When it comes to special players like Erik Karlsson, really good doesn’t always feel like enough, and patience isn’t always easy to come by. It’s no always easy to accept that a player needs time to adjust to a new team, as he is with the San Jose Sharks.
And talk about regression and bounces eventually going his way? Boring.
Well, whether such talk is boring or illuminating (or both?), it sure seems like … *cough* the bounces are starting to go Karlsson’s way.
The Sharks are now on a five-game winning streak, and have also won seven of their last eight.
Karlsson’s heating up, too, as he extended a six-game point streak with an assist in Tuesday’s 4-0 win against the Minnesota Wild. He’s now at seven assists over those six contests, pushing his season totals to a more potent (though not yet truly “Karlsson-esque”) 23 points in 35 games.
Those 23 points in 35 games represent a .66-point-per-game pace, short of his career average with the Senators (.83), which went as high as a point per contest. But a lot of that can be chalked up to some growing pains, and some bad luck.
Karlsson himself agrees that he’s starting to settle in, as Paul Gackle of the Mercury News reports.
“I’m feeling better and better,” Karlsson said. “We’re playing good hockey, at times. We’re progressing as a team. That’s the most important part. Whether I feel like I’ve played my best hockey yet, I don’t think so. I have a lot more to give.”
Some of the reactions to playing with Karlsson echo the Boston Bruins being at-first bewildered when Jaromir Jagr would send unthinkable passes their way, and surely how Sharks players felt when Joe Thornton first arrived, so it’s funny to read Thornton himself describe San Jose players needing some time to realize that “whoa, he can make that play.”
(Feel free to picture that “whoa” in Keanu Reeves’ voice. I know I did.)
But maybe some of this big jump comes from Karlsson feeling confident enough to call his shot. Perhaps Karlsson needed some time to adjust from being “the guy” in Ottawa to “the new guy” in San Jose.