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Fantasy Spin: Datsyuk, Spezza return to action

Wednesday, 02.09.2011 / 7:06 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

By Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Fantasy Spin: Datsyuk, Spezza return to action
The return of Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Spezza is good news to their respective teams -- and their fantasy owners.
A short grace period to get your feet wet again is more than tolerable if you've missed 19 games with a broken hand. Unless, of course, you're Pavel Datsyuk.

The talented two-way center and stabilizing force of the Detroit Red Wings returned Monday night against the New York Rangers in a nationally televised game and didn't miss a beat, scoring a goal and adding an assist in a 3-2 victory.

His more than point-per-game pace prior to the injury figures to continue as the Red Wings head down the final stretch of the regular season. This, of course, requires some roster tweaking by fantasy owners.

What you're getting in your lineup is a 13-goal, 28-assist, 78-shot stat line through just 34 games. 

Playing alongside productive forwards like Jiri Hudler and Danny Cleary, and occasionally with the likes of Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, should help those numbers increase. Among the biggest potential increase could come in the power-play points category, as Datsyuk will be penciled in on the League's fifth-ranked unit.

Meanwhile, another popular name in the fantasy world has made its way back. After overcoming a shoulder injury suffered on Dec. 26, gifted Ottawa Senators center, Jason Spezza, made his return to the ice Saturday night against the New York Islanders.

Though he didn't collect a point in his return, Spezza scored a goal and an assist to complement his seven-shot output two nights later in Vancouver.

Spezza's numbers are down significantly from prior seasons, especially with the shoulder injury, but playing alongside Alex Kovalev, Mike Fisher and Sergei Gonchar could, at any point, help Spezza finish with strong numbers. He won't be playing with usual linemate Daniel Alfredsson for a while -- Ottawa's captain is dealing with an ailing back and could be sidelined for up to two weeks.
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