Senators News: March 29th; Binghamton 2, Hershey 5

Jason Spezza said the obvious, “I don’t think we’ll be doing a lot of scoreboard watching. We’re in control of our own fate. We just have to make sure we’re getting ourselves ready for our game. We’ll take notice of what happens, but it doesn’t really matter. They may make points up on us, but we still have games to play. As long as we get wins, we’ll be fine.”

Jesse Winchester expects to return to the lineup Friday or Saturday.

Stu Hackel writes about the remarkable run the Buffalo Sabres are on, pointing out they could be the first team since the 93-94 New York Islanders to overcome a double-digit point deficit in February to make the playoffs.  Hackel makes the obvious point that the primary change that’s helped the Sabres is Ryan Miller‘s stellar play.

Chris Wideman has signed his ELC.

-I watched Binghamton’s loss last night and have a few observations to share: McKenna was awful (no lateral movement at all) as he later Tweeted and he should have been pulled after the third goal; Hamilton is great on faceoffs, but his offensive instincts aren’t great (a knee high pass to the back skate of Downing on a 2-on-1 springs to mind); Petersson is the most dynamic offensive player on the team; the team’s structure in the offensive zone is awful and there’s far too much individual play; Puempel missed on a penalty shot (he tried to go five-hole on Sanford); the officiating in the game was terrible (Kurt Kleinendorst got tossed); the second half of the game was languid.  McKenna took the loss while Da Costa and Petersson scored the game’s only goals.  Here’s the box score and Joy Lindsay‘s game summary.

Kurt Kleinendorst was not a happy camper post-game, “I was frustrated. The second goal never should have been. I hate to really get critical of officials, because it sounds like I’m whining. Am I frustrated? Of course I am. I don’t like where we are, I don’t like how the season’s gone — of course I’m frustrated. But the puck never hit the ice. The linesman went to drop it, and he didn’t drop it. He kind of tossed it, and it hit shift of their stick and bounced over in their favor. They grab it, they throw it over, and they put it in the back of the net. It never should have happened. It should have been a whistle. You have to actually drop the puck. The puck actually has to hit the ice, that little circle out there. Drop it, hit it, then it’s in play. But when it doesn’t, you blow it down and you do it again. The referee was standing right next to me, he had to have seen it. I was yelling. And then, obviously they score the goal. And after that, I had a couple of not-nice words to say to the official, and I got two minutes, which I think is a really gutless call on his part, under the circumstances. But it’s the same guy … who did it to us against St. John’s. They need to send him back to the Coast [ECHL].

Joy Tweets that Chris Wideman has an upper body injury.  David Dziurzynski, Andre Petersson, and Eric Gryba are also sitting out (no word on whether it’s precautionary or not).

-Speaking of Wideman, here’s my profile of him.

-Elmira won last night, with Corey Cowick held off the scoreboard and Brian Stewart dressing as the back-up.  Bobby Raymond‘s Florida Everblades were shutout.

-For those who are unfamiliar or simply interested in the Sens scouting framework, here a chat with Pierre Dorion discussing it in 2009.

-The Montreal Canadians finally fired Pierre Gauthier, the timing as mysterious as everything else that’s happened in Montreal this year.

Prospect Profile: Chris Wideman

Chris Wideman (D-R, 5’10, DOB 1990, 4-100/09)
2007-08 USHL Cedar Rapids 53-2-12-14 -1 51pim (ppg 0.26) 5th d-pts
2008-09 NCAA Miami 39-0-26-26 +11 56pim (ppg 0.66) 1st all-rookie
2009-10 NCAA Miami 44-5-17-22 +17 63pim (ppg 0.50) 1st
2010-11 NCAA Miami 39-3-20-23 +8 30pim (ppg 0.58) 1st second team
2011-12 NCAA Miami 41-4-20-24 +22 40pim (ppg 0.58) 1st

A teammate of fellow Sens draft pick Bryce Aneloski in Cedar Rapids and later Sens free agent signee Pat Cannone in Miami, Wideman was not ranked in either year of his draft eligibility by Central Scouting.  An undersized, puck-moving blueliner, Wideman finished his senior year at Miami and signed a two-year ELC with Ottawa.  While he never topped his rookie production at Miami, he remained the teams most productive blueliner throughout his collegiate career.  As with any undersized defenseman, his quickness (decision making and speed) will determine how well he adapts to the pro game.  Here’s an old scouting report on him (link): “Wideman is an intelligent, excellent puck-moving defenseman on the small side. He is very poised and patience with the. He also distributes and makes smart decisions with the puck too. One of Wideman’s best attributes is his smart and effective use of his stick, particularly in taking away passing/shooting lanes. He possesses a very shot and can get pucks to the net. Wideman is a very good skater with good foot speed that transitions remarkably well. Though he isn’t overly physical, Wideman will play the body when necessary.  Wideman is positionally sound, but his small stature and especially lack of strength make it difficult for him to contain bigger opposing forwards. As Wideman gets stronger that part of his game should improve.”  Here the CCHA asks him 20 questions, while Sens TV interviewed him at the 2009 Development Camp.