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Red Wings at the Worlds, medal round: Pavel Datsyuk’s Russians steamroll Slovakia

Updated 6x with video and more Datsyuk quotes at 7:19 PM: Today’s bronze medal game between Finland and the victorious Czechs was a tightly-contested contest by comparison to the gold medal game.

Pavel Datsyuk registered 2 assists—on two goals by Alexander Semin, including a glorious takeaway on the 4-1 goal—and a goal of his own via an assist from Semin to salt the game away…

As the tournament-unbeaten Russians slowly stirred to life after a Zdeno Chara goal, and when the Big Russian Machine got rolling, it just steamrolled Wings prospect Tomas Tatar’s Slovaks, capturing the gold medal by a 6-2 tally.

Tatar played a spirited, plucky game, often drawing in against the Ovechkin-Datsyuk-Semin line and holding his own as a checker, save perhaps a takeaway by Datsyuk here and there, and there’s no doubt after this tournament that Tatar is at least very nearly NHL ready as a fearless forechecker, strong puckhandler and speedy skater who can hold his own against much bigger opposition…

But throughout the tournament, the Russians have prevented teams from shutting down both Evgeni Malkin’s line and Datsyuk’s line on a game-by-game basis, and with Malkin hampered a bit due to a sore left hand, Datsyuk, Ovechkin and Semin (talk about some patently unfair last-second additions to the roster, eh?) just took over, and that was that.

Statistically, Datsyuk had assists on the 1-1 and 4-1 goals and scored the 5-1 goal, finishing with a goal, two assists, an 11-and-6 faceoff record, 3 shots, a +2 and 17:24 played;

And Tatar took one faceoff, one shot, finished at a -1 and played 17:08.

For the record, from IIHF.com’s Szymon Szemberg:

MVP: Malkin. All Star Team, G: Laco, D: Chara, Nikulin, F: Malkin, Thoresen, Zetterberg.

Or, as the IIHF’s website just posted:

Individual Awards selected by the Tournament Directorate:
Best Goalkeeper: Jan Laco, Slovakia
Best Defenceman: Zdeno Chara, Slovakia
Best Forward: Yevgeni Malkin, Russia

All-Star Team selected by media vote:
Goal: Jan Laco (SVK)
Defence: Zdeno Chara (SVK) – Ilya Nikulin (RUS)
Forwards: Yevgeni Malkin (RUS) – Patrick Thoresen (NOR) – Henrik Zetterberg (SWE)
MVP: Yevgeni Malkin (RUS)

Update: Lovely, from Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov:

Just last month Datsyuk told me “I haven’t won anything for my country.” Well, Pavel, you have now #RedWings

Update #2: And it’s Expressen’s Linus Hugosson who starts the, “Gee after the way they played so seamlessly together at the Worlds, how would Datsyuk and Semin look in Detroit?” talk in earnest, in Swedish (link goes to a Google translation).

Update #3: TSN has already posted a 7:07 highlight clip and a shorter 1:18 highlight clip from the game.

Update #4: Datsyuk spoke to IIHF.com’s Lukas Aykroyd after the game:

Alexander Syomin shone with a pair of goals and an assist. Linemate Pavel Datsyuk added a goal and two assists, while Alexander Ovechkin, the other member of this all-NHL troika, had two helpers. Tournament scoring leader Yevgeni Malkin, who was also named Best Forward and MVP, also tallied for Russia, along with Alexander Perezhogin and Alexei Tereshenko.

“As soon as the whistle went to start the game, we believed we could win,” said Datsyuk.
...
The Russians tied it at 9:57 on the rush, with Ovechkin making amends for his earlier miscue. Taking a pass from Datsyuk, Ovechkin exploded into the Slovak zone on left wing and threw a beautiful backhand pass through the legs of Rene Vydareny on to the stick of Syomin, who zipped it in through Laco’s five-hole.
...
Turnovers continued to plague Slovakia. Datsyuk, the NHL’s king of takeaways, stripped Baranka inside the blueline and found Syomin all alone in front of Laco. Syomin made no mistake, feinting before whipping the puck into the top corner on his forehand at 15:22.

The NHL line struck again to make it 5-1 at 3:55 of the third, with Datsyuk beating Laco five-hole on a Gretzky-like set-up from behind the net by Syomin. There was no hope of a Slovak comeback anymore, even though they tried to shake things up by pulling Laco in favour of backup Peter Hamerlik.

Update #5: Datsyuk and Tatar appear in IIHF.com’s post-game clip:

Update #5,5: Yahoo Sports’ Sean Leahy posted a few more highlight clips, and MLive’s Brendan Savage just penned a wrap-up as well.

Update #5.75: the Free Press’s Kirkland Crawford penned a recap, too.

Update #6: Per the Canadian Press’s Chris Johnston:

“This was my Stanley Cup this year,” said Datsyuk.

Aykroyd altered his recap to reflect that comment as well:

“It’s hard to win the Stanley Cup every year,” said Datsyuk. “My Cup is that we won gold here.”

Update #6.5: Via RedWingsFeed, the Detroit News posted a quickie recap;

And We All Bleed Red on YouTube posted clips of Datsyuk schooling Tomas Tatar…

The Datsyuk-Semin-Ovechkin line at work…

Putting on a clinic…

Datsyuk’s tap-pass to Ovechkin, who sets Semin’s goal up…

Here’s Datsyuk’s other assist…

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Comments

Avatar

Павел, поздравляем с первым в твоей карьере титулом чемпиона Мира!

Молодцы, ребята!

Posted by Alex on 05/20/12 at 05:09 PM ET

Avatar

I will say it for the third time - Ilya Nikulin is an NHL All-Star material, and he has never played in the NHL and probably never will.

Dats line was lethal today.

Dats to Ovie to Semin = the first goal.

Ovie to Dats to Semin = the fourth goal.

Ovie to Semin to Dats = the fifth goal.

Do we need Parise?

Posted by Alex on 05/20/12 at 05:17 PM ET

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Do we need Parise?

no, but ovechkin and semin, apparently wink
*scnr*

Posted by simondesjardins on 05/20/12 at 07:41 PM ET

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BTW, about Semin/Syomin/Сёмин

The correct way to pronounce his name is to say a word “sermon” in the Queen’s English.

Posted by Alex on 05/20/12 at 07:57 PM ET

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Anyone know if Babcock and Kenny saw this gold medal game, either in part or full?  Matheson’s had a bead on the Wings’ tendencies…I wonder if his bead included three early playoff exits, with two of these going 3-0, 3-1.  I’d take a chance on Semin, he’s rumored to have indicated he’s in for a discount.  Moreover, I think Semin knows that salcking on this
(RW) team will not fly.  Mike will sit Alex in a wink—ask Modano.  Finally, I’m counting on the fact that this is the team that gave the world the Russian 5; Alex will not want to sully their legacy.

Posted by beelza from detroit on 05/21/12 at 03:52 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Holland and Babcock were in Helsinki for the vast majority of the tournament, so I’m sure they were there to watch today’s games.

The issue with Semin isn’t his play as much as it is his agent’s likely demands. Mark Gandler is a nut-job (he was Alexei Yashin’s agent) who tends to steer players to the KHL unless they get big paydays, and I can’t see the Wings dropping $6 million or more on Semin—they’d probably ask him to take a slight pay cut.

The more I’ve seen of him playing at the Worlds, the more I think he’d be a very solid Parise back-up plan, mostly because he seems to need to get the hell out of Washington and start over, if you will, but we’ll have to see whether there’s a “fit” money-wise.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/21/12 at 04:06 AM ET

Did's avatar

I don’t think that the Wings really need Semin. He’s everything that I as a Sharks fan don’t associate with Red Wings hockey - he has a lot of natural talent, however doesn’t really work hard for his points and is probably one of the reasons why the Capitals haven’t gotten even to the EC final since the lockout…

Posted by Did from SF Bay Area on 05/21/12 at 06:26 PM ET

SuperMatt75's avatar

I have to believe that anybody playing on Datsyuk’s wing - Semin included, is going to take the hint and work their a$$ off just because of the respect #13 has garnered around the league.

If we can get Semin at a discount over Parise, and that helps us get a better 4th line hulking winger who can play - AND a Top #4 d-man.  I take that deal ALL DAY LONG and 2x on tuesday.

Posted by SuperMatt75 from the cool side of the pillow on 05/22/12 at 07:29 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.