By now I think we have all become aware of the following fact:
Tomas Tatar is really good at hockey.
After finally earning his full-time promotion to the Red Wings this season and working his way into the lineup after being a healthy scratch for 8 of the first 9 games, he is showing us all why he was the MVP of last year's Calder Cup Playoffs. He has shown us his offensive prowess and incredible ability to make his teammates better. These qualities have been laid out in numerous analysis posts by our wonderful writers here at WIIM.
Over the last few weeks, we have been witness not only to his amazing play-making and clutch, Datsyukian goals, but his incredible character. Time and time again he has provided a spark to this team, injecting youthful energy into our injury-depleted lineup and willing the puck into the net when we need it most.
We all saw when he scored that goal in LA the day after his father passed away. I'll be the first to admit that I cried when I heard the news of Jan Tatar's death, and did so again when his son gave an emotional salute after he scored what turned out to be the game-winner that night. We've seen that gesture now every time Tomas has scored since then, and I hope to see it many times to come this year.
His tenacity on the ice has allowed him to become one of our best players night in and night out. Many times in recent games I have seen him covered by two or three opposing players, fight through them, and create a scoring chance himself or set up a linemate for a play. Even when he is exhausted at the end of a shift, he gives absolutely everything he can while he is still on the ice. He creates problems for the other team, and damn, is he fun to watch.
You can tell how much he is benefitting from being around the players we are so lucky to have in the locker room. He is humble and a respectful player and someone who just brings it every single night. Just ask any one of his teammates and they'll tell you he's always smiling and is a great person to have around. These positive influences are helping him to become not only a better player, but a better person.
All of these traits are quickly turning Tomas Tatar into a fan favorite. His work ethic is akin to many in Red Wings history and I am so proud to say that he is a part of the team I love and support. I hope he has the opportunity and desire to stay with this organization for a very long time to come, because I can tell you, I don't think he will ever not be wanted by the Wings or the fans.