Senators News: November 30th

The Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan writes about last night’s win (link), where Paul MacLean talks about the contributions of his third line, “They did a good job. They played real hard tonight. When players are playing hard, you have to reward them with an opportunity. They’ve been killing penalties for us and doing a real good job. Just felt we had to give them an opportunity on the power play and see what they could do.”

Senators Extra‘s Allen Panzeri writes about David Rundblad (link), with Paul MacLean saying “I think that was displayed the other night [Sunday] with the confidence he had after missing (the previous five games). Just because you’re not playing doesn’t mean you don’t learn about the league and what’s going on, so I think he’s used his time wisely.”  Rundblad said “It was tough when I (was scratched for five games in a row), because you want to be playing. But my confidence is getting higher with every game I play. “I’m just trying to play my game and keep my head up.”  The think as long as Rundblad remains confident he’ll stay in the line-up.

SenShot‘s Jared Crozier wonders if Bobby Butler is the new Brandon Bochenski (link).  I don’t think Crozier’s point is that Butler can’t be a useful player, but rather that Butler is not the top-six answer in the same way Bochenski wasn’t.  It’s an interesting thought, but when Bochenski was shipped out of Ottawa no one was under any illusion he could produce at a high level.  Butler still has that potential, although the clock is ticking.

The Silver Seven‘s Peter Raaymakers looks at last night’s game (link), as does SenShot‘s Kevin Lee (link)

Sports Illustrated‘s power rankings are out (link), with Ottawa at 23rd.  Adrian Dater adds, “Rookie coach Paul MacLean deserves credit for having these guys anywhere near a  playoff spot, even at this point in the season. But let’s face it, the Sens aren’t going anywhere for a while. Craig Anderson‘s 3.44 GAA ranks 61st overall, not quite what GM Bryan Murray had in mind when he signed the netminder to a  four-year deal late last season.”  I’ve been mixed on Anderson as well and didn’t like the length of the contract he signed, but the GAA isn’t just about him.

-Joy Lindsay Tweets Binghamton’s lines at practice (link): Cowick/Armstrong-Da Costa-Parrish, Dziurzynski-Cannone-Petersson, Hoffman-Grant-Bartlett, Gratchev-Hamilton-Lessard; Borowiecki-Gryba, Wiercioch-Schira, Raymond-Godfrey.

The Team 1200‘s Jason York and Steve Lloyd have been tilting at the windmill of head shots for quite some time and I wanted to comment on their opinion.  When there’s a questionable hit, York will talk ad nauseum about how the player being hit has the responsibility to protect himself (by which he means it’s his fault) and that has always been the case in the NHL until recently (Lloyd agrees).  His historical statement is false, but for the sake of argument I want to accept it and take a look at what he’s actually saying: a player is responsible for his own safety on the ice at all times.  On the face of it the dictum seems obvious, but it’s inherently flawed.  If that’s the logic behind how the NHL works, then there should be no penalties for checking–boarding, charging, etc.  If a player is responsible for his own safety and is assumed to be capable of ensuring it, then an illegal hit is illogical.  All hits are legal because the person being hit is responsible.  I know neither York nor Lloyd believes that, but as soon as you start make exceptions for certain kinds of hits you have to admit players can’t always protect themselves (and therefore you can’t make blanket statements about who is responsible).  The other implication of their stance is that to avoid injury you have to play safe–don’t take a hit to make a play.  A final note, York likes to say that split-second decisions are impossible for the person delivering the hit, but if that’s right, then it’s impossible for the puck-carrier to make a split-second decision to avoid a collision (both of these latter points were brought up by Garry Galley on The Team 1200 yesterday, link).  I have no problem with York and Lloyd disagreeing with disciplinary decisions or debates (although listening to two people agree with one another makes for a dull discussion), but I’m tired of the faulty logic they use to justify their opinion.

Ottawa 6, Winnipeg 4

Despite being out played most of the game (giving up 43 shots) the Senators were able to win their second game in a row to close out their November schedule.  The team lost both Nikita Filatov (broken nose) and Filip Kuba (upper-body) in the first period, and they were lucky that Colin Greening was not injured on a play in the third.  For the box score go here link.  A look at the goals:
1. Michalek (Alfredsson, Foligno)
Shoots short-side on the odd-man rush
2. WInnipeg, Wheeler
Alfredsson baubles the puck in the slot and Foligno is slow getting to the open man on the back door
3. Winnipeg, Burmistrov
Cowen turns the puck over and Anderson let’s in a bad goal short-side
4. Smith (Condra)
Pavelec can’t seal the puck and Smith whacks it in
5. Michalek (Phillips, Condra)
Deflects in the point shot
6. Winnipeg, Kane
Point shot deflects off the back boards and Kane scores on an open net back door
7. Winnipeg, Kane (pp)
Karlsson can’t prevent Kane from cashing in a rebound
8. Spezza (Karlsson, Phillips)
Great cross-ice pass gives Spezza the yawning cage
9. Smith (Gonchar, Daugavins) (pp)
Gets the pass in the slot and fires it home
10. Foligno (Winchester, Greening) (en)
Great board work from his linemates gets Foligno the empty-netter

Top-performers:
Milan Michalek – scored a couple of goals and played a strong game
Zack Smith – also with a pair of goals and strong defensive play
Chris Phillips – two assists and a team-leading +4

Players who struggled:
Jared Cowen – wasn’t terrible, but a team-worst -3 and had a giveaway that lead directly to a goal