Saturday, October 1, 2011

Preseason Game 5:Because It Wouldn't Be a Preseason Game Without 7 Total Goals Scored

Detroit 0 Chi 1; 10:46 in 1st period- PPG Kane from Toews & Keith

The Wings are on the penalty kill here and are set up in a box defensively. The circled Wing, Ryan Johnson, has Patrick Kane pinned along the boards here. The puck is farther down the left side boards, and Ericsson comes over to support.
Ericsson chooses a poor time to hit someone, as he pushes the Chicago player into a teammate, pinning him behind the play. This effectively isolates two of the four Detroit defenders on a player without the puck, leaving the actual Chicago puckcarrier with a clear path to the net.
Toews drives the net and somehow spots Kane trailing. Toews displays great vision here, and Kane wrists one past Conklin.

Detroit 1 Chi 1; 15:36 in 1st period- PPG Brunnstrom from Nyquist & Smith
First thing to note here is that the Wings are on a 5-on-3 powerplay. Chicago's set up in a triangle to defend. The three Wings of note in the play are circled above. Smith starts with the puck and is easily able to cycle it down low to Nyquist thanks to the Chicago defender who's taking away the passing lane to the slot.
In the black circle above you can see that Keith may be close to his man but he's in poor position to stop Brunnstrom from getting a stick or, in this case, a skate on the puck. Nyquist shoots one towards the slot area that bounces off Brunnstrom's skate and in for the Wings' first goal of the night.
This screencap doesn't add much but close up replays are bad ass.

Detroit 2 Chi 1; 19:21 in 1st period- Miller from Conner & Emmerton
Chicago has numbers here as Emmerton stickhandles at the side of the net. One of Chiacgo's D-men is watching Emmerton, while the other waits by the side of the net to either make a play on the guy behind the net or move over and take away the slot.
Here's where Chicago makes their mistake. The three defenders lowest in the zone are all looking behind the net. The defender higher up and farthest left in the screencap is looking up ice at the Detroit players entering the offensive zone. No one has accounted for Miller as he enters the high slot.
Conner puts a perfect pass on Miller's stick, and Miller wrists one in.

Detroit 3 Chi 1; 8:08 in 2nd period- Brunnstrom from Emmerton & Smith
Emmerton carries the puck out from behind the net and sweeps it across the creaase to Brunnstrom. I have no idea what the Chicago defender is doing in front of the net. Cutting off the passing lane to the slot area? Looks like it, but there's no Wing there to take the pass away from. Works out well for the Wings though, as Brunnstrom is able to camp out down low unattended.
The puck hits an unsuspecting Brunnstrom's stick and bounces off of it and back towards the middle of the crease.
Brunnstrom is able to get his stick on the puck and pull it back across the crease on his backhand. In the above screencap he's switching to his forehand. Crawford doesn't have time to make any lateral pushes back across, and does his best to get his right pad and stick outstretched. It's not enough, as the above screencap shows the closest Crawford gets with either. No need for another picture here; Brunnstrom scores his second of the night to give the Wings a two goal lead.

Detroit 3 Chi 2; 9:37 in 2nd period- PPG Seabrook from Keith
Let's take a look at the strategy the Wings are using on the penalty kill. It looks like they're in a box formation, with the top two guys playing low and closer to the net. This gives Chicago's point men more room to operate, something that takes on an additional level of risk when used against offensively gifted defensemen like Keith and Seabrook. In the above screenshot, Keith is making his pass to a ready-to-one-time-it Seabrook.
Detroit's still set up well. The gaps aren't terrible and everyone is covered (at least, they are if the Wings strategy is to collapse. If it isn't, then that statement doesn't really hold true).

Detroit 3 Chi 3; 1:29 in 3rd period- Smith from Keith & Leddy
Keith dumps the puck in from the blue line. It hits the endboards and takes a strange bounce. Conklin can't control it, and the puck heads towards the left faceoff circle.
Smith scores this while falling down. That doesn't easily lend itself to analysis. All I can really say here is that the entirety of the goal is a fluke, one of those weird "puck luck" things that just doesn't go your way.

Detroit 3 Chi 4; 8:58 in 3rd period- PPG Hossa from Kane & Toews
The Wings are trying to kill a 5 on 3 power play here and are in the triangle to defend. Problem #1- there are two guys trying to cover the puck carrier here. When there are only three defenders on the ice, that doesn't add up to positive things happening for the Red Wings. Miller decides to chase the puck carrier, and this leaves the entirety of the ice above the faceoff circles uncovered. I like Miller and love the way he plays, but I don't know what he was thinking here.
That whole open ice thing I just mentioned? That'd be it. Hossa gains the zone with speed and there's no chance any Wings defender can do anything to alter his shot. Chicago goal, game over.

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