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Datsyuk aims for a strong finishing kick

Saturday, 01.23.2010 / 4:08 PM ET / News
By Phil Coffey
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Datsyuk aims for a strong finishing kick
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By the standards of most players, 11 goals and 25 assists with a plus-11 mark through 41 games would be a very productive season.

Most players, however, are not Pavel Datsyuk.

We are accustomed to magical things from Datsyuk, who entered 2009-10 with back-to-back seasons of 30-plus goals and 97 points. But this season has been a struggle, as it has been for the Red Wings as a whole, who have had to battle through a seemingly endless string of injuries following an offseason makeover.

"He's like the team as a whole has been," teammate Nicklas Lidstrom told Dana Wakiji of the Detroit News. "We haven't been as effective offensively as we've been in the past. We've had to play real well defensively to win games. We have to win games with less scoring than we've had to in the past. Everybody has had to adjust to that, not just Pav."

Fair enough. The Wings have accented defensive play more this season, and the superbly skilled Datsyuk surely excels in that area. But in the past, he has been able to take defensive excellence and turn it into offensive opportunities. So far this season, those chances haven't come with normal regularity.

"I am worried, yes, but not like a lot," Datsyuk said. "The most important thing is that we stay strong as a team."

Coach Mike Babcock, who knows his team better than anyone, says it isn't a mystery for Datsyuk's offensive drop. With Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson leaving as free agents and Johan Franzen, Dan Cleary and Tomas Holmstrom losing time to injuries, continuity has been at a premium.

"He hasn't had the surrounding guys as much this year and that has made it harder," Babcock said. "But it's amazing when all you do is check, check, check, it's because you don't have the puck as much as you are used to."

"It is what it is right now, but I am looking forward," Datsyuk said. "We have 30 games left. I am going to do my best and get my numbers back up where they usually are. I never stop fighting. I had 31 goals, then 32 goals. I want 32 goals again."


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80