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Ottawa’s Karlsson: ‘I’m not playing the way I want to’

May 19, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT

Sergei Gonchar, Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot AP

Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson had a Game 2 against Pittsburgh he’d like to forget. He played just 15:37, the fewest minutes he’s seen in the playoffs in his short career, and was abused by Sidney Crosby as he cruised to a hat trick.

For Karlsson, however, he’s eager to improve how he’s playing. Erin Nicks of hears it from the man himself.

“I’m not playing the way I want to,” Karlsson said. “I [have to] play a little bit more poised with the puck and a little bit faster in our own zone. I can’t doubt myself.”

This is one of those situations where Ottawa fans hope Karlsson has a short memory because of how forgettable Game 2 was for him. It’s easy to forget that his comeback from a torn Achilles tendon was the feel-good story at the end of the season and into the first-round of the playoffs, but you wonder if that’s hampering his ability to keep up with the talent of the Penguins.


  1. andrewproughcfe - May 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    And Matt Cooke has spent 15 minutes per game on the ice in the playoffs with 0 goals, 0 assists, and a 0.0% shooting percentage. Do the Penguins seriously not have someone who could take his spot?

    Why is Jokinen still sitting and Cookie still playing? Jokinen was a point-per-game player for the Pens in late April, but he’s been a healthy scratch for 3 straight games.

    • grizzledvets - May 19, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Jokinen is apparently battling an injury. he wore the yellow jersey in practice the other day and Yohe thinks he is not healthy. Glass in for an injured Vitale tonight.

    • jpelle82 - May 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      cooke is a +4 and is hitting everything out there. he’s a defensive forward, kills penalties and he agitates and matches up with the top line of the opposing team. he’s not known for goal scoring – he has 13 career goals in 90 playoff games – and the penguins dont need him to do anything but keep the other guys off the board which is exactly what he is doing. jokinen doesnt bring any of what cooke brings, and the pens dont need what jokinen does bring to the game

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 19, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      Good point. However, Cooke is not there for his scoring and passing abilities. They have an abundance of offensive, point getting players. They hardly suffer from his inability to rack up the points.

      • jpelle82 - May 19, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        if he scores its a bonus

  2. Stiller43 - May 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Jokinens been a scratch due to his speed against the isles, as far as i know. And that was after game 4(?) i believe, after the isles tied the series 2-2.

    Once again, cookes role is not as a top line scorer, his role is a gritty two way player that also plays the PK.

    Neal and Iggy have one combined goal in their last 6 (at least) combined games. Why dont you get on them about it, since theyre supposed to be top scorers?

    • grizzledvets - May 19, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      see above comment – Jokinen is apparently hurt. we’d never hear it from the team, so just have to go by clues (non-contact jersey, beat writer thinks he is hurt, etc).

    • andrewproughcfe - May 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Iginla has 10 points in 8 playoff games. In the past 6, he’s got 2 goals and 6 points. I kind of doubt that Bylsma will be taking him out of the lineup anytime soon.

    • jpelle82 - May 19, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      iginla’s been better in this series, he was kinda getting points by default in the islanders series i felt, he wasnt really creating much for himself out there and wasnt getting good looks at the net. i dont know if neal has his head on straight, he looks lost and those penalties in game 1 had me a foot away from breaking my tv. he and malkin are poised to have a big game tonight though, especially with malkin playing like a man possessed right now

  3. phillyphanatic77 - May 19, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Crosby had a hat trick, Karlsson got abused, and the Sens still only lost by a goal. I never thought Ottawa would take this series, but they still have a chance to make it a series. Stop taking stupid penalties (control yourself Neil!). That would go a long way towards containing the Pens potent attack. Anderson has been bad, but he still has the ability to be Quick-like and steal a game. Though he needs help from his dmen. Vokoun has been good, but he’s beatable (as is the Pens defense). 3-0 and the series is over. 2-1 and maybe a little doubt creeps into the Pens lockerroom, just like the Isles series. Easily the biggest game of the series.

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 19, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    All the Sens fans were raving about how good Ottawa was against Montreal, and how MacLean out coached Therrien. It never ceases to amaze me how pumped up fans get when their team wins. They get so biased that they forget to be objective. Yes. MacLean did well this year. But they beat the lowly Habs. Big deal! Where is the greatness now? Come playoffs no one is assured of victory regardless of the season passed. Playoffs are a whole new season. Sens//Pens are not playing their best hockey. Nonetheless, the Pens manage to squeeze by, and only because they have more talent and depth. Lets face it. It’s tough to win without 2 of your best players when you don’t have a lot of depth. Ask the Habs how it was to play w/o their best players against the Sens. Sens are feeling te pinch now.

    • jpelle82 - May 19, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      they cant make any more excuses now that spezza is back. i’m not buying the karlsson excuses anyway, if he was still hurt why did he play so well against mtl and why was he logging 28 – 29 mins that whole series? anderson has been healthy since april 7th and has played 16 games since he was hurt, not buying an injury excuse regarding him either…i do give him more of a break than karlsson though. this is the first time he’s made it to the 2nd round in his career and he is playing against the best team in the east with 2 of the best centers on the planet going at him for half the game plus the powerplay…i say good luck to any goaltender no matter what your stats were before, especially when your best player isnt helping you in your own zone at all (karlsson).

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 19, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        I hear you. But looking good against the Habs is not a good measurement of the quality of his play. As you said, tougher to play against the best team in the EC.

  5. President Charles Logan - May 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Pittsburgh have dominated territory wise in the first 2 games. its not going to matter who Ottawa throw out there ….. the scores in the first 2 games could have been worse in favor of the Pens

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