Senators News: September 30

Sens news of the day:

The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch wonders what David Rundblad will do if he doesn’t make the team (link), discussing it with Erik Karlsson who had a lot to say about it.  “For me, I was so close to making the team, for me it was necessary to go down (to Binghamton). It’s up to (Rundblad) and management to see how close he is to making the team and if it’s worth it for him to go down there or to go back to Sweden and come back next year. If you want to make the team, you’ve got to stay here. If you go home, you’ve got to wait until next year to make the team and even then you may have to go down (to the AHL) anyways. It’s just a personal thing — what’s best for you and what you think is best for you. It’s a totally different game [here]. You basically have to change all the things you do on the ice that you used to do on the big ice. One-on-one battles are completely different and the way the game is played is not the same. You don’t always have as much time as you want and it’s just a matter of adjusting to it. If you’re here, you’re a good player and you can handle it. It’s just a matter of getting used to the (differences). We’ll see what happens, but you can make the adjustments. It takes some people longer than others.”  One correction for both Karlsson and Garrioch–he made the team his rookie year, spending most of October with the team before going down to Binghamton for a month.

-Garrioch also provides injury updates: “Chris Phillips, troubled by stiffness in his back, is expected to skate Friday on his own. Matt Carkner is doubtful to start the season along with Jesse Winchester.”

Chris Neil (in the same article) wasn’t surprised he didn’t receive disciplinary action from his collision with Mikhail Grabovski.  Besides saying the Toronto media blew everything up, he mentioned Dion Phaneuf‘s hit to the head on Tim Conboy that wasn’t even reviewed.  Something worth remembering as Shanahan continues handing down suspensions.

-Paul MacLean made interesting comments in Allen Panzeri’s Ottawa Citizen article (link), “We know and he knows that he needs to work without the puck and defend in his  own end, and that’s still a process that he’s going through. But the way that he moves the puck and exits our zone and makes plays that  get us out of our zone, that’s something that’s still very attractive to us.”  This should give some pause to those who want Rundblad sent down;  for those of us who have watched the pre-season and seen how much difficulty Ottawa’s blueliners have had making passes to start the rush out of their own end it’s a skill the team desperately needs.  My sentiment has always been to pair him with a stay-at-home defender and let him learn as he goes.

-TSN has their preview of the Senators up (link).  It’s more a description of the team than analysis of the how’s and why’s of their season.  They like Ottawa’s prospects, “The good news for Ottawa is that the cupboard is bursting with top-end talent. The Senators were one of the busiest teams at the NHL draft, stepping up to the podium three times in the first round. The prize out of that class is skilled Swedish centre Mika Zibanejad, taken sixth overall. The Senators immediately signed him to an entry-level deal and expectations will be high. Beyond Zibanejad, the team added skilled forwards Stefan Noesen and Matt Puempel in that same first round to go alongside former college star Bobby Butler. The team’s blueline group can expect a boost from David Rundblad and Jared Cowen in the very near future. And with Craig Anderson and Alex Auld between the pipes this season, the team can afford to take its time with Swedish keeper Robin Lehner.”  They see Nikita Filatov as a potential breakout player (like, it would seem, every other publication who looks at the team).  They like the team’s toughness.  They say Paul MacLean will need a Jack Adams-like performance to make Ottawa a contender in the East.

The Hockey News‘ Darryl Dobbs looks at five fantasy players who need to perform this year (link).  The five are Marc-Andre Gragnani (Buf), Joakim Lindstrom (Col), Ian White (Det), Wojtek Wolski (NYR), and Nikita Filatov.  “In 2020 we could be saying “Filatov” the way we say “Kovalchuk” today. Or we could be saying “Filatov” and then wracking our brain trying to remember who that is (quick – Pavel Brendl, who drafted him?). He has new life on a new team and is doing very well on a scoring line there in camp. But what happens if he gets hurt again? At best – he goes through the season with only a minor injury or two, having some very hot streaks and a strong finish that is spurred on by Jason Spezza’s traditional second-half tear. This would mean 55 to 60 points in 75 games. At worstFilatov strains or sprains (or breaks) something, comes back too soon in early December and re-injures it. He’s still not back on track by February and winds up leaving in the off-season for the KHL. This would mean 10 points in 25 games.

-An NHL realignment note (for the 2012-13 season): Detroit owner Mike Illitch says what that the NHL promised him a move back to the East years ago (link), something I remember being reported at the time.  It may not happen, but it’s worth remembering.

-The Binghamton Senators play their first pre-season game against Hamilton tonight (7:30).  The Hamilton broadcast is the only place to hear it (link is the home page and then select the multimedia tab).

-The Elmira Jackals announced their training camp roster (link).


Ottawa 2, Boston 1

Ottawa finished the exhibition season with a win over the Boston Bruins.  It was a game Boston dominated, but the Sens were able to survive with the goaltending of Craig Anderson and score just enough to win.  I won’t repost the box score (link), but here are my thoughts on player performances.

Positive Performances
Mika Zibanejad – enjoyed another strong game and did score (albeit a disallowed goal; Paul MacLean singled him out for praise)
David Rundblad – he’s still suffering confusion in the defensive zone (he gets lost in coverage and sometimes stops skating) he scored, was physical, and it was his best game thus far (I agree with Paul MacLean)
Daniel Alfredsson – despite tripping over his own feet three times while pivoting, he was still the best player on the ice
Jared Cowen – continued his strong play, including a monster hit (the coach liked his game)

Bobby Butler – received the fewest minutes of any player tonight and continued his puzzling disappearing act during the pre-season
Nick Foligno – the turnovers continue and he over handles the puck
Filip Kuba – another rough night filled with poor decisions

Colin Greening – was in the midst of accomplishing absolutely nothing until he came awake in the third period (Paul MacLean praised him)
Erik Condra – I had no issues with his effort, but he received very little ice time
Mark Borowiecki – received Wierciochian ice time tonight

The Sens website has interviews with Paul MacLean, David Rundblad, Craig Anderson, and Sergei Gonchar (link).

SenShot‘s Jared Crozier’s view of the game (link).

The Silver Seven‘s Darren M’s thoughts (link).

Senators News: September 29

Today’s Sen news:

-Still awaiting the final linup for tonight, but here’s the list of forward lines this morning (link), Craig Anderson playing the full game, and confirmation of those who are not making the trip (link): Robin Lehner, Erik Karlsson, Patrick Wiercioch, Kaspars Daugavins, and Mike Hoffman.
Colin Greening-Jason Spezza-Nikita Filatov
Milan Michalek-Mika Zibanejad-Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno-Zack Smith-Bobby Butler
Erik Condra-Zenon Konopka-Chris Neil
Mike Hoffman-Stephane Da Costa-Kaspars Daugavins

-After the splite squad speculation of roster cuts yesterday, the official release has come out (link): Tim Conboy, Eric Gryba, Craig Schira, Josh Godfrey, Bobby Raymond, Jack Downing, Max Gratchev, Louie Caporusso, Pat Cannone, Corey Cowick, David Dziurzynski, Derek Grant, Wacey Hamilton, Darren KramerFrancis Lessard, Corey Locke, Jim O’Brien, Mark Parrish, Andre Petersson, and Brian Stewart.

The Team 1200 reports that Peter Regin‘s injury is not serious and he’s expected to be ready to play when the regular season starts.

-James O’Brien of Pro Hockey Talk takes a look at the Senators in light of their schedule (link, based on the work of Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck, link).  Ottawa travels the sixth lowest miles in the NHL this year, but O’Brien’s conclusion is not favourable, “Sure, the Senators get a few nice homestands to work with, but two early (and brutal) road runs could place them a bit too firmly in the Northeast Division’s cellar. Naturally, if Ottawa can scrap their way through those formidable away streaks, they might have a chance to do a little damage. Overall, it seems like their schedule isn’t doing them many favors, although a light amount of travel could be a godsend for aging captain Daniel Alfredsson. Then again, if the plan is to continue rebuilding, a bad beginning could help justify another fire sale (and maybe a run toward probable 2012 top pick Nail Yakupov).

David Rundblad writes that he enjoyed both his last two pre-season games (link) and enjoyed playing on the top powerplay unit against Winnipeg.  Amusingly, he wonders if the rumours about how cold Ottawa is are false.

-Garit Reid of The Lucktown Sentinel writes about Binghamton player Bobby Raymond (link). Raymond talked about being in camp, “I’m obviously really happy to be part of the Senators camp and to have gotten the invitation. It has put the pressure on myself to get into shape fast and to be able to keep up with the tempo of the practices. The people that pushed to get me invited here were people that saw me in Binghamton and from what they saw there, they felt like I deserved a chance to be here. The fact that I was called up to Binghamton earlier in the year is a big factor in me being at the Sens camp now. Every day there is an hour practice with an hour scrimmage or two separate hour practices. There is a lot of strengthening as well. Sergei Gonchar is definitely one of the most well know defenceman on the team that I’ve been out on the ice a lot with. On the powerplay line with Gonchar makes things a lot easier. The biggest thing at this level is patience. Things obviously happen very quickly at this level and it’s simply about knowing when to be patient and when not to be. Probably the biggest thing from watching the veteran players is to see that they mess up every once in a while because it lets me know that even the top players are human. Being to an NHL camp is something that a couple of years ago I really didn’t see in my future. For last year to go as well as it did, and for things to happen this quickly, has been amazing and I need to make sure my improvement this year is as rapid as last year.

-Over the last few weeks various publications have posted their fantasy point projections for the Senators, so here are the collective ranges proposed (these are drawn from ESPN, TSN (Scott Cullen), THN, McKeen’s, and The Fantasy Hockey Scouts):
Jason Spezza 70 (McK) – 62 (TSN); the average is 67
Daniel Alfredsson 63 (ESNP) – 33 (TSN); the average is 51
Erik Karlsson 51 (THN)-43 (TSN); the average is 47
Bobby Butler 58 (ESPN)-32 (TSN); the average is 44
Milan Michalek 51 (McK)-37 (ESPN/TSN); the average is 41
Nikita Filatov 58 (ESPN)-31 (McK); the average is 40
Sergei Gonchar 46 (ESPN)-32 (FHS); the average is 39 (not included by TSN)
Peter Regin 45 (ESPN)-20 (THN); the average is 32
Nick Foligno 35 (McK)-29 (THN); the average is 32 (not included by ESPN)
Stephane Da Costa 41 (FHS)-15 (McK); average of 29 (not included by TSN or ESPN)
Colin Greening 39 (FHS)-22 (McK); average of 28 (not included by TSN or ESPN)
Erik Condra 33 (FHS)-19 (THN); average of 27 (not included by TSN or ESPN)
Mika Zibanejad 31 (ESPN)-22 (McK); average of 26 (no other source included him)
David Rundblad 34 (FHS-16 (McK); average of 25 (not included by TSN or ESPN)
Filip Kuba 26 (ESPN/FHS)-15 (McK); average of 21 (not included by TSN)
Jared Cowen 22 (ESPN)-20 (McK); average of 21 (no other source included him)
Chris Neil 19 (THN)-15 (McK); average of 17 (not included by TSN or ESPN)
Chris Phillips 18 (McK)-15 (THN); average of 16 (no other source included him)
Brian Lee 13 (only listed by McK)
Jesse Winchester 13 (only listed by McK)
Zack Smith 15 (THN)-10 (McK); average of 12 (no other source included him)
Matt Carkner 11 (only listed by ESPN)
Zenon Konopka 7 (only listed by ESPN)

Senators News: September 28

Sens news today:

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Ken Warren wonders about David Rundblad‘s future (link).  There’s not much new here, but Rundblad said “We’ll see what happens, we’ll see what’s best for me. The Swedish League is a very good league. The biggest difference is the bigger rink. It’s the first time in four years I’ve played on small rinks. I’m getting used to everything.

-Joy Lindsay has an update on prospect Darren Kramer who is still with the team (link): “Kramer is rehabbing an injury suffered during the rookie tournament, and is believed to be returning to his junior team this season.

-She also talked to Andre Petersson about his transition to the North American game (same article): “It [Friday’s game] was kind of fun. I played maybe seven, eight minutes, and I’m happy with the way I played. But, unfortunately, we didn’t win. I have no problem with [the North American game]. I think it’s fun. It happens a lot more than it does back in Sweden, so I enjoy it.

The Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan writes about a variety of things (link), including this  “Jason Spezza will and should get skewered for his giveaway in the neutral zone
that led to Mikhail Grabovski’s short-handed goal. On a young team that needs
him to shine nightly, Spezza has to be less creative when he’s not inside the
opposition’s blue line.”  The giveaway was actually Erik Karlsson‘s.

-Pierre LeBrun reviews the Senators for ESPN (link).  Most of the article is composed of comments by Jason Spezza and Bryan Murray, but LeBrun says “Melnyk hates losing. But we’re told he has accepted this rebuilding plan and understands what it takes to be ready for a long season. The fans in Ottawa also have accepted what’s ahead. It’ll work for a year, but the owner and the fans will need to see tangible improvements as soon as next season. There’s no appetite in that market for a five-year rebuild. Not from the owner, not from the fans.”  I’m not sure I agree with his final conclusion, but I do think fans need to see improvement over the year.  He also says the hiring of Paul MacLean was well-received around the league.  Victoria Matiash believes Erik Karlsson has the best fantasy value; Sean Allen thinks Jason Spezza is a risky pick because of his injury history; Allen likes Nikita Filatov as the team’s sleeper pick.

-Kevin Allen of USA Today writes about the Northeast Division (link), picking Ottawa to finish last.  Allen doesn’t engage in a lot of analysis, but includes “Will the Senators finally trade Jason Spezza? With four seasons left at $7 million a season, plus a no-trade clause, Spezza, 28, has not been, and will not be, easy to deal. Although Ottawa fans are frustrated that 6-3 Spezza is not a physical presence, he’s the team’s best producer of offense.” With is final outlook, “All renovation projects take more time than you anticipate. So it will be with the Senators.

SenShot‘s Brandy Chadala writes about last night’s game (link).

Ottawa 3, Toronto 5

The sixth game of the Senators exhibition season featured another loss to the Leafs.  The game featured a shoulder injury for Peter Regin along with the kind of team mistakes and turnovers that have been habitual during the pre-season.  As always, I won’t repost the box score (link), but I’ll take a look at the best and worst players for the Sens–keeping in mind that this is the exhibition season and, as such, doesn’t mean much.

Positive Performances
Mika Zibanejad – scored another amazing goal and continues making a strong case to stay with the team (something aided immeasurably if the Regin injury is serious)
Nikita Filatov – while he didn’t score he had and generated a lot of chances; he looked more comfortable playing with Spezza
Kaspars Daugavins – his best game of the exhibition season
Jared Cowen – he was strong along the blueline and continues his outstanding pre-season
Chris Neil – he’s been dynamite the last three exhibition games

Mike Hoffman – after a strong performance against Winnipeg he was guilty of far too many turnovers and I doubt he’ll get another shot in the final exhibition game
Bobby Butler – continues to struggle throughout the pre-season
Erik Karlsson – far too many turnovers that lead to odd-man rushes

Colin Greening – the effort is there, but he didn’t accomplish much and shows none of the chemistry he had with Spezza last year
David Rundblad – is still confused about his defensive coverage, but the effort was there
Nick Foligno – finally scored a goal, but was guilty of overhandling the puck
Robin Lehner – he didn’t have a lot of help, but an extra save here or there might have changed the game

Senators News: September 27

Today’s Sens news:

-Players surviving cuts are (link): Nikita Filatov, Jared Cowen, David Rundblad, Mika Zibanejad, Stephane Da Costa, Robin Lehner, Patrick Wiercioch, Mark Borowiecki, Mike Hoffman, and Kaspars Daugavins.  The only surprises for me are Wiercioch and Daugavins.

-The lineup for tonight’s game (link):

The Silver Seven‘s Dave Young wrote his impressions of yesterday’s game (link), as did SenShot‘s Derrick Brose (link).

The Team 1200‘s Steve Lloyd tweets a positive review about David Rundblad (link).

Craig Anderson has tweaked something (link), but the plan is for him to play Thursday.

Ottawa 1, Winnipeg 3

The fifth game of the Senators exhibition season is in the books with a 3-1 loss to Winnipeg.  The game lacked intensity until the third period, but as always featured some interesting player performances.  Ottawa was out of sync the first two periods and were completely dominated by Winnipeg.  The third period, which featured complete line shuffling (Chris Phillips already gone due to injury) produced an about-shift in the game (there was a goaltending change in the third period as well, as Alex Auld pulled himself due to some discomfort).  I won’t repost the box score, but I’ll take a look at the best and worst players for the Sens–keeping in mind that this is the exhibition season and, as such, doesn’t mean much.  The CBC broadcast was highlighted by a new way to pronounce Rundblad‘s name.

Positive Performances
Mika Zibanejad – didn’t get to truly show his stuff until his line was juggled, but continued to demonstrate his skill and drive and scored a great goal
Mike Hoffman – had a rough start to the game, but got better as it went on and was promoted to center the top line (with Zibanejad and Alfredsson) at the end of the second period
Daniel Alfredsson – it wasn’t Alfie’s “A” game tonight, but he was still one of the best players on the ice for the Sens
Zack Smith – one of the few players to play well the entire game
Derek Grant – another player who was good throughout the game (particularly defensively)
David Rundblad – struggled in the first period, but was better when he was moved away from Phillips (midway through the first) and was dynamic in the offensive zone in the third period (A. J. Jakubec and Murray Wilson on The Team 1200 felt he struggled, but I don’t think that’s the case–my sentiments about him were echoed by Dean Brown prior to the broadcast)
Jared Cowen – strong in all zones and threw some thundering hits

Bobby Butler – continues to be MIA in the pre-season
Mark Parrish – the AHL vet once again played less than any other forward
Corey Locke – far too many turnovers
Matt Carkner – was beat wide a number of times in the game and treated the puck like a grenade

Colin Greening – was guilty of trying to do too much, which is why he was shuffled to the checking line in the third period

The Team 1200 felt Chris Neil‘s fight towards the end of the second period was a key in the momentum change, but I disagree.  I think the line juggling by the coaching staff is what really made the difference–the issues earlier wasn’t a lack of effort or intensity, but general confusion and lack of chemistry.

Senators News: September 26

Not much Sens news today:

-Ottawa’s lines for this afternoon’s game have come out (link):

-In Allen Panzeri’s article (above) he cites Paul MacLean saying that “the roster will be down to between 25 and 27 players with a legitmate chance to  make the team.

-In terms of the roster, it’s worth looking at players remaining in camp who (after today’s game) have not dressed for an exhibition game: Pat Cannone, Louie Caporusso, Wacey Hamilton, Craig SchiraJack Downing (AHL contract), Max Gratchev (AHL contract), Josh Godfrey (AHL contract), Bobby Raymond (AHL contract), Brian Stewart (AHL contract), and Darren Kramer (not signed).  Kramer was hurt in the rookie camp and Hamilton beforehand–I haven’t heard an update on either.

-James Gordon writes for Senators Extra about Mika Zibanejad‘s website (link).  Inexplicably, Gordon expresses fear that Zibanejad had been drafted by the KHL.

-I take Hockey Prospectus‘ statistical analysis with a grain of salt, but Robert Vollman’s article (link) suggesting less or more time for blueliners includes arguing for less time for Sergei Gonchar and Chris Phillips (using the formula of dividing time-on-ice with points-per-game).’s Dan Rosen and E. J. Hradek look at Calder candidates (link) and neither picks a Sen (Rosen picked Brayden Schenn while Hradek picked Ryan Nugent-Hopkins).

Senators News: September 25

Today’s Sens news:

-The Sens roster for tomorrow’s game is out (link):
Forwards: Alfredsson, Regin, Greening, Smith, Butler, Neil, Parrish, Locke, Cowick, Grant, Dziurzynski, Hoffman, Zibanejad
Defensemen: Cowen, Phillips, Lee, Rundblad, Carkner, Gryba, Karlsson
Goaltenders: McKenna, Auld

The Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan wrote about Robin Lehner (link), who had some interesting things to say about his situation with the team: “I had a year last year where I kept on saying to all you guys, when you all had the same question to me … ‘how are you feeling, you’re up here, you’re not playing games, it’s not good for your development’… I think that was the story of Robin Lehner last year. It was (that) I was not getting development. And I always said the same thing to you. I’m getting better here than I am down there.” And “A lot of that experience, getting faster … obviously it’s a little bit better shots up here. Better shooters. And when you get into practice habits with these guys, then you go down, if you take away the mental factor about being sent  down, you actually come down more of a faster goalie. I think that practice did lots for me. That’s part of my development. Obviously, playing 60 games in one of the best leagues in the world, that can’t be bad either. But every year, I’ve always took a step. From one team, going to the higher team, then to junior, then the AHL and then last year too, I went a little earlier than my plan to come up here … I wouldn’t want to come down from what I had last year. That’s just a dream of mine, because I try to move forward … We’ll see if I can get 60 games down there and some up here, I would be happy with that too. But my dream is here. I believe (playing in the NHL would be best for me) but I also believe the organization knows a lot more than I know. I’m 20. I’ve been over her for 2 1/2 years now. I know there’s a lot of cases where they (call) up goalies that are too young, and it goes down for them. Every person is different. I don’t think I’m that kind of goalie. There’s a lot of goalies that went like that, and I understand they have to be careful.

-In the same article Brennan quotes Nikita Filatov about his pre-season, “I think it’s more about how you play right now, how you get into the system. For example, last year I had a really good pre-season. I scored four goals or something in six games. So it doesn’t pretty much mean anything.”  Wise words in terms of how we should view exhibition performances.

-Joy Lindsay has an expansive article about Kaspars Daugavins (link); among many other things, the winger talks about his decision to return to North America, “I just didn’t want to regret anything in my life after it if I didn’t use the chance to play in NHL again. It was really hard decision, but new coaching staff and new guys (in Ottawa), so I thought I would maybe give a shot here and do my best to make NHL and then go from there.

SenShot‘s Tony Mendes with a belated review of last night’s game (link).  He writes that Chris Neil, Jared Cowen, and David Rundblad were the top players for Ottawa, with Patrick Wiercioch being the worst.

The Hockey News‘ Darryl Dobbs looks at dark horse candidates for the Calder (link) and includes an interesting comment on David Rundblad, “Ottawa’s David Rundblad was my favorite at one point, but questionable play on the defensive side of the puck in the rookie and main camp has me wondering if he’ll play half the year in the American League.”  Calgary’s Paul Byron, incidentally, is his dark horse.

-ESPN’s Victoria Matiash has a mock draft for fantasy poolies (link), which includes Craig Anderson in the 8th round of selections, Erik Karlsson in the 11th, Jason Spezza in the 14th (“As for the few forwards selected, there were a few curious mutterings in regard to the choice of Jason Spezza.  Some worried about the abuse his plus-minus would take, but [Pierre] Becquey was adamant in defending the move.  “With ATOI [average time on ice] a consideration, no matter how bad the Senators get, you can count on Spezza to play about a period every game,” Becquey said.  “He was top 20 in the category last season, and only two such players were available in the 14th round.  Maybe Spezza plays only 60 games again this year, but he’s the perfect guy to plug in while, say, Ryan Kesler or Alexander Semin misses time.”), and Sergei Gonchar in the 15th.

-The ESPN staff also has a list of fantasy sleepers and busts (link), including Craig Anderson as a potential sleeper.

Ottawa 3, Montreal 2

Ottawa won its fourth exhibition game in the re-match with Montreal.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see the game, so rather than offer an uninformed opinion I’ll provide the insights of others to create a picture of performance.  As always, keep in mind that this is the exhibition season.

Notes from the box score (link):
-blueliners who played the most: Gonchar, Cowen, and Rundblad
-blueliner who played the least: Wiercioch (again)
-forwards who played the most: Regin, Michalek, and Neil
-forward who played the least: Parrish (again)
-the CondraSmithGreening line was on the ice for both Montreal goals
Gonchar was on the ice for all of Ottawa’s goals

Paul MacLean’s sentiments (link): he was happy with the game; he praised the leadership group of Michalek, Neil, Carkner, and especially Regin.

Steve Lloyd tweeted the following (link):
The Good: Rundblad‘s skill has been on display 2nite. The Bad: So has his poor D coverage. The Ugly: That last turnover. I still think Rundblad will be a plyr eventually. U can’t teach what he has offensively. U can teach D.
-That’s Da Costa setting up Michalek beautifully for a G now on back to back nights. Good way to make a tm is to show chemistry with a vet.

A. J. Jakubec tweeted (link): This has been Rundblad‘s best period of the preseason [the first]. Looks a little more confident.

David Rundblad writes that he thought he played his best game last night (link).

The Silver Seven‘s Peter Raaymakers thoughts (link): he was happy with Filatov, Cowen, Neil, Da Costa, Rundblad, and Lehner.  He also liked Parrish, which is at odds with how little he played, and was unhappy with Peter Regin, whom the coaching staff specifically praised, so take that for what it’s worth.