Friday, April 18, 2014
Datsyuk will be a challenge for Bruins
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- Pavel Datsyuk’s resume speaks for itself.
The Detroit Red Wings veteran centerman has won two Stanley Cups (2002, 2008), three Selke Awards, four Lady Bying Trophies and he’s a four-time All-Star. The 35-year-old Russian has compiled 804 points in 824 career games in the NHL.
Safe to say he’s one of the best players in the world.
In 13 career games against the Boston Bruins, Datsyuk has three goals and eight assists for 11 points. When the puck drops for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Friday night at TD Garden, he will be a focal point for the Bruins.
When his line is on the ice, it’s a safe bet Bruins coach Claude Julien will send his top two-way player, Patrice Bergeron and his linemates, along with defenseman Zdeno Chara out against Datsyuk.
Chara has always had great respect for Datsyuk and Boston’s captain knows what he needs to do.
“There’s no secret,” Chara said. “You always have to be aware of him. He’s one of the best players in the league, in the world and anytime you give a guy like that time and space he’s going to make something happen, so you just have to make sure you take as much as possible away from him.”
“It’s always a great challenge,” Bergeron said. “He’s a terrific player and he’s won before, so he’s really a great player and he’s tough to play against. It’s a great challenge for everyone. He doesn’t quit on any plays or any pucks,” Bergeron said. “You just need to be aware of that when you’re playing against him.”