- It's a young player
- He was put in a position to have an undeniable impact on the game
- He came through
- He got a taste of winning in The Show
Oh yeah, and he's going to be here next year (barring some unforeseen circumstance).
I've never been entirely on board with the "Fail for Nail" concept of losing every game to secure the highest likelihood of nabbing the first overall draft pick in the NHL draft lottery. I really DO want to see the team win every game.
At the same time, winning every game on the backs of players who aren't projected to be around next season is short-sighted. It's like eating a Twinkie. Tastes pretty good, but has no nutritional content. And probably doesn't even fill you up.
On the other hand, playing the kids - putting them in positions where they grow and learn and figure out how to win in the NHL - that's good stuff. It also helps solidify the foundation of a team that will be competitive in seasons ahead.
So let's take our moment to revel in things working out as they should, if only for one night.