The Kids Are All Wrong?

Coming into the season I, and many others, looked to the Sens young prospects to add strategic impact to the Sens full time roster.

Karlsson was expected to leverage his solid play of the previous season into being an impact offensive player on the blueline.  So far he’s been an impact player, but for all of the wrong reasons.

Instead of looking more composed, thanks to his having 60 regular season games under his belt, he has looked rushed, panicked and frankly, out of his depth.  If this were his rookie debut, he’d be on a bus right now, but it isn’t, and everyone knows he has much, much more to offer.

It’s time to see it, and it probably requires Erik to do less, not more.  Move the puck more quickly, don’t try to make something out of nothing, if it isn’t there, don’t force it.  On the power play, respect the opposition, don’t think they don’t know what they’re doing, again, pass the puck until you’ve created separation in the defenders, then exploit it.

Peter Regin, like Karlsson, finished the 09/10 season on a high, playing along side Spezza and Alfredsson, and not looking out of place.

Regin brings an intriguing combination of defense and offense, making him a player a coach can count on in all occasions.  But this season has been a disappointment thus far.  Gone is Regins second effort, instead he often looks weak on the puck and entirely lacking in intensity.

But we all know better.  If Regin could blossom while facing the pressures of post season play, he no doubt has the skills to repeat the same now.  To be honest, I’m not sure what the problem is.  Is it a lack of intrinsic compete level, or is it a frustration in himself that the season has not started as he had envisioned?  You tell me, but if Peter wants to find himself back into the top 6, he’s going to have to begin earning it with his play this season, and not resting on his play of the last.

Lastly, Zack Smith.  I absolutely love this kids game.  In fact, Chris Neil is showing exactly what a player of his type can bring to a team.  Grit, agitation, speed and solid, reliable play at both ends of the ice.

So far, Zach has looked, well, bland.  No push back, no jam, no oomph.  Smith isn’t going to make a living scoring goals, but he will make a damn fine NHL living by emulating the play of Chris Neil.

No longer do you have to be a heavy weight to intimidate, you just have to establish that you can, and will, competently defend yourself and team-mates.  Neil now rarely fights not because he has reduced the numbers of people he enrages, but because the number of players who can contend with his pugilistic abilities has all but disappeared, leaving Neil carte blanche to do his thing, unattested.

Smith too can earn this room to play, but he has to do it on the back of hard work, and establishing a reputation for being able to handily take on all commers.

Zach, watch Neil, make him your mentor, and you will set yourself on a course for a solid NHL career.

No, the kids are not all wrong, but they’ve got some work to do to get back into the good books the fans had them in before the start of the regular season


p.s. here’s the link to my latest b/r article.  Ottawa Senators: Making Mountains Out Of Molehills


4 Responses to “The Kids Are All Wrong?”

  1. There does seem to be some separation between Zach’s pre-season and now. I hope he get’s it back, whatever it is. Mind you, I’m thinking much the same thing about Foligno.

    Regin and Karlson must have thought they had it all figured out. Probably now they are thinking they should have prepared, physically and mentally, a bit more. I very much enjoyed watching Karlson late last season, I would like to do that again. And of course, Regin’s post-season points were a treat. Place sophomore cliché here?

    • Fair enough on “The Chin”, but he at least seems to be making a better effort then either Regin or Smith.
      I think you’re on the money about Regin and Karlsson, and now it’s a matter of coming to grips with not being “all that”.

  2. GN/PvR:

    “The kids are late for school!” Alf and Rocco are not showing the way, Philly was spooked and the kids were not paying attention in class.

    But I like the progression…a little bit better every night!

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