Silver Nuggets: Falling for Mika

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

Yesterday I wrote about how the Ottawa Senators and their fans have embraced the notion of a rebuild, as evidenced by the influx of Binghamton Senators in Ottawa. One stood out among the rest last night.

Look, I've always been a fan of young players.

I'm the guy who is obsessed with the World Junior Hockey Championship. I'm the guy that for years, when a new EA Sports NHL game would come out, I would create a team of all of my favourite exciting young players around the league that were new to the game. Yes, I'm a nerd.

So it comes as no surprise that when a young player gets called up in the organization, I get pretty excited.

Like I said yesterday, these days, it is a bit of an overload with all of the young players in the Senators lineup. Last night, the most impressive Senators for me (other than Erik Karlsson, Daniel Alfredsson and Kyle Turris) were Patrick Wiercioch, Jakob Silfverberg, Stephane Da Costa and most importantly Mika Zibanejad.

What a difference a year makes. Mika Zibanejad was a huge difference maker in the game last night. Not sure how accurate these stats are, but this box score says Mika had 5 hits last night and 2 takeaways. I would argue he had a few more than 2 takeaways. It seemed like every time he was on the ice, he was stealing the puck, anticipating the play, and making things happen.

I have to say, Paul MacLean is a very smart man. The new-look top 6 looked amazing, with the Turris line leading the way. With Zibanejad playing the wing on that line, he got in on the forecheck, turned pucks over and created chances. Here is hoping he can keep it up, because without Jason Spezza in the lineup, the Sens will need goal support from wherever they can get it.

Sens Links:

  • Recaps from last night's big win. [SSS][NationalPost][SensExtra]
  • Top 25 under 25 reaches #9, and we look at power forward Mark Stone [SSS]
  • Post Game Wrap-up with some great quotes from the guys. [SensExtra]
  • Tyler Myers and Erik Karlsson were drafted three spots apart, but are on different career paths at this point. [Scanlan]

League Links:

  • Varada wants to rebuild the Calgary Flames. [WTYKY]
  • Puck Daddy's weekly update on major NHL awards. [PD]
  • And of course if you missed it yesterday, here is my gift to you: 30 Thoughts. [CBC]
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