Oct 10, 2010, 9:43 PM EDT
While the life of a rookie is often viewed as being tough in the NHL, sometimes the life of a second-year player is even harder. After all, you’ve shown what you can do once before and the expectation levels go up.
For Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson, the first two games of his season have put him in danger of losing his spot in the lineup. Ottawa head coach Cory Clouston has already changed up his defensive pairings and if Karlsson doesn’t get it together, he might have a future playing in Binghamton as Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun tells us.
“We have to get some urgency into (Karlsson) and some other guys,” said GM Bryan Murray, who added nobody on the roster should take anything for granted. “The way we’re playing, you can’t point at one guy. We’ve got a whole group that haven’t done near what they’re capable of.”
Clouston singled out Karlsson — as well as veterans.
“He does have to be better. If you asked me on any other player I’d say the same thing … on (Daniel) Alfredsson, on (Mike) Fisher, on Gonchar, on (Alex) Kovalev, on any of our top veteran players.
“(Karlsson) has to make better decisions and use what his skill set is, which is speed, moving the puck quick, making that first outlet pass and making a good read.”
The Sens do have some defensive depth in the system, veteran David Hale could be easily recalled from Binghamton if bumping Karlsson out of the lineup is the short-term answer. Getting more out of Karlsson is more important for Ottawa right now, however, with Filip Kuba out of the lineup with an injury. Karlsson helps bring some offense from the blue line and a power play presence that’s lacking without Kuba.
If benching or even demoting Karlsson is the answer for Ottawa to jump start their season, an already sort of questionable corps of defensemen takes a big hit. Karlsson’s rise to becoming one of Ottawa’s better puck-carrying defensemen is important to their future as a playoff contender.
- Byfuglien to have phone hearing for Miller cross-check 28
- Patrick Kane is practicing today 26
- NHL on NBCSN: Flyers won’t fool with Penguins on Rivalry Night 22
- ‘Could’ve broken his neck,’ says Vigneault of Byfuglien cross check on Miller 59
- Video: Byfuglien gets away with ugly cross check, penalized late in Jets loss to Rangers 32
- Video: Lucic scores late winner, Bruins deal crushing blow to Panthers playoff hopes 9
- Video: Ovi becomes sixth player in history to record six 50-goal seasons 18
- ‘Almost like a game seven tonight’ for Bruins, Panthers 15
- Report: Warrant issued for Deveaux’s arrest following Swedish league attack 48
- How bad are things for the Kings after Monday? 22