Sunday, December 18, 2011

GBGA Regular Season Game 31: Watch the Throne

(Image via Larry Brown Sports)
Kopi zombie hungry. Kopi zombie want braaaaains.

1st Period

Detroit 1 LA 0; 1:45- Miller (4) from Helm (5) & Cleary (6)
Los Angeles tries to start a breakout from their own end but the pass skips over a stick at center ice. The turnover is picked up by Drew Miller, who quickly moves the puck to Dan Cleary on his left.
Cleary passes across to Helm, then charges the net with Miller. Helm's defender is playing off of him, leaving plenty of room for Helm to shoot.
In the second screenshot you can see that Miller is just about in line with his defender. He beats the defender and has a positional advantage as he gets closer to the net. Helm's shot is stopped, but a rebound pops out in front. Miller is in the right place at the right time and sweeps the puck past Quick.

Detroit 2 LA 0; 2:00- Emmerton (2) from Ericsson (4) & Holmstrom (8)
The Wings win the faceoff immediately following Miller's goal and move the puck into the neutral zone. From here they dump in, and Quick sets it up to the side of the net. Holmstrom can still skate (!) and wins the race to the loose puck. He throws it into the middle towards the blue line.
Ericsson takes Homer's pass and fires a slapshot on net. Emmerton is to Quick's right to start the play, and he moves towards the crease as the play develops. You can see that both Kings defensemen are at the sides of the net and moving towards the middle, which means there's no one there to clear Emmerton. The puck is tipped off of Emmerton's stick and past Quick.

Detroit 3 LA 0; 8:32- Kronwall (7) from Cleary (7) & Helm (6)
Helm has the puck along the boards and is about to be hit by two Kings. Helm somehow unleashes a backhand pass to Cleary just before getting crushed. Cleary skates into the neutral zone with three Kings behind him and two Wing alongside him.
As I heavily alluded to in the last sentence, the Wings have a 3-on-2 break. Cleary sees his defender getting closer and makes the intelligent pass, dropping it for Kronwall on the right wing.
Cleary ties up his man on the way to the net. This gives Kronwall both time and space, thereby allowing him to unleash a nasty slapshot. This beats Quick over the shoulder. I know that being "Kronwalled" is typically reserved for a big hit, but I'm pretty sure Quick jut got Kronwalled.

Detroit 3 LA 1; 17:15- Drewiske from Williams & Penner
Hudler has a chance to clear the puck, but his attempt gets blocked. The Kings chip it back into the zone and chase the puck behind the net.
Kronwall gets the puck behind the net and moves it along the boards to Filppula. Fil can't hold on, and the puck bounces around before being quickly passed up from a Kings player in the corner to the top of the left faceoff circle. Williams sees a huge passing lane, no defenders, and an open Davis Drewiske and passes across the zone.
Hudler tries to get into the shooting lane but there's no way he can recover after blowing the coverage the way he did. 

Detroit 4 LA 1; 18:35- Emmerton (3) from Abdelkader (5) & Holmstrom (9)
After nearly getting the puck stolen by Abdelkader behind the net, Alec Martinez moves the puck along the boards to former UofM star Jack Johnson. It looks like Johnson is about to start a breakout with an outlet pass, and everyone on both sides starts to move up ice...except for Holmstrom. Homer gets in the way of the pass and smothers it along the boards. 
Holmstrom digs the puck out and leaves it for Abdelkader, who carries lower into the zone. Martinez is in front of the net. He locks his sights onto Abdelkader and doesn't let up until it's too late.
Abdelkader sees Emmerton cutting towards the slot and somehow lasers a pass to him. Emmerton wastes no time in snapping the puck and puts it past Bernier, who isn't square to the shooter.

2nd Period

Detroit 4 LA 2; 11:03- Stoll from Williams & Penner 
The Kings carry in and get a weak shot from Doughty that Howards stops and directs into the corner. Penner picks it up in the faceoff circle and move the puck to Williams at the blueline. With plenty of time and a wide shooting lane, Williams fires a slapshot at Howard.
Jimmy stops the slapshot but lets a rebound go out in front. Stoll is in front to clean up, and though it looks like he's tangled up with the defensemen he somehow lifts the puck over Howard. 

Detroit 5 LA 2; 12:06- Zetterberg (8) from Hudler (14) & Kronwall (8)
Hudler gains control along the boards and makes a risky pass ahead. Zetterberg and Doughty are now in a footrace for the puck, and Doughty has a good jump on Z.
Zetterberg wins the race to the puck. Doughty moves up to cover Filppula, who is skating into the high slot. Z carries across the zone to the opposite wing.
Two defenders converge on Zetterberg, but he somehow splits them and maintains possession of the puck. Note that Doughty is now to Bernier's right. He won't be able to get across and cover Z after he's gained ground lower in the zone.
Zetterberg neatly tucks the backhanded shot away shortside.

Detroit 6 LA 2; 19:38- Datsyuk (10) from Franzen (16) & Bertuzzi (10)
Bertuzzi lays out and stick checks the mess out of the puck. He strips the Kings player of it and sweeps it    back towards the blue line.
Franzen gets the pass from Bertuzzi and enters the offensive zone. Doughty is the lone defeseman back and decides to step up on Franzen. The Mule reads this perfectly and passes to Datsyuk.
Bernier barely has time to react before Datsyuk has redirected the pass. No dangle dangle here, just score score.

3rd Period

Detroit 7 LA 2; 7:34- Miller (5) from Cleary (8)
The Wings dump the puck into the corner. Dustin Brown gets to the puck first, but Helm harasses him into passing behind the net. Dan Cleary reads the play and jumps the pass.
Cleary gets bumped off the puck and Jack Johnson gains possession. Dustin Brown starts up ice to prepare for a pass from Johnson. Helm and Cleary, however, have other plans. They force him to panic-sweep the puck which...
...feeds Drew Miller perfectly near the slot. Bernier has dropped to a knee to protect against a wraparound, but this leaves a good deal of the net exposed. Miller snipes it, picking the top corner without hesitation and padding the lead further.

Detroit 8 LA 2; 11:18- PPG Stuart (4) from Emmerton (2) & Kronwall (9)
The Wings win the faceoff on the powerplay and immediately get set up in the umbrella. Kronwall moves it to Emmerton, who has two options. Emmerton's passing lane to the middle is cut off, but he has the pass back to the blue line open. Emmerton moves it to Stuart at the right point.
The Kings player who should be near Stuart blows his coverage. He skated to cover Abdelkader, and now has to stop hard and turn up ice. Stuart has plenty of time to load up and lets a filthy slapshot go.
Homer's in front doing what Homer does, and he has to jump out of the way of the shot. Look at the air he can still get at 38 years old. He's simply the best in the league at what he does, as Bernier has a difficult time tracking the puck because Holmstrom's in his way.

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