There’s a reason the Red Wings had their highest goal-scoring output of the season in their final 11 games and a reason ESPN’s preview of their first-round series with the Bruins includes the line, “They were the one wild-card team contenders didn’t want to face.”
They’re getting healthy again.
The Red Wings had 13 points the past 11 games (6-4-1 record), tied for their highest point total in a segment this season. The extra game helped, but one part of their game had a bigger impact.
|Seg 1||Seg 2||Seg 3||Seg 4||Seg 5||Seg 6||Seg 7||Seg 8|
(*The splits don’t add up to the total because I didn’t include empty-net goals, short-handed goals, 6-on-5 goals, etc. on the chart.)
The Red Wings scored 33 goals this segment, the highest of the season and seven more than in Segment 7. They also had seven more 5-on-5 goals this segment.
Here are the top 5 players in terms of total GRM:
1. Gustav Nyquist, +2.5 (+3, -0.5)
2. Riley Sheahan, +2.48 (+2.81, -0.33)
3. Tomas Tatar, +2.42 (+2.42, 0)
4. Tomas Jurco, +2.18 (+2.18, 0)
5. Darren Helm, +1.51 (+2.92, -1.41)
The 5-on-5 GRMs had nearly the same order, but it all changed when you looked at the biggest gains in 5-on-5 GRM from Segment 7 to Segment 8. Two of those to making the highest jump: Darren Helm (from -0.2 to 1.09), Pavel Datsyuk (0 to 1.09).
Helm played in just two games of the last segment. He played in all 10 in this one. Datsyuk hadn’t played since the beginning of February, but suited up for the final six of games of the season.
If you look solely at the seven more 5-on-5 goals as the difference (it wasn’t, there were a number of factors but 5-on-5 play was the biggest) then Helm and Datsyuk’s return to form accounted for 2.38 of the seven goals. Another 1.34 came from Justin Abdelkader, who suffered a leg injury in the middle of the last segment but returned to play in seven games in Segment 8, oftentimes on a line with Datsyuk.
The rest of the scoring was picked up by the youngsters. Luke Glendening, a defensive forward/penalty kill specialist, found some offensive pop, scoring his first career goal and jumping his 5-on-5 GRM 1.24 goals. After a disastrous Segment 7, Tomas Jurco jumped his 5-on-5 GRM 1.58 goals