it as a fulcrum to take the man down. Hudler will get a minus.
3rd Period 10:22 - San Jose Goal (PP): Joe Pavelski (slap shot) from Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle
San Jose is on a power play here due to a boarding penalty assessed against Bertuzzi. I know that the standard wasn't followed consistently here, as a hit on Abdelkader in the first period should have been called, but Bert could have laid off. Bertuzzi will get a half-minus. As the comments below explain, Pavelski does do the last-second turn to make it look worse. He shouldn't get away with a hit he shouldn't have made completely for this though. After an early clear on the PK by Eaves, Boyle carries up ice and dishes to Pavelski coming into the zone for a cut into the middle of the ice. Pavelski drops the puck to Thornton as he and Miller collide. Miller loses his footing and falls down, giving room for Thornton at the point. From here, Pavelski goes to the front and Thornton smartly fires a slap shot at Howard that the goalie can't grab. The rebound pops up in the air where Pavelski, with position on Kronwall, slaps it out of midair and in. Miller will get a minus here for falling down and giving the Sharks the room they need. I'm also going to give Kronwall a half-minus. He gives Pavelski a cursory bump while the Sharks' forward skates behind him and gets into the perfect spot to put home the rebound. Kronwall needs to cover him a little better.
Penalty Adjustment: 2:43 into overtime, Justin Abdelkader is fighting for a puck in the offensive zone when he gets his stick up on Wallin and takes a double-minor for high-sticking. This will earn Abdelkader a minus.
Overtime 7:03 - San Jose Goal: Benn Ferriero (wrist shot) from Logan Couture and Dan Boyle
The Wings kill off the four-minute power play, but can't get the zone cleared and give up the game-winner 20 seconds after the expiration of the penalty. We'll pick the play up as Abdelkader gets back on and Ryane Clowe tries to feed Logan Couture on the back with a circle-to-circle pass. The puck is a bit too far out in front of Couture to hit the empty net, so instead he pokes the puck on the backhand past an on-rushing Abdelkader to a wide open Dan Boyle at the point. Boyle skates to the middle of the ice to find a lane and throws a wrister at traffic hoping to get a redirect on net. The puck bounces off of Ferriero in front and goes to the corner, where Couture beats Abdelkader to it and holds him off long enough for Ferriero to swoop in and grab it. He skates a bit up the boards, but is cut off by Helm before turning back inside at the top of the circle and throwing a puck at the net. The puck deflects off Stuart's stick on its way and gets through Howard on the redirect to end the game. It's a tough call here with the concept of a penalty having just expired, but Abdelkader had time to get back in the play and the defense had time to prevent lots of this play from happening, so I'm not clearing any minuses. However, get ready for a heaping helping of Abdelkader hate. Abby dives right down deep into the zone right off the bat in trying to get the Clowe pass. Unfortunately, Helm is already down there trying to get it and Abby's presence not only makes the faster skater back off, but it also leaves Clowe completely uncovered at the point. Abdelkader will receive a minus for failing to have his point man covered or at least preventing the pass to him. (Helm is also too low in the zone, but he's the one who has to go out and cover the point and his being "out of position" was a make-up for Abdelkader never getting into the correct position to begin with). Then, when the puck comes to the boards, Abdelkader loses the battle to Couture and lets Ferriero escape with the puck cleanly. This will get Abdelkader another minus.
-1 to Justin Abdelkader: He was ineffective in this game. His job is to hit people and throw pucks at the net. He got zero attempts (out of a whopping 2) on net and was more than twice as bad as his linemates for the all-important corsi stats. He had more to do with the Wings losing this game than any other member of his team.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk: The Wings best player on the ice created not only the lone Wings goal, but also several very good scoring chances. He did a very good job neutralizing his opposition.
+1.5 to Brad Stuart: Stuie shadowed Joe Thornton all night and did a great job bodying the big center off the puck every chance he got. Aside from that, he helped saved what would have been a surefire goal in the 2nd period by sweeping a loose puck out of traffic.
-0.5 to Danny Cleary and Johan Franzen: More than 15 minutes played each and almost no record of them being on the ice. Zero shots on goal, one lousy hit, and none of that warrior-on-the-boards mentality to be seen.
-0.5 to Patrick Eaves: Aside from the iffy penalty call, Eaves had a truly awful turnover which led to 20 more seconds of zone-scrambling time for Detroit. These kind of mistakes are what lead to goals.
+0.5 to Brian Rafalski, Jonathan Ericsson, and Ruslan Salei: Combining for 8 blocked shots and some very good play, these guys each had one iffy play that took a full plus down to a half, but ultimately, the defense was not what lost this game for Detroit.
Honorable Mentions: Lidstrom got his plus on the goal. He played a tight game, but wasn't up to the standard of pulling any extra pluses out of his bag. Helm looked a bit like a leashed dog on the penalty kill. I'm not sure if it was him being extra-careful or Babcock yanking his chain, but I thought he had some good chances to forecheck short-handed that he passed up on.
Penalty Non-Adjustments: The three penalties called at 2:30 where Miller went and took two Sharks with him were nice, but Miller didn't exactly draw that. The Heatley interference call was also pretty weak and I thought it was a high-risk move by Rafalski to try to play the puck the way he did. The Pavelski/Howard matching roughing penalties was not an adjustment-worthy happenstance. Finally, the Eaves "slash" was common stick-check that the refs decided to give a penalty on thanks to Thornton selling it convincingly shaking his hand. None of those penalties will warrant pluses or minuses.