When Zadina returns, Raymond’s words should be his motto

Philip Zadina lost in the last minutes of Detroit Red Wings3-0 victory when he saved a shot and had to be helped by the ice. It will be some time before he returns.

The 23-year-old was still checking things out and playing the game as the organization wanted him to turn a two-way forward. Zadina suffered the injury after doing the right things, which included taking a tablet in his private area.

One cannot help but think that at some point, fortune will smile at him rather than frustrate him.

A week ago, Lucas Raymond was asked if the lack of scoring was affecting him. His direct response can be solid advice for Zadina when he returns.

“No, not really,” Raymond said. “I think my focus was playing the right way. I know good things are going to happen. We had a good game tonight, so build that.”

It’s exactly what Zadina should embrace after he recovers and is back on the ice.

Zadina gets off to a slow stat start

There has been much re-talk about how Zadina relegated the Red Wings to sixth in 2018. But it’s been recast even more by fans and critics who are now wondering if the top five teams might have known something Detroit didn’t.

Hindsight does that. But at the time, the choice was praised.

It’s also undeniable that Zadina has had incredibly bad luck, with Saturday’s injury piling up on her.

In the previous eight games before yesterday’s game, coach Derek Lalonde had little to no manipulation of his teammates. The Kubalik-Rasmussen-Zadina streak was the first not to pair it with a familiar face going back to the first streak with Andrew Copp and David Perron. And looking back at his first eight games of the season, starting with his last win over Washington, we see that consistency

The interesting part of the streaks is that Zadina is at a major career low in the attack zone which starts at just 36.5% in equal strength. It’s a sharp drop from 50.7% last season. The only striker who lags behind Zadina in that category with a similar sample size of games? Raymond and Cope.

But here’s another key statistic: Zadina’s Corsi relative. Zadina is second on the team at 8.5% 5v5, behind only Michael Rasmussen. Even in his power, the team produces more attack with him on the ice, which gives some credence that he generates the attack without finding the back of the net.

This is a small sample size but there are two metrics that potentially explain why Zadina’s numbers are not better. But as we saw in Saturday’s game, Zadina does the little things that add in time.

If anything, seeing Raymond score again after drying up should have served as some kind of inspiration.

Listen to Raymond’s response

It seems simple that heeding Raymond’s advice is the most likely course of action. But like everything else in life, the mental aspect of the game must be considered. Just an unofficial view of the 2018 draft and comments made by Sportsnet when Zadina His name had been revealing the expectations placed on him from the start. Comparing you to Nikita Kucherov and being an advanced sniper immediately puts you in mind.

No excuse should be used. He simply goes back four and a half years ago and sees what was to be expected. With just 25 goals in 169 NHL games, it’s certainly not the comeback the Red Wings expected.

But the prediction of the high-end sniper may have been rewritten during the rebuilding period. Former coach Jeff Blashel wanted him to be a more complete player, and Zadina has grown to this point in the last two seasons. Scoring wasn’t there, but there was a stronger two-way match.

That’s what he was looking at more of, Lalonde said, realizing that Zadina would lean more closely to the goal-scoring side of the game.

“He’s an abusive man who judges himself a crime,” Lalonde said. “Obviously, we like him to issue an attack but just manage his game. There are some risks, there are some twists in his game. All the great players and skilled guys are going to have those natural transformations, but just limit them.”

Back to Raymond’s words, play the right way.

Zadina was doing it. And perhaps, Raymond thinks, the rest will take care of themselves once Zadina is healthy again.

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