Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Regular Season Game 22: Pretty Filppin' Good

1st Period:

Detroit 1 Nashville 0; 13:23- PPG Filppula (6) from Bertuzzi (4) & Zetterberg (8)
The Wings win the offensive zone faceoff and hold the puck in at the point. Nashville is set up in a 1-2-1 penalty kill formation. Filppula has two options; he can pass down low to Zetterberg or cross ice to Hudler. Fil chooses option 1 and then cuts through the slot to the left faceoff circle.
Nashville's 1-2-1 backfires when the puck is moved down low. The defender has to move out to play Zetterberg, leaving Bertuzzi momentarily uncovered in front of the net. Z passes in front, and Bertuzzi picks it up and shoots.
They say that a picture's worth a thousand words. Look up. Yep, that happened. Bertuzzi's shot hits the farside post and bounces to the side, where Filppula turns on it and has a wide open shot. Rinne's still laying on the ice and looks like a special needs penguin, which means he has no shot at stopping this.

2nd Period:

Detroit 2 Nashville 0; 1:31- Zetterberg (5) from Hudler (9) & Filppula (12)
That guy in the yellow circle is falling. That's cool, because it opens up the back of the net as a passing lane. After yellow circle guy hits the ice Hudler spins off of him and passes to Zetterberg.
For a second it looks like Zetterberg has a chance at a wraparound because the defender gave chase behind the net, leaving Z a step ahead of the defense. Rinne locks down the post, and Zetterberg wisely decides to hold the puck.
Zetterberg takes a few strides away from the goal and turns with the puck. The defender drops to a knee to...I don't know. There's no passing lane there, and he puts himself in a poor position to block the shot. Not sure what's going on there. The same can be said for Rinne. Zetterberg has the entirety of the top half of the net as a target. Ladies and gentlemen, Pekka Rinne, special needs penguin extraordinaire.

Detroit 3 Nashville 0; 8:34- Filppula (7) from Hudler (10) & Kindl (4)
Detroit's entering the offensive zone against a pretty solid Nashville defense. The Predators have a wall established between the net and the blueline, forcing the Wings to the outside (for now). The circled Nashville player has to cover Hudler and is trying to tell his teammates to watch Kindl pinching down, but as the play develops no one picks him up. The Wings player circled above is the puck carrier.
Zetterberg sees a huge passing lane through the middle of the coverage and takes it. Kindl retreats towards the blue line to gather the pass. There's a big enough gap between Kindl and his defender that there's time for Kindl to stickhandle before deciding what to do with the puck.
Kindl gather and snaps a shot towards the net. First Hudler deflects it, then Filppula deflects it, then the puck  gets past Rinne. This goal takes the cake for "most arrows on a single screenshot" so far this season.

3rd Period:

Detroit 4 Nashville 0; 4:03- Cleary (4) from Helm (2)
Nashville is attempting to start a breakout behind their own net. Weber passes to the side boards, where Helm steals the puck. Helm turns with it and skates through the middle of the ice.
Helm reads the defense well. He sees that both defenders are keying on him; the D-man closest to Cleary is actually square to Helm (see yellow line above). Helm makes a quick pass, and Cleary already has his stick back in order to one-time it. Rinne can't slide across the crease fast enough to stop the puck, and Cleary scores.

Detroit 4 Nashville 1; 5:34- Hillen from Wilson & Erat
Helm blows the coverage here. There's not much to this goal beyond that. The pass comes in from the side boards and is tipped in front. Helm turns with the pass and extends his stick but that doesn't do anything to stop the shot. I'd be more thorough here, but there's really nothing else to say. First one screencap goal of the season? Check.

Regular Season Game 21: Bear Trap

1st Period:

Boston 0 Detroit 1; 12:43- Filppula (5) from Zetterberg (7) & White (7)
Ian White tries to clear a puck off the boards, and it ends up bouncing through Zetterberg's legs to Filppula. Fil has a huge area of ice to his left to move into, advancing the puck to the neutral zone.
Detroit has a 3-on-2 as they enter the offensive zone. Filppula passes off his forehand to Zetterberg. Z has no one near him; look at how closely bunched Boston's two defenders are in the middle of the ice.
Zetterberg is going to have to place his pass perfectly if he's going to get it past the outstretched defender. Luckily he's one of the most offensively gifted players in the world and he does. Filppula has inside position on his man, allowing him to tip the puck in front of the net to complete the execution of a beautiful give-and-go.

2nd Period:

Boston 1 Detroit 1; 4:05- Paille from Horton
Jimmy goes behind the net and tries to no-look pass it to Ericsson along the boards. The only problem? That giant yellow blob in the screenshot above that's waiting to intercept the puck halfway between Howard and Ericsson. Fergodsakes Jimmy, Y U NO LOOK!?
A simple pass outfront, a backhand shot, and a goal. There's nothing anyone can do about this. Jimmy tries to recover but can't.

Boston 1 Detroit 2; 4:40- Datsyuk (6) from Bertuzzi (3) & Franzen (12)
Bertuzzi has the puck and decides to pass as soon as he sees two things; two Boston defenders have committed to him, and Datsyuk is in behind their coverage. Bert passes through Chara's legs and Pavel cuts to the slot.
I think this screen cap explains a lot about the goal. In this split second, Datsyuk has the puck on his backhand and Rask has to counter by clinging to the nearside post so that Datsyuk doesn't flip one over him. Staying on the post means that Rask is a fraction of a second behind Datsyuk when Pav makes his move through the crease to the far side.
The aforementioned move. Datsyuk tucks it under Rask and the Wings take the lead.

3rd Period:

Boston 2 Detroit 2; 7:52- Bergeron unassisted
The Wings try to start a breakout here. Kronwall passes to Zetterberg in the right faceoff circle, but Z loses control.
Now Howard has to try and stop a quick shot off a turnover directly in front of him. There's virtually no shot at saving this, and the game is now tied due to the worst type of turnover; in your zone and in front of your own net.




No screencaps, just a link to a Youtube video of the goal
Bert said after the game that he didn't mean to use the move he did, but instead hit a rut in the ice and had to improvise. Seriously? When I fuck stuff up at work I worry about getting fired, or at the very least losing the confidence of my co-workers. When Todd Bertuzzi fucks stuff up at work he scores. #TuzziSwag

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Regular Season Game 20: Flamed Out

Instead of coming up with a summary of a game that happened last Wednesday, I'll let the pros handle it. Here is the game-in-words from the Free Press, Detroit News, and Winging it in Motown (a favorite blog of mine).

1st Period:

Detroit 1 Calgary 0; 6:14- PPG Holmstrom (2) from Lidstrom (9) & Hudler (7)
Zetterberg carries in on the zone entry. Once the PKers move towards him he passes to Filppula, who is moving low. Filppula picks it up and carries behind the net.
All of Calgary's defenders collapse on net and focus on the puck carrier. This naturally presents a great opportunity for the Wings. If Filppula can move the puck despite the forthcoming pressure, then there is going to be someone with an open shooting lane.
Filppula moves it up along the boards to Hudler, who passes to his left to Lidstrom. Calgary can't get back into their box quickly enough to alter Lids' shot in the slightest. The X in the screen cap above is where the defender should be, and you can see where he is. Holmstrom tips the shot past Kiprusoff for his second (!) goal of the season.

2nd Period:

Detroit 1 Calgary 1; 00:44- Iginla from Tanguay & Butler
Cleary falls down and loses his handle on the puck. Calgary picks it up and, with two Wings very low in the zone and another unable to catch up, find themselves on a 3-on-2 break.
Butler passes to Tanguay upon entry to Calgary's offensive zone. Lidstrom steps up and tries to poke check the puck off of Tanguay's stick but misses, allowing him to pass to his right to a wide open Jerome Iginla.
Howard tries to square himself to the shooter but still can't stop Iginla. Lidstrom attempts to get in Iginla's shooting lane but can't recover and doesn't influence the shot at all.

Detroit 1 Calgary 2; 2:56- Morrison from Jackman
Detroit loses a board battle here, as Jackman is able to tap the puck out to Morrison near Calgary's defensive blue line.
We pick this up again as Morrison crosses the blue line into the offensive zone. Kindl is the Wings' defensemen circled above, and he's not playing this correctly. There's no pass available for Morrison, but Kindl is playing this like there is. Look at the orange bar above and note how far away the Calgary trailer is.
That's a pretty telling screenshot. All alone, slapshot from the top of the faceoff circle...this is a shot that Howard should be able to stop. There's no way to sugarcoat this.

Detroit 2 Calgary 2; 7:38- White (4) from Datsyuk (12) & Franzen (11)
Detroit's had the puck for a while, and we start the sequence immediately following a shot from Franzen that is blocked by a Calgary defender. The defender tries to clear, but the puck never leaves the zone. It hits Pavel, then he's all like "Here Mule, have snack," then Mule's all like *flinch*, then Pavel's all like "Oh hey it's puck again." Pavel ends up with the puck back on his stick and, as the defense heads up ice, hits Ian White with a pass as White enters the zone.
 It looks like White is going to shoot here and he sells it nicely by dragging his back foot, but instead he puck handles his way over to the boards.
Kiprusoff is off balance. At first he's screened by Detroit, and now he's being screened by his own player and is craning to try and see around him. White must notice that Kipper is vulnerable. He absolutely threads a perfect shot through the defender and past Kiprusoff.

3rd Period:

Detroit 3 Calgary 2; 2:42- PPG Holmstrom (3) from Datsyuk (13) & White (5)
The Wings are in the waning seconds of a powerplay. Calgary is in their box formation to defend. White moves the puck to Datsyuk along the sideboards, and Franzen cuts to the slot.
Take a look at Calgary's box. That's the Mule caught in the middle of it. Now look below the box, in front of the goaltender. Take one guess where Pavel's about to pass or shoot. Hint: it's not into the middle of the box.
Holmstrom sweeps the puck around Kiprusoff and takes some punishment (as per usual) in the process.

Detroit 3 Calgary 3; 5:06- PPG Jokinen from Brodie & Bouwmeester
Calgary is on the power play here. The puck is along the side boards, where Helm is in a puck battle with Jokinen. As he spins, Jokinen strips Helm of his stick. This is highlighted above and will come back to hurt Helm later.
Calgary does a good job of moving the puck and keeping the Wings off balance. The pass has just come from the point to the left faceoff circle, and the Wings defense is still adjusting to the movement.
Brodie passes through the slot to Jokinen. Helm (circled in red above) can't do anything to take away the passing lane because he doesn't have a freaking stick fergodsakes. Sure, it'd be nice if Brodie's passing lane could be taken away by one of the defenders closer to him but Helm's lack of graphite plays an unfortunate role here. Jimmy has already gone into the butterfly, and there's almost no chance he can get across the crease to stop the one timer from Jokinen.

Detroit 4 Calgary 3; 12:39- PPG Datsyuk (5) from Lidstrom (10) & Zetterberg (6)
It's hard to beak down a goal that's a fluke, but I'll take the lack of breakdown in exchange for a go-ahead goal in the third period any day. The Wings have a 5-on-3 advantage, and they're moving the puck around well. Lidstrom ends up with it at the point and passes to Datsyuk, who carries it low into the zone. Datsyuk throws a shot/pass (hard to tell what his intent was, but Homer is in front of the net) that hits Bouwmeester in the skate and bounces past Kiprusoff.

Detroit 5 Calgary 3; 13:53- Filppula (4) from Hudler (8) & White (6)
Technically the Wings powerplay expired as I took that screencap, but take one look at the defense and you can see it's basically still a powerplay. Hudler is running the point and has no lane to put a shot on net. Calgary's defenders did a good job of taking away the shooting lane, but there's a passing lane to Hudler's left. He moves the puck to Filppula in the faceoff circle.
Fil fakes hard to his left, then pulls the puck back across his body and goes to the backhand. Kiprusoff is leaning to his right, trying to see past the screen. Filppula shoots top corner off the backhand, Kiprusoff can't recover, and the Wings win it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Regular Season Game 19: Lights Out

The Wings continued their climb up the Western Conference standings with a win on Sunday night. This game could have ended at a normal time for a 7pm start, but instead got pushed back by a 27 minute power outage.

Two things:
1) Apparently the Wings aren't great performers after a long layoff, because they were sloppy after the power was restored.
2) Really, Honda Center? This is the second time in a week that the power has gone off there. No big deal. There's smog, crazy bad traffic and it seems like their electrical grid sucks. But hey, it's often sunny so there's that.

1st Period:

Anaheim 0 Detroit 1; 1:26- Zetterberg (4) from Hudler (6) & Smith (2)
Brendan Smith gathers the puck near the blue line and waits for a lane to open between Anaheim's moving defenders. When the lane presents itself he puts a shot on net that Hiller stops.
Hiller gives up a rebound that Jiri Hudler picks up and carries up the boards. Hudler turns and shoots between a pair of Anaheim players, a shot that Hiller again stops.
Hiller gives up another rebound. An Anaheim players gets to the puck first, but as he goes to make a hard clear off the boards Zetterberg sweeps at the puck and steals it. Zetterberg's momentum is carrying him towards the slot, while the sweep causes the Duck to fall down.
Hiller is trying to push across laterally with his pads but can't quite get square to Z before he shoots off the backhand. The far side post is open, and Zetterberg perfectly places a shot in the top corner to end his scoring drought
2nd Period:

Anaheim 0 Detroit 2; 00:14- Franzen (10) from Datsyuk (10)
Anaheim wins the faceoff and tries to get their breakout started. Datsyuk reads the pass perfectly and jumps it. If this took place on grass people would be all like "shades of Charles Woodson" and whatever.
Datsyuk puts a pass through the Anaheim defender for Franzen. Check out how many Anaheim defenders are in the red box above. Yep, this could get interesting.
Franzen has a breakaway here. The Mule picks up the puck in the slot, and while there may have been time for a quick deke he chooses not to, instead putting a smooth wrist shot past Hiller.

Anaheim 0 Detroit 3; 7:10- Stuart (2) from Franzen (10) & Datsyuk (11)
Detroit's trying to gain offensive zone entry here. Two Anaheim backcheckers get caught bunched up, opening up a passing lane. Franzen is standing at the blue line, waiting for the pass.
Anaheim rolls the dice here and has all 5 players overloading one side of the ice. If Franzen can make a smart pass they're in trouble. Stuart is jumping into the play here and is about to be all alone on the right side of the ice.
Franzen executes a great pass and Stuart carries in. Bertuzzi gets in the way of an Anaheim player just long enough to leave Stuart with the shooting lane he wants. That's some real #TuzziSwag. Stuart releases, Bert jumps out of the way, and Hiller lets in another goal.

Anaheim 1 Detroit 3; 11:24- Koivu from Fowler & Cogliano
The play starts in the Detroit offensive zone, where a slapshot that misses the net rolls around the boards and is picked up by Anaheim. The Ducks have a 3-on-2 break with Bertuzzi hauling butt to get involved as a backchecker.
Cogliano has the puck at first and passes to Fowler, then falls down. Two of the three Wings chase the puck instead of sticking to their coverages, leaving Koivu alone to be guarded by a too-deep Ericsson on the left side.
Congrats Anaheim, you have a defenseman that isn't an idiot. Fowler notices that two Wings have keyed on him and makes the pass to Koivu. Ericsson can't do much aside from extending the stick, and Koivu scores.

Anaheim 2 Detroit 3; 16:21- PPG Selanne from Perry & Getzlaf
We'll pick this up part way through an Anaheim powerplay. Detroit is in their diamond formation. Lidstrom should have the netfront locked up, though he's a little high. There's a Duck camped out in front of the net to screen Howard.
Getzlaf is in the process of shooting in the first screencap, and at this point the shot as gotten through and there's a rebound in front. Smith collapses and takes away the passing lane to....yeah, I'm not sure what that's all about. Maybe he thinks Getzlaf is going to try to follow up on the shot. I don't know, I didn't go to Wisconsin. Perry gets the rebound and backhands a beautiful no-look pass to Selanne, who taps it in for the goal. Lidstrom should have taken away the pass, but credit goes to Perry as well for making a pass few would/could make.

3rd Period:

Anaheim 2 Detroit 4; 19:12- EN SHG Stuart (3) from Kronwall (4) & Zetterberg (5)
By far the easiest goal I'll break down all year. An Anaheim players tips the puck in the corner and it goes right to Stuart. Stuart chips at it and puts it into the open net using a bank shot. A freaking bank shot!