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Filip Zadina/Nikita Kucherov Comparison

03/09/2019 at 3:30pm EST

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Nikita Kucherov is leading the NHL in scoring, is a top candidate to win the league’s most valuable player award, and is considered a player you can build a franchise around.

So, if Filip Zadina becomes half the player the Kucherov is, the Red Wings will be more than pleased.

Some scouting analysts, before last June’s draft, made the case that Kucherov was a comparable for the young Zadina. Kucherov and the Tampa Bay Lightning play host to Zadina and the Red Wings on Saturday night.

A wing like Kucherov, Patrick Kane (Chicago) and Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary) is the newer type of wing in the NHL who can control the game with the puck on his stick, and is almost like a second center on the ice.

Zadina has shown some of that playmaking ability. But coach Jeff Blashill sees Zadina as a cross between that type of wing, and the more traditional winger who waits for a playmaking center to get him the puck and can unleash a powerful shot.


added 3:48pm, from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,

The Lightning are coming off a rare loss as the Minnesota Wild shut them out, 3-0, on Thursday in Tampa.

The Lightning have only lost two games in a row twice this season, 6-4 at home Nov. 10 to the Ottawa Senators and 2-1 at Buffalo Nov. 13. They lost in a shootout, 3-2 at home to the Vegas Golden Knights Feb. 5 and in overtime, 1-0 at home to the St. Louis Blues.

Meanwhile, the Wings' lack of success against the Lightning has been well-documented.

The Wings have lost 13 straight in the regular season to the Lightning, 13 straight including the playoffs, 12 in a row in Tampa in the regular season and 12 in a row in Tampa including the playoffs.

"One, we took a good step forward (Thursday) night," Blashill said after Friday's practice. "We got to make sure we take another good step forward. They're a real good hockey team. Obviously their record is great right now. I don't think the discrepancy in teams in today's NHL is outlandish. We got to go there and play great hockey. If we do that, we put ourselves in position to win. Certainly I'm sick of not beating them. Without a doubt, we want to go there and win the hockey game. So hopefully we can go out and play good hockey."

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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