Shanahan slumping

January 10, 2006

If there has been one news item out of Detroit in the last week that should give Wing fans pause, it may have been this one:

Yzerman nearly played in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Minnesota, but two things changed that prospect. One, Brendan Shanahan decided his back spasms weren’t so bad he couldn’t play; and, two, the coaching staff urged Yzerman to wait one more game so he could be “over-ready.”

Back spasms. 

Naturally, no mention has been made of this since that article.  But anytime the word “back” and “Shanahan” are in print within paragraphs of each other, we should be a little nervous.

Back problems don’t go away.  They may diminish with surgery or therapy, but they don’t disappear.  Shanny’s started hurting him in ’98 and, not coincidentally, the observations that he had moved away from his power forward style to more of a Brett Hull-type player began.

Now the coincidences are coming back. His scoring has stopped.  He’s not moving to the net and his back is the subject of discussion again.

Shanahan hasn’t scored since December 20th against Columbus and has registered exactly one assist in the seven games since then.

Shanahan had been the Wings’ most consistent goal scorer for the season’s first 35 games, mainly because he had moved back toward his roots as a power forward and stationed himself closer to the net.

Now as his scoring has fallen off, we don’t see Shanny hovering around the crease as we did at the beginning of the season, and he’s practically been non-existent on the power play: two indicators that his slump is physical.


One Response to “Shanahan slumping”

  1. Olongapo Joe Says:

    “Back problems don’t go away.”

    Eric Daze can confirm that one.

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