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05-04-2004, 03:04 AM
Vlad The Impaler
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Dastyuk cannot be the next Yzerman. Different players who took different paths and have different assets.

Predominantly, Datsyuk has been a playmaker. This year was the first he really broke out as a goalscorer but even then, I still consider his hockey sense, anticipation, creativity and overall playmaking abilities as being his main assets in this league.

And create plays he did. Some totally out of nowhere, right on target. But many were not capitalized on.

The thing people have to ask themselves is if Datsyuk is really such a goalscorer. Even many of his supporters have envisioned him more as a playmaker with 20 goal as a possibility. He had 30 this year, but 11 of those came during a 9 game streak in which everything was going as well as it could.

I am hoping I am wrong but suspecting this might have been an aberration. Regardless, it is still a player with not much North American experience and I do not care much because I happen to think he did make stuff happen. It is also his first year where he was really counted on for a bigger role. Making that transition is not easy.

At the end of the day, his overall performance is much more important than a single stat but in true HF-fashion, there's always a guy pointing out to this stuff as some sort of empirical evidence that something is horribly wrong.

The bottom line is, whether someone has the ability to comprehend it or not, Datsyuk's performance this year has been better than many guys who have scored a goal or two this year in the NHL playoffs and that's what he will be judged by. His overall performance. It would be cool if coaching, scouting and evaluations were done by way of simple mathematical operations but alas, doesn't work that way.

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