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Abel to Yzerman

Finally….Datsyuk’s Found His Niche

Draper. Gilchrist. Dallas Drake and hell, how about Darryl LaPlante?  Checking forwards, or at least forwards we expected little offense out of, right?

Now you can add Pavel Datsyuk to that list. Finally, after a decade, the Wings have finally figured out how to use this man.  It's been frustrating, hasn't it? We've watched him for years, constantly wondering..."who is going to get the most out of this little manchild with so much talent but so little to show for it?" So much skill unrealized, eh?

Well...Mike Babcock has cracked that nut and it's time we all bought in.

Pavel Datsyuk is a checking line center, by god, and he's going to be the best checking line center he can be because that's what our Uncle Mike demands. 

That's got to be it, right?  Babcock's decided that with this young defense and with all the injuries, it's up to Pavel by God Datsyuk to provide the kind of grit we used to see out of the Drapers and the Kocurs, the Maltbys, even the Verbeeks.

"It's been so damn...frustrating," Babcock said Monday night via text message to Helene St. James. "We've tried for years to just place him in positions to succeed, but we've failed. It's been our fault. We've never known how to use Datsyuk.  Now we do. It's such a relief. It's liberating, really...I feel like I'm floating in this cloud, this puffy cloud of smartness and velvety warm gentle smartness.  We've made him a checking line center."

For the record, I made that quote up.

Justin Abdelkader has not registered a single point since February 7th.  That's 12 games ago.  That's when his point streak stopped.  A point streak that lasted one game. He has one point this season.  And that's ok because we've always expected that out of Abdelkader...zero points. An average of like 1.2 shots per game.  It's precisely what we expected when he was re-signed for 1.8 million dollars per year.  That comes out to like .0007 goals per one hundred thousand dollars per every two seasons when you pro-rate that to include this year's circus brought to you by the dwarf with the whip and the leather chaps.

But don't worry about the points because he's not expected to score when he's playing alongside the best checking center in hockey.  Pavel Datsyuk is the new Sami Pahlsson, except he scores a little less if you use The Babcock Solution as a sample size.

Look. Don't argue with Uncle Mike. Don't.  He knows what he's doing.  You take the most talented player in the world and you stash him on a line with a guy who's making 2.8 in a contract year who's shown glimpses of scoring ability back in, like, '79.  And you put Justin Abdelkader on the other side of him because he's making 1.8 for THE NEXT FOUR YEARS and then, because it's getting fun now, eh?...THEN you take these two frigging dynamos--Tatar and Andersson--and you just know, because you're a hockey coach, that they were fuching BORN to put the puck in the net and what do you do with them?  By all means you AVOID PLACING THEM IN POSITIONS TO SUCCEED...Yes. That's it.

It's just basic leadership is what it is.

And it all works because the plan has finally, you know, come together. And we all love it when that happens.  Finally, a spot for the true Enigma...Pavel Datsyuk.  Just when it looked like all hope was lost, Mike Babcock has put 13 in a place where he can just be who he was born to be....a checker. A mucker.  Pavel the Grinder.

It has such a ring to it. 

End the experiment, Mike. You look like a dumbass.

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Comments

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MOWingsfan19's avatar

Pavel is still putting points on the board and that’s been used to defend Uncle Mike and this #$%^&  line. Pavel could produce if you put him on the ice 4 or 5 on one, we’ve seen it already.
As I said in the GDT thread, everyone close to us in points has games in hand. We can’t score and are letting points slip away. Why try to tweak anything to maybe generate another meager goal or so a game?

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/05/13 at 11:06 AM ET

Triple Deke Tyler's avatar

This is great. I’m going to tell my friends about you !!

Good jorb

Posted by Triple Deke Tyler from Lansing on 03/05/13 at 11:08 AM ET

Zqto's avatar

Ok, Im depressed now
And only because everything you said is true
DAMN

I might start drinking, if this goes too far!

Posted by Zqto on 03/05/13 at 11:11 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

This is great. I’m going to tell my friends about you !!

Bot?

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 03/05/13 at 11:12 AM ET

Triple Deke Tyler's avatar

Bot?

No you’re a butt.

Oh you said bot.  Well in that case, perhaps.

Posted by Triple Deke Tyler from Lansing on 03/05/13 at 11:15 AM ET

detroitredwings's avatar

He still might try Dats on the 2nd pair of D (with Quincey), or as a backup goalie.. this way Pavel becomes a truly complete player.

Posted by detroitredwings on 03/05/13 at 11:24 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I still think this could be about MIke and Hank.  Hank want’s Dats to have some help, and maybe he’s hinted as much.  Mike doesn’t want to take it from Hank, tho, and he has final say.  So he’s going to go with 8-13-11 until Hank shuts up.  He’s gonna do it until Hank says ‘Uncle’.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/05/13 at 11:26 AM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

he’s going to go with 8-13-11

I thought for sure you were going to say that’s what our record will be the rest of the way. I wasn’t prepared to argue.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 03/05/13 at 11:29 AM ET

Avatar

If Babs is so hell bent on leaving the Pav line together he should just swap line for line 2 & 4 or 2 & 3. Obviously those other lines managed to figure out how to score with less minutes. So until the Pav line regains credibility give them less minutes to figure their credibility.

Posted by DropThePuck on 03/05/13 at 11:36 AM ET

calquake's avatar

I feel like I’m floating in this cloud, this puffy cloud of smartness and velvety warm gentle smartness.

Either that or he’s sitting in a pool of his own bodily fluids.

Posted by calquake on 03/05/13 at 11:39 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Draper. Gilchrist. Dallas Drake and hell, how about Darryl LaPlante?  Checking forwards, or at least forwards we expected little offense out of, right?

LOL  But don’t forget the awesome that was:
Greg Johnson
Bob Errey
Stacy Roest
Boyd Devereaux
Yuri Butsayev
Jason Williams
Mark Mowers
Darryl Bootland
Derek Meech
Cory Emmerton
Just to name a few

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/05/13 at 11:43 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

It appears I am too much of a dumbass to understand the brilliance of 8-13-11.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/05/13 at 11:48 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Speaking of 8-13-11, and not having seen the entirety of the two west-coast games;  the question would appear to hinge on whether that line is even generating any scoring chances at all?

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/05/13 at 11:53 AM ET

yzer19man's avatar

Even if we had guys back from injury, Pav would still lack a good linemate that could help him put up points. Bert and Fil are so streaky and Sammy hits the glass more than the net.

At this point, putting Tatar with Dats is prob the best solution, but yeah right…that won’t happen.

We need Homer to come out of retirement and bring back the flying circus. That was fun.

Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL on 03/05/13 at 11:55 AM ET

RorSchach's avatar

I sure wish I could get a glimpse into Babcock’s brain. But I’m sure my head would explode with all the awesomeness that he has in there.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 03/05/13 at 12:10 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

I sure wish I could get a glimpse into Babcock’s brain. But I’m sure my head would explode with all the awesomeness that he has in there.

I have a door in my office, $200 for 15 minutes. Wear old clothes.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 03/05/13 at 12:15 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I have a door in my office, $200 for 15 minutes. Wear old clothes.

“Being Mike Babcock”

I’d watch that.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 03/05/13 at 12:21 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Hell, I’ve answered my own question:

Are 8-13-11even generating any scoring chances at all?

Tomas Tatar is the Red Wings leading scorer among rookies with four goals and seven points for a team that has scored two goals or fewer in 12 of 22 games this season.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/05/13 at 12:28 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Shit, there is even more juicy goodness:

Datsyuk, arguably the Red Wings best two-way player, has no goals and four assists in his last six games, Cleary has three goals in his last 12 games and Abdelaker has yet to score in 22 games this season.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/05/13 at 12:29 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I’d like to be able to disagree somehow, just to pose an alternate opinion.  I’d like to.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 03/05/13 at 12:30 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Rumor has it that Babcock and Holland have petitioned the league to change the name of the team to the Mighty Duck Wings of Detroit.

Another rumor floating around is that Datsyuk is lobbying hard to participate in the Sochi Olympics so Putin and Medvedev can sneak him out the back of a hotel and he can play with some talented KHL players.

Posted by Hootinani on 03/05/13 at 12:45 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

preachin’ to the choir Master Chief, said the exact same thing last night.

Makes no sense to me, regardless of cherry-picked stats some people are using.

Enjoy this brilliance of Pavel while you can folks, we only get 1 more year of this sorcery.  Hands down best Checking Line center in the world, bar none.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/05/13 at 12:47 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by Hootinani on 03/05/13 at 12:45 PM ET

love it

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/05/13 at 12:48 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Quoth Uncle Mike on tonight’s opponent:

With O’Reilly in the three-hole for them today, we got kind of like a Shaw-Bickell-Stalberg thing, we got a matchup issue,’’ Babcock said after today’s morning skate. “I knew it before the last game, I know it before this game. If one of those guys, Andy or Emmerton do a real good job, then we don’t have a matchup issue. Otherwise, that swings the game.’‘

Ok. Abby and Clearasil don’t have to score for us to win, but Andersson better shut down O’Reilly or were gonna lose.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/05/13 at 12:50 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

Herm.. That’s robbery.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 03/05/13 at 12:51 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/05/13 at 12:50 PM ET

right?  Babcockian logic.  Top 6 doesn’t have to produce to win, bottom 6 needs to shut down to win.

Tatar will still score with his 6 minutes of ice-time.  Kid is a stud.  Maybe Babs is trying to break any swagger the kid has until he’s straight vanilla, “yes man” type player.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/05/13 at 01:05 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Tatar will still score with his 6 minutes of ice-time.  Kid is a stud.  Maybe Babs is trying to break any swagger the kid has until he’s straight vanilla, “yes man” type player.

Meanwhile, Michel Therrien has a stable of young pups dotted throughout his lineup and they’re just, ya know, first in the conference.  Ok, that might not be a totally fair comparison.  But I like the way Therrien get’s so much out of his young players.  Man that team is built for the future.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/05/13 at 01:14 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Leave No Doubt: A Credo for Chasing the Best Hockey Player in the World Back To Russia,

by Mike Babcock. 

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/05/13 at 01:17 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

this is depressing me ...

downer

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 03/05/13 at 01:21 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Once the recorders clicked off the scene got even worse.  Babcock dropped his aw-shucks Canadian good ol’ boy persona and his voice by about forty percent.  The evil mastermind Babcock was in full effect.

“Look, you fuchers, I played JONATHAN TOEWS as a grinder in the Olympics and that turned out okay, didn’t it?  DIDN’T IT?  I know what I’m doing.  YOU HEAR ME STAN?  YOUR TEAM WOULD BE GOOD IF YOU PLAYED TOEWS AS A GRINDER.”

The door to the locker room came open a crack.  Datsyuk’s recognizable laughter could be heard within; presumably in response to a teammate’s joke.  Babcock’s flinty-eyed stare turned into a glare.

“Any questionsnogood,”  Babcock rattled off before turning to the door, leaving no time for responses.  As he stomped off he could be muttering, “How many times do I have to tell these guys there will be NO FUN ALLOWED.”

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/05/13 at 01:31 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

As I posted under the GDT, I listened to the first couple of minutes of Babcock’s presser then had to shut it off to barf.  He was carrying on about how great Cleary and Abby have been playing and all the great chances they’ve been getting and how they just have to keep playing and…

Fuch.


LET’S GO RED WINGS !!!!!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/05/13 at 01:36 PM ET

wedge56's avatar

“I have a door in my office, $200 for 15 minutes. Wear old clothes.

“Being Mike Babcock”

I’d watch that.”


—More like “Breaking Babcock”

Posted by wedge56 on 03/05/13 at 01:37 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I think it’s probably a bit more likely that he feels the Wings are playing pretty good right now and he doesn’t want to change things up and risk upsetting the boat.  I’m not saying I agree with that.  I just figure that’s probably what Babcock is thinking.

I think Andersson-Z-Brunner and Tatar-Datsyuk-Franzen would be two dynamic upper echelon lines.  Eaves-Abdelkader-Miller would be a great line at 12 min/game also.  Abby doesn’t make things happen offensively, but Eaves and Miller do a pretty impressive job of it in their limited time.  Cleary just makes me depressed to think about.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/05/13 at 01:37 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Can’t resist: More Uncle Mike per Kulfan:

Playing on a line with Datsyuk and Daniel Cleary recently, Abdelkader has had opportunities. He can look to Cleary as an example of a player who began the season with a nine-game scoring drought yet recently scored four in four games.

“Abby is the same way,” Babcock said. “He’s been doing a good job and playing good minutes and getting a good opportunity. Just keep plugging and doing good things.”

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130305/SPORTS0103/303050415#ixzz2MgxQEBKf

No commentary necessary.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/05/13 at 01:37 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Brunner is making $1,350,000 this season and is a UFA after this season.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/05/13 at 01:40 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Brunner is making $1,350,000 this season and is a UFA after this season.

I guess you can probably triple that for next year and beyond?

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/05/13 at 01:43 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I sure as hell hope so!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/05/13 at 01:46 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Stupid and Wasteful, it can refer to many things:

1) 8-13-11
2) Hiring one of Happy Hudler’s Hookers for an hour and spending most of that time finding about her, her family, and her future ambitions.
3) Pissing off the greatest all-around hockey player in the world, a magician among mortals, and sending him packing to the land of Vodka, hot porn stars, and dashcam videos because of your unwavering faith in 8-13-11.

You don’t have to think very hard here in Toronto to find a glaring example of an elite player trying to fly like an eagle while being surrounded by turkeys.  His name was Mats Sundin and, with the exception of a few seasons of his career, he was cursed with being the babysitting linemate of non-scoring scrub wingers.  He left town broken and chased out by those who dared accuse him of betraying team by asking for a trade, when he said he never would.

But that is what happens when you take someone for granted, bitches, they walk out on you.  Uncle Mike is sure making it easy for Dangles to decide to never play in the NHL after this season.  And if he does succeed in sending Datsyuk packing, it will be too late to send Uncle Mike packing.  The irreparable damage will have been done.  Stupid and Wasteful, indeed.

 

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 03/05/13 at 02:00 PM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

I think Andersson-Z-Brunner and Tatar-Datsyuk-Franzen would be two dynamic upper echelon lines. 
Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/05/13 at 01:37 PM ET

One of these things is not like the other.  I’ve seen nothing that says that Franzen belongs on either of those lines.  Not in a long time anyway.  This year he has really reminded me of Brett Hull without the ability to find “quiet ice” or finish

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 03/05/13 at 02:20 PM ET

VooX's avatar

One of these things is not like the other.  I’ve seen nothing that says that Franzen belongs on either of those lines.  Not in a long time anyway.  This year he has really reminded me of Brett Hull without the ability to find “quiet ice” or finish

Posted by ITDeuce from The Land of Ice and Snow on 03/05/13 at 02:20 PM ET

Or Brett changing his style of play to best help the team.  Before he was a Wing, I hated him as I felt he was a cherry-picking goal suck.  Under Scotty, Hull started to backcheck, play sound defence, and looked to create scoring opportunities instead of waiting for one to be delivered to him via a silver-platter setup.  My opinion of him changed completely.

Franzen has done the opposite,  He has regressed into Robert Lang with a giant contract.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 03/05/13 at 02:28 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com