Three Quick Fixes For The Ottawa Senators After Opening Weekend

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 02: Assistant Coach Davis Payne and Head Coach D.J. Smith of the Ottawa Senators talk on the bench prior to an NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on October 2, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 02: Assistant Coach Davis Payne and Head Coach D.J. Smith of the Ottawa Senators talk on the bench prior to an NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on October 2, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Jan 15, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Tim Stutzle (18) warms up prior to a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Tim Stutzle (18) warms up prior to a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /

Trust Tim Stützle More

With no disrespect to anybody else on the Senators roster, there really isn’t another player in the black jersey that can score a goal like Tim Stützle did on Saturday night. The patience, the hand-eye, the shot: all brilliant.

His impact on the team through two games has been limited to flashes of potential and brilliance, as evidenced on some of his transition plays, and eventual first NHL goal. In a year that should be completely focused on getting the most from some of the young players on the roster, it’s confusing to see why Stützle’s usage doesn’t align with some of Ottawa’s best players –  because he already is one of them.

The young German has just as much professional experience as any other young player on the roster, so this isn’t a question of if he’s ready or not. It’s all about the trust that D.J Smith has in him. In just a few games, the Senators will have to decide if it is worth burning a year of Stützle’s ELC to keep him around. So until that decision needs to be made, the Senators should afford the player every possible opportunity to prove he belongs.

Many people have pegged Stützle as a frontrunner for the Calder Trophy this season, and he’s one of the biggest reasons why people are tuning into Senators games this season. The talent is there, and this season should be all about acclimating him to the NHL level. Nobody is going to complain about seeing the potential franchise saviour on the ice more.