For Pageau it’s finally time to call him a full-time NHL player. This comes after two seasons in Binghamton and recently being cut out of training camp, despite playing his way onto the team.
Pageau has scored at an AHL level for quite some time now, but it’s not just his scoring that is a welcomed addition to the NHL club.
“JGP” brings a fire to each game that is shown through his style of play. Driving the corners hard, and using speed and power up the ice are both important parts to Pageau’s game.
Not to mention, he’s not afraid of a larger opponent. See: T.J. Brennan (who has 4 inches and 40 pounds on Pageau).
He hadn’t met expectations in the NHL through the 13-14 NHL season with just 2 goals in 28 games, but this season has seen a combination of scoring and drive that has helped Pageau adjust.
We knew he could play, but the step up in terms of confidence is clear, as Pageau’s 7 goals and 16 points in 45 games are more than just adequate.
Pageau certainly has an impressive stat-line for someone marked as a 3rd line center, and in that role, it seems as though Pageau has found a tremendous fit with rookie Curtis Lazar and veteran Erik Condra, both who play a similar style of game.
Leading me to another point, re-signing Erik Condra is a must for this team.
3rd LINE KEY TO SUCCESS
As the Senators continue to “roll”, despite a little losing skid, it’s been about that mean and fast, un-afraid 3rd line. That seems to be the key to an NHL 3rd line nowadays.
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Erik Condra moves the puck well, Curtis Lazar is insulation to the group, and JGP highlights it with his HUGE 5foot9 game.
-And that has been the trio that has worked. They can certainly play in any situation, including the penalty kill.
They also seem to control the ice when it is played at 5v5, as witnessed by the trio’s positive Corsi percentages when on the ice together and negative ones when apart.
This, also occurring with the trio’s average OZS% hanging around 44% with around 200 minutes of 5v5 play.
Offensive zone starts are more scarce than defensive starts, yet the bottom 6 trio is playing well in terms of SAT/Corsi stats, controlling the play more often than not when on the ice together.
I’ve said it before, it’s a trio that just makes sense. The line has been a big part of Ottawa’s recent success and could again be a key to success if this team is to sneak back into the playoffs.