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Hard To Hate Datsyuk

from Chris Lund of The Score,

What follows from this is all players are lumped into a love ‘em or hate ‘em category. Think of the best players in the world. You will find that 99.9999% of them fall well short of a unanimous opinion. Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, the Sedin twins, Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, etc. Go down the list and it is apparent that there are plenty of human beings who are not ‘avin what these guys are bringin’.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em? Do or do not. There is no try.

I would like to posit, however, that there is one throwback left. The one player left in this generation who we can all agree on. Who we all watch while we sit back and smirk and think “Yeah, this guy. He’s awesome.”

Pavel Datsyuk.

Have you ever met someone with vitriol for Pavel Datsyuk? I haven’t. You get moments where you’ll find an emotionally distraught individual furious that Datsyuk skated through their entire team to tie the game with a minute left and then put their goalie’s jockstrap in Row Q for the shootout game winner, but the narrative never leaves the “Damn him, I want him,” story arc.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk


perfection's avatar

best all around hockey player on the planet. on top of that, Dats seems like an extremely humble and amazing person. he doesn’t cut corners. he works harder than everyone, despite having more skill than them all. despite having the best moves on the planet, he values his defensive ability as much if not more than his offensive ability. he’s coachable, he’s fair, he’s competitive. if there’s any player that single handedly shatters the current stereotype of Russian NHL’ers not going 100% all of the time, it’s Datsyuk. if it weren’t for his average English skills, he would (and should) be marketed as the true face of the league.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 10/01/12 at 04:35 PM ET

scotts0's avatar

Honestly, he’s kinda the only thing I miss about hockey right now.

Posted by scotts0 from New York on 10/01/12 at 05:46 PM ET

wingsluver4ever's avatar

Of course we knew this already.

The saddest part is that Dats career stats are going to be missing 2+ (?) seasons due to the bickering billionaire vs millionaire NHL lockouts.

Posted by wingsluver4ever on 10/01/12 at 06:04 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

Datsyuk is the best of the best. For me, he is easily the best player I have ever seen play the game, and, I can say that honestly, having been a fan for 45 years.

He is deeper than the Marianas Trench. He is humble. He is a humanitarian. He exemplifies what it means to be a good person. He is so very intelligent. I could go on and on….................

Pavel Datsyuk will always be my favorite Hockey player of all time.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!! In’13?

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 10/01/12 at 06:26 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Oh I’ll go there…

What are the odds on Game Five, last April, being Datsyuk’s last NHL game?

*#$%@& you, Case of the Mondays…

Posted by mrfluffy from the phone, calling Detroit, telling them it's on 10/01/12 at 06:27 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Watching Datsyuk play with CSKA is painful, especially because Alex Radulov is that team’s captain and he’s taken a hot-headed penalty in every game I’ve watched. The difference in the two is staggering.

Pavs is great.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/01/12 at 06:36 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

I sincerely believe that Pavs should be the new captain of the wings when the plutocrats get a CBA. He is by far the best leader by example and work ethic on the team. I just hope playing in Russia during the lockout doesn’t sway him to go there on a permanent basis.

Posted by cigar_nurse from On LTIR for the Greenville Pylons on 10/01/12 at 09:23 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

scotts0 said it all. Amen.

Posted by joedaiceman on 10/01/12 at 09:30 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t even know who you compare Datsyuk to in other sports, considering his outlandish ability to do things no other player can, and his fierce two-way game.  He really is that unique.  Has there been a top-notch pitcher in modern times that could also really hit at the plate in the NL?  Has there been an NFL player who plays on both sides of the ball regularly and is literally the focal point of everything?  I suppose Jordan comes to mind with his defensive awards and lauds later in his career, but it’s still not quite the same thing because of the nature of basketball, and also because Jordan was THE hugest star of stars for what seemed like eons in sports years.

Can you imagine if the NHL actually promoted the guy more to non-hockey fans?  His highlight reel, and his accomplishments?  And he’s one of the best quotes in the game today then, to boot.

“There’s this Russian center.  He makes moves and dekes nobody’s seen before, literally leaves defensemen and goalies flopping around on the ice trying to stop him.  They invented an adjective for him.  He has a good, deceptive shot, and is an even better set-up man.  When h has the puck, it’s basically impossible to get it away from him, even if you send 2 or 3 guys at him at once because he can still deke and fake them all out and continue.

He’s also won the league’s Best Defensive Forward trophy multiple times, and is an important penalty killer for his team, and regularly swipes the puck from opponents in ways that boggle the mind.  He’s a turnover machine, but in the good way.  And all this after early on in his career he was scratched in the playoffs because he was a ‘defensive liability’.

He’s not a very big guy, but he’s not all just shifty too because he makes guys pay for trying to hit him, and semi-regularly takes out much bigger, stronger guys.  So you can’t just run him, because he’ll make you pay one way or another if you do.

He also is funny as heck, and is full of sarcasm and one-liners off the ice, and genuinely seems to enjoy playing.  Opponents sometimes speak in awe of him, and how he’s at his own level and tier of ability, and he’s the guy the players want on their team first if they’re choosing teams.”

And somehow, the league still misses out on the goldmine that would be promoting him.  Then again it’s the NHL… so it’s really no surprise whatsoever is it?

Posted by Primis on 10/02/12 at 12:56 AM ET

Yzersyuk's avatar

In middle school when i watched my first game of hockey I saw Pavel Datsyuk play. Hockey was instantly and shockingly a part of me, I’ve never looked back.

Posted by Yzersyuk on 10/02/12 at 05:08 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Honestly, he’s kinda the only thing I miss about hockey right now.
Posted by scotts0 from New York on 10/01/12 at 05:46 PM ET

This ^^^^^

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 10/02/12 at 09:21 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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