The Wings finished out their western road trip with two wins and two losses, having dropped a 1-0 game to the Ducks on Sunday night. I joked about moral victories, but this one fits the bill nicely. Both teams played the previous night, but Anaheim used their starter and only had one top player out of the lineup. This game could have been ugly and the Wings fared well except for that whole not being able to score a goal part.
The refs were busy in this one, but I don't really have any problem with the standard of the way this one was called. Neither team scored on the power play (DET: 0/5 ANA 0/4). The Ducks outshot the Wings 23-22.
This loss is in Petr Mrazek, who needed to put up a final stat sheet of negative one goals or better in order to get his team the win and he ended up giving up one on the only shot he actually faced. I know the homer scorekeeper counted 23 Anaheim shots, but I only remember the one he didn't stop. That's too bad to see a team let down by their goaltender this badly. Disregard this bullshit paragraph.
2nd Period 12:42 - Anaheim Goal: Andrew Cogliano (tip-in) from Saku Koivu and Kyle Palmieri
The Ducks get a turnover in the Detroit zone and put it into the Wings' net to break the tie. The Ducks win a neutral zone faceoff, but pressure by Nyquist and a combination of body position and a stick lift by Zetterberg turns it over to Brendan Smith inside his own zone. Smith tries to quick-turn the puck on transition up to Abdelkader, but Saku Koivu gets his stick on the attempt and blocks it to the right point where Palmieri gets to it. This is now a 3-on-2 in the Wings' zone as Smith goes back to cover the front and Kronwall stays near the puck on the right side. Palmieri eliminates Kronwall from the play by passing down the boards to Koivu at the bottom of the circle, leaving Smith between Koivu and Cogliano, who jumps from the left wing side to the front of the net on the turnover. Koivu skates it down the goal line with the puck in a dangerous position (the skates are on the line, but the puck is in front of it). While Mrazek covers the post and Smith sets himself up to both attempt to block the pass AND keep Koivu from crashing it into the crease, Koivu threads it through the coverage to Cogliano's stick for the tip-in. All three forwards are cleared here: Zetterberg, Nyquist, and Abdelkader. They're victimized by a turnover at the worst spot. Kronwall gets caught a little bit here as well, but will have his minus halved. I think quicker recognition that Palmieri is going to beat him to the puck allows him more options on this play, although I think that letting it get to Koivu is the right play, as he's on the worst shooting line so he should be the uncovered man that the goalie has to watch. Smith will get just about all the blame and two minuses. The turnover earns him the first one and the blown coverage will earn him the second. He's either got to commit to insanity super-early and attack Koivu or he's got to block the pass. He does neither.
1st Period 00:40 - Saku Koivu (high sticking): On the very first shift, the Wings get good pressure on in the Anaheim zone. Koivu gets beaten to a puck by Zetterberg and answers by high sticking him. Zetterberg will get a plus.
1st Period 14:55 - Saku Koivu (tripping): Koivu goes back to the box as he's trying to get to a loose puck behind the Wings net, but doesn't have position on DeKeyser. The poke misses and he brings down DK. Half-plus for DeKeyser. This is bad stick-work by Koivu, but the positioning by DK is solid.
1st Period 18:27 - Gustav Nyquist (hooking): The Ducks put on pressure a couple times with some rushes into the zone and Nyquist takes a penalty on the second of them as he gets his stick up to slow the transition. Nyquist will get a minus. I'm also going to give Cleary a half-minus for the turnover which leads to this rush.
2nd Period 01:51 - Saku Koivu (holding): Zetterberg leans on Koivu in the neutral zone to protect the puck and draws a holding call. Plus for Zetterberg on the puck battle.
2nd Period 08:21 - Niklas Kronwall (holding): Kronwall and Corey Perry race after a puck dumped into the Wings' zone. Both players interfere with one another, but Kronwall is the only player who goes. The bad non-call on Perry doesn't completely absolve Kronwall from sticking his arm out to slow his man down. This will earn Kronwall a half-minus.
2nd Period 13:41 - Patrick Maroon (roughing): The big oaf for the Ducks interferes with and eventually punches Kyle Quincey well behind the play and goes to the box for it. No adjustment. I guess good job by Quincey to not retaliate, but Patrick Maroon is way bigger. That would be stupid.
3rd Period - Danny DeKeyser (high sticking): Kyle Quincey doesn't get a puck cleared and the puck heads back to the front of the net where DeKeyser high-sticks him. DK will get a minus and Quincey a half-minus for setting up this play.
3rd Period 10:45 - Niklas Kronwall (slashing): Kronwall and Perry are again chasing for a loose puck in the Red Wings zone. This time, Kronner takes the penalty for slashing Perry's stick. Minus for Kronwall.
3rd Period 16:20 - Teemu Selanne (tripping): Selanne chases DeKeyser into the Wings' zone and trips him into the boards awkwardly. Half-Plus for DeKeyser on protecting the puck well. Bad play by Selanne.
+1 to Brendan Smith and Niklas Kronwall: This will leave them each overall minuses for the one mistake which led to the game-winner (and the various failures to score), but nobody had a bad enough game to warrant very awful ratings.
+1 to Danny DeKeyser: DK had a very solid defensive game, including one odd-man pass breakup and another net-front clear which wasn't directly a saved goal, but was nonetheless a good play. He was 2nd among D-men for ice time and deservedly so.
Other than Cleary, Zetterberg, and Nyquist, who earned their adjustments via penalties, I think the overall even rating for every other forward is fitting because the offensive ones failed to score on far too much power play time, leaving themselves undeserving of bonus ratings while the good defensive effort on the PK by those specialists was evened out by losing the possession battle at even strength.
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