Jean-Gabriel Pageau once again stole the spotlight in his first pre-season game of training camp. Pageau played on a line with Shane Prince and Andre Petersson in a losing effort falling 3-2 at home to The Leafs.
Pageau began making headlines before camp was even underway, scoring 6 points including 3G/3A in just 3 games of the NHL annual Rookie tournament. Pageau looked leagues above the competition that he faced in the tournament and it was almost clear at that point that this guy was not a one hit wonder from his incredible performance during last years post season. Still Pageau had to come into this years training camp being the probable odd man out of The Senators starting line-up mostly due to a contract that enables The Sens to send him down to the AHL without having to go through waivers like fellow team-mates Stephane Da-Costa, Andre Petersson and Mike Hoffman will have to do. (clearing waivers would mean that other teams can claim that player). Pageau, standing a whopping 5’8 is not only very fast but surprising physical away from the puck; the fearless little centre-man showed that he too will grind it out if needed as he engaged in a pushing match with the much bigger Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri. Pageau suffered a laceration under his eye Thursday night during that pushing match with Kadri, when Kadri’s bodyguard David Clarkson came to his rescue seemingly pulling at Pageau’s face.
Pageau was acknowledged by Senators Head Coach Paul Maclean Thursday evening during a media scrum that followed the game. Here’s what coach Maclean had to say: “He’s playing well and if he continues to play well he’s going to make it very hard”. “Those are hard decisions”. “His game has been very consistent and training camp is a long time, we’ll see how he can come and go, but right now he’s playing well enough for sure”. “You just want to keep watching him everyday and see how he keeps going”. Pageau was also acknowledge in a post game interview by his team-mate, Erik Karlsson; Karlsson on Pageau: ” He’s a good player, I think he showed it last year that he’s here to stay and I think that he’s improved even more this year”.
It’s still a very early to make a prediction but it certainly seems that Pageau is just too good to not make the team. I think the bigger question is: