May the Hockey Gods help us, it looks like Dangle Dangle won't be playing tonight. I remember seeing him take that shot off the foot during the last game, but he kept playing, and I assumed that it just stung him. I'm holding out hope that this is just Babcock's attempt at Scotty Bowman-like mind games, but I'm really feeling like Datsyuk's going to be sitting this one out. When reports first hit about him possibly being out a couple of days ago, I brushed it off, figuring it would be just like Ericsson's foot injury in the second round. Now I'm hearing that his gear hasn't even been laid out in his locker and SI is saying that he's officially out for tonight. This has pretty much ruined my whole day. Now I have to go to work and smile at people and pretend to be nice and normal and not a crazed, hockey-obsessed little girl who just wants to go home to watch the game while curled up in a ball on the couch.
I don't care that he hasn't been putting up the points we'd expect from him this run. Chicago is still forced to spend a lot of time and energy in order to keep him off the board. Even if the man never scored another goal in his life, what he does on defense would still make him invaluable. If he can't go tonight, I have to assume that his foot's broken, in which case the show's over for him this season.
One of the Wings' strengths has always been their depth, but Dangle Dangle's not the kind of guy you just replace. I'm sure Leino will do an adequate job, but let's face it, Datsyuk's arguable the best all-around player int he world, and there's no way Leino can live up to that. Last year in the Finals, Datsyuk, Z, and Lidstrom teamed up to absolutely own Crosby and Malkin for 6 games. With the roll Crosby and Malkin are on, I don't like the Wings chances without Datsyuk, *if* they make it to the Finals.
I blame Drew Sharp. This is what happens when you tempt the wrath of the Hockey Gods by writing headlines like that when your team only has half of the necessary wins to advance. Just ask Toby Ziegler. Someone please crosscheck Drew Sharp.