Ottawa 4, Philadelphia 3 (SO)

The Senators blew a 3-0 lead, but hung on to the shootout where they beat the Flyers to earn a vital two points.  The game was a fantastic one for Craig Anderson, as the Sens took the second period and overtime off.  Neither team played much defence until the third period, which made it entertaining to watch.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
Flyers opened with an early powerplay, but the Sens had the best chance short-handed with a 2-on-1 (Daugavins unable to get his stick on Michalek‘s pass).  Ottawa opened the scoring with a great play by Alfredsson leading to a Spezza goal (a play made possible by a turnover created by Greening).  The Sens gave up a short-handed breakaway stopped by Anderson which was followed by a delay of game call against KubaAnderson made a big save on Jagr during the following 4-on-4 action.  Ottawa scored when Karlsson kept the puck in and Alfredsson fired a shot that deflected off a Flyer and in.  Anderson made another great save on Hartnell.  The Sens fourth line scored the third goal as Klinkhammer made a steal at the blueline resulting in Neil putting the puck through BobrovskyAlfredsson was stopped on a breakaway late in the period.
Second Period
Whatever words were said between periods lead to awful play by the Senators.  The Flyers had an edge in play and opened the scoring when Schenn scored off Simmonds face.  Ottawa’s first good chance of the period came five minutes in when Smith couldn’t bury a rebound.  Anderson made a great save on Jagr before the midway point of the period and then another off a Michalek giveaway short-handed.  The Flyers scored again when Couturier faked Karlsson out and beat Anderson–there was a lengthy review, but it was a good goal.  Ottawa got a powerplay following the goal, but were unable to do anything with it.  The Flyers tied it up just after the kill when Alfredsson made a bad pinch and Coburn scored on a 2-on-1.  Late in the period Turris was stopped on a breakaway.
Third Period
Karlsson had the first chance of the period, but was unable to beat Bobrovsky short side.  The Sens carried the early play in what was a cautious period.  Turris hit the post at the mid-way point.  Ottawa wasted another powerplay without generating a single scoring chance, while Anderson stopped Philadelphia on their only opportunity.  Spezza had a great chance in the final minutes, but couldn’t slide it under or around Bobrovsky.
OT
A pair of turnovers by Spezza resulted in chances that the Sens were able to block before they got to the net, but the Flyers carried the play and Briere hit the post and then Anderson made a great save off Simmonds.  The Sens had no good scoring chances in the extra frame and the Flyers ended overtime on the powerplay, Anderson making a great save off a Jagr one-timer.
Shootout
Michalek (five-hole) and Spezza (low glove side) both scored while only Matt Read was able to beat Anderson, giving Ottawa the victory.

A look at the goals:
1. Spezza (Alfredsson, Carkner)
Alfredsson makes a great pass to Spezza from behind the net who has an empty cage to score in
2. Alfredsson (Karlsson)
Karlsson keeps the puck in and Alfredsson’s one-timer deflects in off a Flyer
3. Neil (Klinkhammer)
Klinkhammer keeps the puck in and Neil shoots through Bobrovsky
4. Philadelphia, Simmonds
Schenn burns Klinkhammer with a move and fires it in off Simmonds face
5. Philadelphia, Couturier
Gets around Karlsson by faking a shot and then beats Anderson on the back-hand
6. Philadelphia, Coburn
Alfredsson makes a bad pinch leading to a 2-on-1 with Coburn pushing the puck over Andreson

Top-performers:
Craig Anderson – kept the Sens in the game over the last 45 minutes and the shootout
Chris Phillips – fantastic defensively
Daniel Alfredsson – a goal and an assist to lead the offence

Players Who Struggled: all the players who might be singled out (Spezza and Karlsson for turnovers, or Klinkhammer for his gaffe on the first Flyer goal) also did positive things in the game that helped the team win (two goals and two key assists), so there was no specific dud this afternoon.

Senators News: March 31st

-No lineup changes are expected for the Sens this afternoon.

-Paul MacLean talked about the year that was and the last few games of the season, “From Day 1, we said we were building a foundation to win. We’ve laid a lot of good stones in that foundation through adversity and through success. These last five games are another opportunity. For me, this is when you really find out about players and how do you play when you’re under the gun with the pressure. These are valuable building blocks to our organization, not only for this year, but down the road. This is when it really counts. This is when you find out who you can depend on.”

-Sergei Gonchar talks about Filip Kuba‘s chemistry with Erik Karlsson, “Since Kuba‘s an offensive guy it’s easier for him to read because he understands what’s going on and he understands Erik very well. When he knows that Erik will go he’ll stay back and once in a while when he sees Erik‘s not going then he jumps in. It’s one of those things that can only happen when you have an understanding of your partner and an understanding of the game.”

-Joy Lindsay reports that Corey Cowick has been recalled from Elmira while Josh Godfrey was sent down.  Andre Petersson and David Dziurzynski will be game-time decisions and Robin Lehner is expected to get the start.  Here were the lines at practice: Cole Schneider-Pat Cannone-Francis Lessard, Mike Hoffman-Stéphane Da Costa-Jack Downing, Derek Grant-Wacey Hamilton-Mark Parrish, Matt Puempel-Mike Bartlett-Corey Cowick; Mark Borowiecki-Craig Schira, Patrick Wiercioch-Eric Gryba, Dan Henningson-Tim Conboy.

-Jordan Fransoo‘s Victoria Royals were eliminated in the WHL playoffs, making him eligible to play for Binghamton if he signs an ATO.

-Capgeek has unconfirmed numbers for Chris Wideman‘s contract (590k).

-Here’s my profile of Sens prospect Michael Sdao.

-For those who missed it, Sens prospect Darren Kramer has invented a new kind of container for peanut butter and mayonnaise.

-Adrian Dater offers up his own awards for this NHL season.

Prospect Profile: Michael Sdao

Michael Sdao (D-L, 6’4, DOB 1989, 7-191/09; contract: 620k/14)
2007-08 USHL Lincoln 53-3-6-9 +12 178pim (ppg 0.17) 5th d-pts
2008-09 USHL Lincoln 51-3-7-10 Even 162pim (ppg 0.19) 5th
2009-10 NCAA Princeton 30-5-4-9 -4 48pim (ppg 0.30) 4th
2010-11 NCAA Princeton 27-3-7-10 Even 65pim (ppg 0.37) 4th
2011-12 NCAA Princeton 30-10-10-20 -3 87pim (ppg 0.66) 1st
2012-13 NCAA Princeton 31-8-7-15 36pim (ppg 0.48) 1st
2012-13 AHL Binghamton 12-1-0-1 +4 23pim (ppg 0.08)

Picked out of the USHL as one of the best fighters in the draft (he was not ranked by Central Scouting), hes continued to improve the other parts of his game each year at Princeton.  If his offensive game translates at all at the pro level he’s going to be a very pleasant surprise for Ottawa.  Former coach Guy Gadowsky describes him:

He can really shoot the puck, and he’s in even better shape: he’s definitely stronger, he’s definitely quicker, and he’s as focused on becoming the best hockey player as he can possibly be. I won’t say he’s changing – he’s still going to be a tough, hard-nosed defenceman – but he can definitely shoot the puck.

Roman J. Uschak interviewed Sdao mid-season and he talked about his experience, saying he wants to continue working on his defensive game and is committed to graduate.  His coach, Bob Prier, said:

More than anyone else I’ve coached, he wants to play at the next level. He’s definitely got the will, and an absolute bomb from the point. He’s also a great person, and his intangibles are terrific. … He’s an  NHL prospect, and a good prospect.

This year Sdao did not beat his career highs from the previous season, but he remained the most important cog on his team’s blueline and still lead the back end in points.  Signing an ATO with Binghamton, Sdao was easily able to push Ben Blood out of Binghamton’s lineup and play regularly.  Here are some of his comments at this year’s development camp:

Now I’m a hockey player, I’m not a student anymore so it’s been good. It’s [the AHL] been great — every time you play against better players you become better too. It was definitely a good experience in Binghamton and it’ll be good heading into camp this year. I’m a physical defenceman, I move the puck and just try to keep it simple. I play a hard game, try to keep guys honest and just be a hard player to play against. It [today's testing] went well. All of my numbers improved from last year so it’s definitely moving in the right direction. I think [the numbers improved because of] working with Chris Schwarz and just working hard, being in the gym and getting the work done.

Here’s a clip of Sdao from his USHL days, a goal scored in the NCAA (or skip to 4:39), a fight playing for Bingo, along with an interview from that game.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: March 30th

-Bryan Murray believes the Sens need three more wins and 94 points to make the playoffs.  “A lot of veteran guys who we talked about had down years last year. It goes hand-in-hand overall with team performance and situations a year ago that we didn’t handle very well. With the changes that we made, if we can get in to (the playoffs), we can do anything if we get in. If you don’t play your best it’s difficult to win. For the most part, teams are very competitive and there are a lot of factors that go into winning. You have to have goaltending, you have to get everybody playing and, as we have the last couple of games, the veteran guys carrying the ball most of the time. I just think when you get off the fine line of being the best that you can be, it’s hard to win unless everybody is on board.”

-Ian Mendes Tweets that the Sens record this season after 3+ days of rest is 1-4-1.

-Nicklas Lidstrom thinks Erik Karlsson should be part of the Norris Trophy conversation, “He has to be in the mix. He’s playing so well. He’s a major reason Ottawa got off to such a good start and they’ve played so well.”

-Bruce Garrioch gives five reasons for the Sens success: 1. Jason Spezza, 2. Daniel Alfredsson, 3. Erik Karlsson, 4. Craig Anderson, and 5. Paul MacLean.  To a certain extent there’s no arguing Garrioch’s list, but digging into the details it’s not so simple.  While Karlsson is enjoying a career year, Anderson is not (excluding his terrible half-season with Colorado last year, this season’s numbers are his worst since 05-06 with Chicago), and Alfredsson‘s production only looks good compared to last season’s injury-plagued year (in 09-10 he was still a point-per-game player).  I realise there are intangibles other than production involved, but the reasons for the Sens success is broader than Garrioch’s list.  The regular season isn’t over so I won’t offer my own complete analysis, but Filip Kuba deserves mention, as does Milan Michalek and the Binghamton trio of Colin Greening, Zack Smith, and Erik Condra (or, more simply, the team’s depth).

-Kurt Kleinendorst was suspended one game for his comments about the officiating.  Newly signed Chris Wideman will not play this year for Binghamton due to an injury sustained in his last game for Miami, so he’s returning to the college to finish his scholastic year.

-Here’s my profile of Sens prospect Jeff Costello.

-Wayne Scanlan writes a lengthy article defending Pierre Gauthier, harkening back to his days in Ottawa.  It’s not much of a defence (despite the length) and he tries to make Gauthier’s bizarre moves look better by calling them “brash”, but I have no idea why Scanlan decided to write this paean of defence.  What isn’t pointed out is that Gauthier has been the author of his own demise everywhere he’s worked and it’s his steadfast refusal to change his approach that guarantees the clock is ticking every time he’s hired (Stu Hackel offers a more succinct and level-headed look at Gauthier).

Prospect Profile: Jeff Costello

Jeff Costello (LW, 6’0, DOB 1990, 5-146/09; contract: unsigned)
2007-08 USHS Catholic Memorial 22-31-17-48 60pim (ppg 2.18) 1st pts
2008-09 USHL Cedar Rapids 54-24-9-33 +8 73pim (ppg 0.61) 6th all-star
2009-10 USHL Cedar Rapids 54-29-19-48 +18 149pim (ppg 0.88) 3rd all-star
2010-11 NCAA Notre Dame 44-12-6-18 -4 56pim (ppg 0.41) 11th
2011-12 NCAA Notre Dame 28-5-7-12 -6 58pim (ppg 0.42) 9th
2012-13 NCAA Notre Dame 33-11-19-30 +18 52pim (ppg 0.91) 3rd

Drafted out of the USHL (he was ranked #50 by Central Scouting), where he was a teammate with future Sens draft pick Bryce Aneloski.  The hard working energy forward is coming off a breakout season with Notre Dame, both in terms of points and intangibles like plus/minus.  This is his final year in the NCAA and then the Sens will have to make a decision on him, but I expect him to be signed.  Costello describes himself as:

I think I’d fall as a very physical forward that likes to bang the body around. But at the same time, I have the ability to score. Not necessarily pretty goals, but I can get those dirty, greasy goals that you have to have. I like to lead by example, and really bring the physical part of the game and get a lot of that exposed out there.

WCHBlog wrote about him prior to the draft, saying:

Jeff Costello is one of the best prospects to come out of the Wisconsin high school ranks in a number of years … He was one of the top goal scorers in Wisconsin and earned a scholarship offer to play for the University of Notre Dame … Costello showed he can excel against even the best competition in the USHL with a very successful year. He finished the year tied for 17th in goal scoring in the league with 24 goals–that may not sound impressive, but the only players younger than Costello with more goals were potential first round pick Louis Leblanc, and Stanislav Galiev, who could be a first round pick next year. Costello also developed a reputation as a fan favorite with his very physical style of play.  Costello has Type 1 Diabetes, which forces him to keep constant watch over his health, but he does a great job at managing it, and it has never been an issue for his hockey career.  Strengths: Goal-scoring ability, physical play.  Needs to Improve: Picking up assists, skating, defensive play.

Here’s him working on his boxing in the USHL and a highlight from his sophomore season.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: March 29th; Binghamton 2, Hershey 5

-Jason Spezza said the obvious, “I don’t think we’ll be doing a lot of scoreboard watching. We’re in control of our own fate. We just have to make sure we’re getting ourselves ready for our game. We’ll take notice of what happens, but it doesn’t really matter. They may make points up on us, but we still have games to play. As long as we get wins, we’ll be fine.”

-Jesse Winchester expects to return to the lineup Friday or Saturday.

-Stu Hackel writes about the remarkable run the Buffalo Sabres are on, pointing out they could be the first team since the 93-94 New York Islanders to overcome a double-digit point deficit in February to make the playoffs.  Hackel makes the obvious point that the primary change that’s helped the Sabres is Ryan Miller‘s stellar play.

-Chris Wideman has signed his ELC.

-I watched Binghamton’s loss last night and have a few observations to share: McKenna was awful (no lateral movement at all) as he later Tweeted and he should have been pulled after the third goal; Hamilton is great on faceoffs, but his offensive instincts aren’t great (a knee high pass to the back skate of Downing on a 2-on-1 springs to mind); Petersson is the most dynamic offensive player on the team; the team’s structure in the offensive zone is awful and there’s far too much individual play; Puempel missed on a penalty shot (he tried to go five-hole on Sanford); the officiating in the game was terrible (Kurt Kleinendorst got tossed); the second half of the game was languid.  McKenna took the loss while Da Costa and Petersson scored the game’s only goals.  Here’s the box score and Joy Lindsay‘s game summary.

-Kurt Kleinendorst was not a happy camper post-game, “I was frustrated. The second goal never should have been. I hate to really get critical of officials, because it sounds like I’m whining. Am I frustrated? Of course I am. I don’t like where we are, I don’t like how the season’s gone — of course I’m frustrated. But the puck never hit the ice. The linesman went to drop it, and he didn’t drop it. He kind of tossed it, and it hit shift of their stick and bounced over in their favor. They grab it, they throw it over, and they put it in the back of the net. It never should have happened. It should have been a whistle. You have to actually drop the puck. The puck actually has to hit the ice, that little circle out there. Drop it, hit it, then it’s in play. But when it doesn’t, you blow it down and you do it again. The referee was standing right next to me, he had to have seen it. I was yelling. And then, obviously they score the goal. And after that, I had a couple of not-nice words to say to the official, and I got two minutes, which I think is a really gutless call on his part, under the circumstances. But it’s the same guy … who did it to us against St. John’s. They need to send him back to the Coast [ECHL].

-Joy Tweets that Chris Wideman has an upper body injury.  David Dziurzynski, Andre Petersson, and Eric Gryba are also sitting out (no word on whether it’s precautionary or not).

-Speaking of Wideman, here’s my profile of him.

-Elmira won last night, with Corey Cowick held off the scoreboard and Brian Stewart dressing as the back-up.  Bobby Raymond‘s Florida Everblades were shutout.

-For those who are unfamiliar or simply interested in the Sens scouting framework, here a chat with Pierre Dorion discussing it in 2009.

-The Montreal Canadians finally fired Pierre Gauthier, the timing as mysterious as everything else that’s happened in Montreal this year.

Prospect Profile: Chris Wideman

Chris Wideman (D-R, 5’10, DOB 1990, 4-100/09)
2007-08 USHL Cedar Rapids 53-2-12-14 -1 51pim (ppg 0.26) 5th d-pts
2008-09 NCAA Miami 39-0-26-26 +11 56pim (ppg 0.66) 1st all-rookie
2009-10 NCAA Miami 44-5-17-22 +17 63pim (ppg 0.50) 1st
2010-11 NCAA Miami 39-3-20-23 +8 30pim (ppg 0.58) 1st second team
2011-12 NCAA Miami 41-4-20-24 +22 40pim (ppg 0.58) 1st

A teammate of fellow Sens draft pick Bryce Aneloski in Cedar Rapids and later Sens free agent signee Pat Cannone in Miami, Wideman was not ranked in either year of his draft eligibility by Central Scouting.  An undersized, puck-moving blueliner, Wideman finished his senior year at Miami and signed a two-year ELC with Ottawa.  While he never topped his rookie production at Miami, he remained the teams most productive blueliner throughout his collegiate career.  As with any undersized defenseman, his quickness (decision making and speed) will determine how well he adapts to the pro game.  Here’s an old scouting report on him (link): “Wideman is an intelligent, excellent puck-moving defenseman on the small side. He is very poised and patience with the. He also distributes and makes smart decisions with the puck too. One of Wideman’s best attributes is his smart and effective use of his stick, particularly in taking away passing/shooting lanes. He possesses a very shot and can get pucks to the net. Wideman is a very good skater with good foot speed that transitions remarkably well. Though he isn’t overly physical, Wideman will play the body when necessary.  Wideman is positionally sound, but his small stature and especially lack of strength make it difficult for him to contain bigger opposing forwards. As Wideman gets stronger that part of his game should improve.”  Here the CCHA asks him 20 questions, while Sens TV interviewed him at the 2009 Development Camp.

Senators News: March 28th

-Jason Spezza states the obvious, “We feel like we’re in a place where can dictate our own future. If we win games, we’re going to make the playoffs. There won’t be a ton of scoreboard-watching as long as we (get) the wins.”

-I’m not sure why anyone cares what Darren Pang thinks, but Sens fans are up in arms after he said he’d take Alex Pietrangelo over Erik Karlsson.  That’s exactly what happened in the 2008 draft (Pietrangelo was 4th overall, Karlsson was 15th), and Pang makes the argument everyone has to make when comparing another defenceman to Karlsson–he’s better defensively.  One can argue the issue back and forth, but the key point is that Pang is the colour man for the St. Louis Blues and as long as that’s the case he’s a homer–if he were in Toronto he’d take Jake Gardiner, if he were in Montreal he’d take P. K Subban, etcetera.  Pang is nothing to get excited about.

-Sports Illustrated‘s power rankings are out with Ottawa 13th.

-Rob Brodie writes that the Sens ratings have never been better on Sportsnet.

-Rory Boylen looks at numbers behind goal scoring in the NHL and misses the point.  He talks about how 5-on-5 goal scoring hasn’t changed much while overall scoring has declined.  Boylen suggests the decline in powerplays is the reason for the drop, but he misses the point that if there are fewer powerplays that means more minutes are played 5-on-5 and yet, those numbers haven’t increased.  The inference is that goal scoring overall is declining.

-Chris Wideman talks about his decision to sign an ATO with Binghamton, “I’m definitely excited to be here. I think it’s a great opportunity. I’m just excited, and excited to be playing with Pat Cannone again and see some of the guys I’ve met over the last few years at development camp. It should be a good experience. [Cannone is] great. He was like my older brother at school, so I’m sure he’ll be the same way here. He picked me up from the airport last night with a big smile on his face, and it’s just great to have a familiar face around and have someone showing you the ropes. All the guys have been great today, helping me on the ice and off the ice, so it’s been a pretty smooth transition so far.  I know Mike [McKenna] from skating at home over the summers. He’s another familiar face. It’s great to have some guys I know, and like I said, everybody’s been really nice and really helpful, so it’s been good. I just think it’s a good experience [to play in Binghamton]. I think it’s a great way to get started in your pro career, and I think it’s just a great experience that will give me a leg up for next year and really show me what I need to work on to be ready for pro hockey. You just have to be a little more focused on your positioning, because guys can break you down a little easier. Guys are stronger and a little faster, so being a smaller guy, you really just have to be smart in how you play guys. Even after the first day, I learned so much today, and I’m just excited about the whole opportunity. I’m not going to out-muscle anybody out there or beat anybody up, but I think just moving the puck and trying to get involved offensively when I can. Just being a good teammate, that’s important itself. I think it will be a good experience.”

-Kurt Kleinendorst talked about Louie Caporusso‘s rookie year, “Louie‘s had a good year. I think he’s made a lot of progress. It’s unfortunate, because he was one of the guys we had hoped to keep here through the end of the year, and I liked him a lot. I thought he’s played so well. And at the same time, we were hoping to keep him over in Elmira and have him go through a nice, long playoff run, and it would have been a great finish for him. That’s still a possibility, but that’s unlikely.”

-Kleinendorst also talked about the possibility of Ben Blood joining the team on an ATO, “Obviously, Ben was one of the players that was kind of on the radar. But again, every single guy, his situation’s a little bit unique. I’ve not heard anything, and it wouldn’t surprise me one way or the other. If Ben decided to stay and just finish the school year, who could argue with that? Education is important, and a couple guys did that last year. But if he decided to come in and join us for the last eight games, I’ve got to think that’s a possibility, but I can’t speak for the organization. I really don’t know what’s going to happen.”

-I’ve begun profiling all the Sens prospects beginning with Ben Blood (link).

-Stu Hackel doesn’t like the current playoff format (echoing Ken Campbell), but does mention that inter-divisional playoffs also have problems–I remember the 1987-88 season where the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins both missed the playoffs with over .500 records while the Leafs made it when they were 28 games under .500.  There’s no perfect system, but the current configuration is fairer than the old system.  Campbell’s suggestion of seeding the entire league one through sixteen is pie in the sky.

Prospect Profile: Ben Blood

Ben Blood (D-L, 6’3, DOB 1989, 4-120/07)
2006-07 USHS Shattuck 63-11-25-36 144pim (ppg 0.57) 2nd d-pts
2007-08 USHL Des Moines/Indi 57-10-13-23 -8 100pim (ppg 0.40) 2nd
2008-09 NCAA N. Dakota 31-0-1-1 +3 12pim (ppg 0.03) 6th
2009-10 NCAA N. Dakota 43-5-9-14 +11 96pim (ppg 0.32) 3rd all-academic
2010-11 NCAA N. Dakota 44-2-10-12 +32 48pim (ppg 0.27) 4th
2011-12 NCAA N. Dakota 42-3-18-21 +5 73pim (ppg 0.50) 1st “A”

Ben Blood is the longest serving amateur in the organisation, hailing back to Bryan Murray’s first draft which was largely dominated by John Muckler’s philosophy (he was ranked #116 by Central Scouting).  Blood is a big, strong, defensive blueliner who is finishing his senior year at North Dakota (perhaps best known for this incident with Chad Rau, which resulted in the loss of his assistant captaincy).  He’s enjoyed a career year in points and I’m sure the Sens would like him to play in Binghamton now that his college season is over (they offered him an ELC last summer, but he rejected it to play his senior year in the NCAA).  When he was drafted Blood was thought to be a well-rounded defenseman, but his offensive output in college has remained muted so he projects as a physical, depth player.  Here’s a UND profile of Blood from earlier this season, and this is an old scouting report from Hockey Futures: “Blood has an intriguing combination of skill and size.  He is fluid and sturdy on his skates, especially considering his size.  Blood’s lateral movement and quickness is somewhat lacking, but this should improve with time.  Blood plays well in all three zones and is excellent on special teams.  His soft hands, poise with the puck, vision, and heavy, accurate slap shot make him an excellent power play quarterback.  He also possesses a quick release and precise wrist shot.  Blood has excellent hand eye coordination and has the ability to unleash a wicked one-timer when setup.  In the defensive zone, Blood is a formidable presence and shuts down players by angling them to the boards.  He is terrific positioning, especially in one-on-one situations and uses his size to effectively clear out traffic in front of the crease.  He could play a more physically, but Blood’s game is focused on being disciplined and not hurting his team with an errant play or missed body check.  Blood is also a good communicator both on and off the ice.  He possesses good leadership qualities and could be a future team leader.”  A final note, Blood‘s height is listed as either 6’3 or 6’4 (I’ve gone with the Sens website number).

Senators News: March 27th

-With five days off the Sens will get to sit and watch the standings change as Washington and Buffalo will play twice over that period (including tonight).  For those who like percentages, the win put Ottawa’s chances to get into the playoffs up to 96% (link).

-Bruce Garrioch speculates that Ben Bishop will miss the rest of the regular season.

-TSN and The Hockey News‘ power rankings are out with Ottawa 13th and 16th.

-Stu Hackel looks at Quebec’s chance to land an NHL franchise.  The article is worth reading through and Hackel’s understandably cautious, but I think it’s beyond the point of speculation to say that Phoenix will move to Quebec.

-As expected, Sens prospect Chris Wideman has joined the Binghamton Senators on an ATO.

-Joy Lindsay provides Binghamton’s practice lines: Grant-Cannone-Petersson, Hoffman-Da Costa-Parrish, Dziurzynski-Hamilton-Downing, Puempel-Bartlett-Schneider/Lessard; Patrick Wiercioch-Eric Gryba, Mark Borowiecki-Craig Schira, Chris Wideman-Dan Henningson, Josh Godfrey-Tim Conboy.  Louie Caporusso was injured in Binghamton’s last game and is expected to miss the rest of the season (as is Corey Locke).

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