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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 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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