Senators News: October 12th

Chris Neil talks about what it’s like to play for Paul MacLean (link), “He’s a guy you want to play for. It’s been fun around here, he expects you to work hard and if you work hard he’s happy with you.”  In the same potpourri Don Brennan article Stephane Da Costa says, “I think I’ve proven I can play at this level. Now I’ve got to prove I can do it consistently.”

The Silver Seven‘s Mark Parisi wonders if fans should boo Sergei Gonchar (link) “when we consider that it’s in everyone’s best interests for his play to improve, and booing him in no way contributes to that improvement, we must also consider that when we jeer our own players in our own arena, we’re cutting off our nose to spite our face. From that point of view, it seems clear that when we boo Sergei Gonchar, we’re acting directly counter to our desires for him“; I agree with him that it’s not a great idea.

-Rob Brodie writes about to David Rundblad for the Sens website (link), who talked about what he learned while in the pressbox “You can see the whole rink. It’s a lot easier to watch every situation. These games are much faster compared to the games I played in the pre-season … everything is more intense and faster. So I’ve got to learn to play faster and move my feet more.

-Joy Lindsay tweets (link) that Andre Petersson and David Dziurzynski are questionable for Friday’s game, while she believes Louie Caporusso, Max Gratchev, and Shaun Heshka will play this weekend.

-Both The Hockey News (link) and Sports Illustrated (link) have their NHL power rankings up (neither of which includes last night’s win), with the former listing Ottawa in the league’s basement (30th) and the latter putting Ottawa 27th (ahead of Winnipeg, Calgary, and Columbus).

The Calgary Herald‘s Kristen Odland writes about Sens prospect Mark Stone (link), who talks about making Team Canada under Don Hay, “You hear what the coaches like, the type of players they like, the way they like to play. I’ve obviously heard a lot about him. Everybody’s got a lot of respect for him. He plays a hard game. And if you aren’t going to buy into his system, you probably aren’t going to be a good fit on his team. You learn stuff at the summer camp at the way he approaches the game and take it into your every day game.”

The Record-Gazette‘s Jeff Blay writes about Sens prospect Darren Kramer (link), who was named captain of Spokane this season.  He talks about his experience at Sens camp, “It was a great experience in Ottawa, but I’ve told a few people already that I couldn’t decide if it was a learning experience or a wake up call. You learn very quickly what it takes to play in the NHL, and it’s not easy, but it’s what I love to do and what I’ve worked for my entire life.” And, “The message was pretty clear when I was in camp in Ottawa that 47 fights was unacceptable. It’s what got me noticed and it was what I was willing to do to get to the next step, but now it’s time to develop my game.”  The latter comment echoes my own thoughts since he was drafted (eg, link).

-The Elmira Jackals announced the release of five of their players (link), John Mori, J. P. Martignetti, Mike Sellitto, Corey Milan, and Larry Sterling.  They also announced the signing of Donnie Harris to a contract (who was in camp on a tryout).

Red Line Report‘s latest issue is out with an updated list of 2012’s top prospects (with the position changes noted):
1. Nail Yakupov (Sarnia, OHL)
2. Ryan Murray (Everett, WHL) (+1)
3. Filip Forsberg (Leksand, Sweden) (+2)
4. Nick Ebert (Windsor, OHL) (-2)
5. Henrik Samuelsson (US NTDP, USHL) (-1)
6. Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton, WHL)
7. Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia, OHL)
8. Zemgus Girgensons (Dubuque, USHL)
9. Mikhail Grigorenko (Quebec, QMJHL)
10. Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw, WHL) (+1)
11. Olli Maatta (London, OHL) (-1)
12. Matt Dumba (Red Deer, WHL)
13. Sebastian Collberg (Frolunda, Sweden)
14. Jacob Trouba (US NTDP, USHL)
15. Pontus Aberg (Djurgarden, Sweden) (+4)
16. Slater Koekkoek (Peterborough, OHL)
17. Derrick Pouliot (Portland, WHL) (+1)
18. Martin Frk (Halifax, QMJHL) (-3)
19. Matia Marcantuoni (Kitchener, OHL) (+1)
20. Jordan Schmaltz (Sioux City, USHL) (-3)
21. Eric Locke (Barrie, OHL)
22. Calle Andersson (Malmo, Sweden)
23. Gianluca Curcuruto (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL)
24. Cody Ceci (Ottawa 67s, OHL)
25. Chandler Stephenson (Regina, WHL)
26. Brendan Gaunce (Belleville, OHL)
27. Teuvo Teravainen (Jokerit, Finland)
28. Troy Bourke (Prince George, WHL)
29. Damon Severson (Kelowna, WHL)
30. Jarrod Maidens (Owen Sound, OHL)
No one fell out of the top-30 this month, but here’s the movement among former top-30 players: Scott Laughton (#32, -1), Luca Ciampini (#39, +1), Ryan Olsen (#40, -4), and Patrik Machac (#53, -17)

Ottawa 4, Minnesota 3 (SO)

Tonight was Ottawa’s home opener and they completed a comeback victory over the visiting Minnesota Wild.  Other than part of the first period, Ottawa dominated the Wild despite falling behind 2-0 and 3-1 and once again refused to quit when behind.  Looking at the goals (the box score is here link):
1. Minnesota, Kyle Brodziak
Miscommunication between Da Costa and Alfredsson meant there was no one on the wing to receive Rundblad‘s clear along the boards; in fairness to all, Brodziak‘s tip for the goal was excellent
2. Minnesota, Devin Setoguchi (pp)
Gonchar made a weak clear along the boards shorthanded and then left the slot open for Setoguchi to wire it home
3. Ottawa, Nick Foligno (Regin, Neil)
Erik Karlsson keeps the puck in at the blueline and then board work by Regin leads to Foligno getting it to the net
4. Minnesota, Nick Johnson
Scramble in front and Spezza accidentally knocks the puck into the net off Rundblad
5. Ottawa, Chris Neil (Regin, Phillips)
Phillips keeps the puck in at the blueline, Regin takes it to the net and Neil fires it home
6. Ottawa, Colin Greening (Michalek, Karlsson) (pp)
Greening corals the puck off a rebound, gets it to the point, and then bangs in the puck after a Karlsson shot

There were a lot of good performances, so quickly I’ll go through players who did not have great nights:
Sergei Gonchar – made mental errors; I really wonder if he can handle the criticism that’s been levelled at him
Zenon Konopka – while he did some good things, he started a pointless fight in the first period and which gave the Wild a powerplay (a view The Team 1200‘s Murray Wilson agrees with)
Jason Spezza – far too many turnovers tonight; he wasn’t terrible, but he needs to be better

There are a lot of positives from tonight, but the most notable:
Chris Neil – he was physical, he was hard on the puck, he scored–a great game
Peter Regin – a great first game of the season playing hard on both sides of the puck
Colin Greening – enjoyed a fantastic game and looked like the player we saw at the end of last season
Daniel Alfredsson – lead the team in scoring chances and won the game in the shootout
Chris Phillips – no serious errors in his game tonight, which is a big change from the previous two
David Rundblad – played more than his partner (Phillips) and a lot more than his rookie counterpart (Cowen); he was solid and handled the physicality of the game; he wasn’t perfect, but there was a lot to like