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Zetterberg ‘may be as good as I’ve seen him,’ says Kronwall

Feb 13, 2013, 12:39 PM EDT

Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

On a points per game basis, last season was Henrik Zetterberg‘s worst since 2003-04.

Not that 69 points in 82 games is pitiful by any means — it was still the most on the Red Wings — but there were definitely times when he was wishing things were going better.

He’s not wishing that right now. With 18 points in 12 games, Detroit’s new captain is third in league scoring and drawing rave reviews from teammates.

“Hank has been huge for us,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said, per MLive.com. “Right now, he may be as good as I’ve seen him, the stuff he does out there, all the little things right. He’s outworking everybody. Him and [Pavel Datsyuk] are just tremendous.”

Zetterberg’s hot start is actually a continuation of his play in the second half of 2011-12. Post All-Star break, he had 34 points in 32 games.

Things are going pretty well for the team, too. Despite being forced to deal with numerous injuries and the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history, to retirement, the Red Wings are 7-4-1 — good for sixth in the Western Conference — heading into tonight’s game against the Blues.

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