Detroit Red Wings' 5 Most Impressive Individual Performances in 2013-14
The Detroit Red Wings have had an up-and-down season. However, some players have come through on an individual basis to pull the team back into a playoff position.
These players vary in age, skill level and total NHL experience, but their performances have been important to Detroit's success and will be crucial in the next month as well as in the playoffs—should the Wings qualify.
Here are the top five most impressive performances in 2013-14 by Detroit Red Wings players.
Note: Impressiveness will be weighed on a couple of factors including (but not limited to): points, saves, impact on final result of game and other such categories.
Honorable Mention: Henrik Zetterberg
It would be unfair to leave Henrik Zetterberg off of this list if it were solely for most impressive Red Wings throughout a season.
With that said, this list deals with individual performances in individual games this season, and as far as Zetterberg is concerned, he has chipped in almost equally on most nights this year.
Zetterberg does have five different three-point games this season, but it is nothing that Red Wings fans haven't come to expect from their captain.
For now, Zetterberg gets an honorable mention with no specific game mentioned for fear of taking away from his other games this season.
5. Daniel Alfredsson: 3 Assists Against Philadelphia, October 12
The Red Wings signed two big-name free agents in the offseason.
Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss both inked deals to play for Detroit last July, but Alfredsson struggled off the bat with just one point (an assist) in his first four games as a Red Wing.
Then the Philadelphia Flyers came to town on October 12 and Alfredsson lit them up, potting three assists including the one above.
This game featured four Red Wings with three-point nights, but the difference for Alfredsson was that it was an offensive coming-out party of sorts.
At 40 years of age, Alfredsson showed that he could still fill the scoresheet and keep the Red Wings going on the power play.
4. Jonas Gustavsson: Stops 38 of 40 Shots vs. Colorado Avalanche, October 17
The Colorado Avalanche started the season with six consecutive victories. Then the Detroit Red Wings paid them a visit on October 17, 2013.
Most hockey fans will look at the box score and see that Jonas Gustavsson allowed two power-play goals in the second period that allowed the Avs to tie the game 2-2 after two periods.
What needs attention, however, is the fact that Gustavsson stopped all 17 shots he faced in the third period, including a number of point-blank chances. This allowed the Red Wings to continue to look for the go-ahead goal and then the insurance marker once they took the lead.
Detroit's players got both a go-ahead goal and an insurance marker, but they wouldn't have been able to do it without the big stops by Gustavsson in the third period.
3. Jimmy Howard: Stops 44 of 45 Shots vs. Dallas Stars, January 4
Jimmy Howard has had a lackluster season with a mediocre record to show for it.
But on those nights when Howard is at the top of his game and actually gets support offensively, the results are nothing short of ideal for Detroit.
Now for those fans who roll their eyes when seeing that Dallas was the opponent in this contest, it should be known that the Stars did everything they could to win this game.
However, Howard stopped all 33 even-strength shots and 10 power-play shots that he faced, surrendering just the lone goal on a short-handed breakaway.
Howard hasn't been overly impressive this season, but he has shown flashes of why the Red Wings extended his contract through the 2018-19 season.
2. Johan Franzen: 4 Points vs. New Jersey Devils, March 7
With the absences of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg post-Olympics, a lot of pressure was on Franzen to come back and perform.
He has done so admirably.
After the Red Wings blew a 2-0 lead against the New Jersey Devils and trailed 3-2, Franzen blasted home the power-play marker above for his third point of the night and got the Red Wings going just when it looked like they were dead in the water.
Detroit had given up a 2-0 lead, allowing three goals in two minutes and 21 seconds before Franzen answered just two minutes later.
He also added a third-period assist for good measure. Detroit won 7-3.
1. Gustav Nyquist: Hat Trick, Assist vs. Washinton Capitals, February 2
The Red Wings had no business being in the game against the Washington Capitals after their first period.
Gustav Nyquist had a first-period marker, but the Red Wings trailed 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Nyquist brought the Red Wings to within one goal with just over a minute to go in the second period. Then, not even a minute into the third period, Nyquist cut to the net and completed his hat trick on a tip-in goal from Henrik Zetterberg, tying the hockey game.
The Red Wings needed another goal, though, as Troy Brouwer restored the Caps' lead. Nyquist stepped up, won a battle on the boards and centered the puck for Justin Abdelkader, who buried it.
Detroit lost in overtime, but this was Nyquist's coming-out party of sorts, as he put up four points and kept the Red Wings in the game, giving them a chance to get a single point in the standings after trailing on multiple occasions.