The Detroit Red Wings hit the road on a nice little two-game winning streak, one that’s come without their most dynamic player in the lineup. That the Wings take on the New York Islanders Friday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum seemingly having broken free from a monotonously meager month has something to do with a couple of younger guys on the team. Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar are parlaying their minors-level excellence into NHL contributions. “They’ve made us way better,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Nyquist has come and given us another real good player and so we have a better team because he’s here.” The Wings will be even better when Pavel Datsyuk returns from a concussion suffered last Saturday, but general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that isn’t happening before next week. Datsyuk did not join the team for the trip to New York and Ottawa. Todd Bertuzzi (bruised shoulder) did travel in order to continue practicing. Nyquist and Tatar both scored in the Wings’ masterful 6-1 drubbing of Boston Wednesday. Tatar demonstrated great puck-possession skills on both his goal and in setting up Drew Miller’s. Tatar has eight points in 18 games since becoming a regular. “I just feel better and better as the games go on,” he said. “It’s all about opportunity. There’s different main guys here, so I’m not as much on the ice, so I have to try to do my best whenever I am on the ice.” Nyquist’s goal gave him four points in four games since joining the team Nov. 21. It doesn’t hurt that with Datsyuk and Bertuzzi out, Nyquist is playing with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen on the team’s first line.
Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar big helpers as Detroit Red Wings make do without Pavel Datsyuk
Detroit Free Press | Nov 29