Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Karlsson Still On Track
Ok. Back up with a temporary computer. Crisis averted.
Before the Tampa game, I just wanted to quickly address the latest scuttlebut going around concerning Erik Karlsson and (as some believe/wish) his suddenly eminent demotion to the AHL.
First off, Bryan Murray denied it and stood behind his rookie by saying that 10 games is not going to tell the story on Karlsson's year.
That's the right move as far as I'm concerned.
One, he's standing behind a player and defending him publicly, something that Murray rarely does (he's old school even though he was once considered too "new school" in the 80's).
Secondly, 5 games is not a fair slice to start dumping on the kid. He looks like a 19 year old rookie and is having some trouble getting used to the speed of the regular season, yes.
But you can tell that this guy is good enough to play in the NHL once he gets his head around it. After a couple of decent games, people are jumping on the Alex Picard bandwagon and clamouring for the call-up of Brian Lee.
Not going to happen (barring injuries, of course)
Murray has been around way too long to succumb to knee jerk reactions after only 5 games. When you believe in a player and decide to give him a chance, you give him a real good shot at it. If Karlsson is still struggling at 20 games, maybe then you have this discussion.
The upsides for Brian Lee and Alex Picard are not as big as Karlsson's right now, not even for this season.
Murray is not keeping Karlsson up just because he is his prized draft pick. He can see the obvious game breaking talent right there at the surface that is going to shine through once he gets more confident.
People didn't seem to be too worried about Karlsson when the Senators won 3 games in a row. Now, after losing one game to the Stanley Cup champions, they seem to want to make a change.
All players make mistakes, especially rookies. You have to live with a few even if the easiest thing to do would be to throw in the towel.
Karlsson will be better.
Bank on it.