Ottawa at the Forty-Game Mark

The Sens are now forty-games into the season (for the previous ten-game segment go here).  Ottawa went 7-2-1, earning 15 points (their best stretch of the season).  They are 2nd in the division (up from 5th), 6th in the conference (up from 11th), and 13th in the overall standings (up from 20th).  They are 13th in goals for (down from 6th), 29th in goals against (no change), 17th in powerplay percentage (down from 14th), 25th on the penalty kill (down from 22nd).  They are 19th in 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio (0.93), up from 21st; they are 21st in the league in faceoffs (down from 16th); they are 28th in shots allowed (down from 24th) and 7th in shots-for (up from 11th).

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):
Jason Spezza 10-5-7-12 +6 TOI 20:08 FO% 54.6 (TOI increasing, FO declining)
Daniel Alfredsson 10-5-7-12 +4 TOI 18:21 (TOI increasing)
Erik Karlsson 10-3-9-12 +7 TOI 25:38  
Jared Cowen
10-2-4-6 +2 TOI 19:36 (TOI increasing)  
Erik Condra
10-3-2-5 +2 TOI 14:33
Chris Neil 10-2-3-5 -1 TOI 13:25
Zack Smith
10-3-1-4 -1 TOI 15:04 FO% 47.6 (FO declining)
Nick Foligno
10-1-3-4 Even TOI 14:54
Colin Greening 10-1-3-4 +2 TOI 16:13
Kyle Turris 7-0-4-4 +4 TOI 15:34 FO% 43.8 (acquired by trade)
Brian Lee 8-0-3-3 -2 TOI 14:33 SCR 2
Milan Michalek
5-1-1-2 Even TOI 19:20 INJ 5
Filip Kuba 7-1-1-2 +6 TOI 23:03 (TOI increasing) INJ 3
Matt Carkner 9-1-1-2 -2 TOI 13:48 SCR 1
Sergei Gonchar
5-0-2-2 -1 TOI 22:00 INJ 5
Chris Phillips 9-0-2-2 -1 TOI 19:37 (TOI decreasing) INJ 1
Peter Regin 4-1-0-1 Even TOI 14:05 INJ 6 (TOI increasing)
Bobby Butler 8-1-0-1 Even TOI 11:41 SCR 2
Zenon Konopka
10-1-0-1 -2 TOI 7:33 FO% 59.5 (TOI increasing)
Kaspars Daugavins
10-0-0-0 -3 TOI 13:32 (TOI decreasing)
Jesse Winchester 4-0-0-0 -2 TOI 10:27 FO% 53.2 (TOI increasing) INJ 6
David Rundblad 3-0-0-0 -3 (traded)
Mike Hoffman 1-0-0-0 -1 9:01 (AHL 9-3-4-7 +2)
Craig Anderson 6-2-1 3.19 .899 (pulled once) GAA has improved
Alex Auld 1-0-0 3.73 .875 (pulled once) GAA has declined

The usual suspects lead the way offensively (Alfredsson, Spezza, and Karlsson) in the Sens recent stretch.  It’s interesting to note that despite all the Sens wins Anderson‘s stats have remained largely unchanged.  Nick Foligno, as expected, has come back down to earth (how much of that is due to him no longer playing at center is an open question).  Kaspars Daugavins hasn’t just come back down to earth, but has sunk below ground level.  Karlsson leads the way at +7 (with Spezza and Kuba at +6), while the aforementioned Daugavins sits at -3.  The Senators have clearly benefitted from their long stretch at home and I’ll be interested to see how they handle things on the road.

Senators News: January 3rd; Ottawa 3, New Jersey 2 (OT)

Ottawa overcame a two goal deficit to defeat the Devils in OT–their second straight comeback that resulted in an overtime winner from Daniel Alfredsson.  I missed the opening 15 minutes of the game and the second period felt like it took three hours, but the Sens delivered an exciting finish.  Chris Phillips left the game with an injury, but as yet I haven’t seen or heard any updates (I’d guess Mark Borowiecki would be recalled if neither Phillips nor Gonchar can play).  Click here for the box score.  A quick look at the goals:
1. New Jersey, Zubrus
Konopka turns the puck over to Sykora and Phillips can’t handle Zubrus who bangs in the rebound
2. New Jersey, Clarkson
Carkner loses a battle along the boards and Anderson bobbles Zajac’s weak shot which trickles behind him to be batted in by Clarkson
3. Spezza (Karlsson, Anderson)
Sweet pass from Karlsson sends Spezza in all alone
4. Condra (Kuba) (sh)
Kuba creates the turnover and Condra simply throws the puck at the net
5. Alfredsson (Karlsson, Spezza) (pp)
Fires it through Brodeur from the faceoff dot

Filip Kuba – continues to be a rock defensively
Erik Condra – great in all three zones
Daniel Alfredsson – captain clutch gets his second-straight OT winner

Players who struggled:
Brian Lee – too many turnovers
Matt Carkner – along with Neil he was a team-worst -2 and can’t be losing puck battles along the boards

The Ottawa Sun‘s Aedan Helmer writes about last night’s game (link) with Devils coach Peter DeBoer saying, “(The Senators) don’t give up, they hung in. They took advantage of their opportunities, it wasn’t like we handed them 10 or 15 scoring chances, we gave them a couple and they stuck it in. Credit to them, and we’ve got to move forward.”  You have to credit the Devils for continuing to play boring hockey.

The Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan writes about Erik Karlsson‘s minutes played (link) and includes an amusing quote from Paul MacLean, “We talked to him about it early, when I got here, said we’d like to play him 30 minutes but we want to make sure they’re all for us.”

Calgary Sun‘s Scott Fisher writes a fluff piece about Mika Zibanejad (link) which doesn’t include much that’s new other than Zibanejad‘s perspective on last year’s WJC performance, “I think that’s what happened last year. We were so happy after the Canada game.”

-Joy Lindsay Tweets that Andre Petersson is ready to return to the lineup.  Here were the lines at practice: Klinkhammer-Locke-Petersson, Hoffman-Da Costa-Grant, Dziurzynski-Cannone-Bartlett, Gratchev-Hamilton-Cowick/Lessard; Gryba-Borowiecki, Raymond-Conboy, Godfrey-Schira.  She confirms that Patrick Wiericoch is out long-term which is no surprise, while Jim O’Brien hasn’t started skating and Mark Parrish is expected out until after the all-star break.  I don’t think the loss of Parrish hurts the team the way losing Corey Locke did.  Wiercioch leaves a big void however, as the Sens don’t have any other A-grade offensive blueliners in their lineup.

-I watched both WJC quarter final games yesterday, with the Finnish-Slovak game atrocious on about every level (including horrible officiating which has been the norm throughout the tournament) while the Russian-Czech game was a great one to watch (Sens prospect Jakub Culek scored the lone Czech goal).