Respect for Pavel
|For the second straight season, NHL players have voted Pavel Datsyuk as the toughest player to get the puck from. (Photo by Dave Reginek)|
Twelve months later, Datsyuk has tripled his influence among his peers as the top vote-getter in six different categories determined by the second annual NHLPA/CBC Hockey Night in Canada player poll released Sunday.
The poll surveyed 257 players on several topics, including which player they would pick to start a franchise; the Canadian city they feel is most suited for an NHL club; the cleanest player; both underrated and overrated teams; both fighting and the instigator; best referee; coach they would most like to play for; most demanding coach; assistant coach they think should be the next head coach; best and worst ice; and their favorite arena.
For the second straight year Datsyuk was named the cleanest player and hardest to take the puck from. He was also named the league’s smartest player; the most difficult player to play against; toughest forward to play against; and goalies said he’s the most difficult player to stop.
Datsyuk leads the Wings with 43 assists and 59 points. He leads the league with 81 takeaways.
Captain Nicklas Lidstrom was the only other Wings’ player to finish on top of a category, as he was named the best role model, finishing three percentage points ahead of Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. Lidstrom was third as smartest player and toughest defenseman to playa against.
Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg also finished in the top five as the cleanest player.
Other Wings to receive mention in the poll included center Darren Helm, who was third as fastest skater and tied for fourth as best skater, and Jimmy Howard tied for fifth as the most difficult goalie to score on.
Mike Babcock finished third in two categories: which coach would you most like to play for, and which coach demands the most of his players.
Joe Louis Arena was fourth in favorite rink and third in best ice.
The Wings finished second to Chicago as the team that players would most like to play on.
To see the results, CLICK HERE