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Key Play Breakdown: A rolling Stone gathers, “no mas!”

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Detroit Red Wings v Ottawa Senators

The Red Wings’ winning streak is over after a low-scoring affair between two clubs who struggle defensively. Not a lot to pick from here, although if I wanted to be more-positive, I could key in on the really good shift by Rasmussen that led to his goal.

I don’t want to be more-positive though, so you get a mistake that led to the Senators’ first (counted) goal of the night:

The Setup

Detroit has full control behind their own net and is setting up a breakout under very little pressure as Trevor Daley goes to Frans Nielsen on the left side. Nielsen gets to the half-boards watched by Zack Smith and tries to make a cross-ice pass to Athanasiou picking up speed across his blue line. Instead, the puck is intercepted by Mark Stone.

The Finish

Stone brings it in and makes a back-pass to Duchene as he crosses to the middle and Duchene takes up the wing. While the D adjusts to this, Duchene puts a shot on net aimed at creating a rebound. The rebound does indeed come and bounces directly to Cody Ceci jumping into the play from the far point. Ceci has a wide open net to shoot at and buries it.

The Blame Game

Andreas Athanasiou: The least-blameworthy player on the ice here, he was out of the play the second Mark Stone intercepted the pass and there was no way he was getting back to stop what happened. He didn’t do anything inappropriate here.

Gustav Nyquist: He did get back into the play and took the middle knowing it would need to be defended as the defense collapsed, but I’d have liked to have seen him cheat a little more to Ceci’s side and potentially get an angle. I feel if the rebound kicks to Mark Stone in the middle instead, it’s still not entirely on Goose to stop him. Tiny blame here for Nyquist.

Trevor Daley: He’s playing last-man back/net-front middle from the time he passes to Nielsen. He gives up his feet to block a lane and is out of the play from there, but there’s not a lot he can do here and his decision isn’t a problem on this play.

Mike Green: He’s forced to give up space by having the turnover happen right in front of him with both Stone and Duchene bearing down. Ultimately his failure is in not blocking the Duchene shot, but it comes very quickly after Green is necessarily drawn away by the need to keep Mark Stone from having an uncontested shot from the slot. Damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t for Green here.

Jimmy Howard: The shot from Duchene is designed to create this rebound because shots like this create that rebound ALL THE TIME. Still... there are times when the goalie reacts better and doesn’t kick it out right there, instead angling it up and out of play. I’d rather that have happened and I know it’s possible, so Howard isn’t off the hook. I’m just not using a terribly sharp hook to hang him up for what happens.

Frans Nielsen: If you’re going to make that pass, you better damn well connect on it. He’s too slow to make the pass and then has his back to the play when Ceci puts the rebound in because he doesn’t effectively pick up Smith crashing the net-front that he’s covering. Real bad play by Frans here.