Winning the Norris Trophy when he was just 21 two seasons is turning out to be a curse for Erik Karlsson.
The bar is now set at a very lofty position. Everyone is waiting for him to do it again. And again and again and again.
“You guys have lifted up the expectations pretty high,” Karlsson said to three veteran reporters after the Senators practised at Canadian Tire Centre Monday. “You talk about me like I was something (bleeping) god or something. It’s not easy to live up to that.”
Karlsson knows it was he who set the expectations high by scoring 19 goals and 59 assists in 81 games en route to being voted the NHL’s best defenceman during the 2011-12 campaign. He also knows he hasn’t been the same player since. The Achillies injury that limited him to 17 games last season may have something to do with it. Not that he’s restricted by the previously damaged ankle now, but he did miss a lot of time.