Zenon Konopka came to Ottawa as an Unrestricted Free Agent last summer to bring a physical presence and win faceoffs.
Konpka was involved in a turning point game against the Rangers in December. That was the game where Konopka was given a major for boarding Artem Anisimov. It was a turning point moment in the season as the team rallied around him and the penalty to stage a remarkable comeback. He was 3rd in the NHL with just under 200 PIMs while playing in only 55 games. He also finished in the top 10 of regular centres in faceoff percentage.
He did only get into 55 games, which meant he wasn’t able to establish consistency. Not being able to make the lineup every day doesn’t bode very well for him earning a new contract in Ottawa.
In 55 games, Konopka had 3 goals and 2 assists for 5 points, while adding a pair of assists in the playoffs. He notched 196 PIMs and won 59% of his faceoffs. Stats don’t tell the whole story with this player who is a leader and a heart and soul player on and off the ice.
Konopka, when he got into the lineup, came as advertised. Not shy to drop the gloves when needed, good defensive play and a faceoff presence to take some of the pressure off Jason Spezza. If this was his only season in Ottawa, he did his job. The grade for Zenon Konopka for the 2011-12 season is: