Getting caught up from an awesome weekend in Chicago with Anne from Kansas, Graham, his awesome family, and a few new friends, it's time to finally finish the CSSI from Sunday night's victory over the Hawks.
Ordinarily I'd talk about the reffing and whatnot here, but I feel the Hawks have done enough complaining to last a year on that front. Instead, I just want to reiterate what a great time it was getting to the United Center for a game. We met chicagowingsfreak! and Dan (@Cptnshnr4 on Twitter) at a bar called Clutch on about a mile from the UC, had a few beers, ate some great food and headed out. At the UC, we met up with Sam from Second City Hockey, a solid human being who was out front selling copies of The Committed Indian. Sam's a great guy in person and as it turns out, cannot actually spit acid.
I can't wait to get out there again. Chicago was a very welcoming place.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 03:35 - Chicago Goal (PP): Dave Bolland (wrist shot) from Marian Hossa and Nick Leddy
The Penalty - Jonathan Ericsson (slashing): Early in the game, Ericsson goes to the box for a slash on the stick of Bryan Bickell. I've long hated the stupid stick-slash call and don't want to punish a guy for getting unlucky enough to have his opponent's stick break. Ericsson gives Bickell's stick a half-chop and it snaps like a pencil. Since it's only a half-chop, Ericsson will only get a half-minus.
On the power play, the Hawks get good puck movement and a bit of luck. The Wings kill the first 50 seconds and Conklin gets a whistle on a shot from Kane to lead to a faceoff. Bolland wins it against Abelkader and Chicago gets set up. Leddy skates the puck to the middle of the ice to set up the umbrella formation before turning it back to Hossa on the wing at the top of the setup. Hossa skates to the top of the circle before chucking a low wrister toward the net. The puck deflects off Lidstrom's skate just inside the circle at the hash marks and goes straight to Bolland standing behind him. Bolland gets the rebound and sweeps it in on net where it gets under Conklin. Conks had originally gone down to react to the Hossa shot and is in the process of recovering when Bolland slides it under him partially tipped by the stick of Ian White, but this is a weak goal to give up. Conklin shows he has enough time to react to the changed direction by kicking his leg out at the puck; he simply misses. Aside from the bad goal, Abdelkader will get a half-minus for losing the faceoff cleanly
1st Period 04:19 - Chicago Goal: Patrick Sharp (slap shot) from Michael Frolik and Marian Hossa
Chicago gets another quickly on some good forechecking work. The Wings struggle to get it out under pressure, which leads to Hjalmarsson turning it right back to Hossa at center to turn back into the zone and carry in. Kronwall challenges Hossa and deflects his eventual shot from the top of the circle off the boards behind the net. Hossa's momentum gets him on the puck first, but it bounces on him and keeps him from taking it out the other side. Kronwall overskates it a bit in an effort to pin Hossa to the boards and Michael Frolik follows from that side to get to it first. Kronwall reaches in from the boards,Zetterberg reaches from the weak side of the net, and Stuart pokes at it from the near side net-front corner. Through all of this, the puck deflects into the air as it heads out front. Jiri Hudler's tiny midget arms are too short to reach the airborne puck and it comes out to Patrick Sharp standing behind him and circling back into the middle of the ice to the high slot. Hudler has an "oh shit!" moment of realization before Sharp gets off a slapper that beats Conklin low to the blocker side. The only cleared minus on this play will belong to Valtteri Filppula, who is dutifully covering the far side point and Nick Leddy the entire time. Kronwall and Stuart will both keep their minuses for letting the puck get by them. Zetterberg will also keep his for the same reason. Jiri Hudler is in no-man's land on the defensive coverage here. It's nice that he's down low covering, but he's too low and Sharp is his guy. If he's standing at the top of the dot like he's supposed to be, Sharp doesn't get this chance. Hudler will get an extra minus for this coverage mistake.
1st Period 13:29 - Detroit Goal (PP): Valtteri Filppula (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler
The Penalties - Andrew Brunette (roughing) and Brent Seabrook (slashing): At 11:26, Brunette gets his penalty for punching Helm in the head as a response to a clean check. It's not adjustment-worthy. On the ensuing power play, Brent Seabrook puts them down two when he responds to Tomas Holmstrom giving him a light tap on the shin by getting up and slashing him. The power play goal which happens comes immediately after the expiration of the Brunette penalty.
Filppula gets Detroit on the boards on a great passing play by his linemate. Detroit recovers the 5-on-3 faceoff as Jiri Hudler digs it out of the pile and gets it to Kronwall. Kronner passes off to Filppula at the half-boards for a pass back over to Hudler at the far point. Huds fakes a one-timer and instead goes to Zetterberg low in the circle. Z circles around and doesn't find an option so he goes back to Hudler at the point. As time expires on the 5-on-3 with Hudler at the high point being faced off by Duncan Keith and Dave Bolland preventing him from getting a shooting lane, Huds goes back to Z at the faceoff dot. the two penalty killers are completely out of position now and Hjalmarsson is tasked with covering both Todd Bertuzzi in front and Valtteri Filppula on the back door. Hammer isn't up to the task as Zetterberg feeds the puck directly through him to Flip for an easy put-in. No bonus pluses coming anybody's way on this, but Kronwall will get the third assist and Bertuzzi will get half a non-touch assist for his work in front of the net.
2nd Period Penalties
06:36 - Detroit Bench (too many men): I have yet to see a good replay of what happened on this play to create the too-many-men situation. Without more info, I can't give anybody a minus.
11:57 - Niklas Kronwall (interference): This is a bit of a soft call, but Kronwall does get himself tied up with Brunette away from the puck and the guy sells it like your sister. Kronner will get a minus.
3rd Period Penalties
00:48 - Danny Cleary (holding): Early in the third period, Dan Cleary goes to the box for refusing to skate around Niklas Hjalmarsson and instead grabbing him. This is a bad play for Cleary and he'll get a minus.
07:53 - Tomas Holmstrom (Penalty Shot - covering puck in the crease): The Wings almost give up the dagger goal as Steve Montador gets a rebound chance in on Ty Conklin which Tomas Holmstrom pulls off the goal line and away from danger. The refs give Chicago a penalty shot which Conklin stops on a huge momentum-swinging play. I'm not going to give Homer a minus for essentially preventing what would have been a sure goal and replacing it with a maybe goal that turned into a no goal. However, he's not going to get credit for a goal-saved plus, because Montador was his coverage responsibility and he shouldn't have let this play happen like it did in the first place.
3rd Period 15:15 - Detroit Goal: Danny Cleary (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula
With time running out, Detroit ties it up with some great net-front work. The play starts behind the Detroit net on a dump-in that's recovered by Conklin to Zetterberg. Z gets the outlet past the forecheck with an aerial pass to Filppula skating through center ice. Flip uses his speed to isolate on Nick Leddy to the left side. Leddy angles him off behind the net, but Flip is able to turn toward the corner and hold off the defense before dumping it back around behind the net to Dan Cleary; with time, Cleary turns back toward the flow of play and dumps a backhand to the front of the net where Filppula has skated and is taking the attention of three Chicago defensemen. The puck gets through that cluster to Zetterberg between the circles. Z can't one-time it on the backhand, so he controls the puck and spins inward to slap it on net. Crawford makes the initial save, but Danny Cleary gets a second chance on it right out front. The puck trickles under Crawford and heads into the net. Nick Leddy is there to possibly make a play, but he's eliminated by Valtteri Filppula and the puck trickles in. I firmly believe Leddy prevents this goal if Filppula doesn't do what he does here, so I'm going to split credit for the goal between Filppula and Cleary. I am going to turn the shot that goes in into a half-goal/half-assist and will also give Cleary a full self-assist for his work on this play. Filppula will also earn a bonus half-assist to bring his scoring on the play to a half-goal and 1.5 assists. Zetterberg's great outlet pass to break Filppula into the zone with speed will earn him a bonus plus and Filppula's great board work will get him a bonus plus as well.
Overtime 03:08 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Jonathan Ericsson and Johan Franzen
After some good back-and-forth in the OT period, the good guys win it. Detroit comes out of their own zone with Franzen skating it up ice for a dump-in from the blue line. Ericsson steps up on teh far side to beat Montador to the puck and poke it to Franzen in the low corner. Mule turns inward to face the open ice and has a pass blocked back into his feet by Montador while the two of them tie up. Kane stands dumbfounded ten feet away while Datsyuk skates around him and picks the loose puck out of the feet. Pavel also turns in to see his options, which causes Ericsson to make a run at the net-front. Pavs wisely refuses to pass it to Ericsson, who would have just lost the puck to Leddy and given up an odd-man rush. Instead, Pavs turns back at the boards to draw in Patrick Kane. Patty O'Furniture takes the bait and tries stick-checking Datsyuk from behind. Pavel lets him get close enough before bringing it in off the boards and heading inside the faceoff dot before firing a puck on net through a Jonathan Ericsson screen. Crawford stops this shot while everybody collapses in on the net. Ericsson turns around and gets a rebound chance right as Montador and Franzen arrive to crash the crease. Neither of them can recover as they fall over Crawford and the puck lays at the edge of the crease. Pavel heroically swoops in and gathers the puck. He whiffs on his first attempt, but gets the puck off on the second with his body completely behind the goal line and the puck at a very severe angle. Datsyuk bounces the puck off Nick Leddy's hip and into the net for the game-winner. This is a fantastic play by Datsyuk to create as much havoc as he does. Pavel will get an assist on his own goal and a bonus plus. Franzen also does great work to tie up Montador (at least as much as Montador tied him up) in a series of plays which will also earn him a bonus half-assist and a bonus plus. I'm pleasantly surprised by the offensive instincts shown by Jonathan Ericsson on this play. I'm also slightly frightened by the idea that if this play doesn't end up in a goal, it very likely ends up in an odd-man rush for Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. Still, high-risk/high-reward goes two ways. Ericsson will get a bonus plus.
+1 to Ian White and Brad Stuart: Two D-men who played very solid and quiet games in this one. Both were incredibly impressive in their minutes.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi, and Johan Franzen: The entire line played the game well both offensively and defensively. These three led the Wings in corsi differential thanks to very good work.
+1 to Valtteri Filppula, +0.5 to Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler: These three also played a very solid game, although just a hair behind the other top forward line. Flip's play was absolutely masterful at times and he really helped turn momentum
+0.5 to Mike Commodore and Darren Helm: Helmer had a defensive miscue which turned this from a full plus. Commodore was solid, but also played relatively low minutes compared to his more-awarded defensive partners. I really liked his hustle.
-1 to Danny Cleary: Cleary was the only dim spot in the roster for Detroit. He turned the puck over two times in his own zone and generally didn't play well on the boards. I wanted to see more from him and he didn't deliver.
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