The Red Wings broke their one-game collapse with a victory in a game that can safely be described as "oh my fuck that was boring" by many objective means.
I don't have nice things to say about the reffing standard and I don't expect that Devils fans would have nice things to say about it either. It was very hard to tell what was and wasn't a penalty and I actually lost count of who got away with more things which should have been called based on what actually was. To top it off, the Red Wings iced the game on a power play goal that came after a really bad call. The Red Wings went 1-for-5 with the man advantage while the Devils went 1-for-4. The Red Wings outshot the Devils 27-11, which is a stupid football score.
Jonas Gustavsson only allowed one goal and his save percentage was barely above .900. BUT, he did THIS. So that's good stuff.
1st Period 13:43 - New Jersey Goal (PP): Andy Greene (tip-in) from Patrik Elias
The Devils get on the board first on the power play as a guy gets left alone in front and the pass hits him cleanly for a tip-in. The Wings get a clear off the faceoff and then stop the zone entry, forcing the Devils back two times. Greene skates back to retrieve the puck and skates behind the net, coming back out and heading up the middle of the ice. Greene gains the zone with three Wings pinching on him and is able to feed it to Elias joining him on the left wing side before heading to the net front. Elias gets to the outside of the faceoff circle and lobs a pass to the net-front where it meets Greene uncovered and he's able to tip it in past Gustavsson's glove. The immediate problem is Abdelkader gets caught flat-footed in the neutral-zone, which allows Greene to walk through center and gain the zone to make an easy pass. Abdelkader will get a minus for this. After that mistake, the other problem is that Ericsson leaves the net-front/center lane responsibility in response to Elias going to a non-dangerous area of the ice, failing to stop the pass to Greene that comes through him. This will earn Ericsson a minus. Cleary is involved in this play, as the pass from Greene to Elias while entering the zone gets through him and I think that, while it would be a coverage error to do so, he might be able to aggressively pinch Elias and see if he can prevent the pass. I'm going to give Cleary a half-minus. He's not as at-fault as his two teammates, but he's way more responsible than Kronwall, who's watching the back door play.
2nd Period 19:24 - Detroit Goal: Joakim Andersson (wrist shot) from Drew Miller and Daniel Alfredsson
Detroit pulls even late in the 2nd with a nice rush in the zone culminating in a rebound goal from the doorstep. Alfredsson retrieves a dumped-in puck and quickly feeds to Kronwall, who gets it to Ericsson to break the forecheck of the Devils. Riggy goes up the boards where Andersson tips it to Alfredsson entering the zone on the right wing, stopping just inside the line. Drew Miller drives into the zone on the center lane while the defense adjusts. Miller drags Greene just a bit too deep, allowing Alfie to hit Andersson trailing into the zone for a 40-foot shot just wide of the net. Fortunately, Miller is already there to pick up the puck at the net-side and has time to recover the puck and face back to the goal. While both D-men collapse and Andersson follows up his shot, Miller throws it off Schneider from behind the net. The puck bounces down off Schneider's arm and right to Andersson's stick for the easy put-away. There was a defensive change behind the play. Ericsson and Kronwall will get pluses while Quincey and Smith will lose theirs. Additionally, Kronwall and Ericsson will get half-pluses for driving the transition. Alfredsson will get a plus for doing that plus strongly gaining the zone. Miller will also get a half-plus for making the play which makes room fro the initial shot and for creating the rebound that Jester finishes.
3rd Period 12:40 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (wrist shot) from Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar
The Red Wings take the lead on a strong-bodied play by a smaller forward and a beautiful passing play. The play starts on an offensive zone faceoff which Franzen scrambles, allowing Tatar to get it back to Ericsson at the point. Riggy passes to Nyquist at the half-boards, who tries a cross-ice pass to Tatar going to the net-front. The pass misses, but Tatar is able to gather it off the boards with Greene bearing down on him. Tatar makes a move to shake Greene and gets shoved hard, but maintains space and possession as he heads to the low corner and gets it across to Nyquist in the opposite corner behind the net. Goose steps out to the bottom of the faceoff circle and fires a pass to the back door through three defenders where Franzen gets his stick on it and puts it into the open net behind Schneider. This is a great strong play by Tatar, who will get a plus for his work all over the zone.
3rd Period 18:57 - Detroit Goal (PP): Tomas Tatar (snap shot) unassisted
Tatar ices it on a late PP goal with a snipe. Again, with Franzen, Nyquist and Tatar lined up for an offensive zone faceoff to Schneider's left, the Wings gain possession. As Franzen battles for the puck in the feet of Zubrus and Nyquist/Greene collapse in from the outside Wing, the puck ends up sliding toward the middle of the ice where Tatar picks it up just coming away from the scrum and has just enough room to snap it from the hash marks past Schneider. No adjustment on this play. Good PP goal.
1st Period 01:24 - Brendan Smith (cross checking): The Wings get hemmed in their own zone for a long shift and that culminates in a cross-checking penalty by Smith behind the Wings net. This one's on the entire line, but it's especially on Smith, who committed the act. Minus for Smith.
1st Period 13:06 - Johan Franzen (high sticking): Offensive zone penalty for the Wings as Franzen gets his stick up on a guy in the corner of the Devils' zone right in front of the ref. Minus for Franzen.
2nd Period 05:32 - Steve Bernier (interference): It was the Red Wings' turn to get a power play, so Bernier shoulders Lashoff in front of the Wings' net a bit harder than usual and takes a penalty for it. No adjustment. This is more on the refs deciding what is and isn't too much contact in front.
2nd Period 12:25 - Jonathan Ericsson (holding): Riggy loses a battle to Zubrus and brings him down, earning two minutes. Minus for Ericsson.
3rd Period 01:59 - Michael Ryder (hooking): Kindl makes a small deke (heh) that catches Ryder trying to pin him to the boards. This gets Ryder's stick caught up in Kindl's midsection, taking him to the box. It's a decent move by Kindl, but it's also just kind of a lazy dumb play. Half-plus for Kindl.
3rd Period 05:15 - Marek Zidlicky (tripping): Johan Franzen remembers to move his feet coming through center ice and gets slew-footed by Zidlicky for his troubles. This is a good shift by Franzen, who will earn a plus.
3rd Period 09:39 - Cory Emmerton (hooking): Another offensive zone penalty on the Wings as Emmerton lazily hooks a guy on a loose puck in front of the net. What a stupid lazy play. Minus for Emmerton.
3rd Period 14:51 - Travis Zajac (slashing): The Wings get a power play on a stick-slash by Zajac on Quincey in the Wings' end. No adjustment. Lucky break (durr).
3rd Period 18:52 - Cory Schneider (delay of game): This is a bad call on Schneider playing it in the no-no zone. No adjustment.
+1 to Tomas Tatar: On top of the pluses he already received, Tomas Tatar deserves another because he was the best player in this game by a good margin.
+2 to Justin Abdelkader: The other best forward for the Wings, Abdelkader deserved to be an overall plus for this game, despite the error on the PK. He played great in his own zone and did well to earn the blue line when carrying through center.
+0.5 to Stephen Weiss: Part of the reason the Devils got so few shots was good transition defense by the Wings and solid in-zone presence. Weiss did this very well and won a majority of his faceoffs while seeing very few attempts head towards Gustavsson. This would be a bigger adjustment if he managed to put even one shot on goal in this game.
+1 to Brendan Smith: He was less-noticeable in this game than he had been in the last few, but kind of in a good way, as other than the penalty on his first shift, he played well enough to earn his way back to even.
Kyle Quincey had a solid defensive game and boy oh boy did he frustrate the hell out of me in the offensive zone. I'm not going to punish him because I don't expect him to put up points, but he could have been a major contributor here and couldn't finish.
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