And, if I recall correctly, about 25 of those goals came in the last week of the season. I seem to remember a "hot streak" or something.
How different were the two halves to his season? The Mule went down with a knee sprain in the second game of the year against Chicago, which reunited the Datsyuk/Zetterberg/Holmstrom line. He struggled to find his groove for a while, and didn't notch his first goal until November 22. At the start of 2008, he had only accumulated 6 goals. And while he's not on the team for his passing, he still only had 2 measly assists, adding up to 8 points at the start of January.
The Wings needed some sort of pickup. We were wondering alound about acquiring another scorer before the trade deadline. Pav and Hank couldn't do it all by themselves, so something needed to happen. Little did we know that help would come from within - within the possessed, transformed soul of Johan Franzen. His performance down the stretch was the very definition of "pleasant surprise". He was so glaringly out of synch before...now he was our most dangerous scorer night after night. He kept it going through the postseason, and put on one of the most incredible single-series performances in Detroit Sports History when he slayed the Avalanche. 9 goals in 4 games. Video game shit.
In the back of my head, where the pessimistic portion of brain is, I worry that this was a fluke. But the rational side of me says that a "fluke" cannot look as untouchable as the Mule was from the beginning of March onward. Even when he looked a little slow from that scary head injury shit in the playoffs, he put on an electric display with that insane move in Game 3 of the Finals. Stickwork like that indicates that he's got enough confidence to last him 3 more careers, which greatly subdues any pessimism I may have.
2008-09 Pointless Statistical Guess