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This week in a Detroit Red Wings season that actually happened: If you send in the replacements, you’re going to have a bad time

Wonder boy among men

Wonder boy among men

Brent Fedyk. Kris King. Dale Krentz. Doug Houda. Harold Snepsts. Kringle McClingal.

All these people played game for the Red Wings in the past two weeks. Seriously. I only made one of them up.

All of the sudden Detroit’s four-game skid near Christmas makes a whole lot more sense.  It doesn’t make it easier to take or easier to understand, it just makes more sense. When a team isn’t playing its best players it’s going to lose. And Detroit did. The Red Wings lost to Buffalo and Quebec and Pittsburgh and Minnesota, just one of them over .500. (Pittsburgh, by one game).

The small breathing room they had at the top of the division: gone. The lead itself was gone at one point too. It took back-to-back wins against St. Louis to round out the calendar year to earn the Red Wings back their supremacy in by far the weakest division in the NHL.

It wasn’t too long ago I called the Red Wings elite. Big mistake. Old problems are new problems. First and foremost: goaltending (and to a lesser extent, defense in general). After a brief resurgence, the goalie-by-terrible-committee strategy stopped paying off. Glen Hanlon and Greg Stefan were both lit up at separate points this week. Both remain with under a .900 save percentage and both just seem like mean guys.

(That last statement comes based of absolutely no factual evidence.)

Somebody needs to make a play. I mean, other than Steve Yzerman. The best Red Wing is in the midst of perhaps one of the greatest seasons in Red Wings history. He’s recorded a point in 18 straight games. The last time he didn’t make the score sheet? November 22 against Boston. The Red Wings lost 1-0.

Yzerman has 61 points in 37 games. He recorded four points in Detroit’s 7-2 win over St. Louis today. He’s only 22 years old. Somebody in the mainstream media give this man some love.

He’s doing what Crosby did at 22, with one difference. Yzerman is ahead of Crosby’s pace. Yet all I hear about is how Crosby might be playing in Europe. Focus on what you do have people.

As we get over the holidays that are supposed to remind of the good things we have and how thankful we are, don’t worry. The Red Wings will probably continue their tailspin to some extent. But whatever happens, they can’t take this Steve Yzerman season away from us. Cherish it. Cherish it like that really expensive thing you asked for for Christmas and will either lose or forget about a month from now.

That’s really what the holidays are all about.

RED WINGS POINTS LEADERS

Steve Yzerman, C: 61

Gerard Gallant, LW: 37

Bob Probert, LW: 36

Petr Klima, RW/LW: 27

John Chabot: 23

RED WINGS GOAL LEADERS:

Steve Yzerman, C: 28

Petr Klima, RW/LW: 21

Bob Probert, LW: 17

Gerard Gallant, LW: 16

Brent Ashton, LW: 11

RED WINGS ASSIST LEADERS

Steve Yzerman, C: 33

Gerard Gallant, LW: 21

Bob Probert, LW: 19

Darren Veitch, D: 19

John Chabot: 17

GOALTENDING STATS

Goalie Record SA SV SV%
Greg Stefan (11-7-3) 617 550 0.891
Glen Hanlon (5-9-1) 477 427 0.895
Darren Eliot (0-0-0) 19 17 0.895

STANDINGS

Campbell Conference
Norris Division GP PTS Smythe Division GP PTS
Red Wings 36 36 Flames 38 50
Blues 36 35 Oilers 38 49
Maple Leafs 37 32 Jets 36 35
Blackhawks 38 32 Canucks 38 29
North Stars 39 31 Kings 39 26
Prince of Wales Conference
Adams Division GP PTS Patrick Division GP PTS
Canadiens 40 53 Islanders 36 41
Bruins 40 48 Devils 38 40
Whalers 36 34 Flyers 38 40
Nordiques 35 34 Penguins 37 39
Sabres 37 33 Capitals 38 37
Rangers 38 33

FULL RED WINGS STATS

Forwards GP Goals Assists PTS
Ashton, Brent LW 32 11 7 18
Barr, Dave RW 20 3 11 14
Bridgman, Mel C 27 3 8 11
Burr, Shawn LW/C 36 8 9 17
Chabot, John C 37 6 17 23
Eaves, Murray C 6 0 1 1
Fedyk, Brent LW 1 0 1 1
Gallant, Gerard LW 36 16 21 37
Graves, Adam LW 8 0 0 0
Higgins, Tim RW 29 5 6 11
King, Kris LW 2 0 0 0
Klima, Petr RW/LW 37 21 6 27
Kocur, Joe RW 25 2 2 4
Krentz, Dale LW 1 0 0 0
Kumpel, Mark RW 13 0 2 2
Martinson, Steve LW 8 1 1 2
Murphy, Joe RW 30 5 6 11
Oates, Adam C 22 1 10 11
Probert, Bob LW 36 17 19 36
Yzerman, Steve C 37 28 33 61
Defense GP Goals Assists Points
Chiasson, Steve D 10 0 3 3
Delorme, Gilbert D 24 1 2 3
Halward, Doug D 37 2 16 18
Houda, Doug D 9 1 1 2
Lewis, Dave D 6 0 0 0
Norwood, Lee D 20 3 3 6
O’Connell, Mike D 27 3 8 11
Sharples, Jeff D 23 4 12 16
Snepsts, Harold D 6 0 0 0
Veitch, Darren D 34 3 19 22
Zombo, Rick D 22 0 1 1
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