Raval A. Alviarez
A single pass, that’s how he caught my eye.
Ottawa Senators’ prospect Mark Stone is without a doubt, a playmaker that benefits from fundamental thinking. A playmaker that is going to be vital to the success of what may be Daniel Alfredsson’s last run once the team returns for league play. There’s no doubt that teammates and coaches of him know this and I’m here to shed some light on why.
The 2012 World Junior Championships were a perfect representation to us of how being good isn’t good enough anymore. Our beloved junior Canadian team fought through several nations and brought their A-game. Unfortunately, they could not beat a well-defended and aggressive Russian side and fell to a bronze medal. As a result, it`s fair to say that the team and the championship was overall, ignored by Canadians. Ignorance is bliss, no? Well, not when it includes ignoring perhaps the greatest prospect for the Senators of the up and coming years. Mark Stone was placed on the team for an early game in the championship against Finland. Shocked to even be playing on an international stage for Canada, Mark’s face had no shortage of fulfillment once he saw the hats drift down from the stadium as his umpteenth shot of the night was embraced by net for the third time. Canada would go on to win that game by 7 goals (8-1) three of which, along with an assist were from Mark Stone. He then went on to be named one of the top three players of the team by the coaching staff. This is no laughing matter, when a coaching staff believes in you, your ideas, your plays, your fundamental thinking; there is much room for your skills to grow rapidly. After all, we have to remind ourselves of how important it is to be surrounded by people who have more confidence in you, than you have in yourself.
It’s absolutely delirious how a man who put up 123 points in 63 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings during the 2011-2012 season had not caught my eye then, but rather during a single playoff game. Mind you, this was no regular playoff game. When a series is tied 2-2, it is absolutely unheard of to be drawing upon players who have not played much with the team before. Thankfully, Paul Maclean and Bryan Murray are no fools. The 2012 World Junior Championship along with an impressive and impeccable WHL 2011-2012 season, were certainly not a blur for either of these men. Perhaps what shocked me the most of his debut, was his ability to make confident decisions on the ice and cope with bad decisions made by other teammates. Oh, and making one of the greatest passes I’ve ever seen to push the Senators to a 3-2 lead in the series with New York, that helps too.
That single pass, that lone NHL assist, currently stands as his only statistic and point in the National Hockey league and rightly so.
The Beautiful Pass :
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