We’ll start today’s Around the Rink with Randy Magnus, who made some very good points in a user submitted column in Wednesday’s Detroit Free Press.

“(Jiri) Hudler had one goal and six points through his first 29 games, all played before Christmas. Since Dec. 25, he has 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 29 games, nearly a point per game. Delving deeper into the impact of his turnaround, you’ll see that the Wings have an incredible record when Hudler has tallies at least a point since Christmas. They are 15-1-1 in those 17 games. In contrast, the Wings are only 3-8-1 in the 12 games that opponents managed to keep Hudler off the score sheet since the holiday.

Lately, coach Mike Babcock has paired Hudler with Pavel Datsuk and Danny Cleary, forming a very potent line. Hudler has posted a point or more in eight of the last nine games (three goals, nine assists) and the Wings have lost only one of those contests. Of course, they also lost the one (and, overall, the last four) in which Hudler failed to put up a point. Maybe keeping Hudler hot is the unexpected key to finishing the regular season strong and making a run through the playoffs for another sip of champagne.”

Read the entire article here, certainly worthy of a stick tap from this blogger.

If anything, Hudler’s resurgence and the impressive set of statistics that back it up showcase the ebbs and flows, the ups and downs, over 82 games of regular season hockey. In a society where instant gratification is often rewarded, patience, and pacing oneself is a virtue.

Just a few months ago, the New Jersey Devils couldn’t buy a win and the Pittsburgh Penguins couldn’t lose, even if they tried. Now, the Devils, 9-1-1 over their last 10 games are bidding for a miraculous playoff berth, while injuries have not only made Pittsburgh’s title quest more complicated, but it will have implications on their AHL affiliate’s Calder Cup hopes too.

  • Gordie Howe’s 300th goal puck is headed for auction.
  • The Nightmare on Helm Street takes a closer look at Jimmy Howard’s contract extension.
  • On the Wings has your Red Wings-Ducks preview.
  • Red Wings Brasil talks about Ken Holland being limited by the salary cap at the trade deadline.
  • Is Mark Cuban about to buy the Dallas Stars?

If you haven’t noticed, we’ve started to take some of our favorite user submitted fan photos and created the Detroit Red Wings Social Media fan of the day. To submit your best entries, email your photo and hometown to redwingssocialmedia@gmail.com.