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Red Wings rule Pavel Datsyuk out of final two preseason games

Oct 1, 2011, 6:22 PM EDT

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The natural instinct is to assume that preseason games don’t matter. It’s all about perspective, though. Prospects who hope to make the jump to the NHL and veterans attempting to avoid involuntary retirement must treat each exhibition as a golden opportunity.

But yes, for the most part, players in their prime just need to get their feet wet a bit. Detroit Red Wings superstar Pavel Datsyuk doesn’t really have any new linemates to worry about and he certainly should be well-acquainted with Mike Babcock’s system. For that reason, the team decided to pull him from today’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs and tomorrow’s contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Rotoworld states that his injury (listed as a back problem by Detroit) is “not considered too serious.” With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising if Datsyuk appears in the Red Wings’ season opening game against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 7 at Joe Louis Arena. From the looks of things, the only real sad part is that he won’t wear number 24 in tribute to Ruslan Salei for another night.

Naturally, these situations can change over nearly a week of rest and practice, so we’ll keep our eyes open for updates regarding his condition. It doesn’t sound like something that Red Wings fans and fans of the sport as a whole should be considered about, but stay tuned.

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