With another team or another coach, the furious three-goal third-period rally made by the Tampa Bay Lightning would have brought a sense of dread amongst the fanbase. However, the Ottawa Senators seem to leap every hurdle with calm under coach Paul MacLean in 2013, and the Sens scored a late goal to hold on by a 5-3 tally Saturday.
One key point that has made MacLean the front-runner to win Jack Adams Award honors is rather simple: the fact that Ottawa, at 17-9-6, boasts the fourth-highest point total in the Eastern Conference is a total marvel given the losses. Between injuries this season to key cogs in Jared Cowen, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Craig Anderson and Erik Karlsson, most teams would be given the pass to suffer a major down year.
However, Ottawa has been getting hotter as the end to this lockout-shortened season nears, having one four of its past five.
One player who can speak to the spectacular job done MacLean this season is Jake Silfverberg, a 22-year old winger fresh out of Sweden who MacLean surprisingly leaned on and has produced six goals in 29 games this season.
“I feel like every game I play I learn something new and that helps me to play better,” said Silfverberg, via the Ottawa Sun. “I feel more comfortable.”
“It helps your confidence to be able to play for a coach who believes in you, puts you out on the ice and wants you to have success. That gives me a lot of confidence, and I’m very fortunate that (MacLean) believes in me that much.”