Those who have had the privilege of watching the Detroit Red Wings this season were treated to many highlight-worthy moves courtesy of Pavel Datsyuk. With the season now over, it is little surprise that Datsyuk landed in the finals of TSN’s Play of the Year Showdown. What is surprising is that the final will find Datsyuk facing himself, guaranteeing him the win and leaving the only suspense as which one of his top two plays is the favorite.
One play finds Datysuk going coast-to-coast against the Nashville Predators on Feb. 19, eventually beating four Predators players and putting the puck past goaltender Pekka Rinne. That goal tied the game, though the Red Wings would eventually lose.
The second play came just nine days earlier, with Datsyuk taking a pass off his skate, moving it to his stick and beating the Los Angeles Kings’ defense before roofing a shot past goaltender Jonathan Quick. That goal was the first in an eventual 3-2 Red Wings win.
Thanks to a three-year, $23 million contract extension that will keep him in Detroit for the next four years, fans can expect more plays like this from Datsyuk for seasons to come. His 15 goals and 49 points led the Red Wings in the lockout-shortened season, and brought his career totals to 255 goals and 767 points.
Datsyuk’s goal against the Predators currently holds a commanding lead, with more than five days remaining in the voting period. Along the way he beat out highlight reel goals from Cody Hodgson and Magnus Paajarvi, as well as an amazing save by Jake Allen.