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Zibanejad: One game at a time

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

After Thursday's win over the New York Rangers, Head Coach Paul MacLean said that the game was Mika Zibanejad's first game where he truly showed the type of player he can be at this level.

Zibanejad's play was certainly an encouraging sign from a week where, just three days earlier, he was a healthy scratch in New Jersey. He bounced back with a strong performance against the Islanders on Tuesday and scored the game tying goal on Thursday.

"That was one of the best games I've played this season. I think I've been pretty good in the two games since I didn't play in New Jersey. Coming back, getting something going, obviously you want to prove that you can and play every game. But if felt good, I'm skating good and being active out there and helping, not just in the offensive zone but the defensive zone and, like I said, kept skating."

The day off in Jersey seems to have been a boost for Zibanejad. Not necessarily because it sent a message, but because added perspective has helped take the pressure off and simplify his thought process.

"Yeah, I think it was good for me. Obviously you don't want it to be like a wake up call, but at the same time it's just like a little note there that I should be myself and play my game and yesterday I did and, hopefully, it shows what I can do. Now I just have to keep working."

After the words of encouragement from his coach, the young Swede is just approaching each game as it happens and trying to play his best.

"Now obviously after that game I've kind of had it in the back of my mind obviously, but more after the scratch game there,  that I'm just trying to take it one game at a time and play as hard as I can. Just work as hard as I can and don't think ahead too much. Just enjoy every game I play and that's all I can do."

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