Each Detroit Red Wings Star's Best Highlight in 2013-14 so Far
The Detroit Red Wings possess a serious level of star power.
The envy of the league for the past two decades, the Red Wings find themselves in a unique predicament. Injuries have dimmed their shine and resulted in recent struggles, but they’ve had some electric moments this season.
All puns aside, Detroit has plenty of talent who has made world-class plays all year.
Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg continue to add to their laundry list of magic moments, and Johan Franzen’s improved play has provided much-needed depth.
Even though he’ll miss his eighth consecutive game on Tuesday, Zetterberg continues to lead the team with 30 points. Datsyuk remains second with 25 points in 28 games. Franzen had registered 17 points in his last 17 games prior to suffering an upper-body injury on Sunday against Tampa Bay.
There are more than just these three to grace this list, so here are some of the best individual highlights for each Red Wings star.
Daniel Alfredsson Scores His First as a Detroit Red Wing
Daniel Alfredsson spent 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators before joining Detroit this summer.
Alfredsson signed a one-year deal with Detroit in hopes to capture a Stanley Cup title. It shocked the hockey world when Alfredsson left his beloved Ottawa Senators in search of a new opportunity at 41 years old.
He has seven goals and 24 points through 30 games and is third on the team in scoring.
He had the opportunity to score a goal against his former club, an empty netter to secure a 4-2 win in Ottawa. It’s possible that the only bigger highlight for him was scoring his first as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.
Alfredsson scored on the power play in a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 15.
At 5:05 of the first period, Alfredsson opened the scoring when a loose puck snuck out to the faceoff circle, and he blasted a slap shot passed goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg provided the assists.
It was Alfredsson’s first as a Red Wing and first with any team other than the Ottawa Senators in the 18th season of his career.
Henrik Zetterberg Steals and Scores vs. Tampa Bay
In the first of five matchups with divisional foe Tampa Bay, Detroit was looking to make a statement early.
Henrik Zetterberg did just that when he stepped between two Lightning players, stole a pass from Steven Stamkos and fired it by goaltender Ben Bishop. It was “Hank’s” ninth goal of the year and a hot start for Detroit in a game they’d eventually lose, 3-2, in overtime.
Zetterberg has been suffering from a herniated disc in his lower back and it has caused him to miss eight straight games. The team has gone 1-5-2 without him with their only win coming in a 3-1 decision over the New Jersey Devils.
Detroit’s captain is an invaluable asset, and the team has scored only 13 goals in his absence. When he returns, it’s sure to spark the offense and help right the ship.
With more than half the season remaining, Detroit still has plenty of time to get their captain healthy and ready for another postseason push.
Johan Franzen Scores His First of the Season Against Colorado
Before suffering an upper-body injury on Sunday, Johan Franzen was the biggest part of Detroit’s offense.
Franzen hadn’t scored a goal in the first seven games of the season, but finally broke the seal against his favorite opponent—the Colorado Avalanche.
His first goal of the season came on a delayed penalty when Henrik Zetterberg slipped him a pass below the circle.
Franzen spun to the front of the net and slipped a shot past Semyon Varlamov to give Detroit a 1-0 lead. He would add a second goal later in the game as Detroit won 4-2. It ended Colorado’s unbeaten streak to open the season.
He had been on a three-game scoreless streak before the injury, but netted seven goals and 17 points in a 14-game stretch. When Franzen completes the league’s concussion protocol, the team hopes he’ll pick up where he left off.
When he uses his size as an advantage, Franzen is one of the more effective power forwards in the game.
Jimmy Howard Robs Brian Boyle Twice
Jimmy Howard is another one of Detroit’s stars who is suffering from an injury.
Howard has now missed four games due to a Grade-1 MCL sprain in his left knee, which is expected to sideline him another 2-3 weeks. Jonas Gustavsson has made three starts in his place and Petr Mrazek has one.
Howard has been the workhorse for the Red Wings over the last few years, but this year his struggles have allowed more starting time for Gustavsson. In Howard’s start against the New York Rangers, he provided stable and flashy netminding in a close game.
Just under eight minutes into the second period with the Wings clinging to a 1-0 lead, Brian Boyle of the New York Rangers had two golden opportunities to score, and Howard denied them both. Howard’s saves maintained Detroit’s one-goal lead, but would eventually fall 3-2 in overtime.
When Howard returns from injury, his patience and work ethic could hopefully turn fortune in the team’s favor. He has struggled with a 2.66 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 21 starts.
Pavel Datsyuk Dangles and Snipes vs. Stars
Pavel Datsyuk delivers more highlights than a hair salon.
With 8:26 remaining in a 2-2 tie, Datsyuk received a pass from Henrik Zetterberg and proceeded to work his magic. After stickhandling through Stars forward Shawn Horcoff, Datsyuk then picked the corner over goaltender Kari Lehtonen’s blocker to give Detroit a 3-2 lead.
Although the Wings would eventually lose the game 4-3 in overtime, Datsyuk’s insane ability with the puck left his opponents baffled and fans in awe. The goal was his seventh of the season.
Datsyuk has now played in five consecutive games after missing seven with concussion symptoms suffered from a hit by Ottawa’s Jared Cowen on Nov. 23. He has registered a goal and an assist in those five games.