Pavel Datsyuk return gives Detroit a huge boost for their tough schedule
Detroit Red Wings’ 4 time All-Star forward Pavel Datsyuk is expected return for the Red Wings in their game against the floundering San Jose Sharks.
Datsyuk will take to the ice for the first time since he underwent surgery, on June 26th, to repair ruptured tendons in his ankle. He was given a come back time of middle November.
He began skating again in mid-October and has been practicing with his fellow Red Wings since October 26th. General Manager Kevin Holland claimed, to MLive.com, that the decision to play Pavel will be made following their practice session the day before they host the Sharks.
Coach Jeff Blashill stated that Pavel Datsyuk’s situation was still “day to day” but all reports claim that Datsyuk will skate out against San Jose.
Despite being 8-6-1, the Red Wings are second in the Atlantic Division, but face a very tough schedule, playing 6 games in 9 days. The next week-and-a-half includes trips to Boston, Ottawa, St. Louis,. The Bruins and Blues away games are tired games for Detroit.
The return of Datsyuk will do wonders for the Red Wings. His presence will greatly increase their shots per game average, in which the Michigan side are currently ranked 30th in with 25.3 Shots/GP.
The Russian skater is just an all around pest to any opposition, regularly leading the league in takeaways, constantly tricking defenders with his deft stickhandling, and he’s always looking to get on the score sheet.
Last season, despite suffering from injury, he sealed 70 points in 70 across all NHL games. His scoring prowess, along with his 13 years of NHL experience, are exactly what’s needed to help the Red Wings gain some consistency.
They won their first 3 games of the season, by a combined score of 11-4, but have failed to gain any kind of positive consistency since.
However, they come into the Sharks match up off of the back of a shutout victory against the Washington Capitals, in which they frustratingly stopped Alex Ovechkin form equaling the all time Russian goal scoring record in the NHL.
As previously stated, it’s the attack that has been struggling of late, and Blashill’s plan is to include Pavel on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg. Speaking to MLive, the Red Wings coach had this to say about his intended lines when Datsyuk returns:
“I think they’re [Datsyuk and Zetterberg] two of the smartest players in the National Hockey League, when they play together I think those smarts exponentially improve.
“We’ve talked about who’s the best partner with them. We decided this morning on Abby.
“I thought Abby [Justin Abdelkader] had one of his better games in a while against Washington. He’s been a good mix on that line in the past.”
The return of Pavel “the deke master” Datsyuk is going to be huge for the Detroit Red Wings and gives them a great chance to win the majority of their games, during the torturous 6 games in 9 days schedule.