Senators News: October 13th

-Paul MacLean has made two changes to his lineup, sitting Zenon Konopka and Erik Condra in favour of Bobby Butler and Brian Lee.  He had interesting comments about both moves (link and link), “Erik Condra is also a young player who needs to learn and sometimes you can learn a lot by sitting in the press box.” And “We want to see what we can do with the minutes and see if we can get out of our zone better.” I think Condra‘s play has been fine, but as an undersized fourth line forward he’s easy to shift out.

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Wayne Scanlan looks at the coming roster changes in Ottawa (link).  It’s worth reading the whole article, but some highlights: “The roster will soon change, says head coach Paul MacLean, but when injured forward Jesse Winchester and defenceman Matt Carkner return to the roster, assignment decisions will also have to be made. A player like Filatov, for example, here on a two-way contract, is a good bet to be sent to American Hockey League Binghamton eventually. Is it fair that Filatov, Butler and Lee are missing games when the season has barely started? Hardly. Hockey people love to call this a “numbers” problem. At the moment, the Senators have too many players. Someone has to sit.” And “Following Wednesday’s practice, MacLean said he sat Lee not because he was playing worse than his veterans, but because he needed the vets to step up. They  more or less did against Minnesota, with Chris Phillips having his best game of the season. The Lee move was also an opportunity to activate prized Swedish rookie David Rundblad, and he is expected to stay in the lineup after Ottawa’s first win of the season.”

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Ken Warren writes about Colin Greening (link).  There’s not much new here, but Greening does say “When you have that net presence, it gives your  more skilled guys, like Alfredsson and Spezza, time to shoot, and goalies are  not as prepared. If I can get that little bit of an advantage, great.”

-On the same theme but with better content, Rod Brodie writes about Greening for the Sens website (link).  He quotes Greening himself, “Until they tell me to stop going to the front of the net, that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing. I want to be able to provide a good (scoring) option as well. There are other aspects to it besides just being in front of the net but, if you kind of break everything down, that’s what my job is. I’m built for that area. I consider myself to be a pretty good shape, and I can take the hacks and the whacks and the bangs. You’ve got to be able to take it. There’s a certain mentality that goes along with it as well. I don’t have the skill set a Jason Spezza has, so if that’s what it takes to get on the power play, that’s fine with me. I spent four years there in college doing the same type of stuff. For me, it’s nothing new and something I can thrive at.”  Randy Lee said, “We all said if you are a hard player to play against, you’ll create more space and you’ll be a lot more effective. There’s lots of skilled players in the league, but he’s such a physical specimen that he’s hard to control, he’s intimidating, he can hurt guys on the forecheck and he creates lots of space for himself and his wingers. If he plays that way, he has a chance to be more than a good player. That’s what Bryan (Murray) has told him, that’s what Kurt (Kleinendorst) has told him, that’s what I’ve told him. His teammates like playing with him because he’s got speed and decent hands.”

Senators Extra‘s James Gordon talked to Paul MacLean about Sergei Gonchar being booed (link), “I’ve been booed, so it’s something that you…I think it’s a motivator,” MacLean said. “If your fans are unhappy with how you play, they should express that they’re unhappy with how you play. Conversely, if you play better, they should appreciate that you play better and to me, it’s just a signal that you need to be better.”  MacLean didn’t think the booing bothered Gonchar and for the team’s sake I hope he’s right.

The Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan says writes that Ottawa won the Dany Heatley trade because they have Milan Michalek and another 3.2 million for another player (link).  It’s not much of an argument, but Michalek does state the obvious in speaking of himself, “The main thing for me is to stay healthy. If I’m healthy and I can play my game, I can use my speed. I guess (the injuries) are from maybe my style of play, but I don’t want to change the way I play, I wouldn’t be affective.  If injuries happen, they happen. I’ll just have to battle through them like in the past.”

The Hockey News‘ Adam Proteau writes about the ten most untradeable contracts in the NHL (link), with Sergei Gonchar represented as the only Sen at #2.  The list itself is questionable, but perhaps Proteau just wants to stir up a reaction.

The Silver Seven‘s Adnan makes some statistical analysis of the Sens last game (link).  I take Corsi numbers with a grain of salt, but for those unfamiliar with them I’d recommend taking a look.

-Joy Lindsay tweets that Andre Petersson is still questionable for Friday’s game (link).  The Binghamton lines at practice were: Grant-Locke-Daugavins, Cowick-O’Brien-Parrish, Hoffman-Cannone-Gratchev, Dziurzynski-Hamilton-Lessard; Borowiecki-Conboy, Gryba-Schira, Heshka-Wiercioch.

Hockey Futures has listed their top-50 prospects (link; the list is divided into five pages and the link is just the first).  Several Sens make the list:
7. David Rundblad, “A tremendous skater and puck handler, Rundblad also possesses a calm demeanor and deadly shot. Though not particularly physical, he shows good defensive awareness and positioning, uses his stick effectively to block passing lanes or strip attacking forwards, and makes fluid outlet passes. On offense, Rundblad shines. He has a hard, accurate slapper, a sniper’s wrist shot, and can deke and dive around defenders with ease. Rundblad needs some time in the AHL to get used to the smaller size of North American rinks, but will probably play the bulk of the 2011-12 season in the NHL as the Sens do not want to risk him going back to Sweden for another year.”
14. Mika Zibanejad, “A strong two-way center with very good size, Zibanejad enjoys using his body to both protect the puck and in hitting along the boards. The young center does not shy away from the physical game and his work ethic is one of the best among all prospects.”
30. Jared Cowen, “has solid positioning in all zones of the ice, has improved his decision-making with the puck, and has solid hockey knowledge. He can play the shutdown role while playing both the power play and penalty killing units. The large defenseman has good skating speed for his size and a strong point shot, but he must continue to improve his mobility without the puck and develop the physical side to his game.
Honourable mention: Nikita Filatov, “Filatov‘s spot was heavily debated during the construction of the top 50. Ultimately, it was decided a second chance for enigmatic winger in Ottawa was not enough wash away yet another sub-par season in 2010-11.”

-Tonight TSN is doing a feature on Sens prospect Darren Kramer prior to the Jets/Hawks game.