Goal Analysis – Filppula GWG – 2011 Playoffs


It’s been a while since I’ve done one, so let’s do another Goal Analysis post!  This one comes from a suggestion earlier today on the twitter.  We’re going to break down Valtteri Filppula’s goal from game 6 in the 2011 Playoffs against San Jose.  I was at this game and it was the best game I’ve ever been to, ranking just above the most recent Montreal game due to its importance.  So, let’s get on with this and watch the goal, shall we?

Awesome.  Fil from Pav.  I could watch that goal all day.  Let’s get on with it before I have to change my pants…

We have Fil, Pav, and Homer out there for the Wings.  Logan Couture and Ian White (without Lidstrom…eek) are out there for San Jose.  Let”s break it down!

It looks like the Wings are playing a 1-2-2.  This means one forward is up pressuring the puck carrier, the other two forwards play back a little bit, and the two defenseman play further back, making sure the other team can’t get a guy behind, get an odd man rush, or go through the neutral zone without a player around to defend him.  The 1-2-2.  Tell your friends.  Couture has the puck and sees Datsyuk coming towards him.  He doesn’t want to give Pav the puck, so he tries to hit the Shark player at the top of the screen, who is skating towards the Red Wings zone.

Because Fil and Pav (and Homer) are in proper position, there is nowhere obvious for Couture to go.  He tries to do a huge saucer pass and send in the Sharks winger with speed into the Detroit zone.  However, Fil is ready and gloves the puck down and begins the break towards the Sharks zone.

Fil skates the puck towards the San Jose zone.  Pav skates to the outside, building up speed while waiting for Fil to join him.  Homer is huffing and puffing his way up the ice (had Samuelsson been on the ice, this play would have been offside). Even though it was a quick turnover, the Sharks have three guys back to cover the three Wings players, so it shouldn’t lead to anyone being wide open.  Key word:  Shouldn’t.

Fil lets Pav take the puck, which come on, is ALWAYS what you should do.  If you notice by my awesome lines I drew (MS Paint FTW!!), both Couture and White are now looking at Datsyuk.  The other defenseman is taking Homer as he chugs to the net.  What Fil does next is huge and awesome.  Instead of driving straight to the short side post, he peels back and gives Pav more time with the puck and also becomes totally lost in coverage.

I think you can guess why I circled Fil..HE’S A REALLY GOOD HOCKEY PLAYER IN FRONT OF THE NET WITH NO DEFENSIVE PLAYER AROUND HIM WHILE DATSYUK HAS THE PUCK.  Yes, caps lock was necessary.  With two Sharks players only caring about Pav and Heatley just now lazily entering the picture, Fil has more than enough space.  And…I think Pav has enough skill to get him the puck over two guys trying to block the pass.

Yeah, Pav does a lovely little saucer pass over White/Couture right on Fil’s tape.  Homer is trying really hard to stay out of the crease.  Now, let’s see one last shot of Fil burying it.

WOOOOOOOOO!!  What a play by Pav and Fil, as well as Homer.  Let’s do a quick summary:

  • Detroit is set up in the 1-2-2 to take away the neutral zone from the Sharks
  • Fil intercepts the pass and skates it forward
  • Pav gets the puck from Fil and draws the attention of two of the Sharks
  • Homer goes to the net and takes a defenseman with him
  • Pav hits a wide open Fil in front and he puts it in

Man, that game was awesome.  Like I said, that was the best game I have ever attended.  I don’t think I sat down after this goal was scored, and once Helm got the empty net goal, the Joe was deafening.  I miss that.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions on future Goal Analysis posts?  Talk to me on the twitter (@KevinN37).  Until next time…

Is Kindl still in the top 6.  Crikey…