Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk turned 37 on July 20 and with it being a relatively quiet part of the NHL calendar, it’s cause for some extra celebration.
Other famous hockey players sharing a birthday with Datsyuk include Peter Forsberg, Jimmy Carson, Jozef Stumpel, Antoine Vermette and Andrew Shaw, but there’s only one Magic Man.
Datsyuk underwent ankle surgery in late June and according to a report out of Russia he might not be ready to return to Detroit’s lineup until November.
So, to mark Datsyuk’s birthday – and the fact we might not see him back on the ice for a while – here are 13 memorable moments from No. 13.
He breaks more ankles than Steph Curry
Logan Couture is one of the better two-way forwards in the league, but this play suggests otherwise.
A Datsyukian deke for all-time
How many Nashville Predators does it take to stop Pavel Datsyuk? Clearly the answer is more than four.
There are dekes and then there are dekes
This is perhaps the greatest shootout move in NHL history and the crazy thing is that Datsyuk has pulled it off on multiple occasions. He has even scored with this move during regulation.
How do you defend this!?
Just when you think you have him, you totally don’t have him. Just ask Shawn Horcoff.
Cheeky, cheeky shootout goal
Antti Niemi probably still has nightmares about this one.
Even when they don’t count they still excite
Datsyuk showed Carey Price what he’s made of. Luckily for the Montreal Canadiens netminder, the goal was waved off.
Grip it and rip it
This shot. I mean, come on. Corey Crawford didn’t have a chance.
You can knock him down, but you can’t put him away
Moments after getting rocked by Drew Doughty, Datsyuk shows his resiliency and scores a beauty on Jonathan Quick.
Victimizing an Original Six counterpart
He doesn’t have the most impressive wingspan in the league, but pucks are rarely, if ever, out of reach for Datsyuk. The Boston Bruins can attest to this.
You can’t take your eyes off him even for a second
This goal sums up everything great about Datsyuk. Superb awareness and hockey IQ, elite defensive skills, quick hands and an innate ability to produce offence.
Gordie Howe hat trick
A goal, an assist and this scrap with Corey Perry set Joe Louis Arena ablaze on Nov. 8, 2010.
Appetizers can be better than the main course
Datsyuk’s assists often generate more buzz than the goals they set up.
Indoors, outdoors, it doesn’t matter
Whether he’s with his teammates in an empty practice facility, or in front of tens of thousands of fans with snow in his eyes, he gets the job done magnificently.