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Pavel Datsyuk’s Coast to Coast Goal is the Goal of the Year

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Three Reasons Why the Detroit Red Wings Are on Their Third Losing Streak
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Pavel Datsyuk has continued to flourish for the Detroit Red Wings, but the team finds itself in its third …

COMMENTARY | It's just over a month into this shortened NHL season, but there is no doubt in my mind we have found the goal of the year.

With about 6:30 remaining in the third period, the Detroit Red Wings faced a 3-2 deficit against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

With his team trailing, Pavel Datsyuk decided to take matters into his own hands. He took the puck off the boards from the faceoff circle in his defensive end, split four defenders as he approached the offensive zone and shot the puck under Pekka Rinne's right arm to tie the game at 3-3.

If you haven't seen the goal for yourself, take a look at it here.

I know it's early, and there have been a lot of great goals this season -- Brad Marchand's goal against the Buffalo Sabres sticks out in my mind -- but Datsyuk's goal was incredible.

To be able to carry the puck from one end of the ice to the other without being hit or poke checked off the puck is unbelievable.

Four defenders surrounded Datsyuk, and they barely laid a hand on him.

Don't try to tell me it was bad defense either. Four defenders had him dead to rights as he entered the offensive zone, and none of them could put a body on him or poke check the puck away. That takes skill.

Even Datsyuk himself was excited as he gave a fist pump, something we rarely see after he scores a goal.

Datsyuk usually employs the Barry Sanders-esque celebrations: Act like you've been there before.

However, this was no ordinary goal, and Datsyuk knew it. So why don't we see these kinds of goals from Datsyuk every night?

Well, Datsyuk has never been a big goal scorer. He is more of a playmaker. He hasn't had a 30-goal season since 2008-09. In fact, Datsyuk has even admitted that he would rather pass the puck than score.

Even though he doesn't rack up big goal numbers, he does these kinds of moves night in and night out. There's a reason Red Wings announcer Ken Daniels calls it a Datsyukian Deke.

Sometimes, he'll shoot the puck but, more often than not, he'll dish the puck off to a teammate after making defenders look silly.

He certainly is capable of going end to end and being on every sports program's highlight reel that night. But he would much rather make a great pass than a great shot.

With that being said, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a goal this season that takes so much individual effort.

Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who has followed the Red Wings and the NHL since the 1993-94 season. He is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter @tom_mitsos.

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