Sunday, December 11, 2011

Regular Season Game 27: Coyote Ugly. Wait No That's Just Doan

Title Reference. No, that's not photoshopped.

1st Period

Detroit 1 Phoenix 0; 1:16- Bertuzzi (2) from Datsyuk (17)
Phoenix tries to clear along the boards here but the puck hits Datsyuk and is held in. Datsyuk sees Franzen skating through the middle with speed and tries to pass to him, but the puck hits Bertuzzi's skate and redirects towards the corner.
Phoenix gets it back and tries to clear, but the puck ends up on Datsyuk's stick again. He sees Bertuzzi near the top of the faceoff circle and moves it to him. 
Bert uses a #TuzziSwag move here, poking the puck under the defender and swinging his stick over the outstretched defender's. This gives Bertuzzi a semi-open shot. The puck goes off the skate of a Phoenix player before finding the back of the net.

Detroit 2 Phoenix 0; 2:09- Filppula (9) from Zetterberg (11) & Hudler (12)
I'll pick this up mid-play. Hudler move the puck behind the net for Zetterberg. This draws the lone Phoenix defender in the vicinity, who give chase to Z.
Zetterberg does a good job of using his strength to maintain inside position on the defender. He finds a wide open Filppula directly in front of the net. Smith is still hugging the post in case Z tries a wraparound, and he really has no chance at stopping Fil's shot.

Detroit 3 Phoenix 0; 14:46- PPG Holmstrom (5) from White (8) & Datsyuk (18)
This play illustrates the awesomeness of the umbrella formation when executed well. Pavel has the puck in the faceoff circle. Two Wings are in the middle creating the stem of the umbrella.This draws both defenders on the backside of Phoenix's box. Pavel draws the top defender and the attention of the low defender on the nearside of the box. This allows Pavel to pass cross-ice to a pinching Ian White.
White cutting towards the middle draws the attention of the low defender that was previously covering Holmstrom. He backhands a shot from the front of the net. The shot is stopped and White's tripped up in the process. Luckily Homer's there and he's all like "inga problem" and taps it in.

Detroit 4 Phoenix 0; 15:29- Helm (4) from Conner (1) & Kindl (6)
Conner carries the puck behind the net. In front of the net, Boedeker lets Cleary move away form him but no one picks up Helm on the doorstep. Conner backhands a pass before skating behind the net, and Helm tucks it under the goaltender.

Detroit 5 Phoenix 0; 19:17- Hudler (4) from Zetterberg (12) & Filppula (14)
Filppula starts everything here by stepping up and stealing the puck. He carries to the crease before the puck is knocked off his stick. It goes into the corner and he retrieves it. As he's getting crushed along the boards, he's able to find Zetterberg in the middle of the ice.
Hank holds the puck for a second before seeing Hudler open below the opposite faceoff circle. The pass is perfect.
Hudler nets this one while he's falling away from the net. This is the equivalent of a fadeaway jumper in basketball, and it's something I've never seen in hockey. Maybe that's how you know a night's going to go your way.

2nd Period

Detroit 5 Phoenix 1; 15:15- Vrbata from Yandle & Morris
At first, it looks like Detroit does a good job defensively here. Ericsson has to close a fairly large gap to catch the skater in the middle of the ice, and this prevents a 2-on-1 from occurring. Kronwall doesn't do a great job here. With Ericsson now a step ahead of his man, Kronner can afford to roll the dice and step up on the shooter. He needs to do something to stop or alter the shot and doesn't. The slapshot beats Howard and Phoenix gets themselves on the board.

3rd Period

Detroit 5 Phoenix 2; 11:32- PPG Hanzal from Doan & Whitney
Ericsson has a hard time covering here. Doan was behind him but skates around and into the middle. The high defenders are too high up to cover, and the low defenders are either already covering their man (Lidstrom) or standing in front of the net trying to decide which of two to move towards (Ericsson). Big E take the "meet me in the middle" approach by meeting each of them in the middle. Unfortunately, that means giving up lots of free ice. Doan uses this to his advantage and shoots immediately.
Doan's shot hits Hanzal, who's having his way screening Howard. The puck changes directions and goes in off some extremity of Hanzal's.

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