Close Only Counts in Horseshoes, Nuclear War and Rebuilding Years.
The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, welcome to the 2011/12 Ottawa Senators.
Leaving 5 of a possible 6 points on the ice, and worse, instead going to division rivals, is far from a successful past 3 games. But those among us with an ounce of reality aren’t much lamenting the losses because, apart from the beat down in Beantown, the Sens could well have won versus Montreal or the Sabres.
As I’ve said in the past, this season is about system, team bonding, and player development, and none of those objectives took a step back despite the loss of the last 3 matches. In fact, I would argue that, having been without Alfredsson, this squad of plucky upstarts kept their opposition honest and, from game to game, that is the true measure of this rebuilding team, not points.
On my most impressive rookies list are;
#22 Erik Condra
This kid has been full value, and wears that particular number with pride. I really believe Condra has the makings of a key role player in the NHL and clubs win with solid players of his style. Keep it up Erik, you have a bright future in the NHL.
#2 Jared Cowen
This kid has game, plain and simple. I like that he isn’t trying to do too much, is sticking to his role as defenceman, and continuing to apply his physical abilities when the opportunity presents itself. Some may wish he was out there banging, crashing and swinging or rushing the puck…but that, IMO, is folly. Look at one of the best defenseman in the league, Chara, he doesn’t chase hits, look for fights, or put himself on the wrong side of the puck. Chara plays a simple game and is dominant by keeping it simple, intimidating by being in the mix, not by mixing, and offensively successful by being in position, not by chasing or rushing the puck.
Keep it up Jared, you have been an absolute stand-out and a credit to your position. You have an amazing future ahead of you, but just like in the game, let it come to you, don’t try and force it!
#23 Kaspars Daugavins
Kaspars, I’ve been watching you develop for years, and have always hoped you would get your crack at the NHL. You have size, speed, grit, determination, and good hands, but best of all you have a motor that won’t quit, and define team spirit. With players like you on the roster, the opposition will always have to play hard, at both ends of the ice.