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Notebook: Datsyuk set to return

Wings hope veteran center can bring energy to offense

Monday, 02.7.2011 / 1:35 PM ET / News
By Dave Burke  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Notebook: Datsyuk set to return
DETROIT – The Red Wings get a needed dose of offense back to their lineup Monday when superstar Pavel Datsyuk makes his return against the New York Rangers at Joe Louis Arena.

Datsyuk has been out since Dec. 22 when he broke his right hand against Western Conference leading Vancouver. He’s missed the last 19 games.

The Wings have done a nice job keeping their heads above water dealing with Datsyuk’s absence, along with a host of injuries to other key players. Since Datsyuk’s injury the Wings have gone 10-7-2, but are in desperate need of some offense after being shut out, 3-0, in their last two games on back-to-back nights to Columbus and Nashville.

“Every day feels much better and better,” Datsyuk said. “I appreciate Coach giving me one more day, shooting feels good.” Datsyuk will center a line with Danny Cleary and Jiri Hudler.

The Wings are eager to Datsyuk back on the ice, starting with the captain.

“It’s gonna give us a big boost for sure. He’ll be a big help to the team,” Nicklas Lidstrom said. “He helps out defensively and we know what he can do one-on-one. Playing behind him is fun to watch, he makes it look easy to score and we all know it’s not easy to score in this league.”

It is hard to believe that Datsyuk is already in his ninth season, but he is being looked up to more and more with the recent influx of youth to the teams third and fourth lines.

“He does things that most players can’t imagine doing,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “He works hard in the gym and it’s been an honor to be his teammate.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock thinks Datsyuk’s return will provide a needed boost of energy.

“We haven’t played well lately, so it will be nice to get some energy in the lineup,” Babcock said. “The guys playing right now need to play better as well.” 

The numbers show why losing a player of Datsyuk’s caliber can stall a team. Before going down with the injury, Datsyuk was putting up MVP-like numbers with 12 goals and 27 assists in 33 games.  

MURSAK MAKES IMPRESSION:
With Datsyuk’s return, the Wings have sent left winger Jan Mursak back to Grand Rapids, but not after leaving a lasting impression.

“He’s excellent, been excellent for us,” Babcock said. “He’s an NHL player, plays with speed, tenacity.  He’s on the puck, he’ll play for us.”    

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89