The Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa suggests that Pavel Datsyuk still looks superb as he plays for Team Olympic Athletes from Russia at the 2018 Olympics:
He played so well! Watching Pavel Datsyuk lead his team of Russian players against the United States Saturday, bright and early TV, tested resolve.
Red Wings fans had to let him go. In the case of one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise, with his enthralling talent and beguiling, impish humor, it dumped a heap of separation anxiety.
To break the habit after 2016, and Datsyuk’s departure to his homeland, nearly required a 12-step program. Make it 13, in his honor.
And so, a preliminary-round Olympic game, played halfway around the globe at a most un-hockey-like hour, arrived as grotesque temptation for the dependent.
What, of comfort? Maybe, at 39, the oldest player in the men’s ice hockey tournament in the Pyeongchang games would not be quite so alluring, especially after plying his trade for a couple of years in the KHL.
Yeah, well, forget about that. Datsyuk looked like he was 26, again, except for two things: he is even smarter a third of a lifetime later, which is noteworthy given his big head start in the cunning department, and way more physical.
Krupa continues at considerable length, and his article is worth your time: I will say that Datsyuk looks like he’s finally recovered from the ankle surgery that hobbled him during his final campaign with the Wings…