Round one of TSN.ca's 2013 Play of the Year Showdown keeps moving with two plays which can only be described as hard work paying off. The king of stickhandling, Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk goes head-to-head against the very talented Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders.
Datsyuk's 2013 POY entry showcases his hands, vision and perseverance. He starts by throwing a solid hit in his own defensive zone, staying with the play; he then corrals the puck and turns on the jets. By the time this play is over, Datsyuk makes every single Nashville player on the ice look silly.
Mark Streit gets this play started by firing a stretch pass down the ice to a streaking Michael Grabner. Grabner takes the pass at full stride, and with Tampa's Eric Brewer hanging all over him, seals his entry into the 2013 POY Showdown.
You can watch the highlights and make your decision here (http://poy.tsn.ca). Every vote counts so watch all the plays and take part in the TSN.ca Play of the Year Showdown.
- Datsyuk has two Stanley Cup rings, four Lady Bing Memorial trophies and has the second-best plus/minus among active NHL players (behind a guy named Jaromir Jagr)
- In the 2010-11 NHL season, Grabner led all rookies with 34 goals, including 6 short-handed goals, enough to place him second overall in that category, one behind his Islander teammate Frans Nielsen.
- The Red Wings' Hakan Andersson was likely the only NHL scout to see Datsyuk play prior to the 1998 entry draft, this thanks to a snowstorm that forced a scout from another team to abandon his trip, allowing Detroit to pick Datsyuk 171st overall
- When Grabner's girlfriend went into labour, he kept his Twitter followers updated throughout the night, including sharing a photo of his new son all bundled up