Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/20/14

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 29: Jonas Gustavsson #50 of the Toronto Maple Leafs takes a break during his game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 29, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Maple Leafs 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jonas Gustavsson needs to be better in 2013-2014. (Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images) Detroit Red Wings fans are well aware of what franchise cornerstones Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterburg are capable of. Both players averaged just over a point-per-game (49 points in 47 for Datsyuk, 48 in 46 for Zetterburg) and led the Wings to the second round of the playoffs before being knocked out by the future champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. New associate captain Niklas Kronwall had 29 points in 48 games last season as well, which would have presumably been on pace to shatter his career high had the season not been shortened by the lockout. Despite the impressive numbers put up by the new locker-room leaders in the first season without legendary captain Niklas Lidstrom, the Red Wings put up an unsightly 2.54 goals-per-game, which tied for 19th best in the NHL. This is compared to a 2.29 Goals-allowed stat, which was good for 5th best in the NHL. The offensive issues that plagued the Red Wings last season were hard for fans to watch, the most eye popping stat being the 0-24 power-play to start the season. These were the main issues that Red Wings GM Ken Holland signed longtime Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and Florida Panthers franchise player Stephen Weiss during the offseason. Both are talented, intelligent play makers that have already made an impact on the offense this season, working in collaboration with Datsyuk, Zetterburg, and last year’s breakout star Justin Abdelkader. Though the offense desperately needed improvement for the Red Wings, a lack of backup goaltending was perhaps a bigger concern. Then-newcomer Jonas Gustavsson was brought in to provide some solid relief to Red Wings revelation Jimmy Howard following the retirement of Red Wings legend Chris Osgood. Unfortunately for the Red Wings, however, Gustavsson spent much of the season sidelined with an injury while posting a career low .879 save percentage in his 7 apperances. Jimmy Howard was forced to start 42 of 48 games last season. Had the season been a full one, Howard would have been on pace to start 72 games. Though Jimmy Howard has been a workhorse over his 4 full seasons as a Red Wing, 72 games is far too many. Detroit needs a backup plan, and that plan’s name is Jonas Gustavsson. It’s not unreasonable to believe that Jimmy Howard could start 60 games this season. There are, however 82 games in the season, and the Red Wings will need the Monster to act like his namesake during those other 22 games if they want to compete against their new Eastern conference opponents. Gustavsson is off to a good start after making 28 saves and earning the win on Monday against a dangerous Boston team. Only time will tell if he can work through the injuries and provide the backup that Jimmy Howard needs this season. For more Red Wings news, rumors and opinion, visit our Detroit Red Wings page
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Romo was willing to take pay cut to keep DeMarco Murray

Marcus Mariota reportedly not planning to attend NFL draft

Alabama RB dismissed from team after marijuana arrest

Golden Tate: Departure of Suh won't pressure Lion's offense

Are the Angels being overlooked?


Team USA improves before meltdown in Swiss draw

USC AD skips meeting in Indiana: ‘I am the proud father of a gay son’

David Ortiz clarifies part of essay in The Players' Tribune

Hernandez reportedly 'swore' he wasn't involved in murder

Associated Press examining its use of the Redskins name

Urban Meyer discusses notion of running 2-QB system

WATCH: Gronk describes his perfect wife

Reigning National Champions to boycott Final Four in Indiana

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

New development clears path for Rams relocation

WATCH: J.J. Watt sings about stadium food on 'New Girl'

Kings ready to shut down DeMarcus Cousins

Jameis Winston may skip NFL draft to be with grandmother

Phillies to sell hard liquor, wine at Citizens Bank Park

Jason Dufner, wife Amanda getting a divorce

Top 10 players in baseball

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Russell Wilson should sit until new deal is done

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Top 10 players in baseball

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Five coaches already on the hot seat

Can we envision the Hawks in the Finals?

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.