HSJ in the morning: Even more about Filip Zadina’s re-set

The Free Press’s Helene St. James offers her take on the topic of the day, one Filip Zadina’s status as a healthy scratch during Tuesday night’s Red Wings-Sharks game. In a subscriber-only article, St. James examines what Zadina needs to do to re-set his developmental curve:

The Wings have yet to see great hockey from the guy the former regime was thrilled to select when Zadina was available at No. 6 in the 2018 draft. Known for his shot, Zadina was projected to potentially speed up the rebuild. But Zadina, 22 and in his third season, has struggled to be effective. He has four goals and six assists in 32 games this season and 19 goals and 28 assists in 118 career games. This season and last, he has played in the top six with the likes of Pius Suter, Dylan Larkin and Robby Fabbri. He has also seen time on the third line, which does not draw the same level of defenders as the first two lines.

Zadina said he just has to keep believing in himself, especially when he’s in one of his favorite spots: Setting up for a one-timer in the right circle.

“I just have to either fake the shot and pass it back or just try to find a way to get it through the defensemen and get it on net,” Zadina said. “I just have to figure out what I do have to be better.”

When he found out he was scratched Tuesday, Zadina said he was, “disappointed for sure, I was pissed.” While his teammates enjoyed a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks, Zadina, “was working out and watching the guys playing.” 

Zadina may just need time to figure out how to adopt a quicker and more accurate release. He noted it himself, twice, that, “I’m not the first or last who faces this situation. It’s hockey life. I’m not the first one or the last one who has been in this situation.”

Continued (paywall); as coach Jeff Blashill says in the article, Zadina needs to worry less about scoring goals and more about being a part of making plays and generally contributing to the Red Wings’ offense.

He’s a fine sniper, but he’s too selective with his shot–he tries to set up in that right wing faceoff circle spot so often that he’s become predictable–and the sooner he embraces becoming a better player over the entire ice surface, he’ll become more effective.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.