Ottawa 1, Boston 0; Binghamton 5, St. John’s 1

The Sens dominated Boston for forty minutes and Robin Lehner preserved the win in the third period.  It was good to see Ottawa beat both Boston and ThomasMatt Gilroy was used sparingly, but was solid in his first game.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
The Sens played a strong opening period, largely dominating the Bruins and scoring the only goal of the period on the powerplay (Karlsson through an excellent Alfredsson screen).
Second Period
Ottawa continued to control the play, although Boston picked up its physical game.  Condra missed an empty net, continuing his lengthy scoring drought.
Third Period
Boston dominated the entire game, the Bruins enjoying three powerplays and the Sens unable to capitalise on their few chances (such as Smith‘s breakaway).  Lehner, who wasn’t very busy in the first two periods, was excellent in the third.

Here’s a look at the goal:
1. Karlsson (Michalek, Spezza) (pp)
Beats Thomas high through an Alfredsson screen

Robin Lehner – was excellent when he needed to be and earned his first NHL shutout
Sergei Gonchar – despite taking a late penalty he was excellent defensively
Erik Condra – he missed an empty net, but was excellent in his own zone

Players Who Struggled:
Zenon Konopka – two brutal giveaways on the penalty kill in the third period

Ben Bishop had a stellar debut with Binghamton making 41 saves in Binghamton’s win over St. John’s.  Mike Hoffman scored twice and Corey Locke, Pat Cannone, and Derek Grant added singles.  Locke lead the with three points and both he and Eric Gryba were +2.  Here’s the box score and Joy Lindsay‘s game summary.

Senators News: February 28th

Matt Carkner and Kaspars Daugavins are the scratches tonight.

Joe Corvo may still be under the effects of a concussion as he’s fighting mad after Turris‘ hit, “Let’s just say I’ll be looking for him right off the bat. I’m not (happy). Two days I’ve been walking around with a headache. Just because I didn’t lay down on the ice and get carted off and miss a period … I don’t know … it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a cheapshot. In my opinion, he saw my numbers and took the opportunity to seek revenge for the game prior when we were at home. Hopefully he’s a man and he’ll step up (Tuesday) when I come after him. I’m not going to try and hurt him, but I want to fight him.”  Corvo has one NHL fight on his resume, fighting Joey Crabb in December (Turris has been in two NHL fights).

Don Brennan jumps back onto his old hobby horse and wishes Bryan Murray traded Filip Kuba and Sergei Gonchar.  I’m never sure if it’s worth pointing out Brennan’s errors in logic, but briefly: Gonchar can’t be traded and giving up Kuba would seriously hurt the playoff push.  He didn’t like the Lee trade either, but I think if you can get an asset for a guy you waived around the league that’s something at least.

-The trade of Brian Lee provides an end to his tenure with the organisation and allows the question to be asked: what kind of asset was he?  I think the reason Lee struggled for so long is that he thought of himself as an offensive blueliner, only starting to change his game last season to what he can be (a shutdown defenseman).  The best case scenario for Lee is to be a solid 5-6 player in the league who blocks shots and plays a safe game, but the Sens are loaded with players like that who are more physical (Mark Borowiecki and Eric Gryba for example).

Aedan Helmer writes about why Matt Gilroy wears #97, “After he passed away, I made a promise to my mom that I’d always wear that number and take it as far as [my little brother] Timmy would have.

ESPN and The Hockey News‘ power rankings are out, with Ottawa 14th and 11th.

Ben Bishop was sent to Binghamton where he’s expected to start tonight (meaning Brian Stewart was returned to Elmira).  The plan is for him to play some NHL games in the near future.  Joy Lindsay reports that Stephane Da Costa will miss the game due to injury while Bobby Raymond will be the healthy scratch.

-Analysis of the winners and losers at the trade deadline are pouring in, but I think they often err in being assessed by what the writer thinks the team should do as opposed to judging the deals from the perspective of what GM’s were trying to do.  It can be a subtle difference, but (for example) those criticising Nashville for overpaying with draft picks have to understand the goal for the Predators is playoff success, not the future.  I think it’s only on that basis that you can fairly assess what’s happened.  With that in mind, here’s my view of the day’s trades:
Andrei Kostitsyn (Mtl) – 2nd (2013) and conditional 5th (2013 (Nsh) – both teams got what they wanted here, with Montreal dumping a UFA and Nashville acquiring a scorer.  There’s more risk for Nashville, but Kostitsyn was the best rental scorer traded on the day.
Mike Commodore (Det) – conditional 7th (2013 (TB) – both teams got what they wanted, with Tampa getting a body for its thin blueline and Detroit dumping a UFA
Nick Schultz (Min) – Tom Gilbert (Edm) – again, both teams got what they wanted, with the defensive-minded Schultz in a down year and puck-moving Gilbert in an average year–both are 29, both have term on their contracts (Gilbert‘s is slightly more)
Keith Aulie (Tor) – Carter Ashton (TB) – I sound like a broken record, but here again both teams got what they wanted; Aulie is an older, more experienced prospect who can help Tampa’s blueline now, whereas Carter is a big, young winger for the future
Daniel Winnik, T. J. Galiardi, and 7th (2013) (Col) – Jamie McGinn, Mike Connolly, Michael Sgarbossa (SJ) – it’s harder for me to assess this trade because I’m not as familiar with the assets involved, but the Sharks get two NHL bodies to give them depth, while the Avalanche don’t really give up much
Brian Lee (Ott) – Matt Gilroy (TB) – another hockey trade with two right-handed shots with expiring contracts getting a fresh start with new teams; Gilroy is older and more offensively accomplished
Sami Pahlsson (Clb) – Taylor Ellington, two 4th’s (Van) – I frankly don’t think Pahlsson has much in the tank, but the Canucks did not give up much to get him while the Blue Jackets at least added some assets
Johnny Oduya (Win) – 2nd and 3rd (2013) (Chi) – this is a win for the Jets, despite the Hawks getting what they want–two picks for an expiring contract is a great reward
Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau (NYI) – Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin (Bos) – the Islanders dump two contracts and the Bruins give up virtually nothing for depth, so another good hockey trade
Paul Gaustad and 4th (2013) (Buf) – 1st (2012) (Nsh) – this is a steep price to pay for an expiring contract so it’s a win for Buffalo
Greg Zanon (Min) – Steve Kampfer (Bos) – UFA depth for Boston for a signed prospect for Minnesota is a good deal on both sides
John Scott (Chi) – 5th (2012) (NYR) – I have no idea why the Rangers wanted the one-dimensional Scott
Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani (Buf) – Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer (Van) – the Canucks win the undercard (the blueliners swapped) while Kassian and Hodgson form different kinds of risks for each team, but on the whole I think Vancouver got more in the trade than the Sabres