The Wings took a team with a -23 goal differential to a 1-1 shootout on early Sunday evening and I feel pretty ok with that. Despite struggling against the Panthers and against themselves, the Wings played a simple and solid game and came away with an important two points to earn back fourth place in the Conference.
I thought this was a pretty well-reffed game. Both teams got away with cringeworthy holds and hooks, but it was consistent. Neither team wound up with a power play goal (Florida 0-for-6 and Detroit 0-for-3). The numbers are slightly skewed by a pair of seven-second advantages. Detroit outshot Florida 32-28
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
Penalty Adjustment (x2): 7:45 into the game, Kyle Quincey goes to the box for checking a guy away from the puck. Quincey will get a minus. Right as that penalty expires, Drew Miller gets his stick up on the face of Mike Weaver with a baseball swing aimed at the puck that gets the head instead. Miraculously, it's only a single minor. Miller will get a minus.
1st Period 17:38 - Florida Goal: Tomas Fleischmann (slap shot) from Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss
After an offensive zone faceoff win, the Panthers muscle up on the boards to take the puck away and get it to Kris Versteeg breaking out of the zone on Lidstrom. Versteeg pulls up at the top of the circles and waits for everybody to get back while Lidstrom holds him at bay. As everybody collapses back, Versteeg passes it to Weiss who pushes it back to Versteeg at the outside hash marks while he drags Cleary through and makes a bit of room for him. Versteeg immediately throws it cross-ice through a hole left by an overcommitting Cory Emmerton to the stick of Tomas Fleischmann at the top-inside of the other circle. Fleischmann one-times it through Howard as he slides over. I'm going to halve the minus for Cleary, as he comes over to prevent Weiss from getting a shot off or driving the net. He's playing good position here and doesn't have a puck go through him. Bertuzzi will pick up an extra half-minus for having the pass in the offensive zone taken away to lead to the rush. Emmerton will get an extra half-minus for collapsing a few feet too high. This is a difficult adjustment to make, but he's got to get it done. Lidstrom will also have his minus halved. He has to move over to prevent a 1-on-1 rush and stops it off to prevent a direct path to the net. This is this defenseman's job and he does it. Ericsson is as low as he is in the zone because there's a point where he has to respect the chance that Gudbranson will jump up in the play, but he's something that Howard has to look around when he's squaring to Fleischmann and I think that hurts the goalie's ability to make the save. I can hardly blame Ericsson for this, being as he's in position, but I can blame him for not blocking it. Ericsson will keep a half-minus.
Penalty Adjustment: 20 seconds after the goal, Jiri Hudler interferes with Mikael Samuelsson at the Florida blue line to take a penalty. Hudler will get a minus. It's funny to watch Hudler knock Samuelsson down away from the puck, but it isn't THAT funny.
Penalty Adjustments: At 17:08 of the 2nd, Jakub Kindl gets an interference penalty. The young defender loses the puck to Marco Sturm at the top of the Panther's zone and steps into him to keep him from getting away from him cleanly. Kindl will get a minus.
3rd Period 05:30 - Detroit Goal: Jiri Hudler (slap shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Jakub Kindl
Detroit pulls even on a transition rush in the third period. Pressure by Franzen and Zetterberg cause Ed Jovanovski to simply lift the puck out of his own zone to relieve the pressure. Bergenheim is on it first, but a step-up on him by Kyle Quincey turns it over to where Kindl gets it on his own blue line and immediately turns it back up ice to connect on a pass with Jiri Hudler coming off the bench entering the zone. Ed Jovanovski forces him to circle off at the faceoff dot while Kindl joins to play the same role of making space as Weiss did on the Florida goal. Hudler finds Filppula coming in through the middle of the ice of the bench Flip takes a half-second to make a move and gets hit by Samuelsson as he crosses out of the slot to the top of the circle. As Filppula falls, he throws the puck low on net through traffic. Clemmensen sees it and kicks the puck to the corner. Hudler picks it up at the outside hash marks on the faceoff circle and slaps the puck back into the traffic. The puck deflects off the stick of John Madden on its way and slides through the five hole to tie it. Hudler will get a self-assist on this goal and Filppula a bonus half-assist for being the passing target. Franzen will get a plus to go with Zetterberg's bonus half-plus for creating a bad zone clear by Jovocop. Kyle Quincey will get a bonus plus and a non-touch assist for the step-up which separates Bergenheim from the puck.
Penalty Adjustment: 8 seconds after tying the game, Kyle Quincey earns himself what should be a suspension to go along with his major penalty for elbowing when he leaps into a hit on Tomas Kopecky just inside the Detroit zone. This is such a stupid decision that Quincey will get three minuses. I hope that however many games he sits is enough to teach him that doing this is never going to be ok.
Penalty Adjustment: Just about 2 minutes into the Quincey major, Detroit gets a reprieve on a Dmitry Kulikov tripping call. Kronwall wins a race and clears a puck up the boards past Kulikov. Valtteri Filppula threatens to take it the other way, save for being taken down by the D-man. Filppula and Kronwall will each get a plus. Good hustle here.
1st Period 18:05 - Scottie Upshall (hooking): This is a weak call and not a drawn penalty anyway.
2nd Period 00:27 - Sean Bergenheim (interference): Bergenheim and Franzen are both going for a puck when the Panthers player steps in front of his man and picks him off. No adjustment.
2nd Period 02:05 - Florida Bench (too many men): The Panthers are PKing when they try to do that thing where a guy basically teleports from just inside the offensive zone 40 feet into the neutral zone. Unfortunately, the original copy was still on the ice when his facsimile up ice gets into the play. This is a dumb way to describe too-many-men.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk: Pavel had his feet moving well and was creating space for his teammates. I was impressed with that line. Nyquist seemed to fade late and Franzen (despite looking decent) just wasn't consistent enough to keep up.
+0.5 to Todd Bertuzzi: Honestly, Bertuzzi had one of his best games working down with the grinders. I felt he held the puck better, used the body more, and backchecked more effectively.
+1 to Valtteri Filppula: Flip made some clutch defensive plays in this game with timely steals and good forechecking in the offensive zone.
-1 to Brad Stuart: Stu had another tough game. He did not play the puck well and was beaten to the outside on a few occasions. He was only the 2nd best physical defenseman playing. Speaking of which...
+1 to Jonathan Ericsson: He was calm with the puck and a monster on the Wings' perfect PK in this game. If it were a choice, I wouldn't have him in the D-man rotation that Babcock's been running lately.
+0.5 to Tomas Holmstrom: Homer had plenty of hustle against Florida and played well within his effort-vs-take-dumb-penalties limit. I like this Holmstrom.
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