It should be a much more comfortable ride with the big club for Stephane Da Costa
this time around.
Roughly 16 months after his last stint in the NHL with the Senators, Da Costa was called up over the weekend to act as reinforcements for a team that has dealt with injury trouble in the past week. With last season's leading scorer Jason Spezza out for an indefinite amount of time as he recovers from back surgery and Guillaume Latendresse recovering from a whiplash injury after a bout with the flu, Da Costa will be counted on as an offensive catalyst on a team looking for flair.
With five career points in 26 NHL games, it may not be obvious on the surface that Da Costa is a talent in the offensive end of the rink. His play in the AHL to this point in the year, however, has been a much more accurate representation of his skill set.
In Binghamton, Da Costa has tallied 24 points in 31 AHL games giving him 60 career points in 97 AHL games. Now that he's back in Ottawa, the 23 year old French national will have an opportunity to create similar scoring in the NHL. Improvements in his fitness level and defensive play should also see him earn additional minutes in contrast to his previous stint in the top flight.
Seeing Binghamton teammates like Jakob Silfverberg, Mika Zibanejad, Patrick Wiercioch and Mark Borowiecki have success at the NHL level thus far, is only increasing his comfort level under the bright NHL lights.
"There are some familiar faces from this year and last year so I'm really comfortable."
Added experience also appears to have lent some clarity to Da Costa who is aware of what he needs to do to succeed at this level.
"It takes hard work, hard work every day," Da Costa said on what it takes to stick at the NHL level. As far as how he'll produce? "Just keep it simple, bring up as much energy as possible."
If he proves to be as effective as his Binghamton peers, it'll be one less roster spot for Bryan Murray & co. to worry about.