Senators News: April 2nd; Binghamton 6, Hershey 5 (SO)

Paul MacLean talked about the team clinching their playoff berth, “I know that in this league it’s always a realistic possibility (to make the playoffs) but I also know that it’s real difficult. What I wanted to do, like we’ve said all season, is come in and build a foundation for winning in the future. And whenever that future is — is it now? — I don’t know. But once you’re in the playoffs, it’s difficult, but when you have the opportunity, anything can happen, and sometimes it does.”

Ian Mendes writes an interesting article about a team meeting just after the Sens 5-1 loss to Montreal, Alfredsson described it as “Coach mentioned that we were playing a little bit too cautious – like we were happy to just be hanging around games instead of going out and initiating. Stay positive and be more aggressive – I think that was the message. It’s do or die right now. We can’t wait for anything to happen.”

John Kreiser offers his reasons for how the Sens made the playoffs this year: 1. Erik Karlsson, 2. Paul MacLean, 3. Daniel Alfredsson, 4. Jason Spezza, 5. Craig Anderson, and 6. Milan Michalek.

ESPN‘s power rankings are out, with Ottawa 9th.

-Binghamton blew a three-goal lead in the third period, but managed to beat Hershey in the shootout (going 13 rounds before Eric Gryba won it).  Da Costa lead the way with three points, while Downing and Schira were a team-worst -2.  Robin Lehner made 30 saves for the win.  Here’s the box score and Joy Lindsay‘s game summary.

Kurt Kleinendorst talked about the win, “Good for Robin. He’d probably tell you there were a few that he’d like to have back, but in the end, he made some really big saves for us. We’re fighting some demons, and we haven’t been able to conquer that yet. I give the guys a lot of credit, because that’s an awfully good team; they had a lot of life in the third, they found a way to come back and tie it up, and we did a nice job of keeping our composure toward the end. And then we got the two points, so good for us.”

-Here’s my profile of Sens prospect Jakob Silfverberg.

Sens Town has Shane Prince writing a diary for them (four entries are up, the first beginning in mid-March).  Unbeknownst to me, prior to Prince former Binghamton player Max Gratchev (signed to an AHL contract) was blogging for them up until he was traded.

-An update on the top college free agents (who has been signed and who remains available); for the original article go here:
Michael Blinn’s picks
Jack Connolly (38-18-38-56)
Kelly Zajac (36-8-33-41)
Mark Zengerle (37-13-37-50)
Troy Grosenik (1.66 .936)
Red Line Report‘s list (plus Blinn where marked with an *)
1. Danny DeKeyser* (38-5-11-16) decided not to turn pro
2. Nate Schmidt (39-3-33-36)
3. Jeremy Welsh (35-23-13-36)
4. Torey Krug* (37-12-21-33) Boston
5. J. T. Brown* (36-23-23-46) Tampa Bay
6. Brian Flynn* (37-17-29-46) Buffalo
7. Ludwig Karlsson (32-10-16-26)
8. Terry Broadhurst (38-16-20-36) Chicago
9. Chris Rawlings* (2.71, .916)
10. Brian O’Neill* (35-21-25-46) Los Angeles
11. Andrej Sustr* (33-4-13-17)
12. Drew Leblanc (10-2-10-12)
13. Nick Sorkin (37-9-26-35)
14. Pat Mullane (38-8-25-33)
15. Eriah Hayes (36-13-11-24)
16. Matt White (38-17-23-40)
17. Kyle Follmer (36-4-22-26)
18. Karl Stollery (37-7-14-21) Colorado
19. Spencer Abbott* (37-20-39-59) Toronto
20. Jack Maclellan (30-15-15-30) Nashville
21. Ross Mauermann (37-10-15-25)
22. Travis Oleksuk (38-21-29-50) San Jose

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Prospect Profile: Jakob Silfverberg

Jakob Silfverberg (C/W-R, 6’1, DOB 1990, 2-39/09)
2007-08 SupEl Brynas 30-8-12-20 +5 8pim (ppg) pts
2008-09 SupEl Brynas 30-14-24-38 +23 6pim (ppg 1.26) 4th
2008-09 SEL Brynas 16-3-1-4 -1 2pim (ppg 0.25)
2009-10 SEL Brynas 48-8-8-16 +6 4pim (ppg 0.33) 11th
2009-10 Sweden WJC 6-3-2-5 0pim (ppg 0.83) 9th
2010-11 SEL Brynas 53-18-16-34 -12 16pim (ppg 0.64) 3rd
2011-12 SEL Brynas 49-24-30-54 -2 10pim (ppg 1.10) 1st MVP

Jakob Silfverberg, selected 39th overall in 2009 (ranked #12 among Europeans by Central Scouting), was signed by the Sens in the fall, but decided to spend a final season in the SEL to round out his game (“I feel like, for myself, that I need to get bigger and stronger, and better in every aspect of the game“).  He lead Brynas in scoring and was named league MVP by his fellow players.  He has a good chance to make the Senators next year because he’s always been responsible defensively and as such he doesn’t have to crack the top-six.  There’s no doubt that Silfverberg will be an NHL player, although his ceiling is up in the air.  When he was drafted opinions varied about whether he would be a solid checking center or be able to play in the top-six.  Hockey Futures‘ assessment echoes that doubt, “a strong skating two-way forward with good hockey sense. He is a very smart and mature player and is solid both offensively and defensively. Silfverberg has good technical skills and plays with plenty of intensity. His shot is quick, but could be more accurate and he could stand to play more physical. Opinions about Silfverberg‘s career differ. Some see a potential star player in him, while other see his potential limited to that of a role player“.  The Sens Pierre Dorion talked about him last summer, “I am as sure of him being an NHL player as anyone in this organization. I can tell you this guy is an NHL hockey player. He plays a north-south game, he’s strong down low, he’s got good skills and good (hockey) sense. He can play the power play, but he also plays the penalty kill. He’s a versatile player. For a European, he competes, he’s strong on the puck and shoots it well. The one thing that’s got to pick up is his quickness off the mark. If he can work on that … that’ll determine where he plays in the NHL. If that quickness off the mark can be just a tad better, he’s a top-two line player. If not, he’s a third-line player.”  Here’s a Sens TV interview with him after he was drafted, and here’s a highlight package.