Ott shows surging offensive dimension
A promotion to the top line made for a big, two goal night for Steve Ott. It's no secret that, around the NHL, Ott is known as a hard hitting agitator, a royal pain to play against. But over the last four years, we've seen that there's more to his game than that. Tuesday night was a prime example. In the last four seasons, Ott ha posted point totals of 46, 36, 32, and 39.
"I think my first few years, I probably crossed a little bit of an edge and would find myself maybe in the penalty box too much, or not being able to be offensive," Ott said Wednesday. "I guess you could say good coaching over the years has calmed me down to play a more safe style rather than a kamikaze style every night."
Ott pointed to Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell as the example of a trend in which his type of player is seeing significant time on top lines throughout the NHL. Tyler Ennis was quick to point out that these are not grinders, rather hard hitting, hard working players with skill. Their presence provides top players with a major advantage.
"When you combine that tenacity and hard work with that battle with that ability to score and make plays, that's when you've got a guy who can play big minutes on a top line," Ennis said.
"You don't see so many enforcers anymore," added Mike Weber. "You don't see too many killers out there anymore. But you need guys who are going to battle, win battles, and get the skill players the puck."
Ott is second in the league with 125 hits and fifth on the Sabres with 11 assists. He's showing that he has those attributes.