The Scouting Report: Detroit Red Wings
CALGARY, AB -- It's hard to imagine a Stanley Cup Playoffs without the Detroit Red Wings.
Making the playoffs in each of the previous 21 seasons, the Red Wings are in danger of snapping the streak started after Detroit failed to qualify for the postseason in 1989-90. The historic club currently holds down the eighth and final playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference and sit two points up on both the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Red Wings are just 4-4-2 over their past 10 games but have earned points in three straight. Detroit will push for four Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames.
Flames Season Series Record: 2-0-0
Calgary has found plenty of success against the Red Wings this season, taking both previous meetings against Detroit.
The Flames opened the season series with a 4-1 win in the Motor City on February 5th on the strength of a goal and an assist from Dennis Wideman along with three helpers from Mike Cammalleri. Calgary then followed up the performance with a 5-2 victory at Scotiabank Saddledome on March 13th thanks in part to a goal and an assist each from Matt Stajan and Curtis Glencorss.
SOG: 94 | +/-: 9
Scoring goals in back-to-back games, recording points in three straight and with seven points in his previous seven games, Franzen is helping Detroit's march toward a 22nd consecutive playoff appearance. The 6-foot-3, 223-pound winger with a penchant for productive playoff performances is heating up at just the right time for the Red Wings and has nine goals and 25 points in 35 games this season.
SOG: 63 | +/-: -8
Though he's third in scoring for the Red Wings this season behind Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Kronwall is pointless in his past four outings despite averaging over 25 minutes of action over that span - the longest drought he's had since a five-game stretch in February. Still, Kronwall's contributions run deeper than just offense, though the 6-foot, 190-pound rearguard does have 21 assists and 26 points in 42 games this season.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Abdelkader's contributions to the Red Wings goes well beyond his 11 points in 42 games this season. The pesky 26-year-old leads Detroit in hits with 104. Despite the shortened season, the Muskegon, MI product has already set a new career high in goals with nine, eclipsing his mark of eight in 81 games a year ago.
Arguably the top two-way center in the National Hockey League, Datsyuk has continued his assault at both ends of the ice this season. The 34-year-old leads the Red Wings in goals with 13, points with 41 in 41 games as well as plus/minus with a plus-15 mark. Datsyuk currently sits 14th in the league in points.
A perennial disturber, Tootoo has frustrated Detroit opponents to no end this season. No stranger to sticking up for himself after causing a disruption, Tootoo has team-leading eight fights this season, while his 78 penalty minutes is also tops among teammates.