So this is the first post on the new On the Wings website address, and my first post using WordPress. This post will be an exercise of me learning how to use WordPress, while also looking at the Wings’ offensive troubles this season.
When I looked at the conference standings this morning, I saw the Wings at 12th in the Western Conference and 4th in the Central. I was also surprised to see the Wings at 20 goals for, and 21 goals against – I can’t remember the last time the Wings were being outscored in regular season goals. The past three games, the Wings have lost 4-1, 5-1, 3-1, against the Ducks, Sharks, and Oilers, respectively. It was certainly a tough road trip for the Wings, who went 1-3 out on the West Coast, and scored only 6 goals in 4 games.
So who is not producing like they should be this season? Datsyuk and Zetterberg are the most obvious players not meeting high expectations. Datsyuk has 2 goals and 2 assists in 8 games, with only 11 shots on goal in that span. Kopecky has more shots (13) in only 5 games played, and obviously much less ice time. The bottom line is that Datsyuk is not getting enough shots, and needs to be more greedy on the offensive end of the ice. Zetterberg has 2 goals and 1 assist in 8 games played, with 26 shots – a shooting percentage of 7.7%. In perspective, Datsyuk had a shooting percentage of 19.3% and Zetterberg had a shooting percentage of 14.4% in 2005-2006. You would expect most forwards getting a lot of shots to score at a minimum 11-15%, so Zetterberg needs to get himself in that range, and soon: 7.7% shooting is not acceptable. Note: Datsyuk tends to have a higher percentage than the range of 11-15%, based on his passing the puck in most players’ shooting situations.
A lot of the offensive troubles are due to special teams. The Wings are ranked 27th on the power play, going only 4/46. On the penalty kill, the Wings are ranked 24th, killing 41/53 chances. The Oct 19 San Jose game certainly didn’t help, with the Sharks going 5/12 on the power play, accounting for all 5 of their goals in their 5-1 win.
Let’s hope the Wings turn the ship around when they play the Sharks Wednesday night at JLA.