But they are also trending downward in games played-which is normal as guys get older. This year should be thrown out however. hard to get any real ideas about things. yes Z and Datsyuk started great. But they were already in game shape, where as half the league was not. Go back and review our season. For the first 10-15 games the team as a whole played poorly. but Z, Datsyuk, and Brunner where on fire. Since then, the team as a whole is playing much better, but those 3 have dropped off. Z and Brunner have done so big time.
Well, there's multiple ways of looking at it. (And we're just talking about this season. I agree with you that they have shown signs of decline last few years. )
1. Fact that Z and Dats have been playing since before lockout should if anything show that they are hanging in there while the rest of a league had a nice 4 months off. In EV Zug Zet was playing exceptionally well. Overall this year he's doing better than he was last year in terms of production (not so much with goals scoring I know).
2. Ok lets say Z and Dats had the advantage in the beginning of the season and were on fire and the rest of the league sucked. But now the rest of the league has finally caught up and Z and Dats are getting tired.. So technically it should be balanced at this point.. However Zetterberg is officially ranked 6th in assists in the league (an impressive feat for a 32 year old tired man). Meaning that other players simply aren't able to catch up? Or, he's somewhat still maintaining his assist production, albeit not as well as he was in the beginning of the season.
And I don't believe Z has "dropped off big time" at all. Him and Datsyuk are still the best players on the team. And last nights game with those three assists were a clear message that he's not "dead" yet. The captain had a big game. Personally I think he's running on fumes, but I give him and Dats credit for doing what they can with a subpar roster and linemates.
Edited by kickazz, 23 April 2013 - 09:27 PM.