Wednesday, January 25, 2012

GBGA Regular Season Game 49:Rivalry Redux

Sixty minutes of play summed up in a single image

1st Period

Detroit 0 St Louis 1; 9:12- Nichol from Crombeen & Porter
As the puck is moved into the neutral zone, some tired Wings make their way to the bench for a line change. The Blues gain control of the puck at the edge of their defensive zone and quickly advance it. Three Blues enter the Detroit zone with only one Detroit defender back.
Obviously outmanned, it takes only one pass to turn this into a scoring play. Kronwall plays the puckcarrier straight up, but so does Howard. This means that once the cross ice pass to Nichol occurs there's no chance Howard can get across in time.

2nd Period

Detroit 1 St Louis 1; 00:51- Datsyuk (14) from Lidstrom (17) & Zetterberg (26)
Make the box move. That's how you score on the powerplay, and that's what the Wings force St. Louis to do here. They move the puck from the boards to the corner, then up to the point, and then once again to the boards. The puck ends up with Pavel Datsyuk, who carries into the faceoff circle.
Datsyuk sees that one defender has stepped towards Zetterberg, opening up some ice in the high slot. At the same time Alex Pietrangelo bites on a deke from Datsyuk and drops to a knee. He ends up sliding towards the corner, which opens up the slot area completely. 
All Datsyuk needed was some space (and a nice screen in front from Holmstrom). Halak likely didn't see much of this backhander before it was behind him. 

Detroit 2 St Louis 1; 8:52- Franzen (19) from Ericsson (8) & Bertuzzi (15)
Good puck movement is displayed by the Wings after wining the offensive zone faceoff. Eventually the puck ends up in the corner, where Bertuzzi sees Ericsson pinching at the right time (!).
Ericsson quickly snaps the puck on net. Franzen has set up shop near the crease, and the rebound comes out in front for him. The Mule spins and backhands it past an outstretched Halak. 

3rd Period

Detroit 3 St Louis 1; 16:57- Kronwall (11) from Lidstrom (18) & Datsyuk (39)
There's only so much you can get a penalty kill unit to move when it's a 4-on-3 PP. St. Louis is stationary at this point, with the Wings moving the puck back and forth between defensemen. Lidstrom fakes a slapshot and gets his defender to hit the ice, then dishes to Kronwall. Kronner takes a big slapshot that gets through to the front, where Homer is doing his job perfectly. Again, Halak can't see and the Wings get the insurance marker they needed. 

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