Pavel Datsyuk And Henrik Zetterberg Can't Carry Detroit Red Wings Alone

By Jonathan Katje
Pavel Datsyuk Henrik Zetterberg
Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

While the past two Detroit Red Wings games have seen star forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg each contribute a two-goal night, the team could not get a win in either contest. Detroit has now lost four consecutive games, with the “Eurotwins” providing six of their nine goals in that span. It’s safe to say that the Red Wings will need big efforts from Datsyuk and Zetterberg if they hope to return to the playoffs this season, but they also need to find a way to get some secondary scoring. After Zetterberg’s ten goals and 21 points and Datsyuk’s nine goals and 20 points, there is quite a drop off to the rest of the time. Todd Bertuzzi has five goals and nine points, and Daniel Alfredsson has three goals and 11 points, and only five other players have scored more than once. Since 11 of 19 games have been decided by one goal so far, there is certainly a need for the second, third and fourth lines to start earning their keep.

Among the disappointing players so far this season are Stephen Weiss, Dan Cleary and Johan Franzen. Weiss is currently on injured reserve but was off to a horrible start with just two goals and three points in 17 games. Cleary was a healthy scratch against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday, and has only one goal and three points. Franzen has battled injuries and scored his only two goals of the season in the same game, last month against the Colorado Avalanche. The Red Wings have received five goals from their defensemen, and Niklas Kronwall ranks fourth on the team with 11 points.

Jimmy Howard has done an admirable job of keeping his team in every game, but without some offensive support he could be in for a long season. Getting at least a point from the last three games is good, but it’s hard to not think at least a couple points were left on the table. Weiss and Alfredsson were brought in to increase scoring, and Cleary was brought back because management felt he still had something to contribute. So far all three players have not delivered, and that needs to change. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are among the league’s best when it comes to scoring, but that alone won’t be enough to bring the Red Wings wins on a nightly basis.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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