This is the hardest award to judge, because it's not something regular fans can see as well as coaches. It's not a statistical award per se.
Because of his and the team's underachieving season, plus the fact that he doesn't have many short-handed goals, plus the fact that he's won it twice in a row (meaning they'd rather give it to someone else), makes me say that he won't win it.
i think it unfortunately is a stat vote. if it came down to simply who was best datsyuk would in a landslide i say. no one can takeaway the puck, protect it, and turn it into a scoring chance like he can, and his backchecking is tremendous.
A couple of reasons
1. The Wings have always platooned PKers. I believe for a number of years our lineup has allowed us to rotate as many as 8 to 9 forwards for PK duty. And not slouches either. Flip, Clearly, etc... and now Miller and Eaves.
2. Datsyuk, IMO is the catalyst for the offense (forwards that is). It's my belief that as the most creative and most offensive guy we possess, his time is best served doing that, providing offense and offensive chances. Especially on a team that has lost as much production as it has this year.
The question isn't if Dats is the best defensive forward, why doesn't he have the most PK time? The question is, why would you burn up your top centerman with excess minutes on the PK night in and night out when you have 6+ fully capable, pking forwards? Lead by Z, the Wings have ample ability to send guys out who can do the job.
If the Wings didn't have the players who could kill, then Dats would be out there more. But since we have so many who are capable, best to let them eat up some of those minutes. You can't play Pav 30 minutes a night. And having him out there all night killing PK's might be a good thing but not at the expense of exhausting him on the offensive side of things when the Wings are probably 100 goals shorter in the production dept. this year.
my thoughts exactly.