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Pavel Datsyuk vs. Pavel Datsyuk in Red Wings’ Top Plays final, just like TSN’s POY

This seems to be a familiar result given Pavel Datsyuk's win over Pavel Datsyuk for TSN's Play of the Year title...

Which Datsyuk goals made the cut? Let's head over to the Wings' page and find out...

Contender A is Datsyuk's all-but-literal dekeing of Logan Couture out of his shorts...

And contender B is TSN's Play of the Year:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



It’s crazy how when you think Datsyuk can’t too himself, he goes out and amazes everybody all over again. How is this guy not the face of the NHL?

Posted by Aerowings7 on 09/02/13 at 11:01 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

You may have just been using it as an expression, but to answer seriously, Datsyuk isn’t the face of the NHL because:

1. He’s not that good looking. Datsyuk has a pretty weird head shape and a neck that’s a bit too short.

2. He’s Russian. If you want to use someone for good publicity, you want someone who will be popular among not just die hard hockey fans, but among newer or less active hockey fans. Almost every big hockey fan respects Datsyuk, but others may hear have a hard time with his name and find him less likeable. This also has to do with the fact that,

3. His English isn’t the best. He can get by at this point, but his accent is still strong and he can’t say exactly what he wants to. This makes for worse interviews. Among Datsyuk fans, it’s endearing, but for the casual fan it could be a turn off.

4. He’s low key about his accomplishments. He’s never been a big one for celebrating his goals, often passing on credit to whoever had the first assist and recognizing him immediately after the goal instead of making a show. He prefers to stay out of the spotlight.

5. He’s getting older. For some of the above reasons, and some others, including being almost unknown before getting drafted, being drafted out of Europe, not blowing it up in his first season, being a support player in his earlier years behind a number of stars on his own team including Yzerman and Lidstrom, Datsyuk wasn’t immediately recognized as a top player. If you wanted to market up a star player, you’d prefer he be young because that would add to his popularity and also allow you to market him for many years.

6. Datsyuk doesn’t obviously dominate the ice every time he gets on. He isn’t very selfish with the puck, isn’t the fastest and definitely not the biggest, doesn’t make too many huge hits and so on.

There may be some more reasons but I can’t think of them right now. I’m a big Datsyuk fan though.

Posted by EDJ on 09/03/13 at 12:27 AM ET


He does kind of have that Boris Karloff look going against him. And in hindsight, maybe his low key status is better than being under constant scrutiny like Ovechkin or Crosby. To me, the best players have always been the guys who are well-rounded at the game. Yzerman solidified his legacy when he learned to be a two-way player, same for Fedorov when he learned to pass the puck.

I get a good chuckle when there’s so much hype around guys like Malkin and Ovechkin, then when they go on droughts they’re relatively ghosts in the media. The unfortunate case is Crosby, he could be on the IR and the press would still report how his bowel movements are on a daily basis

Posted by Aerowings7 on 09/03/13 at 11:15 AM 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.