Henrik Zetterberg has been taking his fair share of shots at the net for the Detroit Red Wings. But he has to. He has no choice. If the Red Wings are to be a threat this season in the NHL, Zetterberg has to be shot crazy. He has to keep shelling the net with pucks. It’s the only way he and the Red Wings can score. It’s not that he’s a pure shooter but Zetterberg can get the Red Wings in excellent scoring shape if he keeps firing the puck.
So far this season, in six games, Zetterberg has five goals including one in a 3-2 win Monday over the Boston Bruins, a game in which he had six shots. It was his most shots since the opener when he had 10 shots against the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s combined for 13 shots in the other three games.
That’s why he’s averaging nearly a goal every game, which makes Zetterberg a dangerously consistent scorer.
The Wings added some depth this year in scoring, realizing they’ll never be a Stanley Cup title team if they don’t get more offense. But Zetterberg’s the key. Unless he keeps scoring the way he does, forget it, the Red Wings aren’t going to win a thing. But if Zetterberg continues his early start, the Red Wings will benefit, as a result.
The number of shots he’s taken indicates Zetterberg realizes this and is well aware that if he doesn’t show leadership offensively by being far more aggressive in all 82 games, the Wings aren’t going to be better than just a .500 club. So far, Zetterberg is illustrating that the Wings prefer being much better than average.