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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 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89