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CSSI Analysis: Red Wings 2 - Avalanche 4

The Wings' seven game winning streak ended in Colorado on Sunday night as Detroit decided that one period of Red Wings Hockey and two periods of garbage would be enough to beat the Avalanche. The best part is that it almost was. Colorado roundly outplayed Detroit for the last two periods.

Aside from missing a David Jones slewfoot which caused Valtteri Filppula to miss the remainder of the game with what would later be revealed as a laceration on the lower leg, the refs called the game loosely but fairly. Detroit went 1-for-5 on their power play chances while Colorado got the same amount of goals on only three tries. Overall, the Avalanche outshot the Wings 35-29 despite Detroit getting more pucks on net in the first and third periods.

CSSI Methodology Explanation here

Goalie Ratings

Conklin allowed three goals on 35 shots and saw both his GAA go down and his save % go up. He wasn't terrible, but he got outplayed by Varlamov and will get a -1 in the head-to-head. Additionally, although I think Conklin was the main reason the Wings were still in the game going into the third period after being outshot 19-4 in the second frame, he had one of those games where he had the chance to steal it for the Wings and he didn't take it. He was too quick to come out of his crease the play the puck, too slow getting across on a few chances, and seemed to struggle with rebound control at times. It could be him fighting first-game-since-the-Nixon-administration jitters, but he has to be better. Conklin's overall game rating will be -1.

Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump

The Goals

Penalty Adjustment: 5:34 into the opening frame, Valtteri Filppula goes to the box as he loses body positioning on Matt Duchene and gets his stick parallel. Duchene helps the refs with this call, but Flip has to be more careful with his stick. Filppula will get a minus.

1st Period 15:08 - Detroit Goal (PP): Johan Franzen (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom
The Penalty - Kyle Quincey (cross-checking): Filppula and Quincey are battling in front of the Colorado net. Flip brings Quincey down with a subtle push on the back of his skate which Quincey turns into a broadway production of Les Misérables before coming back and retaliating with a big, obvious, and stupid cross-check. Filppula will earn back his plus for the tough net-front work.
After the Avs kill the first minute of the power play, Detroit brings it back into the zone and sets up around the perimeter with some great puck movement and retrieval. Datsyuk and Hudler combine to set up Franzen for a great one-time try which Varlamov blocks. The rebound is weakly cleared away; Datsyuk recovers at the half-boards to re-set the play. A Lidstrom slap shot from the point is pushed wide where it rings back up to Lidstrom at the point where he sends it down to Franzen at the half-boards. Mule skates it into the dot before going back to Datsyuk at the far point. Thanks to Hudler standing in the high slot and deserving the coverage of a PKing forward, Pavel has room to skate the puck into the right faceoff circle with Bertuzzi screening. Datsyuk tries a seeing-eye shot through Erik Johnson's leg, but it's blocked. Datsyuk follows up on his own shot and beats Johnson to the puck behind him. From here, Datsyuk throws a beautiful backhand pass to Franzen standing on the back door for the one-timed goal. From re-entry to the zone to the goal scored, this play takes about 40 seconds and has Pavel Datsyuk's fingerprints all over it. He really does quarterback the power play and will earn a bonus assist for how he drove this play.

2nd Period 00:26 - Colorado Goal: Ryan O'Reilly (wrist shot) from Gabriel Landeskog
The 2nd period starts horribly for Detroit as they're helmed into their own zone nearly immediately and end up giving up the lead. The trouble starts at puck-drop when Lidstrom picks up the faceoff win and throws it back into his own zone where it hits Ian White's skate and goes to Gabriel Landeskog. The Wings get the puck back after to chances at the goal, but the Avs forecheck does work to get it back. Ian White receives a pass from Todd Bertuzzi behind his own net which he again does not handle cleanly. While White is trying to dig the puck out of his own skates, Gabriel Landeskog steals it from him behind the net, skates it around to the side, and hits a streaking Ryan O'Reilly for the easy put-in. The biggest mistake on the play comes from Ian White, who will pick up an extra minus on the turnover behind the net. The pass from Bert has to be around the boards because Landeskog has the straight angle cut off. This is a pass that a D-Man has to be expected to receive cleanly. I don't feel it was the fault of Bertuzzi that White fails to handle it and, looking at the Colorado pressure, it was the smart play for him to make. Otherwise, Bert was in position and will not receive a minus. Franzen will also have his minus cleared. Both Lidstrom and Datsyuk will keep their minuses. They're slightly less at fault than White is, but neither prevented the play from developing after White initially mishandled and I feel that quicker adjustments allow one of them to make a play to prevent Colorado from getting a goal.

2nd Period 02:11 - Colorado Goal (PP): Paul Stastny (wrist shot) from Matt Duchene
The Penalty - Jonathan Ericsson (cross-checking): On the next shift after the O'Reilly goal, Conklin turns the puck over in his own zone to David Jones before making a stop on the ensuing shot. Ericsson plays too hard on Jones behind the net and cross-checks him. This was not a necessary or a good penalty; Ericsson will get a minus.
In the 2nd minute of th power play, Detroit wins a defensive zone faceoff and Brad Stuart makes a fantastic clear. Colorado re-collects and brings it back in with David Jones cutting through the middle. Lidstrom pokes it off Jones' stick at the top of the zone and Abdelkader tries to clear, but Matt Duchene stops the clearing attempt and turns it right back in, getting it to Stastny cutting in on the back of the play. Stastny's one-time attempt goes just wide and bounces off the boards to Duchene in the low corner. Conklin recovers from sliding too far out on the Stasny shot and steps to his right to attempt squaring up to Duchene as the Colorado youngster throws it back into the crease on him. Conks stops the puck, but is now sliding completely out of control. The puck sits behind Conklin in the crease for Stastny to tip in before Lidstrom is able to clear out the garbage. Despite it being on a power play and Abdelkader deserving a half-minus for the lousy clear which gets blocked, I'm going to give Conklin the blame on this one with a bad goal. He badly overplays the puck two times on this chance and leaves his own net completely undefended.

Penalty Adjustment: 5:26 into the 2nd, the Wings get a bit of good pressure as they cycle in the zone. Colorado threatens to clear it, but a great step-up by Darren Helm turns the puck back over to Detroit. Erik Johnson trips Helm up as a result and goes to the box. Helm will get a plus.

Penalty Adjustment: 15:51 into the 2nd, Niklas Kronwall interferes with Jones off a defensive zone faceoff and goes to the box for it. This will earn Kronwall a minus.

3rd Period 05:08 - Detroit Goal: Danny Cleary (tip in) from Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi
Detroit gets away from the Colorado forecheck with a good tip from Cleary off the boards in his own zone to Stuart standing toward the middle. Stu quickly outlets it to Bertuzzi on the opposite Wing to turn it up ice. Jay McClement steps up on Bertuzzi, but he gets around that pressure with a pass to Cleary skating up the middle. This pass turns it into a quick 3-on-2 opportunity as Bert steps around McClement to join Cleary coming up the middle with the puck and Zetterberg on the far wing. The D lets Cleary have the blue line, which he takes and passes to Z so he can get in front of the net. Zetterberg cuts into the middle while Bertuzzi also drives the net to pull coverage away. Zetterberg skates to the right-side faceoff dot and throws a backhander toward the net. Danny Cleary has established his net-front position by this time and he tips the low shot up over Varlamov to tie the game. Cleary will pick up a self-assist on this play as well as a bonus half-plus for his work getting the puck out of the zone. Brad Stuart will pick up the third assist for starting the play up ice to Bertuzzi to carry. Bert's in good position and makes a head's up pass to spring the play when he recognizes McClement stepping up. This will earn Bertuzzi a half-plus.

3rd Period 09:22 - Colorado Goal (SH): TJ Galiardi (slap shot) from Gabriel Landeskog
Late in the Detroit power play caused by the Ryan Wilson cross-check (in the non-adjustments), Detroit has accepted they won't score and has their grinders out to prepare for the offensive counter-push that's sure to come. Unfortunately, Colorado gets that counter-push done a little early. Colorado clears the puck into the Detroit end, where the puck gets between Conklin's legs behind his own net. Reacting to the forechecker, Conklin throws it back hard behind his own net, handcuffing Kronwall and sending the puck to Helm on the half-boards to battle Landeskog for the loose puck. Helm wins the battle by canceling with Landeskog and allowing Hudler to sweep in and pick it up. Hudler takes it to his own blue line and throws a saucer pass to Helm with TJ Galiardi partially deflects. The puck bounces around and Helm can't handle it. This is made slightly worse when Drew Miler tries to get involved by attempting to drag the puck back in front of him. Miller hits Helm's skate with the puck, which gives Galiardi a chance to poke the biscuit past both players while Detroit changes on the far end. Landeskog is the first on the puck in the zone as he gets it on the wing with Galiardi driving the middle. Kronwall is back, but gives up far too much of the surface and doesn't prevent the pass to Galiardi for the one-timer and the game-winner. The first order of business is going to be to clear the minuses for both Brad Stuart and Justin Abdelkader. They were the two players which came on while the play they could not have possibly stopped developed. Hudler is going to get the minus that would have gone to Stuart. Bertuzzi will not get the minus that otherwise would have gone to Abdelkader though; The clear out of the zone and the trouble with the pressure were not on him either. Extra minuses on the turnover are going to go to Hudler and Helm with a half to Miller. All three of them made a mistake on this play which allowed an unforgivable odd-man shorthanded rush. Kronwall will also get an extra minus for the nonexistent defense which allows the puck to get to Galiardi for a one-timer in the slot. I know there's not a lot of faith in Conklin to stop the shooter, but that's his goddamn job.

3rd Period 19:29 - Colorado Goal (EN): Ryan O'Reilly (wrist shot) from Jay McClement and Daniel Winnik
Detroit has Conklin pulled and is trying to pull even. The Avalanche get a clear and force Detroit to regroup at their own blue line. Lidstrom tries to hit Datsyuk in the middle with speed, but Pavel loses his handle to the step-up by O'Reilly. Winnik picks up the loose puck in center and gets it to McClement. While the Wings key on him, McClement finds O'Reilly open on the wing at the other side of center. O'Reilly gains control of the puck about ten feet inside the blue line and throws it into the empty net. From the start of this play (an offensive zone faceoff for Detroit) to the goal, Tomas Holmstrom is doing his job and will not keep his minus. Zetterberg and Franzen are also less-responsible for this than their peers and will each keep only a half-minus. The big mistake here is on Datsyuk for the neutral zone turnover. It's a very clever idea that he has to tip it past the coverage and in, but it fails and the Avs score a goal specifically because it fails. Datsyuk will get an extra minus.

Penalty Non-Adjustments

2nd Period 10:33 - Gabriel Landeskog (hi-stick): The young Av isn't careful with his stick and he catches Jakub Kindl high with it. No adjustment on this one.
3rd Period 01:16 - Ryan O'Byrne (hi-stick): Homer's doing his job driving the net when O'Byrne gets his stick up in the guys' face, but this isn't a drawn call.
3rd Period 07:24 - Ryan Wilson (cross-check): Abdelkader is skating in to try to establish net-front position when Ryan Wilson gives him a chop on the back and brings him down. Dumbass play by Wilson.

Bonus Ratings

-1 to Jonathan Ericsson and -1.5 to Ian White: These two were awful in this game. Both of them had passes turn directly into opponent scoring chances and had trouble getting shots through traffic on net. White had the added benefit of not being able to hold the zone to save his life. Crumple this one up and throw it away, boys.
+0.5 to Johan Franzen: Mule seemed energized out there. He was backchecking hard and he skated hard after pucks. I would liked to have seen more of him bulling the puck to the front, but I had no complaints about his defensive game.

Honorable Mentions:

Bertuzzi played a decent, but unremarkable game, as did Jakub Kindl. Kronwall took a lot of minuses on previous adjustments and that's the only reason he didn't get a bonus minus. He really was that poor. Chris Conner gave just under 11 minutes of effort on the ice, but aside from the breakaway he failed to convert, he didn't make enough of a difference.

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