Tuesday, December 27, 2011

GBGA Regular Season Game 35: Without Weber, Preds Grilled

Like this, but with a lot more red

Most breaks in the action are uneventful, nothing but wasted time between play. Occasionally, however, something occurs that makes the break entertaining in and of itself. It could be the crowd at the Joe singing Journey, it could be Mo Cheese dancing back in the day, or it could be something as simple as an observation.

My fiancee was watching the game with me tonight, and during a break in play she asked me why there were so many Nashville fans at the game. I struggled to process this. What was that supposed to mean? "Well, it's in Nashville, so..." I trailed on. She started laughing, and then explained that she thought the game was in Detroit and didn't understand why there were so many Predators fans there.

Well done, long distance Wings fans. You fine folks filled up the Preds arena well enough to confuse the casual viewer. I've always heard that the Wings help sell tickets in non-traditional hockey markets, but this was my first encounter with a concrete expression of that phenomenon. Gives new meaning to the Wings "Hockeytown, No Limits" slogan, eh?

1st Period

Nashville 0 Detroit 1; 10:57- Filppula (11) from Zetterberg (16)
Henrik Zetterberg makes this play happen with his defensive skill. After a backhanded shot, he follows the rebound to the halfboards and is unable to maintain possession. Nashville moves the puck out of their  defensive zone, but Zetterberg steals the puck in the neutral zone near center ice. As he carries in he hesitates near the blue line, causing the defense to keep sinking towards the net while opening space for a pass or long shot. Z sees Filppula entering the zone with his defender behind him and passes.
Nashville's lowest defender is busy erasing Ian White from the front of the net. This leaves him unable to attempt a shot block, aiding Filppula's cause. Fil one times the pass from Zetterberg and it beats Rinne.

2nd Period

Nashville 0 Detroit 2; 12:52- Datsyuk (11) from Bertuzzi (11) & Franzen (17)
After entering the zone, Datsyuk moves the puck to Bertuzzi, who then moves it to Franzen. The Mule passes back to Bert, whose shot attempt is wide. It bounces off the end boards and sits behind the net. One of Nashville's defensemen chooses not to follow Datsyuk behind the net, stopping his pursuit at the side of the goal mouth. The loose puck behind the net is picked up by Datsyuk, who now has an easy wraparound available.
Pavel cleanly tucks the puck underneath Rinne's right pad for the goal. The refs had to review whether the puck crossed the line and said that the ruling on the ice of "goal" was confirmed. They never initially called it a goal, but the video seemed conclusive enough to show the puck across the line. Any puck luck is appreciated, and I'll take this one with no complaints.

Nashville 0 Detroit 3; 13:05- Cleary (9) from Miller (5)
The Wings win the faceoff immediately after Datsyuk's goal and chip the puck in. Rinne comes out to play it and a crowd forms quickly. Nashville can't control it, and Drew Miller picks up the puck and carries it behind the net.
Miller sees Cleary and makes the smart pass. Cleary is above the coverage of the two netfront defensemen, both of whom fail to puck him up. He is also below the coverage of any other Nashville backcheckers, and has a wide open look at the net. The pass reaches Cleary and he immediately shoots. Rinne tries to glove it but can't, and the Wings pad their lead with tallies 13 seconds apart.

3rd Period

Nashville 0 Detroit 4; 5:22- Filppula (12) from Abdelkader (6) & Emmerton (3)
Detroit can't maintain possession behind the net and Nashville tries to clear. Ian White is at the blue line and manages to hold the puck and slap one towards the net. The rebound goes to Emmerton, who is also denied by Rinne. The rebound here goes to Abdelkader. He shoots and the puck comes off Rinne to a streaking Filppula. Fil had hung along the boards, and now he has a clear shot with the puck on his stick as he moves in.
Rinne is down and out on the opposite side of the crease and therefore has no chance at stopping this. Filppula has speed and is able to step into his shot. The shot sails into a wide open net for the goal that put the nail in Nashville's coffin.

Nashville 1 Detroit 4; 17:48- Blum from Tootoo
Lidstrom takes away a shot in front of the net, and after some shuffling behind the net and a failed clear from TPH the Predators reset their cycle. Tootoo moves the puck to Blum in the middle of the blue line.
The puck is nearly tipped in front yet somehow avoids the stick of Legwand in the slot. Howard gets beat by a distant and not very hard shot. Blum is no Shea Weber from the point, and this goal looks soft.

No comments:

Post a Comment