Ok seriously....Hank has played SIX less games than Pasha and has 1 less point. This constant "Zetterberg needs to step it up" needs to stop (unless you're gonna call out th entire team). As for Flip, he has 35 points in 50 games and went on an huge streak when he was meshed with Z. Flip and Zetty also play great defensively- both of them, which cannot be said about Homer or The Mule so you cant just measure points as a yardstick for success. 10 days ago the Zetty, Flip, Bert line was the second coming but they dont score in a few and they are thrown under a bus...sheesh!
Datsyuk has looked like the old Datsyuk in many instances now though. Those same instances are rarer for Zetterberg. I think that's where the frustration lies for a lot of fans. Datsyuk looks more dangerous much more often.
And it's quite possible that Datsyuk IS just as dangerous as ever. His goals are quite near his pace from the last few seasons. What is down is the assists. This is largely understandable since he was playing a lot of games with worse finishers than he's used to. It would explain how he could look dangerous and not be putting up points like other years. (Although admittedly, the guy was just ice cold early on in the season).
As far as Zetterberg, he's supposed to put the puck in the net. I'm not saying he's been a liability by any means. He's great defensively. But too often he's a non-factor offensively. The guy himself admitted during the Olympic break that he hadn't been having a good season.
It does seem like it's turning around though, despite the last couple of games. He's been getting better offensively. I just hope that he can get back to the Z form we all know and love for the playoffs.
And an inordinate number of the goals he's given up recently have been 'weak' goals.
So claiming "Playing Osgood will ruin our season!" after the way Howard has been playing recently is ignorant, biased, or both. If Osgood is stellar against Philly, I wouldn't be shocked to see him get two of the remaining games after that. If he gets a shutout in impressive fashion, maybe even all three. Doubtful he can do anything at this point to change Babcock's mind on who the playoff starter is, but he might earn a couple extra regular season starts with some strong play.
Edit: Doc beat me to it. Eva, those stats are clearly made up.
I'm glad that Howard is starting because I'm going to the game, and want a nice, lopsided Wings victory. And there's no way Osgood would be particularly good given how long it's been since he's played.
On the other hand, it sucks that Osgood isn't playing because realistically, if he doesn't play now, I think we can say he's probably not going to for the rest of the season.