The Detroit Red Wings attempt to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 23rd straight season is being put to the test this year. The Wings are currently tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and they’ll have to continue fighting for points without their top centre Pavel Datsyuk, who has battled a leg injury over the majority of this season.
The Red Wings announced on Wednesday that Datsyuk will miss the next three weeks.
— Red Wings News Feed (@RedWingsFeed) March 6, 2014
The loss of Datsyuk is especially troubling because captain Henrik Zetterberg is sidelined for the remainder of the 2013-14 season and last summer’s free agent signing Stephen Weiss is still recovering from sports hernia surgery.
The Red Wings acquired veteran centre David Legwand from the Nashville Predators at the trade deadline on March 5. Legwand is a solid pro, but he’s no Datsyuk or Zetterberg.
When healthy, Datsyuk consistently provides the Wings with offensive production, defensive intelligence, and reliable leadership; there is simply no replacing the many positives he adds to the lineup.