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From Datsyuk and Zetterberg to Nyquist and Tatar?

SI's Sarah Kwak gave Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar quite the set of compliments today:

With old, reliable names out of the lineup, new ones began to emerge. Before this season, Nyquist and 23-year-old left-winger Tomas Tatar had nine goals in 67 games between them. Now they lead the Red Wings with 28 and 19 goals, respectively, and are being called the team's next generation of stars.

It might be too early to hand the keys to the franchise to this dynamic duo, but there are reasons to believe that they're more than a flash in the proverbial pan. Their profiles have skyrocketed, but not altogether surprisingly. Both Nyquist and Tatar were perhaps overripe by the time they stuck with the Wings. As is the case with most Detroit prospects, breaking into the lineup is often the hardest part. Since signing in March 2011, Nyquist, a fourth-rounder in 2008, was sent down to the minors 11 times. Tatar has made nine such trips since he was drafted 60th overall in 2009.

Such is the plight of playing for a deep, talented, and well-managed organization. When success is as longstanding and commonplace as it has been at the Joe, there isn't much room for learning on the job. Particularly up front, rookies come in as veterans. So to go with his impressive speed, Nyquist has developed a hockey IQ that is already "off the charts," in the words of Detroit coach Mike Babcock. And Tatar has shown no quit in his play as he continues to make those around him better.

And she continues...

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WingedRider's avatar

And the above is why I am a Wings lifer. Very old lifer so get that damn point tonite and I can relax.

Go Wings

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 04/09/14 at 03:15 PM ET

awould's avatar

Just don’t call Nyquist a savior.

Posted by awould on 04/09/14 at 04:14 PM ET


Don’t call it a comeback, we’ve been here for years.

Posted by selke13 on 04/09/14 at 04:37 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Very talented young men, but both need major work on their defensive game, they button that up, add in the money we have to spend, no rebuild needed.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/09/14 at 04:51 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

The Wings did a great job developing these guys, even though they screwed up at the start of this year by leaving Gus in GR. That said, while the future looks good with these guys up front (along with Jurco, Sheahan, and hopefully Mantha and Pulkkinen, too), the reality is that neither Nyquist or Tatar is as good as Datsyuk or Zetterberg are defensively, or offensively! Those are big shoes to fill. That said, Datsyuk in particular was a case of slick hands always being there, but the willingness to shoot, improvement of his shot, and hard work defensively all having to round into form a few full years into his NHL career, so what the heck—I hope for the same for any one of this next wave of forwards, because getting that out of any one of them would be lot of luck.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 04/09/14 at 05:01 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

These guys are great, for sure and will get better, but I’ll be Eeyore and say they still don’t have the overall talent nor the defensive game of Pav and Z…

Unplugging my inner HiHD…I hope they do take over the team like Pav and Z did. Can’t wait to watch.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/09/14 at 06:12 PM ET


Are there people actually comparing Nyquist and Tatar to D and Z?  Holy bleep.  What a pile of goofballs.

At 22 years old Zetterberg forced his way onto the team, a Scotty Bowman coached team (and if you think Babcock hates kids hoo boy), and pushed all kinds of really talented players out of his way in doing so.

Nyquist can’t hold Zetterberg’s jock, Tatar’s no better than Nyquist, and none of the three of them are as good as Datsyuk.

Can’t people just enjoy young players playing well without having to launch into asinine comparisons to HOF-caliber players three seconds into their pro careers?  Is SI that much of a useless rag?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/09/14 at 08:21 PM ET

awould's avatar

Is SI that much of a useless rag?


Posted by awould on 04/09/14 at 09:04 PM ET


Guess who’s still holding Sammy’s jock?

“Are there people actually comparing Nyquist and Tatar to D and Z?”  Uh hh, unless you can’t read the above, then yes, someone did.

“Can’t people just enjoy young players playing well…” Yes, everyone else (other than you) enjoys their play very much. So much they like to use a thing called imagination to wonder for fun.

“At 22 years old Zetterberg forced his way onto the team…and pushed all kinds of really talented players out of his way in doing so.”  Yep, like Sean Avery, Jason Williams, and Yuri btttsavbov. Darn that Bowman for choosing Zetterburg (and Pavel) over those amazing guys. Wing’s fans we were robbed.


Posted by awould on 04/09/14 at 09:04 PM ET” agreed. Do they still do a swim suite issue? That would be redeeming.

“Unplugging my inner HiHD…” is it wishfull thinking for someone else to unplug?

I can’t help but wonder if in 2002 we would have been saying the same about Z and P filling the shoes of yzerman and Shanny.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/09/14 at 11:42 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.