Karlsson in Norris Trophy form

Matt Shumsky January 28, 2013 6

22-year- old defenceman Erik Karlsson has picked up right where he left off before the lockout- racking up the points.
While many players are still looking to get their legs back under them so to speak, the super Swede is leaving goalies looking for their jock straps.
Take for instance, last night’s beauty.
In one fell swoop, Karlsson intercepted the pass, transitioned from backwards to forwards, blew past the pylon ( cough… his ol’ buddy Filip Kuba) and was in all alone on the trembling goaltender.
Through 5  games, Karlsson has five points on three goals , all the while being a plus five.
If he plays the whole season, his line projects to: 48 GP/28g/20a/48pts.
Normally, I would caution that such a small sample size is dangerous to extrapolate but not in this kid’s case.
Last year, Karlsson put up: 81 g/19/59/78pts, all the while carrying a stellar plus/minus of +16.
Karlsson didn’t have his best game last night against the Penguins and as a result, the Sens were only able to mustre-up a single goal in regulation.
Kudos to Kyle Turris and Co. for shutting down Sidney Crosby, holding him pointless  in the shootout loss but if and when the Senators make the playoffs it will largely be on the back on Erik Karlsson.
He sure is  earning his $6.5 million annual salary cap hit.

Random thoughts:

Dion Phaneuf, captain of the Toronto Maple leafs has the exact same cap hit as Karlsson.
The 27-year-old has one assist through 5 games.  He’s on pace for nine points this year.
Phaneuf has 84 pts. in 179 games as  a Leaf.
He carries a career plus/minus of -3 as of Monday January 28.