So I wrote in the game thread that if this game was exciting, it meant Detroit would win it. That's not quite what I had in mind as the Red Wings could not finish off the scrappy Coyotes and let them have a point before winning the coin-flip shootout. I'm happy Detroit earned two points, but this is definitely not the kind of effort I want to see more often.
To tell the truth on the reffing, I'm happy to say that the stripes did another bang-up job of screwing up calls, but I'm not so sure I want to go as far as saying those missed calls hurt Detroit more than they hurt Phoenix. I caught myself yelling at the TV a lot while watching this game to tell Red Wings players to skate more and hold less. Phoenix got one scary overtime power play and another much less-scary first period advantage, but were kept off the board. The Wings power play went 0-for-5 on three bench minors, an automatic call, and a good call on some net-front goonery. Shots were 35-33 in favor of Detroit.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 02:23 - Phoenix Goal: Raffi Torres (wrap around) from Kyle Chipchura and Chris Summers
The Wings play some good neutral zone defense to force Phoenix to dump it in from the blue line. The puck gets around Jonathan Ericsson and he goes into the corner with Raffi Torres to chase it. The two of them fight the puck into the trapezoid when Kyle Chipchura and Cory Emmerton join the fray. Chipchura comes out of the scrum with the puck and skates about two feet along the boards behind the net with Emmerton in tow before going back off the boards where Torres picks up the puck and immediately brings it out front to jam under Jimmy Howard on the wrap-around. This is a soft goal by Jimmy Howard and a mistake not getting his paddle down in time to prevent it. Kindl, Abdelkader, Emmerton, Ericsson, and Holmstrom will all have their minuses auto-cleared for that. However, three people are going to earn back some blame. Emmerton will get a minus for losing the board battle with Chipchura here. Ericsson will get -1.5 for the same thing, except he also loses body position on Torres. If Ericsson simply does a better job of "be large and stand there", then Torres doesn't get around him to get this chance off. Kindl will also get a half-minus on this play. He does have to be aware that Gilbert Brule is directly out front waiting for a pass, but I feel Kindl could have also cut off this post while staying in the passing lane to Brule.
Penalty Adjustment: At 13:28 of the first period, it was Detroit's turn to take a penalty and Brad Stuart was just the man to take it. He does it by getting himself out of a board battle too slowly and getting into a position where Taylor Pyatt has a chance to get around him to the middle of the ice. Stu chops the guy's legs out from under him and goes to the box for slashing. This will earn a minus for Stuart.
2nd Period 01:36 - Detroit Goal: Ian White (slap shot) from Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk
Early in the 2nd, Detroit ties the game up and starts to roll. Detroit gets a line change and dumps it in on a cross-corner Murphy-dump from Bertuzzi which Franzen gets in on quickly to pressure Derek Morris into a pass behind the net to Yandle. Bert releases his coverage on Pyatt to chase the puck and gets in the passing lane enough to create a bad handoff from Yandle to Pyatt. The puck comes off the boards to Ian White at the point. White is pressured, but does a great job keeping it in and resetting the cycle by dumping it back down the boards. Yandle picks this off and skates behind his own net, but Bertuzzi comes in on the other side to cut him off and forces Yandle to bounce it off the boards around him. The time it takes Radim Vrbata to get to this puck is all the time Nick Lidstrom needs to pinch low into the corner and prevent him from escaping. Lidstrom pokes it to Bert at the edge of the trapezoid to receive a return pass and tip it immediately to Datsyuk completing a very small triangle of Wings players in that corner. Datsyuk goes to Franzen at the point covering for Lidstrom while the defense spreads out to regain their coverages. Franzen crosses to the weak side immediately for Ian White at the opposite point to skate in a few strides and tee up a slap shot which has eyes for the far-side top corner. Fortunately, Smith doesn't have eyes on the puck because Bertuzzi has stepped in front to create a screen. There's so much good play here by the entire line. White's keep-in is a crucial part of the play and will earn him a bonus plus and a self-assist. That keep-in isn't possible without some help by Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen both forechecking and switching off coverages. Bert will get a bonus plus and Franzen a half-plus. Bertuzzi will also pick up a half-assist for the fourth touch and a screener's assist. Lidstrom's pinch is a well-timed defensive maneuver which will earn him a bonus half-plus and an assist.
2nd Period 11:13 - Detroit Goal: Todd Bertuzzi (slap shot) from Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk
Detroit takes a lead off a bullet of a shot from the recently red-hot Todd Bertuzzi. The play starts with a faceoff win by Pavel Datsyuk outside the Phoenix blue line at the expiration of a 4-on-4. The aggressive Coyotes force the Wings back into their own zone as White backs to his own faceoff circle to let the team regroup before starting it up ice to Lidstrom at the half-boards. Lidstrom has a bit of trouble pulling it out of his skates, but does so and gets it to Franzen exiting the zone. Mule runs into traffic after crossing center red, so he drops it to Datsyuk to bring in on the opposite wing. Pavs gets it to the corner where he tries to make a move around Oliver Ekman-Larson, but is stopped short by being wrestled down. The puck goes to Franzen behind the net, who wastes zero time on a backhander out to Todd Bertuzzi stepping in on the low outside quadrant of the faceoff circle. Bert steps into a one-timer from the angle and blasts it past Mike Smith to make it 2-1. No adjustment. It's a hell of a shot though.
2nd Period 14:08 - Phoenix Goal: Gilbert Brule (wrist shot) from Kyle Chipchura
Shortly after the expiration of a Gilbert Brule roughing penalty, Phoenix pulls even on a breakaway attempt. Phoenix gets a clear on the PK with Shane Doan inexplicably cherry-picking at center ice to create a chance for Martin Hanzal with 4 seconds left on the penalty. Howard stops this, but the puck goes to the top of the zone where Datsyuk and Franzen combine to regain it and get it up to Tomas Holmstrom at center. The "pass" is actually Franzen losing it off his stick to Holmstrom. Homer mishandles the puck and loses it to Brule coming across the ice behind him. Brule skates into his own zone before throwing a pass to Chipchura up the boards at the Detroit blue line. Lidstrom steps up to intercept the pass and poke it back to Homer at the center line, but Brule is moving his feet and beats Homer to the puck. Lidstrom tries to recover from behind on the wrong side of Chipchura when Brule pokes it back to him, but gets caught behind Chipchura, who sets the puck on a tee for Brule to step into with speed and carry in on Howard with Shane Doan on the far wing forcing Ian White to stay honest on the passing play. Brule gives Howard a deke and slides it under his legs to knot it at 2 apiece. I feel Franzen is half-minus responsible for the turnover by Holmstrom by way of a bad "pass." Homer will get a minus for losing it cleanly to Brule out of the box when the simple dump-in by that point would have been appropriate. Lidstrom will earn a coverage minus for how he gets beaten to position Chipchura and puts himself in a position where only a penalty taken would have prevented this break. Datsyuk and White will keep their minuses as the play did come through their areas.
Penalty Adjustment: Early in the OT period, Pavel Datsyuk gets a tripping penalty. The replay clearly shows that Korpikoski toe-picks and falls down on this play. However, The entire call is made because of some in-zone pressure created by Datsyuk losing his stick coming back into his own zone on Ray Whitney. Datsyuk has to hold his stick better than that. I'm going to give Pavs a minus for creating the situation.
1st Period 04:01 - Phoenix Bench (too many men): Hey jerks, learn to count, jerks!
1st Period 10:59 - Radim Vrbata (delay of game puck over glass): Hey jerk, learn to not put it over the glass, jerk!
1st Period 16:32 - Phoenix Bench (too many men): See the penalty explanation at 4:01, jerks!
2nd Period 08:57 - Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Chipchura (roughing): Two jerks get into a jerk-fest and both go to the box. It's a fair call and Chipchura started it.
2nd Period 11:57 - Gilbert Brule (roughing): Brule goes nuts in a net-front scrum and roughs up Darren Helm. What a jerk.
2nd Period 20:00 - Henrik Zetterberg (roughing) and Lauri Korpikoski (elbowing): End-of-period scuffle results in matching minors.
3rd Period 04:33 - Phoenix Bench (too many men): I have never seen three of these by the same team in the same game. It's like they've got a bingo caller with Tourette's behind their bench.
+ to Brad Stuart & Niklas Kronwall; +0.5 to Henrik Zetterberg & Danny Cleary: The two full pluses go to the guys who played the entire 4-on-3 OT PK and the halves go to the forwards which split that time. This was a huge penalty kill in a game that Detroit could have lost in overtime.
The team generally played pretty well. Datsyuk, Hudler, Filppula, Helm, Abdelkader, Miller, Bertuzzi, Franzen, and Emmerton all played close to plus territory, but there wasn't enough finish. Also, despite the shot differential, only one Red Wings player had a positive corsi number (+2) in this game.
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