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F.Michael

What's up with Hank?

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For starters, Zetterberg has been NOTICEABLY worse in comparison to previous years and people should not hand-wave it because of "linemates". That is silly.

Second, Zetterberg is not "phoning it in". He has been the most hard-working and best skater (arguably player) the past two playoff years and wouldn't just quit for s***s and giggles.

Third, Zetterberg needs to kick it up a notch, because they need his leadership on the scoreboard more than ever now. Lidstrom is putting up offense. Datsyuk is putting up offense. Zetterberg NEEDS to put up consistent offense.

Agreed on all three points. He hasn't been moving his feet the majority of the time, he's using very poor shot selection and has been TERRIBLE in the faceoff circle. Hank gets thrown out of more faceoffs than any center I can think of. He seems to be a step behind this year when given shadowing duties on top end players too. I don't know what it is this year, but he rarely looks dangerous in the way that Pavel does nearly every time he's on the ice.

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For what it's worth, Z has scored 2 goals and had 3 assists since returning from the Olympic break. That's a point per game pace. Yeah he needs to pick it up a little, but it's not like he's not contributing at all. Add to that, the fact that he's been on the ice, defending against the opponents top scoring lines, and it looks even better. Still I'd like to see him put the puck in the net a little more. Maybe he can buy us all Curly Fries again. :D

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Fact: Zetterberg has 21 points in his last 21 games. He also has 5 points in 4 games since the break

He had a bad game against Calgary, but has been playing better.

Truth be told, Zetterberg wasnt a point a game player last year. He had 73 points in 77 games, which included what seemed like 37 empty netters. If we want him to score at a more rapid pace, Babs needs to get him away from Williams and Cleary and pair him with Datsyuk again. Z hasnt averaged over a point a game since being on a line with Datsyuk, and that includes last season.

Edited by wingsownnhl43

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The problem is that Zetterberg and Datsyuk should not be separated unless we are missing 1 or 2 regular centers, plain and simple.

Not because Datsyuk and Zetterberg cannot create their own offense, not because they can't make their wingers better, but because they bring out the best in each other offensively, and that's what we need right now, offense.

We are deep enough at center that we can put Z and D back together, move Filppula back to the 2nd line, and split Draper and Helm and make 2 checking lines to go with our 2 scoring lines, something like this:

Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom

Franzen-Filppula-Bertuzzi

Cleary-Helm-Williams

Eaves-Draper-Miller

Top 2 lines contain our 6 best offensive forwards, bottom 2 lines have forwards that can forecheck, cycle, and create scoring chances through hard work.

I would not be surprised to learn that Zetterberg's shoulder never healed properly and that he was rushed back into the lineup, and while I am not making excuses, there has to be something wrong with him physically, he is still trying his hardest, but his hardest right now doesn't seem to be at the level that he (and us as fans) are accustomed to, and I seriously doubt it is due to having nothing left to prove or being checked out mentally.

Perhaps it would be a blessing in disguise, as others have mentioned, for the Red Wings to miss the playoffs and get healthy for once. This team had the shortest off-season possible for the last 2 years, and just barely longer the year before, and with the condensed schedule this year due to the Olympics, it's almost as though they have played 4 seasons in three years. How can you expect to get players healthy when their actual down time in the off-season is shorter than the time it takes to completely heal from a sprained ankle (which is nothing compared to the severity of injuries hockey players play through on a regular basis).

/rant

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Did no-one else see the replay in the Chicago game where he had turn round and start back-checking and there was a momentary hesitation, a gritting of teeth and he forced himself to start skating again. He sure looked like a guy playing in pain.

His interviews lately have also got more and more morose. The guy sounds flat out depressed. I'm almost certain he's playing hurt.

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Fact: Zetterberg has 21 points in his last 21 games. He also has 5 points in 4 games since the break

He had a bad game against Calgary, but has been playing better.

Truth be told, Zetterberg wasnt a point a game player last year. He had 73 points in 77 games, which included what seemed like 37 empty netters. If we want him to score at a more rapid pace, Babs needs to get him away from Williams and Cleary and pair him with Datsyuk again. Z hasnt averaged over a point a game since being on a line with Datsyuk, and that includes last season.

How many goals does he have in the last 21 games?

I thought so.

Someone has to step up and score. The only guys on this team that are actually putting up goal totals near or above what they're expected to are 3rd/4th liners, Rafalski and Lidstrom. (Edit: Add Holmstrom to that list of guys who've scored on the right pace)

Did no-one else see the replay in the Chicago game where he had turn round and start back-checking and there was a momentary hesitation, a gritting of teeth and he forced himself to start skating again. He sure looked like a guy playing in pain.

His interviews lately have also got more and more morose. The guy sounds flat out depressed. I'm almost certain he's playing hurt.

At this point if he's been playing hurt I wonder whether it's better to pack it in for him and get treatment (playoffs be damned). What're the long term ramifications of him playing hurt for this long?

Edited by Drake_Marcus

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8.

Which is a 31 goal pace. Which is exactly what he had last season.

He had 8 of his 18 goals in the last 21 games? It sure doesn't feel like that.

But that doesn't excuse him one bit. 31 goals is a bad total for Henrik Zetterberg. Datsyuk's averaged that over the last 4 years.

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Guest DatsyukianDeke13   
Guest DatsyukianDeke13

He had 8 of his 18 goals in the last 21 games? It sure doesn't feel like that.

But that doesn't excuse him one bit. 31 goals is a bad total for Henrik Zetterberg. Datsyuk's averaged that over the last 4 years.

I agree with that first part, Zetters seems like a non-factor in games now. The only time it seems like he scores is if there is an empty net. I miss the 07-08 Hank that put on 40 goals lol. I wouldn't be surprised though if he was still injured. Desperate times call for desperate measures and if that means Hank has to play injured in order for us to make the playoffs, then so be it.

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Did no-one else see the replay in the Chicago game where he had turn round and start back-checking and there was a momentary hesitation, a gritting of teeth and he forced himself to start skating again. He sure looked like a guy playing in pain.

His interviews lately have also got more and more morose. The guy sounds flat out depressed. I'm almost certain he's playing hurt.

This.

Even with him having a hot game here, and there - he still looks as though he's playing injured...Just doesn't appear to be the same Hank.

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Honestly, for long stretches of this season it just looks as though a lot of our star players (with the exception of Franzen since he missed so much of this year) have just looked warn down. THree deep playoff drives in a row will do that. Couple that with the injuries we've had and you end up with a tough year like the one we're having. A shoulder injury like Zetterberg had and three straight short summers will wear anyone down quickly and I think he's just feeling the affects. Throw in the Olympics and the pressure of playing on that big stage and all the other pressure that this disappointing year has had and it's not surprising he's having a tough go. Personally, despite how he may look out there I commend the guy on his last twenty or so games because at least he's putting up some numbers and he's still working his ass off despite the fact we're still not winning as much as we'd all like.

I hate to say it but whether we make the playoffs or not a long summer would really probably pay off in the long run for this team. Our star players need a breather and a chance to heal. On a separate note, for all of us who want to see Lidstrom back, another deep playoff run wouldn't do us any favours in that regard.

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Guest nutz2u   
Guest nutz2u

I'm beginning to think that the only thing that will wake these guys up is missing the playoffs. Zetterberg my be hurt but that is not the reason this team's defense SUCKS and sucked all last season. They appear to be mentally and plysically exausted. It's either that or their just not very good which is hard to believe.

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He had 8 of his 18 goals in the last 21 games? It sure doesn't feel like that.

But that doesn't excuse him one bit. 31 goals is a bad total for Henrik Zetterberg. Datsyuk's averaged that over the last 4 years.

He has, but I definitely get what you're saying. Zetterberg no doubt, should be scoring up around 40 goals a year. My thing is are people freaking out now? Everyones calling out Cleary, Filppula, and Zetterberg, but why? Cleary and Fippula have their highest points per game average of their careers this year. Cleary has one less goal than he had last year in 20 less games. FIlppula has 5 less goals than he had last year in 41 less games. Zetterberg is playing at the exact pace he was last season. So why now? Is it just because where we are in the standings? Because I dont think these three played any different last season. If Zetterberg didnt have all his empty netters last year, he very well could have had 63-65 points in 77 games.

I think the problem this year is obviously injuries, and also having Ville Leino, Miller, Abdelkader, May, Draper, Maltby, Eaves, Helm. etc all in the line up at the same time. You have had too much of these guys, and understandably so because of our injuries, but thats why we are 9th right now, not Z, Filppula, and Cleary.

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So I'm not sure I get it, what was so different about him in the MIN game? He just decided to play better? Was it the staff calling him out?

There's definitely been more said and written about Hank in the last couple days than ever before in his career, maybe it did give him that spark. It's my hope that he wouldn't really need that sort of motivation, but whatever works.

He benefited a bit from circumstance tonight, I think. The point he got from Homer's goal was actually a nice pass through a defender but obviously the goal that followed was pure luck. And Minnesota's defense took a dump on his goal -- he doesn't so much slip away from defenders as absolutely no one goes to check him in the first place, but he went to the net with his stick on the ice and that's how you score goals. His pass to Franzen was great, however, right on his tape so he never had to break stride; although Mule pretty much did all the work after he got the pass, but imagine that, racking up points playing alongside a talented goal scorer, whoda thunk it -- we sure missed that guy.

I wouldn't call it a virtuoso performance, certainly not flashy, but if he can come closer to replicating the results on a regular basis I don't much care. I guess I'm just in wait-and-see mode right now.

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