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Drake_Marcus

What happened to Zetterberg's scoring touch?

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He needs at least a new back, wrist and knee.

This is why I don't like the long contracts. It could look real bad soon if he continues to decline but i'm hoping he's just having an off year.

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I have been reading the articles and the forums, and listening to everyone else’s opinion as to why Henrik Zetterberg is not producing the points, especially goals, the way we are used to. I’ve thought about it, and like everyone else, I don’t think you can point to any one thing that is the root cause of Zetterberg’s scoring woes. After watching his play closely, I have come to a conclusion that it is likely a combination of things.

Many are speculating that Zetterberg is possibly playing with a nagging injury, possibly his back. Perhaps years of playing with a bad back is affecting his game. Or maybe he has just lost a step. It happens with age. Never a “speedy” player, Z always had to kick it into a higher gear to work his way around a defenseman. If he has lost that higher gear, that part of his game is gone. That doesn’t mean he can’t score. It is just one factor.

Additionally, Zetterberg has never had the strongest shot. He has cited this as a weakness in the past. If he isn’t getting shots from prime scoring areas in front of and around the net, then his softer shots, no matter how many of them he takes, aren’t going to get by NHL goalies, especially without a net front presence.

When Zetterberg has been effective in the past, he has had a “grinder” on his line. Whether it be Tomas Holmstrom, Dan Cleary, or Johan Franzen, there has been someone who created chaos in front of the netminder, and someone who could muck it up, bang bodies, and win battles along the boards. These guys could go get the puck in the corner and get it to Zetterberg in the slot or beside the crease.

With smaller skill players such as Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler as linemates, Zetterberg is sort of filling the “grinder” role. He has to play along the boards and try to win battles in corners with bigger opponents. A lot of time he is losing those battles. He isn’t able to carry the puck out and get it into area he needs to be in to score regularly. This results in an increase in turnovers and penalties taken by Zetterberg.

Defenses know all this. They see the players on Detroit’s second line and they focus on Zetterberg, ensuring that he is forced along the boards. They make him take low percentage outside shots. They are taking away his real scoring chances.

But, you can’t do that without giving up a little and the beneficiaries are Zetterberg’s wingers, Hudler and Filppula, who are both having career years. That is why coach Mike Babcock isn’t making any line changes to accommodate Zetterberg’s “slump”. The Wing’s are winning. And while Zetterberg's numbers aren't where they could be, the line is scoring. Babcock, and probably even Z himself, are willing to sacrifice Hank’s statistics for the production of the entire line.

What does it mean? It means Zetterberg isn’t done. He can return to goal scoring form on a line where that is his role. That isn’t what he is being asked to do right now. You don’t hear Babcock asking for more goals from Zetterberg in the media. He realizes what he is asking of Z.

Zetterberg is still one of the best defensive forwards in the game. He is a coach’s son and plays in great position. He is a top-line two-way center and an outstanding penalty killer.

From Zetterbergfan.com

55fan, HankthaTank, ace76 and 2 others like this

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Bravo!

We're all concerned about Hank not getting the goals, but his linemates are scoring in droves. To me this says that Hank is getting the job done. Also, his shots on goal is still up there. To me this says that he is kind of snakebit (although a minor bite- maybe just one fang) at the moment.

I have no doubt that he will continue to impress, although factors such as age and injury do and will have their effect. He is, after all human.

ace76 likes this

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Iv never really thought he had a ton of scoring touch but it still a great player. Always seems like the Red Wings have to most "almost" goals in the league maybe its because I watch them the most idk

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I have been reading the articles and the forums, and listening to everyone else's opinion as to why Henrik Zetterberg is not producing the points, especially goals, the way we are used to. I've thought about it, and like everyone else, I don't think you can point to any one thing that is the root cause of Zetterberg's scoring woes. After watching his play closely, I have come to a conclusion that it is likely a combination of things.

Many are speculating that Zetterberg is possibly playing with a nagging injury, possibly his back. Perhaps years of playing with a bad back is affecting his game. Or maybe he has just lost a step. It happens with age. Never a "speedy" player, Z always had to kick it into a higher gear to work his way around a defenseman. If he has lost that higher gear, that part of his game is gone. That doesn't mean he can't score. It is just one factor.

Additionally, Zetterberg has never had the strongest shot. He has cited this as a weakness in the past. If he isn't getting shots from prime scoring areas in front of and around the net, then his softer shots, no matter how many of them he takes, aren't going to get by NHL goalies, especially without a net front presence.

When Zetterberg has been effective in the past, he has had a "grinder" on his line. Whether it be Tomas Holmstrom, Dan Cleary, or Johan Franzen, there has been someone who created chaos in front of the netminder, and someone who could muck it up, bang bodies, and win battles along the boards. These guys could go get the puck in the corner and get it to Zetterberg in the slot or beside the crease.

With smaller skill players such as Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler as linemates, Zetterberg is sort of filling the "grinder" role. He has to play along the boards and try to win battles in corners with bigger opponents. A lot of time he is losing those battles. He isn't able to carry the puck out and get it into area he needs to be in to score regularly. This results in an increase in turnovers and penalties taken by Zetterberg.

Defenses know all this. They see the players on Detroit's second line and they focus on Zetterberg, ensuring that he is forced along the boards. They make him take low percentage outside shots. They are taking away his real scoring chances.

But, you can't do that without giving up a little and the beneficiaries are Zetterberg's wingers, Hudler and Filppula, who are both having career years. That is why coach Mike Babcock isn't making any line changes to accommodate Zetterberg's "slump". The Wing's are winning. And while Zetterberg's numbers aren't where they could be, the line is scoring. Babcock, and probably even Z himself, are willing to sacrifice Hank's statistics for the production of the entire line.

What does it mean? It means Zetterberg isn't done. He can return to goal scoring form on a line where that is his role. That isn't what he is being asked to do right now. You don't hear Babcock asking for more goals from Zetterberg in the media. He realizes what he is asking of Z.

Zetterberg is still one of the best defensive forwards in the game. He is a coach's son and plays in great position. He is a top-line two-way center and an outstanding penalty killer.

From Zetterbergfan.com

Couldn't agree more my friend.

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Bravo!

We're all concerned about Hank not getting the goals, but his linemates are scoring in droves. To me this says that Hank is getting the job done. Also, his shots on goal is still up there. To me this says that he is kind of snakebit (although a minor bite- maybe just one fang) at the moment.

I have no doubt that he will continue to impress, although factors such as age and injury do and will have their effect. He is, after all human.

He may be slightly snakebitten, but I think it is more a case of taking a ton of low percentage shots. Z just throws it at the net alot to try to create chances. Like I said above. He is being limited to where he can get shots off from.

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Z - Flip - Huds line is playing great...sometimes you just don't get any bounces. Z needs to go on a nice conditioning stint in the offseason that's for sure and at the same time work his shooting back up to what it was, but back injuries f*** your s*** up and it's hard to get back to it afterwards. look at jagr when he had his groin injuries...

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Just out of curiosity what has the Swedish media been reporting on Zetterberg in regards to his play? I'm sure someone has asked him about his production. I wonder what his response has been. Especially since a Swede (or any European for that matter) is a little more candid and open with the media from their country.

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Still one of the best.

Honestly we need to figure out a better cast among our top four. Another top six winger that would actually compliment Zetter would be good.

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He may be slightly snakebitten, but I think it is more a case of taking a ton of low percentage shots. Z just throws it at the net alot to try to create chances. Like I said above. He is being limited to where he can get shots off from.

Great insights :clap:

Zetts is a chucker, which in hockey, unlike hoops is a good thing. Unfortunately for Hank he has the 4'9''pocket Czech on his wing instead of someone that can screen out the goaltender.

Look next to the word "intangibles" in the dictionary and you see a picture of Z. His value to this club is immeasurable.

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When Zetterberg has been effective in the past, he has had a "grinder" on his line. Whether it be Tomas Holmstrom, Dan Cleary, or Johan Franzen, there has been someone who created chaos in front of the netminder, and someone who could muck it up, bang bodies, and win battles along the boards. These guys could go get the puck in the corner and get it to Zetterberg in the slot or beside the crease.

You know I had a nightmare that Zetterberg retired after this season... :scared::(:crybaby: Ugh...

But anyhow I think Zetterberg has always had to fight a lot of the battles along the boards for his line. Perhaps he's had to do that more this year than any other year, I'm not sure. If that's the case, then that can definitely wear on a player who isn't used to it.

I think his speed is really impacted. A lot of times you'll see him skate from the wing or wherever towards the net but then he'll turn back and pass it to the blue line. Maybe with the extra gear he would have took it closer to the net, if not directly to the net, or draw in more defenders then pass it off to someone. You're right that he hasn't always been the fastest skater. But he used to really fly out there in his own way and we haven't seen that all that much.

I also think his confidence isn't where it used to be perhaps because of the injuries. I don't think his confidence is shot but it's simply not as high as it used to be. When you try to do certain things on the ice that you really like to do but can't execute like you used to because your body is being a pain then undoubtedly your performance will suffer. Furthermore I think those low percentage shots are a part of his whole process or struggle with trying to find a different way to be effective.

Plus I think we need to cut him (or any player for that matter) a little slack when we compare the way he plays now to his past playoff performances. Coaches and players in the league say all that time that the playoffs are like the fountain of youth; that the playoff style makes you feel like an 18 year old kid again. For Z's sake I just hope he gets better and better little by little as the year progresses.

Edited by Red Wings Addict
HankthaTank likes this

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It's being spoon fed to Flip and Huds?? I keed hehe.gif (so you know I really am)

Least of my worries is when Hank will start scoring, he still does what is expected of him night in and night out.

Better angle shots, but as it was said on that amazing post on the page before, he is backchecking even more than past seasons and brings the puck into the zone for his line better than most centers do in this league then coincidentally sets them up for more shots. It will come, start it tonight Z.

Edited by HankthaTank

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I think he isnt playing at 100% (in the NHL who really is nowadays?). But when your a small skilled player you need speed to be effective. Take a look at Scott Gomez and Martin St Louis ... a decade ago they were both premier "little men" (obviously St Louis was always on another level) - but today the stark difference can be attributed on an individual level to a couple things. Firstly, St Louis can f*cking cork the puck. Secondly, he still skates like hes 25 years old. Gomez was never a good skater but he certainly had more jump earlier in his career. When you a little guy odds are you arent going to put pucks in the net via leaning on defenders on net drives or taking punishment in the crease and slamming home garbage goals. Three step quickness and good top-speed is what imperative to create oddman rushes, win footraces, and find lanes before a defender gets a bead on you.

Hank is playing just fine within his means - but watching him out there he just doesnt look to have that explosive stride anymore. His stride has always been somewhat of a wide-tracker variety (similar to Fedorov) and hes always been great as picking up speed coming out of turns (similar to Crosby). Lets not forget he hurt his knee in the last week of the regular season last year - if that has become somewhat of a nagging/recurring issue but isnt serious enough to warrant surgery I wouldnt be suprised to find out that hes been nursing it on and off all year.

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I'd love to see the Hank that would regularly put up 40+ goals back again.

He has ONE 40+ goal season..

I'd love to see the Hank that would regularly put up 30+ goals again though.

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He looks like he's comfortable out there again. Racking up points the last few games. Obvious to most that Z has more to offer than scoring, but its great to see him putting points on the board as well as keeping the other team off the scoresheet.

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Great game for Zetterberg tonight. We need to show him so love on here! He totally set that Franzen goal up, with that great pass to Lidstrom, that drew Coburn from Franzen in front of the net. Great goal, great play!

Red Wings Addict likes this

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