Regardless of what ends up happening in their second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Ottawa Senators are a team built to last. They have some aging veterans, yes, but the bulk of this team is full of young talent that will make this club a force in the near future.
One part of that group of young talent is Cory Conacher. The Senators acquired Conacher, in a surprise move, at the trade deadline in exchange for goaltender Ben Bishop. It’s probably safe to say that it is a trade that has worked out well for Ottawa, in more ways than one.
When he was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Conacher spent most of the season as a Calder Trophy candidate. He put up 24 points in 35 games with Tampa Bay, but his production declined a bit with the Senators. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he wasn’t making an impact, though.
Conacher had only five points in 12 regular season games with the Senators, including just a pair of goals. He’s managed to become a big time player for this club since the postseason rolled around, though.
He played in all four of the Senators’ first round wins, finishing that series with three goals, including a pair in Game 5, which ended up being the clincher. He’s been a nuisance for teams in the postseason, playing much bigger than his 5’8″ frame would indicate. He’s played down around the net and hasn’t backed down from agitating opposing players, regardless of size. He’s taken a beating against the Pens playing down around the crease, but hasn’t slowed down.
Conacher doesn’t see a ton of ice time per game, but that’s what happens on a team that’s pretty deep up front. Even in limited ice time, he’s making an impact, playing only about 11:40 a game in the postseason. Not bad for a small kid with Type 1 diabetes. He’s one to watch for this team for the remainder of the playoffs, and into the future.