Originally written on The 6th Sens  |  Last updated 11/12/14
Having led his teammates through the morning stretch at practice today, Senators sophomore defenseman Jared Cowen announced to the media that he would be in the lineup versus Carolina. Cowen, if you'll remember started the the locked out season playing in Binghamton. His stint with the B-Sens only lasted three games before a tear in his hip labrum necessitated surgery. With recovery pegged at 6-9 months the common belief was that his season was done. Cowen: "From the time they told me I wasn’t going to play this year, I always had in the back of my mind, ‘Screw that – I want to play.’" — Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) March 27, 2013 As awesome as it is to see Cowen back in the lineup ahead of schedule, one wonders and hopes that he hasn't rushed things and is 100%, or close to it. Ottawa is fortunate to have Cowen back with seven games left in the regular season. Though he had been skating on his own and with the team these past few weeks, this number of games should be enough time for him to get back into game shape and hone his timing. As a rookie, Cowen tallied 5 goals and 17 points in 82 games, playing on the team's second pairing with Sergei Gonchar. During today's practice, Paul MacLean had him paired with Eric Gryba -- an indication that the coaching staff is going to break him in slowly (or quickly, depending on what you think of Gryba and his limitations). But with Wiercioch's surprising emergence as a top four option, there's no guarantee Cowen winds up alongside his old partner. Here are Gonchar's WOWY's (with or without you) with Wiercioch in 2012/13:   TOI GF% CF% GONCHAR + WIERCIOCH 259:33 57.1 57.9 GONCHAR - WIERCIOCH 340:06 44.4 47.2 WIERCIOCH - GONCHAR 175:00 60.0 52.9 And with Cowen in 2011/12:   TOI GF% CF% GONCHAR + COWEN 648:18 38.3 50.4 GONCHAR - COWEN 563:06 57.5 51.0 COWEN - GONCHAR 175:00 52.1 53.2 While Wiercicoh plays more on the power-play and Cowen more shorthanded, the interesting thing is that MacLean's usage of both players in their rookie season's 5on5 has been very similar as far as zonestarts and quality of competiton -- which makes this sort of comparison pretty fair. Gonchar and Wiercicoh has obviously produced great results here, which is not to say that Cowen-Gonchar is a bad option, especially if the coaching staff is looking for more "balance". In any case Mac's got more options, which is a welcome change.

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations


Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

LeBron James on Ferguson: 'Violence is not the answer'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.