The Red Wings are coming out of the All-Star break in pretty good shape, sitting tied with Tampa Bay on 58 points for second spot in the Atlantic Division.
Yet to hear Pavel Datsyuk explain it, the club could be making life easier on itself.
“More scoring,” Pavel Datsyuk said of what the Red Wings need moving forward, per the Detroit Free Press. “We haven’t scored enough. Every game is (close). We need more scoring, it would be a much easier game. Every game is a one-goal game.”
The Wings currently sit 20th in the NHL in goals per game, at 2.47. Individually, the club is being led in scoring by a 19-year-old rookie — freshman phenom Dylan Larkin — and the goalsoring has been supplied primarily by four individuals: Larkin, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader.
(It’s been a tough slog for Datsyuk, who missed extended time to start the year with an ankle injury, and only has six goals in 34 games.)
All of this talk, inevitably, turns to goaltending.
In Detroit, the lack of offense has been masked by the terrific netminding of Petr Mrazek, who’s played his way into the Vezina conversation. Mrazek currently sits second in the NHL in save percentage, fourth in GAA and is coming off a January in which he went 7-1-1 with a .962 save percentage.
And in January, the Red Wings saw eight of their 11 games decided by one goal.
“In order to win in this league, most teams need elite goaltending,” head coach Jeff Blashill told the Free Press. “[Mrazek’s] given us elite goaltending, so that’s great.”