"He's one of the most skilled players in the League, but his work ethic is second to none," Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom told NHL.com. "Look at the takeaways he gets -- a lot of them are from backchecking, coming back, stripping guys of the puck. That's just hard work. With all the talent he's got he's working hard and it's paying off for him, too."
It's paying off this season in bigger numbers, but Babcock is quick to point out that Datsyuk's 70 points last season were just as valuable to the Red Wings as his 36 points have been so far this season and his 97 points were in 2008-09.
When he puts them into context, Babcock can surmise that Datsyuk would have been close to a 100-point player last season if he simply had the support he has this season, thanks mostly to his chemistry with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom.
"Pavel didn't have the same support last year because we didn't have the players to support anybody," Babcock said. "We chased and chipped it for 60-some games. This year we've been healthy. Our back end is way better because we're healthy. We have way more depth. We score way more. Last year we were way down in scoring compared to our normal."
Edited by Konnan511, 13 December 2010 - 03:22 PM.