Silfverberg: It's a challenge
It's clear whenever he touches the puck that Jakob Silfverberg is a dynamic player. He handles passes well, he can carry the play and, according to Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson, he has one of the best shots in the league.
So why hasn't the production picked up yet?
It has all been part of a learning process for Silfverberg who is still learning the inner workings of NHL hockey. Through 14 games — 12 this season and two in last year's playoffs — he has only been able to muster two goals and an assist. By contrast, he still leads the Binghamton Senators in scoring with 29 points in 34 games despite not playing since the start of NHL training camp.
However, if you break down Silfverberg's AHL numbers further, they show he was slow out of the gate there as well. Through his first 13 games in the 'A' he recorded seven points. Conversely, the next 21 games led to a run of 22 points before sticking with the big club. Like many other young players who come into the NHL, it's a matter of learning how the league functions and continuing to adjust to playing on smaller ice.
His focus going forward is getting to more dangerous parts of the ice.
"I get a lot of shots I just usually don't get to those shot areas where I want to shoot, I shoot a lot from right inside the blueline," said Silfverberg. "I have to get better at getting to spots in the high slot and places like that. I get a lot of shots but a lot of them aren't dangerous shots."
The fact he simply hasn't gotten it done already has a lot to do with adjusting to much stiffer competition.
"Here in the NHL it's all the best players in the world and you always play against very good D so, of course, it's harder," said Silfverberg. "But, it's a challenge and you learn something new every day."
Sens fans got a flash of that scoring ability when he showed off that wrist shot in Montreal on Feb. 3. The key, according to Jakob, isn't trying to amp up the velocity. It's a matter of trying to keep it quick and accurate.
"All I think about when I'm taking my shot is it doesn't have to be the hardest shot but it has to be accurate and it has to be quick so you don't show the goalie where you're about to shoot the puck," said Silfverberg. "That's what I'm trying to focus on in practice is skate in and not have a hard shot but have a quick and accurate shot."
Of course, it was a week ago when The Captain himself said that kids should be studying the Silfverberg shot. So, what advice does he have for kids reading this?
"You can't get something for free, you have to work hard to get it. That's what I was doing as a kid. I took a lot of shots during summers," said Silfverberg. "That's what it is. You have to work hard to get what you want. There's no shortcuts."