Tim Erixon. He was slotted as a bit of a 'tweener coming into this year. Jarmo and company believed he was an NHL defenseman, and one of the ways they showed that was signing him to a one year, one way contract.
Erixon had yet to 'kick the door down' to the NHL, yet it was time, and this was to be a make or break year for him, much like it was for Savard last year. While he looked sorta scrambley earlier in the year, he has settled down into his role as Wisniewski's partner. Erixon has more of an offensive upside than does Murray, our young defenseman with the wonky knee, and I think he has now established himself in the lineup. It is hard for me to imagine him coming out of the lineup when Murray returns after watching him on the power play with Wiz last night. When those two are on the points, you have two defensemen with good shots, good puck handling skills, and a great deal of mobility. They were pretty lethal last night,
So the upside to this whole injury problem has been young people like Erixon and Wennberg who have been thrown into the fire, and appear to be emerging on the other side. The mistakes have been made, the lessons have been learned, and both are playing well right now. This could get interesting as the season progresses.
Strangely enough, a win tonight would take a lot of pressure off the CBJ going forward. They are not really that far out of being in the mix in the Metro. The Sharks are a really good club, that we beat late on the west coast already this year. They will be looking to make a statement. This would be a really good time for the home crowd to behave like a 5th line, and try to make a difference in this game. It's still early, but the hill that must yet be climbed has been defined. So come out to the game and be ready to get loud, even if we fall behind early. It's our chance to make a difference this year.