Playing Jakob Silfverberg in this series seems like a pretty terrible idea to me

I won’t recount Silfverberg’s many enticing qualifications. Let’s just say that he looks like a hell of a prospect, far better than that “top nine forward” designation most prospect tracking websites have carved out for him. When it comes to this team needing some offensive punch against the Rangers, Silfverberg is as likely a candidate as Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, or anyone else to contribute. Add to it that Silfverberg has been playing playoff hockey for weeks already, and I admit it: he could make an immediate impact. And it would be a great next chapter to his storybook year.

But here’s the thing: I don’t want to break Jakob Silfverberg’s brain.

Winning a playoff series would be pretty cool, but there are much bigger goals for a franchise, and helping their prospects reach their maximum potential is right up there. Silfverberg has the potential to be a top six forward for this team for years to come, and his development should take precedent over the slim potential that he will enter a pivotal playoff game in a pressure-cooker environment and make a difference.

Silfverberg isn’t here to win us one Game Seven. He’s here to help us win many Game Sevens.

My greatest fear isn’t that Silfverberg might not be as effective as, say, Jesse “I-won’t-lose-you-a-game-but-I-won’t-win-you-one-either” Winchester on the first line. My fear is that a mistake hurts the kid’s confidence and, very likely, turns this city’s acerbic and sort of shitty media against him. Imagine if a defensive gaffe leads to the series-losing goal, or he steps out onto the ice and Mike Rupp or Brian Boyle paste him into the boards. What then?

This is a player, after all, who said no to the NHL to spend another year in the SEL. He shouldn’t play unless he feels ready. And without a training camp, some exhibition games, and a chance to test himself against an NHL defence—not only the Rangers incredibly stingy defence, but any NHL defence—how can he know?

In any case, the playoffs are enough to make veterans look star-crossed. Putting all of our eggs in the Silfverberg basket isn’t only a bit unrealistic, it’s also sort of unfair.

7 thoughts on “Playing Jakob Silfverberg in this series seems like a pretty terrible idea to me

  1. I disagree with you on this one only because he’ll have to play a playoff game at some point in his career, why not now. If history is any indication The Paulrus will play him the majority of the time in situations that are to his advantage ie “protected minutes”. His inclusion would be to spread out some offense among all the lines and to make it that much harder for NY to only shadow Spezza.
    Waiting till next year won’t matter I think and The Silver Surfer himself said near the end of his Ikea playoffs that he’s as ready as he’ll ever be for the NHL.
    Either way it is a nice problem for the Sens to have. Having decisions like this means there is talent depth.

    Go Sens Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Well, I’m not against playing him in the playoffs this year, I just think using him in, say, Game 7, in New York, to replace our scoring is asking a bit much. But next round, if we make it? Sure why not ease him in.

  2. The thing is, if hes getting protected minutes then why even play him. I dont think 4th line minutes are to his advantage or the teams. If it was against the Pens, flyers, caps or another run and gun team I would be less hesitant, but in this series you have no time and space to do anything, you cant get shots through and the game is really really physical. These are exactly the kinds of things that players from the elite league usually need a season to get comfortable with. At the end of the day, PMac will know whether hes ready or not and will make the best decision. This is probably the toughest series in the playoffs and throwing a prospect into the fire just “because” is not what successful franchises do. Right now we are rolling 4 lines and having alot of success, I wouldnt mess with it.

    • Playing Mark Stone doesn’t seem as crazy to me, because at least he’s played on North American ice surfaces, and has been with the team, taking part in practices and skates, since about the playoffs began. That’s not the same as taking a guy who literally just got off the plane and hasn’t even met his teammates and putting him on a line with Spezza and Michalek, which looks like what’s about to happen. I’m excited to see him, but I still think this puts way too much pressure on the kid.

      Also weird: they stick Stone in, he plays great, and they reward him by….sitting him the next game? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what they do.

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