The Red Wings went into Saturday looking to go 2-0 on the young season against tough teams, but couldn't capitalize on numerous opportunities and saw that bite them with an opportunistically bad non-call by the refs on the game-winner. Ducks win 3-2.
Hoo boy the reffing standard in this game was garbage, even without the big obvious game-ending non-call. The penalties in this one were actual penalties, but there was a lot of stuff let go that absolutely should not have been. Neither team converted on the man advantage, as Detroit went 0/2 and Anaheim 0/3. After a 9-5 first period, the Wings ended up winning the shots battle 29-26.
Jimmy Howard gifted the Ducks one goal and then got beaten on two point-blank shots. I can safely say that a better performance by him probably earns the Wings the two points they deserved in this game. Frederik Andersen made a number of pretty good saves, but also gave up a softie to Luke Glendening. He still won the goaltending battle.
2nd Period 01:13 - Anaheim Goal: Ryan Getzlaf (wrist shot) from Corey Perry and Patrick Maroon
Another in-zone turnover leads to the first goal against of the game for the Red Wings' opponent. This time, the screwup is Jimmy Howard's. On a dump-in, Howard mishandles the puck and gives Maroon enough time to get in and cut off his passing lane to Kronwall in the corner. Z is watching the net-front as Maroon dumps it to Perry coming up and goes down to try and block an immediate shot that doesn't come because Perry mishandles. Unfortunately, Getzlaf is the first to get on it in the slot and finishes before anybody can stop him. I'm going to clear all the minuses on this goal. Howard's mishandle screws the Wings. Kronwall, Smith, Zetterberg, Abdelkader and Franzen are cleared.
2nd Period 15:33 - Detroit Goal: Luke Glendening (backhand) from Justin Abdelkader and Niklas Kronwall
The Wings pull even on a Luke Glendening backhander that I'm sure Andersen would like back. The Wings' top line gets good offensive pressure and a couple chances in front of Andersen, forcing Stoner to simply chuck the puck out of the zone after collecting a rebound in front. Kronwall gets the puck at center ice while the Wings' start a line change. Kronner backs to his own blue line and then throws it back up ice for Abdelkader cutting across the Anaheim blue line. Abby gets it in moving to the right and then turns and dumps it off to Glendening coming in up the left lane side. Vatanen has moved too far over on the Abdelkader move, giving Glendening space to move it just to the outside of the faceoff dot before beating Andersen short to the near side on a backhand. Franzen is a key part of the offensive pressure which leads to the Ducks' bad clear. This will earn Franzen a plus. Zetterberg is in the same boat as far as creating the scoring chances which help make this play happen (thanks largely in part to Anaheim's forwards changing at a bad time). Hank will also get a plus.
3rd Period 01:57 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (snap shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen
Detroit takes the lead on a break into the zone on the left wing side that gives Nyquist space to fake a slapper and then snipe it top corner on Andersen. The Wings finish killing off a power play and then get a very simple clear as Franzen catches the Ducks changing their defense, leaving the near-side point uncovered. A simple backhand dump up the ice from the low corner gets it out where Lovejoy recovers. Trying to dump it back in while the failed power play unit changes, Lovejoy hits Franzen with the puck at center ice. Zetterberg recovers it at his blue line and immediately fires it up to Nyquist streaking up the left side with Franzen just behind him. The Ducks are still completing a change, so nobody is in the neighborhood by the time Goose hits the top of the faceoff circle. A fake slapper freezes Andersen and Nyquist takes advantage with a snapper from the dot over the glove side. Again, this is a smart play by Franzen, who will earn a plus for the help with retrieval, the clear, and the blocked dump-in. I also think Franzen does a masterful job of allowing the Zetterberg pass to hit Nyquist instead of taking it himself.
3rd Period 03:18 - Anaheim Goal: Matt Beleskey (snap shot) from Ryan Kesler
Detroit gives Anaheim their second goal of the night thanks to bad puck management behind their own net. A nothing dump-in by Anaheim after some decent pressure by the Wings gets Kesler in on Smith behind the net. Smith can't get it past Kesler over to DeKeyser waiting in the corner and the trouble starts. Kesler gets to the puck and tries backhanding it to Smith-Pelley, only to have the puck bounce off Darren Helm as he comes in to help. The puck rolls to the front where Beleskey is the first on it. Beleskey immediately fires it past Howard, who is still deep in his crease reacting to the puck's change of direction. Nestrasil, Nyquist, and DeKeyser will be cleared. Nesty is near the corner to cover for a potential pass back, DeKeyser rushes immediately to the net-front in reaction to the flubbed breakout, but the puck gets there before he can, and Nyquist is rushing in off the bench unable to help. Helm is actually supposed to be the net-front coverage here, so Beleskey is his man. He gets unlucky that the puck bounces just so, but Helm will earn a coverage minus here. The inability to get it past Kesler will earn Smith a turnover minus.
3rd Period 19:36 - Anaheim Goal: Ryan Getzlaf (backhand) unassisted
The Ducks get the winner on an uncalled penalty that Getzlaf walks in front and roofs on the backhand over Howard. Kronwall gets a puck along the boards in his own zone after Franzen steps up on Getzlaf to separate him from it. Mule has to let Getzlaf go here or he'll take an interference, so it's no big deal as Kronner goes back to shield it. Here, Getzlaf hooks Kronwall's hands to steal the puck away, giving himself an open lane to the front of the net (Ericsson is stuck covering the back post because this is now a 2-on-1 with Kesler watching for the pass at the opposite dot). Getzlaf roofs it over Howard and it's game over. This play is horseshit and nobody is keeping a minus for what absolutely should have been called a penalty. Ericsson, Kronwall, Nyquist, Franzen, and Zetterberg will all be cleared.
1st Period 04:44 - Jonathan Ericsson (holding) on Patrick Maroon: Riggy isn't in good enough position to get the benefit of the doubt on an icing race and he grabs onto Maroon going behind the Wings' net. This is an easy call to make. Minus for Ericsson.
1st Period 10:50 - Sami Vatanen (interference) on Gustav Nyquist: The Wings get good pressure in the offensive zone that ends because Nyquist gets good body position chasing down a puck dumped behind the net and Vatanen is too slow to stop him legally. Nyquist will earn a plus for drawing this one.
2nd Period 04:27 - Luke Glendening (roughing) against Ryan Kesler: Brendan Smith takes two head-shots behind the net and Glendening goes after Kesler for it behind the play, taking the only penalty. This one is horseshit. No adjustment.
2nd Period 12:28 - Andrew Cogliano (high sticking) against Brendan Smith: Off a faceoff in the Wings' zone, the puck comes to Smith covering the net-front. Immediately, Smith steps forward to start the breakout, catching Cogliano by surprise. Smith takes a high stick for his troubles and will get a plus for the quick move here.
2nd Period 18:28 - Nate Thompson and Johan Franzen (roughing) on one another: After Justin Abdelkader gets the Ducks a little upset by hitting people, Thompson and Franzen get testy with one another after the whistle and both sit. No adjustment.
2nd Period 19:39 - Henrik Zetterberg (interference) against Hampus Lindholm: Hank is trying to make space to get to the net-front at 4-on-4 and does so by running a badly obvious pick at the near post. Zetterberg will get a minus. Obvious call.
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Overall Corsi for the Wings in the game at even strength was 54.55%
For as good as Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar were in the opening game, they didn't get the job done in this one. They looked dangerous, but too many chances taken in their own end didn't pay off with getting the puck effectively to the other side of the ice. DeKeyser and Smith struggled as a pair as well. For the second game in a row, the third pair has done very well, especially at limiting the Corsi pace against. Zetterberg and Franzen were impressive in this game both by eye test and by fancystats; I was extremely impressed with the play of the Wings' fourth line. Joakim Andersson was very good.
Off ZS %
This helps to explain how the top line did so well, but it also shines a light on how much more impressive the fourth line was in this game (also, Glendening played more minutes against Ryan Kesler than any other forward). The Kids didn't get a lot of help zone start-wise either, nor did the 2nd pair.
The Wings are going to have a lot of success playing games like this. The result was unfortunate and infuriating because of the referee standard, but from a systems standpoint, Detroit did more things right than wrong. It would be nice for every line to run a positive attempt differential like they did against Boston, but overall, the Kid Line struggling with tougher zone starts was more than made up for by how well the first, third, and fourth lines played. Babcock let Boudreau have some of the matchups he wanted, but that's not what won the game for Anaheim.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca