Sunday, January 8, 2012

GBGA Regular Season Game 40: Let's Take This Outside

Speaks for itself.

1st Period

Toronto 1 Detroit 0; 4:30- PS Kessel
Kessel picks up the puck and carries to the left, all the while switching from his forehand to his backhand. He keeps going forehand-backhand-forehand-backhand-forehand-backhand-forehand-backhand...etc., and lifts the puck over Jimmy to open scoring.

Toronto 2 Detroit 0; 8:19- PPG Phaneuf unassisted
Detroit wins the faceoff in their defensive zone and move the puck behind the net. It hits the boards takes a bizarre bounce, losing any and all momentum it previously had. Dan Cleary is expecting the puck farther down the boards and now has overskated the dead puck. He has to put on the brakes and readjust.
Cleary gets back on the puck but now has a defender draped all over him. He makes a panic move and tries to clear the puck by chipping into the middle of the ice. The smart play here is to move the puck behind him along the boards, but he apparently couldn't fight the impulse to attempt to clear the zone in the most obvious (and dangerous) way possible. 
The puck accidentally ends up directly on Phanuef's stick at the point. He has time to load up a nasty slapshot. From Jimmy's perspective there's not much you can do to stop a shot off a turnover when it happens that quickly.

Toronto 3 Detroit 0; 11:36- Steckel from Lupul & Kessel
The Wings have a great scoring chance in their end that turns into trouble in a hurry. Filppula is wide open in the slot for a one timer that's stopped, and the puck ends up to the right of Gustavsson. One of the Leafs picks it up and carries it out of the zone, creating a 3-on-3 rush the other way. Above you can see the structure of the rush as it enters the Detroit zone. The right winger passes to the left wing and then pulls up, which pulls a defender toward the blueline with him. Zetterberg is in the middle and is already a step behind the center. When the puck is moved to the left wing the center pulls away from Z, creating a 2-on-1 rush.
TPH is hung out to dry on the 2-on-1. He has to drop to one knee and cut off the passing lane through the slot to the left winger. 
The pass barely sneaks through under Lidstrom. It's hard to tell on the replay I have available to me, but it looks like it went through his legs. Steckel has to adjust a bit to the pass, but he's able to score because Jimmy was square to the puck carrier and isn't able to slide in time to cover his right side.

2nd Period 

Toronto 3 Detroit 1; 6:46- Bertuzzi (6) from Datsyuk (29) & Franzen (18)
Kronwall makes a great play to hold the puck in at the top of the zone. He slides across the blueline and swats it back to Datsyuk.
Datsyuk and Franzen work a nice give-and-go near the blueline while switching spots. Datsyuk has the puck and the left wing and Franzen is cutting through the middle. Three of four Toronto defenders have turned their attention to Datsyuk/Franzen. The deep man is Bertuzzi, who has good position on his defender.
Datsyuk throws a shot towards the front of the net that Bertuzzi is able to get a piece of. He tips it past Gustavsson to put the Wings on the board. When Bertuzzi plays the grinder/mucker role I really like this line, and this goal is a good example of why.

Toronto 3 Detroit 2; 15:49- Kronwall (9) from Franzen (19) & Datsyuk (30)
Franzen gets the puck near center ice and carries into the zone. He gets bumped off the puck in the right corner but is able to free himself from the defender, pick the puck back up, and carry around to the left side. 
The Mule leaves the puck for Kronwall, who is headed down the left side boards. This causes two Toronto defenders to have to put on the brakes and change direction. Directional changes create space, and Kronwall uses this space to cut hard towards the front of the net.
Kronwall reads Phaneuf's positioning well in front of the net and pulls the puck inside him, neatly tucking the puck under Gustavsson.

3rd Period

Toronto 3 Detroit 3; 4:32- Hudler (12) from Stuart (5) & Zetterberg (22)
The above screen cap marks the exact moment where Toronto's defense shoots themselves in the foot. Detroit is moving the puck around the offensive zone, and Toronto gets caught chasing the puckcarrier a little too much. Everyone keys on the puck, turning their backs on Jiri Hudler. Huds floats towards the front of the net and doesn't have to fight anyone for netfront positioning.
Zetterberg passes a puck across the zone that Toronto gets a stick on but can't stop. Brad Stuart is all alone and has tons of time to ready himself for a one timer.
Gustavsson stops Stuart's shot but gives up a rebound. Hudler is in the perfect place for clean up duty, hacking at the puck and putting it in on the second effort attempt.

Toronto 4 Detroit 3; 7:10- Lupul unassisted 
Detroit wins a faceoff in their own zone. Hudler plays it back towards the boards and Kronwall gathers it. He tries to rim it hard around the boards and fans on the puck. The molasses-charged puck reaches Howard's left, where Lupul is waiting for it.
Howard hits the ice pretty quickly, which allows Lupul to lift it over him off his backhand. If Howard hugs the post for another second and stays upright he has a better chance to stop this. 

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