Detroit headed into Colorado to spoil Peter Forsberg's jersey retirement ceremony and did exactly that by shutting out the Avs in their home opener 3-0. Scouts tell me that Forsberg left in the 2nd period. Also, for some reason, the Colorado fans kept booing Todd Bertuzzi...
The Wings outshot the Avalanche 39-29, but went 0-for-4 on the power play, meaning they have yet to score a PPG in 2 games and 9 chances this season. Fortunately (and obviously, from the title), the Wings' PK got the job done all three times. For the 2nd game in a row, I thought the reffing standard was consistent. I didn't like the pick that Hejda ran on Cleary before his penalty, but it's not as though the Wings didn't get away with anything.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
Penalty Adjustment: 9:25 into the 1st Period, Corey Emmerton dumps and chases a puck in the offensive zone on Kyle Quincey. The Avs' defenseman ends Emmerton's rush by pulling him down by his helmet. This is more about Quincey making a stupid decision, but Emmerton's speed and willingness to keep his feet moving is a factor. Emmerton will get a half-plus for drawing the penalty.
Penalty Adjustment: at 12:44 of the 2nd period, Jan Hedja moves into the Detroit zone and runs a pick on Danny Cleary. While the interference goes unnoticed, Cleary's retaliatory slash certainly does not. Cleary will earn a minus, even with the missed original call. Retaliation is not excusable here.
2nd Period 17:41 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (snap shot) from Jiri Hudler
The Avs try to cycle around the Detroit zone when Jay McClement makes the mistake of trying to go up the boards on Franzen. Mule angles him off and wipes him out at the boards, allowing the puck to go to Hudler standing at the point and ready to take it out of the Wings' zone. Huds moves it up ice into the Colorado zone and drops it to Franzen at the top of the left faceoff circle for a one-timed snap over the glove to break the 0-0 tie. Franzen will get a bonus half-plus for the defensive play leading to the rush and a self-assist for separating McClement from the puck to allow it to go to Hudler.
3rd Period 11:58 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (slap shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary.
A Hedjuk shot goes wide of Conklin and up the boards, where Cleary tips it out of the zone. Jan Hejda whiffs on the puck in the neutral zone, allowing Zetterberg to pick it up and start a 3-on-2 with Datsyuk and Cleary against Hejda and Stastny. Zetterberg gains the zone and drops it to Datsyuk coming through the middle, he then coasts into the faceoff dot with his stick cocked waiting for the return pass. Datsyuk delivers it and Zetterberg fires it past Varlamov nicely. Zetterberg will draw the self-assist on this goal.
3rd Period 17:40 - Detroit Goal (EN): Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Danny Cleary and Ty Conklin.
Colorado pulls their goalie with about 2:30 left to play in an attempt to close the two-goal gap. O'Reilly passes cross-ice to Winnik streaking into the zone, but he flubs the shot on Conklin, who wisely pushes the rebound forward to Cleary to start the rush the other way. Cleary and Datsyuk play catch with the puck all the way down the ice until Datsyuk finally hits the open net from the top of the circles. It was an empty net, but the passing to make the D-men keep backing off until they were close enough to put it into the net is going to earn both players half-assists. Cleary's will be a bonus and Datsyuk's will be a self.
Penalty Non-Adjustments: The Ryan Wilson interference call in the first was a bad pick, but not a drawn call. The Franzen interference was a tough timing play. He and Johnson were battling net-front on the Wings' PP when Filppula cuts to the middle. A Franzen push to Johnson's back happens at the same time Johnson goes down to block Filppula from bringing the puck into the slot. To end the interference calls in the first, Shane O'Brien's interference at 19:00 of the first was a weak call as well. The lone Colorado penalty in the 2nd period was a roughing on Stastny, which Eaves did not earn so much as he suffered. The third period too-many-men penalty is tough to call. What happens is that the Wings are changing behind the play, trying to get Stuart and Kronwall changed for Kindl and Ericsson. Stuart makes his change, but Kronwall doesn't. Ericsson comes on and realizes too late that his man did not come off. Without a better replay (or audio from the bench) I can't tell where blame lies here between Ericsson and Kronwall. Until I get something more conclusive, I'm going to blame this all on Babcock and not award a minus.
+1 to Jonathan Ericsson: Stepping up at good times, good poke-checks, using the body, just an overall excellent night for Ericsson. If he hadn't almost blinded Conklin, this would have been higher. It's worth at least a minus .5 to hit your goalie in the eye.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk: I thought there were times when he could have moved his legs more in the offensive zone, but he played incredibly in his own zone and it was good to see him hit the empty net.
+1 to Johan Franzen: As good as Datsyuk was in the defensive zone, Franzen was in the offensive zone. He played like a big forward and got the puck to the middle better than any other Wings' forward.
-0.5 to Brad Stuart: This was not a strong game for Stuie again. He struggled early with positioning and with the puck.
+0.5 to Jiri Hudler: It's great to be able to say that he was good on the forecheck and dogged on the backcheck. He also has a funny habit of trying to score goals against Avalanche netminders by bouncing pucks off their asses.
Zetterberg played well, but got his credit elsewhere. Kindl had a quietly solid night, but looked more like a young defenseman than he did in the previous game. Kronwall matched his mistakes well with good plays, as did Ian White. Of course I liked Lidstrom's play, but he lost a few board battles I would have liked to have seen him win. The whole team played pretty well on a whole.
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