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Goal of the Night - Pavel Datsyuk (November 30)

Pavel Datsyuk

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal against the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period of an NHL first-round playoff hockey series Friday, April 23, 2010, in Glendale, Ariz. The Red Wings won Game 5 by a score of 4-1. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)


This just in from the Bureau of the Obvious: Pavel Datsyuk is flat-out amazing. He scored 206 regular season goals in his nine year NHL career and I wouldn’t be surprised if 100 of them were absolute jaw droppers.

Beyond sporting a hockey IQ worthy of multiple Selke Trophies, one of the main things that sets the Russian superstar apart is his amazing ability to deke around defenseman and make them look stupid.

Tuesday’s goal of the night was a shining example of why playing against Datsyuk must generate a horrifying feeling of dread, even when you have what appears to be strength in numbers. He split two San Jose Sharks players - including underrated shutdown blueliner Marc-Edouard Vlasic - and was too fast for Patrick Marleau and too alert for Antero Niittymaki’s poke check to be stopped.

The moment I saw this goal, I knew it would be the best of the night and could very well be the best of this week, too. It will be hard for any other goal to top this one, but we’ll enjoy seeing if someone can pull that off.
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