On Sunday, Pavel Datsyuk entered the game against the Bruins with 899 points. By night’s end, Datsyuk had tallied 2 goals and an assist, surpassing 900 points and finishing with 902 points. Once again, Wings fans were reminded just how magical Pavel Datsyuk is.
There’s not many players like Datsyuk in the league. No, this is a not a homer view. Ask his teammates. Ask his coaches. Most importantly, ask fellow players around the league. Erik Johnson once said that Datsyuk “had the best hands he’s ever seen.” Bobby Ryan said that Datsyuk is “far and away the best player I have ever seen.” Even fellow great center Steven Stamkos called him “the most skilled player in the game. He’s got the best set of hands I’ve ever seen.”
His statistics and accolades are magical as well and speaks volumes about the type of player he is. He’s won 4 Lady Byng Memorial Trophies, 3 Frank J. Selke Trophies, has been selected for 4 All-Star games , a two-time Stanley Cup Champion and won a Bronze Medal with Team Russia at the Olympics in 2002. Now he joins the 900-point club, an exclusive one that only a few other Wings players have accomplished. He is now only 52 points behind Wings great Sergei Fedorov and there is reason to believe he will surpass him.
It’s the way Datsyuk scores which makes this accomplishment magical. Whether with a “Datsyukian Deke” or a snipe top-shelf, he never ceases to amaze. Regardless of how the rest of his career in the NHL goes, Datsyuk will always be remembered for his creativity and jaw-dropping ability in the shootout.
There’s no way to tell if Wings fans will ever be able to witness a player of his caliber play in front of the home crowd ever again. At age 37, there’s no telling how much magic Datsyuk has left in him. But at least for now, the “Magic Man” shines bright.