After a bit of time off to reflect on a disastrous home stand, the Red Wings headed to Vancouver for a Wednesday night tilt against the Canucks. Looking to end a four game losing streak, Detroit got the job done in typical Detroit fashion, by playing well but not getting enough goals to make it comfortable. Still, they came away with a 2-1 win and for that I'm happy.
The reffing standard was a bit loose in this one. Both sides got away with a bit more than I thought they should have, but I do think that the penalty count being even was appropriate. Both teams went 0-for-3 with the man advantage. Overall, the Wings outshot Vancouver 27-20.
There weren't a ton of shots, but this was still somewhat of a goaltending battle. Jimmy Howard had a fantastic cross-ice save to keep the Wings from falling down by two goals. Later in the game, Luongo had two of the same with the same stakes on the line. Needless to say, I was a lot happier with Howard's amazing saves than I was with Luongo's.
1st Period 14:12 - Vancouver Goal: Daniel Sedin (slap shot) from Henrik Sedin and Ryan Stanton
The Canucks get on the board first on a great passing play by the Sedins against the Wings' 4th line. Luongo gets a dump-in behind the net over to Stanton in the corner. Stanton immediately turns up ice and fires an outlet pass to Daniel Sedin coming through center. Daniel crosses the blue line and threatens to the right side of the slot before dropping it to Henrik. Glendening pulls over a bit too far and Henrik is able to cross back over the middle of the ice. As both Quincey and Glendening follow, Henrik feeds back to Daniel low in the right faceoff circle where he one-times it past Howard, who never sees the pass thanks to a Sestito screen in front. Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller are going to be cleared here. Glendening is responsible for stopping the outlet pass and for covering Sedin crossing the zone. Kindl needs to get over to Daniel Sedin quicker (meaning he needs to realize Miller is back to cover the net-front and he's ok to leave that area). Glendening and Kindl will each get an extra coverage half-minus. The biggest error here is Kyle Quincey's. He has to back off with Glendening watching Sedin. Quincey will get an extra minus.
2nd Period 11:37 - Detroit Goal: Daniel Alfredsson (wrist shot) from Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey
The Wings pull even on a net-front scrum goal, the ugly kind that still count. After a Santorelli shot goes wide and bounces to the corner, Cleary has a clearing attempt blocked. Fortunately, Smith is there to poke it past the forecheckers to spring Alfredsson up the right wing with Weiss and Smith joining in the middle and left respectively. As Alfie hits the half-boards in the Vancouver zone, Weiss driving the center with Smith on the far side leaves a coverage hole up top that Quincey steps into. Alfredsson finds him with the pass and then heads to the net. The pass to Quincey freezes the D in the middle, leaving an opening for Smith on the left side of the goal. Smith goes skate-to-stick in an attempt to get it around Luongo, but loses control of the puck just above the crease. As two defenders wrestle with Weiss in front, Alfredsson comes in and is able to scoop the puck into the net. Smart play by Alfredsson will earn him a plus on the turn up ice, pass, and follow up to the front of the net. Weiss will earn a half-plus for crashing the crease as well.
2nd Period 18:58 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (wrist shot) from Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser
The Wings take the lead on what looks like a harmless shot which finds its way through the defense and under Luongo. A good long shift by Cleary creates some good in-zone time. The Canucks get a clear, but have to dump the puck in without speed as Cleary gets off in favor of Tatar. DeKeyser picks it up behind the goal line and tosses it to Kronwall in the opposite corner to defeat the one-man forecheck. Kronwall skates to the dot and passes back to the opposite wing to hit Tatar in stride heading up ice. Tatar crosses the blue line and pulls up while Datsyuk continues into the zone. Tats does a slight curl-and-drag to change his shooting angle before throwing a wrister past the stick of Edler at the top of the zone. Tanev is screening Luongo very well, just lifting his foot enough for the puck to get under it at the last minute and go through Luongo. I'm going to give Cleary a plus on this play. He does a lot of things well on a long shift to help the Wings drive the momentum which leads to this goal.
1st Period 02:24 - Dan Hamhuis (holding): Todd Bertuzzi drives into the Vancouver zone and forces Hamhuis into holding him as he forces it to the front of the net. Bertuzzi will get a plus for drawing the play and DeKeyser will get a half-plus for the outlet which gets Bert into the zone with speed int he first place.
1st Period 07:07 - Todd Bertuzzi (hooking): Hamhuis gets his revenge as he jumps up on a play and gets body position on Bertuzzi, who hooks him to slow him down. Bertuzzi will get a minus.
1st Period 18:31 - Brendan Smith (interference): The Sedins are causing havoc in the Wings zone again. Smith pops Sedin in the corner and the guy goes down like some sort of person who maybe has a history of going down a little easy on soft contact. Smith's got no business cross-checking guys here anyway. Minus for Smith.
1st Period 19:26 - Henrik Sedin (holding): The Wings are getting a clear on the PK when Sedin grabs onto Drew Miller to try and prevent it. Miller had an impressive shift and does a good job on the angle here. Plus for Miller.
3rd Period 02:03 - Brendan Smith (high sticking): Smith steps up on Higgins and gets his stick up. Minus for Smith.
3rd Period 18:48 - Daniel Sedin (hooking): With an empty net late in the game, The Canucks are trying to pull even. Daniel Alfredsson does good work to get a zone clear and threaten to the empty net. In response, Sedin hooks him to slow him down. Alfredsson will get a plus.
3rd Period 19:34 - Niklas Kronwall (holding): Kronner gets one for yanking down Henrik Sedin along the boards in his zone. Easy call to make. Minus for Kronwall.
+2 to Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser: Big minutes for these two against tough competition and they came through in a big way. There were some minor mistakes, but overall a very positive performance by a top pair who played top pair minutes and held on extremely well.
+1 to Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey: I noticed them for all the right reasons in this game. Very good performance.
+0.5 to Jakub Kindl: I don't think he was bad enough to be a -1.5 overall, so this adjustment is just to clear him up a bit.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg: Dominant possession numbers against the hardest competition for the Canucks. Babcock was chasing the matchup here all night and it paid off.
+1 to Stephen Weiss: This was the hardest to play against he's looked in a while. His forechecking in this one was very good.
+1 to Todd Bertuzzi: Of the Wings' 27 shots, Bertuzzi had five of them. He backchecked well, but I especially liked how he kept getting open for stretch passes to keep the Canucks honest.
+1 to Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson: These two won their line matchups handily. Tatar drove things exceptionally well at 5-on-5 while Andersson did some good work on the PK.
Abdelkader and Miller both had decent games. I hardly noticed Eaves, but he played a decent game considering it was his first of the season.
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