Detroit improved to 2-2 on the second night of back-to-backs with an eventually-dominating performance against the Canucks. After a tough first period, Detroit took over and ran away with it in an 8-3 victory.
A perfect 2-for-2 penalty kill and a very good 3-for-5 power play, the Wings won the special teams battle handily. I know it's a little cliche at this point, but the Canucks getting a penalty for whining at the refs was almost too perfect. If they had called the Kesler dive in the first period, the reffing would have perfectly trolled the Canucks.
Jimmy Howard did not allow 8 goals and the other guy did. This is a pretty easy head-to-head to call a win for Howard. Overall, I think Howard did decently compared to a more-generalized goaltending standard. I want to see better results on the Sedin icing-outlet goal. He held the fort well in the second and third-periods, but wasn't terribly challenged there. I'm going to give him an overall even rating.
1st Period 05:45 - Vancouver Goal: Daniel Sedin (wrist shot) from Henrik Sedin
Vigneault gets the Sedins out against Cory Emmerton's line after an icing. Henrik finds Daniel cutting through the middle for a snipe past Howard to open the scoring. Kent Huskins and Jordin Tootoo will pick up minuses for a mostly-unforced missed connection leading to the icing. However, Tootoo will actually have his minus cleared on the goal, so he won't get two on this play. Miller will also be cleared. Huskins gets a pick run on him, but the play goes through him too much to let him off the hook. White and Emmerton will each pick up an additional half-minus for allowing the centering pass to get through both of them.
1st Period 11:08 - Detroit Goal: Jordin Tootoo (wrist shot) unassisted
Tootoo has a dump-in blocked on the boards, gets the loose puck, and throws it to the front of the net while traffic is starting to arrive. He gets a fortunate bounce off Ballard and the puck gets by Luongo. Jonathan Ericsson will pick up the assist I believe he deserves officially (no Canuck actually gains possession from the Ericsson pass to Tootoo, so there's no reason he shouldn't get one). Lashoff and Ericsson will also get their pluses back, after having changed for Kindl and Kronwall behind the rush. Kindl and Kronwall will lose their pluses.
1st Period 12:37 - Detroit Goal: Niklas Kronwall (slap shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Cleary
Detroit puts on phenomenal pressure in the zone and then capitalizes on a delayed penalty call when a Kronwall slapper finds its way through a screen and in. Justin Abdelkader is going to get a non-touch assist and a bonus plus. his forechecking work establishes the zone and leads to a turnover which Datsyuk uses to draw the delayed call. Datsyuk will get a penalty plus and a bonus half-plus on the play for drawing the Canucks all over the zone. Finally, Abdelkader also gets a screener's assist.
1st Period 16:18 - Vancouver Goal: Daniel Sedin (backhand) from Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows
The Sedins combine for a breakout icing pass as Henrik throws it off the end-boards behind Howard to a streaking Daniel who gets behind the D and roofs it over Howard. This is a difficult play for a goalie to adjust to at speed, but I'm not entirely happy with Howard allowing this one. I'm not going to call it a bad goal, just that I don't particularly like it. Primary blame falls on Ericsson, who will get a coverage minus for letting Sedin by him. Brunner, Zetterberg, and Filppula will have their minuses cleared. The Vancouver breakout is quick, but it's at worst a 3-on-3 rush with both Z and Flip moving the right direction if the stretch-play doesn't happen. Kronwall is only going to keep half a minus. I feel he's got a chance to make a step-up on Henrik at the blue line to short-circuit this play. That's pretty high-risk all things considered, but as long as he at least competently takes out his man, the rest of the Wings' coverage is getting back ice faster than the Vancouver breakout is getting up ice.
1st Period 18:26 - Vancouver Goal: Chris Higgins (wrap-around) unassisted.
Higgins' forechecking creates a turnover, Alex Burrows establishes great body position to give him room, and then Higgins finishes the wrap-around. I was all set to give Howard a bad goal on this play for allowing a wrap around to beat him low to the far side, but the replay shows some insanely bad luck here. Howard has the paddle down and in position to block Higgins' angle, but just as the shot is released, Abdelkader's stick comes through in a sweep-check attempt which lifts Howard's paddle and allows the puck under. Abdelkader's turnover will get him an extra minus and the own-goalie stick-lift will get him an extra half-minus on coverage. Datsyuk will not get a minus, as he's covering the point. Lashoff will pick up a coverage minus for chasing Higgins behind the net instead of staying at the far post to meet him there while Abdelkader chases.
2nd Period 02:57 - Detroit Goal (PP): Daniel Cleary (wrist shot) from Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg
The Wings' PP gets set up with a good zone entry and takes advantage of a PK unit that isn't quite set, as Brunner gets his own rebound and throws it back in front for Danny Cleary to put home. Jakub Kindl will pick up an assist on this play, as he makes a good play to break Kesler's SH forecheck and then rags it while they change and hard-dumps it to gain the zone.
2nd Period 15:10 - Detroit Goal (PP): Henrik Zetterberg (tip-in) from Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall
A nice give-and-go between Datsyuk and Zetterberg leads to a great pass to the slot and more of a redirect into the net than a shot as Zetterberg slides it home. Brunner will get the third assist for a great zone entry with speed off a very clever spinning backhand pass from Datsyuk. Kronwall will also pick up a half-plus. The Canucks get a clear that he sees coming and picks up at center ice without having to go all the way back. I feel this helps create the zone-entry rush as it gives the Canucks less time to adjust.
2nd Period 19:18 - Detroit Goal (PP): Damien Brunner (wrist shot) from Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg
Damien Brunner picks up a loose puck off a shot that doesn't get all the way through and out-waits Luongo to roof it over him from right in front. Datsyuk will get the third assist on the quick-moving zone setup with Z and Kronner. Cleary will also get a non-touch assist for being in front and causing havoc/creating the rebound off the Kronwall shot.
3rd Period 09:36 - Detroit Goal: Damien Brunner (wrist shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Jonathan Ericsson
Brunner gets a loose puck at the half-boards and throws it at the net, catching Roberto Luongo by surprise and putting the Wings ahead 6-3. Lashoff and White change behind the play, but will get pluses for some solid defensive zone play to move the puck the right way. Kronwall and Ericsson get involved enough that they're not going to lose their pluses because of the line change though. This is more about how White and Lashoff earned pluses than fixing the line change issue. Filppula will get a bonus plus for some great hustle to establish the zone and also create the turnover to Brunner for the shot.
3rd Period 16:39 - Detroit Goal: Joakim Andersson (slap shot) from Tomas Tatar and Jakub Kindl
On a breakout, Tatar gives Andersson a little bit of space, which he uses to fire a slapper from well above the circle. It looks like this one knuckles past Luongo, but I'll take it. Third assist goes to Huskins for escaping pressure behind his own net and Tatar will get a bonus plus for creating the turnover which leads Huskins to having the puck in the first place.
3rd Period 17:31 - Detroit Goal: Joakim Andersson (slap shot) from Damien Brunner and Jonathan Ericsson
Andersson isn't done just yet, as he takes less than a minute to put his second of the night into the basket. Brunner feets him right in the slot for a one-timer into the net. Emmerton will get a plus on this play as he blocks a shot on the previous shift and doggedly pursues all the way to the Vancouver end to force Luongo to freeze it (well outside the crease, mind you). Andersson will get a self-assist for feeding the faceoff win back to Kronwall, who will get the third assist. Zetterberg's assist (fourth) will make it points for everybody on this shift. A clean faceoff win in the offensive zone leads to good things.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
2nd Period 09:25 - Jordin Tootoo (charging) and Zack Kassian (roughing): Tootoo comes about 30 feet to make a hit on Tanev in the corner and is all set to go to the box on his own, except Kassian is dumb enough to want to fight him for it. I'm going to give Tootoo a full minus for the charge and a half-plus for drawing the dipshit Kassian penalty.
2nd Period 15:59 - Damien Brunner (hooking): Brunner acts innocent here, but he doesn't have his feet moving and gets his stick in the midsection. This is an easy call. Minus for Brunner.
2nd Period 20:00 - Justin Abdelkader (holding the stick): Abdelkader loses position on whichever Sedin whose stick he grabs and then... well he grabs his stick. Minus to Abdelkader.
+1 to Daniel Cleary and Justin Abdelkader: Cleary's adjustment is to get him the plus he deserves for solid play on the boards and in his own zone. Abdelkader's is for great board play and neutral zone defense.
+0.5 to Cory Emmerton and Jordin Tootoo: These pluses are for the hustle mostly, but also because they didn't deserve to be overall minuses, so these adjustments get them back to even.
+1 to Patrick Eaves: I thought Eaves was the best forechecker on the lower lines and did a great job making space and preventing transition.
Filppula, Pavs, Brunner, and Z would have gotten bonus pluses if their adjusted plus/minuses wouldn't have matched up so well with how they performed. This was a good game for Red Wings forwards.