Season Recap/Grades: Pavel Datsyuk & Henrik Zetterberg

Eurotwin Powers: Activate!

Winding the Red Wings season down so we can start planning the parade route for next year, we start our player recaps and grades with two of the Wings' three best payers.  Colloquially known together as "The Eurotwins", Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg combined to play 136 of a possible 164 man-games, scoring 47 goals and 92 assists between them.  While many of these points came on the same scoring play, the totals account for about 19.5% of all of the points awarded to Red Wings players this season.  In all, their 139 points fell one shy of the previous season's mark, although in 18 fewer total games played.

Preseason Expectations: In our season preview post of these two, I wrote that I expected a return to more 2008 and 2009-like numbers for Datsyuk, with the hope that he would be able to finally break the 100-point plateau (34G, 66A) while again leading the league in takeaways.  For Zetterberg, I wrote pretty lofty expectations of 40 goals and Hart Trophy consideration.

Follow us after the jump for more breakdown of each player, plus the final season grade for each.


Pavel Datsyuk

#13 / Center / Detroit Red Wings

5-11

194

Jul 20, 1978


2010-2011 Stats

GP G A Pts PIMs +/- TOI/G PPG

56

23

36

59

15

11

19:19

10


Datsyuk missed his preseason expectations numbers thanks in very large part to injuries.  He missed significant portions of the season, including 19 games from late December to early February with a broken hand and seven games late in the season after suffering a lower body injury on March 17th against Columbus.  If his per-game numbers had held up over an 82-game schedule, he would have hit the 34-goal marker, but would have fallen short on assists with 53 for 87 total points.  He also found himself just outside of the top-ten in league-wide takeaways, even with his limited time.  Despite this, he still managed to earn a spot as a Selke Trophy finalist for the best defensive forward in hockey.  Unfortunately, he lost his grip on the Lady Byng trophy early when he kicked Corey Perry's ass in game #1.

What he did well: In short, everything.  Aside from being the best pure puckhandler in the league, Datsyuk is an incredibly hard worker who does not shy away from contact.  Watching Pavel's shot selection grow with his confidence as the years have gone on has been a real treat for Red Wings fans who went from shouting for the guy to shoot more to cheering for the highlight-reel goals he's putting up.  For CSSI-Adjusted Stats, Datsyuk didn't lead any of the counting categories, but for rate-stats, nobody had better per-game rates for goals, assists, or plus/minus.  Throw in his playoff numbers for this season and there's a very strong argument to be made for him to be the Wings' MVP.

What he did not do well: It's obvious, and it's cliché, but Datsyuk did not do well enough staying healthy this season.  That's something which was mostly beyond his control, but the single biggest detriment that Pavel brought to the Red Wings this season was not playing.  When he played, the Red Wings gave up 2.75 goals per game.  In the 26 contests he missed, that GAA ballooned up to 3.23. 

Overall Grade:  If we're just basing this on the regular season, I'm afraid that Datsyuk didn't play in enough games to warrant the best possible grade.  He simply missed too much class participation credit (which I always hated anyway).  However, unlike the NHL Awards, we're not limited to looking solely at the regular season.  The 11 postseason games that Datsyuk played had him on track to be the clear-cut Conn Smythe front-runner on his team.  He had nearly twice as many points as the next nearest guy and scored clutch goals throughout.  Datsyuk's overall grade is therefore an A+.


Henrik Zetterberg

#40 / Left Wing / Detroit Red Wings

5-11

195

Oct 09, 1980


2010-2011 Stats

GP G A Pts PIMs +/- TOI/G PPG

80

24

56

80

40

-1

19:35

10

 

Zetterberg wrapped up his eighth NHL season with career-highs in both games played (80) and assists (56).  While not a finalist for any NHL awards this season, the former Conn Smythe winner had a solid season for Detroit, putting up 80 points (including 24 goals) while facing the toughest competition of any Red Wings' forward.  He did fall short of the preseason expectations I placed on him, but I'm starting to think I misjudged the entirety of the NHL (considering this year saw only one player break 100 points.)

What he did well: Zetterberg was the Wings' most versatile forward this season.  The career-high in assists showed that he could adjust his game to the heavy coverage that Babcock put him out against.  His production didn't drop off at all in the games that Datsyuk missed, scoring 25 points in the 26 games without Pavel and 55 points in the 56 games with his partner-in-crime.  Leading all Detroit forwards in Behindthenet.ca's Quality of Competition rating (as he has every season since 2007-08), Zetterberg still managed a CSSI-adjusted +43 rating this year for his good defensive play.

What he did not do well: Zetterberg perhaps dished the puck off a bit too much for the Wings.  While his assists total was very impressive, his 24 goals was quite a bit off the pace that's come to be expected.  For those hoping that his 7.4 shooting percentage last season was abnormally low from his career 11.2% clip, he managed only 7.8% this season.  As a center, his -1 rating on the season bothers me a bit more than Lidstrom's -2, as too often he'd pass off his in-zone defensive responsibility to a winger who was not nearly as good at preventing scoring chances.  While all-in-all I'd say his defensive game was good, I would also say he had a problem with consistency.

Overall Grade: Game in and game out, Zetterberg brought his best effort every night.  Despite some questions that he has lost a step, Z managed to stymie his adversaries while putting up points over the course of nearly a full season.  His late-season injury kept him out of the first round of the playoffs, but when he came back, he performed very well, scoring eight points in only seven games against the Sharks.  Overall, I give Zetterberg an A. 

Up next, Graham tackles Holmstrom and Franzen.

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