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05-06-2004, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SmokeyClause
Agreed. He can still get a lot better. I repeatedly said it was way too early to write him off. I stand by that. I just feel he's not off to a promising start.
Why is that? In my opinion, it is exactly opposite. He keeps improving every year so far, which is *very* important. First year he was in the background, learning the ropes in the regular season, playing a minor role. He had a small role in the playoffs, and managed not to embarass himself. The second year he broke out in the second half, and became one of the important parts of the Detroit team. In the playoffs he and his line were given an important role, but his inexperience was just too obvious. He was trying to do too much by himself, that just doesn't work, even though he provided some of the best video highlights for Detroit. This year he went a step further and during the regular season established himself as a star in the league (first AllStar appearance). He also has improved his game in the playoffs. He remained efficient on the ice even though he was usually double teamed and playing against the other team's top shut down line. People who say that he was physically intimidated do not know squat about hockey. Yes, he was on the receiving end of many hits, which comes with the territory of being the top player for your team. But I haven't seen him turn away from the play, or even make a mistake, because of anticipating a hit. He would go into traffic and I have seen him win the battles along the boards against people several inches and a few dozen pounds bigger. Sometimes even two people! To tell you the truth, I was thoroughly impressed by Datsyuk in these playoffs. Yes, he did not register a goal. But somehow it doesn't worry me one bit.

And guess what? He is going to be better next year.

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