Ottawa 2, Boston 5

Tonight was an ugly loss for the Senators and Craig Anderson wears the goat horns.  The game itself had some flow until the Bruins took the lead.  The Sens were fortunate not to lose Nick Foligno to injury (he was kneed by Adam McQuaid).  For the box score go here link.  Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Boston, Peverley
Simply beats Anderson on a routine shoot
2. Alfredsson (Spezza)
Alfredsson gets lost in coverage and Spezza feeds him a great pass
3. Boston, Kelly
Carkner redirects a shot right in front of his net where it gets banged in; Rundblad looks bad on this play until you realise he was moving away from the net to go after the puck on its original trajectory
4. Boston, Bergeron
Alfredsson sends a hard pass to the last man back (Karlsson) and it bounces off his skate and Bergeron easily dekes Anderson on a mini-breakaway
5. Boston, Paille
Rundblad comes down the wall and while Winchester covers for him Phillips has no idea Paille is well behind him–he scores on the breakaway
6. Spezza (Phillips, Alfredsson)
A great shot from the top of the faceoff dot
7. Boston, Paille
Simply beats Anderson with a routine shot

Jason Spezza – a goal, an assist, no turnovers and he wasn’t a minus
Daniel Alfredsson – despite the giveaway on Boston’s third goal he lead the team in scoring chances and had a goal and an assist

Players who struggled:
Craig Anderson – let in two bad goals and was hopeless on two breakaways
Nick Foligno – invisible offensively and lead the team at -3


Ottawa at the Thirty Game Mark

The Sens are now through thirty-one games in the season, so I’m a game late in posting my ten-game segment (for the previous segment go here link).  Ottawa went 3-4-3, earning 9 points (virtually the same clip they’ve had all season).  They are 5th in the division (from 3rd), 11th in the conference (down from 8th), and 20th in the overall standings (down from 16th).  They are 6th in goals for (down from 3rd), 29th in goals against (up from 20th), 14th in powerplay percentage (down from 3rd), 22nd on the penalty kill (up from 24th).  They are 21st in 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio (0.74), up from 26th; they remain 16th in the league in facoffs; they are 24th in shots allowed (down from 15th) and 11th in shots-for (up from 16th).

Here’s a quick snapshot of player’s stats over the last ten games, although with TOI and faceoffs I’ve simply indicated if the numbers have changed significantly (INJ=games missed due to injury, SCR=scratched):
Nick Foligno 10-4-5-9 +4 TOI 15:08
Jason Spezza 10-3-6-9 -6 TOI 19:38 FO% 55.1 (FO declining)
Daniel Alfredsson 10-2-6-8 -1 TOI 17:31
Erik Karlsson 10-1-6-7 -4 TOI 25:27
Milan Michalek 10-6-0-6 -2 TOI 19:01
Zack Smith 10-5-1-6 +2 TOI 15:12 FO% 48.6 (TOI up by 0:36; FO declining)
Erik Condra 10-3-3-6 +4 TOI 14:21 (TOI up by 0:33)
Sergei Gonchar
9-0-6-6 +1 TOI 21:54 (TOI up by 0:31) INJ 1
Colin Greening 10-2-3-5 Even TOI 16:21 (TOI down by 0:40)
Jared Cowen 10-2-3-5 -1 TOI 18:31 (TOI up 2:09)
Kaspars Daugavins 10-1-3-4 +3 TOI 14:52
Chris Phillips 10-0-4-4 +1 TOI 20:13 (TOI up by 0:43)  
Jesse Winchester 10-1-2-3 +1 TOI 10:52 FO% 53.2 (FO declining)
Brian Lee 8-0-2-2 Even TOI 14:28 (TOI down by 1:40) SCR 2
Filip Kuba 4-0-1-1 -1 TOI 22:13 (TOI down by 0:29) INJ 6
David Rundblad 8-1-0-1 -1 TOI 15:37 (TOI down 1:14) SCR 2
Zenon Konopka 9-0-1-1 -2 TOI 7:13 FO% 59.8 (FO increasing) SCR 1
Bobby Butler 10-0-1-1 +1 TOI 11:29
Chris Neil
5-0-0-0 -5 TOI 13:31 INJ 5
Nikita Filatov 3-0-0-0 Even TOI 9:49 (TOI up 0:39)  SCR 5 (sent to KHL)
Stephane Da Costa
2-0-0-0 -1 TOI 12:09 FO% 36.7 (sent to Binghamton)
Peter Regin 1-0-0-0 Even TOI 12:29 INJ 9
Matt Carkner 1-0-0-0 +1 TOI 15:40 INJ 4 (spent time on assignment in Binghamton)
Craig Anderson 3-3-1 3.36 .897 (pulled once) GAA has declined
Alex Auld 0-1-2 3.43 .875 GAA and SV have improved

A few things stand out: a great stretch for Nick Foligno and Daniel Alfredsson has returned to form.  Jason Spezza was a team worst -6, while Foligno and Erik Condra lead the way at +4.  Alex Auld has yet to win a game yet this season (including earning a loss in relief), while Craig Anderson seems unable to get his GAA down.  Jared Cowen‘s production has rocketed up, accompanied by his ice time.

Senators News: December 14th

Milan Michalek suffered a concussion last night, but the Sens don’t believe the injury will keep him out long term.  With Michalek out, Bobby Butler slides back into the lineup

The Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan looks at the troubles Butler has had this season (link), with Paul MacLean’s concern that he isn’t shooting the puck enough.  As Brennan points out, Butler has scored in only one game this season.  It’s great that MacLean likes his work ethic, but he wasn’t signed to be an energy player.  Butler says his problem is “I’m just not getting the puck … not shooting enough. I’ve been trying to do all the little things … if I’m not getting the puck I can’t shoot it … a little bit of everything.”  Unpacking that a little, Butler is saying he isn’t being set-up enough to get shots.

-Rob Brodie writes for the Sens website about Sergei Gonchar (link), who said “When you’re young, you want to have everything right away. During the game, you want to do things right away. Sometimes, when you’re a defenceman, you’re trying for the big hit or you’re trying to jump (up in the play) and your timing is not always good. So when you’re patient and you’re waiting for that moment to come, you’ll have that chance. But being patient when you’re young is probably the toughest thing to do.”

Sports Illustrated‘s power rankings are out with Ottawa 24th (link), with Adrian Dater adding, “The slow fade in Canada’s capital has begun. Coach Paul MacLean’s team is 3-4-3  in its last 10. Having veteran defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba would  help turn things the other way, but each remains out a few more days with injuries. It would also help if Craig Anderson? who signed a pretty expensive four-year deal last year? could get his saves percentage over 90 percent and goals-against under 3.40.

-As expected, Sens prospect Mark Stone made the World Junior roster

Hockey Futures‘ named Stone their prospect of the month (link), saying in part, “During this past November, he supplanted Emerson Etem (ANA) of the Medicine Hat Tigers atop the WHL scoring derby. On two occasions this season, Stone has been named the WHL Player of the Week. Stone has scored 11 power play goals and added a pair of shorthanded markers. Five of his tallies have been game winners. The 19-year-old native of Winnipeg, Manitoba was a beast during November with 14 goals and 15 assists in 14 games. On the season, Stone has compiled 65 points in 33 games. The 6’3, 195-pounder played in one of the Subway Super Series games against Russia, skating with Wheaties teammate Michael Ferland (CGY) and Mark McNeill (CHI) of the Prince Albert Raiders to produce perhaps Team WHL’s most effective forward line. The trio earned invitations to Team Canada’s Selection Camp for the upcoming WJC, although McNeill and Ferland were among the first group of players to be released.”

-I don’t normally include rumours here, but I remember all the chatter in the 2009 draft when the Leafs took Nazem Kadri and the Sens taking Jared Cowen about who fleaced whom.  Opinions about Kadri in Toronto were very high last year, but this season he’s hit the rumour mill (link).  Cowen has been better than I expected when he was drafted and I certainly prefer having him to Kadri.

Red Line Report‘s latest issue is out with an updated list of 2012′s top prospects (with the position changes noted; for the previous report go here link).
1. Nail Yakupov (Sarnia, OHL)
2. Filip Forsberg (Leksand, Sweden) (+1)
3. Mikhail Grigorenko (Quebec, QMJHL) (+2)
4. Ryan Murray (Everett, WHL) (-2)
5. Matt Dumba (Red Deer, WHL) (+2)
6. Zemgus Girgensons (Dubuque, USHL) (+2)
7. Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw, WHL) (-1)
8. Pontus Aberg (Djurgarden, Sweden) (+6)
9. Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia, OHL) (-2)
10. Jacob Trouba (US NTDP, USHL) (+7)
11. Sebastian Collberg (Frolunda, Sweden)
12. Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton, WHL) (-2)
13. Henrik Samuelsson (US NTDP, USHL) (-9)
14. Olli Maatta (London, OHL) (-2)
15. Damon Severson (Kelowna, WHL)
16. Nick Ebert (Windsor, OHL) (-3)
17. Slater Koekkoek (Peterborough, OHL) (-1)
18. Gianluca Curcuruto (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL)
19. Jordan Schmaltz (Sioux City, USHL)
20. Derrick Pouliot (Portland, WHL)
21. Cody Ceci (Ottawa 67s, OHL)
22. Matt Finn (Guelph, OHL) (+60)
23. Brendan Gaunce (Belleville, OHL)
24. Andrey Vasilevski (Salavat, KHL)
25. Oscar Dansk (Brynas, SEL)
26. Radek Faksa (Kitchener, OHL) (+2)
27. Martin Frk (Halifax, QMJHL) (-5)
28. Scott Kosmachuk (Guelph, OHL) (-2)
29. Teuvo Teravainen (Jokerit, Finland) (-2)
30. Colton Sissons (Kelowna, WHL) (-1)
One player fell out of the top-30 this month: Eric Locke (#33, -3).  Here’s the movement among former top-30 players: Chandler Stephenson (#41, -4), Calle Andersson (#52, -17), Patrik Machac (#53, -2), Jarrod Maidens (#55, -2), Matia Marcantuoni (#56, -25), Troy Bourke (#59, -5), Scott Laughton (#62, -4),  Ryan Olsen (#75, -16) and Luca Ciampini (#115, -65).

-TSN’s Craig Button has a top-60 2012 prospect list posted (link)