Listen, we can't all do "Big Arms." (Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE)
The Red Wings lost a skills competition to one of the most skilled teams in the league on Thursday night. Although the narrative of the score sheet didn't really tell this story, I felt Vancouver was the better team throughout most of this game. Detroit showed good push-back, but couldn't get the job done.
Aside from a pretty bad icing call that made the Red Wings' job holding onto a late lead harder (a job they still failed, regardless of that call), I thought the bad reffing standard was at least consistent. Neither team scored on their power play chances (5 for Detroit, 4 for Vancouver). Overall, you're not going to win many games where you allow 43 shots.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
Penalty Adjustment: 6:49 into the first period, Justin Abdelkader goes to the box for driving the net and pushing Christopher Tanev into Luongo. Dumb play by Abdelkader here; he will get a minus.
1st Period 11:16 - Detroit Goal: Darren Helm (wrist shot) unassisted
The Wings get pinned in their own zone for a long time, but are able to turn the tables with an odd-man rush. Vancouver gets a line change while they keep Helm, Abdelkader, Miller, Stuart, and Quincey pinned for nearly a full minute. The Wings' defense is able to mostly keep the puck to the perimeter while struggling to clear their own zone, but they do manage to get a couple chances on net. The pressure gets broken on a play where Henrik Sedin chases down Drew Miller trying to escape around his net. This brings them both to the boards where Miller tries to chop the puck out of the zone to no avail. Sedin, with the help of Burrows keeps it in and tries to feed it into the middle. Stuart tries again to clear, but has that blocked by Burrows. Fortunately, Stuart takes up body position which Keeps Burrows from being able to shoot from the high slot where he gets the puck. As Helm skates over to challenge, Burrows feeds it back to Kevin Bieksa at the blue line. Bieksa attempts a toe-drag around Helm which, if successful, would give him the entire middle of the zone to skate for a shot. Fortunately, Helm sweeps the puck off his stick and gets down ice behind Bieksa. Hamhuis is back to cover, but he has to respect the passing lane to Justin Abdelkader joining the rush. Helm looks off the D by faking the pass to Abby before putting it just inside the far post. I'm going to award Abdelkader a non-touch assist for jumping into the pay and forcing the defense to stay honest. Helm will earn a bonus plus for his work. I'm going to clear the pluses for Lidstrom, White, and Bertuzzi as they all came on behind the play for the very tired defenders coming off. as a result, Quincey, Stuart, and Miller will earn back pluses. I'm not going to adjust it past one, but I feel that Stuart at one point had a turnover that would have been worth halving the plus if he also didn't have a series of good defensive plays on this shift as the roving defenseman.
Penalty Adjustment: Late in the first period, Darren Helm is working deep in his own zone against a tough forecheck and winning. Helm gets a step on Booth and threatens to turn up ice, except he's held back by the local boy. Helm will get a plus for his hard work.
Penalty Adjustment (Kyle Quincey version): 3:35 into the 2nd, Kyle Quincey has a puck get by him and ties up with Dale Weise along the boards to let Jan Mursak get back to cover him. Later in the period, when the Wings are chasing a little bit when Quincey gets his stick into the feet of Weise and brings him down. Quincey will earn a minus for both of these. The first is just a little weak, but it's definitely interference. Kyle Quincy hates Dale Weise
2nd Period 13:34 - Vancouver Goal: Daniel Sedin (wrist shot) from Henrik Sedin and Alex Edler
The Penalties - Drew Miller (tripping) and Ryan Kesler (interference): Miller steps up on Christopher Higgins as he exits the Vancouver zone. Miller disrupts the play enough to separate Higgins from the puck, but the Canuck goes down and Miller gets a penalty. This one is weak, but Miller does catch him and will get a minus. Six seconds into that penalty, Ryan Kesler interferes with Kronwall in front of the net and we go to 4-on-4. No adjustment on the Kesler penalty.
The Sedins take advantage of the extra space to tie it. The Wings win the faceoff, but lose possession in the linesman's skates and Vancouver heads the other way. Salo tosses a puck that's tipped at center by Henrik Sedin and chased down by Daniel behind the Red Wings net. Daniel ties up White and Henrik comes in to poke the puck around Lidstrom and come out the other side. From here, Henrik goes to Edler at the top of the zone. Edler backs across the top of the zone to create a shooting lane around Henrik Zetterberg before releasing a slapshot aimed at the stick of Henrik Sedin. The ugly brother tips it on net from the hash marks. The puck bounces toward the crease where it's actually stopped by Daniel Sedin's stick right on the doorstep. With Howard down-and-out from his attempt to stop the initial shot, Daniel puts it in around him. I'm not going to clear Franzen's minus on this play because of the faceoff possession loss. Ian White and Nick Lidstrom will each earn an extra half-minus. Lidstrom loses both the puck and positioning to Henrik and then White gets overpowered by Daniel in front of the net. These things cannot happen.
3rd Period 06:08 - Detroit Goal: Kyle Quincey (wrist shot) from Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm
The Canucks dump the puck into the Detroit end while they finish a line change, sending only Jannik Hansen in on the forecheck. Howard leaves it for Ericsson, who skates too casually from behind the net and gets caught by Hansen, who takes the puck away and immediately turns it on net. Hansen barely misses, leaving the puck to the corner where Quincey recovers. Quincey gets it up the boards to Helm at center ice. Here, Darren Helm steps away from Christopher Tanev and powers through a small gap in the four defenders who patrol the neutral zone. He actually gets it all the way to the high slot and tries to get off a slapper from there which is blocked by Aaron Rome to the corner where Abdelkader recovers. Abby goes to Quincey up top for a shot on net through a bit of traffic. Luongo sees the puck and blocks it off to the same corner Abdelkader is patrolling. The Sparty once again picks it up and skates up to the half-boards where he turns inward and sees Quincey cutting into the middle. Abby hits him with a pass at the top of the circle and he fires it over Luongo to give Detroit the lead. The first thing I'm going to do is clear Ericsson's plus on this play. The turnover in front of his own net was ugly. Drew Miller will get a screener's assist on this one, as you can see Roberto Luongo leaning to see around him right as Quincey winds up for the shot. Darren Helm will get a bonus half-plus for his head's up work in driving from the neutral zone to gain possession in the Vancouver end. Consistently driving to get to the middle of the ice creates confusion for defenses and helps lead to goals like this.
3rd Period 13:26 - Vancouver Goal: Cody Hodgson (wrist shot) unassisted
Mason Raymond skates into the Detroit end and dumps it to Aaron Rome on the far side. Rome can't control the pass and pushes it to Brad Stuart behind the net. Stuart tries to go up the boards with it, but there's nobody there budy Cody Hodgson to collect it at the half-boards. Hodgson pulls it off the boards to the top of the circle, fakes a shot, and then turns back in to allow Rome to run a pick on Danny Cleary. This gives him space to step to the outside hash marks and shoot a low, tippable puck at the front of the net. Hodgson gets exactly the result he was looking for when it goes in off Niklas Kronwall's skate. I know I've previously given extra minuses to guys for having this happen, but Kronwall will not get one here, as not only does he have to worry about Mason Raymond directly in front, but he's also got David Booth on the back door. This is just too many angles for Kronwall to have to worry about his skate blade positioning. I am going to clear Franzen's minus, as he's covering the back end the whole time here. Filppula keeps his minus for letting the Hodgson shot get through him. The turnover to Hodgson here is a key part of the play, but I'm not pinning it on Brad Stuart. Instead, Danny Cleary will get a minus for the turnover and another minus for his coverage. When the puck is shot around the boards by Raymond, Cleary coasts in on Rome instead of skating at him. After Rome loses it, Cleary keeps coasting in to where Stuart is about to be pressured by Rome instead of staying up at the corner boards for a pass that's actually the right decision by Stuart at the time (Kronwall has Raymond bearing down on him up the boards and Booth is too close to FIlppula to make a pass up the middle). What's more is that when Rome gets back to run the pick on Cleary, the Red Wings' forward lets it happen. If Cleary's moving his feet, there's at least a decent chance that the play gets whistled. In fact, if Cleary is moving his feet throughout this play, I think there are a lot of chances for him to prevent this goal.
3rd Period 13:46 - Detroit Goal: Justin Abdelkader (wrist shot) from Darren Helm and Drew Miller
20 seconds later, Detroit regains the lead. Helm wins the ensuing faceoff all the way back into his own zone. Ericsson picks it up and goes to Quincey. Quincey is pressured low and goes to Abdelkader at the half-boards. Abby is pressured by Tanev, but Quincey gets to the puck again and clears is out of the zone to Drew Miller at center ice. Miller pokes it past Rome and goes deep to recover it. Rome gets a little caught up in trying to stop it before it gets by and this gives Miller a full step on him when he gets to it. Miller uses the speed advantage to turn the corner on Rome as he goes behind the net. When Miller hits the edge of the trapezoid on the far side, he passes the puck to the middle of the ice where Darren Helm is cutting. Malhotra gets a stick in to keep Helm from getting a full shot off, and it hits Cody Hodgson out front as he ties up with Justin Abdelkader. Helm maintains his momentum and gets to the puck around a down-and-out Luongo. Unforunately for him, his put-back attempt hits off the post and bounces back into the crease. Thankfully for the Wings, Justin Abdelkader is there to jam the puck home and give the Wings back the lead. Quincey will pick up a third assist for helping get the puck out of the zone. Miller will get a half-plus for playing this so well against Rome. Abdelkader and Helm will each pick up half-assists for their drive-to-the-net mentality.
3rd Period 19:44 - Vancouver Goal: Daniel Sedin (slap shot) from Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler
Late in the game, Vancouver gets Luongo out to get the extra skater on. Bertuzzi gets the puck on his stick in the Detroit zone on a good defensive play by Quincey. Bert skies the puck out of the zone which makes it over the far red line (thanks to Sami Salo dogging it), and the icing is whistled. Babcock uses his timeout before the faceoff in the Detroit zone, which Zetterberg loses. After an Edler shot is blocked by Bertuzzi's ass in the circle, the Canucks line three men up at the top of the zone. Daniel Sedin gets a shot off from the middle position which gets through traffic into Howard and bounces high in the air. As Howard scrambles to just try and be big enough to prevent the puck from getting in, Bertuzzi gets low and pushes it behind the net out of immediate danger. Zetterberg takes it back there, but Kesler gets in to poke the puck away from him onto the stick of Henrik. From behind the net, Henrik throws the puck back up the middle of the ice to Daniel Sedin, who has moved in slightly from his center point position and has room to step to the top of the circles unimpeded before firing a slapshot that Jimmy Howard never sees as it crosses by him and into the net for the tying goal. The faceoff loss by Zetterberg will earn him an extra minus. Franzen realizes a split-second too late that he's standing too low in the zone to prevent Sedin from getting this shot off from a great scoring area. This hesitation will earn Franzen an extra half-minus. For what it's worth, I thought Bertuzzi did a good job in his coverage area, but the icing is going to earn him a half-minus. I know Salo dogs it, but he's got to put juuuust a bit more touch on the puck. Quincey and Lidstrom battled to keep the puck to the outside, but they also let pucks through them and will keep their minuses.
1st Period 03:13 - Maxim Lapierre (boarding): Bad decision by a forechecking Lapierre to finish his check into the numbers of Ian White.
1st Period 13:16 - Daniel Sedin (goaltender interference): Sedin tries to draw a tripping call on Ian White and flies into Jimmy Howard as if off the top rope. Embarrassing play here by Sedin.
2nd Period 14:19 - Dan Hamhuis (roughing): Hamhuis hits Kyle Quincey in the head after a whistle, because you only get called for that half the time.
-1 to Johan Franzen: He actually showed emotion in this one after flubbing a scoring opportunity, but it didn't last. Franzen was not good in this game. He has got to use his size to get to the middle of the ice.
+1 to Darren Helm: Shy of an entire-line adjustment, I felt that only Helm stood out enough to earn a bonus rating in this one, but Abdelkader and Miller were definitely closer to pluses than minuses, which is more than I can say for a handful of other forwards.
+1 to Jiri Hudler: As Nate says in the comments below "he played very well defensively. He had several takeaways and forced turnovers, many leading to scoring chances." I agree.
Not much to adjust in this one, as the goals against & penalties came home to roost for what players deserved. Just about every player had a 1-for-1 ratio of good plays to mistakes.
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