Breaking Down Stats from Detroit Red Wings' Current Hot Streak
Detroit is 7-2-1 over the last 10 played, and after picking up 15 points, the Wings sit third in the Atlantic Division trailing Montreal by a point with one less game played, and Tampa Bay by one point with an equal amount of games played.
The Wings have won their last four, and that ties them with the Nashville Predators for the longest active win streak.
During their current hot streak, there have been some interesting statistics that have propelled the Wings, and here's a look at the numbers behind Detroit's most recent surge.
Jimmy Howard's Dominance Between the Pipes
During the Red Wings' latest surge, Jimmy Howard has been solid between the pipes. He's started eight of the Wings' last 10 games, and he has a 5-2-1 record with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.
The numbers are not elite by any stretch of the imagination, but during that span, he faced 213 shots.
He limited the Chicago Blackhawks to one goal back on November 11, and since that point, it seems the Red Wings were involved in run-and-gun games in which they went back and forth.
Overall on the season, Howard is 11-4-4 with a 2.13 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. Those numbers have been much better, and they have enabled the Red Wings to win some very important hockey games.
Red Wings Taking It to Opponent During Current Win Streak
One theme of the Red Wings' current win streak has been their ability to take the game to the opponent offensively.
It goes without saying that the Wings have won their last four games because they have scored more goals than their adversaries, but what matters is how they have gone about doing it.
Detroit has been successful the last four games because it has outshot the opposition by an aggregate of 130 to 108. Only the Vancouver Canucks have been able to outshoot the Wings during their current streak, and it was only by a 33-to-30 margin—the Wings still were able to score five goals.
As a whole, the Red Wings have the seventh-highest winning percentage in the NHL at .733 when they outshoot their opponent, and that has been a strategy Detroit has tried to execute throughout the season.
It helps that Henrik Zetterberg is in the NHL's top 25 for total shots taken, and his 75 shots have certainly helped the Wings generate offense all season long.
During the last 10 games, the Wings have scored 37 goals, or 3.70 goals per game, and they have allowed 28 goals, or 2.80 goals per game. This disparity has helped the Wings surge, but how long will it last?
Leadership Is Leading in More Ways Than One
Speaking of Henrik Zetterberg, the Detroit Red Wings' fearless leader has been a key player throughout the team's surge toward the top of the standings.
The savvy Swede is known for his all-around game, veteran leadership and intangibles, but he's been a key offensive player as of late.
Over the last four games, Zetterberg has a goal and four assists for five points, and four of them have come during important situations on the power play.
Zetterberg had the primary assist on Justin Abdelkader's power-play goal in the second period against New Jersey, and it was a pivotal moment that helped tip the ice in the Red Wings' favor the rest of the game.
Zetterberg is currently 20th in the NHL in scoring with five goals, 18 assists and 23 points, and three more points would shoot him all the way up to the seventh in the NHL.
Stephen Weiss Providing Wings a Boost at the Right Time
Stephen Weiss returned to the lineup four games ago. The Red Wings have won four games in a row. There seems to be a correlation, and it is because Weiss has produced since returning from a conditioning stint.
In his last four games, Weiss has three goals and two assists for five points, and he's handled the minutes given to him. He was eased into the lineup with 10:42 against Ottawa and 11:08 versus the Philadelphia Flyers.
He spiked up to 16:21 against New Jersey and went back down to 13:08 on Sunday versus the Vancouver Canucks.
Weiss was signed a few seasons ago to be a top-six center for Detroit, and injuries have gotten in the way of that up until this point.
He may not be the bona fide second-line center the Wings thought they were signing, but his secondary scoring certainly will bolster the team going forward.
Pavel Datsyuk Is Making the Most of Games He Can Play
Pavel Datsyuk has had a wonky groin for most of the season, and it has limited him to 13 games. He's only played in five of Detroit's last 10, but he's made his impact when possible.
The Magic Man has four goals and one assist in his last five games played, and he's been able to give the Wings the shot in the arm when it mattered most.
It almost seems like Datsyuk doesn't know how long he will be able to remain healthy, so he makes the most of his opportunity when he can suit up for a game.
Despite his time sidelined, Datsyuk is currently on pace to finish with over a point per game, and The Hockey News has him on track to finish with 82 points this season.
Niklas Kronwall Providing a Stabilizing Force on Defense
Niklas Kronwall is a physical 33-year-old defender who doesn't pop as much as he used to, but he's still a factor for the Red Wings. He will turn 34 in January, but age appears to simply be a number for Kronwall.
This season he's taken his offensive game up a notch, and over his last 10 games, Kronwall has six points, including one goal and five assists.
The Swedish stud blueliner has been a solid puck facilitator, and he's on pace to finish with 55 points in 82 games. That is a solid number for a defenseman of his caliber, even more so when you consider he tallied 49 points last season and 36 during his last full season before that.
If you take a look at his year-to-year breakdowns, you will notice that since 2009-10 he has increased his points per game average, and it is a good sign to see him continuing to produce as he ages.
How long this lasts remains to be seen, but he's been the one consistent force on the defense since Nicklas with a "C" retired following the 2011-12 season.
Tomas Jurco Stepping Up, Rewarding Mike Babcock for Having Faith in Him
Tomas Jurco was a healthy scratch for three consecutive games by Mike Babcock, and he could have easily been scratched again after posting zero points and going minus-one against the Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens.
Instead, Babcock stuck with the 21-year-old youngster, and it has paid off. In Jurco's last seven games, he has scored two goals and added five helpers. His best moment of the last seven games has to be in the clip above.
The above video displays a sequence in which Jurco skates with and shields the puck and gets it to Niklas Kronwall, who ultimately sets up Drew Miller for a game-tying goal against the New Jersey Devils.
The Red Wings went on to win in a shootout, and it is fair to say Jurco's effort helped earn the team at least a point.
He hasn't shown the skills that have made him a YouTube sensation yet, but once he becomes a little more comfortable in the NHL, I am sure he will break out of his shell.