I can't stress enough how much the Wings should have won this game. But, they didn't.
Refs were a non-issue. All things considered, this was a fairly well-called game. Detroit lost the special teams battle, giving up a shorty and a PP goal. On the bright side, they also scored one.
The Sharks outshot the Wings by one, but outchanced them pretty severely. Howard got the loss, but I think this goalie battle was even. Overall, Howard will get a +1
1st Period 02:35 - San Jose Goal (SH): Patrick Marleau (wrist shot) from Joe Pavelski
The Wings create a dangerous chance on the PP off a San Jose turnover while trying to clear, but then they fuck it up and turn it back over. Marleau receives the pass and fires it in. I cannot for the life of me figure out Zetterberg's decision-making process on this play, but I know his turnover is going to earn Z an extra minus. I'm going to clear the minuses for Datsyuk, Brunner, and Franzen. They're doing good PP work and shouldn't take blame for Zetterberg failing to one-time a good pass. Kronwall will keep his minus for allowing the pass to get through him.
2nd Period 09:51 - Detroit Goal: Justin Abdelkader (tap in) from Johan Franzen and Brendan Smith
Franzen does some good work in the zone to make space along the boards and come behind the net for a feed out front to Abdelkader on the doorstep for the goal. Datsyuk will earn a bonus plus and a half and third assist on this series of plays. He does great forechecking work to three times deny the Sharks an easy outlet and then to recover the puck on a dump-in. Franzen will also get a bonus half plus for big-bodied work on the boards to make space for himself.
3rd Period 02:29 - Detroit Goal (PP): Jakub Kindl (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk
Z feeds it out to Kindl all alone on the back door sneaking in and Kindl snaps it into the open net. This time, Franzen gets the bonus plus and the third assist. Mule draws two defenders to him and is able to make sure the Wings come away with possession. This opens up the PK and allows Kindl to be wide open.
3rd Period 04:00 - San Jose Goal (PP): Logan Couture (backhand) from Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle
The Sharks' PP takes advantage of an aggressive PK. Couture picks up a rebound and backhands it over a sprawling Howard.The biggest coverage mistake here is on Datsyuk, who will get a minus. He plays very aggressively at the top and misses on Marleau's pass to Boyle. As a result, the Wings' defense has to make adjustments for the temporary condition of what is essentially a 4-on-3 setup play. The pass gets to Thornton, who could walk it to the slot if Kronwall doesn't challenge. Unfortunately, Ericsson can't move immediately to Couture out front because he has to respect the pass to Pavelsi for the easy tip-in from up front. This gives Couture just enough time to get to the rebound off Thornton's shot on net.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 11:47 - Patrick Eaves (interference): Eaves takes a step into a forechecker on a dump-in away from the puck and goes to the box. Minus for Eaves.
2nd Period 04:38 - Martin Havlat (hooking): Filppula earns a plus as hustle off a faceoff earns him body position and a favorable call.
2nd Period 14:10 - Jonathan Ericsson (hooking): Riggy loses position to Burns behind the net and hooks him. Burns takes a fall to make sure the ref sees it and is rewarded. Minus for Ericsson.
2nd Period 16:44 - Daniel Cleary (hooking): Cleary gets a minus. This is perhaps the most-obvious and dumbest penalty the Wings have taken in a while. This was an insanely dumb penalty and I want to give him eleven minuses for it, but I won't.
3rd Period 01:23 - Brent Burns (holding): Zetterberg gets a plus as he gives Brent Burns a shoulder-fake and then gets hauled down as he steps around the guy he just deked.
3rd Period 03:35 - Brendan Smith (holding): Minus for Smith for holding up his guy after breaking his stick. Hilariously, Smith's stick breaks as he slashes somebody else's. If the break had gone the other way, Smith would have taken his penalty five seconds earlier.
-1 to Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey: I'm lumping these two together because their problems were just about the same. Neither was good enough with the puck and neither was effectively physical without it.
+0.5 to Gustav Nyquist: The hustle was good by Nyquist as was the stickwork. He got killed on possession, but the eye test doesn't bear this out as a problem with the winger here.
Filppula had bursts of good play, but overall wasn't terribly impressive. Ericsson and Kronwall were a decent first pair that still makes me feel like I'd rather see them as a great 2nd pair. Kindl's game was pretty good, as was DeKeyser's. I'd like to see Datsyuk and Zetterberg take control more.
Numbers chart will be updated on the weekend.