In the furore of Karlsson’s injury and the Ottawa Senators playoff wheels falling off, Clarke MacArthur returned to the lineup.
It’s been nail-biting for everyone who follows the Ottawa Senators, there’s no denying that. But finally there has been light at the end of a pitch black tunnel.
Having been injured for an eternity in hockey terms, almost two years, MacArthur made a pivotal return.
Concussion has riddled the 31 year-old forward. Last season was wasted as a result of concussion, and to top things off was concussed during training camp at the beginning of this season.
It must’ve been tough for MacArthur who has been part of this side that has finally taken some forward steps. Achieving 92 points in 141 games during his first two seasons with the club, Clarke has certainly played his part. A .652 points per game average is not to be sniffed at for the former 74th overall third round draft pick from 2003.
To put things into perspective, 141 games in his first two seasons compared to 5 games in his last two seasons (including this year). For a player who has completed a full-season (2010-11, Toronto Maple Leafs) being injured for so long has to be hard to stomach.
First Game Back
Managing around 10 or so minutes in his first taste of NHL hockey in two years is a great effort. Not to patronise the player at all, but taking two years out of hockey at the highest level will always take a while to get back into.
Furthermore, the team managed to break a five-game losing streak. You have to imagine that some of that resilience occurred due to MacArthur’s return. We saw how that dressing room changed once Craig Anderson returned albeit under different circumstances. The guys in the room must’ve been feeling for their teammate, you saw the reaction when he got hit in training camp.
Clarke MacArthur has added a lot to this team, and is fundamentally needed. Especially when the forwards have not been firing on all cylinders (none in fact), they too could do with the pressure. Knowing that MacArthur is back and will want their spaces higher up the lineup.
Overall, it’s great to see him back in the team. He has seemingly helped the team out of a horrible slump. Let’s hope he provides this team with oxygen, because they were beginning to choke.