The present and future seems awfully bright for Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, but there were definitely some growing pains in a 4-3 series loss to the New York Rangers. After blowing away every other blueliner in scoring with 78 points during the regular season, the gifted offensive catalyst only managed a goal in seven contests against the Rangers.
Karlsson expressed his frustrations to Damien Cox after the 2-1 loss.
“I had a tough time getting quality chances,” Karlsson said.
On many levels, it makes sense that Karlsson struggled so much against the Rangers. The most obvious reason is New York netminder (and fellow Swede) Henrik Lundqvist. It’s also understandable that a brilliant point man like Karlsson would struggle to adjust to clogging passing and shooting lanes that come from the Blueshirts’ noted affinity with shot blocking.
It wasn’t for a lack of trying, however, as Karlsson still managed to get 31 shots on goal in the seven games, with one beating Lundqvist. The Senators hope that their star blueliner learns a lot of lessons from this series – and not all of them in his own end (where most of his critiques come).