I was trying to hold back from tackling any of the big guys on the Wings but I couldn't resist taking the chance to go over Dats.
"Oh my..." Those are some of the many words that consistently spill from my mouth on a nightly basis watching Pavel twist and turn his way through defenders like they are rookies in there respective Junior leagues. He has elevated his game higher than nearly everyone else in the NHL. You could make an argument for about 5 others to be the best of the best, he is one of them.
One of my favorite parts in viewing Pavel is watching him work his magic on the side boards. The way opposing players have no choice but to sit back and wait to see what he does with the puck. He has made so many players look stupid that most of the time you don't even see them attack anymore. They will keep 2 or 3 feet and try to prevent him from cutting to a prime scoring area. It's almost a sense of respect for him, knowing he will just contort your body until he gets free and place a perfect pass or deadly accurate shot because you just gave him an opening by challenging his wizardry.
Datsyuks last 4 seasons:
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
2007-08 Detroit Red Wings NHL 82-31-66-97-41
2008-09 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81-32-65-97-34
2009-10 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80-27-43-70-17
2010-11 Detroit Red Wings NHL 56-23-36-09-11
I really do believe he can be a 100+ point player. He has been so close on several occasions and I'm a firm believer just based on what I saw from him last season that if he stayed healthy, 2010-11 would have been that year. Depending on the new system we see introduced by the newly formed coaching staff this year, I think if he gets in around 80 games we will finally see that breakthrough.
A big year for Datsyuk that sees him back in Selke contention as well as Hart voting. I think we will witness that "Euro Twin" chemistry of old as some of our depth players finally start stepping up and allow Dats to be paired up with Z. Let's prepare for another year full of "Datsyukian Dekes"!
As awesome as this fight was, I forgot how sweet the play was leading up to it.