Sunday, 16 April 2017

He's Got Vision

It might be because I don't get to see him play often enough, but watching Erik Karlsson in these playoffs has been nothing short of inspiring. The man can skate as well as anyone before him, he has a great shot, and he's certainly able to thread passes to teammates that seem hidden. If there is a renaissance man when it comes to generating offence from the blue line as a rover-type player in the molds of Paul Coffey or Bobby Orr, Erik Karlsson might be that man. Tonight, his playmaking abilities were on full display for all to see on a national stage.

Again, local blackouts of Senators games have prevented me from fully appreciating Karlsson's skill set, but this play last night showed off his vision on the ice and his skating ability like nothing I've seen in a long time.
Wow. Simply wow. Riley Nash chased him, but he couldn't catch him. If you watch the clip again, notice that all five Bruins players plus Tuukka Rask are focused on Karlsson while Derick Brassard is wide-open on the left side of the net. All Karlsson has to do is put the puck on his stick. Tape-to-tape pass seconds later, and the game is tied as Karlsson's creativity and vision set that play up.

I'm not saying that he should win the Norris Trophy for that one play, but is there a better offensive defenceman in the game right now who makes his whole team better when he's on the ice? You could make arguments for players like Brent Burns or Drew Doughty or Shea Weber, but Karlsson's skating ability, vision, and hands set him apart from those guys in this writer's humble opinion.

Yes, there will always be complaints about his defensive game when he's clearly thinking offence 99% of the time, but that goal was pure poetry. I haven't seen one better in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs yet, and we're only in Round One. Imagine if Karlsson and the Senators get another series to make magic!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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