I hate writing these after a loss.
The Wings lost because their power play couldn't score. I mean, their 5-on-5 wasn't great at it either, but they were given four chances, including a 40-second 5-on-3 and couldn't get the job done. Maybe they should work on that. Fortunately, the PK managed to stop all three incredibly dangerous-looking power play opportunities for the Lightning.
Jimmy Howard is dry enough, everybody. We can take him off the clothesline now. I promise. Ben Bishop doesn't wear a neck-guard. The guy is eight-foot-a-million and apparently isn't worried that a puck is going to find its way tipped up into his throat. That's just weird to me.
1st Period 03:51 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (snap shot) unassisted
Hank steps up on a turnover and makes the Lightning pay immediately to put the Wings on the scoreboard first. Datsyuk loses a faceoff to Bishop's right, but pressure along the boards behind the net by Bertuzzi and Zetterberg, then a good pinch in by DeKeyser at the opposite end half-boards forces the Lightning to reverse back around. This pays off when Stamkos races to the puck in the corner and is pinched by both Datsyuk and Bertuzzi to either side. Stamkos tries to escape by passing it into the slot to a man, but Zetterberg is there to pick it off and roof it. I'm going to give pluses to Datsyuk, Bertuzzi, and DeKesyer, while Zetterberg will get +1.5. The containment on the forecheck creates a mistake that ends up in the goal.
1st Period 10:11 - Tampa Bay Goal: Ryan Malone (wrist shot) from Matt Carle and Nate Thompson
The Bolts pull even on some terrible net-front defense which allows a guy on a wrap-around to get his own rebound and calmly roof it over an overwhelmed Howard. Ben Bishop gets to a dump-in and the Lightning move it up ice with Malone dumping it in for Connolly to chase. Lashoff is first back to it, but Thompson beats him to position and is able to turn back up the boards with the puck. Thompson goes to the opposite point for Carle, who bobbles it just a bit. Glendening pressures, so Carle dumps it behind the net. Here, Malone gets to it on Howard's right and is able to walk all the way around behind the net for a wrap-around chance on the far side. Howard gets his leg over to seal the post, but it comes right back out to Malone, who roofs it over him. This play is such a clusterfuck from the start, it's hard to tell who really should be where. The problem starts on the dump-in where Bertuzzi is on the wrong side of the ice and it ends up with him taking the center's responsibilities on this play. He comes far too low and allows the puck cross-ice up to the point, where Glendening has to pull up to Carle to prevent a great chance. This leaves the middle open, so when Killorn cuts through, DeKeyser has to follow him. Both Malone and Thompson go to the front of the net, but Malone goes farther while both Lashoff and Bertuzzi muscle on Thompson. Neither releases to watch the post they just left and are both still boxing out Thompson as Malone finishes the play. Glendening and Miller are caught in a bad situation here and will be cleared. Dekeyser is actually very smart to recognize that he's got to stay with Killorn because of the goofiness here. DeKeyser will also be cleared. Lashoff's first mistake is letting Thompson get the puck from him cleanly. This will be a turnover minus for Lashoff. As the play crosses, Bertuzzi needs to release off Thompson because Lashoff has better position on him. This should free Bert to seal the back post. Bert's failure to do this will earn him a coverage minus. Additionally, Bert will get another coverage minus, as he is covering completely wrong from the get-go on the dump-in.
2nd Period 12:50 - Tampa Bay Goal: Steven Stamkos (wrist shot) from Victor Hedman
After over four minutes of whiskey-dicked power play time, the Wings fall behind on a Stamkos snipe that was essentially shorthanded. Bishop stops a good chance with 10 seconds to go on the PP. Hedman clears it from the low slot to Stamkos, who turns it up ice around a pinching Alfredsson. Zetterberg and Datsyuk get back to prevent this from being an odd-man rush, but Filppula joins to give enough of a threat that Stamkos is able to carry up the wing and get a shot off that misses high. The puck goes to the opposite point, where Hedman tries to just dump it back in, but Datsyuk misses it and Zetterberg kicks it back up to the top of the zone where Hedman regains and throws it to the opposite faceoff dot where Stamkos gets it and rifles it past Howard. No minuses will be cleared on this one. The biggest mistake is Zetterberg's on the turnover. The entire line is playing as though they expect Z to handle this cleanly and when he doesn't, shit goes downhill fast. Zetterberg's turnover will earn a minus. Alfredsson will get a full minus for coverage (half for the bad angle on Stamkos in the zone and half for jumping up ice too soon as a defenseman). Datsyuk will get a half-minus for whiffing on the Hedman dump-in. Kronwall is not blocking the lane, but his positioning here is right. He initially goes behind the net in case the Hedman dump gets by Z and has a responsibility directly to the net-front, not to Stamkos (who, again, is Alfie's man). Bert releases Hedman at the point after the initial dump and keeps his minus for not coming back.
3rd Period 15:48 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (slap shot) from Danny DeKeyser
The Wings pull even on what is probably their only scoring chance of the period thanks to a lucky deflection. DeKeyser dumps in on the left side as the Wings cross into the zone. Datsyuk is actually the first to have a play on the puck just above the corner on the opposite side, but he has Brewer and Purcell chasing him and knows that Zetterberg is behind him just up the boards, so he lets it go. Z picks it off the half-boards and stops to the faceoff dot, where he unleashes a slapper that tips off Filppula's stick and beats Bishop over the blocker side. Datsyuk will get a half-plus for the clever play to let this puck go to the open man.
Overtime 03:50 - Tampa Bay Goal: Teddy Purcell (wrist shot) from Richard Panik
Once the Wings get to OT, it's a familiar site as they fuck up and lose again. The Wings lose possession as Kindl moves through center and tries to make a pass that's deflected by Purcell. Salo plays it back into center where Panik comes up the right hand-side, watched by Quincey. Panik turns back up at the corner and finds Matt Carle streaking to the back door. The pass barely misses and Miller presses Carle to the boards. The puck comes out and towards the middle of the ice, but Quincey is skating back to pick it up. Q takes it behind the net with Panik pressuring him. Instead of turning away from the angle that Panik is taking, Quincey turns into it and gives the puck away. Panik collects the puck in the corner and immediately throws it out front, finding Purcell all alone to snap it over Howard for the game-winner. Helm is the only one cleared on this play as the only player who doesn't do anything wrong (Miller is responsible for the lane to Carle that almost ends the game ten seconds sooner). Quincey's turnover will earn him a minus, but the real screwup here is on Kindl, who inexplicably chases this play behind his own net instead of covering Purcell out front. This coverage error will earn Kindl a minus, but he'll also get a half-minus for the turnover which gives the Lightning possession on this sequence anyway.
1st Period 10:53 - Pavel Datsyuk (interference): Filppula dumps a puck in and then pretends like he's skating against a windstorm while holding onto Datsyuk's sweater. Pavel does make a few too many moves to get into Flip's way and earns the call. Minus for Datsyuk.
2nd Period 05:09 - Andrej Sustr (hooking): The Wings get some good in-zone time with a cycle building around Ben Bishop. Sustr finds himself out of position and is forced to hook Andersson and go to the box. Andersson will get a plus.
2nd Period - Tampa Bay Bench (too many men): Immediately after the Sustr penalty ends, the Bolt get a little bit of in-zone time, but they screw up the line change behind the play and put too many guys out there. No adjustment; not a drawn call.
2nd Period 08:46 - Nate Thompson (high sticking): Alfie catches lumber in the mouth on a careless play by Thompson. No adjustment.
2nd Period 13:33 - Kyle Quincey (hooking): Q makes a bad read here and lets his man get to the front of the net, hooking him in response. Minus for Quincey.
3rd Period 11:45 - Daniel Cleary (holding): Cleary ends up chasing all over his own zone and ends up holding up Panik after allowing him to get low for a scoring chance. Minus for Cleary.
+1 to Kyle Quincey: He's going to stay an overall minus, but he actually had a very solid game as the 2nd-leading ice time player for the Wings. I thought he was aggressive (downright mean at times) and he kept guys away from the front of the net.
-1 to Daniel Alfredsson: Alfie didn't have it in this game. On top of that, he had a brutally bad turnover in the third that very well should have been a Lightning goal if not for a missed shot.
+1 to Justin Abdelkader: I thought he had good energy in this game and drove the play the right way. I'd have moved him up in the third period if I had a choice in the manner.
+0.5 to Xavier Ouellet: No noticeable errors for Ouellet in this one. He had easier minutes than anybody, but he played them well.
Drew Miller was just about perfectly balanced between impressive/effective penalty killing and kind of frustrating movement through center at even strength. Tatar cost himself a plus with a turnover every bit as bad as Alfredsson's.
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