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Mike Rupp, Ryan Whitney rave about Pavel Datsyuk while making playoff predictions

The Players Tribune's Mike Rupp and Ryan Whitney are picking the Tampa Bay Lightning to defeat the Red Wings' "perimeter players" in 6 games, but before they got down to previewing the Wings-Bolts series, both waxed poetic about Pavel Datsyuk:

Whitney: I’m so sad that this looks like it’s Datsyuk’s last run before heading back to Russia. I’ll never forget playing against him in the ’08 finals with Pittsburgh. Going into the series, we had our matchups all planned out, and the coaches wanted the Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill pairing on Datsyuk at all times. I was on a pairing with Kris Letang at the time.

So a few shifts into Game 1, I’m on the ice and I see Datsyuk hop over the boards. All of a sudden, I hear our assistant coach Mike Yeo screaming — I’m talking screaming at the top of his lungs — “Whitney! Whitney! Get the *#$%@& off the ice! Get the *#$%@& off the ice!”

It was total panic.

Rupp: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Yeah, I’ve been there. Whenever we would play the Wings, it was like, “Hey Rupp, be sure to cheer the boys on real good tonight.” I wasn’t playing much when Datsyuk was in town.

It’s funny because — I don’t know if this is a great comparison — but Datsyuk almost reminds me of Eli Manning. You know how Eli always kind of looks like he’s a little down? Kind of slumped shoulders. Datsyuk looks like that sometimes. You underestimate him, and he makes you look like a fool. You try to lift his stick — nope. It’s cemented to the ice. He’s so ridiculously strong and nobody realizes it.

The gents continue...

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Figaro's avatar

That was a pretty fun read.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/13/16 at 02:06 PM ET


Of the best hockey reads I’ve read in a while, good to hear from nhl players whether current or former.

Posted by benzanato on 04/13/16 at 02:42 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Detroit’s’ way too much of a perimeter team, in my opinion. Their most important player is Justin Abdelkader. He’s really the only guy who can go to tough areas and pay the price and make things happen. Outside of him — super-skilled, super-fast team, but nothing screams danger in the NHL playoffs like a perimeter-oriented team.

And so do 29 other teams, Mike.

Posted by SYF from A tall cool pint of Guinness on 04/13/16 at 03:47 PM ET

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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.