Hey folks. I'm not caught up on the last two CSSI posts (thankfully I've got until Thursday), but these are more fun to write after a win, so here we go with the analysis of the Red Wings' 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars: a game that was much closer than the score indicated for about 30 minutes before the Wings put it on cruise control and coasted to a fairly comfortable victory.
I'm a strong enough person to admit that the reffing wasn't great in this one and that it benefited the Wings more than it did the stars (since we got a goal called off on intent to blow). I do think that the refs generally favored the losing team on the penalty calls and that the standard was inconsistent, but I don't care because Dallas went 0-for-7 with the power play. Detroit also went 0-for-4 and allowed a shorthanded goal, but again I don't care. Dallas outshot Detroit 45-27.
Jimmy Howard was absolutely incredible in this game in stopping 44/45 shots. He faced the first 12 shots of the game and turned away all of them to help the Wings take the first lead when Henrik Zetterberg scored on Detroit's first shot of the game. He then held on to stop 32 of the next 33. This was a command performance by Jimmy Howard in helping ensure the victory for the Wings.
1st Period 07:04 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) unassisted
The Wings get on the scoreboard first despite being dominated on the shot counter thanks to a strong rush by Nyquist and Hank getting to a loose puck in a great spot. The play starts at center as the Stars encircle Alfredsson to get the puck along the benches. Zetterberg comes over to help, lifting a stick and allowing the Wings to regain possession. A Quincey-Kindl-Nyquist pass gets it to the opposite Wing heading through center ice with Speed. Nyquist dekes Aaron Rome to make space along the Wing for him to drive far enough inside the boards to back off the defense. As Alfredsson goes to the middle of the net, Nyquist tries pulling it to the forehand and snapping it high on net, but loses the puck to the net-front in the process. Seguin bodies off Alfie and tries to clear up the ice with a blind spinning shot, but it goes right to Zetterberg following into the play. Z snaps it from the dot into the open net and the Wings are up. Nyquist will get a plus for great work in gaining the entry in such a way as to put pressure on the D. Zetterberg will get a half-plus for the work he does in retrieving the puck at center.
1st Period 12:47 - Dallas Goal (SH): Rich Peverley (wrist shot) from Shawn Horcoff
The Stars tie it on a shorthanded goal from the outside of the top of the circle. Henrik Zetterberg gets a zone entry for the power play, but is driven off to the corner by the PKers, trying to feed it back to the point to catch them collapsing heavily to that side. Instead, Horcoff intercepts the pass and he heads up ice with Peverley in a 2-on-2 rush. Horcoff takes the left wing as he passes off to Peverley cutting from center to left. They enter the zone together, but Peverley slows and Horcoff circles back around behind Alfredsson while the play gets to the top of the circle. Just as Horcoff passes in front, Peverley snaps a shot which deflects off Alfredsson's stick and goes through the screen by Horcoff to beat Howard. Zetterberg makes the mistake in the offensive zone turnover which leads to the 2-on-2 rush and Alfredsson either needs to tip it away from net or keep his stick off this puck. Alfie and Z will each get a half-minus. The former for coverage and the latter for a turnover. Tatar, Bertuzzi, and Kronwall will all be cleared.
1st Period 18:05 - Detroit Goal: Joakim Andersson (wrist shot) from Kyle Quincey
Shortly after Brendan Smith gets a great scoring chance, the Wings retake the lead on a screened wrister that sneaks through Ellis from the circle. Seconds earlier, Smith nearly scores after a good breakout led by passing from Glendening, Kronwall, Tatar, and finally Eaves to break him in with speed on the Wing. Connauton gets the rebound in the zone, but Samuelsson pressures immediately, forcing him to just pitchfork it into the neutral zone in hopes of getting a change. Quincey picks it up at center and bounces it off the right side boards where Andersson steps into it as he crosses the line on the wing with Tatar joining him in the center lane. The defense is back, but have to give up lots of room on the quick turn. This gives Andersson an opportunity to get just to the outside of the dot and fire a shot through an attempted block by Gaunce. The puck sneaks through both Guance and Ellis on it's way into the net for what would be the game-winner. Marchenko will lose his plus to Smith on this play, as they're changing while the transition is happening. Smith does well to help pressure. Samuelsson will get a half-plus for getting on Connauton quickly and creating the turnover in the neutral zone. I'm also going to give Eaves a half-plus on a great pass through center to spring Smith in the first place.
1st Period 18:19 - Detroit Goal: Drew Miller (wrist shot) from Justin Abdelkader
Just 14 seconds later, the Wings' lead is two on a great net-front battle which earns Drew Miller a rebound goal. Abby wins the faceoff and Detroit gets it deep as Bertuzzi chops it into the zone with Miller driving hard to recover. Ellis comes out and plays it on his backhand away from Miller, but he puts it over Jordie Benn's stick, allowing Abdelkader to recover the puck at the outside hash marks of the circle. Abby throws it immediately on net where Miller is just coming out front from pressuring behind the net and Bertuzzi is cutting to the same area from the opposite wing side with the inside lane on Rome. Ellis stops the initial shot, but the traffic in front makes the rebound hard to control. Miller gets a whack at it in midair and pushes it back into Ellis, who still can't wrangle the puck. As Rome and Peverley look for the puck, Miller gets one final whack at it which sends it through under Ellis to make it 3-1. Abdelkader and Miller will each get a plus for their work while Bertuzzi gets a half-plus. Well-timed aggressive forechecking makes this one happen.
2nd Period 11:57 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (Mosesing) unassisted
After an intent-to-blow robs Dallas of a goal (haha), Tomas Tatar sticks a dagger in them by splitting the defense so badly they hurt each other and then backhanding it into the net through Lehtonen. What a highlight-reel goal this was. The Stars put on a bit of pressure in the zone trying to get a good lane to shoot from with passes around the perimeter. Jamie Benn is pressured by both Smith and Tatar on the half-boards, feathering a backhander through Tatar to the top of the zone. The pass isn't perfect and Andersson challenges, forcing Dillon to poke it to the opposite side boards to keep the zone. Seguin races from the net-front to pick it up with Kronwall in close tow. Here, Seguin tries to get fancy and pull the puck off the boards with a cut to the middle. Kronwall gets his blade into Seguin's stick just below the hands which causes him to lose the puck to the middle of the ice where Tatar picks it up and starts his acceleration through center. Dillon is back already as Tatar cuts slightly away from Seguin (who has to back off to watch Andersson joining). Gaunce skates hard back from the right wing side to help, getting back into good position as Tatar reaches the Dallas blue line. If Dillon continues to give up space here, Tatar is probably cut off, but instead Dillon reads an opportunity to step up on Tatar at the blue line. The young Slovakian makes him pay by jumping out of the way of the hit attempt which takes out both defenders and leaves Tatar all alone on Lehtonent. Tatar makes a quick move and puts it past Lehtonen for a beauty goal. Tatar and Kronwall will each earn a plus for helping turn the puck over and for making the Dallas defense look so dumb.
3rd Period 12:39 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (slapshot) from Danny Cleary
Hank puts a pretty bow on the scoring for the evening and his second goal of the night up on the board with a one-timer from the faceoff circle. The Wings gain the line as Zetterberg blocks a pass attempt just inside his own blue line and is able to fight to get into the zone. Z circles back as Eaves goes to the net-front and Cleary comes on behind the play. Z tries to feather it through to Cleary on his way to the net, but leads it too far. Eaves partially obstructs Connauton's stick, preventing him from getting a better clearing attempt. Zetterberg hustles to get it at the top of the faceoff circle, but is angled off by Dillon, so he stops and tries to lob a backhand to the front. This attempt is blocked, but Z gets another poke on it to keep Dillon from controlling. This pays off when Cleary skates to the loose puck at the top of the circle and loops back around to the outside hash marks where Dillon follows him. The Stars' D-man goes down in the lane trying to block the pass to Zetterberg in the high slot while Horcoff rushes in to help, but it's no use as Cleary puts it over Dillon's stick and right into Zetterberg's wheelhouse as he fires off a Brett Hullian slapper that beats Lehtonen and finishes off the scoring. Zetterberg will get another plus for creating the turnover and doing some puck retrieval. Cleary will get a half-plus for good play here to get the loose puck and to put the perfect pass on Hank's stick. Eaves picks up the screener's assist and a half-plus. Lehtonen is looking around Eaves when this shot is fired and without Eaves making a play at the net-front, there's no loose puck for Z to get his hands on.
1st Period 04:30 - Alexey Marchenko (hooking): The Wings take the first penalty of the game on a stretch pass where Nichushkin gets behind Marchenko for what would be a break if not for the hook that brings him down. Marchenko will get a minus.
1st Period 09:28 - Jordie Benn (cross-checking): Luke Glendening does a lot of work protecting the puck along the boards behind the Dallas net and gets abused by Benn without losing the puck before they finally call a penalty. Glendening will get a plus. The board battling is great here.
1st Peirod 09:48 - Dan Cleary (unsporstmanlike conduct): Cleary will get a minus for mouthing off to the refs to take the Wings off the power play. What a dumb decision.
1st Period 11:48 - Antoine Roussel (goaltender interference): Roussel gets around the PK to the outside trying to drive the net. He takes light contact as an invitation to bomb into Howard and goes to the box for it. No adjustment.
1st Period 14:02 - Brenden Dillon (tripping on breakaway): The Wings get a penalty shot as an Antoine Roussel pass goes straight to Abdelkader skating hard through center on a partial break. Dillon tries a diving sweep-check that misses and takes out Abby's legs instead, earning the Wings a penalty shot. It's kind of dumb luck that Abby gets this chance, but Abby is skating hard and protects the puck masterfully on the breakaway. This will earn Abdelkader a plus.
2nd Period 04:14 - Luke Glendening (high sticking): In the offensive zone off a flurry of chances, the Wings end up shorthanded when Luke Glendening gets his stick up on Kari Lehtonen. Glendening will get a minus for not controlling his stick.
2nd Period 12:23 - Jakub Kindl (hooking): The Stars get another scoring chance in front of the net, causing a bit of a panic by Kindl, who hooks his man in front to try and prevent a chance. Kindl will get a minus.
2nd Period 16:19 - Niklas Kronwall (hooking): The Wings go shorthanded again on a rush led by Jamie Benn and another net-front opportunity. This time it's Kronwall, who gets the minus for the hook.
3rd Period 06:28 - Antoine Roussel (roughing): Detroit gets a third period power play as Roussel does something stupid in the offensive zone as he yanks on Samuelsson's head while trying to go around him so he can forecheck. No adjustment. Dumb play here.
3rd Period 06:41 - Todd Bertuzzi (holding): Bert gets grabbed behind the Dallas net fighting for a loose puck behidn the Dallas net and fights back in a similar fashion. This one's a soft call, but Bert hardly ever has two hands on his stick. Bertuzzi will get a half-minus.
3rd Period 08:32 - Jordie Benn (hooking): Nyquist attacks Connauton at the point in the Detroit zone, getting by him with a step to the net. Meanwhile, Benn slows Andersson down driving the center lane in what is almost a 2-on-0. This play causes the Nyquist-to-Andersson pass to misfire and sends Benn to the Box. Plus for Nyquist and Andersson on great hustle to draw this.
3rd Period 18:23 - Jakub Kindl (holding): Kindl grabs a guy along the boards late in the game and takes a penalty he's probably deserved three times by this point. I'm going to give Kindl a minus on the collective cheating he finally got called for.
+1 to Daniel Alfredsson: I was very impressed with his two-way play in this game. He really helped control play on the ice.
+1 to Luke Glendening: Fantastic performance by Glendening, especially when he was tasked with playing against guys like Benn. He got only one offensive zone start in this game and I though he played very well.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg: Z played with the team on his back in this game and deserves even more praise than his overall adjusted +2 said he got.
+1 to Niklas Kronwall: Almost 25 minutes of play and very solid puck movement and in-zone defense. Very good game for one of the leaders on the team.
Lots of people had good games in this one, but if they weren't mentioned for an automatic adjustment, that's probably because they were good enough in the official plus/minus to not need additional pluses. Guys like Andersson and Miller fit this very well (each was adjusted +3)
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Season Totals Chart
(Currently behind by 3 games in adjustments. When this notice is gone, the chart is up-to-date)
Screener's Assist Totals
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