Monday, February 03, 2014

The future has arrived for the Red Wings - and its about time

While the Red Wings' 6-5 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals Sunday wasn't a study in defensive responsibility, it was nonetheless entertaining.
It was also a game indicative of what is going well for the Red Wings. They have a couple exciting young players, who have a knack for scoring goals. Gustav Nyquist (24) has eight goals in his last seven games. Benefitting greatly by playing with Henrik Zetterberg, he had a hat trick Sunday. Tomas Tatar (23) had a goal and an assist Sunday. They each of 13 goals this season, Nyquist in just 30 games, Tatar 46. Why they weren't mainstays from the very beginning of this season is puzzling given their obvious skill and extensive minor league experience - and the fact Nyquist played very well during the Red Wings' playoff run last spring. Both are plus on the plus-minus ratio, too. If the Red Wings miss out on a playoff berth by a point or two, the decision not to bring up Nyquist sooner will come back to haunt Red Wings' general manager Ken Holland.
Justin Abdelkader (26) had the other Detroit goal Sunday.
The Red Wings great strength as an organization has been to continually develop young players despite not having prime position in the NHL Draft because of their success.There is some downside to youth (24-year-old defenseman Brendan Smith's nonsensical penalty led to Alexander Ovechkin's overtime goal Sunday), but the good far outweighs the bad.
If the playoffs started today, the Red Wings would be in, albeit barely. There are still three games remaining before the Olympic break, vs. Vancouver tonight and at their (for reasons impossible to explain) nightmare, the Florida Panthers, and at Tampa Bay.
But it looks like the Red Wings are surviving what is arguably the most difficult portion of their schedule. They need Pavel Datsyuk back, without question, and Zetterberg to remain healthy more consistently, but they have been living off their kids, and it's going pretty well so far." title="Fox 2 News Headlines">Fox 2 News Headlines


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