-James Gordon speculates that Mark Borowiecki will be a healthy scratch against Winnipeg and that Andre Benoit and Patrick Wiercioch will play as the third pairing (although the line combinations I’ve seen posted don’t necessarily mesh with that idea; Nichols thought what he saw indicated Borowiecki would play ahead of Benoit).
-Stu Hackel lists questions for teams in the East and for Ottawa he says:
Some don’t believe that Erik Karlsson is the real thing, but there’s no doubts about that here. The defense corps as a whole, however, could be a problem. Matt Carkner and Karlsson’s partner Filip Kuba are now elsewhere, Jared Cowen will miss the season with injury and both Sergei Gonchar and Chris Phillips are well on the back nine of their careers. Can the new d-men brought in by GM Bryan Murray — local boy Marc Methot and Mike Lundin — and/or perhaps some of the Sens’ prospects capably fill the gaps? Some other areas of concern may be team toughness with the departure of Carkner and Zenon Kenopka. Also, can captain Daniel Alfredsson continue to play at a high level in what might be his final go-around?
It’s a pretty generic list, but shows Hackel has kept tabs on the team’s coverage.
-5Dimes lists Ottawa at 30-1 favourites for the Cup (tied for the 19th best odds).
-Adam Proteau believes the Sens will finish 10th in the Conference saying:
The Sens were another team that overachieved in the eyes of many – and unfortunately for them, injuries to defensemen Jared Cowen and Mike Lundin have thinned out the back end in a big way, at least to start the season. They’ll still be competitive, but it may not be enough to keep pace in the increasingly tough East.
-The Hockey Central staff had to relive the embarrassment of their Ottawa prediction from last season and other than Brad May (who thinks they need more goons–you know, like Brad May the player) they all see them making the playoffs.
-Binghamton faces Toronto (22-11-3) tonight; the Marlies are lead by Ryan Hamilton (25 points)–in the absence of players at camp or lost through waivers–and backstopped by Jussi Rynnas (6-3-1 1.96 .937).
-Mike Hoffman was returned to Binghamton while Cody Ceci was sent back to junior.
-Andre Benoit and Robin Lehner were named AHL all-stars.
-Elmira plays Trenton tonight; the Titans are 15-27-5 and feature Brad Peltz (if he plays); they are lead by Nick Mazzolini (40 points) and backstopped by Scott Wedgewood (11-11-2 3.07 .898).
-Jeremy Milks advises fans temper their enthusiasm to move on from Craig Anderson to give either Robin Lehner or Ben Bishop the reigns. I think realistic expectations are good, but there are a couple of things in Jeremy’s piece that stuck out to me as worthy of comment:
Most fans look forward to the Entry Draft more than they do the Stanley Cup finals.
Ignoring the hyperbole, it’s worth considering that 29 of 30 teams have nothing else to celebrate after the Cup finals, so the draft is the next major team event where they can hope to improve their cause.
He’s [Anderson] now a respected veteran in the league
Is he? Three seasons as a starter he’s been great, awful, and good–that’s it. Keep in mind Jeremy is trying to convince fans to be patient, but given that fans have no impact on who play or not and if Craig Anderson plays well than all the discussion goes away.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)