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On Tomas Tatar and His 20 Goals

March 20th, 2017 at 4:05 PM
By Sports Media 101

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday afternoon, Tomas Tatar scored two goals in 96 seconds against the cellar-dwelling Colorado Avalanche. Those tallies got Tatar to the 20-goal mark for the third consecutive season.

Some fans aren’t too pleased with this, for reasons I understand, but also have to shake my head at. There’s a sentiment out there that it’s just too little, too late. Objectively it’s true, subjectively it’s hard to agree when Tatar is now leading his team in goals, four ahead of second-ranked Andreas Athanasiou.

There’s a whole host of reasons why this team has been performing far below even our reserved expectations this season. Tomas Tatar just now reaching the 20-goal plateau is certainly one of them, as he is a player well-suited to a role where he isn’t the lead actor in this macabre production, but is a strong supporting character. Gustav Nyquist is certainly in that same mold.

Incidentally:

Injuries have obviously played a large role in the Wings’ diminished success, as has been the case for several seasons now. You can’t convince me that 2013-14 wouldn’t have gone differently if Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk didn’t combine for a mere 90 regular season games between them due to injuries that nearly proved catastrophic for the team. This season would look at least less awful if Jimmy Howard’s career year hadn’t been ground to a halt by yet another injury at the worst time possible.

But if you want to take the concept of “too little, too late” and slap that label on Tatar’s recent hot streak (5-3â??8 in his last five games), then you absolutely have to take that out of the vacuum and apply it to other aspects of the team this year.

The power play is the quintessential example, obviously. The Wings went 18 consecutive road games without a goal on the man advantage, spanning nearly three full calendar months and 52 opportunities in those 18 contests. There’s …

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Tags: Andreas Athanasiou, Colorado Avalanche, December 18, 2016, Gustav Nyquist, Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard’s, Justin Abdelkader, March 12, 2017, October 19, 2014, Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings, Tomas Tatar

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