I got to write last night's recap, so there's not much else to put here. The Wings' didn't play up to their standard and also didn't get bounces while Columbus played a good road game. It's pretty simple. I thought there were three weak goaltender interference calls in this one, but ultimately was less happy with the Wings going 0-for-6 on the power play than I was with any perceived issues with the refereeing. Let's get straight to the brass tacks on this one.
Jimmy Howard played well. The two he gave up were good shots on defensive lapses. He wasn't giving a lot of second-chance opportunities and he was out challenging the shooter when need be. Of the 21 shots he stopped, I counted three big saves for a rating of +3, factoring in the zero bad goals he gave up.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump.The Goals
Penalty Adjustment: Six minutes into the first, Jiri Hudler turns the puck over with an unnecessary pass in the offensive zone and then inexplicably grabs his man in the neutral zone to take the game's first penalty. This will earn Hudler a minus.
1st Period 12:29 - Columbus Goal: Antoine Vermette (slap shot) from Matt Calvert and RJ Umberger
After a long shift in the offensive zone by Detroit's first line, the Jackets counter punch. While they catch Salei on a long shift, the Jackets keep pressure up looking for a way to the interior of Detroit's defense. They find this when Calvert fights off a check behind the net by Cleary to play give-and-go with Umberger as they trade places. Calvert takes it to the half-boards and holds long enough for Vermette to race off the bench and receive a pass right in his wheelhouse, which he blasts top shelf over Howard's glove. Drew Miller misses Vermette coming off the bench here. It's hard to track the guy coming into the play from nowhere, but he's got to do that. Miller gets an extra half-minus. Salei is in good position throughout this entire play and is covering his area, so Ruslan will not get a minus.
Penalty adjustment: After two weak goaltender interference calls, the Jackets keep the pressure on as they carry it into the Wings' zone. Franzen is applying backchecking pressure on Clitsome as Rafalski takes a wrong step and gets walked, forcing Franzen to take a penalty to bail out his buddy. It's a good penalty for Mule to take, but Rafalski gets a minus for forcing him to take it.
2nd Period 13:11 - Columbus Goal: Jared Boll (wrist shot) from Andrew Murray and Derek MacKenzieThe Wings have a rush up ice with Zetterberg blasting a slapshot from the middle of the ice off a good pass from franzen. Mason stops the shot, but kicks the rebound to Ericsson coming in on the wing. Big Rig flubs it and the puck comes around the boards to Boll. He picks it up and heads up ice on the counter-attack with Ericsson caught and Bertuzzi in his place before trying to feather a pass forward to Murray for a tip-in. Bert defends this play well, but then makes the mistake of weakly poking it up the boards to where MacKenzie picks it off. The Jackets' own dime-store version of D-Mac throws it on net with Murray screening while Salei tries to cover two people because Bert and Ericsson still haven't switched back their coverage. Murray doesn't get the tip-in, but gets it behind the net where he passes back out front to Boll for the second goal of the game. Zetterberg and Franzen are playing their men and will not get minuses. I'm going to halve Salei's minus, as he got left all alone for a 2-on-1 down low that he defended the best he could. He keeps the half for not blocking the Murray pass. Bertuzzi gets an extra minus for the turnover that led to the goal and for leaving his man. Ericsson gets an extra half-minus for the same thing.
Penalty Adjustment: Bert moves his feet well and drives Vermette off the puck. Vermetteisn't happy about being played so well by Bertuzzi, so he trips him and goes to the box for it. Plus for Bertuzzi.
Penatly Adjustment: Three minutes into the third, the Wings' fourth line creates a good chance with some forechecking. A shot from the point is stopped, but Drew Miller expertly ties up his man while Abdelkader jumps into the play to grab the puck. Only a quick trip by Clitsome ends the scoring opportunity here. I'm going to give a half-plus to Miller, Abdelkader, and Mursak on this play.
3rd Period 18:48 - Columbus Goal: Andrew Murray (snap shot) from Antoine Vermette and Jan Hejda
Filppula loses an offensive zone faceoff, but fights alongside Abdelkader to recover. Abby pokes it to Hudler at the half-boards before Jiri throws it blindly around behind the net where it ends up on Hejda's stick. Hejda bounces it off the board to let Vermette chase down and feed it over to Murray to put past Rafalski and in. No adjustment.
+1 to Jakub Kindl and Ruslan Salei: I thought they played very well breaking up plays and starting it the other way.
+0.5 to Nicklas Lidstrom: It would have been a full plus, but he got beaten to the puck by Vermette on the empty-netter. He had an amazing step-up in the neutral zone in the 2nd period to start an offensive rush the other way. Aside from that, his game was again solid.
-1.5 to Niklas Kronwall: Three turnovers that led directly to scoring opportunities. It's unfair that he was officially even on the scoresheet in this game.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg: He just missed on a couple of opportunities, but
Honorable Mentions: Ericsson was shaky early and better later. I wish he had realized that he had time before flubbing that rebound. Cleary remains a good forechecker, but he just wasn't effective enough to warrant bonus points. Darren Helm had a very pretty takeaway in the third period that was offset by a very bad turnover about five minutes prior.
Up next, the Wings head to Nashville so each of them can pay the state of Tennessee $2,500 for the privilege of playing against their Predators.