The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/21/13 at 12:09 PM ET
Update: From Mr. Datsyuk himself:
We've reached the Final Round of TSN.ca's 2013 Play of the Year Showdown, and for the first time in POY history the final match-up features just one player, Pavel Datsyuk. Both of Datsyuk's plays have beat out outstanding goals, passes and saves to land in the final two spots of this year's Play of the Year competition.
On his way to the finals, Datsyuk's skillful play narrowly defeated an absolute show-stopper of a save by Jake Allen, edging out the goalie by a mere 0.5 per cent, on the other end of the bracket, Datsyuk easily moved past a stellar play by Cody Hogdson. Which of Datsyuk's two plays will take the crown?
In Datsyuk's first play, it is his creative use of his feet and incredible finishing skills, even while impeded by two defencemen that makes this goal a POY candidate, his second play to make it to Round Three.
Datsyuk's second POY entry showcases his hands, vision and perseverance. He starts by throwing a solid hit in his own defensive zone and retrieving the loose puck, and by the time this play is over, Datsyuk makes every single Nashville player on the ice look silly.
You can watch the highlights and make your decision here (http://poy.tsn.ca). Every vote counts so watch all the plays and take part in the TSN.ca Play of the Year Showdown.
Update #2: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose took note of the Datsyuk-vs-Datsyuk battle:
The two highlight reel goals – from Feb. 10 vs. Los Angeles and Feb. 19 at Nashville – were definitely a couple of the most spectacular plays from the lockout-shortened season.
The Russian’s coast-to-coast goal came late in the third period of the Red Wings’ overtime loss to the Predators. While it tied the game, it was the path that Datsyuk took that mesmerized fans as he dipped and doodled through and around five Nashville skaters before popping a shot off of goalie Pekka Rinne.
Fans on TSN.ca felt that Datsyuk’s Nashville gem was better than plays by New York Islanders right wing Michael Grabner (52.49%-47.51%); Florida center Shawn Matthias (51.87%-48.13%); Edmonton left wing Magnus Paajarvi (51.55%-48.45%); and Buffalo center Cody Hodgson (75.73%-24.27%).
Nine days before he dazzled in Nashville, Datsyuk showed his toughness and determination against the defending Stanley Cup champions. Early in the game he absorbed a vicious body check by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. However, Datsyuk got the last laugh when on the next shift. He skated into the offensive zone at top speed, took a cross-ice pass from Henrik Zetterberg, cut to the middle, splitting the defense of Slava Voynov and Rob Scuderi, and fired a shot top shelf over Jonathan Quick’s glove hand.
That bit of trickery, accounting to the fan vote, was better than plays by Boston forward Nathan Horton (68.74%-31.26%); Edmonton right wing Ales Hemsky (50.18%-49.82%); Washington forward Eric Fehr (50.17%-49.83); and St. Louis goalie Jake Allen (50.5%-49.5%).
Datsyuk, Matthias, and Chicago forward Patrick Kane were represented twice in this year’s bracket. Zetterberg and goalie Jimmy Howard were also on the Internet ballot, though both Red Wings didn’t survive the first round, losing to Matthias and Allen, respectively.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.