Senators News: December 4th

The Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan writes about last night’s game (link), with Paul MacLean talking about the trapping style used by the Capitals, “We have to break out the ’03 tapes to figure out a way to break the trap again, to get some execution and do things properly, but we’ll break them out and get things done.  I thought our team came out and had a good start to the game. Second period they got momentum off of their power play and we didn’t execute vs. their trap and gave them some more offence. But at the end of the day, we came back to get the game tied up and get a point.  We blow a tire in overtime, stuff happens once in a while, but, for the most part, we end the road trip with a good record.  We’ve grown a lot as a team, now we get to go home and practice as a team, then get playing again.”

-Brennan’s potpourri article (link) looks at the success of Kaspars Daugavins who discusses his gregarious nature, “I hang with everybody, anywhere. Even when we were kids, there were groups on the teams that would hang out, but I’d try to hang out with everyone. Makes some friends.  Everybody laughs at my accent.  I guess that’s why they hang out. I have some funny jokes, too, once in awhile.”  I echo Brennan’s opinion that scratching Filatov last night was a surprise, “I don’t think MacLean is showing enough patience here. Filatov has only played two games, plus a handful of shifts since being recalled.”

-Brennan gives five reasons why the Sens can make the playoffs (link):
1. Paul MacLean – Brennan points out he was a good assistant coach and good in the minors, ergo he will continue to deliver this season.  As good coaching credientials describe the majority of NHL coaches, I don’t see them as distinguishing MacLean from his peers.
2. Special Teams – Brennan says the powerplay is good and the penalty-killer is improving.  If the former remains potent and the latter continues to improve I agree they will help the playoff drive.
3. Craig Anderson – Brennan says the goaltender will definitely improve.  I’d like to believe him, but Anderson has let in at least one bad goal in each of his last five starts.
4. Daniel Alfredsson – Brennan talks about the emotional lift he gives the team.  This is hard to measure, but I have no problem agreeing that the captain is an important piece to the team’s success.
5. Bryan Murray – Brennan believes Murray will make a deal if the Sens are close to the playoffs, but I hope he doesn’t.  Murray’s track record with deadline deals has not been great and the team isn’t deep enough to give up good prospects for a rental.

The Silver Seven‘s exuberant Ryan Classic writes about last night’s game (link), which he thought was boring but loved everything about the Senators and how they played.

-Joy Lindsay has post-game comments up from Binghamton’s loss last night (link), with Kurt Kleinendorst saying, “We played a pretty good road game. Throw out the shot clock, which really I don’t think was all that indicative of the game. They get a lot of shots on net, that’s what San Jose does. We get the lead late, then there’s a very questionable call on Da Costa in the offensive zone, and with 10 seconds left on the power play, they outbattle us around the net. We were 10 seconds short of killing that, and if we do, we’re in pretty good shape. And then, one more unfortunate read off a rush, and next thing you know we’re down by a goal late. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it goes.

The Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce Garrioch’s potpourri column (link) talks about division and conference realignment (nothing new) and the possibility of Randy Carlyle going to Winnipeg–despite the team being high on their current coach (Claude Noel) and the problem the Jets have is taking too many penalties (a constant in Anaheim under Carlyle).  Finally, Garrioch speculates the Flames might try and land Filip Kuba to replace Mark Giordano.


Ottawa 2, Washington 3 (OT); Binghamton 1, Worchester 2

Ottawa lost their second game in a row tonight, a game in which they were mediocre and probably deserved to lose.  The entertainment value was missing tonight and the Sens racked up their second game in a row in which they only enjoyed one powerplay.  For the box score go here link.  A look at the goals:
1. Washington, Backstrom
Chris Phillips inexplicably backs off and let’s Backstrom fire the puck home from the slot
2. Karlsson (Spezza)
Floats the puck in from the point through a Greening screen
3. Washington, Brouwer
A bad angle goal given up by Anderson
4. Michalek (Alfredsson, Foligno)
Foligno gets the puck to the net and Michalek bangs it home
5. Washington, Laich
Karlsson falls giving up a 2-on-1 that Laich nicely finishes

Top-performers (no one had a great game, nevertheless):
Milan Michalek – largely invisible, but still lead the team in scoring chances and scored the game-tying goal

Players who struggled:
Jared Cowen – a rough night as he lead the team in turnovers
Bobby Butler – got his chance on the top line with Filatov scratched and was completely invisible; I have to wonder if he’ll be in the lineup next time
Brian Lee – couldn’t make a pass and couldn’t defend

Binghamton lost another regulation game tonight.  Despite being badly out shot (35-22) they still managed to lead the game in the third on a goal by Pat Cannone before losing (Mike McKenna took the loss).  I did not see the game so I’m reliant on reports about it.  For the box score go here link and for Joy Lindsay’s game summary go here link.

Elmira won 3-1 tonight, with Brian Stewart getting the win, Jack Downing kept off the scoreboard and Louie Caporusso didn’t play.