Using the term “X-factor” is pretty lame, but I am going to use it anyway. What exactly is an X-factor? In my experience of writing these types of posts, the x-factor is a player who contributes but isn’t necessarily seen as the main cog of the team. The Red Wings this year have had a lot of players pitch in, not a lot of them really stood out and made a name for themselves.
I believe Tomas Tatar can be the player that “sticks out” this postseason.
Tomas Tatar may not seem like an inspired choice. He does have karma on his side after his good deed the other day, but he is simply one of the better players on the team, this despite that fact he gets little to no fanfare. In just over sixteen minutes of ice time last night, he had one assist and one shot on goal. Not a big statline by any means but he keeps chugging along and contributing in anyway he can.
His season numbers paint an accurate picture of his worth to the team, he is one of two players with twenty plus goals, impressive on such a low scoring club. He is fifth on the team in assists, yet he is continually forgotten when naming top players in Detroit. That needs to change.
He has an opportunity to make a name for himself while pushing the Wings over the hump. He saw a good portion of his ice time with Gustav Nyquist, a player that is just as skilled as him and can also make a difference with the puck. They were centered by Riley Sheahan and he wasn’t up to snuff with a 41% ES CF, a mark that is not only poor for a second line center, it is poor for a couple of players who need the puck on their stick. If he can’t be that player, they need to find a player that can take advantage of Tatar’s skills and to a certain extent, Nyquist.
This can be a breakthrough moment for him and it will make a world of difference to fans watching, knowing, that this team is caught in a bit of a transition phase. He can be the “X-factor” that helps the team move on from the more storied names. He can become the next legend in the Red Wings long, long playoff history.
I think he has it in him, do you?
Leave your takes in the comments below.