It appears that Pavel Datsyuk has finally passed the Adam Banks' test. According to the Detroit Free Press, Datsyuk, who has been sidelined with a broken right hand since December 22, will return to the lineup tonight when the Red Wings host the New York Rangers at 7:30 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.
Datsyuk made the decision at this morning's skate around:
"Today is much better," he said. "I play. Don’t know how I play, but I play."
For a team that has been shut out twice in a row, a Datsyuk that play is better than a Datsyuk that don't play. [sic]
Datsyuk had 12 goals and 27 assists (39 points) when he was injured, which is still good for fourth on the team, and is the best in the NHL at keeping the puck away from opponents -- 36% compared to Sidney Crosby's 24%. Even if Datsyuk isn't fully healthy, as long as he's not at higher risk of re-injuring the hand, the Wings are better off with him on the ice, obviously. This will be a much needed breath of fresh air for the Wings.