Senators News: November 21st

The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch writes about last night’s game (link), talking about the incident with Jesse Winchester and Alex Burrows along with the boarding of Kaspars Daugavins by Andrew Alberts.  He writes, “It appeared Burrows opened the door and Ottawa players weren’t pleased.”  I doubt there will be discipline on either play (Shanahan will likely say Daugavins turned just prior to the hit, while with Burrows there will remain the ambiguity of intent–Burrows has already said he was trying to latch the door, not open it).

-Garrioch looks at Ottawa’s blueline and changes that could be coming (link), writing “The Senators aren’t in a cash crunch since their payroll is nowhere close to the salary cap. Once defenceman Matt Carkner is ready to return from a knee injury, the club will have eight healthy blueliners,” therefore, “The Senators have the option of sending defenceman David Rundblad to Binghamton. He’s on a two-way contract, was a healthy scratch again in Vancouver and has had difficulties adjusting to the North American game.”  Garrioch doesn’t mention Rundblad‘s option of returning to Sweden rather than going to Binghamton (something I consider unlikely).  I could see Rundblad sent down temporarily, but I’m not sure even that will happen.  I believe what the Sens would like to do is move Brian Lee, but so far no one will trade for him.

The Silver Seven‘s Mark Parisi looks at the week that was for Ottawa (link), with most players trending upward.  Stephane Da Costa and Nick Foligno are the only players going the wrong way).  I think Foligno‘s yoyo play is what he is, but I agree he’s been on the downward swing this week.  Da Costa (who, outside of faceoffs, wasn’t bad last night) is someone who would benefit from time in Binghamton, but the Sens don’t have enough forwards to send him down at the moment.  Where I think Parisi misses out is listing Erik Condra and Zack Smith as being average–I was impressed with both on the road trip.

-Joy Lindsay Tweets (link) that Derek Grant has recovered from his shoulder injury and is back at practice; Brian Stewart and Maxime Gratchev were recalled from Elmira.  Corey Locke, Francis Lessard, Tim Conboy, and Robin Lehner are out with various injuries

Hockey Futures‘ has listed NHL organisational depth and slots Ottawa at #2 behind the Florida Panthers (link), writing “The Senators have top-end talent at every forward position, headlined by wingers Matt Puempel and Stefan Noesen, and center Mika Zibanejad. The organization possesses one of the best one-two punches on defense in physical stalwart Jared Cowen and puck-mover David Rundblad. There are also a deep group of players who can fill a variety of roles and provide depth at the NHL level including Stephane Da Costa, Jim O’Brien, and Bobby ButlerRobin Lehner is a quality goaltending prospect but there is no one behind him. Many of their mid-tier prospects such as Butler and Colin Greening are set to graduate this season and leave a hole in the prospect pool. Top 5 Prospects: 1. David Rundblad, D, 2. Jared Cowen, D, 3. Mika Zibanejad, C, 4. Robin Lehner, G, 5. Jakob Silfverberg, C.”  I don’t agree that Ottawa will be left with a lack of mid-tier prospects, but the Sens do need to draft a goalie at some point.

The Hockey News has an article from Ross MacLean (of ISS) about the impact of injury on draft-eligible prospects (link).  It’s worth reading in its entirety, but here’s part of it, “But an injury to a player in his draft year can be devastating to their career. The ideology here is that kids in the 17-year-old range are in their prime developmental years. This is not just a sport concern, but a personal and physiological concern. The ultimate and unfortunate truth to the matter is that if you are a prospect, and there is any sort of concern surrounding you, it will effect your draft stock.”

-Prospect updates (their position in team scoring is noted in brackets, defence compared to defence; I’ve also indicated if the player’s scoring position has change (with a + for up, – for down, and = for unchanged):
CHL
Mark Stone (Brandon, WHL) 24-21-29-50 (1st=)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Gatineau, QMJHL) 17-18-13-31 (1st=) (injured)
Matt Puempel (Peterborough, OHL) 23-15-11-26 (t-1st+)  
Shane Prince
(Ottawa 67s, OHL) 17-9-16-25 (3rd=)
Stefan Noesen (Plymouth, OHL) 20-6-17-23 (4th-)
Jakub Culek (Rimouski, QMJHL) 22-5-11-16 (5th+)
Darren Kramer (Spokane, WHL) 17-9-6-15 (3rd-)
Jordan Fransoo (Brandon, WHL) 24-0-4-4 (6th=)
SEL
Jakob Silfverberg (Brynas) 19-7-7-14 (4th=) (injured)
Fredrik Claesson (Djurgarden) 22-1-3-4 (4th=)
Marcus Sorensen (Boras) 8-2-2-4 (10th+)
Mika Zibanejad (Djurgarden) 6-1-0-1 (19th=)
NCAA
Ryan Dzingel (CCHA-Ohio State) 13-5-8-13 (2nd+)
Bryce Aneloski (WCHA-Nebraska-Omaha) 14-1-8-9 (2nd-)
Chris Wideman (CCHA-Miami) 14-1-6-7 (1st+)
Michael Sdao (ECAC-Princeton) 9-4-1-5 (t-1st=)
Max McCormick (CCHA-Ohio State) 6-2-3-5 (10th)
Ben Blood (WCHA-North Dakota) 11-1-3-4 (2nd+)
Jeff Costello (CCHA-Notre Dame) 8-0-3-3 (12th+)
Brad Peltz (ECAC-Yale) 1-0-0-0 (=)

Ottawa 1, Vancouver 2 (OT)

The Senators got a great performance from surprise starter Alex Auld tonight, but were unable to beat the Canucks.  The game featured an ugly incident where Alex Burrows deliberately unlocked the bench door so that Jesse Winchester fell through it (there was no call on the play).  Ottawa played well overall, although their powerplay was ineffective.  For the box score go here link.  Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Vancouver, H. Sedin (pp)
Winchester follows Kesler over to Daugavins side of the ice and the latter doesn’t adjust, leaving Sedin wide open in the slot for the shot
2. Greening (Spezza, Gonchar)
Left alone in front Greening fires home Spezza pass from the corner
3. Vancouver, Higgins
I thought the point shot from Hamhuis deflected off Kuba‘s skate and in, but regardless, Auld had no chance

Top-performers:
Alex Auld – by far his best game this year
Colin Greening – scored and was tied for the most scoring chances; worked hard in all zones
Zack Smith – continues his strong defensive play as well as generating chances offensively
Chris Phillips – a strong game all around and he cut down on the turnovers

Players who struggled:
Brian Lee – yes, he did play tonight
Nick Foligno – that consistency you keep hoping for just wasn’t there tonight

Daniel Alfredsson wasn’t terrible tonight, but his line has been ineffective the last two games and his inability to produce continues after returning from injury.