September 11, 2009

Red Wings Season Preview: Henrik Zetterberg

Because nothing screams "cutting edge" quite like The Triple Deke, we'll be passing on the typical season preview for 2009-10. Instead, we will bring you this: a highly scientific forecast of each player's performance, which will be calculated by using an updated copy of a 13 year old video game -- Sega's NHL '97. Each statistical output will be treated as an irrefutable premonition, and anyone who challenges the accuracy of our system will be burned alive in front of their families.

*****


Henrik Zetterberg | #40 | Center


Strengths:

* Dynamic offensive threat who can set up teammates or play a sniper's role. Always looks in control and can weave through traffic as well as anyone.

* One of the premier two-way players of the last decade. Remarkably puts up points while shutting down the opposition's top line.

* Emma Andersson.


Weaknesses:

* His back is a little iffy.

* I honestly can't say anything bad about this guy. The thought of it physically pains me.


NHL '97 Season Recap: 54 goals, 79 assists, 133 points

Last season I foolishly predicted that Z would have the best regular season since Sergei's absurd 1994 campaign (56 goals, 64 assists, 120 points, Selke trophy, League MVP, began courtship of 4 year old Ann Kournikova). I did this despite knowing that he'd probably be (occasionally) bumped down to 2nd line duty and have a good portion of shots taken away because of Marian Hossa. I guess after the impressive 2008 playoff performance, I just had a feeling it would carry over and lead to something huge.

Perhaps I should have saved that feeling for this season. Maybe he has maxed out his offensive potential already (career high 92 points in 2007-08), but if he's going to break through the 100 point barrier, what better time than now. You'd be hard pressed to find another hockey player -- or athlete for that matter with as much competitive drive as Henrik Zetterberg. After staying clamped to Crosby's jock for seven games only to watch him skate the Cup in his house, he's going to be drunk with motivation to get it back.

With even more of the spotlight on him, Z absolutely killed the Sega competition in 2009-10. Despite injuring his neck and missing 12 games after an unfortunate motorboating accident with his fiance Emma, he posted 133 points in just 70 games for the Wings -- nearly a 2-points-per-game clip. There literally wasn't a single thing that he didn't win: He won the Hart, the Selke, the Pearson, the Hobey Baker, the Pulitzer, the lottery, and most impressively the Crag.

I was wrong about last year. But my friends I have seen Henrik Zetterberg's future through my 16-bit lens, and it looks promising.


4 comments:

patleb940 said...

When I go running outside, I always mechanically put my Zetterberg t-shirt on. I always wondered why I did so, but now I know: because wearing this t-shirt makes me feel unstoppable! Z is awesome and I wish him all the best! 133 points... wow! Can't wait to see Pav's numbers!

J.J. from Kansas said...

I move that they should actually starting handing out The Crag award for the gutsiest player in the league. I'd also like to see Mickey Redmond say "Do-do-d-d-d-do you have it?"

Animal Drew said...

Maybe Z's back wouldn't bother him so much if Emma started licking it like Hudler's Hos...just a thought.

Osrt said...

but the motorboating will get him Drew