Let’s face it… We’ve seen it all from Pavel Datsyuk – “The Magic Man”, throughout his 14-year career: breathtaking goals, incredible defensive plays, stunning passes, even a couple of fights. His trophy case is also quite impressive. He won the Selke Trophy three times (awarded to the best defensive forward in the league), the Lady Byng trophy four times (awarded to the player who best demonstrates sportsmanship), and once won the Bud Light Plus/Minus Award for good measure. Of course, there are two Stanley Cup championships to be included in there as well. In celebrating his amazing career (whether it’s over or not), let’s take a look at the top ten moments he has given us.
10March 28, 2013 vs San Jose: Logan Couture falls victim to Datsyukian deke
Let’s be serious here. Couture was out of his league on this one!
9October 30, 2001: Datsyuk’s first NHL goal
And so began the nightmares for opposing goalies across the NHL.
8October 8, 2010: Datsyuk fights Corey Perry
This guy really can do it all! As Ken Daniels said: “He’s punched out many of his opponents through his career with some Datsyukian dekes, now here are some Datsyukian decks.”
7January 17, 2010: Datsyukian deke in shootout vs. Chicago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi was sitting on a fastball and got a changeup. This was one of Datsyuk’s niftiest moments in the shootout, but just wait, it gets better.
6April 18, 2014: Datsyuk scores on a beautiful play
Game one of the 2014 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. Datsyuk uses an extremely deceptive drag to take a pass, which led to the only goal of the game.
5March 5, 2010: Datsyuk steals the puck, goes top shelf on Dan Ellis
Did we mention that Datsyuk is one of the best defensive forwards ever? Here, he turns defense into offense in quick fashion.
4February 17, 2012: Late Datsyuk goal wins it for Wings
Game-winners are always fun, especially when you make a ridiculous move to get open.
3February 19, 2013: Datsyuk slices through five defenders to score
We’re seeing a theme here: Datsyuk really enjoyed playing against the Nashville Predators. For the Preds, sometimes having five defenders just isn’t enough.
2May 12, 2008: Datsyuk tallies a hat trick
In the 2008 Western Conference Finals, Datsyuk had the Dallas Stars in his crosshairs, especially in Game Three. The result? Just a hat trick, no big deal.
1More shootout/breakaway ridiculousness
During his prime, Datsyuk was one of the – if not the most – terrifying players for a goaltender to see on a breakaway/shootout attempt. Marty Turco can attest to that.
And Josh Harding.
Oh yeah, Ilya Bryzgalov too.
And of course, Vokoun yet again.
There’s not much more we can say about Datsyuk that hasn’t already been said. If this really is it for the Magic Man, the memories will be embraced for a very long time.