Tag Archives: pavel datsyuk

At age 36, Pavel Datsyuk isn’t showing any signs of slowing down

DETROIT >> You ask Pavel Datsyuk’s teammates to best describe the type of player he is and what he means to the Detroit Red Wings and they all have trouble finding the proper adjective or adjectives to use.

“He’s a special player,” Gustav Nyquist said. “It’s amazing what he can do with the puck. He means a lot to this team.

“He’s a good … pretty good player,” Nyquist added as he shook his head.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Joakim Andersson said. “He’s good every game. He’s so good holding onto the puck and so strong defensively. He does it all.”

“He’s got great hockey sense,” Jimmy Howard said. “He just puts himself in great spots to succeed. He thinks the game differently than anyone.”

Datsyuk, who was named the NHL’s first star from last week, is tied for the team lead with 12 goals and second on the team in points with 22. He’s also got a team-best plus-9 rating.

Age and injuries haven’t slowed down Datsyuk, 36.

To start the season, Datsyuk missed four weeks after suffering a separated shoulder in the preseason opener. In his return, he recorded points in six consecutive games.

“That’s Pav,” Howard said. “He’s so gifted, he’s so talented that he’s able to take a week off and most guys would need a couple of games to get the rust off but he’s out there and looks like normal Pav.”

Next, he sat out four games in a row and six-of-eight with a pulled groin. In his return, he scored two goals in his first game back.

“Since he’s been back you don’t notice he’s been hurt,” Andersson said. “Most guys it takes a few games to get their legs back and going again.”

And for the first time in his 12-year career Datsyuk is scoring more goals (12) than he has set up (10 assists). He ranks seventh in the league in shooting percentage at 26.7, (12 goals on 45 shots).

“Pav is Pav,” Niklas Kronwall said. “I don’t know how you explain it, really. When he goes out there feeling good, he’s one of the best in the league. And he shows it night after night.”

“Obviously, we’re happy to have him playing,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “When he’s out there he’s such a big part of our team, we need him to play games. When he’s doing that he’s been on fire. Not just production. Overall the way he plays out there, offensively, defensively.”

Datsyuk has a three two-goal games this season and eight multi-point games, including a one goal and two assist game Sunday.

“He’s a special guy,” Stephen Weiss said. It’s not easy to do when you’ve missed consecutive games like that and a couple weeks and to come back and produce like that it’s a pretty amazing player.”

Weiss got to play wing for Datsyuk when he returned from a groin injury on Nov. 26 and witnessed a two-goal game from him.

“I haven’t been able to play with anyone like that in my career before,” Weiss said. “He’s amazing. He’s just so talented and seems to not miss a beat.

“I ask him after every game how he feels and he says, ‘Uh, OK,’” Weiss continued. “And he scored two goals. That’s pretty impressive.”

Despite producing more than a point per game this season, Datsyuk still is committed to playing defense first which has helped lead him to three Selke trophies as the league’s top defensive forward.

“First priority is defense,” Datsyuk said. “More defense, (equals) more offense.”

Wings set to debut their ‘all center’ line tonight against Flyers

DETROIT >> The center of attention, so to speak, in Wednesday’s Wings home game against the Philadelphia Flyers will be their third line.

Pavel Datsyuk will center Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss.

All three are natural centers.

“We might be the only line in the NHL with three natural centers, so we should have success on the dot, hopefully, and some pretty good skill with Pav and Weisser,” Helm said. “We have to find a way to click pretty early.

“There are definitely some different aspects to our games that could gel together if we find a way to click, and it is exciting for me at least, playing with those two skilled, confident guys,” Helm continued. “If we find a way to click or gel it will be fun and pretty exciting.”

Datsyuk has missed his four straight games with a groin injury and six of the last eight.

“It’s very important for us to have him back,” Weiss said. “It’s a big boost to our lineup to have him back. Anytime he misses a game, it seems like it’s too long.”

Former Wing Kris Draper said playing on a line with Datsyuk was like winning the lottery.

“It definitely feels that way,” Weiss said. “When I saw the sheet this morning I had a little grin on my face. He makes the game a lot easier for the guys that play around him.”

Datsyuk is considered one of the best two-way players in the game if not the best.

“His ability to get the puck back is just one of the skill sets that separate him from a lot of other guys in the league, his ability to play defensively and steal pucks and turn it into offense,” Weiss said.

Datsyuk has been limited to 45 games in 2013-14 due to a knee injury and concussion. This season he’s already missed 11 of 21 games due to a separated shoulder and groin pull.

“He’s a guy I grew up watching, really and now to have a chance to play with him, it’s pretty cool,” Weiss said. “But you can’t be worried about that too much. I’ve just got to worry about what I’ve got to do and hopefully we can find some chemistry, the three of us.”

Datsyuk has five goals and six assists in 10 games this season.

“I thought initially it took him a bit to get back and then he was on fire and got hurt again,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “The big thing for Pav is as you get a little older in your career your physical fitness and the amount of care you take in keeping your body healthy is so important.

“He’s a high-end player for us,” Babcock continued. “I haven’t put him with (Henrik Zetterberg) on purpose just because … if he gets going maybe I’ll do that but right now leave him where he is and play him on a separate power play. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with having Datsyuk in your lineup.”

Not only is the line all centers, but they’ve all missed significant playing time over the past three seasons, combining to miss 306 regular-season games over that span – Weiss (140), Helm (83), Datsyuk (83).

Weiss had two goals in his return to the lineup Monday, doubling his output since joining the Wings two off-seasons ago.

“All signs are pointing towards being over the hump,” Weiss said.

Datsyuk a game-time decision Wednesday; centered a line with Helm and Weiss in practice

DETROIT >> From the looks of things, Pavel Datsyuk is set to return to the Wings’ lineup.

And it could come as early as Wednesday when the Detroit hosts the Philadelphia Flyers at Joe Louis Arena.

“I feel good,” Datsyuk said after practice Tuesday. “We’ll see (Wednesday) morning. I’m happy to skate full practice with team.”

Datsyuk has missed his four straight games with a groin injury and six of the last eight.

“Be better myself,” Datsyuk said when asked what more he felt he needed to do before declaring himself fit to go. “No (pain), it’s fine. Everything is fine so far. I need a little bit (of) pace with team, a little bit. Everybody’s flying.”

Datsyuk centered a line with Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss as wingers. All three players are centers.

Datsyuk also doesn’t want to be in-and-out of the lineup due to a lingering injury.
“It’s kind of difficult, what happened first time, looked like I was ready, but jumped in too early,” Datsyuk said.

Nestrasil placed on waivers; Smith out with hand infection from fight; Mrazek starts Thursday

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings’ practice at Joe Louis Arena before they head out to Winnipeg for a game Thursday against the Jets.

The team placed forward Andrej Nestrasil on waivers. He has until noon Thursday to be claimed by another NHL team. If he’s not he’ll head to Grand Rapids.

“He needs to play in the American Hockey League,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s not quite ready for this level. It’s just one of those things, we need him to play in the American League. Maybe one day he’ll play. His pace was good at the start but you know the league changes.”

Nestrasil has played in 13 of the Wings’ 18 games this season, registering two assists and a minus-3.

Defenseman Brendan Smith didn’t practice Wednesday and will miss Thursday’s game due to an infection in his hand he suffered during a fight midway through the third period with Columbus’ Nick Foligno.

Smith could rejoin the team in Toronto.

Pavel Datsyuk (groin) and Jonathan Ericsson (maintenance day) also didn’t practice. Babcock said Datsyuk will make the trip to Winnipeg.

Petr Mrazek will start in goal against the Jets.

“He’s been great,” Babcock said. “He’s like lots of kids, he plays better than he practices, he’s got to learn how to practice good so he can play good consistently. But he’s a real gamer and he’s been good.”

Stephen Weiss will leave and meet up with Grand Rapids to play a pair of games with the Griffins this weekend. His first conditioning stint with their AHL affiliate was cut short when he suffered soreness in his groin.

“We tried to do it two weeks ago and it didn’t happen,” Babcock said. “He’s got to get himself going. This business is straight forward. The coach and the management, they play the guys they think can help them win. When you haven’t been healthy, you’ve got to get yourself playing. We got an obligation to help him help himself so that’s what we’re trying to do but his part is to play well so he can get in the lineup and get playing.”

Weiss has played one game with the Wings this season.

Jurco could return to lineup; Datsyuk as well

DETROIT >> Tomas Jurco was back skating on a regular line at practice with Justin Abdelkader and Pavel Datsyuk.

Jurco has been a healthy scratch the last three games.

“I haven’t decided on what we’re doing,” Wings coach Babcock said. “I would like to (get him in). Even though, contrary to belief, is that I took him out because he wasn’t playing good, I took him out because I thought we needed a change. I thought his last two games were two of his better games. I thought he had a good practice today, gets an opportunity for a good practice tomorrow and then I get an opportunity to decide who’s in the lineup.”

Jurco, 22, has no goals and two assists in 12 games.

“They just told me to work hard and skate hard,” Jurco said. “Hopefully it’s going to come. Hopefully I’m going to get it going on Friday.

“I just try to work hard and stay focused and maybe gain a little more confidence back since I had a little slower start,” Jurco added. “Hopefully one lucky bounce is going to go in and it’s going to break.”

Datsyuk missed the last two games with a sore groin.

“(Thursday) is another skate and so far it feels good, and we’ll see,” Datsyuk said.

Stephen Weiss, Daniel Cleary and Andrej Nestrasil all wore gray jerseys, which signifies they’ll won’t play Friday.

Datsyuk hopes to return from groin injury Friday against Chicago

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena on Monday.

Pavel Datsyuk practiced with the team and hopes to return from a groin injury on Friday at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

“It’s hard to say when I’ll be back, but I feel good today,” Datsyuk said. “I didn’t skate full, but at least I can skate now.”

Datsyuk has missed the last two games since injuring his groin during the morning skate last Friday prior to Detroit’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

“It happened so fast in practice,” Datsyuk said. “Maybe it was a good decision I go away. Hope its helps me in the future too.

“(We have a) day off tomorrow and we’ll see what happens on Wednesday,” Datsyuk added. “I hope to be ready next game.”

Datsyuk, who missed the start of the season with a separated shoulder, has five goals and five assists in eight games this season.

Pav feeling OK; no ‘great emotion’ on disallowed goal

DETROIT >> Pavel Datsyuk logged 18:05 in ice time and had a goal disallowed in his first action of the season.

“I thought I could have had better play, (been) stronger on the puck,” said Datsyuk, who has been out since Sept. 22. “I think every game will be much better and I’ll feel more comfortable.”

“No, it was fine, no shots,” Datsyuk said when asked if he had taken a hit on his shoulder Wednesday. “No shots on net either.”

His disallowed goal came from a spectacular backhand midway through the third period that would have given the Wings a 2-0 lead. It was ruled that Justin Abdelkader had interfered with the Canadiens’ goalie.

“I don’t have great emotion,” Datsyuk said. “I see right away they stop, they say no goal. I think sometimes they make good call, bad call, it’s his job.”