Once again it's that time of year here on Defending Big D where we take a look at each player that suited up for 25 or more games this season (and are still with the team) and take a look back at their season. What was good about it, what wasn't so good, and the lasting impression they left us as we go into summer.
#29 / Center / Dallas Stars
Aug 19, 1982
|2011 - Steve Ott||74||11||28||39||5||156||4||0||2||108||10.6|
Key Stat: 28 - Steve Ott has never been known for his goal-scoring prowess and while we had all hoped for a bigger year this season for the versatile forward, he still set a career-high in assists with 28 on the season. Part of that was playing with Jamie Benn for most of the season but we also got to see that Ott does have the ability to be a deft playmaker at times.
The Good: With the Stars depth at forward lacking overall this season, Ott was asked to step up into a bigger role this season than he usually enjoys -- and to do so for almost the entirety of the season. Ott responded by helping form a somewhat decent "checking" second line that was used primarily in defensive situations, while also being able to push the puck up the ice in transition. Once again, Ott was also the best on the team on faceoffs.
The Bad: Ott had just 11 goals on the season and the second line was never able to generate the sort of offense the Stars needed. Part of that was how the line was utilized and part of that was due to Ott (and others) being exposed as less-than-intimidating scoring threats. Ott was also fairly unlucky, hitting more than his share of posts and failing on several breakaways over the course of the season.
Bottom Line: If nothing else, it was good to see Ott able to walk that fine line for most of the season and not put his team in consistently bad situations. While Ott led the Stars in PIM by a very healthy margin, he also was able to reign his in antagonistic ways while playing a bigger role with this team. HIs point production was nowhere near what was hoped for at the beginning of the season and while Ott played well on the second line, it wasn't enough.One thing that was made clear this season: Ott will thrive, ideally, as a third line center.
Preseason Impact Player Ranking: #7 - "Ott's faceoff ability and opportune goal scoring will be a great compliment to Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson only if he's able to get on the ice with them every time out. The problem, as it has been for a while, will be balancing the Steve Ott the rest of the NHL knows with the productive Steve Ott that Stars fans have seen at times and crave more of."
The Vote: Rate Steve Ott below on a scale of A to F (A being the best of course) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season he was here. Vote after the jump.