Detroit Red Wings Game Analysis, After-Action Report for Wednesday Oct 15th: Boston Bruins 3 - Detroit Red Wings 2 (SO)
The Wings got a few days off after a heartbreaking loss against the Ducks and got to face an angry Bruins team that had lost three straight. Once 65+ minutes were over, the Wings escaped with only a single point and their first shootout loss of the season. 3-2 Bruins in this one.
This might have been the best-reffed Red Wings game of the season so far and that's not saying a lot. At least the dives evened out, I guess. Detroit went 1-for-5 on the power play while Boston was held scoreless in three attempts. Overall though, the Bruins dominated the shot counter, nearly doubling up the Wings at 39-20.
Tuukka Rask made a few good saves, but he was also tested more by guys like Luke Glendening than people expected to score more than one goal per season. His night wasn't too tough, but he played well enough. On the other end, Jimmy Howard stole a point for his team with a 37-save performance, including several which absolutely should have gone in.
Guide to plus/minus adjustments
1st Period 05:12 - Boston Goal: David Krejci (wrist shot) from Chris Kelly
The Bruins get on the boards first as Kelly springs Krejci for a partial break which he finishes backhand-forehand on Jimmy. The Wings' third line has a pretty good shift and keeps Boston from escaping their own zone with possession, but when Quincey turns and passes up the middle of the ice in the neutral zone, things fall apart. It's a good pass to Abdelkader just clearing the zone, but Abby tries tipping it to leave it for Helm in position to enter the zone only to have Helm immediately blanketed by Kelly. As Helm overskates the puck and Kelly gains control, Quincey steps up to make a play, but misses. Nestrasil is stepping off the ice and Abdelkader is slow to get back. Meanwhile Kindl is off in La-La Land over on the wing as Kelly throws it up ice to Krejci streaking through the middle. The pass is crisp enough that Krejci gets the break and scores on Howard with the breakaway. Neither Nestrasil nor his replacement Tatar are at fault here, so Tatar will be cleared. Helm will keep his minus for not preventing the clean pass up ice to Krejci here, but the turnover is more on Abdelkader. This play is a combination of a half-minus for a turnover and a half-minus for coverage on Abby who made an ill-advised play at the blue line and then failed to get back and cover for Quincey. However, Quincey's step-up here is only a good idea if it works. Quincey being overly aggressive will earn him an extra half-minus. Finally, there is no reason for Kindl to be out of position like he is. I can understand what Abby and Q are doing here, but Kindl is simply not paying attention. This mistake will earn Kindl a full coverage minus.
1st Period 08:40 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (wrist shot) from Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan
Good forechecking pressure by the Kid Line yields a turnover by the Bruins in the corner of their zone that Tatar gets on quickly and snaps just inside the far post to tie it. The Wings accidentally clear their own one and both teams change. As Ericsson passes to Tatar to gain the zone, the Bruins force him to dump the puck in. Rask gets to it first and throws it up the strong-side boards for Kelly as Jurco circles at him from below and Tatar pinches on him from above. Kelly loses the puck off his stick towards the middle of the ice. The puck goes untouched almost all the way across the bottom of the faceoff circle before Sheahan gets in from the far side and pokes it away from Seidenberg. At the same time, Jurco and Kelly also converge on this single spot. Jurco is able to poke it behind the scrum where Tatar is coming off the boards. Tats grabs it and plunks it off the inside of the far post for the goal from low in the circle. Kindl and Quincey will give their pluses back to Kronwall and Ericsson, who change behind the play and had much more to do with how these two shifts went. On the goal itself, Tatar will get a half-plus for messing with Kelly's stick enough to force the turnover.
2nd Period 13:31 - Boston Goal: Reilly Smith (wrist shot) from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand
After an ugly shift by the Wings where they can't get the puck up ice, Boston's forecheck gets the puck behind the net and Smith cleans up a rebound off a Bergeron wraparound attempt. The fourth line gets temporarily saved when McQuaid muffs a shot from the top of the zone, which allows Andersson to get the puck up ice while Glendening and McQuaid fall over each other. Krejci steps up on Andersson just across the blue line forcing the turnover that Griffith picks up. Just two Wings change as the Bruins dump it back in. Marchand chases in and gets to it ahead of Ericsson, holding off Riggy and Glendening long enough for Bergeron to sneak in to the inside and pull the puck out for an unimpeded path to the wrap-around attempt. Kronwall gets there after the stuff attempt has already hit off Howard's pad and nobody is quick enough to get on Reilly Smith just hanging out above the crease for the rebound which gets to him. Franzen is the only player fully watching his lane and will be cleared. Zetterberg is technically on the wing here and isn't exactly responsible for Smith, but he's in the area and quicker reflexes get him to Smith on time. For this, Z will keep his minus. Kronwall being late to the post leads to this rebound and will earn Kronwall an extra half-minus on the coverage. Ericsson losing the puck to Marchand and not pinning off the puck to keep it away from Bergeron will earn Riggy a half-minus for turnover and another half-minus for coverage. Glendening will get a full coverage minus. If he's going to aggressively help work on Marchand, it has to actually work. Coming off the boards after failing to do his job down low, Glendening is slow to realize that he's the one who should be covering Reilly Smith.
3rd Period 02:56 - Detroit Goal (PP): Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) from Niklas Kronwall and Darren Helm
The Wings' power play evens up the game on a snipe from Nyquist that only had room because of some interference out front. Goose gets the puck into the zone cleanly after a Bergeron shorthanded shot goes high and Nyquist picks it up heading up the ice while accelerating. This gets the entire unit into the zone and set up. Eventually, they set the umbrella with Kronwall at the top of the zone for a return pass to Nyquist circling back off the half-wall across the top of the circle. While this is happening, Hamilton cross-checks Franzen in the back at the net-front, knocking him forward into Seidenberg, who falls over Franzen. This keeps Seidenberg from stepping into Nyquist's path as he walks it into the circle just outside the slot and fires it over Rask. Nyquist is going to earn a half-plus here because the way he picks up the puck already accelerating past Marchand earns a clean zone entry which helps lead to this goal. Aside from that, Franzen is screening Rask on Nyquist's shot as well. Franzen will get a screener's assist.
Shootout: No. Shut up.
1st Period 09:44 - Niklas Kronwall (interference) against Brad Marchand: The Bruins get out of their own zone thanks to a bit of a pick and Kronwall returns the favor as he turns to make a play and swims his arm into Marchand's path a bit. Kronwall, being the strongest person alive, takes down the wimpy Marchand and goes to the box for almost killing him. I'm kidding; this is a dive. Still, Kronwall will earn a half-minus because he did actually interfere.
1st Period 17:06 - Daniel Paille (roughing) against Luke Glendening: Four Red Wings and three Bruins are fighting for a puck along the boards in the right corner of the Wings' one. Out of this scrum, Paille gets a little salty at Glendening for doing scrum stuff and takes a big obvious stupid penalty by taking a swipe at him. Glendening will earn a plus for drawing a call without taking an even-up penalty.
2nd Period 06:48 - Carl Soderberg (roughing) against Kyle Quincey: I have no idea what Soderberg did to take a penalty or what Quincey did to draw it. I have not seen a replay which shows it. I can't give an adjustment on this play.
2nd Period 17:14 - MIlan Lucic (tripping) against Danny DeKeyser: Lucic gets a good rush up ice but loses the puck and body position, as Brendan Smith takes a good angle. Half a second later, the Wings are ready to head up ice with Lucic flailing around like a child. As DeKeyser gets the puck, Lucic takes him down and sits. This is good hustle on the step-up by DK, but Smith does a lot of the work to separate Lucic from the puck. I'm going to award a half-plus to both DeKeyser and Smith.
3rd Period 01:29 - Adam McQuaid (interference) against Drew Miller: On a not-much play coming out of the Wings' end that ends up being a pretty good scoring opportunity, McQuaid reaches out to slow down Drew Miller well after the Wings' player had released the puck. No adjustment here. This is just a dumb play by McQuaid.
3rd Period 05:00 - Gustav Nyquist (holding) against Dougie Hamilton: After too many failed attempts to get the puck out of their own zone, Nyquist finally jabs a puck to center ice, but is too tired to win the race against Hamilton, who has the step on him the entire way. Nyquist grabs onto his man and goes to the box. Minus for Nyquist here.
3rd Period 07:45 - Johan Franzen (hooking) on Zdeno Chara: Franzen is trying to get the puck away from Chara as he turns with the puck at center ice, getting his stick in. Replay shows the stick is only ever on the stick. This is a bad call. No adjustment.
Overtime 04:19 - Patrice Bergeron (hooking) against Brendan Smith: Smitty carries into the Bruins' zone and feels the slightest bit of contact from Bergeron, then he dives. This is a pretty clear dive. Smith isn't going to get away with a lot of those and I don't want him doing it. No adjustment.
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Even-strength Corsi numbers provided thanks to NHL.com via War-On-Ice.com.
The Red Wings' top line got absolutely magicked by Patrice Bergeron and it didn't matter if they had Gustav Nyquist there or Justin Abdelkader. Bergeron is Selke-Caliber, but the sheer force of how hard they were dominated (especially with those absolutely terrifying pace numbers) is inexcusable. The third line with Darren Helm was the only one that put up overall positive numbers (against Kelly's line), but they weren't terribly dangerous for much of the game either. This line wasn't used too much either, with Helm getting fewer than 14 minutes.
The Kid line was the only one that looked consistently dangerous and came closer to holding their own, but they played it more wide-open than usual. Meanwhile, the fourth line performed disappointing, but admirably considering that Babcock was pushing them up against David Krejci's line.
Off ZS %
Zone starts-wise, this makes it look even more disastrous for Henrik Zetterberg's line. Sheltered zone starts and still got their lunch handed to them. Jurco comes out smelling like a rose, considering tougher starts and a 50% Corsi result to show for it at even strength. Overall, the Wings had a -6 count for offensive zone starts versus defensive ones, so it's not surprising that so many people were below 50% here. Things added up to where the Wings couldn't get favorable faceoffs and they couldn't win them much either.
Check out more from war-on-ice.com, including the visualized shift chart here.
Outside of Howard's impressive performance, the positive takeaway from this game was the Wings' penalty kill remaining perfect on the year. There were more scary moments in this one than previous games, but they kept a clean sheet. Miller remains a stick-and-body positioning genius. On the negative side, the Wings got spanked in puck possession here, which makes them escaping with a point rather satisfying. Zetterberg was erased by Bergeron in this one and the Kid Line struggled more with the non-sheltered assignments they've been getting (although this is a matter of them holding their own where previously they had been killing their opponents).
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca