Sunday, June 5, 2011

11 for '11 Game 3: The Franzen Five

Never has there been a multi-goal performance with a better nickname than this. The Franzen Five? Pure gold, and something I definitely did not come up with.

Franzen's five goals are naturally worthy of inclusion on a season-highlights list, but perhaps more interesting than the number of goals The Mule scored is the necessity of them in the win. A 7-5 win is terrifying from a defensive perspective, but since there's not a chance in hell I'm going to spend a minimum of 20 screen caps on Ottawa Senator's goals we really don't have to worry about that. Instead, I'm just going to analyze the Franzen Five and call it a night. Enjoy.

Franzen goal 1: 6:52 in 1st- Franzen (22) from Salei (8) and Filppula (19)
The play begins as Filppula enters the offensive zone and the defenders switch. Karlsson covers Franzen for a minute, but lets him cut deeper into the offensive zone uninhibited.

As the Senators settle into their defensive zones, it becomes apparent that no one has picked up Franzen. This leaves him in a great net-front position, with any potential rebounds easily accessible.

Filppula backhands one from the high slot that hits Lehner and bounces off his pads and to his left. Take a look at the two Senators defenders in the screen shot. Think they realized they forgot about Franzen now?

Yeah, that's a goal.

Franzen goal 2- 7:40 in 1st: Franzen (23) from Zetterberg (38) and Bertuzzi (22)

Bertuzzi carries the puck through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone. He spots Zetterberg trailing him and puts on the brakes.

Zetterberg cuts towards the net and draws two defenders with him in the process. Bertuzzi is tightly defended as well, but Franzen is all alone immediately behind him. Zetterberg sees this and makes the cross-ice pass.

Zetterberg has skated far enough into the offensive zone to make Lehner slide to his left and account for him. Zetterberg times his pass to Franzen perfectly, leaving Franzen with half of the net empty and Lehner out of position to do much about that. Franzen puts this one away for his second goal in less than a minute.

Franzen goal 3- 00:30 in 3rd: Franzen (24) from Zetterberg (39) and Rafalski (29)

We'll start this one with the breakout. Zetterberg has the puck in his own zone as Franzen starts to cut towards the center lane.

Franzen gets the pass around center ice. He cuts back towards his left around the blue line, recognizing that the Senators line change has left no one in the right faceoff circle and two defenders bunched up near the left blueline.

Franzen takes a shot from the right faceoff circle and beats the goaltender. It's pretty much as simple as it sounds.

Franzen goal 4- 7:10 in 3rd: PPG Franzen (25) from Rafalski (30) and Lidstrom (33)

Lidstrom gets the puck at the point and fakes a slapshot, instead dishing to Rafalski.

Rafalski unleashes a huge shot that hits the boards behind the net and ricochets towards the side of the net.

The puck hits Franzen's skate, and somehow that settles it down enough for him to get his stick on it.

It's a good night when pucks are hitting you in the skates and just lying in front of you, waiting to be shot. Franzen lifts this one and scores his fourth on the night.

Franzen goal 5- 19:26 in 3rd: Franzen (26) from Zetterberg (40)

There's a lot of little keep-away type plays we're going to skip here. We start with Zetterberg carrying the puck into the offensive zone against three defenders. He has Franzen waiting on his left.

The defense collapses around Zetterberg at the top of the zone. Zetterberg backhands one to Franzen, who now has the entirety left side of the ice to work with.

Franzen backhands a shot towards the empty net just before a Seantors defender dives for the puck. Franzen shoots in time to avoid the dive and scores once again.

All in all, a truly amazing performance. The only thing that might be more remarkable than Franzen's night is the fact that he only scored two more goals the rest of the regular season

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