Silver Nuggets: Karlsson's Start

USA Today Sports

Since returning from his devastating ankle injury in April, Sens fans have watched Erik Karlsson's every move for signs that he is back to 100%. Karlsson himself has admitted he wasn't at full strength to end the regular season and throughout the playoffs. As much as offseason changes unsettled the fan base, it was Karlsson's health that was the most concerning issue going into the season.

Ottawa's slow start is in large part due to the poor play of the team's defense. And while he hasn't been perfect, he's not getting much to help from his fellow blueliners. Despite these factors, Karlsson is tied for the NHL lead among defensemen in goals and assists and leads all defensemen in points after 14 games (4G-11A-15P, he's tied for 16th in scoring league-wide). He's currently averaging 27:38 minutes per game, third-most in the NHL. In Sunday's game against the Dallas Stars, Karlsson' had a 100% success rate exiting Ottawa's zone, successfully carrying the puck out of his own end 16 times, 9 more times than any teammate.

How would you evaluate Erik Karlsson's start to the season?

Sens Links:

  • Sens at Blue Jackets preview: [SenShot] [Senators Extra] [Inside the Senate]
  • On Cowen and Karlsson [Le Droit]
  • Scott wants the Sens to acquire Columbus defenseman Nikita Nikitin [6th Sens]
  • Some Monday thoughts from James [WTYKY]
  • Paul MacLean is not interested in moral victories. He probably has similar disdain for Pyrrhic victories and Sid Meier's Cultural victories [Senators Extra]
  • Sens by the Numbers: #41[Silver Seven]
  • Chet Sellers provides his month off-ice power rankings, which is basically just a titanic struggle between Bobby Ryan and Erik Karlsson [Radek Bonk's Mullet]
  • Catching up with former Senator Nick Foligno, who plays on the first line in Columbus is more concerned with the health of his young family than facing his former team. Hopefully, everything goes well for his young daughter [Senators Extra] [Blue Jackets]
  • Marc Methot reflects on facing his former team tonight [Le Droit]
  • Matt McKechnie says stay positive [Fighting for Stanley] There's still time for Ottawa to right the ship [Le Droit]
  • With Craig Anderson not traveling to Columbus, Robin Lehner steps into the spotlight [Senators Extra] It's good that Lehner thrives in difficult circumstances [Le Droit]
  • Paul MacLean spoke after practice yesterday. Some interesting thoughts on Jared Cowen's season and pairing the struggling defenseman with Erik Karlsson [Inside the Senate]
  • Bobby Ryan's broken stick celebration on Sunday was awesome, but what happened to the lumber? [Senators Extra]

NHL/Hockey Links:

  • Jason Gregor has an interesting interview with Wings coach Mike Babcock, including some tidbits on coaching veterans like Daniel Alfredsson [Oilers Nation]
  • The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks paid a visit to the White House [Second City Hockey]
  • Is Tyler Seguin's draw trouble limiting Lindy Ruff's line juggling? [Defending Big D]
  • Are the Ducks for real? [Puck Daddy]
  • A look at the goaltending situation in Calgary [Matchsticks & Gasoline]
  • Five early season surprises [The Hockey Writers]
  • Steve Dangle collects YouTube footage of NHL stars when they were kids [Leafs Nation]
  • Seth Jones is making an early case for the Calder Trophy [On the Forecheck]
  • St. Louis hates fun [Fox]
  • Matt Guerin wonders what the long term plan is in Winnipeg [Arctic Ice Hockey]
  • The Brûleurs de loups know how to take official portraits: one part steampunk, one part horror movie, one part six-pack abs [Puck Daddy]
  • Justin Bourne breaks down some Curtis Glencross moves [Backhand Shelf]
  • Is it important to be good at the shootout? [Fear the Fin]
  • Ottawa is the only team with problems on the blueline; Jonathan Willis takes a look at the Oilers defensive issues [Oilers Nation]
  • Some satire: Dr. Phil talks violence in hockey [Lighthouse Hockey]
  • Video: Tyler Seguin returns to Boston [Sportsnet]
  • A look at Andy Miele, a smaller player who recently recorded his first NHL points [Five for Howling]
  • Flyers forward Steve Downie has been released from hospital after being injured in Friday night's brawl-filled affair [Pro Hockey Talk]
  • Alan Hull looks at Edmonton's perimeter shooting [Copper & Blue]
  • How bad are the Buffalo Sabres? Ummm pretty bad? [NHL Numbers]
  • JP Nikota talks defensive play and breakouts 101 [Pension Plan Puppets]
  • On Dan Byslma and Marc-Andre Fleury's rebound [Pensburgh]
  • New Jersey is awful at generating shot attempts [In Lou We Trust]
  • Utilizing speed in a changing NHL [Blueshirt Banter]
  • Stephen Harper's long-awaited hockey book is finally here. I have so many thoughts on the Prime Minister's work, but Chris Selley's already reviewed it [The National Post]
  • Do bigger players have better careers? Justin Azevedo's examination is interesting [NHL Numbers]

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