By Mike Harrington
ST. LOUIS -- I had a chance to sit down with Blues forward and former Sabres captain Steve Ott today following the pregame skate for Game Five against the Blackhawks, and he was as stoked as you can imagine about getting a chance to play in a series like this.
Ott, remember, has not been in the playoffs since the Dallas Stars' 2008 run to the Western Conference finals.
"I've been waiting for that moment for a long time," he said. "To have that jump-started and get back after it, this is why we play this game. This is why we fight so hard for 82 games, to scratch and claw and get a chance in the playoffs. Now with the parity in the league, it doesn't matter where you finish as long as you're in the playoffs."
Here's a look at Ott's series to date, listing goals-assists-points, plus/minus, ice time, shots on goal, hits and faceoffs
Gm# G-A-Pts +/- TOI, SOG, Ht, FO
Gm1 0-1-1 Ev 30:53 3/3/7-3
Gm2 0-0-0 -1 15:05 2/3/7-4
Gm3 0-0-0 -1 20:05 2/8/14-6
Gm4 0-1-1 + 2 18:11 0/7/9-12
Tot 0-2-2 Ev 21:05* 7/21/37-25
(*21:05 is Ott's average in the four games)
So you can see, especially from hits and faceoffs, that Ott has been pretty active in this series. And he had the primary assist on Alex Steen's triple-overtime winner in Game One.
"I started feeling ... my game coming along because of the transition finally happening in the last 5-8 games," Ott said. "It's where I staarted to feel comfortable with structure and situations. It's kind of led into the playoffs, where now I feel totally comfortable like I have anywhere else in my
Ott had a good laugh when I told him that Patrick Kane's overtime winner for Chicago in Game Four was probably the first time in his career the South Buffalo native had some folks back home fretting over his exploits. There are certainly a lot of Ryan Miller fans in Buffalo, plus Sabres fans hoping the Blues win this series and draw closer to giving Buffalo their No. 1 draft pick for Miller.
"We all know there's a lot to cheer for with this St. Louis team for the people in Buffalo," Ott said. "It's great to have that kind of recognition there in Buffalo for myself and Ryan."
Be sure to look for more from Ott in my story in Saturday's editions of The News.