Goal Analysis: Johan Franzen’s 2008 Playoff Saving OT Goal


Happy Labor Day!  As we all know, Labor Day was created to honor workers and their contributions to society.  In honor of Labor Day, let’s take a look at a Wings player who used to be all about working hard and getting things done: Johan Franzen and his OT goal in game 5 of the 2008 playoffs against Nashville.  For the time being, let’s ignore Franzen’s current level of effort, and focus on when he used to give a crap and was unbelievable in the 2008 playoffs.

Let’s set up the situation.  The Wings won the first two games against Nashville at home.  Games 3 and 4 happened in Nashville, when Dominik Hasek starting playing like @$$.  The Wings put Osgood in net halfway through game 4, but couldn’t get the victory.  With the series tied at 2, the Wings gave up a last minute goal and the game went in to OT.  You don’t need me to sell you on the importance of winning game 5 of a tied series.

Let’s begin the analysis.  Here is the video of the goal:

I love hockey (and I’m going to miss it in October….).  Not a whole lot to break down here, but it’s still an awesome goal and it’s fun to see Dan “Food Stamps”  Ellis get scored on here.  Let’s break it down!

Samuelsson on the Wings again is going to be the death of me, I swear to God.  ANYWAY.  The play starts with Nashville breaking out of their own zone.  Samuelsson (just realized I misspelled his name on my Paint edit, but he’s not important enough to fix) is pressuring the Nashville forward on the boards.  Fil and Franzen are hustling to get back in the play, and Kronwall and Stuart are patrolling the blue line.  What does the Nashville player do with the puck?

The Nashville player moves it up to a teammate (Ryan Suter hahahahahahahaha) who is skating up the ice.  As you can see, four Nashville players are hustling towards the Wings zone.  They were probably thinking they could catch the Wings with two guys caught, but little did they know, the Wings had the neutral zone all “Fil”led up!

Yeah, this is the exact moment Fil reaches around (heh) and knocks the puck away from the Suter.  Fil doesn’t outright take the puck, but he does create confusion with the two Nashville players close to the puck.

As Fil is making Suter is beyotch, the other Nashville player slows down for a second.  He realizes the puck is on his stick, and just like most D-League hockey players, he gets afraid and just throws the puck away.

Yes, the Nashville player (who wasn’t Suter (hahahaha)) gave the puck right to Kronwall.  Since four Nashville players were hustling up the ice, it doesn’t leave much back defensively.  Franzen was the player deep in the zone, which is why he’s not yet in the picture.  You can see Kronwall has the puck with his head up and is in passing mode.  With the open lane in front of him, this can only lead to good things.

As you can see, Franzen is well behind all the Nashville players.  From here, all he has to do is get it past Dan Ellis, which come one, if he didn’t, I’d demand that he be traded.  Let’s watch it in all its glory (from a different, non-crappy picture).

JOHAN FRANZEN!! #DanEllisProblems

Awesome game.  Sadly, I was not at this game, since that would have been sweet.  I do remember that this game ruled and quite possibly saved the 2008 playoffs for the Wings after Hasek tried to lose games 3 and 4.  Let’s do a recap:

  • Stupid Samuelsson forced the Nashville winger to move the puck to the center of the ice
  • Filppula owned Suter and forced a turnover because Suter sucks
  • Nashville turned the puck over to Kronwall who spotted Mule wide open
  • Mule beat Dan Ellis like a loan shark

And that’s the breakdown for today.  If you have comments, positive or negative, yell at me on the Twitter (@KevinN37) and we can engage in an internet battle!

I leave you with another Paint creation.  If you’ve seen the show “FlashForward”, this will make sense to you.  If you haven’t, well, this will still probably make sense to you.  Stupid lockouts…