I just wanted to quickly write a quick congratulations to Cam Fowler for being named to the US Olympic Team! During the summer, he was named as one of the possibilities for Team USA, but I figured he was a long shot at best. While an excellent skater, his offense had all but dried up since his rookie season (1 goal and 11 points last season) and his defensive game still had a long way to go. In short, I was really excited that he had a chance, but I didn't expect him to make the team.
And, early in the season, it seemed like my prediction would come true. Against Colorado he was miserable (though, to be fair, the entire team was terrible on opening night), and while he played better after that, he still wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire.
And then something changed. I don't know exactly when it happened, but sometime after game 10 (in Montreal), his game just took off. Looking back through my 10 game reviews, I noted how Fowler turned his play around in games 11-20. Through the 1st 10 games of the season I listed him as one of the Ducks worst defenders, not because he was awful, but because I knew he could be so much more. And sometime after game #10, that happened. His offensive numbers have been soaring (he currently has 25 points and is on pace to break his rookie points mark of 40) and his defensive game has been much improved. So far this season, he's got a 3 point game, as well as 5 other multiple point games. He also scored the 1st shorthanded goal of his career. He's not a physical player, he never has been and probably never will be. Instead, he's been using his skating and positioning to his advantage. In short, he has become a much smarter hockey player, and starting to turn into what Ducks fans have been hoping since he was drafted back in 2010.
Another evolution of his game has been his chemistry with his partner Ben Lovejoy. They have formed the backbone of the Ducks defense this season and become a very nice shutdown pairing, and been the #1 shutdown pair many nights for the Ducks. While the Ducks can still trot out Beauchemin or Allen for that role, often these 2 are thrown over the boards against opposing teams top lines.
When the season opened, I was hopeful, but doubtful that Fowler would make the team. But his play during the last 2 months had convinced me that he belonged on Team USA, and I clearly wasn't the only one that he convinced.