The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/21/12 at 02:54 PM ET
Update: All other Datsyuk news posts are being added to the game update thread: surgery was minor, out 2-3 weeks maximum, will not affect Wings’ trade deadline plans, was a necessary move to get Datsyuk back to normal: This is about the last thing Wings fans want to hear right now: According to MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Red Wings’ leading scorer will miss the next two weeks after having his knee scoped:
Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is expected to miss two weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery today to remove some old fragments.
“Everything is real good,’’ coach Mike Babcock said. “(Datsyuk) had fragment in his knee, an old thing we wanted to clear up prior to playoff time.’‘
Babcock said the timing gives the club an opportunity to have Datsyuk back at 100 percent before the playoffs. Danny Cleary has been activated from injured reserve after missing five games with a sore knee. He will be back in the lineup for tonight’s game at Chicago (8 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).
DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose reported that Cleary’s not exactly at 100%, either:
“It’s not going to be pain-free,” Cleary said. “Probably won’t be for the rest of the season, but trying to get it as high of a percentage as we can and that’s where we’re at right now.”
Cleary said that doctors extracted 25cc of fluid – the equivalent of five teaspoons – each time they drained the two Baker’s cysts that had formed behind his knee.
The Wings will face a Blackhawks team that has won three straight games, which comes on the heels of a 0-8-1 tail-spin that has Chicago trailing the Wings by 13-points in the Western Conference standings.
“I’m sure that their players have finally had enough,” Cleary said. “I mean, we’ve been in a similar spot earlier in the season and they’ve got guys who have won there and they weren’t happy. You just have to look at the standings and say, ‘Hey, if we don’t correct the ship here we’re going to be on the outside looking in.’ They’re a talented team and a dangerous team and it’s going to be a tough team for us tomorrow.”
The Wings are 2-1-0 against Chicago this season with all three games decided by 3-2 outcomes, including the two overtime wins on goals by Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi.
“They came off it a bit just like lots of teams come off it,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “They got home and they got regrouped. Let’s be careful what we wish for.”
Update: More Datsyuk stuff from the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff:
The Detroit Red Wings have lost centre Pavel Datsyuk for at least two weeks after he underwent surgery Tuesday to remove fragments from his right knee. “He said yesterday he could feel something not right in his knee,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. “They took an MRI, saw a fragment. They went in today, surgery is over. It was minor arthroscopic surgery. They cleaned up his ligament, and he should be ready to go in a couple of weeks.”
The Wings indicated that it was only a minor procedure, that Datsyuk would be back sooner than later.
“When they went in for the MRI yesterday, they could see a little bit of something not quite right,” Holland said. I talked to (Red Wings trainer) Piet Van Zant this morning. He said everything went great, the knee looks good, but certainly it was something that needed to be done. It’s a couple weeks minimum, three weeks maximum. Somewhere in that time frame and he should be back on the ice playing.”
The Wings felt it was best to get the surgery done now, and not wait until closer to the playoffs to discover that Datsyuk’s conditioned had worsened, and he’d be lost for at least part of the post-season.
“The doctor said after being in there it was something that needed to be done,” Holland said. “Our concern was Pav complained yesterday and I don’t know if he complained much before, the doctor looked at it, do we wake up in a month and find out we need to do it? With two months to go before the playoffs start . . . fortunately we’ve had a good run, we’ve got some points banked away. The timing couldn’t have been better.”
Datsyuk leads the Wings in scoring with 59 points in 59 games, and is considered one of the favourites for the Hart Trophy, which goes to the NHL’s most valuable player. Wings coach Mike Babcock indicated that for Tuesday’s game at the United Center against the Chicago Blackhawks, Henrik Zetterberg would move into Datsyuk’s spot on the top forward line between Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen, and Dan Cleary, returning from a knee injury, would play with Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula.
“It’s an opportunity for somebody else,” Babcock said. “It’s going to affect our scoring, but you’ve got to find ways to grind out 2-1 and 3-2 wins.”
Datsyuk’s situation won’t affect how the team approaches the Feb. 27 NHL trade deadline. “No,” Holland said. “He’s coming back. When you got Pavel Datsyuk – there’s not many Pavel Datsyuks out in the marketplace. It’s minor. After Saturday we’ve got one game in a week, so we’ll see. Again, it’s nothing major.”
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