While it sucks that the Red Wings exited the playoffs quickly, getting an opportunity to watch some players represent their country isn’t too bad of a consolation prize. Ranging from Datsyuk to Larkin, there was plenty to watch. What exactly did we learn though going into next season?
1. Pavel Datsyuk has still got it
After a season that many considered “lackluster”, a lot of people were willing to write off Pavel Datsyuk and what he can bring to a hockey team. His time with the Red Wings may be coming to an end, yet as a simple onlooker, he was an absolute joy to watch.
Datsyuk ended the tournament tied for sixth in scoring with eleven points on the tournament. He was second in assists this tournament with ten in total. No matter where he ends up, it should be known, Datsyuk still has a little bit left in the tank.
2. Dylan Larkin’s late season swoon may have been overstated
The start that Larkin had to the year was one of the best beginnings to a rookie season in recent memory. Skating down the wing like a bat out of hell, he captivated a lot of the National Hockey League. When he wasn’t performing up to people’s standards, they pointed out his light work load in recent years and possible battle with fatigue.
In ten games this tournament, he ended up having nine points. Just shy of a point per game pace may not seem like much but putting it into context is very important. While he did see time with players like Nick Foligno and Auston Matthews, some of his time was also spent with Matt Hendricks, a proverbial black hole. Performing no matter the circumstance should bode well for him as the Wings have an uncertain future.
3. Alexei Marchenko needs to be more involved in the offense next year
While his stats this tournament won’t jump off the page, Marchenko was a difference maker at times when playing with his Russian teammates. Time and time again this past season we saw Marchenko handcuffed to certain players that plainly, didn’t compliment him well. This tournament we saw a new side of Marchenko, a more skilled side.
During the course of this past month, we saw multiple instances where Marchenko pinched and was involved in the play. That type of freedom, paired with playing with some outstanding skill players, makes for a very nice combination. Only three points during the tournament may be a bit of a misleading stat given how often he was involved in the offense. It is impossible to predict his usage next year, if this tournament is any indication though, lookout for a breakout year.