Senators News: April 22nd

Craig Anderson talked about the win last night, “We’ll enjoy this on the plane ride home, but when the sun comes up (Sunday) we know it’s all business again. It’s a great a feeling. You play 82 games during the regular season to get this opportunity. We limited our turnovers. We bought into blocking shots, keep shots to the outside and taking sticks away. We did the little things that you don’t usually notice, but can make a big impact.”

Mark Stone talked about his first NHL game, “Game 5 of a Stanley Cup playoff series tied 2-2 – if you told me I was going to be playing in that game six months ago, I would have called you crazy. So it’s a very exciting time for myself, and there’s a great group of guys in here that helped me along the whole way. It was unbelievable, the difference in speed and strength. The players in the NHL compared to the players in junior hockey is something you have to get used to. But I’ve just got to stick with what got me here, and try to contribute in any way. Every game I’m just looking to get better.

-I thought the Chris Neil hit on Brian Boyle was clean, so I didn’t mention it in my game report.  As expected no discipline is forthcoming and I think John Tortorella made a fuss about it simply to deflect criticism off his team.

-Here’s my profile of Sens prospect Matt Puempel.

-As Pierre LeBrun points out, the Raffi Torres 25-game suspension was a good one, but it’s definitely not a sign of increasing levels of punishment, rather an indication that players notorious for predatory hits will get the hammer when the opportunity presents itself.

-Prospect updates (their position in team scoring is noted in brackets, defence compared to defence):
CHL
Stefan Noesen (C/RW, Plymouth, OHL) 6-7-8-15 (1st) (Plymouth lost 4-3 to Kitchener)
Shane Prince (C/LW, Ottawa 67s, OHL) 14-6-7-13 (2nd) (67′s are down 1-0 to Niagara)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (RW, Chicoutimi, QMJHL) 12-2-8-10 (3rd) (Chicoutimi is down 0-1 to Saint John)
Jakub Culek (C/LW, Rimouski, QMJHL) 13-4-3-7 (9th) (Rimouski is up 2-0 on Halifax)
Darren Kramer (C/LW, Spokane, WHL) 12-3-3-6 (6th) (Spokane lost 4-3 to Tri-City)
Mark Stone (RW, Brandon, WHL) 8-2-4-6 (t-2nd) (Brandon lost 4-0 to Edmonton)
SEL
Jakob Silfverberg (C/RW, Brynas) 17-13-7-20 (1st) (Brynas won the championship)

Prospect Profile: Matt Puempel

Matt Puempel (LW, 6’0, DOB 1993, 1-24/11; contract 1.075/16)
2009-10 OHL Peterborough 59-33-31-64 -2 43pim (ppg 1.08) 2nd pts
2010-11 OHL Peterborough 55-34-35-69 -33 49pim (ppg 1.25) 1st rookie of the year
2011-12 OHL Peterborough 30-17-16-33 -3 31pim (ppg 1.10) 6th
2011-12 AHL Binghamton 9-1-0-1 +1 2pim (0.11)
2012-13 OHL Kitchener 51-35-11-46 +5 43pim (0.90) 3rd assistant captain
2012-13 AHL Binghamton 2-0-0-0 +1 0pim

Ottawa’s third pick in the first round last year (ranked #28 by Central Scouting), Puempel‘s following season was derailed by a lengthy suspension followed by a concussion.  As such, it was largely wasted in terms of his development.  He was signed during that season.  This year he forced a trade to Kitchener where he was able to stay healthy and set a career high in goals despite his points-per-game slipping.  His development allowed the Senators to feel comfortable enough to deal Stefan Noesen in the Bobby Ryan trade and he should get top minutes in Binghamton next season.  When drafted The Hockey News said:

He’s not a great skater, but he has good feet and is a pretty hard worker.

ISS said:

Puempel is a left handed skilled forward that possesses a great stick and shows a high end of ability to finish. His lofty ranking here at ISS may surprise some experts however. Pure goal scorers are a highly sought after commodity come draft day, and Puempel may just be the best sniper in this draft. Has good speed with quick acceleration. He makes a lot of smart touches with the puck and makes pretty solid decisions. He is at his best in the offensive zone, especially below the top of the face off circles. He has tremendous offensive instincts and is tenacious in offensive situations. He had to have season ending hip surgery, causing him to miss the Under 18′s, however he is expected to make a full recover. NHL Potential: Pure goal scorer with a bright future ahead of him at the next level. Style compares to: Patrick Sharp.

Red Line Report said:

After winning CHL Rookie of the Year last season had a rollercoaster sophomore campaign.  Battled inconsistency early before beginning to get it going around Christmas, then had his season derailed by hip injury.  Smart and highly instinctive offensive player.  Sees the ice very well and can create opportunities for linemates, but his real calling card is as a top-notch sniper down low.  Very dangerous from the circles in; has a knack for getting himself open in scoring territory and always has stick on the ice ready for passes and to pounce on loose pucks.  Great shot release and hand/eye coordination on deflections.  Not a blazing skater, but always gets there when there’s a chance involved.  Must bring a higher effort level on a more consistent basis.  Solid defensively and on the PK when he’s working hard.  Projection: 2nd line sniper and key PP guy.  Style compares to: Patrick Sharp.

Here’s Puempel being drafted, interviewed before the Subway Super series, and a pre-draft highlight package.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Ottawa 2, New York Rangers 0

Jason Spezza and Craig Anderson combined to give the Sens their first lead in the series.  It was an excellent debut for Mark Stone despite limited playing time.  The Rangers were largely held at bay, despite the large edge in shots (41 to 30).  Here’s the box score.

First Period
Anderson makes a great save off Kreider.  There was a weird play where the Sens thought the play was dead, but the puck was live and Anderson had to be alert to make the save.  Kuba made a great defensive play on McDonagh.   On the Rangers first powerplay Anderson made a great save on Del Zotto.  The Sens opened the scoring (for their first lead of the series) on a great pass by Stone to Spezza who beats Lundqvist five-hole.  Michalek had a great chance.  Condra came close on a shorthanded breakaway.
Second Period
Ottawa’s first powerplay was a frustrating exercise with the team unwilling to shoot.  Karlsson with a great shot.  Anderson made great saves on Richards and then Dubinsky off a bad rebound.  Greening in all alone can’t beat Lundqvist on the backhand.  Michalek couldn’t score on a breakaway.  Two more powerplays for the Sens and still they won’t shoot.
Third Period
Anderson made a great save on StepanNeil had a chance off a Turris rebound.  Ottawa’s final powerplay was a little better, but still couldn’t produce.  Spezza seals the deal with an empty-netter.

Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Spezza (Stone, Kuba)
Stone splits the D with his pass and Spezza’s quick shot beats Lundqvist 5-hole
2. Spezza (Konopka) (en)
Turnover in the neutral zone ends up in the back on the net

Top-performers:
Craig Anderson – he was perfect tonight
Jason Spezza – finally scored
Penalty-killing – was fantastic tonight

Players Who Struggled: no one stood out negatively tonight.