Thursday, October 15, 2009

Red Wings v. Sabres in review

So it seems my score prediction was indeed half right; the Wings scored 2 goals, but the Sabres didn't score just one. They scored six. SIX!!! This is a team that hadn't scored more than a single goal in their first four games. Oy.

I mentioned in my game preview that there was a chance that the Sabres could explode, as teams that play as well as the Sabres played through the first four games are due for a breakout. Unfortunately, I thought the possibility of this happening against the Wings was slim, and I was so very wrong.

The Wings didn't do themselves any favors Tuesday night. They just looked off the whole game and no one seemed to be on the same page. When Nick Lidstrom leads the Wings in giveaways (a far too many 4), you know it's a bad game.

In what had to seem like an awful flashback, the Wings had an atrocious second period. They allowed 4 goals in 7 minutes, all of which were full strength goals.

I'm going to try something new in this segment and provide a brief analysis of each goal. We'll see how this works out.

Buffalo goal (1-0) 12:36 in 1st: PPG Stafford from Gaustad & Pominville
-Your typical bang-bang PP goal. Stafford is left completely unaccounted for. Ericsson isn't able to switch quick enough and this one ends up in the back of the net off a high point shot.

Detroit goal (1-1) 15:30 in 1st: PPG Filppula from Kronwall & Williams
-Kronner throws one on net and gets a great tip-in from Flip in front of the net.

Buffalo goal (2-1) 6:03 in 2nd: Kaleta from Myers
-This one came off a rebound. The forwards were well defended on the first shot, but Kaleta is allowed to get into the slot without having anyone one him. Williams blew the assignment here and is caught behind him.

Buffalo goal (3-1) 8:04 in 2nd: Vanek from Roy
-The puck gets flipped over the head and outstretched arms of the Wings D (Ericsson, not that it really matters), which leads to a 2 on 1. Roy makes a beautiful pass and finds Vanek.

Buffalo goal (4-1) 10:58 in 2nd: MacArthur from Roy & Pominville
-The Wings had the Sabres pinned against the boards, and then everything fell apart. Looks like the Wings got outworked here, as there's no reason to have guys D'd up against the boards and then allow them into the slot totally unaccounted for. Bad goal to give up.

Buffalo goal (5-1) 12:46 in 2nd: Vanek from Roy
-Kronwall's carrying the puck up the boards, and instead of looking ahead to make a pass he tries to make a cross ice pass despite the fact that he has a defender draped on him to the right. He gambles and loses big time. Roy gets the first shot on net and sprawls across the crease but needs Vanek's help to get the puck in the net.

Buffalo goal (6-1) 4:28 in 3rd: Gaustad from Kaleta & Ellis
-It's worth noting that at this point Osgood has been pulled and Howard is in net. A second effot goal off a rebound from Howard. The puck lands right in front of Howard off the first shot, and with Kronwall behind his man Gaustad is able to put the rebound in the net.

Detroit goal (6-2) 9:25 in 3rd: Holmstrom from Rafalski & Zetterberg
-A shot from along the right boards by Rafalski gets tipped in front by Z and then again by Homer. At least, I think that's how things happened in front of the net. The goal happens so fast it's hard to tell, and I haven't been able to find a slow-mo replay or an alternate angle.

After watching the film, the Wings looked like they made a lot of defensive miscues. They looked sluggish and unaware at times. Hopefully this was a one and done deal for the Wings, because they find themselves in the unusual position of having to fight for ground in the division and falling behind early won't do them any favors.

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