The Detroit Red Wings outlasted the Chicago Blackhawks very impressively tonight with a 5-4 shootout win. It was a come-from-behind win of sorts for Detroit, who had surrendered the first two goals. They were able to get back in the game thanks to the efforts of Gustav Nyquist.
Nyquist was highly regarded as a prospect in spite of coming as a fourth round pick (No. 121 overall). In Detroit, he was another diamond in the rough for a franchise that has drafted a lot of elite European talent in the latter round. As a team, they have proven that an earlier draft pick is not the only chance that a team has to be saavy.
Nyquist has been pretty good for the Wings so far in 25 games at the NHL level; he is able to produce at a rate that would see him projected to put up somewhere in the range of 40-50 points in a full campaign. Tonight, he was able and willing to help the Red Wings respond to the Blackhawks.
Nyquist had a goal and an assist in a critical second period where the Wings took a one goal lead into the locker room over the Blackhawks. It was a useful influx of offense for a team that was considered the underdog in this game due to the number of injuries that they had sustained.
When you can get offense from unexpected sources, it always bodes well for your team effort, engaging more than one line for scoring. It seems that, although Henrik Zetterberg and shootout hero Darren Helm will get the official credit (first and second stars of the game), one cannot ignore the effort that Nyquist gave, buzzing on every shift in the second period, looking to get his team back in the game.
This is the kind of play for Nyquist that gets young players noticed by their coaching staff and starts to lead to taking on a larger role in the future. I’m sure Nyquist is hoping to catch the eye of Wings officials who break down the tape and see which forwards had the best game.
They will find that Nyquist was the best player on the ice for the majority of the game.