The Malik Report
by Paul on 01/06/14 at 09:42 AM ET
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
They hope Howard’s 44-save performance in Saturday’s 5-1 victory at Dallas is a sign of things to come.
Fortunately, backup Jonas Gustavsson, though continuing to battle groin issues, has stepped up when healthy. He has been their savior, going 11-3-2, with a 2.39 GAA.
“Gustavsson’s been a great story on the positive side,” Holland said.
There are other positives:
They have flourished on the road (13-4-3). Their best players (Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall) have been strong. Alfredsson, at age 41, looks rejuvenated. Franzen, before his concussion, was displaying the kind of consistency he’s been lacking for several years. Young players like Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and DeKeyser have provided a spark.
“On one hand, I’m disappointed where we’re at from a points standpoint, but there are (39) games left,” Holland said. “A lot of things aren’t nearly as good as I expected when we built this team in the summer, but the good news is we’re not that far out.”
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