Detroit Red Wings Game Analysis, After-Action Report for Tuesday Nov 18th: Detroit Red Wings 5 - Columbus Blue Jackets 0

You know how often we complain about the Red Wings playing down to their opponents? Well they did it again for about twenty minutes in this game before deciding they didn't want to do that anymore and suffocating the Blue Jackets 5-0.

Box Score Here

The refs decided early to let the teams play and they actually kinda tried to do that. They also at one point had to decide to try and get things under control so they called a few more penalties than usual in a "let them play" type game. Special teams were great in this one, as Detroit went 2-for-5 while holding Columbus off the board in three attempts. Shots were 40-28 in favor of the Wings.

Jimmy Howard made some jaw-dropping saves in this game and all were essentially "key moment' saves, as the game could have turned with some of the goals that were almost scored against him. Sergei Bobrovsky was under siege in this game and he gave up later than all of his teammates, but he still gave up.

Guide to plus/minus adjustments

The Goals

1st Period 10:17 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (wrist shot) from Jonathan Ericsson and Brendan Smith
The Wings break the goose egg first with a net-front scramble play that gets the puck to Tatar in the soft area above the crease for a quick zip past a scrambling Bobrovsky. Columbus is taking the play to the Wings to this point, but Detroit gets it out of their own zone after a faceoff win by Sheahan. Columbus is able to clear their zone after an entry, but Lashoff pinches off Wennberg to turn it back over as the puck is dumped behind the Wings' net. Smith recovers and throws it up to the middle of the ice (a bold move considering the last BJs' scoring chance was caused by the same thing). Tatar picks it up and gets it in the Columbus blue line being chased down by Cracknell and watched by Leopold. Tatar tries to dump it, but Leopold blocks it back to the line where Sheahan picks it up and uses Tatar's momentum to get to the outside hash marks of the faceoff circle before throwing a backhand on net as Tatar and Abdelkader push to the front. Bobrovsky kicks the rebound out front, but Tatar is knocked down, so the best he can do is knock it up to Smith at the top of the zone away from the over-collapsing Jackets. Smith doesn't control cleanly and instead of getting a shot from the middle, he has to backhand pass it to Ericsson at the right point. Riggy one-times it into traffic where it bounces off of Leopold's leg just above the crease and goes right to Tatar. Sheahan is skating across, but wisely leaves it for Tatar facing the right direction to pump it in. There are a couple of good plays by Tatar on this sequence which will combine to earn him a bonus plus (the zone exit/entry, the first shot retrieval, and the positioning for the goal). Smith's good passing on this play helps keep the puck going in the right direction will earn him a half-plus as well. Finally, although it's not a direct benefit, Justin Abdelkader screening in front helped keep Bobrovsky from tracking the puck as well as he could have. I'm going to award Abdelkader a half-screener's assist.

2nd Period 01:44 - Detroit Goal (PP): Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) from Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg
Nyquist doubles the Wings' lead on the power play with a close-angle top-shelf goal on a rebound caused by great puck movement around the back of the Columbus net. Columbus wins a defensive zone faceoff, but Franzen keeps it in at the point and gets a bit lucky as his dump attempt from the point bounces off Foligno across the blue line where Nyquist picks it up with enough space to set up the power play. A pass to the middle leads to a contested shot that goes harmlessly behind the net where Abdelkader does work to dig it out and get it back to the point for Franzen. Mule sets up the umbrella before dumping it to Zetterberg on the right side. Hank skates down to the bottom of the circle where he throws it to Nyquist in front for a shot attempt that bounces off Bobrovsky and straight back to Z as he continues his swoop behind the net. Kronner is crashing the far post as Hank comes around, which sets a natural pick against Johansen being able to stop Zetterberg from getting to a dangerous area. As Z threatens to backhand it from the inside hash marks and Prout continues to wrestle against Justin Abdelkader, who he crosschecked down as the Nyquist shot was coming, Franzen gets a running start from the point to the high slot area. Zetterberg finds Mule with the pass for a shot that Bobrovsky saves through the traffic. The BJ goalie can't control the rebound and the defense is all discombobulated from the puck movement and there's nobody available to cover Nyquist standing in pretty much the same place he was five seconds earlier. The puck comes right to him and Nyquist doesn't miss from here. 2-0 Wings. Once again, Abdelkader does a good job battling in front and his work keeps the goalie from being able to do his job right. I'm going to give Abby another half-screener's assist here. Abby will also get a half-plus. He does very good work making space and retrieving the puck on this play.

3rd Period 04:49 - Detroit Goal (PP): Tomas Jurco (snap shot) from Danny DeKeyser
Jurco finally gets off the schneid with a wicked snapper from the top of the circle through another net-front screen. Sheahan ties up the faceoff as he bumps the puck just behind his left foot and then steps forward into Anisimov to make room for Jurco coming in from the center to push it back to DeKeyser for the setup. Anisimov separates from Sheahan and goes after DeKeyser as he moves it from the left point toward the middle of the ice. After drawing the defender up far enough, DK pops a backhand pass over to Jurco with enough space to walk to the top of the circle. Helm positions himself in front of Bobrovsky while Anisimov chases down on Jurco and Savard gives him a shooting lane in order to prevent him from walking closer or passing it to Sheahan in the slot. Jurco takes advantage of both the room and the screen to fire it short side for his first of the season. Great setup here by the PP. Helm will get a screener's assist for his positioning. I'm not going to make further adjustment, but I'd be surprised if Sheahan isn't given a secondary assist on this play like he deserves.

3rd Period 06:01 - Detroit Goal: Riley Sheahan (deflection) from Tomas Tatar and Brendan Smith
The Wings make it 4-0 on an incredible rush taking advantage of a badly overcollapsing Columbus defense. The Wings' top line does a bit of defensive work keeping the Jackets to the outside in their own zone before Tim Erixon collects a loose puck at the point and tries a slapper designed to deflect off either Ericsson or Anisimov at the side of the net. Instead, the puck bounces to the boards where Franzen collects it and throws it off the boards up ice, hitting Abdelkader in stride through center. Erixon is back on Abby and keeps him to the outside, but the Wings' forward keeps enough pace to prevent being pinched into the boards as he circles around behind the net. As Abdelkader comes out the other side, Sheahan has already come on the ice and gone to the net-front. As Abby's route takes him up to the half-wall on the opposite side of the zone from where he entered, he makes a pass up to the middle of the zone where he perfectly hits Tatar in stride entering the zone. Two Jackets defenders are in the slot and freeze as Tatar holds the puck on his way to them. Tats makes sure they both stay on him with a quick move to the backhand, which makes space for him to throw it to Smith joining the rush on the left wing side completely unimpeded. With Smith bearing in on Bobrovsky from the left side, Sheahan posts up to hold off Wisniewski in front while Tatar skates to the far post. Bobrovsky has to freeze on Smith, who throws the puck at the front. Sheahan's stick redirects the pass into the net and it's a laugher. This is a good outlet by Franzen before changing and a good play by Abdelkader to keep enough speed to buy the time necessary for this play to develop. Franzen will get a half plus and Abdelkader a full plus. Tatar makes a super-smart move freezing the defensemen in front to give Smith the room he needs to make this play. Tatar will get a half-plus.

3rd Period 18:59 - Detroit Goal: Darren Helm (wrist shot) from Tomas Jurco and Dan Cleary
The snakebitten line bites back again as Helm drives one through Bobrovsky's armpit in garbage time to make it 5-0. The Wings win a defensive zone faceoff and quickly turn it into an O-zone draw. This draw is scrambled, but the puck eventually comes to Smith at the top of the zone off a bad clear. Smith falls down with the puck because of course he does, but he has enough time to get up and try a shot through traffic which is blocked to the corner. Cleary chases with Leopold, leaning into him well and keeping him from getting to Jurco up the boards who comes in to help. Jurco and Cleary engage in a two-on-two scrum along the boards with a third Jackets defender watching up the boards and Helm as the third Red Wing nearby floating at the top of the circle. Some guy named Chaput ends the board battle by trying to chip it up the boards past Jurco, but has his attempt deflected to the top of the dot. Helm is the first on it as he turns and fires it on net. Bobrovsky is already dreaming of not playing in Columbus for the rest of his career and he lets it through. This is a soft goal, but it's good board battling by Cleary and Jurco to give the Wings an opportunity to get lucky. Jurco and Cleary will each get a half-plus.

The Penalties

1st Period 16:43 - Brian Lashoff (tripping) against Alexander Wennberg: The Jackets get the first power play of the game as Lashoff is caught flat-footed at his own blue line against Wennberg. Lasher sticks his leg out and takes his man down. The refs send him to sit down for being naughty. The standard to this point in the game has let a few things go which were slightly less obvious than this call, but that's not going to be enough to absolve Lashoff of his minus.

2nd Period 00:40 - Boone Jenner (tripping) against Niklas Kronwall: The Wings have to make a number of passes to get into position to get the puck out of their own zone, but it finally succeeds when Kronwall makes a bit of space for himself in the corner. As he's moving up ice to allow the outlets to form, Boone Jenner steps up on him. Kronwall makes a move to make him miss, but Jenner sticks out the knee and takes him down. This is going to earn Kronwall a plus. It's a good move, although I would prefer if people didn't knee him. (As a note, as of this writing the game sheet shows Nyquist as having drawn this. He was in the area, but Kronwall is definitely the one who was tripped.)

2nd Period 08:16 - James Wisniewski (roughing) against Riley Sheahan: Sheahan brings the puck into the corner of the Jackets' zone after a bit of battling with Wisnieski just inside the blue line that forced Sheahan to dump it. With good body position, Sheahan protects the puck and Wisniewski acts like the dirtbag he's always been by roughing Sheahan up trying to be a tough guy. This is typical Wisniewski stupid, but Sheahan will earn a plus. He shows very good body position on this rush.

2nd Period 19:36 - Niklas Kronwall (interference) against Boone Jenner: The Wings try fairly hard to make me pucker so hard that I collapse my own ass into a singularity by allowing a handful of Blue Jackets scoring chances late in the period. Finally a shot from the point gets tipped in on Howard while Kronwall and Jenner tie up out front. Jenner tries to jump around Kronwall and falls over his stick. It's not a great call, but its' earned by the scrambling. Kronwall will get a minus.

3rd Period 04:41 - Ryan Johansen (roughing) against Kyle Quincey: The Wings do a good job of breaking offensive zone pressure by the Jackets. As the puck clears the zone, Johansen takes his frustration out on Quincey and gets a timeout for it. I'm going to give Quincey a plus on this play because while it's dumb by Johansen, he's a big part of the reason the guy is frustrated in the first place.

3rd Period 06:01 - Scott Hartnell (unsportsmanlike and roughing) against Justin Abdelkader: After the Sheahan goal, Hartnell completely loses his cool and takes a late stupid run at Abdelkader, earning himself a four-minute sit down. Abby will earn a plus here. Hartnell is trying to draw a call and Abby keeping his cool is a very smart move.

3rd Period 08:39 - Nick Foligno and Brendan Smith (fighting) against a dying part of hockey culture: Whatever. I don't like this decision by Smith to fight, but no adjustment. It's an even-up I'll take, considering Foligno is one of the better skaters for Columbus in this game.

3rd Period 10:41 - Kyle Quincey (hooking) against Jared Boll: The Jackets get another power play with a zone entry and a whole lot of running into people. Boll wins a race to the puck in a corner and Quincey leaves his stick in the midsection just a little too long. Boll makes sure the ref sees it, but this is an easy call for the refs to make. Minus for Quincey.

Total Adjustments

Player GP Official +/- Adjusted +/- G+ Cov- Turn- Plty- Plty+ Chg+ Chg- PP+Lost PK-Clear GA-Clear GSaved+ Adj Diff
Justin Abdelkader 1 2 4.5 1.5 1 2.5
Henrik Zetterberg 1 0 0
Dan Cleary 1 1 1.5 0.5 0.5
Johan Franzen 1 0.5 0.5 0.5
Tomas Tatar 1 2 3.5 1.5 1.5
Riley Sheahan 1 2 3 1 1
Tomas Jurco 1 1 1.5 0.5 0.5
Gustav Nyquist 1 0 0
Darren Helm 1 1 1 0
Joakim Andersson 1 0 0
Luke Glendening 1 0 0
Drew Miller 1 0 0
Niklas Kronwall 1 0 -1 1 0
Jonathan Ericsson 1 1 1 0
Brendan Smith 1 3 3.5 0.5 0.5
Danny DeKeyser 1 0 0
Kyle Quincey 1 0 -1 1 0
Brian Lashoff 1 2 1 -1 -1
Player Screener's Assists
Johan Franzen 2
Justin Abdelkader 4
Luke Glendening 2.5
Darren Helm 1.5
Drew Miller 0.5
Joakim Andersson 0.5

Full Season Chart Here

Possession Metrics

Even-strength Corsi numbers provided thanks to via

Name Pos Corsi Rel% Corsi% Corsi+/- CorsiFor CorsiAgn CorsiFor60 CorsiAgn60
Darren.Helm C 27.96 66.67 9 18 9 90.57 45.28
Brian.Lashoff D 17.45 61.11 4 11 7 51.73 32.92
Riley.Sheahan C 15.26 58.33 4 14 10 75.39 53.85
Tomas.Tatar R 15.81 59.09 4 13 9 65.09 45.06
Jonathan.Ericsson D 11.84 55.17 3 16 13 58.6 47.61
Daniel.Cleary R 14.38 58.82 3 10 7 65.93 46.15
Brendan.Smith D 10.49 55.56 2 10 8 49.32 39.45
Tomas.Jurco R 6.79 52.38 1 11 10 63.82 58.02
Justin.Abdelkader L -4.2 43.75 -2 7 9 42.21 54.27
Niklas.Kronwall D -1.11 46.43 -2 13 15 46.85 54.05
Danny.Dekeyser D -4.28 44.74 -4 17 21 73.6 90.92
Gustav.Nyquist L -6.9 42.31 -4 11 15 44.22 60.3
Luke.Glendening C -10 40 -5 10 15 53.25 79.88
Joakim.Andersson R -10.87 39.13 -5 9 14 48.14 74.89
Jimmy.Howard G 47.19 -5 42 47 54.76 61.28
Henrik.Zetterberg C -14.38 36.36 -6 8 14 32.54 56.95
Drew.Miller L -18.14 33.33 -7 7 14 44.44 88.89
Johan.Franzen R -16.73 34.78 -7 8 15 40 75
Kyle.Quincey D -23.35 36.17 -13 17 30 50.45 89.04

Babcock did try getting his traditional matchup, but didn't press for it too much, instead letting the lines dictate themselves on the road. Glendening's line saw more of Boone Jenner than Ryan Johansen. The defensive assignments were traditional Babcock road matchups where the Quincey-DeKeyser pair was more about being used defenesively than in line matchups.

Quincey's abnormally large corsi minus here is kind of funny, all things considered. He was pretty good in this game. If I had to pick the defenseman on that pairing who performed worse in his own zone, I'd say it was DeKeyser.

Name Pos Faceoff % Faceoffs Won Faceoffs Lost Off ZS % OffZoneStart NeuZoneStart DefZoneStart
Tomas.Tatar R 40 0 0 71.43 5 1 2
Brian.Lashoff D 40 0 0 66.67 6 4 3
Justin.Abdelkader L 40 0 0 66.67 4 1 2
Riley.Sheahan C 62.5 5 3 62.5 5 1 3
Brendan.Smith D 40 0 0 62.5 5 4 3
Jonathan.Ericsson D 40 0 0 50 6 6 6
Jimmy.Howard G 40 0 0 46.88 15 11 17
Niklas.Kronwall D 40 0 0 46.15 6 6 7
Henrik.Zetterberg C 50 7 7 46.15 6 3 7
Johan.Franzen R 100 1 0 46.15 6 3 7
Darren.Helm C 69.23 9 4 44.44 4 6 5
Daniel.Cleary R 40 0 0 42.86 3 6 4
Tomas.Jurco R 40 0 0 42.86 3 6 4
Gustav.Nyquist L 100 1 0 42.86 6 3 8
Drew.Miller L 40 0 0 33.33 1 1 2
Kyle.Quincey D 40 0 0 33.33 4 1 8
Danny.Dekeyser D 40 0 0 30 3 1 7
Joakim.Andersson R 50 1 1 25 1 1 3
Luke.Glendening C 50 2 2 20 1 1 4

Overall, the Wings had two fewer offensive zone starts than defensive zone faceoffs, so that's why only about one and a half lines got zone sheltering. The bend-don't-break attitude for defensive specialist worked well in this one.

Check out more from, including the visualized shift chart here.

Final Say

It's weird to say that Jimmy Howard might have stolen a game that ended up 5-0 for the Red Wings, but I think once everything is taken in context, it's not as crazy to think about. The Wings did a pretty good job of having guys arriving in good spots at the right time, but they also had significant periods of struggle dealing with the Columbus forecheck. It was really good to see the kids playing better and getting rewarded for it. Tatar was downright deadly in this one.

Corsi Timeline from