In a season consistent only in its inconsistency, players are bound to have some cold stretches. Unfortunately for the Red Wings, some of their best players have experienced their fair share of frozen spells.
However, as we start to embark on the final half of the season, we are bound to see some of these Wings have a stronger second half. The only question left: Who will they be?
Currently, Zadina is sitting seventh in points on the Red Wings, with three goals and five assists. It’s a fair bet, especially after Thursday’s game, that Zadina’s stock will continue to rise.
In watching the Red Wings, it’s that Zadina has been one of the better players on the team. However, for a long stretch, the talented young player wasn’t playing to his strengths. He wasn’t taking as many shots, and seemed to prefer passing despite his elite scoring ability.
Things seemed to finally click on March 4 in Columbus. Despite a loss, Zadina’s confidence seemed to rise with a fantastic two goal performance. Gone were his attempts to pass away the puck. After Zadina finally cashed in on a solid chance, he started firing away, recording six shots on the net.
If there was a member of this team poised to move up the leaderboards, it’s Zadina. If he plays with the same energy night in and night out, he could find himself on the scoresheet every night.
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A player with slightly higher expectations (at least for this season) is Mantha. Although third on the teams total points, Mantha has still been relatively disappointing this season, with seemingly poor effort being the highest on the list of problems. He’s had an eight-game streak with no points, and is averaging less than half a point per game. This is coming off a season where he was averaging .88 points-per-game before the regular season ended due to the pandemic.
Still, Mantha posses a ton of talent. Even during that rough stretch, there were a few moments where he used his size to win a board battle, or used his speed to beat someone to the puck. If one were looking for another player to rebound, it’s Mantha. In fact, after finally scoring on March 2, he seems to have regained some of his swagger – attempting snipes and shots that he would’ve passed up earlier in the season. Don’t count him out just yet.
It’d be unfair to blame Bertuzzi for his lack of scoring, as he has been sidelined by an injury for over a month. In fact, Bertuzzi looked like one of the best players for the Wings in the nine games he played. Especially on the power play.
He’s an immediate difference maker when he’s on the ice, and almost always plays with 100% effort. Add to that the fact that this is a contract year for Bert, and it’ll be a player looking to make some noise in the second half of the season.