The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/09/14 at 02:58 PM ET
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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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.