Don’t look now, (well actually, go ahead) but a player who has had trouble garnering a full-time spot on the Ottawa Senators roster is among the top performers for his country’s national team. Stephane Da Costa led Team France to an upset win over Canada in the first game of the tournament and has now led (along with Antoine Roussel) his team to a spot in the quarterfinals, a rarity for the French.
France hasn’t finished in the top 8 at the main World Championship draw since 1995. Their 4th place finish in Pool A at this year’s tournament guarantees they will finish at least that high, and an upset win over the Russians could put them in the top 4 for the first time ever.
Da Costa has been a huge part of the success of the French squad that looks vastly over-matched on paper, but have shown some grit in making to the playoff round. The Senators prospect is tied for 6th in scoring in the tournament, with 6 goals and 3 assists in 7 games, and has added a +8 rating, tied for the third best in the competition.
The Senators will have decisions to make with Stephane Da Costa in this off-season. He is set to be a restricted free agent and Ottawa will have to determine if they can get him back under contract, and if he is worthy of a 1 way deal or if he will sign a 2 way deal to remain in the NHL.
He has been on the edge of making the team and sticking for the last 2 seasons, but just hasn’t found a way to become a regular. Hopefully for his sake, and the sake of the Ottawa Senators, Da Costa can harness some of that success and confidence that he is displaying in Belarus right now and translate that to the NHL come September’s training camp.