I once wrote an article listing the Top 10 Franchise Players in the NHL. I left some great names off that list, and no one seemed to notice. However, one player I failed to credit in the Top 10 did garner a lot of defenders, and his name is Pavel Datsyuk.
The Red Wings star is often overlooked, to some degree. When we talk about best player in the game, Crosby, Ovechkin, Lundqvist, and Stamkos have their names raved often. John Tavares and Jonathan Toews also earn a ton of praise. The players I just mentioned are great, but Datsyuk is in there – worthy of having his name mentioned in the same breath.
The Wings’ centre is already showing-off his unique skill set in the Eastern Conference, to an array of awe and admiration. Monday, during a matinee against the Boston Bruins, Datsyuk’s presence was felt on the scoreboard – his on ice elegance, featured in the highlight reels afterward.
Watch Pavel Datsyuk set up the Red Wings first goal with the patented deceptive speed he has used to expose NHL defencemen for more than a decade.
The player Datsyuk heists is Patrice Bergeron – no slouch defensively. What makes the above YouTube video more exceptional is that the Bruins’ heart usually wins head-to-head matchups against rival centreman. Datsyuk kind of took him to school Monday. Nice finish by Zetterberg. The Wings won the midday contest by a score of 3-2, while smooth number 13 gave Bergeron fits all day.
In 7 games, he has 7 points. His plus/minus, a dominant (+5). It will be fun to watch Pavel Datsyuk smoothly disassemble Eastern Conference defences all season. If he’s exposing the defensively sound Bruins, the rest of the East should be worried.