Round 1 Game 1 CSSI Analysis: Red Wings 2 - Predators 3

Gosh I sure hope they call a million penalties tonight.

The Red Wings find themselves down 1-0 in their first round series against the Predators after dropping the opening game 3-2 in Nashville. In a game marred not by whistles from the stands, but from the ice, Detroit gave up three even-strength goals and could not complete a late comeback push. Friday's game 2 will be very important for them.

I pray that this isn't the reffing standard the rest of the way. 17 penalties between the two teams was absolutely brutal. Detroit went 2/8 with the man advantage while holding Nashville to an 0-for-6 performance, including an extended 5-on-3 kill in the first period. I don't know about the score effects, but Detroit outshot Nashville 37-26.

CSSI Methodology Explanation here

Goalie Ratings

Jimmy Howard played well enough to earn a +1 overall rating on the night, despite being beaten three times. Two of those goals were absolute flukes and the third was one where he was left completely out to dry. Despite that, Jimmy Howard gave the Wings the chance they needed to tie up the game with some very big stops, the biggest coming on a Sergei Kostitsyn breakaway in the third. Still, Howard will get a -1 for the head-to-head rating for being outplayed by Pekka Rinne at the other end, who made a ton of huge saves for the Predators.

Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump

The Goals

1st Period 06:59 - Nashville Goal: Paul Gaustad (wrist shot) from Brandon Yip and Francis Bouillon
Bouillon tries a long outlet pass from his own zone that tips off a Red Wings stick and goes to the corner of Detroit's zone. Yip gets to it just before Stuart and tips it behind the net where Paul Gaustad gets to it dragging Cory Emmerton behind him. Emmerton keeps Gaustad from getting to the far post, but is helpless to watch as Gaustad instead turns and throws the puck to the front of the net where it deflects off of Brad Stuart's skate and into the net. Sometimes a player can be somewhat forgiven for the bad luck here, but Stuart is not going to get the benefit of that doubt. This will be an extra minus for Stuart. Emmerton is also beaten too cleanly by Gaustad to overlook and will get an extra half-minus for this. Abdelkader, Ericsson, and Holmstrom will have their minuses cleared.

1st Period Penalties
01:59 - Brandon Yip (roughing): Yip hits Emmerton cleanly after a pass. Soft call.
03:32 - Johan Franzen (roughing): Franzen and Weber are fighting in front of the net on the Red Wings' power play. Weber chops at Franzen's head and Mule retaliates with a little punch that causes Weber's head to snap back like the Juggernaut hit him with an uppercut. No adjustment
08:50 - Gabriel Bourque (boarding): This is the best call of the period, as Bourque nails Ian White awkwardly into the end boards. White gets up quickly and Bourque gets two. It's not a drawn call though, so no adjustment.
12:10 - Cory Emmerton (interference): Emmerton and Erat are both skating at a puck on the boards, but the soft standard is in place. This one is disgusting. No adjustment.
16:20 - Jonathan Ericsson (tripping): The Predators are running a hell of a cycle in the Red Wings' zone when Ericsson takes two for tripping up Alexander Radulov. It's a bit funny because Radulov traps Ericsson's stick into his own feet before falling over it, but I'm going to give Ericsson a minus. He was caught chasing and he could have been called for any of three infractions he commits here.
17:06 - Justin Abdelkader (high-sticking): Not long into the Ericsson penalty, Justin Abdelkader gets his stick up on Kostitsyn, who also snaps his head back. This is careless by Abdelkader though and will earn Abby a minus.

2nd Period 02:29 - Detroit Goal (PP): Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) unassisted
The Penalty - Roman Josi (cross-checking): The Filppula/Zetterberg/Hudler line has a great shift to start the period in the offensive zone, eventually culminating in the Josi penalty. All three of Filppula, Zetterberg, and Hudler will pick up a plus.
Zetterberg wins an offensive zone faceoff to Rinne's left and the Wings set up. They try moving the puck down the strong side, but the PKers are in the lanes, so they reset to the point and go to Lidstrom at the top of the umbrella on the far side. Lidstrom tries to go back to Kronwall at the top of the zone, but the puck hits a stick on its way through. The deflection puts the puck in a bit of a no-man's zone, but Kronwall immediately steps up and gets to it first, firing a shot into traffic with Jiri Hudler screening. The puck gets knocked down in front as people scramble for it. While Hudler scrambles with both defensemen for it, Zetterberg comes in off the point just in time for Jack Hillen to play it right to him. Zetterberg wastes no time throwing it past a sprawling Rinne to tie it up. The official scorekeeper didn't see fit to award any assists here, but I'm going to give Kronwall and Lidstrom assists, as well as a screener's assist to Hudler. Zetterberg will also get a half-plus for the faceoff win which sets up zone possession time.

2nd Period 12:29 - Nashville Goal: Gabriel Bourque (tip-in) from Matt Halischuk
The Predators gain possession in their own end thanks to some uncalled interference and end up barely poking a stick away from Bertuzzi to start a harmless rush up ice with Gabriel Bourque crossing the blue line before dropping the puck off for Halischuk and driving the net. As Bertuzzi and Lidstrom step in to pressure Halischuk, he throws a wrister which tips off of Bourque's stick and changes direction on its way in to Howard. The puck flies over the blocker and into the net for the 2nd fluke goal of the night. Franzen and Lidstrom are the two players behind the puck who have a chance to make something not-stupid happen to the puck and they do not, so they keep their minuses. Datsyuk, Bertuzzi, and Stuart will have their minuses cleared.

2nd Period Penalties:
04:23 - Henrik Zetterberg (tripping): Good call here as Zetterberg loses the puck and body position to Nick Spaling and gets his stick up in the legs of the tough young forward. Zetterberg will get a minus.
09:28 - Kyle Quincey (holding): Quincey loses the race to a puck deep in the Detroit zone and uses his free hand to temporarily wrap up Matt Halischuk and stop him from getting a wraparound chance. Minus for Quincey.
13:50 - Martin Erat (roughing): Erat elbows Ian White in the head behind the Detroit net, proving what a dirty shit Erat is. No adjustment.
19:54 - Patric Hornqvist (high-sticking): Hornqvist gets careless with his stick after losing a race to Valtteri Filppula. His stick comes up and clips Flip and he goes to the box. No adjustment.

3rd Period 11:35 - Nashville Goal: Gabriel Bourque (wrist shot) from Nick Spaling and Patric Hornqvist
Jimmy Howard plays a puck behind his own net for Brad Stuart to pick up under pressure by Nick Spaling. Stuart gets himself pinned to the boards away from the puck by some very good forechecking work. Zetterberg comes into help, but has his outlet up the boards cut off by Hornqvist jumping in. The puck comes back to Spaling, who gets just enough separation from Stuart and throws a puck to the front of the net where Bourque is all alone to put it in. Hudler and Filppula will be cleared as the wingers here on a defensive trio breakdown. Stuart will get an extra -1.5 for the turnover and coverage mistakes while Zetterberg gets an extra -1 for his turnover. Kronwall needs to leave the corner earlier to pick up Bourque jumping in and never does. This will earn Kronner an extra half-minus.

3rd Period 17:53 - Detroit Goal (PP): Tomas Holmstrom (wrist shot) from Kyle Quincey and Valtteri Filppula
The Penalty - Ryan Suter (slashing): While already shorthanded, the Preds get a rush up ice that Howard stops. Suter chops Datsyuk's stick, breaking it behind the net. Stick-slash call? No adjustment.
The Wings are turned away from the Preds' end after their 5-on-3 turns back into a single man advantage. Hudler doesn't have a good lane and backtracks from the right side, feeding it to White, who gets to to Quincey on the opposite side. Quincey drops it for Filppula as he crosses the line and then receives the return pass as soon as Shea Weber steps up on Flip. Quincey is prevented from cutting into the middle, but he's got enough room to throw a low show on Rinne which creates a superb rebound right into the middle of the ice. Both Hudler and Holmstrom are there to get the puck before their defenders can, but Homer is the one who puts it in for the goal. White will get a third assist on this play and Hudler will get a half-assist for knowing when not to force the zone entry. Quincey's shot selection here is great against a goalie who loves to catch everything. Quincey forces the rebound with the shot and will get a bonus assist for this.

3rd Period Penalties:
05:06 - Roman Josi (hooking) & Jiri Hudler (diving): This play certainly is both of these things. The thing here is that I don't think the hook gets called without the embellishment, so I'm not going to make an adjustment here.
14:52 - Jack Hillen (interference): The Wings are pressing to catch up when Datsyuk starts chasing a loose puck from behind the Predators net after a length physical battle. Hillen simply steps into Datsyuk's way and pushes him down. This might be the 2nd-best call of the day. Datsyuk will earn a plus.
19:38 - Martin Erat (holding): Ian White engages in some risky behavior with his goalie pulled by ragging the puck across Nashville's blue line. He gets away with it when Erat grabs him to try and slow him down. White will earn a half-plus. This very easily could have gone the wrong way.
20:00 - Shea Weber (roughing): This is the play where Weber slammed Zetterberg's head into the glass. What a disgusting play. No adjustment.

Bonus Ratings

+1 to Jonathan Ericsson and Nicklas Lidstrom: this was Detroit's best pairing on the night. They each made a handfull of good defensive plays as well as good outlet passes.

Honorable Mentions:

Overall, I felt the Wings outplayed the Predators, but I'm still waiting for some bounces to go their way. Franzen looked engaged and Cleary had a solid if unspectacular game. Miller and Abdelkader held their own well too. In the playoffs though, results are going to be more important.

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