The play of Alexander Wennberg always seems to be a hot-button topic.
Last season, I argued he was playing very well, and that was met with some obvious pushback as Wennberg had just a 35-point season while battling injuries.
Player growth isn’t linear, so even though Wennberg had a 59-point season the year prior, he wasn’t going to automatically improve upon that, nor was he now a consistent 60-point player. That lack of consistency can be frustrating as you expect players to be one thing and they end up another.
This part of why you always hear players talk about taking it one game at a time, as Wennberg did prior to Thursday's 5-4 win over the Panthers. Every game is a new challenge.
"You don’t want to get too carried away, it’s a good game but for us we look back at it, a lot of good things from it but you got to get back do it again and for us we don’t get too carried away, we just excited to play another hockey game."
Wennberg, after having a good game with two assists on Tuesday night, was invisible on Thursday against the Panthers. He had no points, no shots and a 22.73% Corsi at 5-on-5 per Natural Stat Trick. His line mates, Nick Foligno and Anthony Duclair, were also poor at 5-on-5. Foligno and Wennberg have been developing some strong chemistry over the past couple seasons.
"It’s hard to say what it is, sometimes you think a little better than others and I’ve been playing a lot of games with Fliggy, he’s a really good player and has a good shot so I think his style of game kind of suits me pretty well.
We use our speed forechecking and getting pucks to the net. It’s pretty simple as that, but you can really tell from the last game (vs. Colorado) and the games before that we are really moving our feet, and just create turnovers and create chances from there, that’s a key for our whole line."
Wennberg’s play has been significant at keeping Foligno afloat in the early going. In 38:19 together at 5-on-5, they have a 43.10% Corsi after their poor performance in Florida. Away from Wennberg, Foligno (in 12:25 of TOI) is at 33.33%. This was similar to last season as well; in 230:13 together, they were at 55.30% and Foligno, when away from Wennberg, was at 50.29%. Wennberg has taken Foligno from average to great and very poor to below average.
The Jackets need reliable secondary scoring and it needs to come from this line.
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