Game 5 notes: Bad wrist can't slow Datsyuk

May 9, 2011, 4:29 am
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Ray Ratto

SAN JOSE -- The Sharks have rediscovered what they've known for years -- Pavel Datsyuk is the most underlooked great player in the game. His third period work despite having a bad wrist was exemplary, and picking Patrick Marleau twice to set up Tomas Holmstroms game-winner was the purest Datsyuk of all.I thought Pavel was unbelievable in the third. Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.Hes a world-class player. Its interesting as you watch the playoffs. Theres lots of nice players during the regular season and theyve got good skill and all that. But if you dont have a drive, and you dont compete at the highest level, you cant win at this time of year. Its all about competition level and digging in and winning those battles. And thats what Pavel has.Datsyuks wrist has become such a bother that he took no faceoffs Sunday night.REISS: Roenick's shot at Marleau over the line
I guess he just didnt feel like taking them. Babcock lied with an impish look on his face. Hes the best on our team, we just didnt want him to take them.
Yeah, thats it.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Datsyuk said, trying to hide the injury. I'm OK. I'm fine. Anyway, I'm not a shooter. It doesn't help me anyway. My job is to chip in goal, hit somebody hard.

And on the play to set up the winner?

I gave it to Nick (Lidstrom). I know Nick shoots pretty well. Having Holmy in front of the net is good with this one. I'm happy for him doing his job well.Well bet he is. San Jose has blown two chances to take care of business, but statistics show that teams up 3-1 that lost Game 5 still have won 80 of 103 series, a casino-ready percentage of .777. Jeremy Roenick helped reveal his essential distaste for Marleaus game in the postgame show on Versus, describing Marleau as gutless twice in explaining the play in which Datsyuk stole the puck from him to set up Holmstroms winning goal. Later, when hammered by San Jose, he Tweeted (with corrections made for non-Twit speakers),Everyone can be mad at me for my comments. That's fine!! My opinions are mine and Ive always voiced them! Classless? Ive had worse said of me!! Marleau has his fans and that's great! I am not one of them and won't pretend to be! I love the Sharks with a passion and think the fans deserve a better effort than Marleau has given in this series!!!

Thats 10 exclamation points in three Tweets. Clearly, theres some history here. Game 5 is set for Tuesday on Versus. Be there, and bring your Dramamine to keep your tummy uproars to a minimum.Ray Ratto is a columnist for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.