Senators News: October 3rd

Today’s Sens news:

The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch talked to Craig Anderson about the upcoming season (link), with the goaltender remaining optimistic heading into it, “When you’re not expected to do anything, you play loose. When you’re expected to finish at the top of your division, there are expectations there. When things don’t go your way, and you’re supposed to be a top-ranked team, you could slide sideways and go downhill. When you’re on the bottom, working your way up, it’s just a constant grind. You play loose. You’ve got nothing to lose.”  Ken Warren (in The Ottawa Citizen, link) has an article with a similar theme, but there’s nothing new there.  I cite it because I disagree with Warren that the Sens have never had a goalie who could win games by themselves before–Dominik Hasek could when healthy.

-Allen Panzeri writes for Senators Extra about the upcoming season (link), looking at the Senators difficulty in scoring goals.  Paul MacLean said “Goals are at a premium for every team in the league, and we’re no different than any other team. We have to find ways to create offence and scoring chances for ourselves. We’ve done that (in the pre-season), not in every game, obviously, because we played way too much in our own end in the Newfoundland game and the game in Boston. We can’t continue to do that and have success. You don’t create much offence playing in your own end. Being efficient defensively and being able to come out of our own end with some speed is still a priority. When you do those things, you create scoring chances and you create offence, and that’s what we need to do.

Sportsnet‘s Ian Mendes has tweeted the Sens lineup in practice (link): Michalek-Spezza-Filatov, Greening-Zibanejad-Alfredsson, Foligno-Smith-Neil, Condra-Konopka-Butler; Phillips-Lee, Kuba-Karlsson, Cowen-Gonchar, Rundblad.  [A quick update via Mendes’ Twitter feed: Matt Carkner will miss at least a month due to knee surgery.]

Pro Hockey Talk‘s James O’Brien has his Ottawa preview posted (link).  He doesn’t like their scoring depth or their blueline, but likes Craig Anderson and Paul MacLean.  He see’s Bobby Butler as a potential breakout candidate (I guess he doesn’t put much stock into training camps).  He rounds out his thoughts with “The Senators are a lousy team, although Spezza and Alfredsson could very well produce bounce-back years (while Gonchar could at least be functional). Anderson is a solid goalie who might hit some serious slumps behind a talent-poor squad, but should be given the leeway to stumble here and there. Ottawa could flirt (at least briefly) with playoff contention, but it would be in their best interest to lay low in the cellar and re-stock the cupboard with young talent. Right now this franchise is in a really tough spot, so making the postseason just to get bounced dismissively from the first round wouldn’t do them much good.

Puck Daddy’s Ryan Lambert makes predictions for the upcoming season (link), below which he has a blurb about each team including this about Ottawa: “The Sens say they aren’t concerned about their offensive output. Their D and goaltending is going to be so bad that it won’t matter even a little.”  He’s the first person I’ve read who doesn’t like the Sens goaltending.

-The Binghamton Senators play their final pre-season game against Hershey tonight at 7:00 (link).  The game is being broadcast in the US on BIG 107.5 (WBBI-FM).

-Speaking of Binghamton, John Henkelman of Hockey Futures has their preview of their upcoming season posted (link).  Unfortunately, other than naming the players he doesn’t delve into any analysis I can dig into.

-Joy Lindsay reports (link) that Brian Stewart, Jake Reeds, Mike Devin, and Donnie Harris have been sent to Elmira’s camp, while Binghamton has been joined by invites Mike Radja, Mike Ratchuk, and goaltender Corey Milan (NCAA 2.98 .867).  She provides the following forward lines ahead of the game: Daugavins-Grant-Petersson, Parrish-Downing-Radja, Hoffman-Caporusso-Gratchev, Dziurzynski-Cannone-O’Brien, Hamilton-Cowick-Lessard.  I assume that Hamilton will actually centre the fourth line.

-The Elmira Jackals (link) have signed Joey Ryan (2-48/06 LA, ECHL 53-5-13-18) and given Artem Demkov (Belarus 43-15-21-36) a tryout contract.  Demkov played in the QMJHL a couple of years ago.

Mika Zibanejad‘s older brother Monir Kalgoum has signed with Botkyrka Hockey, a Division 2 team (three levels below the SEL, link).