Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings: Contributions From All Players Key in Securing Playoff Berth

The Detroit Red Wings picked up two key wins Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning as they currently hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a two-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets have a game in hand and play the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.

The Red Wings had to come from behind in both games as they faced early 1-0 deficits.

The win against the Lighting was especially impressive because it was not only on the back-end of a two games in two days stretch, but the Red Wings got contributions from a mix of rookies and veterans.

We have talked about how Gustav Nyquist has been key in keeping the Red Wings in the playoff hunt, but amidst all the Nyquist hype, the rest of the team has struggled to score.

It was rectified Sunday as Joakim Andersson, Darren Helm, Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen all found themselves on the score sheet.

Nyquist has been phenomenal during the later part of the season as he now leads the team in goals with 27 and is on an eight-game point streak (11 goals, two assists), but he can’t be relied on every night to be the sole source of offensive firepower.

He may get to that point some day in his career, but in his first season with the club full-time, he can’t be expected to shoulder the load night in and night out. A one-dimensional team is a team that either doesn’t make the playoffs or doesn’t last very long in the playoffs.

Franzen, Alfredsson, Helm and Legwand will need to contribute on a more consistent basis while awaiting the return of Pavel Datsyuk in the coming weeks.

Helm has gotten a good start toward providing more offense as he notched his first career hat trick against the Maple Leafs and has five points in the past three games.

Alfredsson has two assists in the past two games after notching just six points in the rest of March.

Franzen has three points in his past three games after collecting just seven points in March.

It’s vitally important these veterans continue to complement Nyquist and even Tomas Tatar on the scoring sheet.

Getting Justin Abdelkader back on Sunday was a huge boost for the Red Wings as he provides a physical presence on the top lines that was sorely missing.

However, if the Red Wings want to keep that playoff streak alive, they will need contributions from other people on the team not named Nyquist.

Tags: Detroit Red Wings

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