Senators News: October 9th

The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch had an interesting quote from Paul MacLean about Bobby Butler (link), “We want to make sure he still has good work habits and practice habits because that’s the way it turns around: If you come every day, work hard and do things right. We want to make sure that he gets that kind of work and that kind of coaching he needs to be a consistent player.”  It’s not hard to read between the lines and see that MacLean does not think Butler is working hard enough in practice.  In another article by Garrioch (link) MacLean said “It’s not working for him, but he’s still a young player and he’s still learning. He had success last year and he’s going through a point right now where he’s not having success.”  It’s unrelated, but in the same article Garrioch mistakes Nikita Filatov for Mika Zibanejad.

The Ottawa Sun‘s Jason York writes his five keys to accelerate Ottawa’s rebuild (link): 1. Peter Regin emerges as the team’s #2 center, 2. Bounce back season from Ottawa’s veteran blueliners, 3. Nick Foligno taking the next step, 4. Good specialty teams, 5. Continued development of Ottawa’s Calder Cup winning players.  These are all solid points, although I think York should have included continued great goaltending from Craig Anderson.

Hockey Futures‘ DJ Powers previews the WCHA (link), which includes two Sens prospects.  At Nebraska-Omaha Bryce Aneloski‘s coach Dean Blais said, “Bryce is big, strong and mobile. He doesn’t get outmuscled anywhere around the net. He’s not overly physical, but he’s physical enough to make plays and will take a hit to make a play in the defensive zone. Bryce makes good decisions on the offensive blue line and is intelligent. He’s also got a pretty good shot. He’s very coachable and a real competitor. The thing with Bryce is we want him to be more of a leader this year because he’s skilled and he’s going to be a power play type of guy on our blue line.”  On North Dakota’s blueline is senior Ben Blood, whose coach Dave Hakstol said, “Well leadership is certainly a key thing that Ben will bring. The level of play and the number of minutes that we expect from Ben this year is going to be great. We expect him to be a workhorse for us back there, not only in that solid, two-way role playing against other teams’ top forward units, but we also expect Ben to grow in his game and be able to add a little bit in the offensive end of the rink as well. Ben‘s dedication and preparation have been extremely impressive. He has improvement himself in every area of his game, whether it’s been in his skating or really understanding the game. Ben has drastically improved himself athletically and in his conditioning. And he has turned his body into a pro body.”

-The Binghamton Senators have signed blueliner Shaun Heshka (Austria 50-6-18-27) to an AHL contract (link).

-The Elmira Jackals have signed Riley Armstrong (DEL 17-5-3-8) to a standard ECHL contract (link).

-Elmira played it’s final pre-season game, falling 3-2 to Reading.  Of the players signed by Binghamton Josh Godfrey scored while goaltender Brian Stewart was perfect in relief of Marco Cousineau.  The team’s regular season begins October 14th.

Ottawa 5, Toronto 6; Binghamton 2, Toronto 3

Two more regulation loses for the organisation.  Ottawa lost a crazy game that they had no business being in–despite poor play and mediocre goaltending, they nearly beat the Leafs (boxscore link).  Just like in Detroit, they had a decent start, collapsed, and then rallied in the third period.  This is exactly the kind of thing I expect of a young team and the fact that they don’t quit is encouraging.

Paul MacLean was not happy with the team (link), “I’d rather talk about the first period and the second period than the third-period comeback. I’m tired of talking about that already. The first period, the game was going fine for us, we get a goal scored against us and then we stopped playing. We resorted to old habits not playing as a team. We started to become individuals and that doesn’t work in this league.

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Ken Warren points the finger at Chris Phillips as a major factor in the Sens poor play (link), “DUD: Chris Phillips, Senators. He is off to a rough start in his attempt to  rebound from a poor 2010-11 season. He was repeatedly beaten to the puck by  Maple Leafs forwards. Just as it was Friday, though, it was hard to single out  any particular Senators defenceman for having a rough night.

I’m not sure any player particularly stood out in a positive way, as must struggled. Zenon Konopka received the least ice time, while Chris Neil spent a lot of time in the box after instigating a fight with Luke Schenn (in retaliation for Dion Phaneuf‘s big hit on Stephane Da Costa).  I have to give Da Costa credit for recovering from the hit and scoring a nice goal.  Nick Foligno finished -3 and was invisible, while Nikita Filatov struggled and was bumped off the top line–but they were not the only players who struggled.  Ottawa’s veterans played a lot in the third period.

I did not see the Binghamton game, so for the game story check out Joy Lindsay’s summary is (link) and the boxscore (link).  Kaspars Daugavins and Eric Gryba scored, while Andre Petersson earned his first point for Binghamton.  Mike McKenna got the call in net.

Here are some of Kurt Kleinendorst’s comments afterward (link), “the second period, obviously, I don’t know what they had for shots exactly, but I can count mine on one finger. That’s not going to cut it. We started turning pucks over in the grey zone — which is the blue line. And then we end up in our end, because of that. We start taking penalties, because of that. And that just gave them life. The first goal was kind of the one that just got them going. And then, in the third, we were fine again. So we got two out of three periods tonight. But you’ve got to play three. You’ve got to play 60 minutes.”  He’s liked Andre Petersson, David Dziurzynski, Pat Cannone in both games thus far.