Ottawa at the Fifty-Game Mark

The Sens are now fifty-games into the season (for the previous ten-game segment go link).  Ottawa went 7-2-1, earning 15 points (the same as their previous stretch).  They are 2nd in their division (unchanged), 5th in the conference (up from 6th), and 9th in the overall standings (up from 13th).  They are 6th in goals for (up from 13th), 27th in goals against (up from 29th), 17th in powerplay percentage (unchanged), 19th on the penalty kill (up from 25th).  They are 10th in 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio (1.03), up from 19th; they are 15th in the league in faceoffs (up from 21st); they are 29th in shots allowed (down from 28th) and 11th in shots-for (down from 7th).

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 10-6-4-10 +4 TOI 20:07 FO% 54.2
Kyle Turris 10-4-5-9 +8 TOI 16:15 FO% 44.9 (TOI and FO% increasing)
Erik Karlsson
9-2-7-9 +7 TOI 25:29 1 INJ
Daniel Alfredsson
10-3-5-8 +7 TOI 18:30
Colin Greening 10-3-5-8 +2 TOI 16:11
Nick Foligno
10-1-7-8 +3 TOI 14:47
Milan Michalek 10-4-2-6 +1 TOI 19:32
Filip Kuba
10-1-5-6 +5 TOI 23:25 (TOI increasing)
Chris Neil 10-3-1-4 Even TOI 13:23 
Sergei Gonchar
10-0-4-4 +2 TOI 22:15
Jared Cowen
10-0-3-3 +3 TOI 20:13 (TOI increasing)
Bobby Butler 10-2-0-2 +2 TOI 11:12 (TOI decreasing)
Chris Phillips
9-0-2-2 +1 TOI 18:58 INJ 1 (TOI decreasing)
Erik Condra
10-0-2-2 +2 TOI 14:57 (TOI increasing)
Zack Smith 10-1-0-1 +1 TOI 15:02 FO% 47.7
Kaspars Daugavins 10-0-1-1 Even TOI 11:57 (TOI decreasing)  
Zenon Konopka
10-0-0-0 -1 TOI 7:34 FO% 59.5
Matt Carkner
8-0-0-0 Even TOI 12:39 SCR 2 (TOI decreasing)
Brian Lee 3-0-0-0 +1 TOI 14:38 SCR 2 INJ 5
Mark Borowiecki 1-0-0-0 Even TOI 13:01 (5-1-2-3 -1 AHL)
Andre Petersson 1-0-0-0 Even TOI 5:02 (5-4-4-8 -3 AHL)
Jesse Winchester (injured)
Peter Regin (injured)
Craig Anderson 7-2-1 2.85 .912 GAA and SV improved
Alex Auld DNP

A number of things stand out in the segment: Alex Auld simply isn’t playing while Chris Phillips see’s his ice time continuing to decline (most of the extra ice time is going to Jared Cowen).  Zack Smith and Erik Condra have gone ice cold, while Kyle Turris, Colin Greening, and Nick Foligno have heated up.  Erik Karlsson continues to be incredibly productive and Craig Anderson has hit his stride and is winning games for the team.  Turris leads the way at an incredible +8 while Kaspars Daugavins and Zenon Konopka are the only minus players at -1.

Senators News: January 22nd; Ottawa 1, Anaheim 2

Ottawa’s two-game winning streak came to an end in Anaheim yesterday as the Ducks were able to slow down the pace of the game and minimize the Sens chances.  It was not a great night for the officials (Dan O’Rourke and Greg Kimmerly–the latter was also brutal in San Jose as well as in Dallas back on December 2nd).  Andre Petersson‘s debut was wasted as he was given just 5 minutes of ice time–what Paul MacLean could have learned from that is beyond me.  Matt Carkner continued his trend of barely playing when he’s in the lineup.  Click here for the box score.  A look at the goals:
1. Anaheim, Perry
Karlsson leaves the front of the net to help Kuba in the corner and Spezza doesn’t react to it, leaving Perry wide open (reading Karlsson comments after the game it’s clear Spezza should have rotated down to cover for him, link)
2. Anaheim, Visnovsky
Karlsson tips the puck into his own net
3. Neil (Foligno, Karlsson)
Neil bangs in his own rebound

Craig Anderson – no soft goals and kept the team in it
Chris Neil – threw a couple of big hits and scored

Players Who Struggled:
Chris Phillips – the unforced mental errors in his own zone continue
Erik Karlsson – he wasn’t terrible, but his mistakes contributed to both goals
Jason Spezza – had more than 24 minutes of ice time but was unable to generate offense

-Referee Dan O’Rourke told Paul MacLean that Erik Karlsson is considered a diver.  I haven’t noticed that myself, but it does explain why there was no call when he was elbowed in the face by Patrick Marleau and went down.  That reputation (even unwarranted) is extremely hard to shake so I feel for Karlsson.

-Sens players weren’t happy with their game with Chris Neil saying, “It’s definitely disappointing. We obviously let down in the second period and they took advantage of it. You can’t just expect to play 20 minutes in the third and win a hockey game” and Daniel Alfredsson simply, “I don’t think we were at our best“.

Andre Petersson had a great quote when asked if he was nervous about his NHL debut, “Not much. It’s just hockey. Played the same way as down there in Binghamton. So no, not nervous.”

-Elmira won last night, with Maxime Gratchev scoring twice (his first points since being re-assigned five games ago) and Louie Caporusso adding a single.  Brian Stewart sat as the back-up.

-It’s probably a waste of time correcting Don Brennan‘s errors, but Luca Sbisa is Swiss, not Italian.