Saturday, October 22, 2011

Regular Season Game 5: Stung Jackets

Though Columbus was within a one goal margin a number of times, the Red Wings controlled the game throughout. The offense was fantastic, the anemic powerplay got on track, and though there were a few miscues the defense was solid again. The Big Three got theirs, but it's a better sign for long term success to see the 2nd line (and beyond) getting hot and really carrying the team at this point.

1st period:

Detroit 1 Columbus 0; 9:03 1st period- PPG Franzen (3) from Filppula (3)

Valtteri Filppula sees the hit coming and is able to drop the puck back to Johan Frazen before it arrives.

Filppula gets bowled over, but this also occupies the closest defenseman to Franzen. Take a look at Danny Cleary in front of the net. He has Steve Mason perfectly screened. At this point, there's a good chance Mason has no idea who has the puck. The far side top corner is wide open for Franzen.

Luckily the Mule can aim, as he hits the top corner before Mason can react. You can see Cleary and Mason both turn to look at the puck after it's in the net.

Detroit 2 Columbus 0; 14:21 1st period- PPG Franzen (4) from Filppula (4)

Franzen skates along the right side boards and cuts towards the net around the red line. He throws a shot on net from a poor angle...

Only to have it bounce off of a Columbus player's skate and in. It looks like Franzen may have been putting the puck on net for Cleary, but the Columbus player made that unnecessary. Not much to analyze here as it's really just a bad break for the Blue Jackets.

Detroit 2 Columbus 1; 15:18 1st period- Brassard (2) from Johnson (2) & Nash (5)

The Jackets switch at the top of the offensive zone. This draws a defender away from the play, while the other defender (Justin Abdelkader) has to turn back if he's going to stay with the Columbus skater.

That's Kronwall down low to Jimmy Howard's left. Brassard is down low and undefended, which shouldn't happen. If Kronwall ties up Brassard there's no worry about what happens in the case of a rebound. Instead, it's just the shooter and the goaltender, and you don't have to worry about the goaltender being screened. I'd trust my goalie to make the first save on a shot he can see rather than the second save off of a rebound.

In what is basically a worst-case-scenario scenario, Howard gives up a rebound that's perfectly placed for a tap in from Brassard.

Kronwall can't turn quick enough to react, and Brassard roofs it over Howard.

2nd period:

Detroit 3 Columbus 1; 00:27 2nd period- Datsyuk (2) from Holmstrom (2) & Zetterberg (1)

This should never happen. I'm fine with teams doing this the rest of the year, but really? Letting Datsyuk lurk alone in the high slot? Ladies and gentlemen, defensive responsibility at it's finest.
Zetterberg puts a shot on net that turns into a rebound, and the rebound is passed back from Holmstrom to a wide open Datsyuk. The defenders circled in blue in the previous screenshot still haven't turned around to pick up Datsyuk.

Pavel has a huge amount of open net as Mason is way out of position. Mason has to stand to try and speed up his lateral push to take away the area of the net to his right, but he has no chance of making it before Datsyuk's shot.

3rd period:

Detroit 3 Columbus 2; 1:42 3rd period- PPG Johnson (1) from Prospal (3) & Vermette (1)

The Wings start on the penalty kill here. The Wings circled in red above played the puck but are now behind the play, as the puck carrier has it in the right faceoff circle. He has a wide open teammate at the top of the left faceoff circle.
Prospal makes the pass and Johnson converts. Once again Howard is screened by his own man and likely never saw the shot coming.

Detroit 4 Columbus 2; 7:46 3rd period- PPG Lidstrom (2) from Filppula (5) & Holmstrom (3)

Lidstrom cycles the puck down to Filppula.
Filppula takes a step towards the net, drawing two defenders with him. This makes Lidstrom, who is already open, a great candidate for a one timer. It also makes him a good candidate to score because Mason is hugging the right post and hits the ice when Filppula moves in towards him.
Filppula passes back to Lidstrom, and though the Columbus defenders turn there's nothing they can do but watch Lidstrom pick his corner (high far side) and hit it.

Detroit 5 Columbus 2; 18:33 3rd period- EN Filppula (2) from Franzen (3) & Lidstrom (1)

I only screencapped this because it shows how much productive punishment Johan Franzen has taken early this season. He's hit crossbars with his face and been sent flying through the air on a simple late-game pass, but he continues to produce. His pass is on target and Filppula taps one in for an empty netter.

The Good:
The Wings powerplay- I don't think anyone thought the drought would last, but it's nice to have confirmation.
Johan Franzen- Sacrificing life and limb is nothing for Mule. Mule too stubborn not to sacrifice life and limb.

The Bad:
Not picking up backdoor guys- Yep, I'm complaining about one missed assignment on one goal allowed. That means it was a pretty good night.

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