Thoughts on Game 58 (6-2 win over Nashville)
-- Franzen and Dan Cleary have done a good job net-front with Tomas Holmstrom out. Cleary looks like his strength is in puck deflection with his good hand-eye coordination. Sometimes though, his screens don't work well. I noticed Franzen reversing position more last night, starting with his back tight to the goalie, then turning 180 and drifting out to the slot. He said after the game that depends totally on where his teammates are and how the defenders are playing him. I like the move because it adds another option as shown last night on his two goals.
-- By the way, Franzen was stuck out on the ice on his first goal and was 1:28 into the shift when he scored. That has to be tiring after missing the previous five games.
-- Nashville's second goal was aided by a bad line change by the Wings who got Derek Meech off late and Nicklas Lidstrom on late. It was that weak side that created an odd-man advantage leading to Steve Sullivan's second goal. Let's backtrack on this one though. The sequence started with a bad pass by Chris Chelios that led to an icing. That got the Jason Arnott line on against Meech and Chelios for a faceoff in the Wings zone. All game, the Wings were matching up Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall against the Arnott-Sullivan-Dumont line. That was the line they wanted to shut down. The Wings obviously got a little eager to get that matchup after getting the puck out of the zone. In this case, leaving Meech out there for a more secure line change would have been better than trying to force a change that failed. But hindsight is 20-20 on my part and it took a good play by Nashville to get the scoring chance.
-- Valtteri Filppula had a low ice-time of 13:36. There were a lot of power plays (which Filppula isn't part of), but Detroit scored so often that it had only 7:02 of man-advantage time.
-- Kronwall really played well. The hit on Tootoo early was a good sign that Kronwall was in the game.