The underrated Pavel Datsyuk

Even after awards, Stanley Cup the Red Wings' star still doesn't get credit he deserves

Updated: April 26, 2011, 5:02 PM ET
By Tom Awad | Hockey Prospectus
Lidstrom/DatsyukGerry Thomas/NHLI/Getty ImagesPavel Datsyuk has been a big reason for the Red Wings' success.

The first team to reach the second round of the playoffs, and the only one to sweep its first-round series, was the Detroit Red Wings. Their win over the Coyotes was their 11th series win in the last five years, by far the best in the league over that time. Everyone knows the Wings have one of the best defensemen of all-time in Nicklas Lidstrom, a Norris Trophy finalist at 40 years old, and 2008 Conn Smythe winner Henrik Zetterberg. What few people realize is that the third member of their elite trio, Pavel Datsyuk, should be considered not just among the NHL's stars, but among the best players in the world.