I saw Karlsson live in game action for the first time Saturday night in a 6-1 preseason win over Montreal. By the way, beating the Habs and silencing their fans is like eating Chinese food. An hour later, you want to do it again. As always, Hab fans left it difficult to tell where the game was being played.
While Mike Fisher got most of the accolades for his hat trick (not one hat on the ice), I was focused on Karlsson and, simply put, he knocked my socks off. Karlsson does everything quickly, crisply and with precision. His slap shot is lethal, albeit a little out of control on Saturday.
I know it's only pre season but this guy's not only on my team but he's anchoring the first unit power play. He is the puck moving defenceman everyone's been clamouring for. In that regard, he might already be better than every single Senator defenceman. After watching Karlsson, Alex Kovalev's dominance with the puck, Milan Michalek's speed and finish (from last week's Florida game) and Pascal Leclaire's goaltending, Senators' fans should feel fired up about the newcomers on this team.
I'm aware I've left Jonathan Cheechoo off that list. The jury's still out but he was invisible Saturday. Maybe he can be that guy that takes a pounding out front and puts in the garbage. If Bryan Murray was banking on a new environment energizing his game, he has to be disappointed so far. Cheechoo was outplayed by teammates Josh Hennessy and Mike Hoffman who were both cut after the game.