Henrik Zetterberg

Zetterberg ‘may be as good as I’ve seen him,’ says Kronwall

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On a points per game basis, last season was Henrik Zetterberg’s worst since 2003-04.

Not that 69 points in 82 games is pitiful by any means — it was still the most on the Red Wings — but there were definitely times when he was wishing things were going better.

He’s not wishing that right now. With 18 points in 12 games, Detroit’s new captain is third in league scoring and drawing rave reviews from teammates.

“Hank has been huge for us,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said, per MLive.com. “Right now, he may be as good as I’ve seen him, the stuff he does out there, all the little things right. He’s outworking everybody. Him and [Pavel Datsyuk] are just tremendous.”

Zetterberg’s hot start is actually a continuation of his play in the second half of 2011-12. Post All-Star break, he had 34 points in 32 games.

Things are going pretty well for the team, too. Despite being forced to deal with numerous injuries and the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history, to retirement, the Red Wings are 7-4-1 — good for sixth in the Western Conference — heading into tonight’s game against the Blues.

PHT Morning Skate: Remembering 10 years of Crosby, Ovechkin

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin
AP Photo
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (NHL.com)

Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)

After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)

Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
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The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?