I hate watching the Wings play the Jackets. Columbus is an annoying team that somehow both aggressively forechecks and effectively traps in the neutral zone. Once again, the Wings went into the third period tied and ended up losing by multiple goals as the Blue Jackets claimed one of a very small number of losses this team can afford to give away.
If the Jackets' style of play isn't bad enough, it's worse to watch when the refereeing standard allows a much higher percentage of interference and flatly dirty roughing plays to go uncalled. The Wings hooked and held a bunch too and the refs called penalties based on a narrative arc more than an objective standard. Columbus went 2/4 on the power play while Detroit was 0-for-2. Shots were 33-28 in favor of Columbus.
Howard allowed two power play goals and gave one up on a 2-on-1. Under the rules of elite goaltender expectations, the Wings lost, so he should have stopped at least one of those and probably two, otherwise he's an overpaid schmuck.
1st Period 01:35 - Columbus Goal (PP): Ryan Johansen (wrist shot) from Boone Jenner and James Wisniewski
The Jackets get an early power play goal on a crease-crashing play as a couple Jackets find room between the defenders to get in on Howard. After three clears in the first 45 seconds of the power play, the Jackets get it back in on the right wing side with a quick turn on a PK change. Johansen takes advantage of a soft spot in the defense up the boards as a cut by Horton forces Quincey to back off and the threat of the man at the point gives Helm pause. Boone Jenner takes up the slot position and Horton the back door with Lashoff watching in front as Johansen makes a cut to the front of the ice. As Quincey stands his ground low in the circle, Johansen shoots it from a sharp angle and follows up stepping around Quincey. Lashoff has backed off too close to the far post when Howard knocks the puck down in front of him. Both Jenner and Johansen are there to get whacks at the rebound and Johansen is the one who puts it in. This is a well-executed play to put pressure on the goalie to hold a hard shot and to take advantage when he can't. Quincey and Lashoff need to make stronger plays, but the quick movement of the zone re-entry, combined with the dropped puck mitigates their blame. Quincey and Lashoff will each get a half-minus.
1st Period 12:46 - Columbus Goal (PP): Brandon Dubinsky (deflected shot) from Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski
Columbus gets a 4-on-3 power play and makes it 2-0 as Dubinsky bounces it in off a defenseman's stick. Sheahan wins a defensive zone faceoff, but Atkinson wins a race to the puck behind the net and resets it to the point. Wisnieski goes to Johnson, who pulls to the middle to drag the defenders away from the edges. This makes room to hit Dubinsky low to the net-side. As Quincey reaches in to keep Dubinsky from walking to the front, DeKeyser posts up just atop the crease between Dubinsky and Atkinson on the far post. Dubinsky tries the cross-crease pass and is rewarded when it hits DeKeyser's stick and goes in. It's a tough break, but DeKeyser is going to get a half-minus for deflecting it into his own net. This is kind of a no-no.
1st Period 14:55 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) from Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar
Detroit cuts it down to one with a strong rush play that ends with clever passing and a good finish by Nyquist. Brendan Smith takes a puck behind his own net and escapes being caught behind his own net by squeezing it out up the middle where the Wings can start a rush up ice with Nyquist hitting Kronwall in stride for the outlet. Kronner gets up ice and crosses the Columbus blue line up the middle with Tatar on his right and Sheahan crossing just behind him to take up the left wing lane. Kronwall tries a backhand pass to Kronwall, but Jack Johnson gets a stick on it to block it. Kronwall quickly recovers and lifts the stick of the backchecking Nathan Horton, allowing Tatar to take it and patiently wait for Horton to overskate him before ripping a shot on net. Bobrovsky stops it, but Sheahan is on the doorstep with position on Prout. Quickly, Sheahan blindly backhands the puck across the crease where Nyquist is following up the rush to kick it up to his stick and slam it into the open net. I'm going to give Smith back the plus he loses to DeKeyser on the line change behind a rush he helps create. Kronwall and Tatar will also each get a half-plus for smart plays in helping this rush both develop and continue.
2nd Period 10:58 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (soccer) from Tomas Tatar
The Wings tie it on a quick counterattack with Tatar and Nyquist driving to the front and Nyquist having a rebound bounce in off both his and Ryan Johansen's skates. The Wings lose the zone as Nyquist tries to bounce it to the point too hard and instead pushes it all the way up ice. Kronwall gets it and starts angling around behind his own net, but he's caught on a perfect forechecking angle run by Johansen, who falls over Kronwall to knock them both over. Kronwall loses the puck to Johansen, who tries to make space skating it away from the Wings' goal, but to the center of the ice. As he does this, Boone Jenner pinches above the top of the dot, but this complicates things for Johansen, who is already being beset by Tatar and Nyquist at the top of the circle. Both Kronwall and Nyquist get their sticks on Johansen's, which causes him to lose control of it as it goes through Jenner's legs and slides to center. Both Nyquist and Tatar are already heading the right way with enough speed to escape Johansen and create a 2-on-1 against Fedor Tyutin. The lone D-man senses Johansen will be able to handle Nyquist, so he plays more aggressively on Tatar, stepping up as he enters the high slot. Tatar releases a wrister before Tyutin can establish contact, aiming it smartly at the low far side. This pays off when McElhinney kicks the rebound straight back out to exactly where Nyquist and Johansen are headed. Nyquist slide-stops to get his skate on it and Johansen kind of spin-stops as he hooks Nyquist. The puck bounces off one skate then the other before settling in the net. The turnover by Kronwall is going to cost him the bonus half-plus he would have gotten for a good play on Johansen's stick in the defensive zone. Nyquist and Tatar will each earn a bonus plus for the good backchecking and transition work.
3rd Period 06:58 - Columbus Goal: Cam Atkinson (backhand) from Matt Calvert and Brandon Dubinsky
Columbus catches a pinch and then a break as Atkinson puts a loose puck on a goal that isn't atop it's moorings. The Wings get what is their first good shift of the third period about six and a half minutes in as the Legwand line creates a few scoring opportunities. This comes crashing down when a loose puck in the slot gets bounced out to the top of the circle to McElhinney's left. Brendan Smith pinches in, but loses the gamble as Matt Calvert is there first to tip the puck up over Smith's stick and head to center ice with Atkinson joining him in a 2-on-1 against Kronwall. With Smith well behind the play, Kronwall plays much heavier to the pass than Tyutin did on Nyquist's 2nd goal. Still, Calvert tries a very similar shot from a very similar position as he aims low on the goalie from the top left side of the slot. This one is aimed five-hole instead of far post though. Howard gets down on top of the puck before it gets through him, but doesn't maintain complete control of it. Atkinson follows up the shot by crashing into the crease and knocking the puck loose. As the momentum of the play takes Atkinson to the far post, Smith comes across and tries to clear him out, knocking him into the post. Just after Atkinson bumps the goal off its moorings, he slides it across the goal line. The ref declares that Smith pushes Atkinson enough to knock the net off and the goal counts. It's a judgment call and a lot of people are unhappy with it, but I agree that it should have counted, even though I would rather the refs had simply gotten the call wrong. This is a tough break for the forwards, as Franzen, Legwand, and Alfredsson will be cleared. Smith is never in position to make a pinch here. This will cost Smith an extra minus. Kronwall plays the 2-on-1 as he should and will be cleared for being the victim of a bad pinch .
3rd Period 19:54 - Columbus Goal (EN): Ryan Johansen (wrist shot) from James Wisniewski
Atkinson hits the empty net on a zone clear with under six seconds left and I have to write up a meaningless goal because Columbus is full of assholes. This one happens as the Jackets win a defensive zone faceoff and try to clear it hard around the boards. Smith keeps it in on the far side point and dumps it back behind the net. Bertuzzi goes back to play it, but doesn't do so effectively as Tyutin bodies him off the puck, allowing Letetsu to come in and bounce it off the corner boards around an on-rushing Joakim Andersson. Perhaps the memory of the last disastrous pinch fresh in his mind, Brendan Smith hesitates before stepping up on the play, allowing Johansen to get it around him to center ice where he mails it into the net from distance. Even with the lost faceoff, that's not an important part of this play, so Helm will be cleared, along with Legwand and DeKeyser. Andersson will have his minus halved. With time running out, he's playing where he should be and then has to hustle to try and get into the battle that Bert has already lost behind the net. This turnover will earn Bert an extra half-minus while Smith letting Johansen by will get him a half-minus as well.
1st Period 00:42 - Todd Bertuzzi (high sticking): Behind the play, Bert isn't paying attention to his stick and catches Wisniewski in his ugly face. Bert gets a minus.
1st Period 05:42 - Nick Schultz (hooking): Helm drives the zone and pulls up on Schultz, drawing a hook as the D-Man panics. Helm will get a plus.
1st Period 10:50 - Brendan Smith (interference): I honestly have no idea what happened here thanks to the complete lack of replay. Just to be safe, Smith will get a minus. I'm going this was based on the odds that an interference call is valid. Most of them are. I'll happily accept evidence to the contrary.
1st Period 11: - Nathan Horton (holding): Horton takes the Jackets off a power play by cheating on a board battle against Andersson. This is a good battle by Joker, who will earn a plus.
1st Period 11:30 - Darren Helm (hooking): Helm tries a stick lift on Wisnieski as the play threatens to move up ice and the Columbus D-Man sells it by complaining. This is a very weak call, but Helm's stick gets high on the shaft. Helm will get a half-minus.
3rd Period 08:21 - Nick Foligno (slashing): Detroit earns the losing team power play as Sheahan fights through interference through center and gets a zone entry only to receive a slash from Foligno for his trouble. Sheahan will get a half-plus.
3rd Period 10:23 - David Legwand (slashing): The Wings end their own power play early as Tatar turns the puck over at center to give Letetsu a potential breakaway. Legwand gives him a chop *near* the hands to stop the chance and goes to the box on the type of play that the refs are looking to call anything soft. This is the definition of a good penalty. Legwand will get away with making the right choice while Tatar will get the minus.
I thought the ratings came out where they should have. That's rare.
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