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CSSI Analysis: Red Wings 5 - Hurricanes 4

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Hey buddy. Long time, no see. How are you going to try to end my career tonight, eh?
Hey buddy. Long time, no see. How are you going to try to end my career tonight, eh?

The Red Wings looked like they were going to do that thing where they play really well but horrible things happen to them and they lose in a stupid manner. Then they looked like they were just as sick of that shit as everybody else. Then they played EVEN BETTER than they had been and the Hurricanes spent the rest of the game wondering if puck possession was still even a thing.

At first, I thought that Tomas Holmstrom took a penalty for punching a dude in the hip and then I got mad. Then I realized that it was just a run-of-the-mill Holmstrom penalty for being cross-checked into the goalie. Bryan Allen is a dirty shit who tried to clear Zetterberg head-first into the Detroit boards well after a shot on goal. Fortunately, Zetterberg kept his edges and survived. Bryan Allen sucks. Special teams still suck, but Detroit outshot the Hurricanes 50-24.

CSSI Methodology Explanation here

Goalie Ratings

Since Detroit outshot the Canes more than 2-to-1 and I said "screw you, Cam Ward" a lot more often than I said "thank you, Ty Conklin", I'm going to give Conklin a -1 in the head-to-head rating. Conks came up big a few times, but I also would have liked to have seen more saves from him. For Conklin, the story was about timely saves more than the goals. I wish he had stopped the LaRose marker to start the 2nd, the same as Ward stopped Red Wings chances about four times, but none of the goals he allowed were soft. Additionally, he did make a couple of big saves to keep the Canes to only 4. I'm going to award Conklin a +0.5 overall. I worry slightly less now when he leaves his crease to play a loose puck.

Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump

The Goals

1st Period 00:17 - Carolina Goal: Jiri Tlusty (backhand) from Chad LaRose and Eric Staal
Detroit wins the opening faceoff, but Carolina gets the puck back off a tipped puck at center. Staal picks it up in his own zone and turns to his own blue line where he throws it to LaRose to tip past Lidstrom and create a footrace for the loose puck between Tlusty and Ian White. Tlusty gets to the puck first while White establishes inside position to keep him from cutting in front of the net. Tlusty throws a low backhander on net that Conklin goes down to stop. Unfortunately, Ian White gets his stick in and deflects it over Conklin's shoulder to break the shutout early. Cleared minuses for Datsyuk and Bertuzzi on this one. White will get an extra half-minus for tipping it in over his own goalie.

Penatly Adjustment (x4): At 7:24, Bryan Allen goes to the box for interference after laying a big body check on Jakub Kindl a full beat after the Wings' defenseman releases a pass. I hope Bryan Allen catches ass-worms, but no adjustment on this one. 1:08 later, Tim Gleason and Tomas Holmstrom get tied up in a battle in front of the net. Gleason cross-checks Homer into Ward, which gets Holmstrom a goaltender interference penalty. Then, Gleason retaliates against Holmstrom touching his goalie by roughing him up (probably while saying "stop hitting yourself!"). No adjustment here either. Less than a minute after that, Jussi Jokinen goes for tripping when he gets his stick into the feet of Ian White on a zone entry. Bad stick position by Olli's not-brother. No adjustment.

2nd Period 00:26 - Carolina Goal: Chad LaRose (wrist shot) from Eric Staal and Bryan Allen
Carolina gains possession to start the 2nd and dumps it into the Wings' zone. The Canes are able to dig it out in the far corner away from Bertuzzi and Datsyuk, feeding it to the point for a shot on goal which is just wide from Allen. Datsyuk turns to chase it as it bounces off the end-boards, but Staal is there first halfway up the zone to throw it back in front to a wide-open Chad LaRose cutting through the slot. LaRose wastes no time throwing it low past Conklin to make it 2-0. Cleary is the only player who will not get a minus here. Lidstrom will pick up an extra minus for blowing the coverage on LaRose while Datsyuk will get a half-minus for losing the board battle and the race to the loose puck to Staal.

2nd Period 05:10 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler
Niklas Kronwall beats Jeff Skinner to a puck that Jiri Tlusty Murphy-dumped into the Detroit zone and skates it to the boards before throwing it around the forecheckers to Hudler at the blue line. Hudler tips it to Filppula skating with speed up ice to get to the Carolina blue line before dumping it in and skating around Justin Faulk to recover behind the net. Filppula makes a bit of space before throwing it to Zetterberg up the boards in the high corner. Z throws it at the front while Hudler charges the net and sees the puck go through Cam Ward's 5-hole off of Bryan Allen's skate. Kronwall will get the third assist while Filppula and Hudler will each get half-pluses for their work to build speed through center and help this play develop.

2nd Period 15:38 - Carolina Goal (PP): Jamie McBain (slap shot) from Justin Faulk and Jussi Jokinen
The Penalties - Nicklas Lidstrom (interference) and Danny Cleary (hooking):Lidstrom tries to skate from where he is behind the Red Wings net back out front and gets tangled up with Jeff Skinner. Lidstrom goes to the box, despite having a right to try and establish this position. No adjustment. 1:28 into this PP, Cleary goes for hooking on Skinner. This one actually is a good call and Cleary will get a minus because this is just stupid.
With one second left on the 5-on-3, Jamie McBain takes a cross-ice pass and one-times it high over Conklin from the top of the circle. No adjustment on this one. Kronwall and Stuart had a good combination which almost led to a clear that would have bonertimed me, but alas it was not to be.

2nd Period 15:55 - Carolina Goal (PP): Jiri Tlusty (wrist shot) from Jeff Skinner and Jussi Jokinen
17 seconds later, Carolina makes it 4-1 on another power play goal. Filppula wins the faceoff back to the empty part of the ice behind him where a defenseman would be if not for the man advantage. Jiri Tlusty wins a race to jam it into the Wings' zone and chase into the corner. The Hurricanes gather possession and cycle up to the point where Joni Pitkanen reverses the cycle back to Jokinen at the half-boards. Jokinen immediately goes to Skinner setting up camp on the red line halfway between the net and boards. While Lidstrom skates back to defend him, Skinner turns and passes it through Kyle Quincey to hit Tlusty on the back door for the easy put-in. Quincey has to stop this pass and will earn a minus for his failure to do so. Lidstrom isn't closer to Skinner because the reversal of the cycle up top means Filppula has to adjust to Jokinen at the half-boards and Lidstrom has to respect the shooting lane. It's good timing by the Hurricanes, but the low defender can't let this pass through.

2nd Period 16:58 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (snap shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler
Just over one minute later, Detroit starts the comeback. The Wing's 2nd (or 1st, whatever) line has a handful of good scoring chances before Eric Staal gets the puck up ice in a 3-on-3 rush. Staal stops short and tries to throw a pass in front that Niklas Kronwall reads and immediately pushes out to Hudler on the far wing exiting the zone. Hudler leaves it there for Filppula skating with speed up the wing so he can get to the middle of the ice and complete the rush with Stuart jumping up on the play as the left winger. Filppula skates down the boards and keeps his defender at bay with the threat of turning the corner before peeling off to the boards at the bottom of the circle and finding Zetterberg joining behind the play with a step on Tlusty coming back. Z immediately snaps in on net with Hudler in front. The puck hits Ward's mask and goes into the net. Kronwall will get the third assist again and a bonus plus for the read to intercept the Staal feed. Hudler will get a screener's assist to go with the official one he earns. Stuart will earn a half-plus for chasing Staal off on the boards to help create the turnover which leads to the rush that he wisely joins.

2nd Period 17:16 - Detroit Goal: Todd Bertuzzi (wrist shot) from Gustav Nyquist and Nicklas Lidstrom
18 seconds later. Detroit gets back to within one. Datsyuk wins the center-ice faceoff to Bertuzzi's side, but Bert is busy tying up Jeff Skinner. This allows Nyquist to come from the other side and pick it up, immediately moving the puck forward into the zone. Nyquist pulls up outside of the faceoff dot on the right side and fires a shot that's deflected by Joni Pitkanen over the net. The puck stays in play as it rolls to Lidstrom at the point skating backwards. Ruutu pressures, but Lidstrom throws the puck toward the front of the net. Nyquist gets a stick on the puck as it goes through the slot. The puck bounces high as Bertuzzi turns in front of Ward to track it. With the puck at about waist-height for Bertuzzi and positioned over Ward's right shoulder, Bert bats it out of mid-air and into the net. Nyquist will pick up a half-assist (bonus) for the smart play to move the puck forward and throw it on net. Datsyuk will get a half-plus for the faceoff win while Bertuzzi will get the same for helping make sure Nyquist picked up the loose puck.

3rd Period 08:10 - Detroit Goal: Jiri Hudler (tip in) from Brad Stuart and Valtteri Filppula
Hudler and Filppula create some excellent back-pressure on the Carolina breakout which eventually forces Jiri Tlusty to try to dump it in so he can change. Kronwall picks the puck up and immediately feeds it to Filppula cycling back around to streak into the Carolina zone with speed. The Carolina defense gets back, but are forced to allow Filppula to enter cleanly. Flip gets below the goal line just shy of the trapezoid before throwing a pass which hits the side of the net and deflects up through the middle of the ice past the collapsing defenders. Fortunately, Stuart is there in the high slot to slap the puck back in on net where Jiri Hudler has established his presence there on the 6'4' 211-pound Jay Harrison. The puck hits off Hudler's skate and then off Harrison's and in to tie it. Hudler and Filppula will each get a full plus for the backchecking to create the turnover and transition (look, the magic word!). Kronwall will once again get the third assist for starting the rush quickly, efficiently, and Swedishly.

3rd Period 11:35 - Detroit Goal: Drew Miller (backhand) from Danny Cleary
The Hurricanes win a defensive zone faceoff for what feels like the first time all night. This creates so much confusion that Patrick Dwyer forgets to worry about Drew Miller on his way to pressure the point. This backfires horribly when Danny Cleary outmuscles Jay Harrison (who I'm pretty sure is the weakest player in the world) to throw it off Justin Faulk's skate right in front where Drew Miller picks it up and backhands it to the far side on Ward for the game-winner. Danny Cleary will get a half-plus for making a tough play to win a battle with a guy leaning on his stick. I'm also going to give a plus to the entire line of Filppula, Zetterberg, Hudler, Stuart, and Kronwall. The entire reason the faceoff is in the zone here is because this group of players has Cam Ward so absolutely spooked that he'd rather take his chances on a faceoff than keep a puck moving against them when he had ample opportunity to do so.

Bonus Ratings

+2 to Henrik Zetterberg, Valtteri Filppula, Jiri Hudler, Brad Stuart, and Niklas Kronwall: I know that, combined with the official +3 ratings and the adjustments already made that these five skaters are essentially plus a million on the night, but that's how incredibly dominant they were against Carolina's top line.
+1 to Nicklas Lidstrom: There are plays that Lidstrom makes which are so subtle you have no idea how much you miss them until they're gone for so many games. High dump-ins find their way directly to his stick for transition and one-on-one rushes end when shots that would otherwise be on goal get deflected into the netting. TPH was a big part of this win.
+0.5 to Jakub Kindl: I thought the kid was very impressive with and without the puck. I also think that his presence was good for Quincey, who looked better than usual.
+0.5 to Todd Bertuzzi, +1 to Pavel Datsyuk, and Gustav Nyquist: Bert actually played the body a ton tonight and helped knock pucks off sticks to make the puck go the other way. Datsyuk and Nyquist showed some great chemistry in the offensive zone while each playing some excellent defensive hockey.
-0.5 to Ian White: He was really the only Wings player that gave me fits in this game. Hopefully Lidstrom calms him down, but White turned the puck over and lost body position too often in this game.

Honorable Mentions:

I liked the Wings' 3rd and 4th lines, but not enough to give them bonus ratings above what was earned when the third scored the game-winner.

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