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What happened to Zetterberg's scoring touch?


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#1 Drake_Marcus

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:50 PM

With 9 goals so far this season Z is on pace to tie a career low in goals: 15 (the goal total for his sophomore season). Overall he's on pace for just 58 points (0.71 points per game), his worst output since the lockout. Even in his 63 game 06-07 season he was able to put 68pts on the board.

So what's up with Z?

Excluding this year, he's been good for 193 goals and 468 pts in 446 games since the lockout. So how does a guy who's averaged 1.05 points per game since the lockout fall so far?

He's still an extremely high volume shooter, consistently ranking among the league leaders in shots, but his shot percentage is less than half of what it was in his best scoring years.

About the only numbers that are increasing for Zetterberg are his hits and penalty minutes.

Has the long-term impact of injuries irreparably harmed Z's ability to produce?

Or is his dismal powerplay goal totals this year killed it for him (1 pp goal this year compared to around 10 a year previously).
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#2 dirtydangles

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:55 PM

I honestly believe that the addition of a top 3 player will solve this. Add ryan, perry, parise, or carter and z will be back at it. That allows for z to get set up and have more space on the ice. But hey thats just my opinion

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#3 Danielsm

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:50 PM

dirtydangles said it best. We're lacking a proper-caliber player for Hank to mesh with. Question is, who would he play well with?

#4 Heroes of Hockeytown

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:52 PM

Don't think there's much question that his back makes it tougher and tougher to continue producing during an 82 game grind. He stepped it up last year with Pavel out but when he's not the main man we're looking at three of four seasons where he's below PPG (and as you mentioned in significantly worse fashion this time around).

However, Hank always ups his game come playoff time. This is a consistent theme with most of the Wings, of course, but it may be even more relevant to Hank because there's no way he'd survive a full season at playoff intensity level with his injury woes.
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#5 Learn2LuvIt

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:03 PM

I honestly believe that the addition of a top 3 player will solve this. Add ryan, perry, parise, or carter and z will be back at it. That allows for z to get set up and have more space on the ice. But hey thats just my opinion

You maybe right. However, he thrived last year without one of the best players in the league in Dats when he was injured (who he was playing some minutes with on the same line). So that being said, that doesn't make sense...he thrives when Pav is out, but we need to get him a top three player off the market for him to thrive again with Pav now back healthy??
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#6 GMRwings1983

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:03 PM

I don't think adding another player is the problem. Remember, earlier in the year he played with Datsyuk, and still couldn't score goals.

Like Drake said, the shot attempts are still really high for him, but the accuracy isn't there. I wanna say that he's just not going to the scoring areas like he used to. He seems to take a lot of bad angle shots as well.

15 goals is really sad for a guy who almost scored 50 just a few years ago. He's still in his early 30's, but seems to be past his prime. Some players just age differently than others. Datsyuk, for instance, is playing better than he ever has at 33.
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#7 Crymson

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:08 PM

I blame Emma.

But really, sometimes players have bad seasons. It is not a sign of irrevocable decline.

#8 Nevermind

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:17 PM

I have no idea to be honest. He was never the greatest skater, but he's definitely lost a lot of the quickness he used to have. So he's not getting to a lot of loose pucks or getting that first step in on a defender.

And now his shots never seem to find the back of the net. They're always absorbed by the goalie. Also, in my opinion, a lot of times he looks depressed or something when they show him on the bench. So I really don't know. And Filppula's playing great and creating a lot of speed/chances, so I don't really think it's necessary a linemate problem.

Regardless, it seems impossible for him not to dominate when the playoffs come around. I think his style is better suited for high-intensity, grinding type of games when it's more about will than skill; and nobody can play that style effectively over an 82 game regular season. It'd be nice if we saw more of '08 Zetterberg from time to time though. I loved when Z and Pavel were 1A and 1B. But Datysuk's sort of gone into a league of his own, whereas Hank's regressed quite a bit.

Then again, hopefully we won't care in the playoffs when Z is back to his normal self.

#9 Red Wings Addict

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:18 PM

Like Drake said, the shot attempts are still really high for him, but the accuracy isn't there. I wanna say that he's just not going to the scoring areas like he used to. He seems to take a lot of bad angle shots as well.


It's moreso the latter, imo. He's just not taking quality shots.

#10 jfranzen

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:19 PM

"Filppula, you need to get more pucks on net"

"Zetterberg, why aren't you scoring any goals?"

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#11 GMRwings1983

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:20 PM

Also, it's obvious that Kris Draper's absence has a bigger effect on Zetterberg's scoring touch than we initially anticipated.
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#12 T.Low

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:00 PM

Has the long-term impact of injuries irreparably harmed Z's ability to produce?




I believe this is the issue. Knee and back problems add up over the years, stiffen up, lose their explosiveness, handcuffing shots.

Warren Miller, the great extreme skiing movie maker summed it up best with regards to age and the athletic body: "If you are a better skiier at 41 than you were at 21, then you weren't much of a skier at 21".

I still give Z mad props for pushing that beat up body of his.

#13 swedishconnection

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:37 PM

Zetterberg has been noticeably slower this season. He's my favorite wing, but there is definitely something 'off'. Whether its his knees or back it doesnt frankly matter - he just does not have the ability (or agility) that he once did to beat defenders inside, outside, over etc. He has also developed what I describe as the "Cleary" bad habit - which is consistently make the same play that fails to work. Z will always undoubtedly take a puck wide and behind the net with a defender on his back - every time. He hasnt shown that killer instinct to cut to the middle and freakin shoot this season (which I attribute to his lack of speed to beat defenders).

Cleary will always break into the offensive zone, stop at the top of the half boards, and look for a pass towards the crease. EVERY TIME - even if there are NO DEFENDERS between him and the net.

Its these types of bad habits that create very little offense - and when they do it is from a terrible angle.

With all of this said he is still a tremendous passer, has one of the biggest hearts and deepest wells of willpower, and possesses the most ridiculous back hand shot I have ever seen.
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#14 toby91_ca

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:38 PM

Well, the answer could simply be that he's starting to decline and perhaps moreso than expected because of history of injuries. That wouldn't be shocking to me.

Or, it could be just that he's having a bit of a down year.

#15 unsaddleddonald

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:46 PM

I tend to agree with the injuries angle.

He's never been the strongest skater, but he seems to be playing pretty slow this year. Teams seem to be pretty successful forcing him to the outside (which caters to the low quality shots argument). He is turning the puck over in the offensive zone quite a bit too. Opposing players are quick to attack him and they have been effective.

Edited by unsaddleddonald, 25 January 2012 - 04:46 PM.


#16 F.Michael

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:49 PM

IMHO he's been on a slow decline these past 3, or 4 years - point totals excluded (I brought this up a few years ago).

He appears to have lost a step, or 2 in his skating, and doesn't have the accuracy in his shots as in years past.

Dats is still an elite centerman, and unfortunately Hank is not.

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#17 Red Crazy

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:48 PM

I agree with the fact that he is not getting quality shots off. He does not seem to go into the hard areas that you need to to get a quality scoring chance. One thing I do know is that Z is all heart and if we are seeing it I would imagine that its killing him that he isn't contributing more on the score sheet. Maybe an off year that is made worse with frustration???

#18 Drake_Marcus

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:19 PM

Don't think there's much question that his back makes it tougher and tougher to continue producing during an 82 game grind. He stepped it up last year with Pavel out but when he's not the main man we're looking at three of four seasons where he's below PPG (and as you mentioned in significantly worse fashion this time around).

However, Hank always ups his game come playoff time. This is a consistent theme with most of the Wings, of course, but it may be even more relevant to Hank because there's no way he'd survive a full season at playoff intensity level with his injury woes.


You make a good point. I just hope there's something the Wings can do to help him get healthy. I thought the last two long summers would really help but apparently they didn't help his production even if they did help prevent long periods of missed games.
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#19 Behind Enemy Lines in CO

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:19 PM

I'm trying to figure out what type of player the Red Wings want him to be, and also the type of player he wants to be.

When you have a Franzen - Datsyuk - Bertuzzi line you have a sniper - playmaker - grinder on the same line. When you have a Zetterberg - Filppula - Hudler/Cleary line and you say that Filppula is the playmaker then you are asking Zetterberg or Hudler/Cleary to be the sniper or grinder. Not sure that Hudler is an effective grinder (although Cleary can be at times) and Zetterberg has not proved to be an effective grinder; as others have stated, he either gets stopped immediately when entering the offensive zone or keeps the puck and circles around behind the net and turns the puck over when attempting to pass through the slot/high slot. Or if you are asking Zetterberg to be a sniper then he has not shown the skating ability to get open/cut quickly to the middle to get a decent shot.

#20 Crymson

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:38 PM

Dats is still an elite centerman, and unfortunately Hank is not.


All of my friends who are fans of other teams disagree.





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