The Detroit Red Wings got a controversial but much-needed win on Saturday night, as they outlasted the Los Angeles Kings in a shootout. After being shut out in their previous two games, the Red wings managed to finally find some offense, but as they head into a rough stretch of home games they need more of their forwards to step up and find the back of the net. Detroit currently sits just out of reach of a playoff spot and they will host two Western Conference juggernauts this week with the St. Louis Blues coming to town on Monday and the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks making their only visit of the season to Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday. With many of their top players out with injuries, the time has come for the Red Wings to get more from Gustav Nyquist, a former top prospect who is getting consistent top-six minutes with Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen sidelined.
Nyquist has five goals and 11 points for the Red Wings this season, which at first glance seems like a respectable total for a young forward. Once the two goals he scored in his first game of the season (Nov. 21) are taken out of the equation, his numbers this season are much less impressive. Nyquist has shown an ability to be a dynamic scorer at the NCAA and AHL levels, but has not yet been able to translate that at the highest level of play. He had seven goals and 21 points in 13 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins before getting called up, and now that he is being given a chance on the top line in Detroit he must make the most of his opportunity. It has been nine games since he last scored a goal, which is his second-longest scoring drought of the season. With the Red Wings averaging just over two goals per game, Nyquist has a chance to be one of the team’s impact players down the stretch.