The Tim Stützle show has officially started for the Ottawa Senators.
After an offseason full of hype in the wake of being picked No. 3 overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Ottawa Senators fans were finally given a tantalizing glimpse of what their future could look like with Tim Stützle on Saturday.
Ottawa did unleash their shiny new toy on the NHL on Friday as the Senators beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 in an electrifying season opener, but the German-born forward was held without a point in 12:11 of TOI. However, the real fireworks began the following night.
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In the second game of a back-to-back against the Maple Leafs, Ottawa was hoping to pull off an early shock by completing the sweep against a loaded juggernaut that should be one of the big guns in the North Division this year.
Although that wasn’t the case with Toronto winning 3-2 thanks to goals from Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and Joe Thornton‘s first in a Maple Leafs jersey, the main talking point was Tim Stützle’s Welcome to the NHL Moment. And boy was it something special.
Tim Stützle dazzles for the Ottawa Senators
It was a pretty tough game for Senators fans to watch on Saturday with the Maple Leafs holding a 3-1 lead in the third period, while they had been outshot 29-12 by the Toronto Maple Leafs after two. However, with 8:16 left in the game, something truly magical happened.
Tim Stützle happened, that’s what. The rookie, playing in only his second NHL game, delivered a moment of pure magic that sent Hockey Twitter into a frenzy and also ensured that a whole fanbase erupted in pure joy at the very thought of the talent their franchise has in its possession.
With no one seemingly having any clue as to where the puck was, Stützle was already setting up at the half-wall, displaying his elite hockey IQ in the process, and when the puck did eventually fall out of the air, the 19-year-old let it settle before unleashing one hell of a bomb past Jack Campbell.
It was a sensational first goal for the rookie, one that highlighted the forward’s technique, skill, hand-eye coordination and confidence in one mouthwatering package that sent a clear warning shot to the rest of the NHL that Tim Stützle means business.
I mean, to pull off the technique needed to keep an eye on the puck while setting up for such a shot is a hard skill for anyone, let alone a 19-year-old playing in only his second game in North America and in the best league on the planet. But that sums up just how talented Stützle is.
It was a highlight-reel play that was shown time and time again throughout Saturday night, and it is one of those goals that will never get boring to watch. It was just that good. That goal sparked some life on the Ottawa bench and, while they just fell short, it is certain that Stützle will guide this Senators team to victories this season, there is no doubt about that.
I admit that I have really fallen in love with this kid and I believe he has the talent and the intangibles needed to morph into a real star in the National Hockey League, as do a lot of experts who are far more qualified than me. And, from what we were treated to on Saturday, it is clear that Tim Stützle is ready to dominate and be at the heart of a new era of Ottawa Senators hockey. And I can’t wait to watch the German forward take over this league for years to come.