Gustav Nyquist did not have a very good 2017-18 season statistically, posting 21 goals, 19 assists and 40 points in 82 games played.There’s no doubt that Nyquist, who’s signed for one more year at $4.75 million, needs to step up production-wise, but the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan duly notes (in a locker room clean-out day article) that Nyquist owned his struggles during his final session with the media:
“I don’t think I’m happy when I’m standing here talking to you guys in April,” Nyquist said during last week’s locker clean out. “I have to find a way to be better.”
What irked Nyquist was the goals he felt were there to be had, only to be squandered away.
“I scored a little more goals this year but I still think I created enough chances to score more,” Nyquist said. “I want to produce more than I did. I’ve got to find a way here during the summer to do some things and to get better for next year and have a big season.”
I don’t know how much credit Nyquist gets for working his butt off on a more consistent basis, but the Red Wings’ coach was impressed by Nyquist’s work ethic, and I’d argue that Nyquist deserves that much:
“He and I talked about it the beginning of last season, about the importance of being totally relentless in his approach, and on a lot of nights he’s done that,” Blashill said. “He’s been one of our hardest workers on a consistent basis and one of our biggest battlers.”
In Blashill’s estimation, Nyquist could easily be closer to 30 goals next season given a bit more good fortune.
“If he gets those chances a year from now, we’re sitting at 25 or 26 goals instead of 20,” Blashill said. “(He had a) ton of good chances. The fact he’s gotten to 20 doesn’t surprise me.”
I hope that Nyquist can return to 25-goal-scoring and 50-to-60-point form. The Wings need to be “proven right” in choosing Nyquist over Tatar for consistency’s sake.