Ottawa 5, New York Rangers 4 (SO)

The Senators enjoyed yet another third period come back (overcoming a three goal deficit) to get two points out of New York.  The game was marred by two incidents: the first was Zenon Konopka‘s boarding call on Artem Anisimov.  I thought Konopka caught Anisimov on the right hip, not the back, but the CBC’s replay was so terrible you couldn’t really tell.  The penalty call changed the momentum and helped the Rangers earn a point.  The more gruesome play was Wojtek Wolski elbowing Daniel Alfredsson in the head.  The replay showed a deliberate blow to the head long after Alfredsson had passed the puck.  Whether it will warrant a suspension or not is anybody’s guess.  For the box score go here link.  Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Neil (Kuba, Karlsson)
I don’t think Neil actually tipped this in, but a simple shot from the point finds its way to the back of the net
2. Rangers, Callahan (pp)
Picks up a rebound and fires it home; it was Cowen‘s side of the rink, but I don’t blame him for the goal
3. Rangers, Richards (pp)
Karlsson turns it over and Anderson flubs the save
4. Rangers, Gaborik
Cowen turns it over and no one takes the man in front as the Rangers make a quick pass for the one-timer
5. Rangers, Richards
Kuba turns it over and the Rangers again score quickly on a one-timer
6. Spezza (Kuba, Michalek)
A great tip on the point shot by Kuba
7. Spezza (Gonchar, Karlsson) (pp)
A terrific shot through a Greening screen
8. Michalek (Greening, Kuba)
The Rangers gave Michalek three shots on the play in close
Shootout
9. Michalek scored the only goal

Players who excelled:
Milan Michalek – played another strong game with both the tying and winning goals
Filip Kuba – despite the turnover leading to a goal he had three assists and was the key cog in the team’s offence

Playes who struggled: I don’t think any particular player was bad, although both Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson were guilty of a lot of turnovers.

A final note, David Rundblad was rewarded with a ton of ice time tonight as compared to Jared Cowen (20:45 versus 13:38).

Senators News: October 30th; Binghamton 4, Albany 2

Alex Auld has suffered an undisclosed injury so Robin Lehner has been called up to replace him

The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch talks about the Sens interest in Kyle Turris (link), but other than confirming Ottawa’s interest he just summarizes the information already available

-In another article (link) Garrioch confirms there won’t be any lineup changes for today’s game against the Rangers

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Allen Panzeri looks at Nick Foligno‘s start to the year (link), noting it’s an improvement on last year’s abysmal beginning.  Of his own expectations Foligno said, “Everyone wants to contribute. I’d love to have a point-a-game  average. Who wouldn’t? You expect some things of yourself, but the most important thing is that  you’re playing the game the right way and doing what the coaches are asking, and  I think I’ve been able to do that. I’ve got some great linemates, too (Stéphane Da Costa and Daniel Alfredsson), and when you play with those guys, you want to produce some points.  That’s what our role on the team is. That’s something I want to do on this team,  contribute some points. It’s nice to get a couple, but I just have to keep  playing well, and I feel I have done that.”  Paul MacLean said Foligno has to establish what kind of player he is.  Panzeri doesn’t fully quote the coach, but MacLean implied that Foligno is at his best when he’s a north-south player who drives to the net–a criticism of him often overhandling the puck.

-Panzeri’s other article (link) includes Paul MacLean’s expectations for the team, “I see this team improving just a little bit every day, just like we talked  about at training camp. We’re building a foundation for  something down the road when we’re going to be good, and that takes doing a  little bit better every day. We’ve seen this team get better. We’ve seen it be bad and improve, and show great character and learn what it takes to win and how to win, and those are all  very good building blocks to build that foundation we’re talking about. So I think with every one of those blocks we put in, it gets a little more  stable. I don’t think it’s the Great Wall of China yet, but it’s all positive signs.”

-The Binghamton Senators defeated the Albany Devils for their first win at home this season.  I didn’t see the game so I’m reliant on reports (for the box score go here link, for Joy Lindsay’s game blog go here link).  Robin Lehner made 42 saves for the win, also joining a melee that broke out after Tim Sestito elbowed Nikita Filatov in the head.  Offensively Mike Hoffman lead the way with a goal and assist; Corey Cowick and Pat Cannone scored their first goals and Filatov himself scored (Jack Downing also picked up his first AHL point).  In the post-game interview Filatov said he didn’t think he was concussed, but suffered headaches immediately following the hit (he played the rest of the game anyway).  For those with good memories Sestito ran Mark Borowiecki from behind on October 16th, but escaped suspension.

-Joy Lindsay’s says in her post-game report (link) that Corey Locke was injured in the game against Albany.  Kurt Kleinendorst was happy with his team’s effort, “Yeah, I did, you know. And I thought that there were moments in the game where, you know, we were faced with a little bit of adversity, and I thought we pushed through it just fine, you know. So, I mean, we showed up this morning to skate, and we couldn’t skate because the ice plant was down. So we talked a little bit about it, even though that’s not much adversity; it’s adversity in a form. Some guys like to skate in the morning, and they couldn’t, so I thought it was the perfect morning to really get on that word. And then tonight, again, any time it kind of popped up, we dealt with it.”  I recommend looking through all of Kleinendorst’s comments–it’s a very thorough look at the whole team and how they played.

-Joy Lindsay reports that Binghamton has called up goaltender Brian Stewart and a forward (Joy says Mike Radjawore in the link following but clarifies it’s Mike Radja via Twitter) from Elmira (link)

-The Elmira Jackals lost 5-2 to South Carolina.  Louie Caporusso had a goal and assist while Max Gratchev picked up a helper (Brian Stewart was the backup).

The Ottawa Senators at the Ten Game Mark

After 10 games Ottawa sits at 5-5-0, their ten points good enough for 3rd in the division, 9th in the conference, and 19th in the overall standings.  They are 5th in goals for, 30th in goals against, 2nd in powerplay percentage and 29th on the penalty kill.  They have the lowest 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio (0.60), are 16th in the league in faceoffs, 21st in shots allowed and 14th in shots-for.  A quick snapshot of player’s stats (INJ=games missed due to injury, SCR=scratched):
Jason Spezza 10-5-8-13 -3 TOI 19:39 FO% 55.3
Milan Michalek 10-6-5-11 -3 TOI 19:53
Erik Karlsson 10-1-9-10 -6 TOI 24:41
Sergei Gonchar 9-0-7-7 -1 TOI 19:31 INJ 1
Daniel Alfredsson 9-4-3-7 -3 TOI 18:31 INJ 1
Colin Greening 10-3-3-6 -6 TOI 16:39
Zack Smith 10-1-3-4 +1 TOI 13:21 FO% 52.3
Chris Neil 10-1-2-3 -1 TOI 13:44
Peter Regin 5-1-2-3 +3 TOI 12:51 FO% 49.2 INJ 5
Nick Foligno 10-2-1-3 -2 TOI 16:05
Filip Kuba 10-2-0-2 -2 TOI 22:02
Chris Phillips 10-0-2-2 Even TOI 20:24
Zenon Konopka 7-1-1-2 Even TOI 7:23 FO% 55.4 SCR 2, INJ 1
Erik Condra 9-0-2-2 Even TOI 12:49 SCR 1
David Rundblad 8-0-2-2 -1 TOI 16:51 SCR 2
Stephane Da Costa 10-2-0-2 -4 TOI 11:35 FO% 41.0
Jesse Winchester 4-0-1-1 +1 TOI 7:17 INJ 6
Nikita Filatov 2-0-1-1 +1 TOI 13:32 (sent to Binghamton)
Mika Zibanejad 9-0-1-1 -3 TOI 12:54 FO% 44.0 (sent to Djurgarden)
Jared Cowen 10-0-0-0 -1 TOI 16:42
Brian Lee 4-0-0-0 -3 TOI 18:19 SCR 6
Bobby Butler 2-0-0-0 -1 TOI 9:47 SCR 2 INJ 6
Kaspars Daugavins 2-0-0-0 -2 TOI 14:58 (called up from Binghamton)
Craig Anderson 9-5-2 3.65 .883 (pulled once)
Alex Auld 3-0-3 4.90 .830 (pulled once)

A few things stand out: the team is 0-4 with Brian Lee in the lineup; Peter Regin leads the team in plus/minus (despite the team being 2-3 with him in the lineup); Alex Auld has been awful while Craig Anderson has been subpar.  Looking back at my game-by-game assessments the player who has stood out the most is Milan Michalek (a top player in five of the games), with Colin Greening next (four times).  On the negative side of the ledger is Stephane Da Costa (four bad games) followed by the departed Mika Zibanejad (with three).

I don’t think we’ll have a real sense of team trends until the 20-game mark, but this serves as a point in time that can be referred too later in the season.