It's a mid-afternoon on a Friday and the hockey season is getting into full-swing. Detroit won their season opener last night in satisfying-but-not-entirely-comfortable fashion against the Boston Bruins with the game-winning goal coming off what is supposed to be a rejuvenated power play for them this year with new assistant coach Jim Hiller at the helm.
I figured that to help us get through the several-hour-long time until the Griffins have their season opener tonight and the full day until Detroit plays the Ducks tomorrow, we could re-live the game-winner from last night. Check out the video above to see how Boston's Daniel Paille getting a bit too aggressive pulls him too high out of the zone to prevent a low odd-man situation when Zetterberg steals the puck and finds Franzen streaking up through the middle.
Miller is forced to step up on Franzen here, which temporarily works until the partially-blocked shot gets through to Helm down low to create a 2-on-1 against Seidenberg. Helm makes no mistake finding the stick of Nyquist and Goose just doesn't miss from there. Game.
One thing that gets cut off on these videos pretty consistently is the context just before the scoring play. On this play, I'm interested in the zone entry. Fortunately, we've got ways of taking a look at that as well.
You can see the Wings setting up their usual planned zone entry with Kronwall carrying it up on the wing being supported by Franzen up at the blue line corner and Nyquist trailing along ready to receive the drop pass and carry it in to the strong side. Boston defends this well with Paille, Cunningham, and Miller forming a line that essentially tries to cut all three of the Red Wings players into a corridor where they can be pinched off.
The drop pass to Nyquist here is an option, but Paille is in good position to turn and slow Nyquist down to the point where Cunningham and Seidenberg get in his face, allowing Miller to stay back and Paille to cover Franzen/Kronwall.
Instead, what Kronwall does is find Zetterberg at the opposite Wing in a play Babcock would define as "misdirection". Hank has Helm at the blue line along the boards and only Seidenberg is in position to make a play. Since it's a 2-on-1 over on this side of the ice, Seidenberg has to let Hank in cleanly to set up with options.
From this point forward, Hank actually makes a bit of a mistake in not pressing the very brief numerical advantage to that side. Helm heads toward the front of the net and is open when Cunningham and Seidenberg both temporarily converge on Zetterberg along the half-wall. However, Z is able to recover and capitalize on a different Bruins mistake, all thanks to this good zone entry.