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Player Grades: Henrik Zetterberg

Detroit Red WIngs v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Player Profile:

Name: Henrik Zetterberg

DOB: Oct. 9, 1980 (37 yrs. old)

Born: Njurunda, Sweden

Height/Weight: 6’0” / 197lbs

Position: Forward

Shoots: Left

Season Stats:

GP : 82

G: 11

A: 45

PIM: 14

ATOI: 19:30

Identifying Characteristics:

Perfect beard, expressive face, has never done anything wrong in his entire life

Season Narrative:

Last season, Zetterberg put the team on his back and refused to slow down. For an ancient 36 year old, he was great. Plus, ever since he had back surgery he’s been indestructible and played 82 games the past three seasons.

He really embraced the role of setup man, and seemed to really enjoy playing with Bertuzzi and building his confidence by feeding him scoring opportunities. As we know Bertuzzi can react in the heat of the moment and do some stupid stuff, Zetterberg was the perfect mentor to keep his head in the game.

Zetterberg has gone through slumps in the past, but this season they seemed especially long. He spent most of the Fall scoreless, although you’d never hear a Red Wings say a bad word about him. In typical Zetterberg fashion, he came into February roaring and finished the season strong. The goals were great, but his passing was truly ridiculous and he definitely embarrassed many opponents.

A few basic stats of note: Hank had a lot of giveaways this season (51), however he tempered that by also having a lot of takeaways (57). His FO% was low for him at 48.4% but that’s just because he wanted to keep that 666 FOW stat, hell yeah Hank.

This was a difficult season for Postgame Zetterberg, fer sure. Night after night, facing the media and hearing the same questions and trying to provide answers even when the losses felt inexplicable. It was peak #DisappointedZetterberg and he handled himself admirably, as you’d expect, showing emotion without losing his professional composure.

Milestones: Hank scored his 336th career goal, passing Ted Lindsay for 5th place in franchise goals. He also passed Sergei Fedorov to take over 5th place in franchise points with 960. Basically, he’s on quite a few leaderboards for the Red Wings. He’s not often considered a flashy player, having played so long with Datsyuk who took flashy to another level, but he consistently makes things happen and has for a long time.

Did he meet expectations?

This season, I’d say expectations for Hank were still high but tempered by the reality that he is in the twilight of his career and carrying the emotional burden of the team until the younger guys are ready to take it on (as we saw Larkin start to do this season).

He declined a bit from last year, but actually outperformed his 2015-2016 season. In fairness, last year he was completely ridiculous while this year he had some slumps until he came roaring back to finish the season with some unbelievable passes.

As much as I’d love to judge him only on the latter half of the season, he had a rough start despite still accumulating the assists. However, seeing him fight back when there was nothing left to fight for but pride, was inspiring. The embarrassing losses no doubt weighed heavily on his mind, and I like to think fueled his determination not to let the team end the season a dumpster fire if he could help it.

Many people, including me, suspect that next season will be Zetterberg’s last and that he and Kronner will both retire, officially ending an era and leaving it to the kids to build the new one. Expectations for Hank will still be high next season, and that alone speaks volumes.

Don’t you dare Ichiro us, Hank.

Final Grade: A-

Am I biased? Yes. Yes I am. But for surviving the postgame interviews without committing murder, I’m giving extra credit. And honestly, my expectations were probably too high because he’s spoiled us.

Poll

How would you grade Zetterberg?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    A+
    (75 votes)
  • 15%
    A
    (168 votes)
  • 7%
    A-
    (84 votes)
  • 8%
    B+
    (90 votes)
  • 5%
    B
    (58 votes)
  • 1%
    B-
    (19 votes)
  • 2%
    C+
    (31 votes)
  • 5%
    C
    (59 votes)
  • 7%
    C-areful now.
    (86 votes)
  • 4%
    D+
    (53 votes)
  • 9%
    D
    (109 votes)
  • 6%
    D-on’t you dare.
    (71 votes)
  • 18%
    F - you, blocked and reported.
    (209 votes)
1112 votes total Vote Now