Ottawa Senators News: October 4th

Lot’s of Sens news today:

Sportsnet‘s Ian Mendes interviewed Daniel Alfredsson about the upcoming season (link) and he made an interesting comment, “It all depends on how I feel, but I’m going to play like this is my last year and we’ll see how it goes. I think I approach it that way — that it could be the last one because you never know. I’m just going to give it everything I have and have no regrets looking back after.  If at the end of the year, if I’m feeling good and the team is going in the right direction, I wouldn’t say that I wouldn’t play the following season.

The Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan has a wide-ranging article (link):
*Colin Greening talked about his training camp, “I was lucky enough to get in five pre-season games and I felt like Boston was probably one of my better ones … I was able to finally get the monkey off my back and get a point. The only thing I told myself is, I’ll just play wherever they put me. I think that I can compliment a lot of people. Whether I’m on a fourth line, or just penalty killing, or whatever, I think that it’s important to try and compliment the guys on my line.
*Bryan Murray commented on Bobby Butler‘s lacklustre camp, “Bobby Butler is supposed to be a goal scorer and he hasn’t scored. Whether he’s been provided the same amount of ice time and opportunity, I’m not sure. But Bobby will end up being fine. He’s a competitive guy that shoots the puck well. When he gets a chance when we drop the puck, I believe he’ll be one of the guys that after a few games you’ll say, ‘you know what, he didn’t do it in pre-season but he is a good pro.
*Paul MacLean talked about his approach to the roster and David Rundblad, “Somebody has to (sit). I’m not sure how we’re going to do it. You go on the road in the NHL, it’s a hard league to learn in. Sometimes having two young defencemen out there might become a bit of a hazard. We’re going to study it and we’ll make the decision we think is best for the team to win, no matter who ends up sitting in the press box.  I thought he [Rundblad] played well defensively, he did a lot of good things with the puck to elude checks and make exit passes. But it’s a good two weeks for him. Time is what makes you a National Hockey League player. Expectations for him are to remain the same, knowing that at the same time young players tend to go up and down… we have to make sure we continue to impress upon him the need to be here every day, and to do it right every day. So far he has.

-Both Brennan and The Ottawa Citizen‘s Allen Panzeri have articles that look at Nikita Filatov (link and link), with Brennan selectively using quotes to make the situation look iffy.  Brennan quotes Paul MacLean saying “We felt that if Nikita is going to play on our team, it’s going to be in the Top 6. He has the skill level to be a Top 6 forward in this league, so we’re giving him that opportunity. I don’t think he’s played his way out of that opportunity at this point”, while Panzeri has “I think Nikita’s come in and worked real hard and been good with the puck, and he’s been diligent without the puck.” Brennan quotes Bryan Murray talked about his training camp, “He didn’t finish, which kind of surprised me a little bit. I thought he’d score a couple of goals on the chances he had, but he made some very creative plays. I thought he was very aware on the ice. Again, it comes down to will he compete every night at the NHL level, so that he’s allowed to continue to show his ability with the puck. But he’s very much an NHL skater, very much has the hands and head to play in the league. It’s just a matter of watching him as we go forward here, and can he contribute. He has to get offensive points to be a contributor here”, while Panzeri has “I liked his camp. I think he’s a real high-end, skilled kid.  He didn’t finish, which surprised me a little bit, because I thought he’d score  a couple of goals with the chances he had. But he made some creative plays. I thought he was very aware on the ice.”

-From Brennan Filatov himself takes his performance in pre-season with a grain of salt, “It’s not a huge problem. Still lots of time before the first game. I have to kind of get more into it, shoot more in practice. There are lots of guys who didn’t score in pre-season, and they are way bigger players than me. I don’t really think it’s a huge problem. I think I work pretty hard out there. A couple of times I helped partners to score, and it’s more about that.”  Whatever anyone thinks of his camp, being slotted with Spezza is a reward for Filatov, although I have to think at some point he’ll be switched to his preferred side (the left) given how weak the team is on the side.

-The Binghamton Senators lost 4-3 in overtime to Hershey.  The team was badly out shot, but Mike McKenna kept them in the game.  Derek Grant, Andre Petersson, and Jim O’Brien scored in the team’s last pre-season game.  For more notes check out Joy Lindsay’s blog (link).

-TSN has their list of top-50 players posted (link), but no Senator makes the list.

-ESPN’s Scott Burnside’s power rankings are posted (link), with Ottawa nestled in the basement just ahead of Edmonton; “Ottawa has a great young blue line in the making, but there are way too many holes and question marks for the Senators to be anything but a lottery team this season.

-I have no interest in debating who has been the best among Senators players over the last 20 years, but there’s a lot of material and debate out there.  The organisation’s celebration has struck me as odd ever since it was announced since 20 years is such a short period of time.  Typically teams’ celebrate recent eras that involved championships, but given that this year is a rebuild I understand the team’s desire to give fans something to focus on beyond the product on the ice.

-I’ll be posting my prediction for the Sens and the Eastern Conference later today or tomorrow.