-Ottawa faces Florida (3-9-4) this afternoon in yet another poor scheduling decision (I mean, the Panthers for an afternoon game?). Robin Lehner gets the start and Patrick Wiercioch draws back into the lineup.
-After panic had begun to set in amongst the fanbase the Sens rattled off consecutive 4-1 wins over Columbus (boxscore and Dave Young‘s summary) and Montreal (boxscore; none of the recaps I saw were particularly engaging, although the praise for the goaltending was well deserved), both wins earned by Lehner. The wins certainly don’t spell an end to the many issues the team has, but are encouraging nonetheless.
-Speaking of fan panic, Elliotte Friedman threw some gasoline onto the fire by noting that:
if you’re four points out of the playoffs after games on that date [Nov.1], you are in a brutal spot to make it. The Nov. 1 stat being, “from 2005-06 through 2011-12, just three of 32 teams who were four points out of a playoff position on November 1 recovered to make it.“
It’s an interesting state, although without context I’m not sure how useful it is (the Sens are just on the edge of it, but how many teams were exactly at that point previously–if it’s just a few it’s not particularly meaningful).
-I can’t mention Jeremy and not think of “toughness”, which Derek Zona has some fun with by pointing out the “softest” players in the NHL (as measured by George Roop) are among the best in the league.
-Bryan Murray spoke and Nichols transcribed, but there weren’t any tasty morsels for me in what he said other than praising Zack Smith (something Paul MacLean has already done this season) and that the Sens want to win now (something I think is pretty self-evident via the Bobby Ryan).
-Travis Yost examines trade possibilities to help Ottawa’s blueline without getting into specifics (and adds nothing new really), but I enjoyed this:
It always unnerves me a bit when there’s absolute agreement on a particular subject within a fan base
Apparently I stand alone–I’m fine with the Sens holding off on making a trade. Eric Gryba and Joe Corvo are nothing more than placeholders in the lineup so I don’t get too excited over their middling play. Were it not for Murray’s desire to win now I’m not sure anyone would (or should) be worried about the team’s defensive struggles.
-Binghamton beat Rochester 4-3 in a shootout (boxscore and Jeff Ulmer‘s recap), with Andrew Hammond earning the win and Cody Ceci picking up his second overtime winner of the season. The B-Sens play Rochester (5-2-2-1) again tonight.
-Elmira has gone 1-2 through the week, with Scott Greenham going 1-1 (and looking a bit more human in the process), but none of the Sens prospects played in the games.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)