Thursday, November 3, 2011

Regular Season Game 10: Debacles do not get humorous titles

It looked like it would be exactly what the suddenly suffering Wings needed. A low scoring, hard earned victory, a defensive win if ever there was one. Then, with 60 seconds left in the game, the unraveling began. It stopped 2:30 into overtime, and the Wings left the rink with a single point and a number of questions. What will it take to cure the offense of its anemia? What exactly constitutes goaltender interference? How can you avoid spending 16 minutes on the penalty kill?

1st period:

Detroit 1 Minnesota 0- 6:00 1st; Lidstrom (3) from Zetterberg (2) & Datsyuk (6)

Lidstom wins a puck battles and taps it to the corner, where it's then moved up the boards to Datsyuk. Pavel glides along the left side boards while the Wild set up in a box formation. Datsyuk has Lidstrom in the middle, but instead chooses to pass to Henrik Zetterberg along the far right side boards. I'd say he sees the ice pretty well. This is what makes him Pavel Datsyuk and other guys....not Pavel Datsyuk. That and dangle dangle (both verbal and literal).

Zetterberg's snapshot is tipped in front of the net by Lidstrom. How can you not love your captain and reigning best-defenseman-in-the-universe winning a puck battle, cutting to the front of the net and subsequently tipping in the puck?

2nd period:

No scoring

3rd period:

Detroit 1 Minnesota 1- 19:00 3rd period; Koivu (1) from Falk (1) & Setoguchi (3)

At this point Minnesota has pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. The Wings can't win the puck battle down low, and Minnesota cycles the puck back to the point.

Minnesota's defenseman puts a shot towards the front of the net.

Koivu somehow tips the puck and it beats Howard with one minute remaining in the game. There's not much to analyze in what's essentially a bad break for the Wings.

Detroit 1 Minnesota 2- 1:33 OT; PPG Setoguchi (4) from Koivu (6) & Bouchard (5)
Minnesota is on a 4-on-3 PP in the beginning of OT. As the play starts, Zetterberg does a good job of trying to take away the passing lane but can't quite stop Koivu from getting the cross ice feed. He shots is and Howard gives up the rebound, which appears to go relatively harmlessly to the corner.
Koivu heads to the corner to pick up his own rebound with Nicklas Kronwall in pursuit. Koivu stops short, catching Kronwall by surprise (and by the chin). Kronner hits the ice, leaving a huge swath of ice open for Koivu, who turns and carries the puck into the slot.
Just like the start of the play, Koivu shoots and Howard gives up the rebound off his left pad...
Except this time Setoguchi is right there to bury the rebound. Look back up at the second screen cap of this set. Setoguchi isn't in a very conventional net front position, is he? The Wings blogs blew up after the game, saying that the Gooch should have been called for goaltender interference here (especially give that Franzen was called for it earlier in the game on a play in which Harding was far outside his crease). Honestly, the call could have gone either way, as it looks like Howard is grabbing Setoguchi's stick during their little tussle. Regardless of the officiating, the Wings dropped a winnable game at the least opportune time.

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