Detroit Red Wings: 4 Players Who Need to Get Hot in Home Stretch

Isaac SmithAnalyst IApril 12, 2013

Detroit Red Wings: 4 Players Who Need to Get Hot in Home Stretch

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    The Detroit Red Wings are struggling to make the playoffs. The Red Wings have been giving up far too many goals, but this is only half of the problem.

    The Red Wings just can't seem to score, with just 11 goals in the past seven games.

    Simply put, the Red Wings need some offense and there are some notable players who are currently struggling to score.

    Here are four players that Detroit needs to get hot down the stretch for the Red Wings to continue their playoff push.

1. Henrik Zetterberg

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    Henrik Zetterberg is second on the team points overall, but he has the same number of goals (eight) as Justin Abdelkader.

    While Zetterberg has contributed in other areas offensively, leading the team with 27 assists, it has been eight games since Zetterberg scored a goal. The Red Wings "superstar" has been looking slightly less than "super" as far as goals go.

    While Zetterberg does not necessarily need to score over the Red Wings' remaining eight games, it would do wonders for the Red Wings' confidence as a team to see their captain put a couple goals in the net before the end of the season.

2. Johan Franzen

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    Johan Franzen is another Red Wings' player that has not had a bad offensive season, but has still left a substantial amount on the table, offensively speaking.

    Franzen has gone seven goals without a goal, but has five assists over those seven games. Franzen is likely Detroit's most natural shooter (and goal scorer), but he needs to start shooting more to find his way back into the game as far as scoring goals is concerned.

    Franzen has also been one of the most dominant players in the playoffs for the Red Wings. If Franzen gets his offensive game going, it would be a monumental boost for the Red Wings' playoff chances.

3. Valtteri Filppula

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    Although Valtteri Filppula has had some injury problems this season, he is in a contract year and should be playing better offensively.

    Filppula has just 14 points in 32 games. As a player that was thought to be a top-six forward in the Red Wings' forward group, Filppula has struggled so much that before the game against the San Jose Sharks, coach Mike Babcock moved Filppula to center the third line on the Red Wings to try and generate some offense from the Finnish forward.

    Filppula desperately needs to break out offensively down the home stretch. It is crucial for the Red Wings' playoff hopes, and it is also crucial for Filppula if he hopes to make some serious money this summer in free agency.

4. Niklas Kronwall

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    The Red Wings' offensive struggles can be articulated fairly clearly by looking at Niklas Kronwall's offensive struggles. Kronwall has no goals in his past 12 games and has only registered five assists over those 12 games.

    Kronwall had 21 points in his first 28 games, but has inexplicably been failing to help his team out offensively over the past 11 games. During this time, Kronwall has also been a minus-four over those 11 games.

    As a "No. 1" defenseman, Kronwall needs to find a way to get engaged offensively. If Kronwall can get engaged offensively down the stretch run, perhaps he can find a way to help the other players named in this slide show to find their offensive game as well.


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