The Red Wings returned home after a disappointing road trip to face the New Jersey Devils on Military Appreciation Night. After an iffy start, the Wings found their bearings and marched all over the Devils, winning 4-2.
Referee inconsistency is the only consistency we can expect. The standard changed randomly in this one, although it benefited the Wings more. Detroit was 2/4 on the power play while holding New Jersey off the board on three chances. Shots were 31-17 in favor of the Wings.
Jimmy Howard put up an .882 save percentage. Neither of the goals against were soft by Howard, as he was beaten by a net-front scramble and by a third shot on goal in a very brief time. Still, the skaters won this game, which is a nice change of pace.
1st Period 03:18 - New Jersey Goal: Steve Bernier (wrist shot) from Bryce Salvador and Stephen Gionta
Jersey gets an early goal on a net-front scramble that Bernier Holmstroms into the net. The puck bounces off the linesman off a defensive zone faceoff and the Devils recover, cycling the puck well around the zone to get the defense chasing. Finally, Kronwall steals the puck from Tootoo below the net, but he turns it over in the corner to Gionta, who feeds it up to Salvador at the point. Salvador steps a few paces to the inside from the point and fires a shot on net as Bernier arrives. Ericsson's stick blocks the shot in front of Howard, but doesn't stop it completely. The puck rolls out to the side of Howard and Bernier turns to slam it in to the side of the downed goaltender. I'm not going to clear any minuses here, but Ericsson and Kronwall will each pick up a minus. Kronner turns it over and Riggy blows the net-front coverage.
1st Period 18:55 - Detroit Goal (PP): Jakub Kindl (slap shot) from Tomas Tatar and Darren Helm
The Wings tie it up on a blast from the point that gets tipped by a Devil's stick over Schneider. The 2nd PP unit wins a 5-on-3 faceoff to gain control four seconds before Tootoo comes out of the box. Nestrasil gets a good shot off just before the 4th man gets back in the play. Schneider blocks it to the far wall where Tatar recovers to reset. A few passes along the right side of the ice for the Wings moves it from mid-to-high-to-low before setting up the umbrella. Tatar fancy handles along the wall to draw a defender over before passing it back to Kindl for the shot at the point. Larsson tries to block this half-slapper, but ends up tipping it over Schneider's shoulder. This is a well-played man advantage that sets up like it should, so no adjustment. However, Darren Helm is coming across Schneider's view as the puck is released. The Larsson tip has more to do with it, but I think Schneider is made more vulnerable by not seeing the puck immediately. I'm going to award Helm a half-screener's assist.
1st Period 19:28 - Detroit Goal: Brendan Smith (wrist shot) from Joakim Andersson and Drew Miller
Briefly after the game-tying goal, the Wings take the lead on a good zone entry, feed, and finally a well-timed shot from Brendan Smith. The fourth line gets pressure in the Devils' zone which leads to a Murphy Dump clear trying to spring the forwards which fails. DeKeyser picks it up off a second hop and throws it back up ice past Elias pressuring him. The puck gets all the way to Drew Miller just out of the zone. Miller turns and leaves it for Andersson to bring into the zone on the right wing as he re-enters in the center lane 2-on-2. Andersson stops up at the outside top of the circle and Miller drags Zidlicky away from the front of the net. Glendening enters late and takes up the center lane drive that Miller just walked out of. As three New Jersey players watch Glendening in the slot, Andersson tosses a pass back toward the point which Brendan Smith picks up entering the zone. Smith gets to the area just above the high slot and throws a wrister on net that beats Schneider to the glove side. Again, this is a well-screened goal as Glendening was directly in front. Glendening will get a full screener's assist. Andersson makes a playmaker's play on this zone entry and will get a half-plus for being patient enough to draw the defense out of position.
2nd Period 11:41 - Detroit Goal (PP): Johan Franzen (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall
Detroit opens up a two-goal lead on a gorgeous power play snipe just six seconds into a power play. Z wins it cleanly to Kronwall at the point. As Abdelkader heads to the net-front, Kronwall feeds Franzen on the opposite point to walk down the right wing side with the puck. Mule has plenty of room to maneuver within the faceoff circle to that side and uses it with a quick outside-inside move on Salvador to open up a shooting lane before immediately firing it near-side on Schneider. I'm going to give Z a half-plus for the clean faceoff win to set this up. I'm also going to give Abdelkader a half-screener's assist. He's not directly blocking the view, but Schneider is leaning around Abby, which leaves him incapable of really squaring to Franzen.
2nd Period 17:39 - Detroit Goal: Niklas Kronwall (board magic) unassisted
The Wings go up 4-1 on a Nick Lidstrom Special goal for Kronwall. A simple dump-in by the fourth line and good zone pressure by that forward trio creates a problem exiting the zone for the Devils. Eventually Zajac tries a backhanded toss behind his own net to Brunner near the opposite corner, but he throws it too hard and the puck gets to Kronwall at the point instead. Kronner pulls it a few feet inside and waits for the screen to form before firing the puck wide. With Schneider unsure about where the puck is, he misses it getting past him and hitting off the end-boards where it ricochets and bounces in off Schneider's skate. The forecheck which leads to this shot attempt will earn Miller, Glendening, and Andersson each a half-plus. I'm also going to give all three credit for a half-screener's assist. Andersson jumps over the puck at the top of the circles and Schneider is already trying to look around both Miller and Glendening in perfect alignment against him as the shot comes off. Great setup here.
3rd Period 02:26 - New Jersey Goal: Jordin Tootoo (wrist shot) from Marek Zidlicky
Of course Tootoo scores. You knew this was coming. The Devils get it into the zone with a bad dump-in that Ericsson stops at the half-wall but can't get around Zubrus pressuring. Cleary skates in to recover and bring it behind the net where he's met by Stephen Gionta after clearing the trapezoid. Under this pressure, Cleary goes up the boards. The puck doesn't get past Tootoo at the half-wall, who turns and fires it toward the net. This puck hits off Kronwall in front and bounces all the way to the opposite point where Zidlicky steps into it for a one-timer that hits Ericsson in the back of the ankle and bounces straight over to Tootoo following up the play at the bottom of the circle. Tootoo makes no mistake as he one-times it into the net. I'm going to clear Nestrasil and Helm as passenger victims on this play. Ericsson makes a mistake in not getting the initial clear and will get a half-minus, but the bad turnover belongs to Cleary, who will get a minus for turning the puck over. Also, Kronwall will get a half-minus tacked on for his failure to pick up Tootoo off the wall. There are two lucky bounces which help the Devils on this play, but I think the Wings needed to have played this better to get a better result.
1st Period 08:22 - Luke Glendening (hooking) against Travis Zajac: Glendening is defending in his own zone with his stick out as Zajac skates right through his stick without being slowed at all. The Refs decide this is a good time to call the first penalty. This is a really weak call. No adjustment.
1st Period 16:38 - Jordin Tootoo (tripping) against Danny DeKeyser: Smith falls down in his own zone and Tootoo jumps on him. Smith barely gets it to DeKeyser, who gets tripped by Tootoo trying for the puck. No adjustment. This is just a careless play by Tootoo.
1st Period 18:34 - Bryce Salvador (cross checking) against Justin Abdelkader: The refs call a guy for cross-checking the net-front guy for the first time. No adjustment. It's Abby's job to stand there and take that.
2nd Period 00:15 - Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Ericsson (holding): Aww, these guys hugged each other. That's sweet. No adjustment.
2nd Period 11:35 - Marek Zidlicky (hooking) against Riley Sheahan: The Wings recover a puck in the neutral zone thanks to Smith almost Kronwalling a guy. After a few passes around their own blue line, Smith comes back and kicks down a saucer pass before chipping it up through center ice under pressure. Tatar settles the puck down on its way through, perfectly tipping it onto the stick of Sheahan moving with good speed in the middle. Sheahan splits the D and threatens a dangerous scoring chance, but is denied on a hook by Zidlicky. Sheahan will get a plus and Tatar a half-plus for the great passing here. Smith will also receive a plus for separating the Devils from the puck and then moving it well up ice.
2nd Period 13:21 - Luke Glendening (slashing) against Jaromir Jagr: The Wings get chasing a bit in their own zone and that costs them when Glendening slashes Jagr's stick out of his hands. Minus for Glendening.
3rd Period 08:06 - Bryce Salvador (hooking) against Darren Helm: Helmer turns on the jets in the neutral zone and threatens to get around the defense at the blue line. This creates a bit of a problem for Salvador, who hooks him down to prevent it. Helm will earn a plus.
3rd Period 16:14 - Justin Abdelkader (roughing): Both teams get a bit testy after a net-front scrum whistle. Somehow Abdelkader gets the only penalty out of this whole mess. This doesn't make any sense. No adjustment.
|Player||GP||Official +/-||Adjusted +/-||G+||Cov-||Turn-||Plty-||Plty+||Chg+||Chg-||PP+Lost||PK-Clear||GA-Clear||GSaved+||Adj Diff|
Overall, this was a much closer even-strength Corsi game than the shot counter would have you think, but it still wasn't particularly close if you factor in that the Wings had about 16% of the Fenwick opportunities.
As the chart shows, DeKeyser and Smith had a good game, especially looking at the bottom chart that shows zone starts. It helps that they got to backstop the Zetterberg line, but that also means they had to play against tougher lines as well. Ericsson and Kronwall struggled behind the Glendening line out there mostly against Jaromir Jagr.
|Name||Pos||Faceoff %||Faceoffs Won||Faceoffs Lost||Off ZS %||OffZoneStart||NeuZoneStart||DefZoneStart|
There weren't as many offensive zone starts available to the Wings as usual in this game, as the Devils had a +1 advantage in that category. It's interesting to see how Franzen was used here. The Sheahan line needs to do more with the competition and advantages they got.
I'm glad the ugly start didn't last as long as they have been lately, but I'd still like for the Wings to dominate from start to finish one of these days. I still like that Babcock is happy to match top line against top line, but is using a pure shut down line against 2nd-tier competition. However, this means the lower lines need to take advantage of easier competition.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca