Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Zetterberg struggling to lead Wings

"Last year is in the past. This year, I haven't started good."
And who says hockey players aren't deep thinkers?

Zetterberg broke out last season, his third in the NHL, with 39 goals and 85 points — totals that put him up among the league's scoring leaders.

This season, without long-time captain Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan in the Detroit dressing room, it's fallen to the 26-year-old Zetterberg to be one of the team's go-to scorers — and it hasn't happened, at least not yet.

While fellow youngster Pavel Datsyuk has managed nine points in the Wings' first 11 games, Zetterberg has just two goals and one assist in more than 19 minutes ice time per game. The only other player who finished in the Top 50 in scoring last season — Zetterberg was 20th — with less than five points is Cory Stillman, who has yet to play a game due to off-season shoulder surgery.

Among the game's premier snipers, no one has slumped as badly as the slick Swede and so far there haven't been a lot of indications he's ready for a breakthrough. And if he can't get it going, there's really not enough of an offensive cast in Detroit to make up for his considerable contributions.
"You have to believe in yourself, and you don't want to think about it because it'll be in your head. But it's kind of tough sometimes."


At 5:24 p.m., October 31, 2006, Anonymous IwoCPO said...

James...yes, Hank's struggling mightily. And it's probably due to a combination of factors.

His wrist has bothered him since the (early) end of the season. He received a corisone shot in July, or June, and declared himself healthy. But, it's probably still an issue.

Also, he's playing on a line with Kris Draper and, when healthy, Samuelsson. Draper hasn't been able to put a puck in the ocean the last two years and Sam's streaky at best..but finally healthy.

No one is more important to our offense than Zetterberg. If the Wings are to contend, he has to pick it up. But, that my be unlikely if Babcock is going to hamstring him with Draper, or if that wrist doesn't heal completely.

At 8:28 p.m., October 31, 2006, Blogger Wardo said...

Anyone nicknamed, "Hank" is bound to break out sooner or later. Has anybody named Hank ever been waived? That's what I thought.

At 12:51 a.m., November 01, 2006, Blogger Nick said...

The wings really need to find a fill in for Yzerman/Shanahan if they want to go back to being a great team. Zetterberg really hasn't looked bad, despite the fact that he hasn't been racking up points.

At 12:00 a.m., November 03, 2006, Blogger Nick said...

two points and at least one off the post tonight after Babcock mixed up the lines a bit. Looks like iwocpo might have been right.


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