Datsyuk will return to Detroit next week after ‘tremendous’ Olympic performance

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Pavel Datsyuk isn’t rushing back to rejoin the Red Wings.

Ken Holland says that’s just fine.

“He’s taken an opportunity to go home for a few days,” the Wings GM said, per the Detroit Free Press. “I told him just to be on the ice Tuesday for practice. We certainly expect him to play Wednesday, but we’ll see how he feels.”

Datsyuk, from Yekaterinburg, was one of the few Russian players to exceed expectations at the Olympics. He came into Sochi hobbled by a knee injury but was the team’s best player, sharing the scoring lead (six points) with Alex Radulov while averaging nearly 18 and a half minutes per game.

Holland called the performance “tremendous,” especially in light of Datsyuk’s health.

“I thought he played very very well,” Holland said. “I know that he’s been battling an injury going back to December. Now he’s played five games here in short period of time. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to play for us next week.”

The 35-year-old Datsyuk might be going home for a rest, his workload will get heavy upon returning to Detroit. The Wings are going to be without captain Henrik Zetterberg for an undetermined length of time and Datsyuk will need to carry the load if the team wants to make the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season.