ST. LOUIS – In a league that stresses the importance of divisional matchups, it only stands to reason that players’ statistical performances would be better against regional rivals than those outside of the division.
However, it’s interesting to note that nearly 40 percent of the Red Wings’ current 23-man roster has stockpiled more points against the Blues than their other Central Division foes.
Led by star center Pavel Datsyuk, nine different Wings’ players have produced some of their career best statistical numbers against St. Louis. Datsyuk, who is 10 goals shy from becoming the 11th player in franchise history to reach 250 goals in his career, has produced 69 points, including 22 goals in 58 games against the Blues.
Even better, Datsyuk seems to enjoy playing in St. Louis. It’s here, at Scottrade Center, that he’s collected more road assists (26) and points (36) than any other building in the league. His plus-21 rating at Scottrade is also a career-best.
Newly-minted team captain Henrik Zetterberg also seems to enjoy playing the Blues, producing his highest totals against them with 22 goals, 37 assists and 59 points.
Others to amass career highs against St. Louis are forwards Johan Franzen (14 goals), Daniel Cleary (29 points), Valtteri Filppula (11 goals, 19 points), Jordin Tootoo (six goals, 14 points), and Justin Abdelkader (six points), and defenseman Niklas Kronwall (24 points).
Goalie Jimmy Howard, who gets the start tonight in St. Louis, has 10 career wins against the Blues, which is his career best against any NHL teams.
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