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.