I begin by simply allowing you to view the following tweet
Hmmm.. and if you follow this link you may start to get the feeling that this...
D-pairs: Methot Karlsson; Gryba Phillips; Gonchar-Cowen.— Brent Wallace (@tsn_wally) April 25, 2013
The Senators are certainly getting No. 65 ready to play here. Regular rotation. #Sens— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) April 25, 2013
...might mean the return of Ottawa's most important and talented player in one of the biggest games of the season. Not convinced? Allow Sherlock Young to give one more piece of evidence:
Karlsson leading stretch.— Brent Wallace (@tsn_wally) April 25, 2013
Boom. Thats what they had Jared Cowen do the night he came back. (Note: by the time this is published, the truth will be out, that these were the signs, or this was the biggest tease ever).
So what does it mean? Well, let us not fool ourselves, it means two things for sure:
- We do not have our Norris Trophy d-man back. He hasn't played hockey in 10 weeks. He's just returned from a VERY serious injury, and is nowhere near where he was before the injury and...
- He's still the best d-man in the lineup tonight.
I wrote yesterday about the scoring woes of the Ottawa Senators. It is no secret that a MAJOR factor has been the horribly inept powerplay. Sitting at 20th in the league at 16.6%, it has been MUCH worse than that of late. One would have to think Karlsson's creativity and ability to shoot the puck (and to get it on net...looking at you Chris Phillips, Sergei Gonchar and Jared Cowen!) will help a powerplay that is desperately in need of a spark.
Hell, having an offensively minded right handed shooting d-man back in the lineup ought to do wonders for the power play, just by providing a different look.
It is hard not to get your hopes up, and important to remember he probably cannot come in a be a saviour.
But then again, he wasn't even supposed to play this year, so I guess crazier things have happened.
Karlsson and Gonchar working 1st pp unit together— Brent Wallace (@tsn_wally) April 25, 2013
- Nichols further explores the idea of Karlsson returning (SPOILER: ALMOST ALL THE LINKS ARE ABOUT KARLSSON TODAY, DEAL WITH IT) [6thSens]
- WTYKY has a poll that wants to know if you'd risk EK65's health for current success.... I'm thinking an overwhelming No will come out of this poll. [WTYKY]
- The panic in that poll came from this article on the Backhand Shelf from Jo Innes, who you NEED to follow on Twitter (Mark, get on Twitter). Hard to believe the Senators would let their most marketable commodity ruin himself though... [BHS]
- Close to return as the team is close to clinching. [SE]
- Scanlan gets a head of himself by getting all choosey with potential playoff foes. WHO DOES THAT RIGHT!? *looks around awkwardly*...RIGHT... GUYS? [Scanlan]
- Prediction Panel is FULL of optimism tonight. Guys, just clinch please. [PP]
Go Sens, and Go Karlsson
*As I was typing this post, it has become official.