The Red Wings restarted their 2014-15 season in style against some Western Conference mid-tier nobody, winning 4-1 in the process. It would have been more meaningful if this were a vaunted #RivalryNight game, but alas, this one didn't rate.
The refs had a pretty bad first period, but the teams settled down later in the game and the refs actually let them treat us to some pretty entertaining hockey. Things did seem to be pretty consistent after the extremely weak holding the stick penalty against Toews in the first. Chicago went 1-for-4 on the power play while Detroit went 0-for-3. Special teams didn't matter though, as Detroit outshot Chicago 37-26.
Jimmy Howard made a number of good saves when the game was still close and then a handful of other good scrambly saves later to keep the Wings ahead. This was a good game for the cheaper goaltender of the two who played.
Guide to plus/minus adjustments
1st Period 06:08 - Detroit Goal: Luke Glendening (backhand) from Drew Miller
The Wings get on the board first on an awful turnover from Kris Versteeg. DeKeyser collects a pass behind his own net under no pressure as both teams change, eventually breaking out with a pass to Smith in the corner for a cross-ice feed up to Glendening with speed through center. A centering attempt gets blocked behind the net where Oduya falls down and bats it to the corner to get it away from Glendening and Andersson. Versteeg picks up the puck with Joker skating up at him and no defenseman pinching down. In a rush to start the breakout, Versteeg passes it across the middle where Drew Miller waits to pick it off. Miller collects and fires a low shot that Crawford stops, but he's left helpless when Glendening skates to the front from where he was behind the net, picks it up, and shovels the backhander over the goalie. I'm going to give Smith and DeKeyser back the pluses that Kronwall and Ericsson get thanks to the defensive change behind the rush here. Other than that, it's wonderful how well this works out, but I'm not going to give further adjustment. Versteeg's stupidity here is graciously accepted.
1st Period 11:16 - Chicago Goal (PP): Patrick Kane (wrist shot) from Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook
Kane ties it on the power play as Toews hits him for a cross-ice pass down low and we're back to square one. The Wings clear off the faceoff, but Chicago regroups and enters the zone with speed on a few quick passes which get Seabrook into the zone along the boards with Toews trailing him. Ericsson plays Seabrook aggressively by pinching him at the half-wall, but Seabrook leaves the puck behind for Toews to pull out with a step on Helm. Toews pokes the puck to the bottom of the circle and then recovers where he sees a lane to hit Kane across the ice. Kronwall can't block the lane and Kane gets the easy goal. It's unfortunate for Kronwall and Miller on this play, but the mistakes happen at the wall with both Ericsson and Helm. Riggy plays too aggressively on this pinch and lets himself get pulled out of position (which puts extra pressure on Kronwall). Ericsson will get a minus for this coverage. Helm letting Toews escape so cleanly will earn him a half-minus. Helm actually can't take up position on Toews that keeps him from getting this deep because he has to watch for Keith trailing in and letting Toews pick him would have given Keith a ton of space.
2nd Period 04:49 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (backhand) from Henrik Zetterberg
Detroit retakes the lead on an offensive zone takeaway that leads to a pretty goal for Franzen. After intercepting a long pass from Keith, Jonathan Ericsson tries to spring Zetterberg, but misses and the puck rolls to Crawford. Instead of freezing it, Crawford plays it to Van Riemsdyk, who tries to bank it around the forechecking Zetterberg, but turns it over on a bounce behind the net. After an attempt to jam it in the near post, Toews clears it up to Kronwall for a shot through traffic which goes just wide. Nyquist gets it behind the net, but is dispossessed by Van Riemsdyk, who has a clearing attempt blocked by Franzen at the bottom of the circle. Kane comes off the half-wall to get the puck at the top of the circle and tries to saucer it across the ice to Keith coming out of the zone. Zetterberg knocks this pass down in the slot and gathers before throwing it to Franzen behind the defense. Mule goes skate-to-stick and backhands it over Crawford for what will be the game-winner. Zetterberg makes two very good defensive plays to help the forecheck out and as such, Zetterberg will earn two pluses for this play. Elsewhere, Franzen's aggression helps turn this puck over a couple times. Franzen will get a plus as well.
2nd Period 05:59 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (wrist shot) from Joakim Andersson and Luke Glendening
The score jumps to 3-1 on a neutral zone turnover/line change that Andersson puts on Crawford for a rebound that bounces straight to Tatar for the easy goal. After a few back-and-forth turnovers in the neutral zone, the Hawks gather at the top of the circles in their own zone and try to set a breakout against a line-changing Detroit squad. David Rundblad walks to his blue line and tries to hit Bickell coming across only to see his pass hit Glendening at center and bounce over to the right wing offside faceoff dot. Joakim Andersson is the first on the puck coming into the Hawks' zone with Glendening joining in the middle lane and Tatar over on the left. Rundblad watches Andersson to the top of the circle while Seabrook takes Glendening. Shaw isn't back fast enough to cover Tatar angling in from the open wing as Andersson fires high to the blocker side. Crawford stops the puck, but the rebound kicks directly to Tatar who doesn't miss the open net from there. I'm going to give Glendening a half-plus for the pass breakup which leads to this rush and goal. This is partially luck, but you've got to be in the right position to get lucky here.
3rd Period 17:51 - Detroit Goal (EN): Brendan Smith (backhand) from Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader
The Wings face Chicago's pulled-goalie setup by creating a 3-on-1 rush to the open net that Smith puts in from the blue line. A shot from the outside kicks off Howard to Smith going around behind his own net where he's cut off and forced into dumping it up ice where Keith recovers, but not cleanly. Keith dumps it back below the net where Kronwall takes up good position on Versteeg and takes the puck from him, ringing it around the boards to Abdelkader on the weak side. Van Riemsdyk steps up on Abby, but the Piano Man makes a good play to spin the Chicago D-man to the board side while he moves the puck to the inside. This gives Pavel Datsyuk room to pick it up coming out from the low post coverage. From just to the outside of the dot, Datsyuk moves it around an attacking Kane and Hossa to get to the high slot of his own zone before finding Brendan Smith rushing up ice. Smith can't immediately control the pass, but it doesn't matter because Duncan Keith is the only player back and he's not in position to get to it before Smith recovers just shy of the Chicago blue line. Despite having both Abdelkader and Jurco with him up ice, Smith takes it inside the blue line and backhands it easily into the net. I'm going to give a bonus plus to both Kronwall and Abdelkader for winning board battles with smart positioning, as well as one to Datsyuk, who defeats two highly skilled players with subtle clever stickhandling in his own zone to create a 3-on-1 against an empty net.
1st Period 02:05 - Jakub Kindl (holding) against Bryan Bickell: Kindl gives up too much space on the outside and Bickell gets by. To prevent a wrap-around, Kindl holds on and goes to the box. Minus for Kindl.
1st Period 10:55 - Luke Glendening (interference) against Jonathan Toews: The Hawks put a loaded first line against the Wing's fourth and don't score just by the grace of Jimmy Howard. Eventually, the dangerous Hawks line draws a call as Glendening sits for interference. Minus for Glendening. I'm also going to give Miller and Kronwall each half-minus here. This is one of those shifts where a penalty is foregone because of a dangerous scoring opportunity. These two are responsible for a Patrick Kane chance that sets this in motion.
1st Period 13:19 - Jimmy Howard (high sticking) against Andrew Shaw: Shaw skates into Howard and snaps his head back to draw one. Embarrassing horseshit here. No adjustment.
1st Period 14:03 - Jonathan Toews (holding the stick) against Luke Glendening: This is a terribly weak penalty. No adjustment. Awful reffing.
2nd Period 07:24 - Bryan Bickell (holding) against Jonathan Ericsson: The Hawks take their second penalty of the game as Bickell grabs a hold of Ericsson to help create an odd-man rush. This is a no-no, but there won't be an adjustment. Bickell just cheats. Riggy doesn't draw it.
2nd Period 18:23 - Tomas Tatar (high sticking) against Marcus Kruger: Tatar is trying to lift Kruger's stick in the neutral zone and instead busts him in the chops. This is going to earn Tatar a minus. Can't be doing the busting in the chops thing.
2nd Period 19:45 - Andrew Shaw (goaltender interference): Shaw uses slight contact in front of the net to fall into Howard and goes to the box. No adjustment.
|Player||GP||Official +/-||Adjusted +/-||G+||Cov-||Turn-||Plty-||Plty+||Chg+||Chg-||PP+Lost||PK-Clear||GA-Clear||GSaved+||Adj Diff|
Even-strength Corsi numbers provided thanks to NHL.com via War-On-Ice.com.
Score effects played into this game to hurt guys who spent two periods driving play pretty well, but I'm surprised to see the pacing that happened with Datsyuk on the ice. He didn't look great or anything, but he definitely didn't look that bad. On the other end, the much-discussed 4th line didn't win the overall possession battle, but they also scored a goal and more than got the job done.
|Name||Pos||Faceoff %||Faceoffs Won||Faceoffs Lost||Off ZS %||OffZoneStart||NeuZoneStart||DefZoneStart|
It's interesting to see how this one breaks out. Usually the Zetterberg line gets a bit more advantage, but I think the zone usage was well-balanced here to take advantage of the matchups.
Check out more from war-on-ice.com, including the visualized shift chart here.
Hard to find things to complain about after this one. I thought Kyle Quincey might have had his most-solid game of the season, and that's saying something considering he's put together a decent number of solid games so far this season. Mike Babcock put together a good game against a blender-happy coach.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca