Babcock: If Datsyuk wants to play, he'll play

Updated: April 22, 2006, 4:46 PM ET
Associated Press

Pavel Datsyuk told Detroit coach Mike Babcock he expects to play in Game 2 on Sunday afternoon after missing Game 1 with an upper leg injury sustained April 3 against Calgary.

Pavel Datsyuk
Datsyuk

What does Babcock say?

"I say, if he says he wants to play I'm going to let him play," Babcock said of the Wings' leading point-getter in the regular season.

Datsyuk skated well on Saturday morning.

Datsyuk had a team-high 87 points, and finished the regular season tied for 17th in the league, with Colorado's Joe Sakic, in points on 28 goals and 59 assists.

The dazzling player with great hands and moves was a standout during his previous two regular NHL seasons -- with 119 points combined -- and lackluster in the playoffs, like most of his teammates. He didn't score a goal and had six assists combined in the 2003 and 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs when the Red Wings exited the postseason early. As a rookie in the 2001-02 season, he had 35 points.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press