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Euro Twins are ready to set milestones

Datsyuk, Zetterberg to play in 600 and 500 career games, respectively

Tuesday, 03.30.2010 / 12:58 PM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Euro Twins are ready to set milestones
DETROIT — When the Red Wings drafted Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, their careers with the team seemed questionable.

Scouts initially dismissed Datsyuk and Zetterberg as too small, still, the Wings’ staff took a chance on the pair selecting Datsyuk 171st overall in 1998, followed by Zetterberg a year later as the 210th pick.

More than a decade later, the duo affectionately known as the Euro Twins, will reach career milestones in Tuesday’s game at Joe Louis Arena. Datsyuk is playing in career game No. 600, and Zetterberg in career game No. 500. All 1,100 of their NHL games has been as Red Wings.

“It’s a big point, a big milestone for us,” Datsyuk said. “I’m happy I played with this team, and I think Hank is happy, too. And being able to play together, it’s been lots of fun.”

The two had instant chemistry when they were paired during the 2002-03 season, where they bonded as two of the youngest players on the squad.

“I think we were the only young guys,” Zetterberg said. “There was a lot of veteran players who had been here for a long time, and me and Pav kind of found each other on and off the ice, and we went on from there.”

The pair, also known as “The Hank and Pav Show,” have used their chemistry to the ice in their 15 combined seasons with Detroit. Together they have won two Stanley Cups and a variety of individual awards — Zetterberg, 29, won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2008, and Datsyuk, 31, has captured the Selke and Lady Byng trophies numerous times.

“They’ve just come of age,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Obviously, we’ve really pushed them hard to be good with and without the puck. Not so much in the demand part of it, but just by how we’ve played them. We’ve made them go head-to-head every single night, and we believe that’s how you win in the end, your best players got to be better than their best players. And so that’s probably led to growth, and they’ve become dominant players in the league now.”

Both signed lucrative long-term contracts with the Wings, all but ensuring they will spend their entire careers in Detroit. Looking back, Datsyuk never thought he would be where he is today.

“If you’re looking now, yes,” said Datsyuk, who also was on the Wings’ Stanley Cup team in 2002. “But nobody knows in the beginning. It’s (usually) a high draft pick. But now it’s lots of fun.”

Zetterberg agreed, saying he never thought he would get this far, but hopes that he can someday reach 1,000 career games for the team that drafted him.

“I have a chance to do that, just got to be healthy enough and play well enough,” he said. “And if I do that, there’s a pretty good chance that I will hit it here. And if it comes, it’s going to be an honor.”


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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80