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Tuesday Tire Pump: Pavel Datsyuk

Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk

Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Holmstrom, right, congratulates teammate Pavel Datsyuk who scored a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Los Angeles, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. (AP Photo by Christine Cotter)


Every Tuesday at PHT, we’ll pump a player’s tire. Because every player likes it when nice things are said about them.

This week’s tire pumpee: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

Datsyuk took a lot of heat while the Wings struggled through a six-game losing streak in late October and early November. And he didn’t play a whole lot better when the team started winning.

When asked two weeks ago how he was doing, Datsyuk said, “Awful. I don’t have anything. I need more be productive, need more shoot, need more be dangerous. Need more be dangerous.”

Datsyuk has more be better lately. More be much better.

In his last five games – all Detroit wins – Datsyuk has eight points while compiling a plus-5 rating.

“He’s playing real well, making plays, hanging on to the puck, dangling guys,” said defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom Friday after the Wings beat Boston, 3-2 in a shootout.

“It’s fun to see him play like that.”

Pavel Datsyuk, everyone.