The Detroit Red Wings have always had captains that lead by example and Henrik Zetterberg is no exception. He has 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists) after 8 games: that’s good enough to tie for 2nd best in the NHL.
This is a bit misleading considering the Red Wings have played a few more games than most teams, but still impressive to say the least.
Dig into the numbers a little further and this October outburst should have been expected.
During Zetterberg’s career as a Red Wing, dating back to the 2002-03 season, his averages over the first 8 games of the season are: 3.5 goals and 5 assists, a total of 8.5 points. That’s over the point per game mark which only a handful of players are able to achieve by the end of the season. Zetterberg has achieved this feat 4 times in his career, including last season (46 games, 48 points).
Zetterberg’s projected stats for the end of this season are 62 goals and 41 assists: 103 points. His personal highs are 43 goals and 92 points in the 2007-08 season and 56 assists during 2010-11 season.
So, are we in store for Hank’s best season ever? Hockeytown fans hope so, but probably not.
Hockey point streaks are just like baseball hitting streaks. When you’re hot you rack up points/hits like crazy. When you’re cold, nothing goes right. Zetterberg, as showed by the statistics above, always seems to start off hot.
His cold streak hits about mid-season. Looking back at the past four seasons, Zetterberg has always had a span of six games in which he got a point or less:
February 27 – March 9, 2013 (6 Games, 0 Goals, 1 Assist)
January 19 – February 2, 2012 (6 Games, 0 Goals, 1 Assist)
March 2-12, 2011 (6 Games, 0 Goals, 0 Assists)
December 12, 2009 – January 12, 2010 (6 Games, 0 Goals, 0 Assists)
Fun Fact: The Red Wings’ record was 15-9 during those 24 games. The team certainly steps up when Zetterberg isn’t putting up the points.
But if he can limit the foreshadowed cold streak there is no reason why he couldn’t break a few personal season records. Anything is possible when Pavel Datsyuk, the best play maker in hockey, is on your line.
Speaking of the “magician,” Datsyuk has been involved in 6 of Zetterberg’s points so far after eight games (60%). That’s either great chemistry, or lack of other productive teammates. Take your pick; the first one sounds better so I’m sticking with that. But in reality it’s a combination of both and an observation that will probably keep recurring in my weekly recaps.
Regardless, Henrik Zetterberg is as hot as it gets right now. Let the Captain lead the way and the rest of the Red Wings will follow suit. Keep feeding the red hot fire until the flame goes out.