If there was a game to start believing in this thing, that was obviously it. Not so much because of the 2-1 series lead but because, for once, Henrik Zetterberg played no part in any of the Red Wings goals. Unless you’re a goalie, supreme individual performances don’t work in the playoffs. the best players end up canceling each other out. Gustav Nyquist and his band of merry men stepped in to fill the void.
4:35, 3rd Period. 2-1 Red Wings
Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen actually do a good job of forechecking, but Franzen is hit from behind in the corner and loses the puck. The third forward into the zone, Pavel Datsyuk, pressures the defenseman. That forces a flip pass to Patrick Kane. Kyle Quincey, mesmerized, tries to bat the puck out of the air and misses. Brendan Smith hustles back in attempting to make up for Quincey’s mistake, but instead of leaning on Kane, Smith tries sweep the puck away. Kane fends him off and beats Jimmy Howard. Responsibility: Kyle Quincey (0.75), Brendan Smith (0.25)
We’ll just tiptoe around the who was responsible for that “non-” goal that would have tied the game.
7:49, 2nd period. 1-0 Red Wings.
After the Red Wings lose the faceoff, Damien Brunner gets to a loose puck and flips it out of the zone. Gustav Nyquist chases it down, hopscotches around one defenseman, waits out the other, holds on a little longer to wait out Crawford and scores. That might have been a set faceoff play, excluding the whole losing the faceoff part. Back in the day, my team ran had a similar strategy. Whether it was or not, Nyquist gets most of the credit because he did most of the work. Responsibility: Damien Brunner (0.25), Gustav Nyquist (0.75)