Well this was a fun game to watch, no? 11 Red Wings earned points in this one, two of them earning four apiece. You know it's a good game when Mike Babcock can give Jakub Kindl more minutes than Nick Lidstrom.
The Wings' power play scored two goals in the first period and then dangerously coasted to a 2-for-6 performance on a night where it really looked like they were about to score every time they touched the puck. Meanwhile, Columbus got four chances and were blanked on the scoresheet for special teams. Not a lot to complain about here.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 01:06 - Detroit Goal (PP): Tomas Holmstrom (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall
The Penalty - Cam Atkinson (tripping): Honestly, I don't have a replay of this, but based on context, it looks like Atkinson gets careless with his stick in the neutral zone and trips up Nyquist. No adjustment.
Datsyuk wins the faceoff and the Wings start a left-side overload which almost leads to a Datsyuk weak-side wrap-around. Mason stops this, kicking it to the half-boards where Kronwall collects and runs a give-and-go with Datsyuk to reset into the umbrella formation. The reset gives Kronwall a lane through the middle where he throws the puck right onto the stick of Henrik Zetterberg standing beside the net. Z fades toward the net and just behind the goal line while Mason tries to keep him lined up and the Aaron Johnson tries to cover. The movement makes a space for Hank to toss it back out front to a wide-open Tomas Holmstrom for the easy put-in. Datsyuk will get the third assist for his help on the play. I absolutely love the decision-making by Kronwall on the pass instead of the shot that everybody expected. I'm going to give Kronner a half-plus for this.
1st Period 05:35 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi
The Wings tip a puck into the zone and forecheck hard to retrieve for this one. Todd Bertuzzi chases down John Moore behind his own net and pinches him off to his strong side. Moore tries reversing it hard out around the other side, but Ian White steps up and keeps it in, dumping it back to Nyquist in the corner. Here, Nyquist and Bertuzzi combine to protect the puck on a board battle, getting it to Datsyuk, who has an initial pass blocked before recovering and kicking it out to Nyquist to step toward the middle for a shot on goal. Moore blocks this shot to the far side boards where Bertuzzi gets to it first with plenty of room. While Nyquist sneaks around to the boards behind the net as a cycling option, Bertuzzi turns back to the middle and threads a pass to Datsyuk cutting into the slot. The pass is a little behind Pavel, so he can't fire off a clean one-timer. Instead, Pavel reaches behind him, spins, and throws a beautiful pass through John Moore to Nyquist all alone on the back door for the short roofer. Bertuzzi does the good brunt of the forechecking here and will earn a bonus plus as well as a bonus half-assist for his work. Ian White's keep-in is worth a half-assist and half-plus as well. The vision by Datsyuk to react so quickly and still make the perfect pass will earn him a bonus plus and a full bonus assist while Nyquist will get a half-assist on his own goal.
1st Period 08:55 - Detroit Goal (PP): Tomas Holmstrom (divine intervention) from Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall
The Penalty - Derek Dorsett (boarding): Dorsett is just trying to hit people when he finishes Justin Abdelkader face-first into the boards. No adjustment here on a donkey play.
Detroit makes Columbus pay with another beautiful pass to set up a goal. The Jackets get a clear, but Detroit re-enters the zone with the typical Kronwall-drop-to-Datsyuk play. Pavel dishes off to Holmstrom at the blue line and they set up a give-and-go which barely misses Pavel. Jack Johnson picks it up, but Pavel and Homer pressure him into making an attempt to hit Darryl Boyce with a blind backhand saucer pass up the boards. The puck bounces over Boyce's stick to Kronwall at the point. Kronner immediately recognizes Zetterberg cutting from the far circle through the slot. Kronner throws it at Z, who turns his back to the goal to make sure he receives it cleanly. While the entirety of the Columbus PK pays attention to the puck in the slot, Zetterberg throws the puck behind his own back to Holmstrom all alone. Mason has no chance as Homer lifts it over the glove and in for his 2nd PP goal of the night. Kronwall's great decision-making is the difference here again, but this time he'll get a full plus for it. I like Homer and Datsyuk helping force the turnover by Johnson, but they were making up for missing that give-and-go-connection earlier. Zetterberg will get a half-plus for controlling the puck and making a great pass to set up the goal.
1st Period 09:51 - Detroit Goal: Jiri Hudler (wrist shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Todd Bertuzzi
Less than a minute later, the fun continues, as a frankenline of the Wings' 2nd PP Unit gets a shift together to make up for the minute that Monty Babcock's Flying Circus had just spent together creating the previous goal. The Jackets spent a cycle in the Wings' zone trying to mount the comeback and end up getting a really good chance for Rick Nash that he puts just wide. This gives the Wings an opportunity to pinch off the cycle up high, which they are able to do thanks to Kyle Quincey deflecting a pass from Derick Brassard intended for RJ Umberger all alone on the back door. Filppula gets the puck and heads up ice with speed, cutting through the Columbus zone to set up the Wings' presence. Detroit cycles it to Quincey at the point who shoots it intentionally wide trying to set Bertuzzi up on that side. The puck just misses and ends up being cleared up the half-boards where Aaron Johnson gets the puck with a great opportunity to clear. Instead of doing that, Johnson tries passing it across his own blue line. Valtteri Filppula has little time to laugh at the stupidity as he picks it off, goes back to Bertuzzi low, and watches as Bert sets up an in-close one-timer for Hudler. Mason stops this, but the rebound bounces out to the slot (and right past Umberger). Filppula tries to put it back on net, but it hits Umberger's knee and bounces straight to Hudler circling around behind the net to pick up the puck on the back door and put it past Mason. Good zone defense by Quincey will earn him a bonus plus and his collection of touches will earn him a fourth assist. Filppula's steal on Johnson and nose for the front of the net are the primary factors leading to this one though. Filppula will get +1.5 extra for his work.
Penalty Adjustment (x2): At 11:15 into the first, Justin Abdelkader goes off for tripping Dorsett. It's not actually a trip, as Abby catches him off-balance and shoves him over. If this happens closer to the boards, it's a dangerous play. As it stands, it's a bad call, so no adjustment. Later, at 16:59 Niklas Kronwall goes off for hooking Rick Nash. This happens as Kronwall puts his stick parallel to the ice to keep Nash from getting from the outside of the circle to the front of the net directly off a faceoff. This is a very good call and will earn Kronwall a minus.
Penalty Adjustment: 1:04 into the 2nd period, Derick Brassard goes off for tripping Todd Bertuzzi. The two players are tied up at center ice and Brassard loses his cool, yanking his stick across Bertuzzi's calf and bringing him down heavily. I'm going to give Bert a half-plus for pissing off Brassard enough to lose his cool and take this penalty.
2nd Period 06:17 - Detroit Goal: Nicklas Lidstrom (slap shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Ian White
The (Delayed) Penalties - Vinny Prospal (hooking) and Derick Brassard (tripping... probably):
The play starts with Niklas Kronwall getting position on Prospal behind the Wings' net and drawing a delayed hooking call before hitting Filppula with an outlet that gets the Wings in the zone easy-enough to get the extra skater on as a late man to the rush. After Flip enters the zone, he cuts to the middle and gets a good shot on net. Mason kicks it to the side, but Hudler wins position on Brassard and earns what would have been a tripping call. Nick Lidstrom steps up in the zone at the half-boards to retrieve the loose puck cause by this trip and feed it back to Ian White at the point. White turns it across the blue line to Henrik Zetterberg gaining the zone late. Z receives the pass and fakes a slap shot from just above the slot before slapping the pass back to Lidstrom just above the faceoff dot. Lidstrom kind of flubs the one-timer, but it finds its way through Mason to set off the Hawaii Five-O theme. I'm going to give penalty pluses to Kronwall and Hudler for drawing what would have been two penalties had the goal not canceled one. I'm also going to give Kronwall back a plus for starting the rush as well as a fourth assist. Lidstrom will get a bonus plus and a self-assist for his work on the play. Hudler will get a third assist for bodying off Brassard on the rebound. Finally, Filppula will also get a fourth assist (making Kronwall's the fifth, really). Great play from start-to-finish here.
2nd Period 08:34 - Detroit Goal: Brad Stuart (sure, why not?) from Todd Bertuzzi and Valtteri Filppula.
17 seconds after the end of the Prospal penalty, Detroit gets number six. The man advantage ends with Detroit cycling back through the neutral zone under pressure. Kronwall has a pass from his own blue line blocked right back to him where he's able to hit Bertuzzi off the boards on the other side of the center stripe. Bert goes cross-ice to Filppula at the blue line to enter the zone with Zetterberg cutting in front of him and low into the zone to create space. Flip skates up to the half-boards before recognizing the angle that Prospal is taking on him, so he cuts off there and skates back to the point. Here Filppula crosses over with Brad Stuart jumping into the zone while Prospal chases him up the boards and Colton Gillies tries to cut off the point-to-point option. While this develops, Zetterberg continues his cut into the zone around behind the net and Bertuzzi enters from the left wing side and shoots diagonally to the bottom of the right circle. Before Gillies can get to Filppula with the puck at the point, Flip finds the seam to hit Bertuzzi wide open. As the defense turns to adjust to this pass, Brad Stuart goes from his cut to the half-boards right to the faceoff dot where Prospal would be covering him if he hadn't chased Filppula all over creation. Bertuzzi's pass is right on the tape for Stuart, who faces Mason, lifts his skate and roofs it to the short side. Working the adjustments here, Zetterberg will get a non-touch assist for forcing guys to track him and make space for the puck to move around the zone like it does. Bertuzzi will get a bonus half-assist for the cross-ice pass to Filppula on the entry. Stuart's smart play will get him a half-plus
Penalty Adjustment (x2) At 12:50 of the 2nd Jared Boll goes off for roughing as he loses his shit on Ty Conklin. No adjustment on this one. Later in the period, Columbus is caught chasing badly and takes a too many men at 19:18. There isn't really a good cause for this line change mistake, so no adjustment here either.
3rd Period 01:25 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi
Detroit gets goal number seven on another insane pass. Datsyuk wins an offensive zone faceoff with one second to go in the penalty being served by Brassard. Kronwall immediately fires it on net where Allen York kicks it into the opposite circle. Bertuzzi gets to the loose puck first as two defenders chase him. This leaves Henrik Zetterberg wide open in the middle and only the need for Bertuzzi to try a blind backhanded pass between him and the puck. Fortunately, Bertuzzi LOVES blind backhanded passes and finds Z with it. Nikitin gets over enough to keep Zetterberg honest, but there's not a lot he can do about Z spinning to the forehand and finding Datsyuk on the back door being covered by Mark Letestu about as well as a tent works for a condom. Datsyuk slides it into the open net and the lead is 7-0. Kronwall will once again get the third assist on this play and Datsyuk will get a self-assist and a half-plus. However, I'm going to clear the official pluses on this goal for everybody: Stuart, Kronwall, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Bertuzzi will lose their pluses on what is essentially a power play goal.
3rd Period 01:44 - Columbus Goal: Mark Letestu (wrist shot) from Rick Nash and Nikita Nikitin
19 seconds later, Columbus breaks the shutout. on a Mark Letestu wrister. The Wings win the faceoff but lose possession as a Kronwall outlet tips off of Abdelkader's skate into the Columbus zone to be recovered and turned to Nikitin in the corner of his own zone. Nikitin falls down, but is able to throw a pass to Rick Nash just shy of the center stripe past Drew Miller. Nash pushes it off the boards to the stick of a cutting Letestu who catches Kronwall napping a bit on his coverage and is able to split the defense (Stuart has to cover Prospal on the opposite wing). Letestu gets in on net uncontested and roofs one over Conklin's glove. This is some unfocused play here by Miller and Kronwall to let the passes and players get through them. Miller will get a half-minus for being out of position to stop the Nikitin outlet while Kronwall will get a full minus for letting Letestu through uncontested.. Stuart will have his minus cleared as the only guy with a valid excuse for not making a play.
Penalty Adjustment: at 2:23 Ian White goes off for tripping Derick Brassard. White gets a minus for playing carelessly with his stick and jabbing Brassard's skate out from under him. I can see not playing the body here, but that doesn't mean tripping is ok.
3rd Period 10:31 - Columbus Goal: Rick Nash (slap shot) from Vinny Prospal and Jack Johnson
Columbus controls off a faceoff in their own zone as the Wings back off. Johnson throws it to Prospal along the boards at the benches. The Detroit defense pressures and forces Prospal to throw it cross-ice where Rick Nash skates into it to pick it up. Nash crosses the blue line and lets Mark Letestu skate right in front of him to make a bit of room for him to get a slap shot off from above the top of the circle through the defense. The shot gets through and beats Conklin high to the blocker side. I know it's Nash and everything, but this is a bit of a softie by Conklin, who will get a half-bad goal. By rule, this will halve the minuses for Stuart, Hudler, Zetterberg, Filppula, and Kronwall. I'm going to leave it at that.
Penalty Adjustment: At 13:59, Hank goes for tripping up Rick Nash. Zetterberg will get a minus for losing his focus late in the game. It's not the potential to cost them a meaningless goal that's the issue, it's that these kind of focus lapses can get players hurt.
Penalty Adjustment: 17:56 Derick Dorsett (misconduct): Dorsett apparently wants to be the next captain of the Blue Jackets. He shows this by demanding that he get to leave early. The ref is happy to oblige him.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall: It's not right that they're each an adjusted +1 after all of this. They were very good in this game and deserve more.
Just about everything went right for Detroit. As such, not a lot of bonus ratings for guys almost scoring, since there wasn't a lot of "almost".
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