Originally posted on The 6th Sens  |  Last updated 4/16/13
2009-nhl-entry-draft-first
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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson being investigated for workplace misconduct

WATCH: Gronkowski refuses to discuss suspension, walks out of presser

Cousins complains refs unfairly target him on technicals

FIFA threatens to expel Spain from World Cup

Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling with Jets due to ‘coach’s decision’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Floyd Mayweather says UFC offered him $1 billion

Porzingis: Knicks fans should show Carmelo ‘love’ in return

Pete Carroll, Sean Payton fined for going onto field

Hot mic catches what LeBron James said to Lonzo Ball

Carlos Santana reportedly signs three-year deal with Phillies

Browns GM: Anything short of competing for division title in 2018 'unacceptable'

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Senators 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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker