The Detroit Red Wings have been counted out all year.
It started before the season when general manager Ken Holland said this might be the year their playoff streak would come to an end, and has continued right into the postseason where nobody has given them much of a shot (though, I will say that colleague Brian Stubits and I picked them to beat Anaheim in round one -- not to toot our own horns or anything, but ... toot, toot).
But as of Wednesday afternoon they're not only still playing in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, they surprisingly have a 2-1 series lead on the Presidents' Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks.
One of the biggest reasons they're back in the playoffs and not going away without a fight?
The still incredible play of center Pavel Datsyuk.
Datsyuk was brilliant once again during the regular season, averaging more than a point-per-game, playing Selke Trophy-caliber defense, and dazzling hockey fans with moves and puck skills that only he is capable of.
His play inspired TSN to do a a top-10 list featuring the best goals of his career, and it's must-watch hockey (via HockeyWebCaster).
As incredible as those goals are (personally, I think No. 7, the strip-and-steal goal against Nashville, is way too low) I still find myself enjoying this clip of him doing nothing but taking the puck away from unsuspecting opponents to be just as exciting.