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11-19-2012, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jaster View Post
That was a cute comment by Daniels, and while it may have some truth to it from a certain perspective, it doesn't really mean a whole lot. All three players have been extremely valuable to Detroit, but Lidstrom is easily the best of the 3, and was the most valuable. In that respect, Lidstrom was the straw that stirred the drink. It's just that Lidstrom's excellence, from an on-ice, tangible perspective, was very quiet and often difficult to notice for many fans, while Datsyuk is the opposite; very flashy, with his excellence on full display and in your face. Zetterberg, meanwhile, is more like Lidstrom that Datsyuk; more quietly excellent with his actual play. I can't even separate Hank and Dats by a full ranking. They are an A and a B for me. But I give the slight edge to Zetterberg.
From a career standpoint obviously Lidstrom is not in the conversation, as he's in a different one. When Daniels made the comment, which I and many other fans agreed with, we're talking 2010 or maybe even 2011. You can make a case that Lidstrom was as if not more valuable simply from the positional standpoint, but Datsyuk has been Detroit's best player IMO.

As flashy as Datsyuk is, I don't think the average fan who considers himself a "hardcore hockey fan" truly understands just how subtle his game actually is. That might be the best part of his game these days. His hockey IQ - in how he reads the game offensively and defensively don't always show up in a fancy stickhandling sequence. His ability to be disruptive and responsible defensively without even touching the player/puck is one of my favorite parts to his game. And I'm not talking about when he comes away with a takeaway.

When people refer to Datsyuk as "flashy" it's easy to see why, but he's so much more than a flashy player that labeling him simply as that is a bit of a slap in the face. That'd be like labeling Miguel Cabrera as "swing for the fences" type of guy.

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