It is only on the hockey rink that Datsyuk’s superhuman nature becomes apparent. Much like Superman or Spider-Man, Datsyuk’s escapades are witnessed by many, but recorded by posterity by only a few.1
|Not Pavel Datsyuk.|
Nevertheless, the following footage is disturbing. Please watch it with caution. We can only assume that Thompson’s occasional utterances are sobs of shame:
Datsyuk does more than just make television hosts look silly. The following clip comes from an April 16, 2011 Stanley Cup playoff game against a real live professional hockey team.3
For those of you unfamiliar with hockey, it’s very rare to see a player attempt to shoot the puck with his stick between his legs in a real game because, well, it’s sort of ridiculous. One might occasionally see it from a player who’s screwing around—working on dazzling but impractical trick plays in practice, participating in an exhibition such as the NHL’s All-Star Skills Competition, goofing off, or trying to relieve the boredom of being stuck in a league well below an appropriately challenging skill level. The latter appears to be the case with Datsyuk, who has managed to put this particular kind of shot on net before:
He’s mean to goaltenders too:
For those of you unfamiliar with physics, we’re not convinced that the above is actually possible. Yet there it is.
Skills like Datsyuk’s are what make hockey fun to watch, and what makes this time of the year the happiest in an NHL fan’s year. We hope that the other six dozen hockey fans in this country appreciate his skills as much as we do, and we can only hope that, should one of Datsyuk’s miraculous moves succeed at curing cancer, the sport might actually get some attention over at ESPN.
1. It’s been suggested that Datsyuk is no other than mild-mannered photographer Peter Parker of the Daily Bugle. It is true that the two have, in fact, never been seen side-by-side.
2. The joke, here, for those of you who don’t follow hockey, is that Gary Bettman is the commissioner of the National Hockey League.
3. Technically, the Phoenix Coyotes are, in fact, still a professional hockey team. We had to look this up to make sure.