Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wings Take Round 2 In OT

This game was clearly the 2nd half of a back to back as both squads seemed to have heavy legs for the majority of the night. The fatigue lead to grade A opportunities from both sides yet no one was able to capitalize in regulation thanks to some great saves by both Gustavsson and Bernier. Just as I was preparing for another shootout, Kronwall cut through the neutral zone after receiving a great pass from Big E. Kroner drove to the corner and passed back to Z in the high slot where he hammered a one-timer inside the post for a Red Wings win with under 10 seconds left in OT.

Red Wing's PP System Analysis

Exactly one month ago I broke down how the Red Wing's PP was able to stay competitive without a right handed shooter. While most fans assume that the skill of the Red Wings should result in PP goals, the pieces simply do not fit together like the elite units in the NHL. In addition, with a full season to study coaches smarter than myself were able to determine how to shut down the Wings. I showed you how it works, now I'll show you what the opposition is doing to shut them down.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wings Take Leafs in Round 1

Coming off a very unimpressive performance the Wings were looking for a big start to this home and home with the Maple Leafs. The Wings struggled early as the Leafs were doing a great job of congesting the neutral zone and forcing the Wings to block a lot of grade A opportunities. Eventually the Wings were able to generate a little more offense and took advantage of a few fortuitous bounces to take an early lead they never relinquished.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bruins Bounce Back

The Bruins came into Detroit having lost 3 straight games and looking for a second win of the season. Their game reflected their desperation, as they dominated the Wings physically in the early going and for the majority of the night. The Bruins were fully engaged defensively and kept the Wings from using their speed by dominating the play down low and in front of the net. Thankfully Jimmy Howard was there to bail the Red Wings out on numerous occasions and steal a point for the home team. It was was easily his best performance of this short season as very few Wings matched his output tonight.

Bruins Goal #1- After a little chaos in the neutral zone Quincey ends up as the first forechecker. After a nice pass Krejci finds himself in a footrace with Kindl and the result was no surprise. Krejci puts home the breakaway to give the Bruins the early lead.

Red Wings Goal #1- After very little in the way of offense by the Wings, the kid line finally gets in on the forecheck and creates a turnover. Tatar is able to fish the puck out of the pile and snipe one on the blocker side.

Bruins Goal #2- The Bruins continue to work the puck down low and dominate on the cycle. Glenny leaves his man to double the puck and when a pass squeaks through the Wings are forced to scramble. With all the switches, Glenny and Z are late to support in front and Kelly is left alone in front.

Red Wings Goal #2-The Red Wing's PP had been pitiful all game, generating only 1 shot in their first 3 attempts. Finally in the third they start to find some chances starting with the 2nd unit. Then after a quick change the 1st unit comes out and Nyquist walks in from Datsyuk's usual spot on the PP, snipes far side and ties things up.

Aside from Howard I thought the Kid Line and Nyquist looked pretty good. Kindl and Z both had rough games, but at least Z's can be explained by going up against Bergeron and Chara all night. Not the Wing's best effort, but Jimmy steals them a point.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ducks Trip Up The Wings

With one of the perennial playoff teams of the West the Wings needed to bring their A-game. Early in the game the Wings dominated zone time but were not getting pucks to the net. The Wings problems were mostly self-inflected as 9 turnovers provided the Ducks with enough scoring chances. The game was mostly even through 2, but in the third the Wings really poured it on. After the Wings just missed on a multitude of chances it seemed like this game was headed to overtime. Then Getzlaf gets away with a pretty egregious hook on Kronwall and puts it away to steal the 2 points. I'm not sure what the NHL has to do, but they can't allow that blown call to decide the game. Two points in October are the same as 2 in March and can completely change the playoff landscape. The Wings had 53.16% of possession at even strength against a good Ducks squad and deserve to be undefeated. I'm pretty rattled after that one, so only a few observations after the jump.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Wings Start With a Big Win

Facing a tired Bruins squad the Red Wings scored twice in the second period to take a 2-1 win in the season opener. Along with outshooting the Bruins 24-17, the Red Wings dominated possession, finishing 71.4% at even strength. While I am obviously pleased with the result, it remains to be seen how much can be taken since the Bs clearly had played the night before. The Red Wings took advantage of the fresh legs early, all four lines seemed to be absolutely buzzing on the forecheck. Most of the game was spend with the Bruins simply trying to escape their own end. To make matters worse for the Bruins, the Wings defencemen were incredibly aggressive, pinching at every opportunity. Both of these factors will be huge keys for the Red Wings going forward. If they Red wings use their speed and disrupt teams on the forecheck it should take some pressure off the defensive core, particularly in the bottom pairing. Now for some of my more specific observations.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Red Wing Shot Quality Project

This past summer I spent some of my free time coding down each goal scored for and against the Red Wings last season. The result showed some interesting trends regarding how the Wings generate goals and what types of goals Jimmy and Monster give up. Despite the trends it was hard to make any conclusive claims without knowing have the same results for all the shots. For that reason,  I intend to track each and every shot taken in the Red Wing's games this season.