Time for Some Encouraging Numbers (and a few depressing ones...)

So what if the Red Wings have "3" in the loss column?! So what if Loss #3 didn't come until November 26th last season?! There's some encouraging trends to take note of despite the grim outlook. For one, the Red Wings also started 06-07 with a record of 3-3-1, and all they did was finish with 50 wins and the top spot in the Western Conference.

Some other numbers (warning: many are difficult to stomach) for your Tuesday hangover:

There's a grand total of three Red Wings on the plus side of +/- with Nicklas Lidstrom and Kirk Maltby co-leaders at +3. Brian Rafalski follows with +2. Niklas Kronwall is the low man at -4.

Thirteen different players have taken faceoffs for the Red Wings - and super-stud Kirk Maltby is dialing in at 100% (2-for-2). Valtteri Filppula has taken the most draws (107), while Pavel Datsyuk has the top percentage among actual, full-time centers (58.1%).

Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg are the only skaters to have played in all seven games who have not yet taken a penalty. Brett Lebda (4 GP), Darren Helm (3), and Patrick Eaves (3) have also stayed away from the sin bin. I'll be happy to start the WINGING IT IN MOTOWN PENALTY POOL, taking bets on who will be the last Red Wing to take a penalty. Take a look at the nifty little poll below...feel free to chime in your thoughts in the comments, as well.  

Todd Bertuzzi, Val Filppula, and Hank Zetterberg are the blocked shots leader among forwards (4 each), which is a good clip behind the team leader (Kronwall - 13).

Speaking of Bertuzzi, he's the front-runner for the new MIKAEL SAMUELSSON AWARD (given to the player with the most shots missing the net altogether) with eight, including one that was fired about 50 feet over the net from no more than six feet away. Which might take skill. Maybe. 

If the current trends continue (and, of course, they won't), Derek Meech and Patrick Eaves will each finish the season with 36 games in the press box as a healthy scratch. By comparison, Meech had 35 last season (which led the team), followed by Chris Chelios (28), Brett Lebda (9), Tomas Kopecky (3), Ville Leino (3), Kirk Maltby (3), Darren McCarty (2), and Kyle Quincey (the first two games of the season, prior to his being waived).

Of the 23 players currently on the roster (which excludes LTIR dwellers Andreas Lilja and Johan Franzen), the average salary is $2,343,193. Chump change.

On Saturday, the Red Wings lost in the shootout to the Avalanche - with only Jason Williams scoring in the post-game circus. Last season, the Wings took part in 10 shootouts, with Pavel Datsyuk converting five times (to lead the team in that category). The only other players to score during the shootout in 2008-09 were Jiri Hudler (3 times), Henrik Zetterberg (3), and Marian Hossa (twice).

Much has been made of Pavel Datsyuk's slow start, thanks to zero goals through seven games (two of which he didn't play in, due to injury), but it mirrors last season's start. His first goal in '08 came in Game #8, which was a 5-4 shootout victory against Chicago. Pasha also scored one of his aforementioned shootout goals.

Mikael Samuelsson is tied for 35th in league scoring. Kyle Quincey is 10th among defensemen. Jiri Hudler is 8th in KHL scoring (with 15 points in 16 games). Much of the rest of the KHL Top Ten reads like the rosters from the 1995 NHL All-Star Game: Alexei Yashin (2nd), Jozef Stumpel (3rd), Jaromir Jagr (6th), and Josef Vasicek (8th). Oh, and former irrelevant New York Islander Mattias Weinhandl (who actually leads the league with 19 points).

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