Between a barrage of injuries that disrupted the look of both the offensive and defensive lineups for the Ottawa Senators, Max McCormick and Fredrik Claesson have answered the bell. The pair of 23 year-old’s were called up and given a chance to prove themselves – and they’ve been thrown right into the mix. McCormick has found himself a suitable home on the 3rd line alongside Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Curtis Lazar, which has seen the struggling likes of Alex Chiasson spending some time in the press box. Claesson has been given the opportunity of playing with Senators’ top gun, Erik Karlsson, and seems to have quickly earned the trust of head coach Dave Cameron.
“Mad” Max McCormick
Entering the league at a modest 5’11”, McCormick has made it clear that his physical size won’t determine the size of his game. After his first 10 games played, he’s dropped the gloves three times and has 29 hits. McCormick has given the 3rd line somewhat of a boost after their recent struggles and in the Senators’ past four games has played a big role in the “urgency” spoke on by Cameron.
“The big part of the last four games is we’ve had urgency. So now we want to keep the urgency without getting tight, so perseverance is going to come in,” – Dave Cameron (Ottawa Sun)
As Chiasson looks to continue to be the forward scratch for the Senators, McCormick can start to get comfortable. After scoring his first NHL goal against Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers on Thursday, it’s clear that Ottawa is getting what they want out of him right now. He’s not going to be your big points producer, but, if it’s between McCormick and Chiasson, I’ll take “Mad Max”.
Claesson In, Cowen Out
After half a season worth of pleading for Jared Cowen to somehow find his way out of the Senators’ lineup, it looks like Ottawa has found their answer. Until Cody Ceci returned from his injury, it was Claesson who was taking Cowen’s place in the defensive pairings. Yet to record his first NHL point, Claesson has been notably quiet while playing alongside Erik Karlsson, but that hasn’t been a bad thing. Other than a defensive mishap that arguably cost Ottawa the game against the Panthers on Thursday, Claesson has looked comfortable with the role he’s been given – way more comfortable than Cowen has looked all season long.
With Ceci back from injury, Ottawa now has two extra defensemen and Claesson is still getting the nod. Chris Wideman seems to be the other odd man out right now. But, moving forward, the Senators have a task on their hands with Cowen and what they decide to do with him, along with his unfortunately sized contract. The young guys have made their spot and look as though they will be staying put, for now.