Senators News: January 24th; Ottawa 1, Los Angeles 4

Don Brennan thinks Craig Anderson played well last night, which is simply inaccurate–Anderson has been much better the past month, but did not play well last night.

Kyle Turris talked about the difference in his game since coming to Ottawa, “I’m definitely a lot more comfortable here. I’m having more fun, playing more of my game and how I know I can play, compared to when I was with Phoenix. It’s been amazing. Coach MacLean has given the team and myself confidence, allowing us to play our game and have fun. Having that confidence makes you 100 times better as a hockey player. The game and the majority of sports is all about confidence. He has instilled that in me from Day 1. I can’t thank him enough for it. It’s made me feel comfortable and allowed me to play my game. It’s just such a great group of guys. We all mesh so well” (link).

-Eugene Melnyk provides a note of sanity amongst trade speculation, “(Dealing) would come with one caveat. Let’s not lose focus of what our job is: That’s to rebuild. The deal we made for Kyle Turris was more of an anomoly than anything else because we did give up a piece of our future and we weren’t going to be competitive without a second-line centre. We had to give something up. You tell me: Unless there is an injury here, I can’t see a void. If it isn’t broken, don’t try to to fix it. Even if we lose a couple in a row, it’s not the end of the world. We need to just keep grinding away. The ones that will succeed in the league, are the ones left standing” (link).

-TSN’s Kerry Fraser writes about Erik Karlsson‘s diving flap (link), “I find it difficult to believe that the referee would openly make a statement to label or brand a player as a “diver.” What I could believe is when questioned by the coach as to why a penalty was not called on the play a response such as, “I felt your player fell down easy, did a toe pick, embellished the light contact in an attempt to draw a penalty or (more directly) I thought your player took a dive.” Any of these types of responses would be appropriate as opposed to branding the player a “diver”. The referee has to make decisions all the time based on criteria such as this to determine when an infraction occurred. In the emotion and intensity of any game a statement can sometimes be misinterpreted. Words of explanation must be chosen wisely by game officials so as not to be construed as offensive or inflammatory. The job of the referee is to always be part of the solution and not part of the problem. When a discussion of this nature takes place it is advisable to have another official alongside to provide support if necessary and act as a witness to what was actually stated. If by any remote chance something inappropriate was accidentally stated by the referee, I am confident that a direct apology will be made in a private conversation to right the ship.”  To unpack these comments you have to read between the lines: no referee should ever call a player a diver and if by chance they do they should apologise.  It seems clear O’Rourke did call Karlsson a diver and no apology has been forthcoming.  It’s a classless move by O’Rourke who clearly didn’t like being called out for it judging by last night’s officiating.

TSN, Sportsnet, ESPN, and The Hockey News‘ power rankings are out, with Ottawa 10th, 10th, 11th, and 11th

The Sens played an uninspired game in their 4-1 loss to LA, running into penalty problems (officials were Dan O’Rourke and Tim Peel, the later clearly not happy to see his name in the papers) and were unable to deal with LA’s forecheck.  Craig Anderson was deservedly pulled (for the first time since December 27th) and the Bobby Butler experiment on the first line failed yet again.  Chris Neil was KO’d by Kyle Clifford who “accidentally” ran into him–I wonder if this is part of a new trend.  Here’s the box score.  A look at the goals:
1. LA, Mitchell
Borowiecki turns the puck over and Anderson let’s a floater in from the point
2. LA, Clifford
Anderson baubles the puck in his glove and Clifford bangs it in when he drops it
3. LA, Johnson (pp)
5-on-3 one-timer
4. LA, Lewis (penalty shot)
Phillips is called for closing his hand on the puck in the crease and Lewis scores on the penalty shot
5. Alfredsson (Karlsson, Gonchar) (pp)
A great one-timer by Alfredsson

Top-performers: no one had a great night, but Daniel Alfredsson and Filip Kuba were the best.

Players Who Struggled:
Erik Karlsson – had a difficult time dealing with the Kings heavy forecheck and was a turnover machine
Craig Anderson – two bad goals is too many