Senators News: April 29th

-Here’s my review of the Sens in the playoffs.

Paul MacLean talked about his first season coaching in the NHL, “I feel good about the fact I can coach in the league and we’ve had satisfaction, so I guess I give myself credibility that I can do this. But now the hard part is to do it again. I remember when I scored 30 goals for the first time, and I was all pumped up about it and an old guy, Floyd Thomson, said ‘Oh yeah? well now you’ve got to do it again.’ I feel the same way today. That’s a motivator for me, and it also scares me to death. Because I know how hard it is, and it’s hard to do. But I’m looking forward to it, and I’m excited about September, of getting back for training camp and getting started again. But I’m also scared to death.”

Bryan Murray made an interesting comment regarding his second line, “Up front, we’re always looking for somebody to step in and score goals. That line with (captain Daniel Alfredsson) played with Turris, if we had one more guy that could score consistently or be a 20-to-25 goal scorer would make our team different.”  That’s a shot across the bow at Nick Foligno.  Murray also said the team needs another defensive defencemen which might come internally or externally.

Joy Lindsay Tweets that “[Bryan] Murray said he told Lehner that Bishop‘s one-way can be managed, but that org likes goalies to play in minors — and win“, apparently without a sense of irony since Lehner has already won the Calder Cup.

Ian Mendes Tweets that “[Bryan] Murray says he will not automatically qualify all of his RFAs“, but implies Nick Foligno will be back by saying “he challenged Nick Foligno in their exit meeting. Wants him to prove he’s a 2nd liner.”

Peter Regin talked about his status going forward, “It was a different injury this time. It wasn’t the same. I guess I was just unlucky that it was the same body part on the same side, so it looked bad that way. I’m confident, the doctors are confident, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Bruce Garrioch grades the Sens and I’ll delve into his comments after listing the grades (Regin and Gilroy were not assessed):
A+ Karlsson, Alfredsson
A Anderson, Spezza, Paul MacLean, Bryan Murray
B+ Cowen, Phillips, Neil, Michalek
B Kuba, Gonchar, Turris, Greening, Bishop
B- Foligno
C+ Carkner, Smith, Condra, Konopka, O’Brien, Winchester
C- Daugavins
D Auld
F Butler

As you’d expect there are oddities in Garrioch’s assessment.  You’d think MacLean and Murray would warrant an A+; Phillips (as always with Ottawa’s media) is given the grade of a teacher’s pet; how Kuba is only a B is difficult to understand, but Garrioch doesn’t provide a rationale for how he grades players, so there’s nothing to evaluate how grades are assigned.  Winchester does not deserve a C+, while Smith, Condra and Daugavins deserve better grades; I’m not sure why Auld doesn’t get the same failing grade Butler earns.

Now for the odder statements from Garrioch: he wants Carkner to be retained–the same player who has a bad knee and can’t play during the regular season; he says Gonchar showed veteran leadership in the playoffs, but will likely be dealt in the off-season (no reason is provided for why); he speculates Chris Kelly might be brought back because…well, no reason is provided; he says Winchester has a role when healthy–what role?  There’s nothing he offers that other players don’t do as well (or better).

Jean-Gabriel Pageau‘s season is over as Chicoutimi was knocked out of the QMJHL playoffs.


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