Silver Nuggets: The Sad Case of Mika Zibanejad
Mika Zibanejad had a tough go of things in the 2011-2012 season, facing injuries and playing on a terrible team in the SEL. The hope was he would be able to get on track playing in the AHL this year, but so far he has had trouble.
It has been just 11 games, and to be honest if we had NHL hockey right now, nobody would be worrying too much about it, but through 11 games with the Binghamton Senators, Mika Zibanejad has 0 goals, and just 4 assists.
After his blazing start to the pre-season, everyone was back on Z bandwagon (get it? Zee bandwagon?), and now his numbers are starting to turn heads for the wrong reasons. He has the same stat line as Mark Stone, which would also be cause for concern except Stone has played just 5 games, not 11.
Now, Mika is a player who can contribute in more ways than just scoring, and coach Luke Richardson has been quoted several times saying that Z is key on the penalty kill (along with Jakob Silfverberg). He also has been known to throw his body around a bit, which helps the team. Coach Richardson has also been quoted saying that he will be concerned about Mika when the scoring chances start drying up for him. Right now Zibanejad is 4th on the team in shots on goal, and by many accounts is just snake-bit.
When does concern start to sink in though? Yes, he is obviously a young player who is adjusting to a new league, with long travel and 3 games in 3 nights. Yes, the team as a whole has had trouble scoring goals. No, Coach Richardson hasn't found line combinations that seem to produce. But at some point, it would be really nice to see some production out of the crown jewel of the Senators prospect pool.
- Amelia gets to #16 in her fantastic "by the numbers" series. [SSS]
- Another key to the Senators future, Jared Cowen, has hardly played for the B-Sens this year, and the team is taking the cautious route as to when to bring him back into the fold. [SensExtra]
- Another very intense piece from Varada about how the Lockout is impacting his feelings about the NHL. Not your typical WTYKY post, but well worth your time. [WTYKY]
- Bingo got themselves back in the win column with a 4-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals, finishing a 6 game road trip. Another strong performance by Robin Lehner, apparently. [BSENS]
- Looks like my optimism was misplaced last week. Here is Friedman with his thoughts on the final hurdles between the league and the players. [CBC]
- In happier news, my two favourite players growing up: Joe Sakic and Pavel Bure join Adam Oates and Mats Sundin to be inducted into the Hall tonight. [CBC]