Pavel Datsyuk still appears to be struggling through a lower-body injury that kept him out of 14 consecutive games for the Detroit Red Wings. While he made his return to an NHL sheet of ice just prior to taking off for the Winter Olympics, it’s clear that the All-World center is still struggling with an issue that hampers his ability to skate.
Detroit used him as a wing in his two games after returning from injury, which lessened the impact of his impeded speed. Datsyuk was also noticeably absent from the faceoff circle.
Helene St. James of The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the captain of Team Russia didn’t take part in the squad’s practice this morning:
Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk posed for a picture with the Russian national team this afternoon, then disappeared from the ice. The rest of Russia’s NHL contingent, which only arrived earlier in the day, practiced, indicating that something remains wrong with Datsyuk. After skating in the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, Datsyuk didn’t play again for the Wings until Thursday.
If Datsyuk is battling an injury still, then it makes sense that Russia would hold him off the ice for now. St. James also speculated that the team could preserve him for the Medal rounds, but also noted that the squad has a difficult road to through the preliminary round with matchups against the United States and Slovakia.
For even more Detroit Red Wings content, check out FanSided’s Red Wings-centric site, Octopus Thrower.