Every Thursday I’ll give my $0.02 worth on the state of the team.
What the Red Wings are going through right now, and what they really have been going through all season, is similar to if the Tigers had Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hitting—only, and the rest of the lineup was being collared on a nightly basis.
Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk might be the team’s Dynamic Duo, but the rest of the Red Wings are playing like the terrified citizens of Gotham.
Secondary scoring? It’s a fantasy right now.
The no. 1 line of Z (10 goals) and Pavel (9), plus Todd Bertuzzi (5), have scored 24 of the Red Wings’ 47 goals this season—more than half. Daniel Alfredsson and Joakim Andersson (3 goals each) are the only two players on the roster with more than two goals scored.
As postulated here the other day, Daniel Cleary (2 g, 1 a) was a healthy scratch against Winnipeg on Tuesday night. But it’s not just Cleary who isn’t getting it done—lines 2 thru 4 just aren’t putting the puck in the net, plain and simple.
So what to do?
Well, coach Mike Babcock could split Z and Pavs, but the coach is loathe to do that, because whenever he does, it means something is wrong. Of course, something is wrong. Why split up the two guys who, when playing together, are the only guys scoring?
Another option is to create a speedy, annoying line of Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Patrick Eaves and have them forecheck the crap out of the other team. Maybe you can create some turnovers and get some quality scoring chances.
But frankly, this is hockey and, like baseball, sometimes you just have to let slumps run their course.
Regardless, the Red Wings need goal scoring, and it speaks to what I had said during the off-season: that I would feel better if the team somehow acquired a sniper. They haven’t had one since Marian Hossa left in 2009.