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04-30-2013, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Pav, Howard, and Z all had stretches throughout the season where they really carried the load. To finish the season, all 3 of them carried the load.
What separates Datsyuk though IMO is that when he's "off" of his game for a stretch, he still has such a huge impact in terms of all of the little things he does. When his offensive game goes quiet he still cancels out opposing lines. He simply doesn't get scored on often. Only a handful of centers league wide had a better GA/60 this season. And none of them had a quality of competition as high as Datsyuk's.
Then you have all the little things: like being the guy who takes important faceoffs, the guy who Babcock throws bottom 6 wingers with to help protect and distribute lineup balance, and the player who other teams' plan around (often using their top defenceman against).
So in that sense Datsyuk is the pretty clear MVP IMO.
Howard maybe had the best season considering expectations and his rough start to the season...
And Z is still such a huge value and a great 1B forward. And when it comes to stepping up ones game when we most need it, Z is seemingly always there.
But night in and night out, Datsyuk is the player that has the biggest impact on the game and would be the most difficult to replace.
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