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Sens' Cowen gaining more recognition around NHL

Rookie blueliner one of finalists for league's rookie of month award for December

Monday, 01.2.2012 / 3:31 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Sens\' Cowen gaining more recognition around NHL
Sens defenceman Jared Cowen was one of the runners-up for the NHL's rookie of the month award for December, which went to forward Adam Henrique of the Devils (Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images).
Jared Cowen appreciates the recognition.

But the Ottawa Senators blueliner isn't exactly ready just yet to prepare anything in the way of an acceptance speech.

"I don't really pay attention to things like that," admitted Cowen when informed he was one of the three runners-up for the National Hockey League's rookie of the month award for December, which went to forward Adam Henrique of the New Jersey Devils. "Usually, when I get those kinds of accolades, I'm not really thinking about it. I just go out there and do my job, and things like that just fall into place.

"There's still a lot of the season left and from what I hear, it gets harder."

In other words, don't expect the 6-5, 230-pound defenceman to consider himself a prime contender just yet for the Calder Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL's top rookie. But the nine points (2-7) Cowen recorded in 13 games during December are merely another sign that he's settling in just fine during his first full season on the Senators blue line.

"Coming in (to the season), I didn't really have any expectations," Cowen said following the Senators' pre-game skate in advance of tonight's matchup with the Devils at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m., Sportsnet East, Team 1200). "I wasn't sure what to think. I didn't have any goals for my game, so I guess it's kind of gone how I thought it would. I just wanted to keep playing better and move up in the lineup a bit. I think I'm playing pretty well, but I still have lots of room to grow."

Entering training camp, Cowen was thought to be in a battle with fellow rookie David Rundblad for a spot on the Senators' blue line. But the 20-year-old native of Allan, Sask., is now averaging nearly 20 minutes of ice time per night, while Rundblad was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes two weeks ago in exchange for centre Kyle Turris.

Senators head coach Paul MacLean has shown growing confidence in Cowen, playing the young defenceman in just about every situation — including overtime, a situation in which he produced the game-winning goal against the Sabres in Buffalo on Dec. 13.

"It helps," Cowen said of the confidence the coaching staff has in him. "It puts me at ease and helps me relax. It's one less thing to worry about, and I can just go out and play the game.

"Most of the time, you just have to be confident and believe in yourself. It's hard to get here and once you do, you realize that everyone has their own path and sometimes, it takes time (to stick)."

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Wiercioch 6 2 2 0 4
M. Zibanejad 6 1 3 0 4
E. Karlsson 6 1 3 -2 4
M. Stone 6 0 4 0 4
M. Hoffman 6 1 2 -3 3
B. Ryan 6 2 0 1 2
C. MacArthur 6 2 0 -2 2
K. Turris 6 1 1 -2 2
C. Ceci 6 0 2 0 2
M. Michalek 6 1 0 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 2 2 1 .972 0.97
A. Hammond 0 2 1 .914 3.44