Senators News: December 8th

Bobby Butler remains in the lineup going into tonight’s game; Alex Auld gets a rare start

The Ottawa Sun‘s Aedan Helmer writes about last night’s game (link), with Chris Neil seemingly pretty forgiving of Ovechkin‘s spear, “I don’t see (Ovechkin) as that type of player and we played each other hard the rest of the night.”  But Don Brennan has a longer quote (link) where Neil implies a suspension should be forthcoming, “It was almost like a pitchfork, right in the gut. It’s frustrating, no call on the play, and I end up getting the penalty. Obviously people have seen the replay on it and they’ve seen that he catches me. We make mistakes out there, and so do the refs. Hopefully the league will review it and make the right call.”

-In the same Brennan article he quotes Erik Condra about the process of becoming a complete player, “You can learn defence. You can learn how to play smart in your own zone. And I think I’ve done that.”

The Silver Seven‘s Adnan writes about last night’s game (link) and while I mostly agree with his article I take issue with two comments.  He had Erik Karlsson listed as one of his “underwhelming” players who was “victimised several times by Ovechkin“.  Other than one play in particular (where Ovechkin was able to drive wide around Karlsson and get a scoring chance), I thought Karlsson was fine (his partner, Cowen, struggled more with his pivots last night, with both Ovechkin and Semin blowing by him).  The second assertion was about the struggling first line (Greening-Spezza-Butler) and I’d simply qualify that to say when Greening played with anyone else (or when Michalek replaced Butler) he was fine, so I don’t think Greening was as culpable as his linemates.

SenShot‘s Jared Crozier thinks he’s spotted a technical weakness in Craig Anderson‘s game (link).  For me the primary problem with Anderson is that he allows a soft goal every game.

-Joy Lindsay has her post-game comments posted (link), with Kurt Kleinendorst saying, “You know what, I thought our honest guys were honest. I mean, I can give you a handful of guys. I thought Robin gave us a chance to win. I thought Gratchev was really good. I thought Cowick was really good. Klinkhammer. I mean, I thought we had some guys that played well. Boro always plays well. Carkner was fine. I call those the honest guys. Those are the guys that you can take to the bank every single night. But I don’t think we were all in, for sure.”  On how to get all the players to give an honest effort, “That’s the million-dollar question. I mean, you put their fannies on the bench. But again, it’s a long year. There are going to be nights like tonight where you try to push buttons, but where do you go? How many guys do you sit down? And then when you sit them down, what’s left? So you’ve got to challenge. There’s motivation in sports for sure.”  There entire article is worth reading, so I recommend you check it out.

-The injuries continue to pile up in Binghamton, with Derek Grant on crutches and Josh Godfrey injured (link)

-Elmira’s Brian Stewart was named ECHL Goaltender of the Week last week

The Hockey News‘ Ryan Kennedy hopes the World Junior rosters are picked based on talent and need instead of politics (link), but there’s no doubt politics will continue to play a role.  While Kennedy talks about the decision by the Czech team last year to leave off some of their better players who were in the CHL, he doesn’t bring up the gold medal winning Russians who did the same thing.  The idea of punishing players for playing junior in Canada seems to be ebbing away from the US side (in large part because so many top players come here now), but some of the European leagues will continue to punish their nationals for leaving home.