Red Wings 2 Panthers 1 (SO)
Put your hand up if you were among the crowd that wanted #26 gone at some point last year.
Bench him. Trade him for a bag of pucks. Cut him. We heard it all last year.
What surprises me, and really, really confuses me is that I’ve still been hearing it this year.
Little Jiri Hudler is second on the team in goals at 25, one behind the Mule for the team lead.
He’s fifth on the team in points.
The guy who is apparently so atrocious defensively is a very respectable +10 and is often the first forward hustling back into the zone to cover someone.
He’s a pure shooter who, for the betterment of the team, has adjusted his role to be the net front presence on the Wings most effective line.
At a very generous 5’9″, Hudler is the smallest guy on the team but has been thrust into one of the toughest roles. Not only has he adapted to the change in role, he has thrived.
So can we cut the little guy some slack now, please?
The Off Wing View’s Three Stars
3. Scott Clemmensen
2. Jimmy Howard
1. Jiri Hudler