Buying or Selling Detroit Red Wings Players' Hot Starts in 2013-14
The Detroit Red Wings now have a 4-2 record on the young season.
With a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Monday afternoon, the Red Wings moved into second place in the Atlantic Division.
The challenge now is to remain in the top two of the division and not dip lower than that for the remainder of the season. It will be a challenge, but with the players that Detroit has, it is feasible.
The bigger question for Detroit is which of these players who has gotten off to a hot start will continue putting up numbers offensively and which players will fizzle out as the season progresses.
Here are six Red Wings that will either continue their winning ways or slow down substantially.
Stephen Weiss: Buy
Stephen Weiss only has two goals in six games, so it would be hard to qualify that as a "hot start."
However, Weiss has been looking more comfortable recently, picking up the go-ahead goal in the win against Boston.
Outside of his abysmal performance against the Coyotes (minus-four and winning just 23.8 percent of faceoffs), the former Florida Panther has been a legitimate threat offensively, despite not getting the bounces most of the time.
The fact that he is skating on the same line as Johan Franzen will undoubtedly give Weiss the opportunity to cash in plenty of times in the scoring department this season.
Result: Definite Buy
Johan Franzen: Buy
Johan Franzen looks refreshed this season.
Franzen has looked disinterested on the ice in some games over the past few seasons, but that has not been the case so far in this season.
The 33-year-old Swede has three points (all assists) so far, but has taken some time to acclimate to his new linemates in Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss. Alfredsson has since been dropped to the third line, and Abdelkader has replaced him on the right wing.
The issue with Franzen's consistency this season is how long he will stay determined and how long he will keep skating and feeding the puck to Weiss.
As of right now, buying Franzen's "hot start" is a risky proposition, but he can obviously still pay huge dividends on the scoreboard.
Result: Cautiously Buy
Daniel Alfredsson: Sell
Daniel Alfredsson has five points (all assists) in six games.
But with the recent success that Detroit has had after Mike Babcock's line shuffle, Alfredsson figures to get less opportunities than he would otherwise.
This is because Alfie is now playing on the third line with Joakim Andersson and Daniel Cleary. Those aren't really the kind of names that get hockey analysts jumping off of the couch with excitement.
Given, Cleary is still on the No. 1 power play until Babcock changes that up. He should be good for some points, but a five-points-in-six-games pace? Not a chance.
Niklas Kronwall: Sell
Niklas Kronwall has five points in six games, as well. Things are looking up for the Red Wings' assistant captain at the moment.
But one thing that simply cannot continue is his point-per-game average.
His five points in six games puts him on track to average 68 points. That's 17 points higher than his career high.
As great as it would be to see Kronwall put up 68 points this season, it just doesn't make sense trying to think about it.
Kronwall could hit the 40-point or 50-point plateau (both of which would only be the second time in his career, respectfully), but 68 points at this pace seems just absurd.
Despite his playing time as the only defenseman on the Red Wings' top power play unit and time with the Red Wings' No. 1 line, it will not be enough to let Kronwall continue on his torrid points projection.
Result: Cautiously Sell
Pavel Datsyuk: Buy
General rule of thumb in case hockey fans haven't learned it by now: Never doubt Pavel Datsyuk until he gives a reason to do so.
It may seem generic and unverifiable with numbers, but Datsyuk simply continues to amaze, even at 35 years of age. Datsyuk has six points (two goals, four assists) in six games and is finally reunited with fellow "Euro Twin," Henrik Zetterberg.
Zetterberg leads the team in shots with 33 through six games, meaning there's plenty of potential assists for Datsyuk to collect on Zetterberg goals.
Datsyuk put up 49 points in 47 games last season without playing with Zetterberg for most of the season.
Expect Datsyuk to benefit even more from playing with Zetterberg.
Henrik Zetterberg: Buy
Henrik Zetterberg is playing with Pavel Datsyuk this year. The two best players on the Red Wings complement each other extremely well with Datsyuk being the passer and Zetterberg the shooter.
This has already manifested in Zetterberg's shot totals, as he has 33 shots (third in the NHL) in six games, taking no less than four shots in any game thus far.
Zetterberg's five goals and two assists in these six games should be enough to convince any doubters that he and Datsyuk will continue to dominate this season.
Although other teams may stack their best players on the ice against the Euro Twins, sometimes, it just isn't enough.
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