Zetterbounceback: Detroit Red Wings 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 1


Oct 17, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg (40) is checked into the glass by Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson (4) at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Following two disappointing losses, the Detroit Red Wings were able to rebound and crush the division rival Toronto Maple Leafs. In a much-improved performance, everything seemed to click- Howard was outstanding, Franzen produced, and Zetterberg basically put a leash on every Leaf whenever he was on the ice. Detroit moving to the eastern conference after the lockout season has renewed and intensified the Detroit-Toronto rivalry, and rivalries are best when your team is significantly better; the Wings have taken 9 out of a possible 10 points from Toronto since 2013. Let’s take a look at Detroit’s dominant performance:

DET Goal – 10:00 1st – Franzen, asst: Zetterberg

Defenseman Roman Polak carried the puck behind his own net to prepare a breakout pass, but before he could exit the trapezoid, he hit a rut in the ice and fell due to pressure from Zetterberg’s forecheck. The captain retrieved the puck as Franzen skated in late to the play, crashing the net to receive a pass cross-crease and tap it in for the 1-0 lead.

DET Goal – 5:42 2nd – Franzen, asst: Zetterberg, Abdelkader

A neutral zone deflection sent the puck soaring into the Maple Leaf’s end, as Zetterberg found himself hovering over the blue line. The puck plopped in front of Hank, who drove hard to the net. Remier went low and dove to poke the puck away from the Swede, who made a blind drop pass handled by Franzen, with a wide open net to sink the puck into.

DET Goal – 18:16 2nd- Nyquist, asst: Zetterberg, Kindl

Entering the offensive zone, Kindl sent the puck along the right side boards to Zetterberg, who carried it to the faceoff dot. The team was setting up for a cycle, but the left high slot was unaccompanied by Toronto defenders. Nyquist skated in unmolested, grabbed a Zetterberg pass, and slipped the puck through Reimer’s five hole.

TOR Goal – 0:21 3rd – Santorelli, asst: Komarov, Clarkson

Early in the 3rd period, a Wings’ offensive push turned sour and developed a 3-on-2 for the Maple Leafs. Clarkson skated the puck along the left side, drawing defenseman Quincey away from Santorelli in the middle, who lifted the puck over a sprawling Howard’s right pad.

DET goal – 5:51 3rd – Abdelkader, asst: Nyquist, Zetterberg

Nyquist possessed the puck behind the Toronto net, and skated around to the bottom of the left faceoff circle. Abdelkader drove hard to the front of the net, and Nyquist shoved the puck towards Reimer, which caught the tip of Abby’s stick and sailed to the top of the net to seal the game.

FINAL: Detroit 4, Toronto 1

3 Positives to Take From the Game:

-Zetterberg not only bounced back from a fairly awful showing Wednesday against Boston, he played one of the most impressive and productive games of his career. The seemingly refreshed Swede tallied an assist on each goal scored on the night, and generated scoring chances every shift.

-Nyquist is still on pace for 82 goals! Goose has come out every night of the season and played a solid and dangerous game. He’s disproving the belief that last year’s scoring performance was a fluke, by displaying veteran-like knowledge, incredible accuracy, and pure scoring ability.

-The first line looked incredible, especially when Franzen was on the ice. The Mule scored two goals, and displayed his new-found speed and renewed skill. The line didn’t slow down when Abdelkader replaced him, either. The top line scored all 4 goals, even without top center Pavel Datsyuk.

My 3 Stars of the Game:

3- Gustav Nyquist- Another game, another goal, and an assist to top off the night.

2- Johan Franzen- Two goals from being in the right spot at the right time, and not from luck; he knows where to be, and looks like a different player.

1- Henrik Zetterberg- The captain assisted on every goal, and looked 300% better than on Wednesday. Overall, he played a fantastic game.

Get ready for tomorrow’s completion of the home-and-home series at Joe Louis Arena!