Saturday, February 4, 2012

Regular Season Game 52: How to Dominate Without Dominating

Hudler reacts to a goal in his typical reserved fashion

I apologize for how long it took to get this post up. I've been really busy the last couple of days and had to work on this piecemeal. Hopefully it won't take this long to get the Edmonton post up, but in all honesty I might scrap that one altogether. I've got an idea for an article that I think would be exponentially more entertaining than the awful awfulness that is the Edmonton game (so far; I'm writing this after the 1st period). Anyways, the Wings dominated Vancouver in every facet of the game you can think of except goals, especially through the first two periods. In a game that looked like it might slip away at the end, the Wings were able to hold on and win what has been something of a strength this year, the shootout.

1st Period

Vancouver 0 Detroit 1; 5:27- Cleary (11) from Helm (11)
Darren Helm intercepts a pass at center ice and proceeds to turn it into an offensive zone opportunity. He passes to Cleary on the wing. Cleary drives outside, while Helm establishes position in the slot.
Cleary makes a great power move and drives around his defender, then cuts to the middle of the ice. Helm has set up a great screen in front of Luongo that allows Cleary an opportunity. Cleary shoots and there's no way Luongo sees this one get past him.

Vancouver 1 Detroit 1; 16:13- Kesler from Booth & Bieksa
A defensive breakdown allows Kesler an opportunity in front of the net. Datsyuk follows his man into the corner, which means that Kronwall needs to shadow Kesler.
Kronwall goes to the corner, so...yeah. Breakdown.
Booth tries a wraparound that Howard stops, but a rebound pops out in front. Kronwall pancackes Booth but there's no one to defend Kesler. The puck is sitting at the top of the crease, ripe for a put-back. Kesler doesn't miss this opportunity and lifts it past Jimmy.

2nd Period

Vancouver 1 Detroit 2; 13:51- Hudler (17) from Filppula (26) & Stuart (6)
Filppula takes a pass at the blueline and the Wings instantly have a developing 3-on-2. Flip carries in a bit and hits the trailing Hudler with a pass on the opposite side of the ice. Look at Luongo right now; he's playing pretty aggressively to his right.
Hudler settles the puck and puts a snapshot on net that goes over Luongo and in. This is a perfectly executed 3-on-2. Zetterberg charging the net makes the left D play conservatively, as he has to account for both Z and Hudler. This allows Hudler the space he needs to get the shot he wants on net.

3rd Period

Vancouver 2 Detroit 2; 10:10- Burrows from Lapierre
Drew Miller is trying to carry the puck out of the zone when he makes an unwise choice to hold the puck as two defenders converge on him. He coughs up the puck to Lapierre.
Lapierre tees the puck up and Burrows unleashes a nasty slapshot. Jimmy sees the play developing but can't stop it high glove side.

Vancouver 2 Detroit 3; 12:05- Miller (9) from Cleary (14) & Stuart (7)
Vancouver has an opportunity to clear after a shot from Cleary, but Drew Miller gets a stick on it and keeps the play alive for Detroit.
Cleary gets back in front of the net and backhands a shot that Luongo makes a great kick save on. The rebound squirts out to the side of the net, and Miller redeems his earlier mistake with a smooth shot over an outstretched Luongo

Vancouver 3 Detroit 3; 15:36- Raymond from Salo & Sedin
Raymond takes a shot from the boards that's statistically a low percentage shot, but Jimmy is being screened so well that it gets past him. He's standing, so you know he's having trouble seeing through the screen. Not much else to say, as I'd directly attribute this to the screen.



Alexander EdlerVANSave
Pavel DatsyukDETGoal
Mason RaymondVANMiss
Jiri HudlerDETGoal

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