Game 4 of 48
Well this game was a lot more fun to watch than the first three, huh? Detroit had better jump, played a more-complete game, and got some good defensive performances out of guys who...well they needed to do that.
Of 13 total power plays in this game, 12 were in the first two periods. Fortunately, both teams calmed down for the third and played cleaner hockey (waaaaaank). I don't know what to say about the standard in this one because I don't particularly know that there was one. There probably could have been 30 penalties if the refs felt like it.
Jimmy Howard had a very good performance. He did give up a goal I'd like to have seen him stop, but he was good on the night. I'll give him a +1 overall rating for a small handful of big saves that helped keep momentum on the Wings' side and/or helped kill Minnesota's momentum. Head-to-head, he definitely got the better of Josh Harding and will get a +1 there too.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
2nd Period 00:13 - Detroit Goal (PP): Damien Brunner (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall
Off the opening faceoff, the Wings get a clean zone entry and Brunner fires one top shelf from the right faceoff circle. Pavel Datsyuk will get the third assist for winning the faceoff to set up possession.
2nd Period 00:55 - Detroit Goal: Todd Bertuzzi (tip-in) from Valtteri Filppula and Brendan Smith
Datsyuk wins a faceoff; Smith throws it at the front with traffic. The shot is blocked, but goes through enough for Flip to shovel it towards the front. Bert's knee is there to bump it through a hole in Harding and the Wings are up 2-0. Bert will get a self-assist off Datsyuk's third-assist thanks to the FO win. Also, Zetterberg, Brunner, and Franzen will each get a half-plus while Kronwall will get a full plus. The previous shift ended in an icing thanks to these guys, and that icing created the line matchup and faceoff win. Kronner gets the full plus because it's the threat of him destroying Heatley at the blue line which causes Dany boy to refuse to accept an outlet pass from Parise.
2nd Period 02:49 - Minnesota Goal (PP): Zach Parise (wrist shot) from Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivu
Some great puck-movement by the Wild on a 5-on-3 leads to a Parise goal from Howard's left as he sprawls to adjust. No adjustments here. Sometimes you just can't defend it. That tends to happen at 5-on-3.
2nd Period 06:29 - Minnesota Goal: Tom Gilbert (wrist shot) from Mikael Granlund and Jonas Brodin
Gilbert gets a pass in the high slot and fires it through traffic into the net to tie the game. This play happens just at the expiration of Kindl's penalty, so Abdlekader, Miller, Kindl, Kronwall, and Lashoff will have their minuses erased for what is still effectively a PP goal against. Miller will get a coverage minus though, as PP or not, it's his job to mark the point man on this setup and he makes a weird move to pressure the puck around the boards as though the Wings had five men on the ice. Abdelkader's going to get a minus for a turnover here. About 9 seconds prior to the goal, Abby has the puck with a chance to get it to Kronner for the clear and instead gives him a shitty pass that leads to the puck staying in the zone.
2nd Period 12:56 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula
On a rush after a successful PK, Datsyuk throws a backhand pass all the way across the ice to Zetterberg, who out-waits Harding and slides it into the net from a sharp angle. Brendan Smith will get the third assist and a bonus plus on this play. He blocks a clever net-front pass in front and starts the puck the other way for this rush.
2nd Period 17:24 - Detroit Goal (PP): Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Niklas Kronwall and Johan Franzen
Datsyuk snipes one top corner through a great screen in front for what would become the game-winner. Franzen will get a second assist on this play for the screen. Datsyuk will get a self-assist for setting up the play. Zetterberg will also get an assist as well as a bonus plus. The Wild have a chance to clear the puck, but a great hustle play by Z negates this and leads to the goal.
3rd Period 04:18 - Detroit Goal: Todd Bertuzzi (snap shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula
Great transition after a tired clearing attempt brings the Wings back into the zone with speed for a Todd Bertuzzi snapper off another great Datsyuk feed. Kyle Quincey will get the third assist, as he gloves the puck down in the neutral zone and turns it back up ice very quickly. Quincey will also get a half-plus for recognizing the opportunity to force the play on a line change. Again, this comes off an icing created by the previous shift. Brunner, Franzen, Zetterberg, Kronwall, and Lashoff will each pick up half-pluses. Suter had been on for 1:53 by the time this goal was scored.
3rd Period 10:18 - Minnesota Goal: Zach Parise (backhand) from Tom Gilbert and Mikko Koivu
The Wild get good pressure in the Wings' zone which leads to an odd bounce-in goal for Parise as he banks it off Zetterberg in front and into the near-side. Howard is a bit slow getting post-to-post as Parise comes around behind the net. I'm going to give Howie half a bad-goal. This will clear half the minuses for everybody: Franzen, Brunner, Zetterberg, Kronwall, and Lashoff. Unfortunately for them, they're all going to earn that half-minus back on coverage. It's a long shift for the Wild when the Wings don't clear and the puck moves through all different coverage zones. On top of that, I'm going to give Brunner an extra half-minus. There's a chance when the puck comes around when he kind of freezes while unsure of his coverage responsibility and I think he could have been more aggressive at the half-boards to prevent the passing which led to this goal.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 03:28 - Brian Lashoff (tripping): Lashoff caught flat-footed a bit and brings his man down with the stick. Minus for Lashoff
1st Period 07:32 - Pavel Datsyuk (hooking): Pretty obvious hook in the offensive zone by Pavel. He'll get a minus
1st Period 10:36 - Clayton Stoner (hooking): While on the PP, Franzen muscles Stoner off while skating around the boards. He does a great job with the body in forcing Stoner to chase him and draws this one. Franzen gets a plus.
1st Period 13:16 - Daniel Cleary (interference): Cross-checking a guy away from the play is dumb. Minus for Cleary.
1st Period 19:07 - Tom Gilbert (cross-checking): The Wings get a great scoring chance as Cleary drives the net and Tom Gilbert panicks by cross-checking Filppula standing in front. This one's a team effort, as Cleary's drive gets him a full plus while Datsyuk's pass and Filppula's positioning earn them each a half-plus.
2nd Period 01:04 - Darren Helm (interference): Helm skates into Brodziak's way on a backcheck. The Wild's jerkoff creates a nice sell-job and I don't think it's the greatest of calls, but Helm puts himself in position to have this happen by losing a faceoff. Minus for Helm.
2nd Period 01:25 - Niklas Kronwall (hooking): Parise makes sure to hold Kronwall's stick with the chicken-wing, but Kronwall has his stick there in the first place. Kronner gets a minus.
2nd Period 04:27 - Jakub Kindl (interference): Kindl knocks a dude down far from the puck. Faaaaaaaar from it. Kindl gets a minus.
2nd Period 10:39 - Niklas Kronwall (hooking): Kronner gets a minus for kind of a lazy passing hook as he skates by Cullen in the neutral zone.
2nd Period 18:11 - Jonas Brodin (holding): Helm steps around Brodin to create a scoring chance and gets held. Absolutely a drawn call here. Helm gets a plus.
3rd Period 11:58 - Daniel Cleary (holding): Cleary is forechecking a liiiiiiiitle too aggressively (humping Tom Gilbert) and gets called for holding. Easy call; easy minus for Cleary.
-1 to Jakub Kindl: In his first game back, he struggled with positioning. He made a few good plays, but I would rather have had him riding the pine.
+1 to Kent Huskins, and Brian Lashoff: Huskins might have been the smartest D-Man on the ice for the Wings. His lane coverage was very good and he made excellent choices in the offensive zone. Lashoff had another solid and impressive performance.
+1 to Kyle Quincey and Justin Abdelkader: I really liked how these two played on the PK and on defensive shifts at even strength. Very good performance.
+1 to Darren Helm: Fuck, the Red Wings missed this guy. He eliminates space from the opposition and messes up their forecheck.
+0.5 to Todd Bertuzzi: Bert used the body and backchecked effectively. He also didn't create any stupid blind backhand turnovers. That's not good enough to get him a half-plus on its own; I just wanted to point it out. Good Bert. Good boy.
Pretty sure I covered everybody here. I like Tootoo.