To steal one from Ken Daniels, maybe Pavel Datsyuk really is better on one leg than the rest of the NHL is on two. Datsyuk will miss a couple weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery this morning. Pavel will miss a couple of weeks, but is it really as big of a loss as it sounds?
The short answer is no.
The long answer is a bit more complicated.
Thanks to the record breaking home winning streak, the Wings are five points clear of St. Louis for the number one spot in the Central Division, and are in no danger of finishing worse than fourth in the West.
The surgery was also minor, meaning he will be back and scoring goals again in plenty of time for the playoffs.
Tuesday also marks the returns of both Jimmy Howard and Danny Cleary to the lineup, lessening the blow of losing Datsyuk.
Five of the next seven games will be played at Joe Louis Arena; I don’t need to tell you what that means.
Obviously the best player in the NHL can’t be accurately replaced, but the Detroit Red Wings are not built around one player. A strength of the team this year is the depth, and I fully expect that depth to carry Detroit throughout the next two weeks.
That, and the wall that is Jimmy Howard in goal.