Detroit beat the Bruins 3-2 in a matinee game because the Bruins never win on Columbus Day and the Red Wings weren't tired playing their third game in four nights. I liked that game a lot more than I liked the last meeting between these teams.
Mike Babcock has already said he's going to frame the box score to prove that the Bruins played that whole game without giving up a power play opportunity. It wasn't perfect reffing, to be sure, but it wasn't as bad as the box-score says either. The Wings got away with some stuff too, but yes, Detroit should have gotten a power play (especially on the Chara slew-foot in the first period). Boston ended up going 0-for-5 on the power play, including a long 5-on-3 chance during which they only managed three shots on goal. Overall shots were 30-27 in favor of the team which spent nearly half the game trailing by two goals.
Jonas Gustavsson played well for a backup who wasn't expected to start today and got thrust into a game against a tough opponent at the last minute. He wasn't spectacular and did have to be bailed out a couple of times, but as far as what you expect and hope for out of that situation, I thought Gustavsson at least outplayed expectations. There's something about his style that still makes me uneasy, but if the team is going to get in front of rebounds like they did today, I can live with that.
1st Period 11:33 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk
The Wings get on the board first on an amazing individual effort and cross-ice pass. Pavel Datsyuk is already having a good shift by the time he deflects a clearing pass from Reilly Smith which causes Bergeron to misplay the puck and turn it back over to Pavel in the neutral zone. Datsyuk turns and enters the zone with both Chara and Boychuk shutting off the middle lane for him. The Magician responds by merely dipsy-doodling Chara as though he were Brett Lebda and stepping around him to the outside. Pavs gets to the right faceoff circle and chucks a backhanded pass across the ice where it lands on Zetterberg's stick. Rask gets over, but Z waits a split second and uses the sliver of space this creates to put it home. This is an amazing play by Datsyuk, who will get an extra plus and a half for the play. It's really a series of moves which create this sequence.
1st Period 14:12 - Boston Goal: Loui Eriksson (snap shot) from Johnny Boychuk and Reilly Smith
Boston ties it up a few minutes later off a deflection through Gustavsson. The Bruins gain possession on their forecheck as Bergeron, Smith, and Eriksson combine to free it from the half-boards to Gustavsson's right. The play makes an entire circle around the zone back to the point on that same side where Krug tries a wrister through traffic that misses wide and bounces out the other side. Smith takes an angle on the puck in the corner which allows him to shield it from Weiss while pushing it up the boards to Boychuk. Zetterberg pressures as Boychuk pinches a few feet down the boards, but the Bruins' D-man wastes no time in throwing it toward the net. On its flight, the puck bounces off Loui Eriksson's knee and slides between Gustavsson's pads. It's a lucky bounce, to be sure, but it sure helps to make your own luck when you do make plays like this. Amazingly, this puck barely comes into Jonathan Ericsson's area of coverage. I think Riggy's doing right for nearly this entire sequence, except for a chance to get a bit more aggressive with Bergeron in the corner. I'm going to halve Ericsson's minus. Kronwall doesn't make any extra mistakes, but he's got to mark Eriksson closer and will keep his minus for this. Zetterberg and Abdelkader are playing the wings here and I think both of them have a chance to get more aggressive on the puck to interrupt this play. I'm going to let both keep their minuses. Weiss will pick up an extra minus. He misplays the puck on the boards which creates the possession change in Boston's favor and doesn't get on Reilly Smith fast enough in the corner. This seems like an example of Weiss not being completely comfortable making a play to the middle of the ice in his own end yet. It would have been the right play here.
Goal-Saved Non-Adjustment: 7:20 into the 2nd period, we get a great example of a forward saving a goal, but getting no credit for it because he's the reason he's in this position in the first place. Alfredsson loses his man as Krug steps into the slot for a scoring chance. The ensuing scrum sees a loose puck roll back out to the slot for a shot at the wide open net over a sprawling goalie which Alfredsson stops. Good job fixing your own mistake, Alfie. No adjustment.
2nd Period 08:21 - Detroit Goal: Stephen Weiss (wrist shot) from Johan Franzen and Brian Lashoff
Weiss gets his second of the season on a great feed from the Mule. Abdelkader helps this play start by boxing out his man on a defensive zone faceoff. Lashoff is able to poke the free puck to Franzen moving out of the Wings' zone with speed. Seidenberg takes a bad angle on Franzen through the neutral zone, giving him the chance to pass it to himself off the boards entering the Bruins' zone. Lashoff looks to join the rush, but cuts off at the blue line to take up his point position while Abdelkader streaks to the front of the net from the right wing. Seidenberg loses a half-step in the turn on Franzen, giving the Detroit winger the edge on getting to the puck at the left faceoff dot. Seidenberg recovers here, so Franzen turns back around to the boards with enough momentum and space to turn and face the net from the corner boards. From here, he sees Weiss sneaking quietly through as the late-man on the rush and feathers a pass to him through the sticks of Seidenberg & Kelly, and around Marchand. Weiss receives it on his forehand and quickly snaps it over Rask's shoulder as he slides in an attempt to square to the shooter. Abdelkader will earn a bonus plus on this play, as will Franzen. I like Lashoff's play here to push the defense back with his initial drive to the middle. The over-collapsing reaction by the Bruins' defense gives Weiss the room he needs. Lashoff will earn a half-plus as well.
2nd Period 10:41 - Detroit Goal: Daniel Cleary (snap shot) from Daniel Alfredsson and Joakim Andersson
Buckets gets the eventual game-winner two minutes after the Weiss goal. This play starts on a rush after an Iginla shot from the right dot is blockered out by Gustavsson to the top of the opposite faceoff circle where Daniel Alfredsson collects it and turns up ice quickly. Alfredsson crosses from the right wing to the center as he moves over the blue line, switching places with Kronwall while Cleary takes the left wing lane into the zone. Alfie drags Iginla out of the middle before dropping it to Andersson following up. Jester quickly throws it to Kronwall on the right wing with a wide-open net to shoot at. Kronner misses the one-timer, but the puck bounces off the corner boards and right back to him as he heads there. Kronner backhands it to Alfredsson to set up shop behind the net while he retakes his spot on the point. Andersson goes to the high point of the trapezoid to Rask's left and cuts across the ice to the low slot on Rask's right. The brief time it takes for Chara to move his stick across his body to chop at Andersson is all the room that Dan Cleary needs when he streaks up ice on the near side of the net and snaps the quick pass from Alfredsson into the net. The official scorer got this play wrong and could very well correct it tomorrow, but the second assist should go to Kronwall, not Andersson. At any rate, the play by Alfredsson to push the play aggressively up ice and take the center lane will earn Alfie a bonus plus. Doing just enough to make a shooting lane for Cleary will earn Andersson a half-plus.
Goal-Saved Plus: at 4:49 of the third, we have a player stop a goal that he didn't nearly directly cause when a Stephen Weiss chop for a loose puck sitting on a wide-open back door barely beats out the stick of Milan Lucic. If that's not good enough, Weiss follows that up by blocking the follow-up attempt by Krejci. Weiss will get a plus for saving a goal.
3rd Period 18:40 - Boston Goal: Milan Lucic (backhand) from Dennis Seidenberg and David Krejci
Boston makes it interesting late in the third with an ugly scramble goal out front. This sequence starts with 2:07 left in the period when Abdelkader fails to get a puck cleared. 47 seconds later, it comes back to bite him, as the Bruins control the zone for that long before Lucic scores here. Seidenberg steps up and switches places with Krejci in the corner after a shot from the opposite point bounces to the left-side corner. The Bruins' D-man tries to give Andersson the slip before coming out from behind the net on a wrap-around attempt. Andersson is able to recover by leaning on his man. Seidenberg loses the puck, but gets lucky when the loose puck bounces off Abdelkader's skate and right to the slot. Lucic wins the race there and backhands it past Gustavsson to finish the scoring on the night (thankfully). On a series this long, nobody is getting a minus cleared, but Abdelkader's turnover and coverage will get him an extra minus and half-minus respectively. Weiss will also pick up an extra half-minus for letting Lucic get away from him enough to get this shot off.
1st Period 15:54 - Jakub Kindl (interference): Kindl battles Marchand in the corner of the Wings' zone and doesn't release his man quickly enough after pinning him to the boards. Even with a weird standard of officiating, this one is an obvious penalty. Minus for Kindl.
2nd Period 11:30 - Brian Lashoff (cross checking): Lashoff commits a no-no as something of a retaliation for a clean hit by Krug when he puts his stick across the player's back. Minus for Lashoff.
2nd Period 19:29 - David Krejci and Danny DeKeyser (roughing): Knuckleheads gonna knucklehead. No adjustment.
3rd Period 04:49 - Niklas Kronwall (hooking): Milan Lucic traps Kronwall's stick and draws a call. This is an absolutely horrid call here. No adjustment.
3rd Period 04:56 - Daniel Cleary (tripping): Unfortunately, the second penalty is a very good call and Cleary will get a minus for taking Matt Bartkowski's skates out from under him.
3rd Period 14:02 - Daniel Alfredsson (boarding): Alfie goes to the box as he's forechecking behind Adam McQuaid and shoves his man from behind into the boards. Easy call to make; bad penalty to take; minus for Alfredsson.
+2 to Henrik Zetterberg: Hank drove the puck in the right direction and prevented it from being driven in the wrong one. Six shots on goal and three blocked shots go along with some very good play on the 3-on-5 penalty kill earned him this adjustment.
+0.5 to Pavel Datsyuk: Even with the in-game adjustments, Datsyuk was an absolute force. He actually lost the faceoff battle, but the win to start the massive PK was a big one.
+1 to Stephen Weiss: The Wings' 2nd line center continues to struggle with his adjustment to the Wings' system, but He was much better in this game going both directions.
+0.5 to Daniel Cleary: 3:55 of very good PK time will earn Cleary an adjustment here. He was very good shorthanded in this game. Bonus fact: Cleary was on the ice for only three corsi events (SOG, missed shots, blocked shots) for the Red Wings at 5-on-5 for the ENTIRE GAME, and one of those was the goal he scored.
+1.5 to Justin Abdelkader: The unfortunate long shift at the end of the game doesn't undo the good for Abby throughout the rest of this one. He was aggressive and annoying.
+0.5 to Luke Glendening and Drew Miller: The PK work by Glendening and Miller really stood out to me. They block lanes good.
+1 to Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Danny DeKeyser, and Brian Lashoff: This one is mostly for the work these five did killing penalties, but I thought all had a good game.
+0.5 to Jakub Kindl: He was the most offensively noticeable defenseman for the Wings tonight and that's exactly what he should have been, considering he was also the only one with no time played on the PK.
I thought Jordin Tootoo played well enough in his 7:29 of ice time. Not really adjustment-worthy, but I wouldn't be upset if he stayed in the lineup. Like Cleary, Andersson had good PK numbers and terrible possession stats, which kept him at the +0.5 overall score.
I like getting to write these up when just about the entire team earns a bonus plus.
Current Game Chart
Season Totals Chart
Screener's Assist Totals
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