CHICAGO – Detroit star Pavel Datsyuk missed Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night because of a sore foot.
The centre and MVP finalist was hit with a puck Tuesday night in Game 2. He missed practice Thursday and didn’t participate in Friday morning’s skate.
Datsyuk had 97 points during the regular season but has managed just seven in 13 playoff games, including only one goal that came in the second game of the opening round against Columbus. He also is one of the NHL’s top defensive forwards.
On another topic, coach Mike Babcock responded again to comments a day earlier from Jeremy Roenick on Comcast SportsNet. The San Jose forward said the Detroit coach didn’t like American players and especially Chris Chelios, the 47-year-old veteran whose ice time has been limited this season. Roenick and Chelios were teammates on the Blackhawks.
“I was sitting over at the pancake place with the coaches this morning and Cheli walked over and said, ‘I think I should bring you an apple,”‘ Babcock said.
“Yeah, it bothered me because it’s a blatant lie,” Babcock added, saying the spotlight should be on the four teams and players left in the playoffs.
Chelios, who is from Chicago and played nine seasons with the Blackhawks before being traded to Detroit 10 years ago, said it was just Roenick being himself.
“JR is JR. The NHL would be boring without JR. Nothing to it,” Chelios said. “He called me, said he’s sorry.”
And Chelios said his relationship with Babcock is fine.
“I’ve never had an issue or problem with him,” Chelios said.