Difference for those past three playoff numbers is that Datsyuk had two pretty solid runs and then a stinker where Hossa's numbers were buoyed quite a bit by the one run with the Pens. If that one season with the Pens had been closer to Hossa's career average, he'd have ten fewer points. It also brings his career PPG more in line with what Datsyuk has.
But his run with the Pens wasn't closer to his career average. That kind of if-then game seems pointless, no? If you take out Datsyuk's best run, his numbers fall off as well.
After Datsyuk's two good runs, what are you left with? A 9-in-16 run while injured and then a whole bunch of nothing. After Hossa's two best runs, what are you left with? A 15-in-23 run while injured, a 10-in-12, and then a bunch of nothing. Hossa's still looking a smidgen better.
I'm not slamming Datsyuk here. I was a supporter of his when everyone was claiming he was a playoff no-show and shouldn't get a new, big contract. I'm just saying that you can't really criticize Hossa as a playoff performer without leveling the same criticism at Datsyuk. Hossa's numbers are slightly better, and even if you cite a few reasons that help Datsyuk's case, I don't think you can make a case that shows he's a better playoff performer than Hossa, at least not a meaningful amount better.
And this isn't taking into account the responsibilities each player had in their first couple of playoff runs. Datsyuk got 21 playoff games his rookie year, a time when no one expected him to produce at a great level. Hossa had a few short runs to get his feet wet before being leaned on by the Sens.
Datsyuk wasn't really leaned on as a top-line player in his first few runs either, so I don't think there is much of a difference there.
Still, what's been the biggest complaint on Datsyuk? His playoff production doesn't match his regular season numbers. When the playoffs hit, I think it's become clear that Zetterberg is our lead horse up front and Franzen's been making a good case for being our #2.
I agree with this.
edit: I see you added a bit while I was replying. It's not that I would be against Hossa (or Datsyuk) on the team, it's that we would be looking at him to be a difference maker in the way that guys like Z and Franzen have become difference makers. For whatever reasons, he just doesn't seem to elevate his game the same way other guys do. Another example of someone I would consider a real horse in the playoffs is Getzlaf. The guy just becomes a beast out there.
Again, I basically agree. I just get annoyed when some fans get after Hossa while giving Datsyuk a pass. I think both are great players and I think both are of great benefit in the playoffs, but I also agree that neither necessarily goes to another gear in the playoffs. However, those guys, like Zetterberg, are in the minority. I think it's unfair to expect all players to do that.