Posted 10 March 2010 - 01:22 AM
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:
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).