Blog Entry

Datsyuk to miss two weeks after knee surgery

Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:55 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 8:43 am
Datsyuk leads Detroit with 59 points (16-43=59). (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Red Wings were able to withstand the loss of All-Star goaltender Jimmy Howard just fine. But now they'll really be put to the test as superstar forward Pavel Datsyuk is going to miss the next two weeks after having arthroscopic knee surgery.

Datsyuk, who was recently lauded by his fellow players in the NHLPA poll in six different categories, is certainly as critical a component as anybody to the Wings. Some argue that he's the world's best player. The good news, though, is that he's not expected to be out long. The two weeks sounds like a solid time frame after hearing coach Mike Babcock on Tuesday.

"Datsyuk had minor arthroscopic knee surgery this morning," Babcock said before Tuesday's game against Chicago. "Everything is real good."

With that two-week timeframe -- three to be safe -- that brings Datsyuk back in the latter half of March, giving up a couple of weeks to get back up to full speed before the playoffs. So that's why they decided to take care of it now.

"This way we have an opportunity to get [Datsyuk] going 100 percent before playoff time," Babcock said.

That is a luxury Detroit has right now, holding a big enough cushion to withstand the loss of Datsyuk for a little while and still keeping their playoff position. What it might do is open the door for the Vancouver Canucks to overtake them and move into the West's top spot.

The good news for Detroit at least is that Howard will be making his return against the Blackhawks. He has missed the past few weeks with a broken finger but Detroit just kept on winning, taking the last six games without Howard in the lineup.

On the other side of the ice in Chicago tonight the Blackhawks will be missing their top forward as well. The 'Hawks announced Jonathan Toews is going to miss the game too with an upper-body injury. So at least it's an even trade in players being out for the always entertaining Chicago-Detroit battle.

The absences take away a bit of the juice that was shaping up to be about Howard's return.

More from Eye on Hockey

NHLPA poll really likes Datsyuk
Datsyuk dramatically extends Wings' streak

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 8:44 am

Datsyuk to miss two weeks after knee surgery

Not having Pavel in the lineup for the next two to three weeks will hurt just a little bit,but the Red Wings will be ok until Pavel returns. That's one of the luxuries that the Red Wings have by being such a deep and very talented team...."HockeyTown Rules Baby!!!".CoolCoolCool

Since: Apr 10, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 6:29 pm

Datsyuk to miss two weeks after knee surgery

Hey Dats, rest, get well.  By far my favorite player, and in my mind he is the best player in the game.  You will be sorely missed.  Luckily Detroit is talented enough to win without you, but they won't be the same.

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 4:35 pm

Datsyuk to miss two weeks after knee surgery

Better now than later. Listen, atleast the Wings will notch another 100 point season to their consecutive season mark. They will get Home Ice and with the like's of Big Z getting it going now and with a team that is(knock on wood) as healthy as it's been towards the latter part of the season for the first time in years it seems is good here. So no worries Wings fans, they have and do figure out ways to win as a team and yes, having Pav's would be great, but it's just the thing the Wings need before the playoff run. Tighten' up the rest of the squad come playoff time and they'll be ready to role.

Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 3:40 pm

Datsyuk to miss two weeks after knee surgery

Dust and bowyerpa-I agree with both of you, everything you say. It is a good news/bad news thing(maybe the other way around), but it is best to get this taken care of right now. To hell with the home win streak, the wings need Dats on the ice come playoff time. And he is the best player on the planet right now. Go Wings!

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 3:26 pm

Datsyuk to miss two weeks after knee surgery

Yeah, I hate seeing him miss anytime.  One of the most enjoyable guys in hockey all the way around as person, and player to watch.  Little rest before playoffs might be good for him though.  Hope everything goes smoothly recovering for him.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:43 pm

Datsyuk to miss two weeks after knee surgery

This is a good news bad news thing for the Wings.  The bad news it really hurts for trying to extend the home winning streak and keeping the number 1 spot in the conference which they can do without him but the good news is that it gives Dats some rest prior to the playoffs.  2 to 3 weeks shouldn't be too long to make him rusty and he will get plenty of games in before the playoffs to ensure there is no rust. 

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