Senators News: March 23rd

Craig Anderson will start tonight, his first start since February 22nd.  Jason Spezza also returns to the lineup, with Bobby Butler expected to come out.

-Paul MacLean talked about tonight’s match-up, “We know it’s going to be a difficult game because every time we play them it’s a difficult game. The neutral zone is a big focus. They do a real good job there. It’s going to be up to us to make sure we don’t turn it into an obstacle for ourselves. We’re going to have to generate more scoring opportunities on Carey Price. He’s been a big factor in every game we’ve played them. We’re going to have to make sure that we try to be more relentless attacking their net.”

Eugene Melnyk‘s unfortunate tendency to speak on the record produced something dumb once again, “At the end of the day, I’ve got little ones, a nine and 13-year-old, and I’ll be damned if some guy is going to pour a beer on them or whatever, or curse.”  Swearing?  He wants to eliminate swearing in the arena?  Good luck with that.

Joy Lindsay Tweets that Robin Lehner is expected to start tonight.  Matt Puempel should debut in Sunday’s game.

The Hockey Writers list Ottawa’s top-ten prospects:
1. Mika Zibanejad (they expect him to play full-time with Ottawa next season)
2. Robin Lehner
3. Jakob Silfverberg (they think he will challenge for a roster spot)
4. Mark Stone
5. Stephane Da Costa (they compare him to Adam Oates)
6. Matt Puempel (they imply he will be in the AHL next year, but he’s too young to do that)
7. Stefan Noesen (they see him as a third-line winger)
8. Shane Prince (they aren’t sure if he’ll return to the OHL or play in the AHL next fall)
9. Patrick Wiercioch
10. Andre Petersson (they consider him a one-dimensional player along the lines of Linus Omark)

Lists like these are always good at generating debate, but there are always curious elements in them–the one that stands out for me is how little (if ever) organisational comments are considered when deciding on what’s going to happen to a player.  To pick one example, Bryan Murray has remarked that he thinks Andre Petersson is Jason Spezza‘s winger of the future (link)–I’ve seen that echoed nowhere in the prospect assessments that I’ve read.  If that’s how the GM feels it should reflect itself in how he’s viewed.

John-Eric Iannicello believes Jared Cowen is the top rookie in the Northeast division, although he doesn’t provide any clear reasons why.

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