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
|Norris Division||GP||PTS||Smythe Division||GP||PTS|
|Prince of Wales Conference|
|Adams Division||GP||PTS||Patrick Division||GP||PTS|
FULL RED WINGS STATS