The Detroit Red Wings announced on Tuesday afternoon that they are expecting to be without their top forward, Pavel Datsyuk, for the next 2-to-3 weeks, due to some minor arthroscopic knee surgery. Datsyuk had his knee checked out on the weekend and an MRI found some damage, which could be corrected and set back closer to 100% and with still six weeks left in the season, there is still plenty of time before the playoffs to have him recover.
Three weeks out of the line-up would put Datsyuk back in the middle of March, but of course, the team is optimistic that he could be back in two weeks.
Without a doubt, the playoffs and the Stanley Cup is way more important than any regular season achievements that the team or an individual can get, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that the team would be fully behind this, just so they can have a healthy Datsyuk for the playoffs.
It is a shame for the poolies though, especially since Datsyuk is having a very good season, picking up 59 points (16 goals and 43 assists) in 59 games this year, which means the pool impact will likely be quite large. Scoring at a point-per-game pace on the season, not to mention him heating up in the last few weeks, will certainly sting.
Going into Tuesday's busy schedule, Datsyuk ranks 16th in pool scoring and 9th among forwards, so it will be interesting to see where he lands, upon his return to the Red Wings line-up.
This has real potential to sting Dale B. and his draft team, which goes into Tuesday night with a 6-point lead in the draft. Over the next few weeks, the Red Wings could play upwards of 10 games and at a point-per-game, there is a good chance that the 6 points could be made up quickly. The gap between 1st and 3rd is 25 points, so I don't think there is any fear there yet. A return with about three weeks to go will certainly make the race for the top even more interesting.