The Red Wings came into this weekend needing to earn points to help their playoff chances. After a big win in Toronto on Saturday, they followed that up with a good win (and their first of the season) against the Tampa Bay Lightning, holding on for a 3-2 victory.
Detroit held Tampa's power play off the boards in four chances while scoring on one of their three power plays. The reffing in this game was narrative-driven rather than objectively consistent. Both teams got away with stuff, but I think the stripes missed a necessary ejection and that doesn't sit well with me. Shots were 30-28 in favor of Detroit.
Jonas Gustavsson got his first start in a while and made some brilliant saves in the 2nd period to help his team out. He also gave up a stinker in the third period that he got away with. I'm eventually going to accept that he is what he is, but the guy scares me a lot.
1st Period 08:40 - Tampa Bay Goal: Valtteri Filppula (wrist shot) from Brendan Smith
Despite Detroit playing well to start, Filppula puts the Bolts ahead off a turnover that gets him a shot from in front. The Wings stifle Filppula at the blue line and force the turnover to Kronwall. Kronner outlets to Abdelkader outside the zone, but he's pressured by Barberio into turning back in and trying to reset the play with a pass to Smith in the middle of the ice. Smith completely misses the pass and it bounces out in front of him where Filppula gets to it first to rip it past Gustavsson. Miller, Glendening, and Kronwall will be cleared here. The pass is unfortunate in the bounce it takes, but I don't like the combination of decision and execution. Both Abdelkader and Smith will pick up a minus for turning it over. I think Abby should have passed back to Kronwall up the boards instead of to Smith in the middle, but I can see why he would try it.
1st Period 11:08 - Detroit Goal: Joakim Andersson (backhand) from Darren Helm and Daniel Alfredsson
Detroit ties it on a good passing play that opens up Helm for a one-timer which Bishop rebounds straight to Andersson for the goal. The Wings get a faceoff win and are able to set a breakout from behind their own net. Tampa plays good neutral zone defense, but the Helm line smartly dumps it in with Andersson already moving up ice to get up and get to it before Hedman in the corner. Before he's pinched off, Joker pokes it to the opposite side corner where Helm is headed. Panik gets there first and protects it, getting it to Gudas facing up ice. Helm and Alfredsson get on him quickly, forcing an attempted pass up the boards for Thompson. Here, Lashoff makes a great aggressive pinch to knock it back behind both Thompson and Panik. Alfredsson gets it in the corner as Helm is skating hard back to the point to cover the pinch. Alfie feeds Helm up top for a stop-and-slap shot that Bishop can't corral thanks to a well-timed cross by Andersson through his field of vision. Joker picks it up at the side of the net and backhands it in. Lashoff and Andersson will each get a full plus for their contributions to this play while Alfredsson and Helm will get a half-plus each.
1st Period 15:24 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) from Kyle Quincey
Detroit pulls ahead on a breakaway for Nyquist that Bishop initially stops before creating a rebound that Nyquist puts home. Stamkos gets to a loose puck in the corner on a quick rush and tries to feed it out front only to have it bounce back to him off the side of the net. Before he gets another chance, Quincey gets his stick in to prevent it, forcing Stamkos to go to the point. Barberio feeds to Carle for a shot attempt that hits Franzen in the slot where it bounces to the top of the circle for Legwand to grab. As soon as the shot is blocked, Nyquist starts up ice. This pays off when Legwand spins immediately and hits him in stride for the breakaway. Carle hooks him a couple times and Bishop prevents the initial shot attempt from going in, but Goose spins on the recovery and puts it back in on the very sharp angle. Nyquist taking this angle and making the play will earn him a plus while Legwand will also get a plus for the great outlet pass. Franzen and Quincey will each receive a half-plus for their work on eliminating chances for the Bolts to help create the one that Gustav finishes.
2nd Period 16:36 - Detroit Goal (PP): David Legwand (tip in) from Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall
Detroit extends the lead to two on a power play goal as the net-front guy finally succeeds in tipping it past the goalie. The Wings have to regain the zone after an Alfredsson shot goes wide and sneaks across the blue line. Legwand and Franzen get it across the line, pushing it to Alfredsson on the opposite point where he's forced to dump it in. Salo gets to it and tries a slap-clear before Nyquist can get to him, but Franzen blocks it and with the help of Kronwall, sets up the in-zone possession while Legwand parks out front. After a quick movement to go from two high points to the umbrella formation, Kronner gets it back to Franzen at the top of the circle for a wrister that Legwand tips over the goalie for the eventual game-winner. This is a good power play goal, but it worked how it's supposed to. We should expect more of this. No adjustment.
3rd Period 15:31 - Tampa Bay Goal: Sami Salo (slap shot) from Nikita Kucherov
Tampa pulls within one on a real softy from the point. After a shift by the Bolts with good pressure and a bad missed outlet pass to break up the pressure, Quincey is forced to dump the puck to center so the Wings can start a change. Q doesn't get it far enough out and the Lightning turn it back up quickly with Kucherov spinning at his own blue line and coming up the right wing side to threaten a cut between Quincey and Lashoff. Lasher holds off his man, so Kucherov spins at the circle and goes back to Salo at the point. Salo is halfway between the blue line and the circle with Quincey in his lane just beneath the top of the circle when he fires a slapper that goes through Quincey's legs and beats Gustavsson to the glove side. I know it's a bit tougher going through the legs of the D-man, but this goal is weak. This will clear the minuses for Quincey, Lashoff, Nyquist, Legwand, and Franzen. Quincey will earn his minus back. He's either got to get the puck deeper on the attempted change or he has to block the Salo shot. Failing to do both will earn him the minus.
1st Period 18:22 - Radko Gudas (cross-check): The Wings are playing a good cycle in the zone which gets interrupted when notorious dirtbag Radko Gudas cross-checks Nyquist in the head. This is an unbelievably dirty play by a shitheel player. I hope there's a suspension coming. Unfortunately, it's not a drawn call. No adjustment.
2nd Period 02:58 - Kyle Quincey (holding): After Valtteri Filppula runs into Gustavsson and then interferes with Quincey, somehow Kyle Quincey ends up going to the box trying to get around a man interfering with him. As Q falls, he uses a freehand to try and steady himself on Flip, going to the box when the footwear shows up (Flip flops). No adjustment. Based on the reffing standard of this game, this is a shameful penalty.
2nd Period 08:34 - Brendan Smith (cross checking): The Bolts get a number of good scoring opportunities which finally end when Gustavsson grabs the puck. Smith helps clear the traffic crashing the crease by bumping Stamkos, who throws himself at the net dramatically. No adjustment.
2nd Period 15:17 - Alex Killorn (holding): Helm draws one by trying to skate around Killorn and getting held up in the corner of the Tampa zone. Helm will get a plus.
3rd Period 02:03 - Brendan Smith (tripping): Smith pokes the skate of Brown out from under him as they chase around the boards. Minus for Smith. This is an easy call to make.
3rd Period 07:29 - Red Wings Bench (too many men): The Wings put two men on for only one getting off as both Legwand and Franzen jump on for only Andersson getting off. Helm is backing up at the blue line and Alfredsson is forechecking. Nyquist gets on for Alfie before the whistle blows, indicating that this is a one-for-one centerman switch-off problem. Helm and Legwand will get a half-minus each.
3rd Period 09:50 - Victor Hedman (delay of game puck over glass): Hedman tries to get the puck around pressure in his own zone, but ends up putting it over the glass instead. This is more a mistake on Hedman, but the pressure from Nyquist makes him make the quick decision. Nyquist will get a half-plus.
+1 to Brendan Smith: As luck would have it, Smith got a little unlucky on the adjusted plus minus scoresheet, but not terribly unlucky. This plus brings him up to an overall -2, which is fairly fitting for a guy who didn't drive possession as well in this game.
+2 to Jakub Kindl: This was a really good game for Kindl in terms of defensive zone coverage and puck movement. I was really impressed with him in this one.
+1 to Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser: Both of these guys were impressively solid on defense in this one (although Kronwall started off a tad rocky, he settled down quickly).
+1 to the Kid Line: Babcock used them interestingly in this game, giving them 8 offensive zone starts to zero D-zone draws. Sheahan paid him off by going 8-3 in the dot and the line of Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco put up two out of every three shot attempts in this game.
+2 to Justin Abdelkader: Abby was way better than the mistake that gave Filppula his goal. This will drive him back to even. I thought he brought more aggressively-solid physical play into the lineup and that was something that had been missed.
+1 to Drew Miller: The hustle to cancel an icing call late was just the (non) icing on the cake for a defensively good game by Miller.
Radko Gudas is made of poop.
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