Someone needs to tell Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar that Halloween is over. He can stop being a ghost any time now. And the sooner, the better.
All of the talk this off-season about how last season was an anomaly, and that he’ll be taking the next step in establishing himself as a consistent offense producer, and not going long stretches of complete invisibility have fallen completely by the wayside so far this year.
Detroit is 13 games into the 2016-17 season and Tatar has one lonely goal. For a player who enjoyed a coming out party in 2013-14 as a surprise point producer and followed it up with a solid 29-goal performance in 2014-15, expectations are so much higher than what he’s been able to produce so far this year.
At his current pace, Tatar will only score six goals. In a word – unacceptable.
Now to only single out Tatar and his lack of production wouldn’t be fair, but it wouldn’t be a pretty picture, either. His one goal is one more than what Riley Sheahan has produced, only one less than the total for captain Henrik Zetterberg and two less than that of Justin Abdelkader.
The Red Wings are mired in a depressing slump. After an impressive six-game winning streak, they’ve gone winless in their last five (0-4-1). Tatar is one of the many players that can help bring it to an end, and one that Detroit needs to get going.
Bottom line, it’s put-up or shut-up time. If Tatar doesn’t improve quickly, it may be time for the team to move on.