Pavel Datsyuk was back to tormenting Detroit Red Wings teammates with his puck-thieving skills — and could be back doing the same to opponents as early as Wednesday. Following a 40-minute practice today at Joe Louis Arena, Datsyuk said he'll be a "game-time decision," against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday (8 p.m., NBCSN). But he also said his conditioning isn't quite where he'd like it to be. Coach Mike Babcock said he had been told that he'll have Datsyuk available Friday, when the Wings host Buffalo. Datsyuk hasn't played since Feb. 27, when the inflammation that has troubled his left knee since December flared beyond endurable pain. Since the Winter Classic on New Year's Day, Datsyuk has played for the Wings four times. He emerged from a three-week shutdown last week, skating on his own and then joining Friday's practice. The time off helped, but pain remains and conditioning is a concern. "Need little bit more time to pick up pace, pick up everything," he said. Asked whether he'd play Wednesday, Datsyuk said, "Tomorrow is tomorrow. See how I feel." Babcock said that "someone told me he's playing Friday. It's up to him. I haven't been involved in those things all year. I spend my time worrying about the players that are playing.
Pavel Datsyuk returning to Detroit Red Wings this week, but which day?
Detroit Free Press | Apr 1