20 Greatest Red Wings (#9)
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11-20-2012, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
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.
Zetterberg has been comparable to or better than Datsyuk defensively for the entire time they've played together. He's also been equal or better at AS. Datsyuk's big offensive advantage? The power play is built around Datsyuk. So much so that in 08-09, Zetterberg was moved to the second unit without difficulty.
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.
Datsyuk is a flashy player. But the reason that's brought in things such as a Datsyuk vs. Zetterberg discussion is because that flash will often decide people in favor of Datsyuk. See Dats' 2011 Selke nomination. Zetterberg was at least as deserving defensively, had actually played the whole year, and finished 8th in scoring.
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