With the shortages on the big club, many players from Binghamton have been thrust into crucial roles. As we near the halfway mark of the season, few of these call-ups have impressed more than Stephane Da Costa
Da Costa has been singled out numerous times as a post-game bright spot for the Sens and has provided a spark with his speed and creativity. He has seen his play rewarded on multiple occasions with promotions to the top line and power play unit. Not only has his play with the puck been noticeably improved, his play away from it in the both zones has never been better.
Clearly things are going much better this time around for Da Costa with the big club. His refined approach after some time with the Baby Sens is paying dividends through seven games.
"My key was to keep it simple because it's a different league than Binghamton and the AHL," said Da Costa. "I try to bring as much energy as I can as a young guy I think those are the two major factors."
Simplicity and speed have been the mantra of these new look Sens. The team is trying to manufacture production by playing direct end-to-end hockey with pace and crashing the crease. Play around the red line has benefitted the Sens greatly since their renewed commitment to this type of blue collar hockey.
Da Costa can vouch for the approach as his first goal of the season came off a bank off of Marc-Andre Fleury from below the crease. Certainly not Da Costa's prettiest goal, but they all count the same on the scoreboard.
By watching Da Costa play, you'd have to think the monkey off the back is just a signal of what's to come.
"I mean, I get all those chances and I don't score and then I get a goal like this," said Da Costa. "It goes around, right? The luck is going to come at some point and I'm going to score."
With his play begetting additional minutes on the ice, it's a matter of production coming along with them from here on out to keep them.
"It's always nice to get those (opportunities) for sure. I've got to score now and capitalize on them."
Looking to tonight's matchup with the Islanders, Da Costa thinks the Sens have a tough game to look forward to. A young Islanders team will be coming in with a chip on their shoulder after a tough loss to Philadelphia on Monday.
"Well they had a tough game last night so they're going to come out really hard tonight," said Da Costa. "They have a lot of young guys and a lot of energy and it's going to be a really fast game I think."
With speed and energy comes space, and that space should yield plenty of opportunities for Da Costa to raise his point total.