If you're like me, your first introduction to plucky former Senator Kaspars Daugavins was this singular shootout effort mounted in Ottawa against the Bruins on March 11th, 2013:
If Tuukka Rask were not the limber, long-legged lad he is, it might have gone in, as it had done for Daugavins against an AHL goalie. Derision rained down on him as a result-- Crazy. Daring. Comical. Sideshow. Novelty.
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Daugavins was another Peter Chiarelli pickup from the Senators at the tail end of March, a barely 25 -year-old who didn't even begin to play hockey in his native Latvia until he was 10 years old. He was widely reported to be popular in the dressing room, and had amassed a body of work in international competition for Latvia, Canadian Junior teams and the AHL, where he ultimately won the Calder Cup with the Binghamton Senators in 2010-11, and was drafted by the Senators in 2006 while Chiarelli was still with Ottawa. There was a deal of surprise when the Senators put him on waivers in April. He had fallen out of the rotation by the time he was released, was mostly a penalty killer, and became a thrift pickup for depth, ironically by the Bruins, where Daugavins played in the last six regular season games, logging about 10 minutes per game in the last three before the Bruins moved into the playoffs. He appeared in Game #1 against the Maple Leafs, and was subsequently a healthy scratch.
After the injury to Gregory Campbell in game 3 of the ECF against the Penguins, Daugavins played energetically in Game #4, and almost scored, ringing the post, and played a solid enough nearly seven minutes without coughing up the puck or taking a penalty. In the Finals against the Blackhawks, Daugavins missed a near open net attempt in Game #1, after which the Bruins went on to lose in a triple overtime marathon. Game #3 did not go well for him at all, he took a bad penalty and then went offsides on a redemptive chance he had with the puck coming out of the box. In the Finals, his ice time was progressively cut from 15:09 to 8:28 to 6:30 to 5:57, and the Bruins elected to play Carl Soderberg in the fifth and final game, in retrospect this was largely because Soderberg could play center in case Patrice Bergeron could not play.
In this, the consensus seems to be that Daugavins was ok - versatile, useful, but with no standout skills.
Was he dismal? No. Was he adequate? I think so But he was simply an affordable depth choice, the Bruins have made no offer to retain im, and he is an unrestricted free agent. I'm going to take the easy way out and give him an INCOMPLETE in his 2 1/2 months with the Bruins.