-Binghamton faces Adirondack (14-17-2) tonight; the Phantoms are lead by Brayden Schenn (33 points) and backstopped by Scott Munroe (9-8-0 2.59 .918). The B-Sens beat Adirondack 7-4 in their last meeting over a month ago.
-Elmira plays Evansville (14-21-3) tonight; the IceMen are lead by Josh Beaulieu (32 points) and backstopped by Paul Karpowich (5-7-1 3.30 .896). Brad Peltz and Trenton are playing South Carolina.
-Stefan G:Son (someday someone will explain the colon in his name) points out that Robin Lehner thinks he’s in the last year of his ELC and would want a one-way deal to follow it:
It would take a lot for me to sign a two-way deal again
I don’t think that sentiment should surprise anyone and as much as I admire Stefan (and Nichols) for trying to break down the arcane technicalities regarding Lehner‘s ELC status, that decision will really be up to lawyers such that Lehner will have no impute on it. If he is about to become an RFA there’s no question the team will give him a one-way deal.
-There’s been a lot of ink spilt over trying to create a goaltending controversy in Ottawa, but as fun a topic as it is I just don’t see it. As dull as it sounds the season will open Anderson/Bishop as long as the former can avoid using an ice pick late at night.
1. The GM Doesn’t Stand Pat
Interesting that Murray felt the need to slightly change a roster that played so well last season. But the veteran hockey man knows his team well and saw deficiencies. The addition of Latendresse, in particular, fills a need for more size up front.
2. The Senational Mr. Karlsson
The exciting puck-mover is electrifying to watch, and his evolution last season was a big reason for Ottawa’s surprise performance. Karlsson did lose his regular defensive partner in Kuba, so we will have to watch how he adjusts on that front. But given his natural talent, I can’t imagine a drop-off.
3. Sens in Europe
Ottawa had eight skaters playing overseas during the lockout, and that’s no small factor. The difference between those who have played real games the past few months and those just working out in scrimmages on this side of the ocean could be noticeable in some cases. Ottawa gets a bit of an edge here early in the season by having so many players who already have their game rhythm down pat.
4. Alfie, Alfie, Alfie
The Sens need to be wary of the compacted, 48-game schedule and make sure they don’t wear him down.
5. The Coach with the Right Answers
He was nominated for the Jack Adams Award and was instrumental in blending the youth and veteran elements on his club in a season that surpassed all expectations. The Senators are blessed behind the bench.
This is all pretty general, but I agree with LeBrun’s points–there may be a slight edge for the Sens because of how much competitive hockey the roster has played and no one can argue with the job Paul MacLean or Erik Karlsson did last season. The key question would be the blueline overall, but LeBrun doesn’t delve into it.
-David Shoalts also provides an overview which does include the worries on the blueline.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)