As kids (and maybe some adults, I'm not trying to crush any dreams here) eagerly await the gifts provided by a jolly fat guy in a red-and-white suit, I thought of another group of guys in red and white who could make my Christmas especially joyous.
From Dec. 14 to Dec. 25, I will mimic the pattern of the 12 Days of Christmas song by asking for one thing on the first day, two things on the next day, and so on until Christmas.
But, as this is the season of giving, I'd love for all of you to give me your thoughts on what you'd like from the Red Wings for Christmas, so please, post away!
Today, the Red Wings take on the Chicago Blackhawks. With most of their best offensive players gone due to injury, if the Wings have any chance of winning, 20 guys will need to collectively step up and contribute.
This is largely what has happened the past five games, with one exception, hence, my request.
Seven points for Ville Leino
Leino made the most of his limited time in Detroit last year, scoring nine points in 13 games.
A former MVP of the Finnish Elite League, his two-year contract over the summer seemed well deserved.
At the time, Detroit GM Ken Holland said that he expected Leino would contribute about 40 points this season. This would be valuable all the more due to the mass exodus of scoring that occurred over the summer in Detroit.
At the rate he's going, Leino will finish the season with 14 points.
Frankly, Leino's been a disaster this year. He has three goals, three assists, and a minus-8 rating.
Were this a guy counted on for checking or dropping the gloves, these totals wouldn't be troublesome.
But Leino was slated to be a solid, reliable second-line scorer, someone who was actually going to take some of the pressure off Zetterberg and Datsyuk.
So much for that.
Overall, the Wings have responded well to the overwhelming adversity presented to them in the form of injuries.
Role players like Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Justin Abdelkader and even AHL call-up Kris Newbury have all contributed with strong play and offensive production.
But, Leino has remained as he's been this whole season, peripheral and unnoticeable.
The guy has the talent to do more, there's no question about that. But he has to step up, and now, into a larger scoring role if he's to be worthy of any playing time he gets.
Leino has six points on the year, if on this day, he goes to bed with seven, it's a step in the right direction.
So, Red Wings (and I'm looking at you Ville), please get No. 21's point total to seven today, at least then we'll now we have everyone contributing.
...six straight games without an injury, five players clicking on the power play, four wins in a row, three solid periods of hockey every game, two defensemen scoring, and a dominating performance by Pavel Datsyuk!