Senators News: February 8th

-As Ottawa slides down the standings with every team in the league having games in hand, their playoff window gets smaller and smaller.  What’s become apparent is that many of the players who got off to hot starts (particularly Milan Michalek) are coming back down to earth and will post up their usual numbers by season’s end.  This should make organisational decisions easier, although being on the cusp of the post-season may mean Murray won’t pull the trigger are some obvious deadline deals (Filip Kuba, for example).

Don Brennan includes an illuminating quote from Zenon Konopka about the talk between tough guys in warm-up, “Some of those chats can be pretty vulgar, and promoting for later in the night. When I was talking with (Shawn) Thornton in Boston, I knew he went to Turks and Caicos for the break and I was asking how the hotel was. We both know the owner. He says it was pretty nice. He had a real nice time. That was nice. When we played in Pittsburgh, I had a chat with (Matt) Cooke, then (Arron) Asham came over, and I fought Asham first shift. What happened (in the warmup) was, Cooke actually owes a buddy of mine a signed jersey, so I told him he better get it to him or there’s going to be juice, and the juice is running. Then Asham came over and said ‘Zee, what are you talking about?’ I told him and he said, ‘Oh, OK, cool. So are we going tonight?’ And I said, I’m willing if you are. So the first shift we go. Then we played Philadelphia, and I saw that Zac Rinaldo, and I just told him, we’re going tonight. And he’s like, ‘No we’re not.’ I said, that isn’t how it works. I’m the older player. When I was your age, I didn’t ask questions, I just dropped my gloves. We’re going tonight. And he said ‘OK, I guess,’ so later, we went.”  As amusing as this is, it goes to show that staged fights are the norm in the league.

-In the same article, Brennan reveals that Brian Lee played with both a broken toe and thumb for 20 games last year.  That’s the kind of things coaches and teammates respect.

-Continuing with Brennan, he has an interesting quote from Ken Hitchcock about how the game is played, “It used to be tennis when we came out of the lockout. Now it’s like ping pong. The game is so fast now. We go stretches … we’ve come out of the break, played two games now, and we played one game 8:30 no whistles, and then we played 5;35 no whisteles. You never saw that before. It’s unbeliveale how fast the game is,but it’s fast without puck possession. It’s like, forecheck, forecheck, forecheck. … it’s really different. Sometimes it feels like it’s organizaed chaos out there, to be honest with you. It’s what it is. With no red line, and with teams playing three forwards high in the neutral zone, you’re not going to get a puck possesssion game. You’re just going to have to deal with it, get used to it. It’s really different now. The last two years it’s changed even more.”  In case it isn’t clear, by “tennis” Hitch is referring to scoring.

The Hockey News and Sports Illustrated‘s power rankings are out, with Ottawa 16th in both.

Joy Lindsay Tweets today’s lines at practice: Klinkhammer-Locke-Downing, Hoffman-Da Costa-Petersson, Dziurzynski-Cannone-Bartlett, Grant-Hamilton-Lessard; Henningson-Gryba, Wiercioch-Borowiecki, Raymond-Schira, Godfrey.

Bob McKenzie has his mid-season draft rankings posted:
1. Nail Yakubov, OHL
2. Mikhail Grigorenko, QMJHL
3. Ryan Murray, WHL
4. Filip Forsberg, SEL
5. Mathew Dumba, WHL
6. Jacob Trouba, USHL
7. Alex Galchenyuk, OHL
8. Morgan Rielly, WHL
9. Griffin Reinhart, WHL
10. Radek Faksa, OHL
11. Zemgus Girgensons, USHL
12. Cody Ceci, OHL
13. Brendan Gaunce, OHL
14. Olli Maatta, OHL
15. Slater Koekkoek, OHL
16. Sebastian Collberg, SEL
17. Derrick Pouliot, WHL
18. Andrei Vasilevski, MHL
19. Pontus Aberg, SEL
20. Thomas Wilson, OHL
21. Brady Skjei, USHL
22. Malcolm Subban, OHL
23. Tomas Hertl, Cze
24. Martin Frk, QMJHL
25. Stefan Matteau, USHL
26. Tanner Pearson, OHL
27. Phillip Di Giuseppe, NCAA
28. Teuvo Teravainen, SM-Liiga
29. Matt Finn, OHL
30. Colton Sissons, WHL
31. Ville Pokka, SM-Liiga
32. Damon Severson, WHL
33. Oscar Dansk, SEL
34. Jordan Schmaltz, USHL
35. Jarrod Maidens, OHL
36. Patrick Sieloff, USHL
37. Michael Matheson, USHL
38. Nicolas Kerdiles, USHL
39. Andreas Athanasiou, OHL
40. Daniil Zharkov, OHL
Honourable Mentions:
Ludvig Bystrom, SEL
Brian Hart, US High School
Scott Kosmachuk, OHL
Hampus Lindholm, SEL
Dalton Thrower, WHL