One night after finishing an exciting comeback against the Canucks, the Wings come out flat and spot the Blues a three-goal lead which they're not able to overcome. The Wings did not deserve to win this game. Sadly, neither did the Blues. But, we're not allowed to have ties, because only in Nashville is the sensation of kissing one's sister an exciting prospect. Oh well, the Blues got the two points and now they're only seven behind us.
Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play, but St. Louis scored an even-strength goal in the time between the expiration of a penalty and when the player could get back into the zone. The Wings' PP isn't bad, and a 25% performance should be considered good, but the Wings lost, so screw that. The penalty kill has given up a goal in seven straight now and continues to slip down the rankings. Detroit outshot St. Louis 38-25 thanks in large part to the Blues going into a defensive shell after building a 4-1 lead in the 2nd.
Chris Osgood... one step forward, two steps back. Oh man, did he suck in this game. He played very well after giving up the fourth goal, but... man....seriously? That's the nicest thing I have to say about him. He stopped sucking AFTER GIVING UP FOUR! He made a couple big saves, but fat lot of good that does giving up bad goals. His rating was 0.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jumpThe Goals
1st Period 13:21 - St. Louis Goal (PP): Erik Johnson (slap shot) from Vladimir Sobotka and Brad Boyes
The Blues are on a power play thanks to Justin Abdelkader high-sticking Jay McClement. After the PP enters the zone, they do a very good job of cycling around to get the PKers moving before Sobotka finds Johnson at the center of the blue line for a one-timer through the traffic that's gathers in front of Osgood. Abdelkader gets the only minus here.
1st Period 13:51 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Brian Rafalski
30 seconds after the St. Louis goal, Franzen ties it. The Wings gain possession in their own zone after the faceoff and get stymied in the neutral zone. Rafalski backhands a pass to Zetterberg, who is set upon by the trap defense. Here, Z flips the puck into the Blues' zone for Franzen to pick up, which he does inside the left faceoff dot. Franzen very quickly settles the puck and fires it over Halak's shoulder to tie it up. The play is nice, but nobody here deserves any bonus credit. No scoring adjustment.
1st Period 14:27 - St. Louis Goal: Patrik Berglund (wrist shot) from Alex Steen
36 seconds after that, the Blues are right back on top. After playing grab-ass a couple times back and forth, the Blues bring the puck into the Wings zone where Steen shows all of the grace of a drunken inbred newborn giraffe and falls down. Unfortunately, Cleary got a bit of the fail on him in the process and can't chip the puck out. Salei gets a chance to clear up the boards, but he screws it up too. Steen has by now had a chance to recover and pokes it over to Berglund, who is allowed to skate into the high slot and release a wrist shot that bounces off Kronwall's leg and over Osgood's shoulder. Salei and Cleary both pull extra minuses for this. Kronwall gets an extra half-minus for his inability to block the shot. Also, I know that this is a very hard-to-stop deflection, but c'mon, Osgood. Bertuzzi and Filppula will not receive minuses.
1st Period 18:47 - St. Louis Goal: Patrik Berglund (slap shot) from Carlo Colaiacovo
This goal comes in the intervening seconds between the expiration of a Kronwall penalty and him getting back in the play. The penalty was a slash that Kronwall didn't have to take. However, Salei had a hand in creating the opportunity for Kronwall's screw-up too. Kronner and Salei both get minuses. At any rate, Justin Abdelkader tries to lay down on the puck at the half-boards to get a whistle, but the refs aren't buying it. The puck gets dug out from under him and out to the point to Colaiacovo. Colaiacoterryschiavo dishes to Berglund back at the half boards and he fires a slap shot past Osgood from there. This is a soft goal from Osgood. He does have Steen trying to screen in front, but he's not really doing a very good job of that. Even worse, Osgood is looking to his right (the short side) around Steen and gets beaten to his right (still the short side). If his form is tight, the puck doesn't get through his armpit. This terrible goal absolves what would have been an extra minus for Abdelkader. Instead, no skater on the ice keeps his official minus. Abdelkader, Lidstrom, Miller, Stuart, and Kronwall all have their minuses erased.
2nd Period 5:51 - St. Louis Goal: Matt D'Agostini (backhand) from David Backes and Eric Brewer
The Wings are on a standard breakout through the zone with Ericsson bringing it into center ice. He tries bouncing a puck off the boards to ... I dunno.. Jiri Hudler maybe? Naturally, the pass connects with Eric Brewer at the blue line (you know, that part of the ice where coaches say you ABSOLUTELY cannot turn the puck over). Brewer immediately passes to Backes, who gets a backhander to D'Agostini to spring him on a breakaway. Osgood bites hard on the fake and unfortunately, his legs are far too tiny to make up for the move that the Blues' forward made on him. Chris Osgood is 5'10" and I'm pretty sure that's all torso. At any rate, Eaves, Abdelkader, and Kronwall don't get minuses. Instead, Ericsson gets a bonus minus for a bad pass. Also, I'm giving Hudler an extra half-minus. He sees the pass is not going to connect and continues to float. If he moves his feet and pressures Brewer then perhaps the pass to Backes doesn't connect and D'Agostini never gets that chance.
2nd Period 11:33 - Detroit Goal (PP): Nicklas Lidstrom (slap shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Brian Rafalski
The Wings are on a 5-on-3 thanks to two Blues penalties which is kind of how hockey and numbers work. The first penalty is to Eric Brewer for holding on Todd Bertuzzi thanks to a great outlet pass from Lidstrom. The 2nd penalty is because Erik Johnson went all crazy-legs stupid and tried playing with two sticks, which is only allowed in sledge hockey with other special olympians. The 5-on-3 cycles the puck around the edge of the zone, finally shooting right as I separate a clump of hair from my head while screaming at them to do so. Lidstrom's shot makes it through a screened Halak to cut the Blues' lead to 2. Holmstrom gets an assist for screening Halak. Also, Bertuzzi gets a plus for drawing the Brewer penalty and Lidstrom gets a half-plus for the outlet pass that helped Bertuzzi draw the penalty.
2nd Period 16:51 - Detroit Goal: Patrick Eaves (wrist shot) from Darren Helm and Kris Draper
Darren Helm loses a faceoff in the St. Louis zone, which turns out to be a good thing as Draper hustles to steal the puck and get it over to Helm in the corner. Helm immediately gets it to Eaves in the high slot. Eaves has just enough time to settle the puck and fire his underrated wrister over Halak. Draper's hustle is good for a half-plus on this play.
Penalty Adjustment: Late in the second, while the Wings are playing with momentum, Johan Franzen tries to help Matt D'Agostini with that ugly-face-on-top-of-his-neck problem by getting his stick up in the guy's grill. It was one of those cases of him getting his hands up to protect himself and catching a guy in the chops, but he's got to be in control of his stick and he kills momentum with this penalty. Franzen gets a minus.
-2 to Brian Rafalski: The Blues had two shorthanded odd-man-rushes on turnovers. Both of those came off of this asshole's stick.
+1 to Nicklas Lidstrom: He saved a goal late in the first on a rebound off a shot on the Blues' power play. sure fire goal save = plus. Simple math.
-0.5 to Valtteri Filppula: For fuck's sake does this guy need to learn to just shovel pucks at the net when he gets the chance. Also, he was skating lazily screwing around with the puck in his own end as precious seconds were ticking away. I'm still pissed about that.
-0.5 to Johan Franzen: He had glimpses of the kind of play that earned him his nickname, but I just haven't seen him skating very much recently. Even though he scored a goal, we need him to pull out of this funk.
+1 to Darren Helm: Speaking of guys moving their feet, Helm actually was. He created some very good chances, had four shots on goal and won 64% of his faceoffs. Overall, a good night.
Honorable mentions: Hudler had a good keep-in on the Wings 5-on-4 following the Lidstrom goal, leaping up to grab a puck that Zdeno Chara could have caught in his mouth. He actually registered two shots on goal, which was a nice change of pace, but other than that, I don't remember anything about his game. No bonus pluses for him. The fourth line had some good hustle, but they also spent two very long shifts in their own zone. Brad Stuart was also quietly not sucky, but that's his damn job.